About Me

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I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and businesswoman with a passion for life. I try to keep my priorities in life straight - Faith, Family, Friends. I love to try new and challenging things, spend time with friends and family, sew, embroider and laugh. I run a custom apparel decorating business from my home. I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eat to live or live to eat?

When we were first married, almost thirty-nine years ago, I could eat anything I desired.  Or at least I thought I could.  And I did.  Sweets, whenever something looked good, any kind of meat or main dish, vegetables and fruits were among the favorite, but long story short - I loved to eat!  And I got by with it.  My metabolism allowed me to do that and most of my adult life I was kind of skinny. Or maybe it was because I was always chasing after four small children, running a household, helping run our farming operation, gardening, sewing, blah, blah, blah.  At any rate, ate I did.  I remember Rick once commented to me, "You live to eat and I eat to live."

Fast forward to today, "I eat to live."  Life has taught me that.  I have become a royal pain to feed.  In fact last weekend I was on a retreat and took most of my own food, just so the cooks wouldn't have to deal with me and my fussy body.  Why?

At the age of twenty-three I began having trouble with dizziness, extremely shakiness, trouble with a feeling of light headed a couple of hours after a meal.  I was a young mother with a toddler and a newborn.  During a routine check up for my children I mentioned it to the doctor, who became more concerned about me than my children.  A glucose tolerance test was ordered.  Long story short - I fasted and then drank a high glucose (sugary) drink.  I remember it tasted like Coca-Cola.  Each hour for five hours my blood was drawn to see what happened.  I don't remember what hour it happened, but while in the waiting room I could feel myself melting into the chair.  A nurse took me to an exam room and I passed out.  Seems, that was the wrong thing to do.  My blood sugar had dropped dangerously low (39) and I guess the doctor wasn't very happy with her.  Anyway, I received a diagnosis of Hypoglycemia (http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/tc/hypoglycemia-low-blood-sugar-topic-overview) and my days of eating sweets were over.  Guess my body doesn't like sugar.  I basically began eating as a diabetic eats, concentrating on frequent small meals as opposed to a few large meals/day, eating protein at each meal to help my body utilize the carbohydrates I consume.  For over thirty years this has worked with a few tweaks along the way.  I hope to avoid the diagnosis of diabetes that so many of my ancestors received.

As long as I can remember I have gotten head aches.  I didn't mention it to anyone for a long time.  I just thought everyone had them.  I remember in high school my head hurt so bad on an overnight with my friend that I kept turning my pillow over to find a cool side.  The coolness gave me some relief, but still I didn't tell her.  I kept my head on the pillow and at one point  fell asleep - while she was talking.  It was many years before I shared with her why, and I think she has finally forgiven me.   In my thirties I discovered the cause of my migraines - food triggered them.  Through a series of experiments I discovered what caused my head to feel like it was exploding.  Biggest offender:  chocolate; next in line: eggs, followed closely by chicken (where does a chicken come from?), turkey, basically anything with feathers; and final blow: red wine and alcohol.  I zeroed in on these five things by removing them completely from my diet for six weeks and then eating it.  I recorded my reaction.  Yup, a migraine soon followed.  I repeated this several times to be sure it wasn't a fluke.  It wasn't.  I began to read all food labels.  I was just ahead of the curve on that one.

Then at  forty-eight I  learned I had Macular Degeneration,http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/ an inherited eye disease that is one of leading causes of blindness in elderly.  My father was almost completely blind because of this when he died.  Being the geek that I am, I researched it and learned the best foods to eat to help with this.  I now have a daily intake of blueberries, spinach or kale or romaine lettuce.  A couple of years later I learned I have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and the beginnings of Osteoporosis http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/default.htm?names-dropdown= ( all those years of being a skinny, white, female...)

As a result of learning what my body needs and why, my eating habits are dictated by a desire to be healthy and to feel well.  My typical breakfast is:  
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup rolled oats (not cooked)
3/4 cup blueberries**
1/4 cup strawberries**
1 tsp flax seed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
.5 ounces chopped walnuts (I toast mine and store in refrigerator)
**Thaw fruit if frozen or use fresh when available.

And coffee, I drink coffee mostly because I love it and it is an indulgence I hope I never have to give up.

As a result of research, all my soups meals include kale, I eat a salad most days, using Romaine lettuce or spinach or both, adding sprinkles of cheese and bacon bits and some type of protein.  After all life is short, eat bacon.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chemo-Therapist How Cancer Saved a Marriage by Mary Potter Kenyon

Chemo-Therapist How Cancer Saved a Marriage
                   by Mary Potter Kenyon

 “While we had developed an extraordinary relationship, we had never been extraordinary people.  We were just two flawed humans who eventually discovered what it was to put the other first.”  Mary Potter Kenyon.

Most of us go through life thinking we are nothing special, we are not extraordinary people.   This book helps remind us all that we are all special in the eyes of those who love us.  Mary’s voice rings true throughout her entire journey.  This is an honest, touching journey of one woman’s revelation on what it means to truly love your spouse.  A must read for everyone who wants to improve their relationship with the person you have chosen to spend a lifetime.  It is sometimes painful to be with Mary and David as they discover the bond that allowed them to fall in love, but was forgotten with the daily grind and pressures of everyday life.  Mary invites us along on her passage as she allows us to enter her mindset, her thoughts, her actions, and her pain.  I felt like I was the proverbial “fly on the wall” as I witnessed the scenes unfold before me.  My heart ached as Mary took me to her secret places in her mind and soul.

Yes, this story is about cancer.  And if you are looking for a heartwarming story of a couple’s journey through oral cancer this book is for you.  This story helps the reader understand answers questions and gives a glimpse into what can be expected.  At times I blushed as I read intimate details of her thoughts and actions.  Mary tells it like it really happened, the good, the bad, the ugly and not, but not least, the joy.  I was changed by absorbing her words.

Each chapter begins with a quote that was obviously and carefully chosen to reflect the lesson learned during that time.  It left me something to ponder.

Once I picked up this book and entered into the life of Mary and David Kenyon, I had a hard time putting it down.  I recommend reading Chemo-Therapist and walking with a couple as they travel down a road that was chosen for them by life.  We all have those paths and how we react can either make us bitter or make us better.  The choice is ours and ours alone.  Mary chose to become better.

Thank you, Mary Potter Kenyon, for your honest look at this very personal time in your life. I feel honored to learn from your experiences.