Quarter End Crunch, Mom’s Ailments, and Electronic Goods

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The world is at our fingertips this morning! Or is it? Maybe the world has us by our toenails. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. It’s mid-week. Big things are looming.

Quarter end – is going very slowly this time. System program failures causing things not to balance. And I’m behind on it now, having lost precious hours seeking what needed to be found, waiting on data, leaving for appointments and all. Even though the doc appt time has been made up already across the month twice over at other times. But I’m looking at some very long days for Thursday and Friday to finish the crunch week out. I have a hair appointment today which I’ve had on the books for about 8 weeks or so- maybe 12. I’m not cancelling as it’s needed and it gives me a mid-week break. But the rest of the week I’ll be trying not to work on Saturday. If I have to work on Saturday, I will be in a wretched mood next week for not having been able to do what we needed to do over the weekend. So for the sake of all of us, let there be some rest and rejuvy time. I think since the end of the month falls on a weekend, the due dates are Nov 1, but I’m only working 1/2 day Monday as the closing walk through is that date. I have to get to work by 12:30 and will only get to work on time sheets and payroll related activities before the Tuesday payroll. I am not fond of the last week of quarter end.

I realize now why diverticulitis has usually tried to occur during this time. It’s hard to drink water. I’m purposely focused on trying to get through with things and I forget to drink. I only know this as I’d been tracking it. I see what these last two weeks do to me now. I also get the crunchy munchies. I stopped and fixed popcorn one day. Crackers help. Nuts aren’t enough. I’m also craving something and can’t figure out what it is. I want to stress eat terribly. I have to figure this out – how to handle these stress inducer times so that I don’t totally forget my goals and end up eating as a reward. Awareness is half the battle of anything they say.

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Mom

So, I get home and everything seems normal. Then Mom tries to get up and she just flat can’t walk! She winces with every step and acts like she is going to topple over. I’m thinking Is this really happening? Just days away from seeing her new house where a walk-thru is scheduled and she can’t even walk to be able to walk through it? There is something wrong with this picture. A little over a week to close and the house is hers and I’m thinking, Should she even be buying this house? It’s not like I’ve not already wondered this, but with her being able to shower herself, fix a meal, get up and down out of her chair and bed, and get about – we can sustain her in that house. If she cannot walk, we can’t sustain her there.

At the table as we ate she began shivering miserably. Horrible shaking. I wondered if she was going into shock or having a stroke or something. I got a blanket and put around her while she ate and it calmed down. She says she thinks it’s gout and has begun consuming apple cider vinegar. She says that the extra dieretic the doc put her on is likely doing it to her. I knew as did she, from the moment he prescribed these, based on what she was saying, they weren’t going to work and she wasn’t going to be able to take them. Other than being out of breath and it being a misery to move more than a few feet at the time, she was doing pretty good. Anyways, during the night we ended up having to go to the girls room at the same time. So as we passed in the hall she said her foot was doing better. If it’s gout, it can get better. This is just crazy. Everything is crazy. I guess we will see what transpires in the coming days. None of us is really in control. We are only at life’s mercies. And I guess God will make it what he is going to make it, which is pretty much a mystery most of the time. lol

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I know that God’s not going to give me any more than I can’t handle. We know we are biting an elephant one bite at a time. We know we adjust the sails when the wind blows from a different direction. But it’s these worn out days of life where I feel very much like a robot. Wake up, pour coffee down, go do anyone’s agenda, try sneak in my own in the five minutes left, sleep and doing it all over again.

I’ll be back Friday for an update but I appreciate any prayer you can give to us right now for final pushes through this week’s and next week’s hurdles.

China.

Well George sent an email yesterday that if I needed anything electronic – might not be able to get it soon and if you can – it’ll be expensive – to go ahead and order it. I considered ordering my lighting kit I’ve had on my list (it’s a light with white umbrella diffuser) but was waiting til Mom left as it can take up some room. And I’ve chosen to just put that on hold and I hope I can get it next year. I may reconsider. I think it’s either $59 or $69. I have been using sunlight and floor lamps and a ring light. It’s worked. But as you know I want to get better and better. And want to look better on screen. But I guess this can wait. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on me right now.

But I went ahead and ordered my Rode microphone and dead cat (wind muff) for my camera. This seemed a bit more urgent because I have others that have used this particular one that I know will fit my camera shoe and works well with vlogging. I also don’t know how much longer my particular camera will be a thing ya know? So I went ahead and bought that on Amazon yesterday for $59. George was happy to have another Christmas gift.

I teasingly told him lots of clothes come from China that I might need to stock up! lol. Our country is going to have to gear back up to supply ourselves or be able to get in supplies from elsewhere. Our global supply issue is in a crisis right now and with China’s issues – not only in another virus crisis but with their economy and policies shifting – things are going to be changing it seems. You can read about it in the news articles. Or is this just a ploy to get us to spend more money sooner. Who the heck knows.

Christmas.

We are in full mode Christmas prep already. Not having much time to be able to do a lot of shopping over the months to come, and worried over the economy and supply and demand, it seemed the right thing to do. We are not finished by any means. And life is pretty expensive right now. I just try to remember we’ve not done much in the last two years but we are spending a lot right now across the board. Plane tickets, hotels reservations, two trips, Christmas, blog upgrade coming up. And our Christmas gifts are not cheap – new iPhone, electronic recording things for George, new upgrade to Final Cut Pro for videos (that’s my birthday). So yeah, the spending is on overdrive right now.

And I need to head on out of here and turn my day over to someone else for a while.

I hope you all are doing well. And I’ll be back on Friday. Lord willing. I may have to go in to work early and if I don’t get back Friday I’ll get back when I can. Prayers please for all at hand. Anything you need prayers for? We can pray for each other.

Meanwhile in Texas.

I’ve not posted in a while about Little Roo. He is crawling fast! And pulling up. He’s likely to walk early. He is chasing the family dog and he and the dog both love it. He’s playing peek a boo – learning to hide himself and hear his Mom say Peek a Boo. And he laughs. He’s learning so much about his world and how it works. I’ve ordered some Christmas and Birthday things from Carter. I hope we don’t all end up getting him the same things, lol.

I’ll get to see him soon. Still haven’t heard about Christmas but waiting. We’ll know soon.

No, You are NOT a Failure, If You have Made Improvements

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Weekend Accomplishments

I’m feeling accomplished this morning. I finished a big huge project, worked on the house a bit, did most of the laundry, worked on Christmas orders, bought dry ingredients for Thanksgiving, and ordered things for Mom that she needed, and did great with the challenge. When can I ever say that? Mainly on weekends where we are not gone. I did have say “no” to a last minute invite to the Titan’s game. I wish I could have done both. But with so much on my shoulders right now, saying “yes” would not have been the right answer. Now I have had sleep, and have gotten things in order and prepared for some of the things that lie ahead.

Each night I have slept 9 to 11 hours. That should tell you how exhausted I have been. Most work nights average 6.5 hours and my body needs about 7.5 to function at best. By weekend, I’m usually pretty exhausted and if I have missed any hours of sleep around 1:30 a.m. (often up for an hour or two) that just exacerbates the problem.

This Week’s Goals

The focus this week is on getting quarter end done. I still have several unemployment returns to do on the plant side, numerous tax filings for Oregon which is so “high maintenance”. We all have rolled our eyes at the amount of time it takes with all the various Oregon taxes. I also have a federal tax return and also have all the transport company’s unemployment returns. Most of it not too difficult but takes time to do them and tick off the boxes on top of payroll. So my plan is to not take lunches away but work at my desk while eating. I also plan on working til 5 or later (depending on if I’m the only one there or not). Five is safe. Wednesday after work I have a hair appt and I’m not changing it. So that will be my mid-week reprieve. But at last resort, if I feel I need to, I’ll go in early on Wed, Thurs and Friday as well. The goal being not to have to work on Saturday. I really don’t want to give up my personal time when life is already lopsided, and with so much going on. So I’ll be trying to get all that done. I just absolutely detest the last week in a quarter. I don’t like the stress you go through. I often don’t have the data I need until the last 10 days of the month and usually it’s Thursday and Friday and a part of Monday when I can work on things because of payroll. Anyway, it is what it is, and I will be what I will be, and I will either get it done, or not. But here’s to trying. One thing is for sure. I’ll not be living there. I don’t mind working a little longer on an already long enough day, but I don’t want to give up my weekend especially when so much is on our shoulders right now.

The TRIBE has spoken. lol. Hopefully my tribe doesn’t look like that. But I couldn’t find any pixel pics with a survivor tiki torch, lol. So here ya go! If we get through this week alive, we will have SURVIVED for sure.

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Projects and Challenges

I also was able to work on the next video and it’s coming along good. I’m about half way through editing I think. I have a LOT to cut out though as it’s too long. Need to add some graphics and fun stuff. The next video is when we moved a lot of things with the cargo van on Memorial Day weekend. So I am pleased we have a lot of footage. I am enjoying the time I get to work on it. It seems to be good for me to blog once on a weekend and have the next day to work on videos, so basically I think I have decided to blog or edit – every other day. It’s a good mix. I don’t get to do any of it on Tuesday’s due to having to go in early to cover for the eye appointment days, but oh well, it’s for a good cause. That automatically checks off “doing something for someone” for that day, lol.

The challenge. Yes it is going about 3/4 to plan. Last week, when not getting enough sleep, and running on edge, I was in survivor mode and I tend to eat horribly and don’t have time to think about what good things I need to be doing. I am simply in survivor mode. Then when people say things like “oh you can’t have that you are on a diet”, it makes you feel even worse – because they are trying to remind you of your failure – whether intended or not – I take it as sort of a mocking of you. And that is why they say “just don’t tell anyone” so you don’t have THAT mess going on. So I was feeling unaccomplished and like a failure last week having woofed down a greasy burger and fries on a hungry whim. And then feeling guilty. But after sitting back and thinking about it, here’s my thoughts.

No I’m Not a Failure if I’m Improving

This is in regards to a challenge I set for myself to drink more water, do something for others each day, read and improve myself, move more, and eat more whole foods. While I’ve not met every goal perfectly, I can see I’ve made improvements and hitting at least 3/4 of the goals if not higher. I can’t allow myself to feel bad for that.

  1. I’m trying to improve myself. A lot of people don’t even try. Or if they do it’s half-ass done with no commitment. I’m committed at least to trying.
  2. I’ve installed a 5 column improvement plan all at once in my life, of which most will be able to stick. Most folks have a hard time with one thing, but five? I need to be proud of that.
  3. If am only 3/4 of improved then that is better than sliding backwards and only being 1/2 improved.
  4. The being aware of water intake, what works, what doesn’t – is something that is working well. While I may not hit 94 oz I can see now that with minimal effort, I can hit 75 with ease. And on the days I don’t half try I’m in the 60’s. I know the containers to use to easily establish how many oz. I’ve learned the various containers and ounces they are. I can look at something and tell. That is worth a lot. I’m getting to the point where I don’t have to calculate it as much.
  5. The doing things for others. I realized I did more for others than I thought. And while I still could do more calculated efforts at helping others, the underlying current to do more for others has developed under my scalp (noggin) to stick in the days ongoing after the challenge. So the 55 days is doing what it should. All the days of my life now I will be thinking when I get up and go to bed – “did I do something for someone today?”.
  6. The reading. I’ve developed within me that it is ok to read – for pleasure and for improvement. Even if it’s just a chapter. I mean 5 pages a day. I do it easily now! It helps with insanity too, lol. You know you are doing something for yourself. And in my pillar or column, spiritual guidance was a part of that reading. The other part of the reading could be learning instead – like YouTube subjects, or for pleasure, b/c happiness and contentment is a goal and pleasure reading is ok.
  7. The nutritional part. The one dessert a week has saved me many moons of calories (I know that is not correct grammar wise but it sounded good didn’t it?). I’m doing great at adding my greens and much better at the fruits. Most days I’ve hit the goal for those two. Imagine if I had eaten all the dessert I wanted. I’d have have a full dessert every night because it’s in the house. I’ve saved myself 6 desserts but instead can have a small bit of chocolate (two bites is better than a whole dessert).
  8. The hardest part is “embracing the Whole Foods”, being around others who don’t. It’s a huge temptation. And going into the challenge I had said “I’ll not be giving up the western diet as a whole, but I’ll be trying to embrace as much Whole Foods as I can for the long haul”. This is the hardest part, but at least I’m improving. I know what my weaknesses are and need to develop plans for those – like having to go foods in the car or purse for those insanely times I’m caught out w/o food and end up doing drive thru’s.
  9. The movement. I’ve not been at 80 movements EVERY day. But I have most days. And I think of moving quite a bit now during the day. And try to move – even at odd times – while changing clothes, while waiting on the microwave, and even while in bed. I can do leg lifts and arm punches! lol. I may not have had perfect days every day but I’ve moved lots more. And the walking 20 min each week I’ve met. I’m due though for that and may try to get a walk in after work if not for lunch today but I’m trying not to take lunch so that is a goal conflict right there. But we’ll see. At least I’ve been mostly perfect with that goal too. I chose not to walk yesterday to push through a different goal that I needed to do and was not going to get done if I didn’t finish so I think I made the choice I needed.

So yeah, to be 3/4 improved is very good! I’m moving in the right direction. I shall not let myself or other’s take that away from me. Isn’t it horrible that you have people in your life that thrive at your failures, people that don’t support you in your goals, or never say how proud of you they are, never cheer you on, never think of good things you do, never brag on you, those that are negative and only have mostly ugly things to say about others, that can’t think of any good anyone does. We need to be sure and surround ourselves with the right people in our lives. Those that support you and what you do and those that cheerlead and want to see you succeed, not gloat at your missing of the marks. And if not, at least I have ya’ll and myself!

The Tribe has Once Again, Spoken. 😉

Preventing Diverticulitis, A Good Book, and Weekend Ahead

Good morning! What an incredible and much needed sleep. The world is going by this morning as I awake at almost 8 a.m. A whirlwind week has passed with worries of quarter end which has gone very slow and with data issues this time due to system failures and unbalanced data. I have had some other stresses as well, causing me to do some extra podcast listens on certain subjects. Mom’s house walk through and closing and subsequent move is nearing in with less than two weeks to go. The “challenge” sitting in the back of my mind with great failures this week on the days we have been hurried, slammed, or without sleep. Not enough water, eating horribly and on the go, and not even having time to look at the check list much less try to improve anything. My head needed the long break and I’m grateful for it. I have the whole two days before me of this weekend to rest, rejuvenate, and get some things done.

The above paragraph is about the only thing I have to share personally, as it’s been mostly all work and no play except for this awesome author I found with a great narrator and I treated myself with a mani/pedi yesterday after work.

Since not much else to talk about I thought I’d type up some information about diverticulitis for a friend and blog reader that has had some recent issues. Instead of just typing a long email to her, I will type it here as it might help someone else.

So if you are not interested in this part, then just skip down to “The Weekend” heading below. 😉

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Diverticulitis: My Efforts at Preventing It

Diverticulitis can be very serious, depressing, and devastating when it hits, especially if it cannot be kept in control, the colon gets damaged, and surgery is required. And quite frankly the problem is worse in areas where our “Western Diet” is mainly embraced. Almost any other culture has “better numbers” (fewer cases) with a different cuisine, especially those with more of a Mediterranean culture or just about any culture where less enriched bread, less red meat, and less processed foods are found in the eating culture.

I have been part of a Facebook group for a few years now. It’s a support group and mainly the group tries to help one another “get through this” and also shares what works, what doesn’t work, and those going through surgery get some really good support from those having gone through the same, or just from people who care.

Having seen a lot from this group I’ve learned that diverticulitis is very different for just about everyone. What works for one, might not work for another. But with enough people on there, I can see there are some trends that tend to work for a lot of people. It also seems that it depends on how damaged the colon is as to what will work or not. Some people tend to have very sensitive colon walls, some just seem to have diverticula pockets, while others have perforated colons or colons so damaged by diverticulitis repeatedly or severe over time that their colon is just breaking down and obviously sections have to be removed at that point. Sometimes instead of just constipation and diverticula (pockets in the colon that things get stuck in causing blockages) the issue can be infection and in that case it’s best to have the doctor prescribe the antibiotics. And quite frankly it’s best to be under a doctor’s care anyway when this is going on because it is nothing to mess with.

I’ve noticed that some can no longer do spicy foods. I, myself, can eat spicy foods, but I can’t eat ketchup anymore – and this is a very good example of how everyone is different. Ketchup and some tomato sauces, but not all, will burn my colon wall and create blisters. I know it does because I know what it does to my mouth! Then I have trouble with pain in my stomach. Many people also seem to have a problem with lettuce, but I can eat that – but I question kale as it has a sharper edge to it and harder to digest. I’m afraid to eat it as I had an attack twice when I had consumed it. Maybe it was it, maybe not. But each person has to try and learn their specific triggers. That said, I truly believe it is mostly the western diet with our processed breads, meats, oils, etc that cause us our issues.

It seems to me, the best one can do, in addition to prevention entirely, is to try and minimize the situation before it gets too bad, when it does happen. So without going through all my experiences I’ll just sum up a few tips here.

Prevention Itself

Let me list some of the ways that I’ve found keeps me from having issues.

  • Drinking lots of water
  • Keeping the “flow” going good (preventing constipation at all costs)
  • Daily Probiotic (research the best kind for diverticulitis)
  • Switching up the kind of daily probiotic each time you end a bottle and start another
  • Eating less red meat, processed meat
  • Might have to eat less spicy foods if that bothers you
  • Eat softer lettuces if you can tolerate it as opposed to raw and tough edge kale
  • Severely decrease bread consumption with it’s fillers and enriched flour ingredients
  • Choose whole grain or possibly sour dough (less is good)
  • Eat more fish and chicken
  • Eat less fried – the oils are not good for you and can lead to unhealthy gut quickly
  • Listen to podcasts or YouTubes on healthy gut or avoiding leaky gut- it’s so helpful
  • Increase vinegar foods – pickles, salad dressings, slaw with vinegar, or even a tbsp of apple cider vinegar daily if you can stand it.
  • Eat a lot of fiber foods – bananas, apples, beans, etc.
  • Increase your greens daily
  • Increase fresh fruit (not juices but fruit)
  • Exercise
  • Less alcohol as it’s very drying to your system
  • Take blood pressure meds with water pills or any water pills in the daytime when you are awake and can replenish your system with water as these dry you up inside your colon too
  • Drink less ice tea as it can be dehydrating, I have found – for some reason.
  • Don’t overeat – isn’t this the hard one?
  • Greek Yogurt – once a week
  • Protein Shakes like the wellness company I do
  • Lower stress levels
  • Eat much less sugar!

When You Get Constipated, Feel Bloated, or Haven’t Had a Movement

Sometimes your gut begins to get out of whack and you need to get it back in control before you dive into a diverticulitis situation. Each time I’ve gone down the path with a spell of diverticulitis, I had constipation, bloating, and no movements or hard movements (sorry TMI) – either starting to happen or did happen. It’s time to get serious and get it under control fast. In addition to the above I do the following.

  • Don’t eat until you are really hungry again.
  • Continue drinking a lot of water perhaps enhanced by hydrating types of liquids (Gatorade, Isagenix Hydrate)
  • Eat soft foods only, cooked veggies, soups, fiber foods, maybe even some yogurt
  • Coffee or herbal teas
  • DO NOT eat steak, pizza, bread, hot dogs, sandwich meat, kielbasa red meats, etc.
  • Fruit is probably ok – apples, pineapple, etc. Although keep in mind some people cannot handle the texture of the skins within pineapple or the seed like things in strawberries.
  • I have a special drink I like to drink called “Hawaiian Ginger” by Goldthred, which I’ve found only at Publix and quite by accident. It tastes like a Moscow mule (ginger) w/o the alcohol. It puts the stomach in a better pH.
  • Avoid foods that are harder to digest like raw veggies at this point
  • Avoid sugar and desserts
  • Avoid alcholic drinks but I think 1 small glass of red wine might be ok as it’s pretty good for the stomach, but keep in mind alcohol is dehydrating and that is opposite of our goal here. But the Bible says a little wine is good for the stomach, lol.

When You Have Pain in the Colon

I want to be clear here that you likely might need to just see the doc, but there have been times for me now that I have been through this several times, where I can pull out of a situation if I’ve just started having slight pain having been constipated and not pulled out of it.

  • Switch to liquids only immediately: water, coffee (it helps with movement), herbal teas, broths
  • Exercise and move
  • Massage the tummy
  • Take a hot shower and allow the hot water to hit your tummy area (we’re trying to get movement here)
  • Pray for movement
  • When the movement comes and pain subsides upgrade to eggs, jello, creamed potatoes, Mac and cheese, white rice, jello (no not the healthiest) but it sustains you til you can eat again. You have to switch to foods that are easy to break down for the time being. Then switch back to healthy when the scare has passed.
  • If you have excruciating pain or it doesn’t go away and correct itself, you might need to go ahead, call doc and get set up on antibiotics. If you can’t take Flagyl (one of the antibiotics that most can’t tolerate) there is another choice – not as effective but it’s worked for me.

While Under Doc’s Care / While Going Thru Diverticulitis Attack

If you can’t stop it and find yourself in the midst of an attack, give yourself a break. The world will have to stop itself til you get better. It’s no fun to go through. We love to eat and it’s bad enough you can’t participate but use this time to do a few things you love around the house. Watching shows, reading, taking a walk, planning things to do when you feel better, catching up with friends if you feel like it, play computer games, be a kid again. Converse with those in a support group like on Facebook. And try to enjoy the down time. It’s really the best way to cope because it is scary, and you feel alone.

Keep Certain Foods in Stock

I keep those drinkable bone broths available, instant Mac and cheese cups, instant potato cups, and jello. That way I can switch immediately when needed. I keep them at work and at home. I also find that the wellness company shakes also give me nourishment, protein and vitamins during these potential attacks. Once full blown though usually milk products not recommended. But some of these shakes are plant based and might be ok for sustenance in the period unless you are having to do clear liquids in case of testing etc. And those Hawaiian Ginger drinks. I’m going to have one of those today as I’ve eaten horribly this week and I feel very full, bloated and feel that non digestible feeling starting to happen as we’ve eaten horribly this week.

There’s likely very obvious things I’ve forgotten to mention. I’m not a doctor, but this is how I personally cope with this. I kinda know when I’m likely to have an attack and it’s during times of overeating, stress, being very busy, no exercise, probably not enough rest, we’ve eaten horribly. I have had one of those weeks this past week so I know I’m in a danger zone right now. And I need to turn it around. So I’m in that first zone up there where I’m beginning to feel out of whack and I’ll do my Ginger drink, hydrate drinks, lots of water, take a walk, move a lot (I’ll be cleaning today). I’m going to eat soft foods – probably eggs with spinach mixed in, and just not eat a lot today. I’ll likely avoid pop corn b/c I can only eat it when the flow is good. :-O I’ll probably skip breakfast and have my eggs for lunch.

The Weekend

Well let’s see. Believe it or not – those that like to make fun of our list making – we really don’t have much of a list for the weekend itself. Oh I do have a list that is ongoing, personally. But I will do household chores and laundry first. Mom has some things she needs help with ordering on line. I will also do some Christmas shopping on line. I want us to list our Thanksgiving dry ingredient items and go ahead and get those in the pantry. I’ll go to the store tomorrow. Also will get some things bought for the work week and this last week of quarter end crunch. It’s likely to be a very long week. I may not get to blog as much as I may have to give up personal time this week and go in early and stay late. I do get my hair cut next Wednesday. Unless I have something significant and fun to share, I’ll likely just hold off blogging until something is interesting that I want to blog about. Right now my brain is all over the place. I’ll probably switch to doing every other day either blog or video editing. I started editing the next video, of course. I’m hoping to get some of it done this weekend, but I am also needing to work on a Christmas project for George that will take some time and I fear if I don’t get it done this weekend, it’s probably not going to get done! Sadly. and Likely Not. But we’ll see. I’m just excited to have a Saturday and Sunday at home.

Ok over and out. What you doing this weekend? Did you throw out your onions? (Recall – google it for details). We kept ours as we’d been eating off the bag and hadn’t been sick.