Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Rough Couple of Days

We've had a rough couple of days here at Pisswilly Ranch.  Goober was sick a few weeks ago, but dad got him some antibiotics and a steroid and that seem to perk him up a bit.

But then, in the last week, he's gotten disoriented and lethargic and just mean.  He fell off the porch a couple of times, and was bumping into walls.  We came to the conclusion that he just wasn't seeing well.  And the change in behavior (i.e. biting mom at every opportunity) was indicative of something seriously wrong.

So, dad and I took him back into the vet yesterday and asked about all of the symptoms we were seeing.  The vet said they send us to Morgantown and do an MRI, but if it finds that there is something in his head, there's nothing we can do anyway.  And the poor cat was about 15 years old.  So we made the decision to end his pain and send him off to kitty heaven.  Dad couldn't stay in there with him, but I did, and I stroked his head and gave him kisses until he was gone. 

I've never been through that before, and I can't imagine going through it with Tom or Elvis.  But I also couldn't imagine not being there with them when they go. 

The vet put Goober in a bag, tied it up, and then put him in a tiny little cardboard coffin.  Dad got out the backhoe and dug a hole for him and we sang a little kitty song while we filled the hole back up.  Then he got a big rock to put on top of it - mom will write on it soon.

The house is quiet.  Mom's not yelling at Goober and Goober isn't yelling at mom.  Dad isn't hollering at him to come in the house when it gets dark.  I haven't cried today, so maybe it's getting easier.


In other news, I took ma and pa to the Outback Steakhouse for dinner tonight and I DID NOT buy a bloomin' onion!  Even though I love sayin BLOOMIN ONION!

I did have lobster tail, though.  Cause I could.


I had a few glasses of wine last night and, crap, I'm paying for it today.  Not your typical hangover by any means, but I slept until 11am and although it's only 9pm right now, I am ready to go to bed.  I think it just takes my body extra energy to process it.  So I have to plan any drinking I do, like make sure I don't have to be uber productive the next day.  This is all probably a good thing, huh?


Only 56 days until Christmas.

That is all.


I've cleaned the whole house, except for the office and mom's shower stall.  I'm just taking my time.  Still have a week left.


I also threw away the K Cup holder in the new coffee pot, so I had to order a new one. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Only in West Virginia?

Mom and I ran down to the Shop-n-Save today to pick up a few things (pie, ice cream, candy corn...you know, the staples).  While we were standing in line, there was a man in front of us who was purchasing Pringle potato chips.  He and the clerk exchanged a few words, and then he bolted past us, to go back into the store.

Odd.  But okay.

We were paying for our stuff, and the man came back up with another can of Pringles.

"I didn't know they had Pecan Pie flavored chips!"

He was so excited.

"Well, hell, I'm going to buy them so let's see how good these are!"

He opened the chips and offered the can to anyone who was nearby.  So, mom and I stood there, trying out Pecan Pie Pringles with some guy and a couple of clerks.  The chips were interesting - tasted like maple syrup.  Mom didn't like them.

After checking out, we walked down to the Dollar Store for a couple more staples (syrup, Mounds) and while standing in the line, the Pringles man comes in and says to the clerk "I forgot my Cheese Balls!"  The clerk replied "I tried to chase you down, but you were already gone!"

So the Pringles man grabbed his cheese balls and laughed a hearty laugh and walked out.

I love it here.


I also got out in the shed and went through all of mom's Christmas stuff.  Most of their lights are multi colored, so I don't need those, but there were some white lights I could use for our Griswald Christmas decorations.  I so wish I had a place to put her big village.  She sent me the small one that I put up on the barmoir every year, but she has a bigger size, and there's probably 20 buildings - houses, stores, a church.  So freakin' pretty.  We used to put up a few saw horses and planks of plywood in order to set this thing up.  Took up the whole dining room.

Here's one corner.

And dad would put his train around it.

I will make sure our next house (our CASTLE) will have one room for this village.  Oh yes I will.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Today's Fun

I scrubbed the kitchen.  Counters, cabinets, walls, dishwasher, stove and doors and baseboards.  And we had pancakes for dinner.  And Hippy and Jeff came over to visit.

And that was my day.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Church, Cleaning, Shopping and Netflix!

I slept like a freakin' rock on Saturday night!  Awesome.  So, I was up early Sunday to have some coffee and breakfast before getting cleaned up and heading to church.

Church.  I don't remember the last time I've been to a church service.  But mom has been going for the last few months and just thoroughly enjoys it, so why not?  It's a small place, only about 25 people.  Lots of kids.  The pastor is very friendly and didn't even damn me to hell when I didn't take part in communion.  It did bring up a lot of questions about the bible, so mom and I had a nice discussion on the way home.  Cause we can do that with each other.

As soon as we got home from church, Dad took me shopping for some new jeans.  My jeans are a bit, ahem, snug and I was being funny and saying how maybe I should buy some bigger ones.  Dad was on it.  We didn't find any jeans that I liked, but he bought me some spiffy black corduroy stretchy pants.  Hawt.

We also bought mom a new laptop.  She's had a netbook for a few years (set that up one time when I was home) but it's starting to crap out, so she needed to upgrade.  And I think Dad really wanted to buy her one to make her happy. 

And so that was Sunday evening.  Setting up the new laptop.  Cause I'm a good daughter.  And mom is very happy.  And she's promised to make me brownies.

Monday was a more domestic day.  Cleaning, snoozing, TV shows, reading, mowing.  Oh!  And setting up Netflix for dad!  I'd signed him up for Blockbuster movies a few Christmas' ago, but Blockbuster has been sucking lately, so we cancelled that and got Netflix.  Much better.  And I even setting up the streaming feature through dad's PS3, even though he couldn't grasp how they would play through the internet onto the TV, but boy, he's got the hang of it now and he's already burned through a couple of instant movies.  Ha!

It was a fun day.  I also cleaned the crap out of my room and the guest bathroom - like toothbrush to the cracks kind of clean.  Tomorrow will be the living room and family room.  Baby steps to the deep clean.

And today was the shopping marathon.  Well, as much of a marathon as it can be with a 70 year old woman with a bad back and legs and a lethargic 38 year old who's lugging around 50 extra pounds and needs a two hour nap every afternoon.  I also didn't sleep very well last night (coughing and stuffy - I think it's allergies) and then I got up at 7:30am and just haven't been right all day.  Like, carsick on the way to the mall kind of not right.  But by gawd, we hit Wal-Mart, Target, Old Navy, Game Stop, the mall, and the grocery store.  And both of us were grunting and wheezing by the time we got home.

Like mother, like daughter.  Thank goodness for her handicap tag in her car.  Whew.

Then dinner, and a nap, the nightly phone call with my hubby and in just an hour - Sons of Anarchy.  Yay!

Maybe a finger or two of Jack Daniel's tonight too, just to knock me out.  I could do the cough syrup with codeine again, but I don't want to get too used to that.  Jack's cheaper.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Welcome to Pisswilly Ranch - Luxury Rehabilitation Resort

Dearest Reader,

It is Day 1 of my stay at Pisswilly Ranch, the internationally unknown rehabilitation center hidden deep in the hills of Belington, West Virginia.  Simply brillliant - no one would think this homey, modular, single guest room center could host someone of my stature, with my laundry list of anxieties and issues.  I shall relish in the privacy and serenity of this isolated location.

The hosts seem nice.  A husband and wife team, obviously taking the "parent" approach in their technique.  They were gracious enough to pick me up at the airport (after a night of wild gambling, they said) and bring me to the center.  En route, we stopped at a quaint diner, Bob Evans, for lunch and I witnessed their technique in full force as they bantered and inquired about my well being.

Upon arrival (after stopping for kitty litter - it was my pleasure to help the Mrs. at Family Dollar), I was shown to guest room, with adjacent semi-private bath.  Simple and comfortable, although the bird shower curtain and bird pictures in the bathroom, at first, caused me alarm (you know how I hate birds), my fear was calmed by the gentle blue and gold tones.  The Mrs. had the bathroom stocked with my preferred moisturizer, face soap and body wash, so I am well accommodated.

I unpacked my belongings for my three week stay, hanging clothes and plugging in my computer.  I have laid out my clothes for tomorrow's 11am church service, which the Mrs. has asked me to attend with her.  It has been years since I've been to a church service, but the brochure tells me that this is part of the parenting therapy and if I happen find the spirit, well, that's just a bonus.

There is a resident cat, Goober, that is quite old and a bit disoriented these days, I'm told.  He's very much a love and lets me rub his belly while he purrs.  I was adamant about cat therapy - it is a must for me.

Between arrival and dinner, I had a much needed nap, as I did not sleep a wink on the plane ride.  I say that I sleep very well on planes, but that is apparently no longer true.  I may forgo the red-eye flights in the future, as it makes the day a bit difficult once I'm at my destination.

Dinner consisted of pinto beans, a baked potato and white bread, with butter.  My initial inclination was to wrinkle my nose at beans and a potato, but as fate would have it, it was exactly what I needed after my long night of travel.  The baked potato was perfect and the pinto beans took my back to my childhood.

I assisted the Mrs. with some computer technical support (also required, per the brochure) and we shared recent pictures of family and the bathroom remodel Todd and I are currently tackling.  The Mrs. very much liked our choice of flooring, tub and surround, which warmed my heart and gave me comfort.

I took a moment to call Todd, since phone calls are not restricted, to catch up on the day's events back in Seattle.  Todd is still getting over the horrible head cold that we both shared at the beginning of the week, and I shared that I've had a slight relapse due to traveling. 

Luckily, there is a pharmacy (of sorts) on site here at the center, so the Mrs. was kind enough to give me a dosage (or three) of cough syrup with codeine.  I am writing quickly, as I can feel it taking hold as I sit here.

I am confident that this stay will be very positive and helpful in getting my head cleared of the recent fog, and reconnecting me to what is important in my life.  Music, writing, family and simplicity.  Autumn is in full swing in the country, and the leaves are falling silently from the trees.  There was a brief rain shower, during which the resident deer (nine of them) came to dine on the corn the couple provides.  The weather forecast predicts a bit of snow on Wednesday, about which I am very excited.  I will be sure to take pictures. 

Until next time,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weekend Update - Now with alcohol!

But I didn't shit faced by any means, so that an improvement, right?

Friday night, I went to happy hour with my boss, KF.  Eight years younger than me, but my boss nonetheless.  She just moved to my neighborhood, so had a welcome drink (or two) down at Alki.  It was nice to chat with her in a non-office setting.  She's very cool.

Afterwards, I dashed to the grocery store, then dashed home, where Todd was hosting a reading and so my house was full of actors.  I love that.

That wrapped up early, so Todd and I were in bed early.

Saturday started off pretty promising - blue skies, warmer weather (50's) and I was up and awake at 9am.  We grabbed some coffee, ran some errands and then went grocery shopping.  In the meantime though, I'd asked the kids to do their chores as soon as possible and before they left to go out with their friends.  When we returned, however, those chores were not done and mama lost her freakin' mind.

It's not like this is new.  It usually takes two or three (or six) reminders.  But when I get a face to face, verbal confirmation that something will be done, and then I find it is not done when they say it will be done, well, heads will roll.  And I've just had it.

So I blew up (with Todd's support) and called the child in question and may have used a couple of curse words and ordered them to come back home RIGHT THIS MINUTE and do what I specifically asked them to do, which is not asking too much given that they get maybe two chores every couple of days.  Todd agreed with me. 

And then he and I went out for margaritas.  Dammit.

And after sun and said margaritas, we were asleep by 10:30pm.

Sunday was lovely.  I worked out in the yard for a little while, despite sneezing my head off.  I kind of miss the prednisone in my system.  No allergies!  But now they're coming back with a vengeance and I am absolutely miserable.  

Todd held a "come to Jesus" meeting (appropriate for Easter, no?) explaining to both children why I got so upset on Saturday and how we are not at all demanding of them but when we ask them to do something, by golly, they need to do it.  Because that's what you do!

That's all well and good, but I'm still not speaking to either child right now. I don't know how to do it without getting angry.  I'm just working through Todd right now. Good thing I have therapy on Wednesday.

Anywho, we had ham and potatoes and veggies for dinner (traditional Easter) while watching the season finale of The Walking Dead (not very traditional).  The family disseminated after that, so Todd, Tom and I cuddled on the couch until it was late enough to justify going to bed. 

Those are my evenings.  Snoozing on the couch until it's late enough to just suck it up and go to bed.  Sad, huh?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Random Crap

So, my transition back into Seattle life was not so smooth.  I very much enjoyed the lack of obligation, other than to wake up before noon so I could visit with mom and dad.  And then there's the three hour drive to and from the airport, which just gives me way too much time to think. 

And fester.

By the time I got home, I was just irked.  At all kinds of things that I shouldn't have been irked at.  But Todd and I had a healthy, adult discussion over dinner on Thursday night and he understood my concerns (or was terrified of me, I don't know) so all is good.


I had my monthly doctor's appointment and blood draw this morning.  Haven't gotten the results back but Dr. D assures me that his nurse will call me with the results.  No more waiting around for a week. 

The blood draw also went much better, as I refused to go to the mean, incompetent lady that hurt me last night.  She called my name (Raychell!?  Raychell?!) and I politely said, "I will wait for Ashante."  So there.


While I love the food down in the Cafe, it bugs me that they feel the need to put red peppers on the roasted vegetables.  I LOVE the vegetables.  But with the red pepper flakes on them, I can't eat them.  They're way too hot.  Red pepper flakes should be something you add over at the condiments bar.  Right?


I'm still eating relatively gluten free.  My stomach doesn't seem to be as upset as often, so I guess it's doing some good.  I eat cheese, but just mostly on mexican food.  I use dairy milk in my coffee, which isn't a daily thing anymore, but I like almond milk on my cereal and oatmeal. 

It's the little changes.


Hmm.  There's really not much else to tell you.

I'll work on that.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Visiting the Folks, Day 4

Up at 10:30am  Because I told mom to wake me.

Moving slow.  I don't have to leave until 1:30pm.  There's the three hour drive to Pittsburgh to catch my 6:55pm flight home.

So I shower, pluck my eyebrows, pack my stuff.

Mom and I run down to the Goody Basket to pick up some fresh made rolls.  Look at us!  Leaving the house two days in a row!

Then it's time to leave.  Sniff.  There's lots of hugs, and a few choked back tears.  I always think it's the last time I'm going to see them.  Goober refuses to come say goodbye.  He is not happy with me.

I stop halfway to Pittsburg to pee and buy coffee.  It's a really long drive.  Too long.

And as soon as I get to the airport, it starts snowing.  Beautiful.

I have an hour until I board, so I plop down at the TGIFridays across from my gate and order a glass of Pinot Gris and log onto work. 

And it is totally not my fault that the flatbread I ordered was a smidge burnt so the waitress felt the need to compensate me with a free glass of wine, which I couldn't turn down because that would have been rude, right?

However, my new lightweight status made it challenging to make sure I had all of my belongings and made it to the correct gate.  But mission accomplished!

And I slept the whole way to Minneapolis.  Which was wonderful.

At Minneapolis, I found my gate, and wouldn't you know it, there was wine bar right next to it.  They had a Viognier!  Well, how could I not?  I had an hour and a half to kill.

Time to board, and thank goodness, the middle seat was empty for the entire flight.  So I snoozed all the way to Seattle.  Where I landed at a little after 11pm, and Todd picked me up and I was in bed by 12:30am. 

And up at 7:30am to dash off to work, after picking up a big ass latte.

I live a crazy life.  I know.

At least I have a short week.  I think I can make it a mere two days.  Hopefully.  Maybe.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Visiting the Folks, Day 3

Up at 10:30am.  Going back to work on Thursday is going to be a rude awakening.

Standard breakfast.

And then!  Time to leave the house!  I shower, mom gets dressed and off we go!

Stopped at the Goody Basket to get some sweets (oh my gawd the chocolate no bake cookies.  oy...), then head to the local grocery store for dinner fixins.  I'm making fajitas with refried beans mexican rice.  Taco Tuesday!  Except dad won't eat mexican food unless he has pico de gallo.  So, of course, that's the first thing we need to get.  But Shop-n-Save does not have pico de gallo.  I'm pretty sure Shop-n-Save doesn't know what pico de gallo is.  Okay, no worries.  We can make it! 

But Shop-N-Save doesn't have cilantro either.  Oh, for the love of puppies!  I may have rethink this whole vacation cottage thing.

So off to Kroger, 20 minutes away, to get pico de gallo.  But they don't have any either, but they do have cilantro, so okay fine, we'll make the pico de gallo. 

We pick up a few other things (wine!) then head back to Belington to drop off some clothes at the thrift shop, then pick up some prescriptions.  And then back home to start dinner.

And wow, was it an adventure.  I was in charge of slicing up the strip steak and cooking it.  Ug.  Everything else was easy.  Especially since mom offered to make the pico de gallo.  Oh, I love that woman.  She started chopping, but that got tedious so we tried the chop feature on the blender.  Which is a joke, by the way.  *whirrrr* shake the stuff up *whirrrr* shake the stuff up *whirrr*  Things got half chopped, half pureed.  But woohoo!  We've got pico de gallo. 

But wait!  Gotta chop the cilantro!  Mom has never worked with cilantro.  I told her to rinse it, then go outside and shake the hell out of it.  And she did. It was cute.  Then I told her scissors would probably be easier than using a knife to chop it.  So she sits down at the table, makes that first cut, and doesn't stop bitching about the smell until we're sitting down to dinner and we've put the pico far away from her.

She and dad both loved Taco Tuesday.  I don't think you realize how big of a deal this is.  Rarely can I ever make anything that they 1) heard of, 2) approve of, 3) actually will eat or 4) actually like.  So the fact that mom was so full she was sick to her stomach - BOOYA!

As I pat myself on the back, I clean up dinner, then mom sweeps up, then pour myself a glass of Zinfandel and have a no-bake cookie (yum) and now I sit, watching TV with mom and surfing.  This will continue until about 10pm, and then I'll go to bed.  I do love visiting the folks.


Pic(s) of the day:

Mama's Pico de Gallo

Fajita meat & peppers, rice and beans.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Visiting the Folks, Day 2

Slept until 10:45am.  It's a slippery slope here in the country.

Standard breakfast of oatmeal, raisins and walnuts.  And green tea.

I take down the shower curtain and liner in the spare bathroom and wash them.  It's been a while.

There's talk of working on copying some CDs, but then dad says he's going to watch "Life of Pi".  I read the book - it took more than six months to get through it, and once I was done, I was furious.  What the hell was the point?!  I was slightly curious about the movie.  Slightly.  Just because of the tiger.  And mom wanted to see it, and it was thundering and raining outside, so why not?

Oy.  It was much better than the book, but still left me with "What the hell?"  Mom and dad also found it very slow ("When are they going to get lost in the ocean and where the hell's the tiger?!") but they enjoyed it.  Except when the animals kind of kill each other.

But it was good bonding with the folks.

Then there was some cuddling with Goober and random surfing on the net and dinner prep.

I just heated up some leftover veggies from last night and made the very stupid decision to heat up mom and dad's left over pasta alfredo.  Gluten and dairy.  And boy, my tummy was not happy two hours later.  Man.

Then I curl up on the couch to watch the new season of Dancing with the Stars (kill me) with mom.  But because of the gluten and dairy (I think) I accidentally fell asleep for an hour. 

But luckily I catch the last half hour of DWTS (I love Jacoby Jones) and then we watch Castle.

And then holy crap, I'm tired, so I go call Todd and then go to bed.


Pic of the day:

This is where I'm going to put my little vacation cottage.  Just to the right of the curve in the dirt drive.  I may have to fill in some of the hole there on the right, but that's easy enough.  There will be a porch, maybe even a loft. I figure if Todd gets famous making movies, he's going to be traveling a lot and I probably won't want to go on every trip, so I'll just go stay in my little cottage on Pisswilly Ranch.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Visiting the Folks, Day 1

Slept until 10am.  And it was beautiful.

But out of bed at 10:03 because I felt bad.

Mom and dad were eating breakfast, and I may or may not have been force fed a piece a bacon.  Or two.  But other than that, I had green tea and oatmeal with raisins and walnuts.  So there.

Pet the cat, watch TV, surf the net.  All afternoon.

Dinner! Pasta alfredo and baked beans (for ma and pa) and quinoa and roasted veggies for me.  We split some chicken and I had a roll.  Yummy.

Then there's clean up and now, a glass of wine with my mama to celebrate St. Patty's Day.  Can't go through a St. Patty's Day without consuming some form of alcohol, right?  And the only whiskey dad has is Gentleman Jack.  Mmmm.

Pic(s) of the day:

Self portrait with mom's new camera.

Trying to look sexy while mom takes the self portrait

Maybe if I look up, my jowels won't be so prominent.

Okay, may I need to look up a little higher?

Screw it, let's just hide the jowels.

Visiting the Folks, Travel

So, Friday night/Saturday morning was just traveling.  I flew out at 10:15pm*, got into Philly at 6:30am, waited around for almost three hours because the flight was delayed, finally flew out at 9:00am.  Got to Pittsburgh at 10:15am,waited in line at Enterprise for almost 30 minutes, finally got my rental car (a new while Beetle) and headed out. 

And stopped at the first Starbucks that showed up on my map.  Venti non-fat latte.  Yeah baby.

Back on the freeway for two hours, then I hit Kroger to stock up on Raechelle friendly food - rice cakes, rice crackers, smoothie makings, oatmeal, juice, fruit.  Ya know - not cake and cinnamon rolls.

Finally got to mom and dad's at 3pm.  The next few hours were spent catching up on Aunt Jeannie's graveside service and Janie's memorial.

And then dinnertime!  Chef salad.  I think mom is trying to make me happy. 

Then smoothie time (or cake and ice cream time for mom and dad) and then bed.  Whew.  But first a phone call to my hubby, who was playing online, so we didn't chat long.  Which fine because at this point, it was extremely hard to keep my eyes open.

*Okay, the flight.  It sucked.  Big time.

And I think it was the pizza that we had for dinner.  We got a gluten free crust, but I think it was still way too much cheese.  My stomach was absolutely miserable the during the entire flight.  I couldn't sleep at all, and I felt so bad that I had to have the girls beside me (because of course, I was in the window seat) wake up and move so I could go back to the bathroom, numerous times. 


By the time I got on the second flight at Philly, things were much better.  Thank goodness.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not A Good Day

I can't really determine why it's not a good day.  Could be kid crap (kid crap is very challenging right now).  Could be the gloomy weather.  Could be the lack of fruits and veggies in my body.  Could be the gluten, sugar and caffeine in my body.  Could be that I keep biting the same freakin' place on my lip and it's just pissing me off.

Who knows?

After Saturday, I was convinced my mood was a gluten reaction.  But today, I'm not so sure.  It might be the caffeine.  Maybe I'll try going off that again?  Or I could just say screw it and make it easy and just go back on the cleanse and stay there.  I don't remember feeling this grrr in the last month.

I've also noticed that my digestion is just as bad as before the cleanse.  I won't go into detail but, trust me, it's not good.  It's "normal" for me, but it's not good.

I've also started weaning my prednisone a bit more - 10 mgs one day, 5 mgs the next day.  I know there's less in my system because last night I got on a huge sneezing fit.  Which sucked.  I've gotten used to not sneezing and sniffling.  Now that my immune system is actually starting to function again, here come the allergies.  Wonderful.

There is a bright side to my week though.  I'm flying to West Virginia on a red eye Friday night.  My sister bought me a ticket.  Gawd bless her.  I get to hang with folks until next Wednesday, and elated doesn't even begin to describe how happy I am. 

If I can just make it through this week.

I make no guarantees.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Post Cleanse Update - Day 1

Actually, The Cleanse really ended last night with dinner.  We went out.  And it was good. 

We made good choices, and incorporated dairy back into the diet.  And booze.  Which was also good.  (actually, I incorporated booze on Thursday night, at happy hour with my co-workers, cause what's one more day?)

Todd and I both felt pretty good today - no major side effects.  Our tummies felt okay.  Then I went to brunch at Amy's. 


On the way I treated myself to a non-fat latte.  So good.  Amy had quiche, coffee cake and fruit.  I had all three things.  I was hyper because of the caffeine, and feeling pretty damn good.  It's a beautiful day here, it's 50 degrees, we've got a big evening planned.  Everything was looking dandy.

But then I got a call to help with the big event tonight, which I was not planning for.  And I thought I could help, but Kayleigh's at a Rainbow thing and needs picked up around 4pm and Tyler rescheduled his appointment this afternoon to end at 4pm, all of which means I could not be available this afternoon to help with tonight.

So, my heart rate started to rise.

Then the father of the person who is planning tonight called and asked for help, as well.  Which puts more pressure on me, and again, I have to say I can't help as much as I'd like because the kids' schedule, which makes my heart rate rise even more.

And then Tyler asked for help looking for something in his bachelor pad and I very stupidly agreed to go out there and help look, which flat out pushed me over the edge.  Lets just say, he's a teenage boy.  'Nuff said.

The afternoon fell apart soon afterward.

This was an hour ago and my blood pressure is STILL elevated.  I am STILL worked up about it.  And my happy go lucky it's a beautiful day mood is freakin' shot.

So, I'm thinking it's the caffeine.  It's probably not the eggs or the dairy.  Gotta be the caffeine.

Good to know.

I may need to give up lattes.



Speaking of happy hour with the co-workers, this time was much better.

I felt better about myself, mostly because I was a little more dressed up (in a loose fitting dress and my boots) and so I was a bit more talkative and social.  I had a raspberry lemondrop so I had something to sip.  I told some jokes, got some laughs.  I was much more comfortable in my own skin.  And I had the opportunity to tell them, I'm not used to be the old married mother in my work group.  I was always the young party animal.  I can still party, though!  You just wait until my liver stops rebelling!

That got a laugh.

So yes.  A better happy hour this time.  Thank goodness.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oh, NOW It Gets Difficult!

The Cleanse ends on Friday.  Well, after Friday, so I guess Saturday.  Friday is the very last day of cleansing.

And I'm finding that this last week is the most difficult of all.

I've already gone through the official detox.  I've already given up caffeine, alcohol, dairy and bread for a whopping 25 days.  What good is another three days going to do?  What can't I just have a cup of coffee (with almond milk!) RIGHT NOW?

Luckily, I see Dr. O, my naturopath, on Thursday, so I have something to keep me on track for another couple of days.

But I'm already thinking about the bottle of wine I'm going to celebrate with Saturday night.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Update

I'm worried that I may have regressed a bit.  I was up at 8:30am yesterday, and went to breakfast with Stephanie.  That afternoon, I took a two and a half hour nap.  This bothers me.  I've been doing so well without naps.  I thought I was getting my energy back and feeling good, but then I fall asleep for two hours.  And then went back to bed at 9pm.  Huh.


Speaking of breakfast, I did pretty good.  I haven't really eaten out since I've been on the cleanse, and breakfast seems to be the hardest meal of all to figure out.  But when Steph and I went out, and I had the Greek hobo - pile o' potatoes with spinach, olives and tomatoes (left off the feta cheese) and instead of toast or an english muffin, I had a side of fruit.  Easy!  Oh, and herbal tea, rather than coffee.  Which I think hurt most of all.

I'm also not going to tell you where we ate, because midway through our meal, we spotted a cute, little gray mouse under our table, drinking the puddle of water that was left over from when Steph spilled her ice water.  The guy next to us told us we were the calmest women he'd ever seen upon spotting a mouse.  Why would I freak out?  It's a tiny mouse.  Give us some credit, jackass.  A nice patron came over with a napkin and gently wrapped the mouse up in it and took it outside.  And then we very discreetly told our server about our guest.  She was mortified, but still didn't give us a mouse discount on the check.  Hmph.


On Saturday, I took the day to myself and toodled around Target and Barnes & Noble.  Just because I could.  Todd went to Emerald City Comicon for most of the day, even though he wasn't feeling very well, and since we didn't have a booth this year or anything to promote, I didn't need to go.  Thank gawd.  Rumor has it, they were going to hit 75,000 people this year.  Ug.  Way too many people for my taste.

So I spent most of the day toodling.  Then I took Kayleigh to get her ears pierces (for the third time - finally!) and then we ran to the grocery store, and then I rested my eyes for a bit.  I didn't NAP, I just snuggled with Tom and rested my eyes.  And maybe drooled for a minute.  Okay, so maybe it was a quick nap.  But not a two hour one like Sunday.

That evening, Trish came over for a girls night.  And Breaking Dawn Part II

I am not ashamed.

We were supposed to see this in November when it came out, but Trish's pregnancy and the holidays foiled our plan.  We've see all of the other movies in the theater.  Because we are dedicated like that.  But alas, as fate would have it, we had to wrap up the series at home, on my couch, in our jammies, with munchies.  Which was really okay.  Except for the lack of wine.

And, again, I am not ashamed to say that I loved it.  I just kind of liked the other movies, because really?  They're horrible.  And yes, Breaking Dawn is just as cheesy and stupid, but I really liked the fact that Bella actually showed some emotion in this one.  She got mad!  She ripped the head off some vampires!

I even got a little choked at the end, as they listed the entire cast of all four movies, and showed their photos, and had a pretty song playing that's still stuck in my head. 

Okay, maybe I'm a little ashamed that I watched it again on Sunday, in between breakfast and napping.  And that I made Todd watch it, too.


So only one week left on The Cleanse!  We're back to eating everything we could at the beginning (including nuts, alternative milks and free range chicken and turkey (we can have free range lamb too, but ew.  Ha!  Get it?  Ewe.)) so this week should go by pretty quickly.  We had plans to go to Kim-n-Tim-Milo's for dinner on Saturday, but we've had to reschedule.

Oh, so can I just share something with you?

Kim called a couple of weeks ago, to say hi, offer her support and to invite us over one night during The Cleanse.  She said they would really like to cook dinner for us and give us a night off.  They're vegetarians and pretty healthy eaters, so following the dietary guidelines would be no hardship for them.

How freakin' sweet is that?

Well, we couldn't find a night during the actual cleanse that would work, so we settled on March 9, the day after The Cleanse ends.  But we'd still eat cleanse worthy foods.  And maybe have a glass of wine.  And Tim was going to make a pie.  A chocolate pie.  Oh yeah.

We've now had to reschedule but that's okay.  I think Todd and I are going to stick with eating this way for a while.  Hell, I already bought a $8 loaf of gluten free bread - gotta eat all that!

Oh, so I think for dinner Saturday, Todd and I may treat ourselves to going out and having a glass of wine.  And we still have Valentine's Day cupcakes from the Crazy Aussie in our freezer, so that can be dessert. 

And on Sunday we will be sick as dogs because our systems won't know what to do with all that sugar.  Hee.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy Day, Oh Happy Day!

I saw Dr. D on Tuesday.  Had a blood draw (a bad, bad blood draw, complete with tunnel vision and nausea) and after not getting the results the next day like usual, I finally called Dr. D's nurse today and begged her to call me. 

Dr. D had said that if the enzymes were back down, great, we'd wean off the prednisone and hope for the best.  But if the levels were still high, then we needed to try another, more complicated, medication.  And before he prescribed this more complicated medication, he would want to do a liver biopsy to be absolutely sure what we're dealing with. 


The procedure doesn't scare me.  Needle in, suck a little liver out, all good.  It's that word "biopsy".  Scary word.

Needless to say, I was freakin' the &*$# out by this afternoon because I still hadn't gotten the test results.  So I called.  Because I am the squeaky wheel.

And happy happy joy joy, that magic number (which, at the beginning of December, was 280) was a mere 58.  Woohoo!  I don't know if it's the cleanse or the no alcohol or the lack of azathioprine, but regardless, the liver is getting better!

No biopsy!


Speaking of the azathioprine, Dr. D said that's usually what they use to get people off the prednisone.  Unfortunately, when my liver processed the azathioprine, it turned it into a toxin.  Which made my liver flare up.




And speaking of The Cleanse, my new favorite salad is salmon and beet with a vinaigrette dressing.  Sounds icky, huh?  It's not.  It is delicious.  If you like fish and beets.  Which I do.


This weekend is Emerald City Comicon.  I will not be going.  We don't have anything to promote this year, so Todd is working it with a friend, shooting video.  No sitting in booth for three days!

I am essentially on my own this weekend (probably good I'm not drinking these days, huh?) so I've got big plans.  A little sleeping in, a little shopping, a little reading, maybe a nap.  Then Trish and I have some girl bonding planned for Saturday night (it might involve sparkly vampires.  I'm not at liberty to say, really), and hopefully I will get some Steph time on Sunday.  I should probably do some laundry at some point, too.

Anywho, ECCC, girl bonding.  Big weekend.

And only eight days left on The Cleanse!  Then bring on the wine and cupcakes!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend Update

We had big plans for this past weekend.  We were supposed to go to our friend's house on Vashon Island to write a script with a few other writers, but as the Universe would have it, everything fell apart around 11:30am on Friday (after I'd already taken the day off).  The rest of Friday was spent cleaning and killing time until dinner.  And I was cranky.

Saturday was spent making up our lack of exciting weekend to Kayleigh who was extremely disappointed we didn't get our weekend away.  So, we to see Django Unchained (which I had planned to sleep through, but I actually liked it and watched all three hours of) and have lunch at Blue C.  But my mood was still sour and Mercury went into retrograde, so everything was outta whack and I was still cranky.

And Sunday, Todd spent most of the day playing his Star Wars game online while I toodled around, read some of my book, napped, cleaned a little and generally tried to recuperate.  Kayleigh and I went to try and get her ears pierced (for the third freakin' time because her holes keep closing) but the beauty shop in the Junction is closed on Sundays (gah!) so we hit some consignment stores, where I treated myself to a pink leather purse.  Dammit.

So there.

Todd and I also went an perused PCC where we bought an $8 loaf of gluten free bread.  Very exciting.


I am on day 17 of The Cleanse.  The last four days were detoxing, but now I'm back on white rice and other grains and milk substitutes.  I can also eat any veggies and fruits I want.  Life is good.

Well, good except for the lack of coffee, wine and chocolate.  But, you know.  Whatever.

Todd is still eating the good stuff along with me, but he's incorporated meat back in already.  I get that on Day 21.  If I want.  I'm pretty happy with my fish.


I miss being dehydrated.  I am up at least once a night to pee.  And that disrupts my sleep and makes me cranky.  (Well, what doesn't, really?)  Anywho, I try to not drink anything after 8pm, but regardless, I'm still up and stumbling to the potty in the middle of the night.  Grrr.


I see my liver doctor tomorrow.  I am very anxious to see what my levels are now.  I should know within a day or so.  I'll keep you posted.

Oh, also had my "well woman" exam today.  I've skipped the last couple of years, but figured it was maybe time to go have the old reproductive parts checked out.  She said everything seemed to be a-okay, but I'll get test results back within the week.

Funny thing - you know how prednisone suppresses the immune system?  Well, suppressing the immune system can also lead to abnormal pap results.  Fantastic!  Because I don't have enough shit to worry about right now.


On a positive note, the doctor's scale said I was down to 176.  We'll see how that compares with Dr. D's scale tomorrow.  Todd says I look less puffy and a little "tighter".  I'm not seeing it, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.


And now, a picture of the kitties.

I do love weekend mornings with my kitties.

One Of My Favorite Songs Right Now

And my favorite line:
"But my head hurts remembering the memories I lost.

Could just be my sober state of mind.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So Far, So Good!

While it is absolutely UNFAIR that I have been detoxing and eating so well for 11 days, but have yet to lose any weight whatsoever (damn prednisone), I have to say, I feel pretty good.  Not as stiff.  And my right knee doesn't make any noise now when I walk up and down stairs!

I am finding that I'm hungry more frequently, but I don't think that's from being deprived.  I think it's just the stuff that I do eat gets used up by my body (rather than sitting in my gut for hours) so I need to refuel more often.  And since each refueling is with the same healthy food, I never have more than two or three hours between eating.

Now, given that I'm quite limited in WHAT I can eat, I'm getting a bit bored.  A girl can only have so many apples, bananas and carrots a day.  Lunch and dinner are an absolute joy - cooked foods!  I saw my naturopath on Monday, and told her about the constant low grade headache since Friday (after stopping rice, nuts, and milk alternatives, as well as berries and other more sugary fruits and veggies)  and she suggested having rice or steel grain oats at one meal a day, just to keep the sugar levels up.  So, I can have Todd's yummy steel cut oatmeal in the mornings now, which is so much better than just a smoothie and a banana.

This is only until Thursday, then Friday I can go back to any ol' fruits and veggies I want and white rice.  Brown rice and alternative milks come back a week after that, and then on day 20, I can have nuts again.  And then, on days 21 - 28, I can go back to free range meats.  Note - they say "free range" but they really want me to eat meat that isn't corn fed.  Corn and cornmeal is weeded out on this detox.

Also, I think sweet potatoes are my new favorite food.

And I still want a glass of wine.


Let's see, what else is happening besides The Cleanse?

I walked the treadmill again last night.  One mile.  In 22 minutes.  Is that good?  I don't think that's very good.  But I didn't have an asthma attack or pass out, so again, WIN.

We're getting our taxes taken care of tonight, which is very exciting.  Hopefully, the refund (because our tax woman is amazing and always gets us a hefty refund) will finance the three week vacation I'm dreaming about in June.  It includes a train trip to West Virginia, visiting with the family in Maryland, another train ride to Boston, a day toodling around there, and then a flight back home to Seattle.  We'll see if I can actually get time off for this trip, too.  I'm scared to even ask.

After our tax appointment, I'm getting my roots touched up.  Because I am that woman now who colors her hair and has to get her roots touched up.  Gah.

Oh, remember how I said I was going to take it easy on Sunday?  Give myself permission to not do much of anything?  Yeah, that didn't work.  I washed the sheets and remade the bed, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen and then, thankfully, took an Epsom salt bath between The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey, and read a few chapters of a new Jen Lancaster book.

And I didn't take a nap all day!

Which reminds me, my liver doctor told me I could start weaning my prednisone.  Twenty milligrams one day, 10 the next, 20 the next, until I see him next Tuesday.  Hopefully with The Cleanse and absolutely no alcohol, my levels will be back down in the semi-normal range and I can start tapering off of it completely.  Funny, I have a couple of people tell me I should start lifting weights.  If I have to have the steroids in my systems, might as well tone up a little!

I did look up little dumbbell weights.  Gotta go to Target soon.

I think that alone is a clear sign that my body is doing better.  I'm actually thinking using weights.  And I'm walking.  Twice now!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

(Early) Weekend Update

Yes, it's only 2:30pm on Sunday afternoon, but I already know what I'll be doing tonight, so I can update you now.

Friday was rough.  Started getting a wee bit of a headache late in the afternoon.  Todd picked me up from work and we met his old friends from high school at Kell's for dinner.  They hadn't seen each other in 20 years so it was quite the reconnection.  Coincidentally, one of his friends is going through a similar health issue.  Apparently allergens have built up in her system and are now causing horrible joint pain and swelling.  So she's on a very limited sulfates free diet.  She even brought her own salad dressing, which she shared, because I had a smoked salmon and beet salad.  Absolutely cleanse approved.  Yum.

Toward the end of dinner, however, my head hurt so bad and my eyes were heavy and well, it was time to call it a night. Oh, but Nachos-n-Karaoke was going on in West Seattle, so you know we had to drop by for a minute and say hi.

Our friend Lisa is a nacho lover.  And a karaoke lover.  She's been over to our house a few times for Downing-style karaoke.  So she organized a evening of nachos at a restaurant just up the street, and then afterwards, they were heading over to karaoke.

Todd and I didn't make it for karaoke, but we did stop in and stay and visit with friends for a couple of hours.  And by the time we got home, I was nauseous from my headache.  But Todd made me my smoothie and I mellowed out a bit, then we hit the sack.

I was up at 9am Saturday morning and the headache was still there.  I don't get headaches a lot, so when I do, I'm just broken.  I don't know if it's the new, extreme portion of The Cleanse, or what, but it was killing me.  But at 10am I was out the door, stocking up on goodies for Trish's birthday brunch.  All Trish wanted for her birthday was some girl time and pedicure (did I mention she has a three year old and just had another baby on New Year's Day?  Yes, she just wanted some girl time).  So, Amy, Cherie and I threw her a little brunch in Cherie's condo building's lounge (just lovely) and sat around for a couple of hours eating and chatting.

And here's where I realize how special my friends are.  Cherie offered to buy the food for the brunch.  Not a lot, just some fruit and veggies and champagne and orange juice.  I told her she didn't have to do that, since I was very limited in my food, but she said it was a-okay and to send her my approved foods list.  I was in charge of decorations (and twice baked almond croissants), so when I arrived, Cherie had this gorgeous spread laid out.  And she had bought San Pellegrino and fresh pressed apple juice, so I could have something in my champagne glass, too.  She said she went by my list, and the only thing I couldn't eat on the table were the grapes and the ranch salad dressing.

How incredibly thoughtful is that?  I am just in awe of how supportive and accommodating the people in my life are.  I don't think I will ever not be in awe.

While Amy is very supportive, she brought her crockpot o' oatmeal, which smelled just like fall.  Amazing.  I'll get to have that in a few weeks.

Anywho, after brunch, we headed out for pedicures.  After hitting a few different walk-in spots, we ended up at my usual place, Tulips, right down the street.  The ladies there are very sweet.  And my toenails are very pink now.

After all of this activity, I was ready for a nap (damn liver) so I took the girls back to Cherie's, dropped them off and said my goodbyes.  I got home, briefly said hi to Todd, then passed out for an hour.

And then it was time to grocery shop for the upcoming week.  We got a crapton of (approved) fruits and vegetables, so I think I'm good to go until Thursday.  I bought a few sweet potatoes so that's the "hardy" food for the week.  Todd cut a couple up, along with zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms, and roasted them last night.  Yummy.  I also bought a bag of flash frozen, wild caught salmon.  I pulled on out, put it in a bowl of hot water to thaw it, and cooked it up to go with my roasted veggies.  And it was damn good.  Todd's not a big fish eater, so this works perfectly.

After dinner, Todd's sister and niece, Sara and Zadra, arrived to crash on our couches during their mother-daughter road trip.  It was nice to just sit and visit with Sara.  With her living in Bellingham, we don't get to hang out too much.  I stayed up as late as I could, but at 10pm, I excused myself and went to bed.

I got up at 8:30 this morning to say goodbye to her, but have made the declaration that I am taking it easy today.  I have a load of laundry in, and I tidied up the kitchen, but I think that's enough for this weekend.  And I hate that.  There is so much I want to do, and while I could very well do it, I would be utterly exhausted tomorrow and completely unproductive at work.  So I have to pick my battles and budget my energy, and again, I hate that.

And also, this:

Holy crap, who is that tired, bloated girl in the middle?  Man alive.  No wonder I'm having an identity crisis. Let's compare, shall we?

I actually had cheekbones in 2010!

Todd tells me that I'm still beautiful.  I'm just sick.  That helps, really, but, oy. 

Sigh.  It's temporary.  I know it's just temporary. 


Oh, and tonight?  The Walking Dead, Epsom salt bath, then Downton Abbey.  BOOYA.
I love Sunday evenings.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Welcome to Day 7

It's Day 7 of The Cleanse out here in Raechelle-land, and I am devouring my lunch of cod fish, roasted squash and broccolini like there's no tomorrow.  I do love the Cafe downstairs.

I also very much love my husband, who made me a weakened smoothie today, using only (I believe) a banana, pear, apple juice and ice.  Can't have the berries or coconut milk.  I believe Todd will be bowing out of this seven day stint, and I think that's okay.  The fact that he's even doing this cleanse with me, and he makes me a smoothie every morning and every evening, is enough dedication for me.  I would starve without him.

I find that I'm paying more attention to food now.  Having the list of approved foods posted at my desk makes me reference it often, and the information is starting to stick.  Now when I eat something, I'm thinking about the sugar content and how processed it is.  I don't know if this cleanse will help my liver in the end, but I guarantee it will affect the way I eat in the future.  Which, in turn, will affect my overall health and weight, so really, this is like a project for school.

Speaking of weight, I walked the treadmill in the basement gym here at work on Wednesday.  It's a small gym (and I use the word "gym" lightly) with three treadmills, a couple of stairsteppers, couple of bikes and some weights over in the corner.  All of the machines face the wall, which is a little weird, but that way you don't see anyone and no one is looking at you.  They just recently attached TVs to each of the machines, and each has their own remote.  And there's full cable.  However, the TV on the treadmill I used on Wednesday was wonky, so I sent in a request to have it fixed. 

Other than that, it was pleasant.  I walked for 20 minutes and didn't even pass out or anything!  I have a note on the calendar for next Monday and Wednesday to go again.  And the Crazy Aussie says she wants to join me on Monday.  I'm not sure how I feel about that - the woman runs 14 miles in the morning and is training for a marathon.  Sure!  Come run by me, like the gazelle that you are, while I lumber along like a hippo.  Luckily, she's very cool and funny and sweet and sarcastic, so she'll make it fun.  One way or another.

To close, here's the beautiful view from my office today.

Not a bad Friday, at all.  It almost feels like spring.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Random Thoughts - Valentine's Edition

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm so glad I didn't plan an expensive romantic dinner out.  However, the Crazy Aussie brought in two boxes of Cupcake Royale cupcakes, some with bacon (the bitch).  And she asked to see my Cleanse approved food list a few days ago, and I didn't think anything of it, but then she handed me a gluten free cupcake. 

So freakin' thoughtful.

She said they had vegan cupcakes (no eggs, no dairy, would have ALMOST made the cut) but she couldn't bring herself to buy one.  Shoot.  Tricia recommended on Facebook that I freeze this one and celebrate after The Cleanse.  That sounds good.  If it makes it home.  Which I cannot guarantee.


I'm having quinoa and broccoli for lunch.  Which is quite a treat, because tomorrow begins day 7 - 13 of The Cleanse.  Here where it starts kicking my ass.

No oats, rice or brown rice.  No milk alternatives (I've come to like almond milk).  No nuts of any kind.  No meat of any kind (all the fish I can eat, though).  No fruit juices of any kind.  And the fruits and vegetables are extremely limited.

Todd and I are a bit stressed.  We're not sure what to eat for dinner.  He doesn't like fish much, but I could live on that and steamed veggies for two weeks.  I could also just drink the smoothies he makes me.  Those puppies fill me up.

We'll re-evaluate the situation on Saturday, when it's time to grocery shop again.


I'm wearing my skinny jeans and I don't feel very skinny.  In high school, we used to call these pegleg jeans.  And, as we often do after high school, I swore I'd never wear them again.  And here we are.  At least we're not wearing Z Cavaricci's.  Oy.

I had black ones.  That white tag, right on the zipper, always bothered me.  It draws the eye.


I had a little identity crisis last Friday.  Well, I think I'm still in it.  Just not as bad.

I went out to happy hour with my co-workers, who are all mid 20's to early 30's.  I know my three principals are older than me, but that's about it.  I'm the oldest support staff.

Anywho, sitting at happy hour was an eye opener.  One, I felt extremely fat (PMS bloat, plus prednisone) and that's not familiar to me.  I couldn't even really cross my legs (in my skinny jeans) and I just felt like a blob. 

I treated myself to one glass of Prosecco as The Cleanse was starting the next day and that was just weird.  To be at a happy hour and not throw back a few cocktails.  I was limiting myself.  And I didn't have any dating horror stories, and I was really, really tired so I quieter than normal, and on the drive home it dawned on me - who the hell am I?

This is not me.  This may have to be me for a while, but I don't much like this person.  She's dull and boring and has bags under her eyes and she's got two chins and she doesn't drink.  What the hell fun is that?!

I think what bothers me the most is that my new co-workers don't know the pre-sick Raechelle.  I like her much better.  I know they like me, and they've welcomed me with open arms, but I just want them to see the fun, energetic, thinner Raechelle.  Maybe even the younger Raechelle. 

Holy crap, I'm going to be 38 in two months!  I should be secure and confident and not taking any shit from anyone. Except the insecurity is overwhelming because I feel ugly and I want to be liked so very badly so normally I would drink a lot of wine to mask the insecurities and make me likable (I think) but I can’t drink the wine right now so I’m faced with my insecurities and it makes me feel 14 again and I don’t know how to cope with that feeling but at least I have a boy who loves me.

Why do I even pay for a therapist?

On that note, I have a massage tonight.  On Valentine's Day!  I'm so bad.  But I'm so excited to have insurance that covers it again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Must Have Been The Sugar

One small change that I noticed today is that when I woke up at 6:20am (after going to bed at 11:30pm - no one told me Downton Abbey was two hours last night!), I decided to just get up and get going.  I had my therapist, Ruth, at 7:30am, so I needed to wake up earlier than usual anyway.  Why not go ahead and get up and have some spare time to pack some food to take to work?

Who is this woman, you say?  I KNOW!

And when I got to Ruth's, I had a voicemail from her - her daughter is sick and she debated too long about leaving her for an hour to come to our appointment, but decided she just couldn't and could we reschedule.

Well, sure!  This just means I'll get to work 45 minutes earlier than normal, which means I get to leave 45 minutes earlier than normal, and how is that a bad thing?

Also helping me today - I'm wearing my Miz Mooz boots.  So comfortable.

And now that we're here at 12:34pm, I can share another change I've noticed.

I am not starving like usual.  Even with taking the prednisone this morning. 

Before I left home (and before I was really hungry) I had a bowl of Cleanse acceptable cereal, with almond milk, and a handful of blackberries.  At about 9:45am, I had a banana.  I finally just got a little rumble in my tummy, so I'm having lunch.  I won't tell you what it is.  You won't approve.  You'll make retching noises and mutter to yourself, "Gah, how can you eat that?" 

I know you.  Mother.

Anyway, so far so good.  Still feeling somewhat energetic (maybe I should just say "awake") and not hungry.  I guess it was all of the refined sugar in my system that made my stomach growl all day long?  I don't know how long it takes to get all that out of my system, but I'm guessing after three days you start to feel it.  I'll have to look that up.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Cleanse Day 2

So, I didn't blog on Day 1.  Shoot me.  I'm a busy woman.


On Saturday morning, I was actually out of bed at 9am.  And I had energy!  Todd and I got up, he made some oatmeal with raisins and walnuts (and almond milk, thankyouverymuch), we had a lovely breakfast and then I purged the kitchen.

I put the coffee pot away, and replaced it with the blender.  I moved all the teas down in the cabinet, and the coffee up to the top.  On to the pantry, I moved all of the stuff that's still edible, but not allowed on The Cleanse down to the bottom shelf, including all of the baking stuff.  I moved the normal food (mac-n-cheese, Triscuts, chips, pasta) to the left side of the pantry, and started The Cleanse food on the right side of the pantry.  I threw out expired stuff.  Including my CoCo Wheats.  That hurt.

Then I went to the fridge and did same thing - normal food on the top shelf and deli drawer, The Cleanse food on the middle shelf, joint drinks on the bottom shelf.  And then the same thing with the spice and oils cabinet.


And then it was time to shop!

We actually did the bulk of the grocery shopping at Safeway, then went on to Trader Joe's to supplement with things like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, rice pasta, rice crackers, apple crackers, and fruit juices.

Side note: when these cleanse is done, dinner will be a tub of Cookie Butter and $30 glass of wine.  Oy.  Oh, and Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows.


Wait.  Where was I?

Grocery shopping!  So, anyway, we did a huge trip, came home and organized.


Beautiful, huh?


The first day of The Cleanse went fine.  I think the hardest part was the powder crap I'm supposed drink twice a day.  It's horrid. In the morning I tried it with water (HA!  no.) and that evening, Todd made a smoothie.  Even with the smoothie, it was hard.  That stuff is strong.

My stomach is have a bit of a time adjusting, and Todd's head is fuzzy from the lack of caffeine, but we don't feel deprived.  The fact that we can eat brown and white rice makes up for a lot.  And today, I'm finding that my back is aching, which is expected (muscle aches) because I'm detoxing from refined sugars, but I also have a crap load of energy.  More energy than I've had in a long time.  I was up at 9:30am, had breakfast, showered, took Kayleigh to Target for clothes, picked up her friend Darian, came home, cleaned the bathroom, dusted, vacuumed, started laundry and then laid down for an hour and a half to watch a movie that our friend is in (but I did not nap!)

That was a nice rest, but afterwards, I made dinner, then cleaned up, swept the kitchen and am now camped out on the couch getting ready for Downton Abbey.

It's a lovely Sunday

Thursday, February 7, 2013

As The Liver Turns

First, let me say, I've had the same thing for lunch for the past three days and it's awesome.  AND it's acceptable on the liver cleanse that I'll start on Saturday.  Brown rice, tofu in a curry sauce and stir fried veggies.  Maybe I'll just see if the cafe can make this for me every day.  There's probably an oil or something in there that's not on the cleanse, but oh well.  For the most part, it's perfect.


As you know, I got the latest round of test results back - my hepatic panel.  This is the standard blood test I've been getting every week or every other week since this started.  It specifically looks at the liver enzymes.

While nine out of the 10 numbers are all fine and all within range, there's one little bugger that is going up.  My ALT(GPT).  The normal range is 0 - 33 and mine is currently 141.  It started at 281, dropped to 77 around Dec 20th, then started creeping back up again (104, 139 and now 141).  I emailed Dr. D, the liver specialist, and said "Uh, what does this mean and what do we do?"  He responded pretty quickly with, "As you can see, your enzymes are going back up.  Quit taking the azathioprine, that's probably what's doing it.  See you at your next appointment."

I like Dr. D.  I really do.  But hello? 

I know the interwebs are both a blessing and curse, and I don't believe everything I read on there.  But it does appear, from what I've read (even on official pamphlets) and from what Dr. D has said, that the higher that number is and the longer it stays up there, the more likely that there is permanent damage being done to my liver and therefore, scarring.  Scarring is bad.  Scarring is loss of functionality.  You cannot function without your liver.  So starts the downward spiral.

Needless to say, yesterday, I was quite bummed.

Bummed because I'd been putting this crap into my body and it was making me bloated and tired and icky, and it wasn't doing a damn bit of good.  So I look like shit, and my liver is no better.

Bummed because feeling crappy makes me really, really homesick and a freakin' plane ticket to Pittsburg is $500 right now.  That's infuriating!  I used to be able to fly there for $250.  I could jaunt there for the weekend.  I hate living so far away from my folks.

And bummed because I feel like I'm stressing out my husband and kids who have already had to deal with enough sickness to last a lifetime.  I told Todd, when he asked me to marry him, that my greatest fear was that I would get sick.  I'm already guilty by nature - how could I possibly deal with putting him, and the kids, through that again?

He said he was willing to take that chance, and if gawd forbid I got sick, he'd take care of me.

Yes, I realize every day how wonderful he is.

Granted, this little liver flare up isn't anywhere near cancer, and I'm not going through chemo and I'm not incapacitated, but there are triggers for everyone, I'm sure.  Just look at my bloated face and the dark circles under my eyes.  Sheesh.

Anyway, yesterday I was bummed.  But I Skyped with mom at lunch and that helped, and today is actually sunny, so that helps.  It's really just a day by day, up and down thing. 

I'm very much looking forward to starting The Cleanse.  Dr. O (the naturopath) tells me that the first seven days are tough because you're restricting yourself and not eating what you normally eat.  But, she said, once you get past that, you start to feel energetic and lighter. 

We shall see...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And The Naturopath Says - Liver Cleanse!

I saw the naturopath yesterday, Dr. O.  She's a really nice, young, caring woman who seems to actually be interested in my health!  Go figure.

After talking for an hour, and giving her my life story, she said the first thing we should do is a liver cleanse.  My friends do these things up here and I just feel sorry for them.  No caffeine, no chocolate, no wheat, no dairy, NO ALCOHOL. 

What's the point in living, really?

But like I told mom on the phone this morning, I already feel deprived of my most favorite thing ever, so why not just go ahead and give up most everything while I'm at it?  And it's only temporary (28 days - just like rehab!), and I know I'll feel better and hell, I'll probably even lose some weight (I'm up to 179 now). 

The cleanse really isn't as bad as it sounds.  I was surprised.  Yes, there are certain foods I can't eat, but I probably shouldn't be eating those foods anyway.  It starts slow, ramps up to extreme, then tapers off again. There's a meal replacement powder drink thing, but that's just a supplement.

And like Dr. O said, I'm going to be 40 in about two years.  You want to feel good when you're 40.  I don't feel good now. 

So, we'll start on Saturday.  Todd and I need to go the store and stock the kitchen with good stuff (and finish eating the cake that Amy brought over on Sunday and the three pints of ice cream in the freezer).  It helps that Todd is the cook in the family - it's hard enough to eat new things, I couldn't imagine trying to come up with how to cook them, too. 

I'll stay on the medication for now, until I meet with my liver specialist at the end of the month.  Dr. O said the cleanse won't be a problem.  Eating will be, though, since the predinsone makes me hungry constantly.  It's just a matter of having the right food on hand so I don't have to think about it when I need to stuff my face. 

I wonder if dried fruit is allowed?  I have a hankering for dried plums right now.  Weirdness.

Better than a Snickers bar, right?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Random Monday Thoughts

Traffic was exceptionally light this morning (at 8am - I love my new job), and then I remembered it was the morning after the Super Bowl.  I'm sure a lot of people took today off, or went in late, due the excessive drinking and partying last night.

Ah, I remember those days.  I drank a Sprite and cranberry juice cocktail yesterday.

We had a couple of people over for the game.  But it was far from the event we usually throw or go to.  And I'm okay with that.


I have my first appointment with a naturopath this afternoon.  That's something.  At this point, I'm even willing to acupuncture for my angry immune system, if it means getting off these pills.  My face is swollen, my feet are swollen, I can't remember simple words and I'm tired to clean my own house.  This will never do.


We didn't get any snow this year.  I don't think.  Maybe a dusting one day, but no accumulation and no snow days from work.  We're all very disappointed.  In the past we've gotten snow in March and April, so it's not completely hopeless this year, but I'm not holding my breath.


Let's see...what else is going on?


Oh, I watched my first Joan Crawford movie Saturday night - Mildred Pierce.  And it was good.  Todd laughed when I said that - "It was an award winner!"  Oh, I know, but the old movies just don't grab me like they grab him. 

We stopped to watch it because it was the movie Joan won Best Actress for, and that was the scene where she and the kids are listening to the awards on the radio in Mommie Dearest.  So I wanted to see what all the hype was about. 

Again, it was good.  Murder mystery with nice little twist at the end.  I feel more cultured now.


And we watched Safety Not Guaranteed on Friday night, because it was shot locally and we know some of the actors and crew.  I was pleasantly surprise - it's a really good movie.  Very sweet.  You should watch it.

Okay, I think that's all I've got for now.  But lookie!  Two posts in a week!  Go me!

Friday, February 1, 2013

And We're Back!

Did ya miss me?  I've missed you.  There have been so many times when something has happened and I've formed a blog post in my head, thinking "Oh, they're gonna love this!"  But I just didn't feel like it was the right time to start back up.

I think it's the right time now.  Got your coffee or wine (depending on what time of day you're sitting down to read this)?

Here we go!

My Job:

When we last spoke, I had been laid off from the commercial real estate company (thank gawd) and was starting to play the role of Domestic Goddess.  It was then I decided to stop blogging, as I thought that it might be a bad idea while trying to find a job.  Everyone googles everyone now, and I was enjoying not working a little too much.

But then funds started to get a little tight and the lack of health insurance was starting to weigh on us, so in July I signed up for Volt, a temp agency, and got a few gigs.  Starbucks Corporate was the first job.  And it was awesome.  Free lattes EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I got pretty good at making my own.  Only scalded myself once!

The team I worked for was great, the environment was great, the commute was great.  My manager tried very hard to get me hired on permanently, but after two different interviews, and being denied for both of them, it was apparent that Starbucks was not as fond of me as my manager was.  She told me they were tough in interviews and it took her two years of interviewing to get hired on.

Um.  Two years?  Really?

I like Starbucks and all, but I don't have two years to prove to these people I want to work here and I know how to manage calendars.

While the Starbucks interviews were going on, my friend Amy started in again about trying to get into the Gates Foundation, where she works.  It was wonderful, she said.  They're so great, she said.  I read the job descriptions and was just kind of "eh" about it.  The Foundation does wonderful work, but it just didn't sound like an environment I would enjoy. 

But then a job came up on on her team and she was not taking no for an answer, so I submitted my resume and had a couple of phone interviews.  And I got really excited about the job.  Really excited.

I was called in for an in-person interview and it looked pretty solid.  Everyone loved me, they were impressed that I wasn't nervous, I had the right skill set.  We'll let you know.

In the meantime, I'd take a temp job at PATH, which does the same kind of work as the Foundation.  But PATH was quiet, and somber and oy.  I was only there for two weeks, filling in until the permanent assistant was to start, but one of my co-workers had already talked to HR and said he really wanted me hired on to the team.

During that time, I heard that I was not selected for the position on Amy's team at the Foundation.  And I was quite disappointed, as was Amy.  But she vowed that she would get me hired on and by golly, she started talking to people.  As it happened, one of her good friend (we'll call her KF) was hiring an Administrative Assistant for her team.  BINGO!

Amy told KF about me, we talked on the phone, she brought me in for an interview and a day later, the recruiter at the Foundation called to say they were going to offer me the position.  Two days later the paperwork came in the mail, I talked to the recruiter and went over everything, she told me how much I'd get paid, I said "Oh hell yeah!" and BAM.  I had a new job.

And I had three weeks off in between jobs.  Bonus!

I started on November 12.

And I am very, very happy.

My Health:

Since most of your are my friends on Facebook, you're in the know about my stupid liver.  But since this is a blog and not a status update, I'll give you some more background.

On October 27th, Todd and I went next door to our neighbors' annual Halloween party (and I'm not blaming them for the liver stuff - just so you know).  I had two glasses of wine while we were there, about three or four hours.  We left there and met up with a couple of friends at Shadowland, a bar in the Junction.  I had two jack-n-cokes.  In about an hour and a half.  Then we bar hopped with some people, went to another place, where I had another drink, and then after about an hour, the four of us went back to the house where I had one last glass of wine.  That I don't think I even finished.

I woke up the next morning itching from head to toe.  And to give you more detail than you'd probably like (but if you're reading this, you know there's no such thing as TMI here), my urine was extremely concentrated.  Much like it is after you have six drinks the night before.

While I wasn't really hungover, I pounded the water like a good little drunk does and showered and changed my clothes, thinking the itching was something I had gotten into the night before.

It's not unheard of.  I could tell you stories.

A week went by and the itching didn't let up, and the pee was still dark.  I continued to live my life (i.e. drink) thinking it was an external thing.  Then, on November 9, I noticed that my eyes were yellow.  And my skin looked a little yellow.  And being the smart girl that I am, I thought "Okay, kidney's aren't filtering, toxins aren't filtering, toxins are coming to the skin and making me yellow, which is probably what the itching is about."

So I went into the urgent care clinic on that Saturday and got some blood drawn.

On Monday the 12th, my very first day of my brand new job, my doctor called me to tell me that my liver enzymes were off the charts, my billirubin was off the charts and she wanted to do a host of hepatitis tests.

Did I mention that my health insurance kicked in on the very first day of my job?


So I immediately made a doctor's appointment with my primary guy, and went in for tons of tests.  All said the same thing - liver enzymes off the charts.  My primary guy referred me to a liver specialist.  Actually, my primary guy called the liver specialist and made an appointment for me and told me "Go see him now."  Which freaked me out a bit.

I had numerous vials of blood drawn from my body to test for every hepatitis under the sun.  I was also sent in for an abdominal scan, as they were thinking it was maybe gallstones or a blockage of somesort.  My primary doc actually said "If you were elderly, I would consider pancreatic cancer, but you're only 37". 

Ha!  I reminded him that my husband's late wife died of a cancer that usually affects older men...and she was in her mid 30's.  So that wasn't really a comfort.

But the ab scan didn't show anything abnormal anywhere.  Liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidney...everything looked fine.  And all of the hepatitis tests were all negative. 

And yes, I asked several times, what about alcohol damage?  Cause, really?  That seems about right.  Doc said nope, alcohol damage presents in certain patterns in blood tests and this is absolutely not alcohol damage.

However, my liver specialist, Dr. D, reiterated "No alcohol."  Wha...?  At all?!

"Come on!  It's Thanksgiving!"


"But our Christmas party is this Saturday!!"


He's a hardass, that one.

In early December, Dr. D started me on prednisone, and that did some good.  So much good, in fact, that on my December 21st appointment, when I asked once again "Wine?  Can I please have a glass of wine?!  New Year's is coming up!!" he replied, "Okay.  One glass of champagne on New Year's eve.  And because I like you, one glass of wine on Christmas."


He also started weaning me off the prednisone, in hopes that my levels would stay down and all would be dandy.

So I had my one glass of wine at our Bellingham Christmas gathering, but then completely blew the shit out of the water and had a glass of wine, two pints of hard cider and a sip of champagne on New Year's. 

At my next doctor's appointment, my levels were elevated.

Could have been the alcohol, could have been the weaning of the prednisone.  We'll never know, really.  Let's not dwell.

So, back to absolutely no alcohol.

After all the testing, and working with the prednisone, Dr. D has officially declared this autoimmune hepatitis (did you know that hepatitis just means "sick liver" really?  Funny how that word freaks people out - like I'm contagious). 

At this time, I am still on the prednisone (until the most recent blood panel comes back) as well as azathioprine, which suppresses the immune system and is usually prescribed for organ transplant patients.

Yee haw.

The combination of the prednisone, the attacking immune system, the ill functioning liver and the immunosuppressant makes me very tired.  And that's saying a lot.  You thought I could sleep before?  Boy howdy, I'm good for about four days, and then I need a three day nap. 

There's also the anger and the weight gain.  Good times, I tell ya.  What the hell good is giving up wine if I'm just going to gain weight because the prednisone makes me hungry CONSTANTLY?  There's no winning here.  Really.

I'm all about "there's a reason for everything".  Granted, this isn't a terminal disease or any great life threatening thing - my immune system is pissed off - but it still makes me a Sick Person and it still makes me re-evaluate things in life.  Maybe that's the purpose?

We can talk more about that later.

Anywho - let's move on.

My Family:

My family is good.  Todd is good and still juggling five project while thinking of 10 more.  Kayleigh turned 15 in September and is a Sophomore in high school.  She still plays guitar and has even taught herself to play piano, which is just awesome.  We started up Guitar Night again, so she's major contribution now.

Tyler turned 18 in May and now has his GED and took some courses at South Seattle Community College before realizing he's just not ready for this grown up shit.  And really, when you think about his "childhood" years, there really was no childhood.  He, and Kayleigh, were both made to grow up pretty quickly and they missed a lot of crucial kid stuff.  So Tyler is catching up and growing into himself.  Much to the delight of me and Todd.

And the cats are just awesome.  Of course. 

So!  I think we're all caught up on the major developments over the last year.  Shall we get back to quick posts about our weekend, our glamorous social life, and how much I hate traffic?