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The end …

of 2015.

I've contemplated ending the blog. I've been writing (less frequently, lately, but still writing) here or on Shrinking Knitter since January 10, 2006. TEN YEARS OF DRIVEL!

And if you click through to that very first blog post, I don't look a whole lot different now then I did then. So I guess it didn't help much at all over the long run.

During the last 10 years, though, I did manage to

lose a bunch of weight (and gain it back, as we serial dieters are wont to do), run three half-marathons, get married, bury my father,more than triple the number of grandchildren I had when I started blogging, and celebrate my 25th year of sobriety.
Among other things.

My focus today, and for the coming year, will be on regaining my mobility and improving my health. My top post from this year was January 25, in which I was recovering from some kind of stomach bug. I mentioned that I hoped taking a rest day might mean no more right-hip pain.

I think that's called foreshadowin…

Three …

Three weeks from today I'll be prepping for the hip surgery. I have a few thoughts this week between holidays …

I'm grateful that what's wrong with me can be fixed. I'm grateful for a financial cushion which makes the expenses for this procedure possible.I'm grateful for the Affordable Care Act. Although insurance companies are still making a profit from human illness (which I think is wrong), my expenses for this procedure are not out of reach.I'm grateful for the ability – still – to clean my house, cook food, do laundry. All of these things take more time than they used to, so …I'm grateful for patience and willingness to work with what I have, instead of feeling frustrated about my loss of mobility.
I also have a few wishes:

I wish everyone who is in pain would find relief.I wish everyone facing surgery has a successful outcome.I wish everyone who has a much more serious illness or condition will find comfort and peace.
I'm so lucky. Generally I dismi…

Four weeks

On Sunday, January 17, I'll be admitted and anticipating the insertion of a new hip joint the next day.

When last we met, our new treadmill had just been assembled and I'd given it a trial run. I did fine that first day. I've used it three times since then and, well, maybe it's just not the thing to do. I haven't hurt myself, but I definitely exhaust myself. It's quite astonishing how much it takes out of me.

And even though it's very gentle and slow, I'm so stiff and sore afterward that I can barely move from one position (lying down, for instance) to another (upright).

My walking goal for the year was 1200 miles. According to FitBit, which converts every step to miles, not just the intentional let's-go-for-a-walk ones, I'm very close. At the end of the day yesterday, I'd logged enough steps to equal 1177.69 miles for the year. With 12 days to go, I need only a couple miles a day to reach 1200.

But a normal, non-treadmill day often yields le…

Five weeks from today

If all goes as planned – schedule doesn't change, insurance agrees to pay, surgeon and patient are both present for the procedure – I will have a new hip joint on Martin Luther King day.

Which is, as noted in today's post title, five weeks from today.

Christmas came early for us, with the delivery and assembly of a new treadmill. We literally wore our old one out. You could smell something electrical going on when you walked on it. I'm kind of proud of us for not turning it into a clothes hanger (which would have been kind of hard to do, since it wasn't in the bedroom).

Seriously. How many people do you know who have worn out a treadmill?

Anyway. I decided to try it out yesterday. I don't feel safe walking on the road, and it hurts too much to do that anyway. I figured if walking on the treadmill hurt, I could get off and have a seat on the nearby comfy couch. And I figured holding on to the handrails would give me some extra stability.

Yes, I know you burn fewer c…

It's a date!

Continuing the surgery saga, yesterday was my first appointment with the surgeon. He answered all my husband's and my questions thoroughly, was very reassuring, offered non-surgical options, and completely allayed my concerns about having a total hip replacement done.

This is not a minor procedure, but he's done thousands of them and, as he said, once the knife goes in, it's "all business." He took a lot of time with me, much more than I expected. My husband and I both left feeling reassured that we'd made an informed decision, and the best one for me.

There are two non-surgical options. One is using a cane and continuing to have pain until I can't stand it any more. I'm already there.

He also said we could try cortisone injections in the joint, but he allowed that since I'm at stage 4 as far as loss of cartilage goes (that's the end of the line), injection therapy wouldn't last long or provide much relief.

I go for pre-op testing and X-ra…

Tomorrow, tomorrow!

The wait is nearly over. My first appointment with the surgeon is tomorrow at 1:30 in the afternoon. I can't ever remember being so excited about a visit to the doctor.

Everything I've heard from everyone I've talked to, as well as my own experience with this surgeon (he set my mother-in-law's broken arm several years ago) is good good good. The only caveat I've heard is that you will spend a long time in the waiting room. My 1:30 appointment is likely to be 2:30 or later.

Whatevs. We'll deal with it.

So what I've learned about myself is that a busy day is followed by a not-busy day. I'm still wearing my FitBit One, but it hasn't been tracking accurately lately. What's sad is I don't really much care. You can see, though, by this chart, that rest days follow active days, and that's just the way it is.
My husband and I gave ourselves a treadmill for Christmas, however, and I'm going to attempt very slow walking on it after we get it s…

Hitting the RACK

Wow, where has this year gone?

Time to flip the calendar page to the last one of the year. For many – and especially for children – the traditional advent calendar becomes a focal point of the day. Let the countdown begin!

Putting my personal spiritual beliefs aside, I'm getting on the countdown bandwagon this year for the simple reason that I'm far too focused on myself, my pain, and my lack of mobility. It's all about me-me-me here in the Middle of Nowhere, and that's not what the Christmas spirit is all about.

A friend posted a Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar yesterday on Facebook. I saved the link, had a look, and while I may not be able to do something kind every day, I'm going to give it the old geriatric try.

There are three calendar options. One is for the entire month, in case you want to go crazy with kindness. One is blank, so you can fill in each day's kindness as you accomplish it. The third has 24 suggestions, one for each day le…

Thanks

This isn't really a Thanksgiving post, but it could be.

I appreciate your very kind and supportive comments from my previous post here. I'm very grateful you took the time to comment AND to prop me up. I needed that!

I spent some time with a friend Sunday who has gone through the entire hip replacement procedure. She spent a long time in pain before she decided to have the surgery, and offered many many MANY helpful tips to make life easier in the weeks I will have to wait.

The most important thing she said, though, was that pain makes you crabby. Constant, chronic pain wears you down. Reducing pressure on my right leg will reduce the pain. Therefore, I present to you my new BFF:
I was loathe to begin walking with a cane, but after Dr. Google explained how to use it properly (you hold the cane on the good side and advance it along with your bad leg to reduce pressure), I can already see that it's a useful tool.

But still. I'm too young to walk with a cane!

Then again, …

Failing MISERABLY

I really didn't realize how much walking improved my mood until I couldn't walk any more.

Here's the thing: I NEED to lose some weight before I have this hip surgery. The surgery will be less complicated and the recovery will go more smoothly if I weighed less.

My excuses are all good ones:

NO exercise – don't believe what you read about exercise not being a factor in weight loss.Along with that, those endorphins aren't getting released and I'm in a funky mood most of the time.I'm bored, bored, bored – and I eat when I'm bored.Motrin relieves my pain better than anything else, but makes my stomach hurt.Eating makes my stomach not hurt.
Maybe they're not such good excuses, but they're the ones I'm using, to my detriment.

My future physical therapist, who also is a friend, tried to reassure me that the repair will work and I'll be raring to go, once the recovery period is over. I have, maybe, used that as an excuse as well. Delay, delay, de…

9,131

Nine thousand one hundred thirty-one days divided by 365 equals
Today is a milestone in my sobriety – I've now been sober for as many years as I drank.
(You can read my story here. I've been marking this occasion on this or my previous blog for nine years now, and it's easier for both of us to just point you to the first time I told it.)
In meetings, when you announce a sobriety "birthday," you're often asked, "How'd you do it?" And my answer always has been, "One day at a time." 
I have to admit that this birthday seems a teensy bit more significant. Evening out the drunk days with the sober ones is something to think about. It's … a moment.
But it's just one moment among many. 
I'm not the same person I was at 14, when I had my first drink, or at 39, when I had my last one. I'm not perfect now, none of us are. I've learned a lot about myself along the way, most importantly this: I can't do life alone. 
Sometim…

A not-surgery post

Anyone not comatose knows by now that right-wing nuts and fundamental Christians (which may be the same thing, but I'm not sure) are mad at Starbucks. A crazy preacher did a YouTube video suggesting we all tell our baristas our name is "Merry Christmas" so she or he would have to write it on the ombré red but otherwise unadorned cup.

Because a red cup with a green logo isn't Christmas-y enough for him.

Well, you don't get to be a billionaire by encouraging the populace to buy stuff from a company you don't like. So Donald Trump has upped the ante by saying this:
“Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know,” he said. “Seriously, I don’t care.” Maybe Starbucks should roll out a new cup design with baby Jesus in a manger on it, and start a REAL war on Christmas. Whichever cup sells better wins.

Which really means Starbucks would win, if winning means making a huge profit on already overpriced hot beverages. 'Cause you know everyone will flock to the one …

In preparation …

If you're following along, you know that after months of painful walking, I stopped in July, saw a doctor in August, and have finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to begin the process of fixing my right hip, which is currently cartilage-free. Sometime next year I'll be having a total hip replacement.

In a previous post, I had set a date of November 1 to go back to primal eating. So far, I've only been able to eliminate sugar. And that's all I'm going to do, most likely until I'm completely recovered. Meal preparation is just easier if I can include dairy, legumes and grains. Sugar is my opiate, adds no nutritional value to my diet, and is physically – if not mentally – easy to ditch.

I've been thinking about how to make that recovery period a little easier on my husband. He's more than willing to do whatever it takes and offer whatever I need, but I'm the chief cook and bottle-washer around here. I've been exploring the idea of…

The surgery saga

You've been through the denture adventure with me, so how about hip surgery? Any takers?
Yesterday was The Beginning. My husband and I have been mulling over possibilities, and decided that waiting until I'm eligible for Medicare – May, 2016 – was too far out. My mobility is sooooo limited and the pain is sooooo ever-present, that we really do need to take care of this sooner rather than later.
We've talked with several friends who've gone through joint replacements – one benefit of getting old is that at least some in your circle of acquaintances will have first-hand experience – and one doctor's name came up repeatedly as The One.
I first called my insurance company to make sure he was in network. And then I called the surgeon's office and made an appointment. He's booked until December. 
So he must be good, amirite?
My initial consultation will be December 8. I explained to the staff person I didn't want the surgery until early next year, and she see…

The month I met two Presidents

So it's been quite a month for this Democrat.

I'm pretty sure everyone knows by now that President Clinton came to West Virginia early in October and President Obama was here last Wednesday. I attended both events, and had "a moment" with each of them.

And I still can't quite believe it.

I want to record it here so I never forget it. You never know when Alzheimer's is going to hit. Heh.

The annual West Virginia Democratic fundraiser – the Jefferson-Jackson dinner – was held October 2, and President Clinton was the keynote speaker. Our county executive committee had selected our Outstanding Democrat of the Year, but she was unable to attend, so the committee voted to send me instead.

After what had happened at the WVFDW Annual Meeting the previous weekend, I wasn't sure how it would go, but I'd never been in the same room with President Clinton, so I was happy to represent my county.

I had a fabulous time, in the end, and when the event was over I wen…

Breakfast of Champions

Okay, not really.

I told myself (and you, I think) that I was going to get back on that primal horse and whip my nae-nae back into shape before the hip surgery.

Well, that hasn't happened. Probably because I don't have an actual date for the hip surgery.

I work better on deadline. Heh.

Which isn't really true.

Here's what's really going on in my head these days.

Back when I did my first Whole 30 and lost a bunch of weight, I also felt better. The result of eliminating grains, sugar, dairy and legumes wasn't just a lower number on the scale. It was reduced inflammation and more energy and a general feeling of well-being.

Because I now know that my hip pain is not related to food, but is instead a cartilage deficiency, I'm more than slightly less inclined to eliminate all those things that taste good.

Pass the cheese, please.

I still want to lose weight. I still actually need to lose weight. The less extra lard the surgeon has to cut through to replace that …

Time for a reset

I've announced the intention out loud and in writing to a few people that I need to do another Whole 30.

Intending and doing aren't exactly the same thing.

I have a big dinner to go to tomorrow night. I'm not sure what's on the menu – in fact, I'm not even sure I'll get to eat. As my county's Democrat of the Year, I'll be in a long line for a long time, waiting to be introduced. Last time this happened, there wasn't much food left by the time I found my seat at a table again.

So if I don't get dinner, that can be part of a fast. According to an article at Mark's Daily Apple, fasting is a good way to get back on a primal track.

The article also mentions walking. And I've been thinking about this. My hip hurts, all the time, but I've been assured I can't do any more damage to it than what has already been done. So why not take a short walk two or three times a week? Not the daily four-milers I used to do … but a mile? I could try t…

The week that was

So it's been a week now, and I'm still vacillating between mad and sad. Progressive Organized Women PAC (POW-PAC) paperwork has been filed with the WV Secretary of State. The checking account is ready to accept donations. I still need to set up an online account. I'm taking my time. It'll all get done, eventually.
I've spent a lot of time this week resting during the day and not sleeping at night. Or, rather, sleeping for three hours and then waking up with IDEAS. STRATEGIES. PLANS. My brain is on overdrive.

Your comments from my last post are most appreciated. Thank you all.

What happened last Saturday is a microcosm of what's happened to the Democratic Party here in WV. Possibly elsewhere. I've had my eye on North Carolina politics for a while now, as WV has been following in its footsteps. I've blamed it on the Koch Brothers and all that money, but that's not the entire story here in WV.

The heart of West Virginia's Democratic party is not i…

As weekends go, this certainly was one

I don't think I've written anything about the election that happened here in WV over the weekend. It took place at the state convention for the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women (WVFDW). My county chapter was the host. I've shared a little bit about how busy our group was preparing for that. But the election? Not so much.

I was nominated for vice-president. Traditionally, the assembly accepts the recommendation of the nominating committee, everyone sings kumbaya, and you go to a banquet. But not this year.

Three of the top board positions were challenged by floor nominations. Mine was one of them.

The woman nominated for president and I ran as a team. She went down in the first ballot of the day, and I realized then that I didn't need to give quite as powerful a speech as I'd planned to. It was referred to by one witness as a kamikaze speech.

WVFDW is a club, politically oriented, obviously, but not beholden to the public. It's nice, though, to know …

What I've been doing with my time

Now that I'm not spending a couple hours a day walking (see previous post if you're not keeping up with my medical history), how am I spending my time?

You'd think, with a blog called Knit. Run. Reap. Eat. that I'd be knitting. Or gardening. It's a fact I'm not running, nor haven't been for quite some time.

It's also a fact that I've been doing a little knitting. I finished a self-designed V-neck pullover, very simple and very wearable. It's kind of an oatmeal color, the yarn (I forget what it's called but I know it's long-discontinued) is a wool/cotton blend and kind of "nubby," and it's all stockinette, except for the lower edge and sleeve cuffs. They're 2x2 ribbing. I finished the neckline with attached I-cord.

I love the sweater. Tunic-length, quite comfy. I can't wait for fall so I can wear it.

I started another project, the Oat Couture Seville Jacket, but I'm not sure the yarn is going to work for it. I ch…

i'mnotoldi'mnotoldi'mnotold

Considering that I'll be 65 next spring, perhaps I am old. But I don't feel old, I don't think old, I don't look old, and I don't act old. So I'm not old, amirite? (See, I even know how to use young-folk slang appropriately!)

Maybe I do look old – grey hair is creeping into my temples and I sport crow's feetwrinkles laugh lines on my face – but I swear I don't feel or think or act old.

I keep up with current music (thanks, Pandora!), although I didn't watch the VMAs. But I don't watch videos much, anyway. That's not an age indictment. That's a preference. I keep an open mind, try to catch myself when I'm judgmental, stay teachable. I think those are all qualities of a younger mind and personality.

By now you've both noticed I haven't mentioned that pesky right hip that's been bothering me.

I might, actually, be old after all.

I watched as the radiology report came up on the monitor in my doctor's office.

Diagnosis: Ma…

I got a raise!

Everyone lives on a fixed income.

Seriously.

People who leave their homes and go to work at a "real" job, unless they are in a position where they get bonuses and commissions based on production/performance, meet their needs with the same resources month after month. They get small raises, just like Social Security recipients do, and manage to make it on their fixed incomes, just as SS-ers do.

One of the best ways to create more money coming in is to reduce the amount of money going out. And that's what I did this week.

Putting my walking activity on hold has opened up a couple extra hours every day. This week I spent one of them – just one! – on the phone with the providers of my wifi, my satellite service and my mobile phone. The result was impressive.

It started when my old phone kept dropping my home wifi signal. Every time it flipped from wifi to 3G or 4G, it ate data. I have a very low data plan, because I'm on my home wifi most of the time. But this month I us…

Opening a door

Thank you for reading that last post. And commenting! I love comments!

Gingerzingi's last comment, about new opportunities, deserves another post.

I know I will get there. I do. I know I'll need to find some way to move (without hurting) and to stay fit. And I know yoga will probably be it, especially after MadAnne's ringing endorsement.

It sounds silly, but I'm going through some kind of grieving process right now, one that has me completely wiped out.

It's. Not. Brain. Cancer.

I have to keep telling myself that. I'm not going to die from osteoarthritis.

But every time my husband takes off for his daily walk, I'm sad.

Every time I think about all the pictures I used to take, I'm sad.

Every time the humidity is low and the sun is high and the breeze is gentle and I think I'd like to go for a walk … I'm just so sad that I know it's going to hurt and do more damage.

Having just learned about this, I suppose I should expect to feel something. I…

30 days

I just took a look at my Daily Mile dashboard, and I last recorded a walk 30 days ago. I had no idea it had been so long. I've been telling myself a couple of weeks. Maybe three.

I stopped walking because my hip hurt. I continued to do four miles a day as long as I could, but those days consisted of whatever I had to do before the walk, followed by the walk, followed by resting. Sometimes for the remainder of the day.

It finally occurred to me that walking was aggravating the pain, and I needed to stop. I put on my big-girl running shorts and made a doctor's appointment. And went to it yesterday.

Where I learned that I am, apparently, officially, old. And maybe I should change the name of this blog again.
I had two x-rays that cost more than my first car and way more than my new dishwasher, and learned that I have a misalignment of my spine, along with some degenerative disc disease, and a cartilage deficiency in my right hip. Bone on bone.

I saw the Physician's Assistant …

A writing prompt I can actually use

I subscribe to a daily e-mail that offers ideas for blog posts. My posts are always fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, spur-of-the-moment drivel. Even in the old days, when I did a quote on Fridays, I searched for and wrote about the quote on Friday, usually 15 minutes before I hit the Publish button.

So I largely ignore the prompts that land in my inbox every morning. But today, one of them really spoke to me:

2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: cheap
My county Democratic women's group is hosting the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women Annual Meeting next month. Our county is large in area, but small in population, as West Virginia counties go, and so our club is tiny – just 35 members – and we have a treasury to match.

Planning a convention for women from around the state is a huge job, and we need all hands on deck. Fortunately, we have some stalwart volunteers who always get the job done, no matter what. You know those women from your own clubs and groups: the ones wh…

Update ...

Sick. Again.

Two summer colds in one year is two too many.

My hip still hurts, and I'm not walking.

(The biggest shocker from not walking is I'm maintaining my April weight loss. I haven't lost anything since, but I haven't gained anything either. Scary to me to think that a strict Whole 30 plan – which resulted in a 10-lb. loss in April – is the only way for me to lose weight.)

I'd planned to have company this weekend, but when I got sick I had to cancel those plans. But my house is clean!

So there's that.

I'm improving. No more fever, only a hacking cough once in a while, combined with X-treme lack of energy. I'm going to put some food in the slow cooker and hope it turns into dinner.

And then I'm going back to bed.

Paris with palm trees

So THIS happened nine years ago today …

Yes, after a whirlwind 13-year courtship, my husband and I tied the knot. He likes to say it's been mostly good since then. I like to say SHUT UP! It's ALL been good!

Heh.

It was hot as hell in Las Vegas. August, after all, is pretty hot in the desert. I was training for my first half marathon, I think, or at least I was running daily, and some random guy I saw a couple early-early mornings (because early-early morning was the ONLY time to run in August in Las Vegas) in a row invited me out for coffee the third time we saw each other.

I had to get married to get hit on by a stranger.

And how is the old married couple marking the occasion? Well, we're not. We're each very busy with separate projects. He has to go to a meeting for his tonight, and I'll be working on mine all day (and all day tomorrow, and the next day, and blah, blah, blah, until the event, which takes place in September, is over). I also have a miserableawful…

Keepsake quotes

I'm cleaning out my desk, and found a paperclipped bundle of quotes and sayings tucked in one of the little cubbyholes. I'm going to put them here, probably never to be looked at again, but they meant enough to me at one time to print them out and attach them to my refrigerator. Maybe they'll mean something to someone else someday.
There are only two things you "have to" do in life – you "have to" die, and you "have to" live until you die. You made up all the rest. One of the best ways to begin familiarizing ourselves with the virtue of patience is to reflect systematically on its benefits. It is the source of forgiveness. It has no equal in protecting our concern for others, however they behave towards us. When patience is combined with the ability to discriminate between the action and the one who does it, forgiveness arises naturally. ~ Dalai Lama Every behavior you participate in will have a consequence. ~ Brian Tracy Work joyfully and pea…

10 Days

Still haven't been to the doctor ... it's just so darned easy to avoid waiting rooms and X-rays and my doctor suggesting that, ahem, as one gets older one can expect a little pain.

Yes, he's said things like that to me in the past.

So I've not taken an intentional walk for four straight days now, which is killing my mileage goal for the year. I'd planned to walk yesterday, but I missed a step coming down from a stepstool and wow, did I ever feel it (and am still feeling it).

I'm keeping busy. I just don't really feel like writing. Or knitting. Or painting interior walls. The things that are keeping me busy are cutting grass, mostly, and decluttering. My husband's church is having a rummage sale in a couple weeks, and we're taking advantage of that event to clear out some, um, rummage.

If I were moving in a couple weeks, I could probably get rid of a lot more rummage. I'm not quite there yet in my thinking, however.

One thing I've been ponder…

Struggling

I'm barely managing to get my four miles a day in lately. I see a visit to the doctor in the fairly near future to see what's going on with my right leg. I've been rollering it, thinking it might be iliotibial syndrome. 
I wish our healthcare system here in the good old US of A allowed one to go straight to physical therapy without going through an MD first. Insurance companies won't pay for PT if it's not prescribed first. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on television, but I'm pretty sure that's where I'm headed. 
Lucky is home by now, I'm sure. His final trail journal entry is here. With all the hoopla about Scott Jurek and his supported speed record, Lucky is way more inspiring to me. I feel pretty lucky to be walking four miles a day on a paved road. He averaged about 15 a day on a trail. That's impressive.
I'm still maintaining the weight loss that happened the month of April, but not making any progress toward the eventual goal…

He did it!

Lucky scaled Mt. Katadhin yesterday, early afternoon, ahead of schedule. He hasn't updated his journal yet, so I won't link to it, but I will when he does. A remarkable achievement!

Just checked again (five minutes later) and here's the latest entry.

I know one shouldn't compare oneself to another as far as fitness goes. We're all at different points along a line beginning at bedridden and ending at setting a speed record for hiking the Appalachian Trail. With tennis and soccer and baseball and marathon and jump rope and swimming medals and trophies in there, too.

But I can't help but compare Lucky's being 73 and hiking more than 2000 miles in five months to my efforts to get four miles a day.

I didn't do it yesterday. Only 1.45. I was hot and dehydrated and hungry and hurting. And I just turned around and went home.

Easier to do that on the road I live on than on the Appalachian Trail, for sure. But I'm smack dab in the midst of those summer doldru…

One down, one to go

Well, Scott Jurek did indeed break the supported speed record for hiking the Appalachian Trail, by about three hours.

Lucky isn't able to update his journal – he's busy covering those last 50-ish miles! – but the weather in Maine has been decent and he should get to Katadhin tonight.

Guess I'll have to find something else to do for a while.

HAH! That's not difficult. Our Democratic women's group is hosting the statewide annual meeting. We're selling ads for the program book, and I'm doing the artwork for those ads. We have to stock a hospitality suite with snacks and beverages, collect items to put in goodie bags, make sure the banquet favors are completed on time (and don't break in the meantime!), and a host of other little and big tasks between now and September 18.

I don't have anything else to say this morning … I do, actually, but I don't have time!

Wow. I had no idea.

So it's been a while. Again. It gets easier and easier to let the blogging go. I suppose keeping up to date on Facebook is usurping blogging these days. It's certainly easier to post a captioned photo there than it is to string my thoughts together into several paragraphs.

Sometimes easier is better. But not usually.

At any rate, I've been busy or I would have been writing more often.

I've been too busy to even check e-mail. As I've been going through the last several hundred or so, I found one from MapMyFitness that offered this:
Those two weeks of no exercise in late May and early June killed my progress for the year. But I'm less than 40 miles below my 600-mile mid-year goal, so it's still not unreachable.

And, frankly, most women my age aren't putting that many hours into fitness. So yay! Debbi for the win!

And USA WOMEN for the World Cup win last night! What a lot of fun that was, and I don't think anyone expected the US to dominate as they did…

History, right before our very eyes

I said in a Facebook post this morning that this week has been amazing, but not very graceful. Except that part on Friday afternoon when the President of the United States of America sang Amazing Grace at Clementa Pinckney's funeral. (What a wonderful celebration of a life well-lived and too-soon-ended that was.)

We've lived through an awful lot of history. For me, the list includes (not in chronological order):

Man on the moon. Berlin wall coming down. Civil Rights Act passed (and I think today we know that passing a law doesn't necessarily change minds or hearts). The assassination of President Kennedy (who was this country's first Catholic President). Bob Dylan's first album release (you knew I had to get an historical Dylan reference in there, AM I RIGHT?). The election – twice – of an African-American president. The closest thing to health care reform I'm likely to see in my lifetime (I think Medicare for All will someday be available, hopefully for my gran…

A Lucky update

Our friend Lucky is less than 300 miles from Katahdin, Maine, on his hike of the Appalachian Trail.

He's in New Hampshire, but has just 16.5 miles to get to the Maine border. Here's his most recent entry. It's more of a placeholder; hit the "Previous" link to read full journal posts.

Experienced hikers say that the last 20 percent of the Appalachian Trail is 80 percent of the work, and it sounds like Lucky agrees.

My walks continue to get slower. My hip never really doesn't hurt these days. I'd hoped that getting back to solid paleo eating would help, but it doesn't. The only consistent thing about the pain is that it's almost completely gone after a night's rest. I don't have much trouble first thing in the morning, and so that's when I take my walks.

It's been so hot, that morning also is the best time, temperature-wise, to be outdoors.

Yesterday I cut back all the weeds in the herb-garden circle, covered the bed with compost and…

Been a while. Sorry about that.

I really just want to post pictures of puppies
and baby goats
and kittens. (Did you know there was a subset of kitten pictures on Google Images called Kittens With Guns? ACK!)
I'm still walking, still eating mostly primal/paleo, still knitting the never-ending pullover. And still wishing something would happen to bring the country together, in a good way.

I think I'm going to be waiting for that for quite some time.

Facebook has been my rant-and-rave outlet lately. If you follow me there and you're tired of it, feel free to block me. I just can't keep it inside. But I also don't want to alienate either of you who are still reading the blog, so … puppies! Baby goats! KITTENS!

It starts with food

The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that the food industry has until 2018 to eliminate trans fats from food. The New York Times has a good wrap-up of the decision here.

At least it was a good wrap-up, until this:
Saturated fats are still an enormous problem in the American diet, and health experts emphasized that Tuesday’s action should not give consumers a false sense of security. Saturated fats raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. The general consensus is that high cholesterol levels lead to heart disease. In my opinion, that's what the makers of cholesterol-lowering drugs want you to believe, and they'll go to the ends of the earth to protect their profits.

If you do a Google search for "eating saturated fat," you'll find the information YOU want. If YOU think eating saturated fat is bad for you, you'll find a credible, peer-reviewed article to back you up. If YOU think consuming saturated fat is less of a problem than Big Pharma think…