Sunday, December 29, 2013

Update for Reflecting on Life...

The previous post, I had actually written on 12/26/2013.  I was writing it on my iPad and had some difficulty with getting the rest of the thoughts on the page due to the screen bouncing around a bit.  Here, I am going to provide a short update:


I visited Diabetes America for my 2 month check up.  I knew that the nurses were going to measure my A1C, however, I was shocked to find out that my A1C there was 7.3.  That made the nurses and doctors happy with my progress.  Downside, I had picked up 8 lbs.  Also, one technician took pictures of my eyes and caused me worry regarding my left eye.  Last year, the eye exam was fine, but this year, the technician indicated a problem, but stated that it may just be a reflection.  Nice - I am starting to worry about my eye sight, now.

Educator wants me to start pulling back on my meds.  Seems like the Lantus at night is causing the low blood sugar levels and she was concerned about those.  Now, I will have to learn how to tri-ate the numbers to get the correct dosage.  Next, my regular doctor was not in the office, so the sub came in and told me that he wanted me to start doing a meal substitution diet after the holidays.  Basically, I would drink Glucerna shakes for breakfast and lunch, then have my normal snacks and dinner meals.  This would go on for 2 weeks, then return to regular meals for another 2 weeks, then go back to the meal substitution for another 2 weeks.  The doctor believed that I should be able to lose 5-8 lbs per month.    Also, I had to help all of this out by getting out there and exercising.

I really was not upset over that.  My general physician had recently suggested weight loss surgery.  Now, my diabetes doctor wants me to change my diet and such.  For some reason, I think God is trying to talk to me about this situation, so I figure go with it.


Most of my time has been spent getting this and that done or getting ready for going to a hockey game.  I am grateful for having made the decision to attend hockey games.  I honestly get a real thrill about going to the AAC and being around the other fans.  It fills me up with a lot of excitement and whether the team wins or loses, I am thankful for the opportunity to watch them.  I honestly love going and cheering the team.

Rather than make resolutions for the New Year, I am simply going to "do."  That is what really matters - just do it.  I am still working on my theme for the upcoming year and I think I have it down to a great idea that is full of promise and positivity.  I will write more about that on 1/1/2014.

Reflecting on Life...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I had a good Christmas.  I decided to just kick back and reflect on life in general this Christmas.  I made some efforts to give a bit more to those who need it.  However, rather than get wrapped up in all of the material things, I wanted to concentrate my mind on those non-material things that only *I* can provide to myself.

One of the things that really hit me was that I am always negative when it comes to myself.  I do not love myself as I really should.  I thought about that.  I guess I allowed those nutty people who were rude to me in the past to affect me.  Sure, there are some things about myself I would love to change, but those things are exactly was makes me "me."

I have never been happy with my body.  Well, I weigh over 300 lbs and it is not something I am proud to say out loud.  However, *I* can change that.  That is something within my control and I MUST make that effort NO MATTER WHAT!  No one else can do it for me.  Weight loss surgery is not something I consider lightly and short cuts will only give you issues in the long run.  Losing the weight slowly is the best way and I must learn a LOT of patience with losing weight.

Today, I measured my A1C.  I purchased some additional blood testing strips as I needed them and I finally broke down and bought the A1C Now Self Check.  As of today, my A1C is 8.5.  That is not great, but the positive part is that a year ago, my A1C was 13.2, which is horrible!  So, I have improved considerably with medication.  However, I know I can do better by losing the weight.  There is my motivation.  I want to see my A1C get to 6.5 and that is my long term goal.

Love.  While I really did not get much for Christmas, I realized that there was not anything I really had to have or wanted.  So, I was not disappointed with not getting any material things for Christmas.  I was able to spend time with my father and that was important.  However, I do wish that there was someone who was special for me to spend time. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Making Thoughts and Dreams a Reality...

I guess someone is trying to tell me something...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

truth has a life of its own.

There will come a time when your yearnings become so strong and powerful that you will have no choice but to let them become reality.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Being a Horrible Friend...

The end of the year holiday time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, I have a horrible habit of disengaging.  Maybe it is because the whole commercialism of Christmas or overwhelming myself of doing all of these wonderful things that I think people would love.  Every time, in the end, I have worn myself out before I even get started. 

This year was no different.  I had thoughts that the situation would be different, but with the up and downs of being sick during the Thanksgiving holidays, then the ice storm, that all took the wind away from me.  The next dragging down was the yearly holiday party at work. 

Over all, I believe that our "social group" did a pretty damn great job under crazy circumstances.  However, it was not at all what we really wanted to provide to the team.  The honest truth - people can tell changes and rather than spend time with team mates, they would rather be elsewhere.  It is what it is.  Times change and so do the people, so you just have to ride it out and hope for the best for the upcoming year.

As for Christmas shopping, I only got gift cards this year.  Last year, I spent too much money and paid for that mistake.  This year, I curtailed that quite a bit.  I had to make some very honest statements about what was going on and where I stood.  In the end, I felt that this year should be much more appropriate.

I did manage to make it to Terry and Annie's Winter Solstice party.  For years, I had been invited and never seemed to make it.  One year, I was about to walk out the door with homemade fudge to go to the party when my company phone started ringing.  I did not get off that call until after midnight.  I was not happy.  This year, I was determined!  I had a lot of fun and met so many very interesting and fun people.  Annie has a beautiful singing voice and I have loved listening to her songs for many years.  She was gracious enough to break out the guitar and flute to play and sing for everyone.  It was fabulous.

Yesterday, I was reminded that I was not being a very good friend and I felt horrible about that.  I feel horrible because I know I should make a better effort, but I also know this time of the year is so damned crazy.  My honest thoughts were to get in touch with this friend after the holidays.  Let the holiday craziness die away and get in some juicy friend time.  I know my friend reads this blog, so my promise to her is to always keep in touch - one way or another.  I feel particularly guilty of being the horrible party as I blogged that I felt the same as someone else - you always have to work at your friendships and I was not doing my part.  Bad me!  I will make it up - have no fear.

Right now, I seem to be suffering from having so many ideas and thoughts flowing through my mind.  That has to be something telling me that I need to sit down and write all of it, but I cannot sit still enough to do it.  That frustrates me.  I know that these are great ideas and they need to be fleshed out.  Today is my last "work" day for the year, so *maybe* I can actually sit down and do some writing.  I feel I need to give this a try and just see where it takes me.  Otherwise, I will never know for sure.

I am sure I will have more to post about in the upcoming days leading up to New Year's.  For right now, I wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful Merry Christmas!  I hope that everyone gets what they hoped to have.  If not, enjoy what you did get and work towards getting what you want.  I have found that over time I am very grateful for the things given to me, but even more grateful for those that I worked to get.

Have a Blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hoping I Did Some Good...

Today, I am writing about generosity.  I would like to think I am a very generous person, but I also know I can be a scrooge.

Last Saturday, I was really looking forward to going to the Dallas Stars game.  I always look forward to going to games, but this was taking place in the early afternoon.  Perfect - go to a game, then get dinner.  Well, that plan took a backseat when the icy weather appeared.  No matter how badly I wanted to go, I knew better than get in my car and try to drive the nasty roads to American Airlines Center.

I stayed home and cheered the team onto victory that Saturday afternoon.  I was safe, warm, and had two warm doggies to keep me company.

On Tuesday, I noticed an email from the Dallas Stars.  Since I had purchased a ticket to the game and due to the very nasty weather, the Dallas Stars offered me up to 4 free complimentary tickets to another game.  Of course, it had to be a game that they had listed, but that was fine.

I have been so very pleased with the customer service I received from this team.  For the unused tickets, I was able to combined them and have my father and a few friends sit with me for a couple of games.  Now, this.

My first thought was to use the tickets as part of a gift exchange with my father's girlfriend's family.  The problem is that none of them really go for hockey and my father's girlfriend had knee surgery and there is no way he could go since she cannot move about much.

A friend on Facebook had asked me for any extra tickets so that she could take her son.  He wanted to go to a Stars game, but she is not able to afford the tickets.  The more I thought about using the tickets at the company gift exchange, it occurred to me that her son would appreciate the tickets more.  I wish the tickets were placed in a better section and such.  However, I remembered my first game.  I purchased tickets in the high upper sections and I loved it just as much as I do now.

Tonight, I gave that friend an early Christmas present.  I hope that her son enjoys the game and has a lot of fun.  I feel better about the choice.  Sometimes, I do try to do the right thing.  Maybe I did right; maybe not.  It just made sense.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I remembered Mrs. Harris as the assistant principal during my years at Crowley High School.  She was always very nice.  It made me sad when I learned that her young daughter was sick, then passed away.   I knew that had to be difficult on her.

I only visited her office one time, but that was to pass a note to her from someone else needing help.  She was very nice to me, but that was really the only time I had personally had any communication with her.

In 2011, Aldo Billingslea invited me to a get together party.  Teachers, Ms. Tyler and Crowley, had brought Mrs. Harris with them.  I talked to her briefly, but she told me she did not remember me.  I smiled and said "I was never in trouble, so I was hardly in the office."  She laughed, but I could tell that something was not quite right.

Yesterday, I heard of her passing.  I was sad to hear of this.  I realize as we grow older, others we know leave us for that next plane. I would imagine she is happily reunited with her daughter, but she will continue be a presence here by those she touched.

Is It About Revenge or Justice?

This news is local in the nature as it happened in Burleson, TX, close to Crowley, TX, where I spent a good part of my youth growing up.  For me, what happened and the court sentence handed down was beyond belief.

Reader's digest version:

Sixteen year old boy and his friends from Keller, TX come to Burleson, TX, steal beer from the Walmart and go somewhere and drink.  In the meantime, a young woman's car breaks down in front of a home.  The wife and daughter at home came out to help the young girl.  Also, a youth minister stops his car behind the broken down car to give the women a hand.  Kids decide they need more beer, so they start back to get more beer.  The sixteen year old driver, going 70 mph, slams into both cars, killing all four at the site.  Two kids in the bed of the truck were thrown from the truck and both are critically injured - one paralyzed to the point he can only communicate by blinking his eyes. 

The boy's parents are wealthy and rather than have him suffer the consequences of his actions, they continually pay off people to keep him out of jail or what have you.  The parents hired a psychologist who defends the fact that the kid has no sense of right or wrong because he suffers from "Affluenza" - where his parents have ignored teaching him the basic rights of right and wrong and providing him with whatever he wants.

Rather than sentencing the boy to prison, the judge sentenced the boy to 10 years of probation and his parents have to pay for his treatment.  His parents have paid $500,000 to send him to a rehab in California.

I read an FB chain from a friend who was outraged at this sentence.  I read several opinions and one person's opinion got the better of me.  I had said that at this point, the families should sue the parents in civil court to get monetary support for those lost or hurt.  One person stated that we were out for revenge.  That just rubbed me the wrong way.

I responded that my view was not one of revenge.  The boy needs to understand that every action has a reaction.  What you do affects others.  Sure, people may pray for him, but all his life, mommy and daddy have pulled him out of one situation or another.  If they are going to save him, then rather than paying just the courts, the parents need to "apologize" to those families that are suffering.  Send some of that money that they lavishly have spent on this child to people who now need it more than him.

Grace and mercy and forgiveness is not something I can give to this boy or his parents.  Those people that this family has touched and hurt are the ones to give that to the family.  In my opinion, this is not just throwing a rock at a moving car - this was a boy taking the lives of people.  That is pretty harsh.  To compound matters, I do not think this kid even understands remorse.

In hindsight, the judge did the right thing.  I know that sounds crazy, but this kid will be under the court's thumb for the next 10 years.  If he does one thing to break his probation, then he will have to do hard time.  Furthermore, because he is 16, he probably would have only served 2 years of his sentence, then been able to walk away and his record wiped clean.  I do not think I would have allowed that with a clear conscience.

To be perfectly honest, this kid is probably already a psychopath.  Someone that we should all keep an eye on for the future.  It just bothers me to no end that someone could do this and have no remorse for their actions.  It is completely beyond me.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Diabetics Unite!

Not too long ago, I joined "".  Some days, managing this disease is beyond frustrating.  Dealing with the numbers is so daunting.  Eating right is not the only key to keeping one's blood sugar in check.  Also, eating right is not just avoiding sweets.  I figured I needed a support system.  My friend, who was diagnosed as having type II a couple of years after me, is not really the right support system I need.  I need a support system that gets my frustration.  I do not want to hear from someone who refuses to properly educate themselves about their disease.  (It probably would not bother me so much if she was not such a "know-it-all" and tells me that she can learn about it on her own.)

Anyway, in one of the newsletters, I came across this YouTube entry.  The girl in the video actually made me feel sane.  I had experienced several of her scenarios and began to realize I was not a failure.  What I am experiencing is normal.  The numbers fluctuate all of the time.  When numbers are high all of the time, that is so stinking frustrating, even when you are doing all of the right things.  The video rang so many bells with me.

You have no idea how much this made me feel better about my situation.  My father has type 2 and his blood sugar is low enough that he no longer has to take meds.  Sure, I would love to have that happen for me, but it is more frustrating when he eats whatever he wants and it has no effect.  Argh!

Lex is a very talented make-up artist.  I wish I had her creativity, but check out her videos regarding diabetes.  Each video is very cleverly done and informative.  I can see Lex doing more in the future.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friendship Relationships...

Last night, I read Big Tea's blog on the work of friendship.  It was interesting how much I understood exactly what he was describing.  My questions are - at what point do you really let go and is it something I am not doing?

For instance, there is one high school friend, (Not you, randomcathy) where we tend to meet for lunch or Starbucks maybe about once a year.  I usually initiate it by sending an email to say "Hello".  During the lunch, there is all of this "We really need to get together more" or "I am having a party this summer and I will invite you."  In the end, invitations are never sent and that person is not heard from unless something is needed from me.

Honestly, this person has not changed much from high school and is probably the reason why I get really frustrated.  This past time, I rejected meeting for lunch or Starbucks during the week.  Mainly because I recently moved work locations and it would be impossible for me to do that.  I am told by this person that more thought would be put into getting together.  That was late September and it is now early December. 

I no longer allow that behavior to upset me.  It was something I tried to explain to my mother while she was undergoing chemo/radiation therapy.  My mom liked this person a lot.  However, I had to remind her that this person only contacted me when needing something.  I was being put in the same position again.  Once we discussed it, she understood how much it hurt my feelings.  I would prefer to just do what is asked, if I can do that, then leave well enough alone. 

I have a similar situation with a cousin living in the same area as myself.  All my life, my relatives have never lived close to me.  When my uncle move to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, again, it was a rarity that families got together.  Currently, his son and family live in the DFW area.  I have reached out a few times to get together more often, but nothing ever happens.  With family, how hard does it have to be to see one another? 

The friendships I have, I hold very dear.  A friend of mine recently had surgery and will have to undergo chemo therapy.  I took her husband and her a lasgna and some bread that I made.  I thought back to how much I would have appreciated that sort of help when mom was sick.  I know my friend is up and walking around, but with all of that hanging over you, it is always nice not to have to worry about something else.

For Thanksgiving, I did spend it alone (well, not alone - I had Bo and Chloe).  I did not mind.  I enjoyed not having the stress of going from one place to another.  I appreciated everyone inviting me to share their Thanksgivings, but I really needed the down time to unwind.

I understand from where Big Tea is coming.  I think he hit the nail on the head.  There has to be lots of give and take in a friendship.  My problem is learning how to really let go and accept the situation as it is.  I think once I figure that out, life might be much easier.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Am I Overwhelming Myself?

I  had high hopes of getting a lot of stuff done this week that I was off from work.  I have managed to make some small changes, but so much more needs to be done.  Rather than sit here and beat myself up over that, I am trying to look at the positive - I DID manage to get some areas cleared out.  Like my weight, what is going on in the apartment did not happen overnight.  Furthermore, I take a great deal of pride in that I did not go out shopping unless it was something I really needed, like groceries.

Even though I really should not go, I am going to make an appointment and get a mani/pedi.  I really need one bad - it has been way too long and I want this to be the one thing I do for myself.

Otherwise, I contemplate why I overwhelm myself with so much to do?  My biggest problem with doing the cleaning has been my back.  After about an hour of bending and such, I get sharp pains in my back.  Neither Aleeve or Advil alleviate the pain, which frustrates me. 

I need to learn to slow down, break everything down in to individual tasks, and work on each one for a certain amount of time.  Even if it is not perfect, I will have succeeded in doing something and that is important.

Not sure why I cannot apply this type of thinking to other areas of my life other than work. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday...

The retailers call the day after Thanksgiving, "Black Friday" due to the sales that are supposed to put their accounts into the "black".  In the past, when I was young and truly stupid, I would say I would get up early to be with the shopper hoards.  Unfortunately, due to my love of sleep, I would never get up and go out for that mess.

Today, I am too old and tired to mess with that business.  First of all, whatever is on sale is in limited quantities.  Next, you have to fight your fellow shoppers to get something.  Good grief - what is the point of that?  Now, there is the violence factor that we all must consider.  I am just glad to be at the point where whatever they have on sale, I really do not need or have a desire to have.

Making Thanksgiving dinner was exhausting, but in the end, the process was worth it.  I have plenty of leftovers and it was nice to have something to remind me of my mom.  I took comfort in that.

I finished watching the Cowboy game, then watched Despicable Me 2.  As I was watching the movie, I wondered why I enjoyed it so much.  What was the appeal of a cartoon to me?  Was I just that immature?  I do not think that is the case. 

We all watch various shows for that ability of "escape".  More or less - if one was reading a book, there is the ability to "escape" there was well.  Movies and TV - well, that is the lazier version, isn't it?  :-)

With the cartoons, you get the same basic message, but I love how the characters make fun of the same things I find funny.  The minions in the movie always crack me up.  No real language to how they speak other than the occasional word like "Banana", "potato", and etc.  However, their mannerisms make me laugh.  It allows me to forget my worries and concerns for awhile.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving.  Be careful out there today with the crowds.  I will be going out later, but not to shop.  It's GAME DAY!  I need to cheer on the Dallas Stars to beat the Chicago Blackhawks. 

I am very glad I decided to be a season ticket holder for a sporting game.  I have learned so much about hockey that I did not know.  Also, I love the feeling of community amongst the fans.  You know, it is one thing to go to a concert to enjoy a performer's work.  However, with the sporting event, there is this sense of community among the season ticket holders.  You get to know your neighbor and everyone says "Hi!" to one another.  It has been a very interesting experiment.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...

Many days go by where I forget or take for granted those things that I should be thankful.  While I should give thanks every day, I want to make a point to give thanks today. 

Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for having my parents.  My mom and dad worked hard to raise me with the right values and made sure I never did without for anything.  I am extremely grateful for the time I had with my mother.  She was an amazing person and touched so many people's lives.  I know she felt taken advantage of through the years, but as I grew older, I now understand.

I may not show it every day to Bo and Chloe, but I am truly blessed to have them in my life.  Even though Chloe was my parents' dog, she will always be one of my fur children.  For Bo, I can never change how life was for him the first two years of his life, but I pray that he is now happy where he is.  Both dogs have changed my view on life and what is important and I am very thankful for them both.

I am always incredibly thankful for the friends I have.  I am not quite sure what I would do without them.

I love living in this country.  Sure, I would love to visit other countries, but as I have grown older, I cherish the rights I have in the country.  I know I could never give those freedoms up easily.  It is what makes living here so interesting.  Because of that love for this country, I appreciate all that our troops do to keep and protect our country.  I only wish there was more peace on this earth.

I know that I am frustrated, but I am grateful to have a job.  I realize that there are a lot of people who do not have a job - many with no fault of their own.  While I am trying to avoid going out this evening to do any early Christmas shopping, I realized that some people actually depend on that extra money from a retailer opening early this year.  It wold be nice to go back to that time where Thanksgiving and Christmas were days where you were guaranteed a day off to be with your families.  However, there will always be those jobs where that is not possible.  For those people, I hope that you enjoy what time off you can get and next year, you can take off Thanksgiving.

Today's Message From God to Me:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.

There is no need for you to go it alone. There are people who love you, and who are ready to give you much needed support. There are even more, - way more than you can possibly imagine, people who CAN love you if you give them a chance. Make 'share joy, half the sorrow' your motto for today.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time Out - For Yourself...

Most people cannot envision someone spending the holidays alone.  I can understand that.  You hate to hear that someone was alone on a family/friend gathering time of the year.  This year, I decided it was better for me to go it alone this year. 

Originally, I had not really put a lot of thought into Thanksgiving, let alone Christmas.  The one thing I did not want to do is go over to Fort Worth and just sit around and do nothing.  I do like going over to my parents' house because there is the fenced in yard for Bo and Chloe and that helps me relax.  However, I tend to get more depressed because my mom is not there.  I miss talking to her and I would spend my days there with her.  I also realized my father does not really spend a lot of time with me while I am there.  It just is what it is - no fault.

The other plan was my parents' friends in Arkansas wanted me to come visit them.  My mom's friend was very distraught over having to put her brother into a nursing home and had some difficulty with it.  I explained to her that I would see what I would do.  However, if I went, I would need to stay more than a few days - I need to see my mom's cousins and my mom's younger sister. 

Chloe got sick and it cost me an arm and a leg, so if I had any money for a trip, it went to Chloe.  I felt bad to cancel those plans, but at the same time, I actually welcomed the opportunity to stay home.  My father invited me to join his partner and him at her son's house for Thanksgiving.  I turned that down as well.  I just wanted to stay home. 

As I explained to my parents' friend, I really am welcoming the time alone.  This year has been not only physically, but also emotionally exhausting.  I look at the apartment and know the things I have not been able to accomplish and it makes me sad.  I have taken off on trips that I should have never done or bought things that I really, REALLY wanted, but never wore/used.  That tells me there is a problem afoot with me emotionally.  I need to spend time being honest with myself and figure out why I am or am not doing what is best for me.

Also, another reason for staying home, most importantly, I am going to cook my own Thanksgiving.  Why?  Because this is the time of the year when you want LEFTOVERS!!!!  While I miss my mom very much, it was something we really loved about this time of the year.  Sure, mom would go on about how "next year someone else is cooking," but we always enjoyed the leftovers after the huge meal.  I really miss mom and this time of year does not make it any easier.

Time to get dishes washed, laundry done, clearing out the apartment, and start on that one area of cooking that completely relaxes me - chopping up and prep.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Today's Message from God to me:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

it is important to care for the temple of your body.

Even more important is your spirit, which is the light within that temple. A beautiful temple may attract others, but it is the light that will touch hearts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Am I Losing My Way...

Considering all of the crazy things going on in my life at this time, I took a step back and wondered if I was losing my way.  Is this really "my calling?"  Am I going in a direction that I should be?  It is rather frustrating.

I really miss writing programs that perform a function.  In my profession, certain groups look down on "coders."  The main problem there is not the "coder", but the fact that the "coder" does not grasp the environment.  I have found that the best "coders" have a foot hold on all aspects of what they are doing.  The developer gets that they are writing code within a UNIX environment and understand that operating system.  In many cases, "coders" are used to developing in a Windows environment when their code is actually going to run in an UNIX environment.  There are great differences whether or not the code can be ported.

While watching Breaking Bad last night, the main character, Walter White, asked his assistant for Gus's project why he turned to producing meth.  What caught my attention was the reply Walter got - the assistant loved chemistry and he was a Libertarian - he believed that people should get what they want, but they deserved the purest product.  He had gotten his master's degree and was working on his doctorates degree when he found that all he was doing was running around doing a lot of ass-kissing.  His true love was the lab - the lab was where the magic was.

I thought about it and for me, "coding" is where the magic is.  It is where I can "create" and watch a program do something.  That is the fun part.  Get a project, then break it down into manageable pieces, then build it up - piece by piece.  Once the entire thing is done, I have created something.

I hope to go back to doing that sort of thing again, even if it is done by going back to school or teaching myself how to do something on my own.  Still, I have to wonder if I am too burned out to enjoy it.  That makes me sad.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


While it has been almost 4 years since my mother passed away, I still reflect on things that happened and how I react with others facing similar issues in their lives.  My whole perception regarding those with chronic and life-ending illnesses has changed considerably.

What I learned from my mother was how difficult it was for her to keep that "strong" side up.  She used to tell me that she would just pray to have some private time so that she could put her guard down and release all that she was feeling.  Be able to cry, yell, scream, or whatever without people telling her that she needed to be strong.  She knew she needed to be strong, but sometimes, she needed that release.  Being "strong" emotionally was stressful for her.

A friend on FB has a similar situation.  She has issues with her lungs and bone cancer.  She posted one day that she just wanted to cry regarding her situation and said that she had to stay strong.  I felt for her - I even told her that it was okay to cry.  We should not demand that someone facing such dark situations to remain strong because it makes us feel better.  We have no idea what that person's life is like.

It is okay to cry.  It is okay to yell, scream, get angry.  It is about grief and the person going through the nasty disease has to deal with grief as well.  At the same time, that person cannot linger in self-pity - that is the part where things go awry.

In the movie Elisabethtown, Orlando Bloom's character designed an athletic shoe that pretty much bombed.  He was fired from his job as he went to attend his father's funeral.  If my memory serves me right, Orlando had to take his father's ashes to spread them.  Rather than flying on a plane, he takes a road trip, which Kristen Dunst's character creates a scrap book and mix CDs for Orlando to use on his road trip.

On the day that the shoe review was released publicly, Kristen advises Orlando to get a copy of the magazine.  Go somewhere that he could not be seen and allow himself only 5 minutes to deal with the emotions regarding the review.  He got angry and upset, but Kristen's point was get it out of your system and move on.  It was okay to get upset, but do not allow it to eat you up - you have to learn from it and move on.

While it is easy for me to tell someone that, I try in my own life to do the same thing.  I applied that to my exams I would take when I went back to college.  I used to fret and worry over how I did after an exam.  It would eat me alive.  After seeing that movie, I would walk out saying "Okay - you did the best you could and that is all you can do."  If the grade was bad, I would mull over it for 5 minutes, then say "Okay - what can I learn from this so that I do better next time?"

The people that I work with that knew my mother was dying thought I had a lot of strength.  Honestly, I did not have any strength.  I put on that facade and did what I needed to do to make sure she was comfortable and "work" work got done.  It was never easy and there were many days I got into my car and drove around for an hour so that I could cry and get all of that out of my system.

So, when things seem bleak and you are tired of putting on that "strong" front, take the time for yourself and let it out.  Just do not allow it to eat you alive.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blood Sugar Challenges...

For the past couple of weeks, it has been a battle to get my blood sugar below 200.  One day, my blood sugar was at 430 and my body was aching and I was really dragging.

Today, making sure I get my meds into my system and such, my blood sugar has remained under 100 all day.  My body is not used to the blood sugar being below 100 and I start feeling weak and shaky.  I do not care for this feeling.  It slows me down considerably.  I hope to get this business under control soon!  I have things I need to get done!  LOL

Strides in Making Changes That Matter...

I was going to start today's blog by going over all that is annoying me these days health wise.  Then, I decided - how positive is that?!  Not, really.  So, I am going to go over some of the positive things that I feel will make a difference.

My weight hovers between 302 to 311.  Last time I was weighed, it was 302, so that was an 8 lb loss.  My blood sugar numbers were high, but I was fighting a sinus infection.  After the appointment, I spent time thinking about what I am really doing.  Let's be honest - I have not gotten any more exercise into my routine.  That HAS TO CHANGE.  I have to make that change and I know I have said that in the past, but I feel that if I start exercising a bit more, then that will help knocking out the body aches and pains.

As for my diet, after the recent version release, I found myself getting food out a lot!  That is not only bad for me, but not great on the wallet, especially when I need to be saving.  I have a lot of left-overs in the freezer along with a lot of different meats.  My plan is to purge old food in the freezer and start cooking more. 

Another area in my diet that I think will make more strides in helping me be healthier and such is just start eating more vegetarian meals.  I still like to eat meat, but make more efforts in having more salads and have a vegetarian meal twice a week.  Even if I have soup and salad, that can be healthier for me than getting a hamburger and fries.

Also, cut back on the quantity of the food.  The other day, while watching a sports game, I saw Jack In The Box advertising the "Midnight Munchie Box".  Good grief!  Two tacos, mixed fries, and some huge sandwich as the main entree.  That is just too much food!  Makes me a bit sick to think about that. 

I am starting to cut back on sodas.  I am a HUGE soda drinker, especially diet sodas.  If I drink more water, that will  help flush out all of the bad stuff in my system.  Also, I love tea, so that is a great alternative when I get bored with water.  Today, as I will cook breakfast, I am going to make a pot of coffee.  That will be better for me because I am not heading to Starbucks for a $4.00 latte.  Also, I found that Powerade Zero is great tasting and I do like that drink.  Basically, it is like flavored water with no calories, so that is a bonus for me.

Those are the things I have on my calendar to change for this month.  It is said that it takes a month to break a bad habit.  Well, now, I am going to take that time to break some bad habits this month.  These changes will help me see some physical changes and that will help me continue on the right path.  

In other news, I finally upgraded my iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 5S.  So far, I like the new phone.  I really like the fingerprint security.  I still need to rearrange the apps on the phone.  I want to move the more frequently used apps to the first couple of pages, then games and such elsewhere.

I am trying hard to make as many Stars games as I can.  I have found juggling getting the dogs walked and out the door can be quite a challenge, even more so when I am exhausted.  Another reason to make health changes.  That and I saw someone take a picture of themselves with me in the background - I did not like what I saw.

So, I hope I posted a positive entry today and everyone has a great week!

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

prayer is not a ritualized mumbling of words but a song of thanksgiving or a dance of praise; it is anguished cries or pleas from a yearning heart.

If your prayer has no emotion, it has no power. God wants to know how you feel. God wants to hear what's in your heart.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Losing Those Who Influence You...

I like to tell everyone that where I got my eclectic music tastes started on a trip from Tulsa, OK to Boston, MA.  My father's company sent him to Boston for a 3 month set of courses and the company paid for the family to stay in an "apartment" in Framingham.  We traveled for 3 to 4 days.  I just remembered it was a long time. 

It is the very early '70s and my father's Ford truck had an 8-track tape player.  We all know, there are those areas where you cannot get any radio reception.  My parents had Sam the Sham and the Pharohs, Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits, The Doors - LA Woman, and some others.  Also, my mother was a huge rock and blues fan while my father was into country music.  I was never fond of country, but I loved music.

One of the songs that made an influence on me was Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side."  At that age, I did not understand the lyrics, but love the song.  The song had a really catchy beat and I loved to hear it when it was on the radio. 

I did not get that much into Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground until recent years.  I knew the influence that Lou's work had on artists like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, and so many others.  I had a great respect - he rated up there with the Rolling Stones and Elvis.

Today, Lou Reed passed away.  It is such a very sad day, but I am sure he is enjoying that walk on the other side. 

If you have never heard it, here is the song that would stay with me all of these years:

RIP Lou Reed:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Rollercoaster Life - The Ups and Downs of It All...

The past couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs.  On the work-side, I had hopes to switch to a group that would have a lot less stress involved with it.  That seems to be on hold.  Also, there are some other issues brewing that make me worried, but I am just trying to handle them the best way I know how.

I have missed two Dallas Stars hockey games, which was a real bummer for me.  I am going to the game tonight!  The team won Thursday night's game.  I was so happy for them and I know that seems odd for me to say.  I guess I am truly a Dallas Stars hockey fan.  I feel for them when the lose; I cheer them on when they win; I hate it when one of them gets injured.  I stick to it no matter what.

I look forward to going to the games.  I get a thrill out of riding on the DART to the American Airlines Center.  Having season tickets this year, I see familiar faces on the train ride.  I feel I am part of a community.  I also get the immense joy of being able to just GO.  Go and be out with people.  I love it!

I had a visit with my endocrinologist on Tuesday.  My weight was down 8 lbs.  That made me feel good, but my blood pressure was 130/100 - not so good.  I had just been doing some stuff for work before going to the doctor, so that might have had some affect on that. 

Since I was sick with what I like to call "The Crud" - not sure exactly what it is, but there is no fever - and on the downside of that monthly deal, my blood sugar levels were really high.  So, I was told that during the times I am sick or that monthly business, raise my insulin dosages to help handle the blood sugar rise.

I am going through my rounds of misplacing things.  Last week, I knew I had come home with my glasses on, but that night, I could not find them. That Saturday, I drove back to work, but nothing was there.  On Sunday, during a break from the issues on the version release, I found them under a sofa cushion.  Similar issue with my car key happened on Friday.  It is getting ridiculous.  Luckily, I am finding these items, but it bothers me.

My parents' friend wants me to drive to Arkansas for Thanksgiving this year.  Bottom line, I do not have the money to do it.  The money I do have, I need to get some new glasses and a crown for a tooth.  What I really want to do for Thanksgiving is just stay home.  I do not even want to drive over to my father's house.  I just want to stay home, rest, and clean up the place. 

I feel that the clutter has a lot to do with my misplacing items.  I realize, I have been the Queen of Misplaced Items all my life.  Heck, I had a moment of it while I was at the State Fair this year.  I did not have my work phone in the pants pocket and nearly freaked out.  Finally, I found it in the Choctaw bag I had won.

Today, outside of going to the game, I have to discover the chirping smoke alarm.  Last Friday, the apartment maintenance came and changed out the batteries in the living room smoke alarms.  Last night, as I was going to bed - *CHIRP!*  Being worn down from all of the work stuff and "crud" that had returned, I turned up the heat to 74 degrees in the apartment and worked on settling down the dogs.  That took awhile, then we all went to sleep.  However, now, I need to find out which one is chirping and it better not be one of the ones on the living room ceiling.

Yesterday afternoon, I made the decision that it was time to get a new iPhone.  I bought my iPhone 3GS in November 2009.  I had a Blackberry and was finally ready to get an iPhone.  Of course, I fell in love with it and all of the cool things I could do with it.  Now, it is incredibly slow and causing me some heart burn.

I went to the store to get the phone because I did not want to order over the internet.  I know that sounds odd coming from me, but I have an unlimited data plan and I wanted that grandfathered into my new contract.  I know that there have been issues with that, so I wanted to avoid any confusion.

Unfortunately, while the store had iPhone 5S in stock, the store did not have the 64Gb that I wanted.  I was hesitant to order it, but the store representative assured me that they would make sure that my unlimited data plan would stay intact.  She got a store salesman to help me place the order.  Oh - My -God!  He was tall, quite handsome, and very pleasant.  He helped me get the phone ordered and I was on my way out the door.  Still, I had gotten myself hung up over this guy.

I hate it when that happens to me.  On one hand, it reassures me that I am not dead.  (LOL)  The downside is that I have to go through that whole "Now, stop it!  He was only helping you order the phone you wanted.  He would not be interested in you.  Besides that - you could be old enough to be his mother!"  Then, comes the whole discussion with God regarding what is the "plan" for me. 

So, time to go figure out the rest of this weekend and how to get through the next week...

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

greatness is your birthright.

Who are You to shine brighter than others? Who are You to take a step forward when others are shrinking back? Who are You to make others feel insecure with your greatness? You are a child of God. Take a step forward, shine bright, - inspire others with your light to their own greatness.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Major Relief...

Despite knowing that I was not having any issues, I worried about what my colonoscopy screening would find.  I prayed not to find anything - not even polyps.  I know my mom was watching over me because she would tell me how sorry she was to have possibly passed along the chance of getting cancer.  No one really knows who gets what.  It just is what it is and you have to have faith that all will go well.

There is no good way to deal with the preparation for the procedure.  The bottom line (pun intended) is to "clean you out!"  The medication given does exactly that.  My preparation medication was called "Su-Prep".  There were two bottles of some sort of concentration and a 16 oz measuring cup.  At 4 PM, I poured one bottle in the cup, then diluted the concentration with cold water until the level reached the 16 oz mark.  I gulped that down, then had to drink two more 16 oz cups of water within the hour.

Depending on your system, the medication will begin working within 10 minutes to an hour.  I walked around feeling really bloated for about an hour.  Once it started working, I just dealt with it.  Around 7:30 PM, I had to do the same thing again with the second bottle.  The second dose made me feel a bit worse, but I needed to get through this.  It was important.

The one thing I really do not like about the whole mess is the amount of distrust one has their own system at this point.  For me, that is the stressful part.  I had no accidents, but any sort of exertion was a bit tough, so sitting in a recliner for me was out of the question.  I would lie on the bed, then roll off when I needed to make that trip back to the bathroom.

By 10:30 PM, my system started slowing down and allowed me to rest for a bit.  I was just thankful for that.  Since my appointment was at 9 AM, I got up at 6 AM and got ready for my father to take me to the endoscopy center.

So many things were running through my mind.  I was worried about the nurses putting the catheter in my hand.  I asked my father if he would take care of the dogs should something happen.  Someone had offered to take Bo and Chloe, but I would rather have my father take care of them.  My father kept assuring me that all would be fine.  It was something that had crossed my mind.

We arrived at the endoscopy center early - 8:30 AM.  I signed in and figured I would need to wait until 9 AM.  By the time I had removed my earrings, I got called by the nurse.  I was asked a bunch of questions, then taken to a changing area with the bed used for the procedure.  Once I was undressed and wearing the gown, the doctor, anesthetist, and two nurses enter.  Everyone was very nice and the doctor joked with me about not being in there earlier - I had gotten sick last month and it was decided to hold off on the procedure.

Soon, I was wheeled into the room.  Anesthetist gave me some instructions on moving my body close to one side of the bed and he made a joke about he got my good side while the doctor got my bad side.  Pretty soon, the room started to spin a bit, when I fell asleep.

Once medication began to wear off, I woke up thinking that Bo was climbing all over my butt to wake me up.  LOL  I think that made everyone laugh.  The doctor told me that all was clear and no polyps!  I was happy, but still loopy and fell back to sleep a bit.  I was wheeled back to a recovery room, and my father was there.  He was excited that all was clear and no polyps.  The doctor came by when I was fully awake and showed me the pictures of everything.  He told me that I was clear for another 5 years, then I have to come back for another screening.  I admit - not looking forward to that  again.  I will say, that part of the procedure was not bad.

The nurse wheeled me out to my father's car and we headed over to Galligaskins' in Fort Worth on Camp Bowie.  While eating breakfast/lunch, we talked about wanting to know more about what happened with my mom.  I still have a lot of questions.  I feel that there are some things I need to know, so that I can be aware for myself.

I feel very blessed and thankful that my screening went really well.  I would like to think my mom was very happy for me - she would have never wanted me to go through what she went through.  I know when everyone allow me privacy to put my clothes back on, I thanked God and my mom.  The nurse who checked me in asked me why I was so nervous.  I told her my fear and what she said made me feel a little better:

You cannot worry over something you do not know is even there.  You have come in for the doctor to check you out and that is important.  At this point, put all of that worrying in God's hands and let him handle it for you.

I did.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Upcoming Changes...

Starting next week, I begin transitioning off a lot of my responsibilities and knowledge over to other team members.  I do not have a "release date", but as soon as I complete my knowledge transfer, then I will be free to start working with another group.  Of course, now, I have to put everything I know into perspective and try to organize it.  I have documented a lot of stuff, but I am sure all of that needs to be re-evaluated and examined.

As I told someone yesterday, I am excited to "start over again."  While there were and still are some aspects of my current position I love, it just came time to go.  There is not a path forward for me in this current position.  So, one must change in order to grow.  I may grow a bit differently in this new position, but it will allow me some breathing space.

My co-worker friends are curious to know if I will be able to keep my cubicle where I am or will I be working from home.  My soon-to-be co-workers and boss are located in Memphis, TN.  At this time, I will get to stay Texas.  Chances are, I will have to move everything home.  That is not so bad and I could still have lunch with my group of current co-workers each week. 

My biggest hope is that this change will help with my stress levels.  Yes, there will be stress with changing jobs, but maybe, getting to a normal schedule will help me health wise.  I went to the opening night for the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.  While riding the DART train, I could see myself in the opposite window.  I was not happy with how I looked.  Small wonder I feel so dragged down all of the time - carrying around so much weight.  I do realize losing the weight overnight is NEVER going to happen and furthermore, losing it quickly never turns out well.

No amount of make-up, nail polish, new hair style, or clothes is going to change what I saw that night.  I was huge.  Part of me never wants to eat again, but that is so senseless.  One must eat to sustain and thrive.  I need to quit making excuses for eating more than I should.  More importantly, make it my duty to exercise.  Try to get back to what I did back in late 2006/early 2007 when I first found out I had Type 2 diabetes.  I had lost 50 lbs and my A1C had dropped down to in the 6 range.

I am going to place more emphasis on movement.  I know how to eat right.  I just need to make myself do it.  It is not a difficult task.  I would like to see myself 50 lbs slimmer by April 2014.  I go back to the doctor on 10/23 for a month check up on how I am doing.  I would like to be at least 5 lbs lighter when I see him.  So, right now, my minor goal is to reach 5 lbs.  That is all - lose 5 lbs and keep it off.  Next month, another 5 lbs.

Perhaps, I should go to the casino more often.  I spent more time walking around than sitting at the machines.  LOL  When I went to WinStar last week, I really did spend more time walking around that huge casino.  Main reason why I did not lose all of my money - I was not sitting there the entire time feeding the machines $20.  LOL

What God Wants Me To Know:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

only full acceptance can bring you true peace.

Acceptance does not mean resignation. Accept to befriend and transform, instead of trying to fight and destroy.

Signs of Changing Times...

I moved to my current apartment complex June 2005.  The complex was still in the process of being built when I got my apartment.  Through the years, I have seen people come and go.  Some people I barely knew, while others, I got to know by just walking my dogs.  I admit, having a dog in an apartment complex turns you into a truly social person.  You are out there walking your little buddies and you get to know and relate to others with similar little buddies.

I have seen people move in and out of here for many years.  I had a next door neighbor who loved when Bo would appear on the balcony for what I call "Bark-a-polooza".  He would call Bo "Wolfie". 

Then, there was the gentleman who lived across from my apartment home.  He was such a sweet man.  His wife had passed away and he was living with his son.  If I was walking the dogs, he would slow down in his truck, roll down the window, and start barking at Bo and Chloe.  Once he got those two stirred up, he would laugh and wish me a nice day.

I never met this man, but had the coolest "man cave" set up in his garage.  If he was downstairs when I drove by his apartment, he would have the garage door open and you could see everything.  He had an old fashioned Coke machine, a 40" flat screen TV, a couple of computers, dart board, and other things.  It was always fun to drive by because with any sports event, he was down in his "man cave" doing it all.

The other day, I noticed that his garage was cleaned out.  That was a definite sign he was gone.  It makes me a little sad to see people leave.  Each person adds to the community in some way.  It is not something you pick up on unless you are really out and about in the community. 

Back in 1996, I had gone back to my weight doctor to get started back on phen-phen (before all of the bad effects were discovered).  As part of that, I made myself go and walk my parents' neighborhood every night after work.  After about a month, I had a real sense of the various people in the neighborhood.  My mom saw my weight loss and began on the meds shortly after I did.  She would start walking as well and noticed the same things.  We both knew which home had domestic issues, which home where there were the most parties, which home's yard was the best kept, and so forth.  It never ceases to amaze me how much you pick up on while just being out in your neighborhood.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Never Ashamed of The Tears...

Depeche Mode - But Not Tonight - Live
Depeche Mode - Precious - Live

Last night was my third time to see Depeche Mode perform.  I am not sure if what happened to me last night was due to hormones, stress, or what.  I had previously been frustrated with work, worried about the swelling around my feet, then dealing with the doctor's visit that morning.  Getting to the concert was my escape from everything.

I got to the concert a good hour before the opening band would start.  I was quite happy about that because after driving down to the "Fair Grounds" area is stressful enough.  Against my own better judgement, I bought a tour t-shirt, rubber bracelet, and tour program.  I always get a tour program if I can.  I usually put the ticket into the tour program and I can go back and revisit those memories.

I giggled at the kids getting their picture taken at the VEVO stand.  It was very funny - the kids put on these funky sun glasses and get their picture taken with a huge poster of the band as the backdrop.  I generally looked around and smiled when I saw the Fuzzy's Taco stand in the middle of the concession area.  With the little bit of drizzle going on, I headed into the venue.

I had a decent seat, but not what I really expected.  I was on the end, but that was fine.  Soon, a couple came and sat next to me.  They were friends, Matthew and Chris.  They had been friends for 17 years and they attended all of the Depeche Mode concerts.  I love it when I get to sit next to friendly people.  I had to agree with Chris - we all come here because we have a mutual love for the band and their music.  Why do we need to be nasty to one another?  Both kept me in stitches.

The opening band was Crystal Castles.  I had heard the band name with something else, but I had not really looked into the band.  I would describe their music as "Trance Dance Music".  It has a dark, eerie beat, but it stays with you.  My only problem was I could never really discern the vocalist's voice.  I think she sang through a synth as well, so that disguised her voice.  I have been considering purchasing a few of their records with one of my iTunes cards.

Around 8:30 PM, the opening act completed their set and we waited for the headliner to get their equipment set up.  In the meantime, I went and grabbed a corn dog and soft drink.  I had not had anything to eat since noon,  so I could feel my blood sugar starting to make me jittery.

I got back to my seat and continued talking with Matt and Chris as well as people watching.  I smiled at the girl who had the 1940's hairstyle, with hot pants, 7" platform heels, black t-shirt, and a purse with spikes on it.  She was all over the place - I suppose looking for a way to get back stage.  I hate how some guys take advantage of that, but it is what it is.

At 9 PM, the band came on stage and started the show.  It was a powerful entrance and everyone was on their feet.  I was able to get close to the stage to get some video clips.  Unfortunately, my old iPhone 3GS has a crap camera.  I know - time to upgrade and I will.  I am just going to wait for the hysteria over the iPhone 5S to die down a bit.

The two links I posted above were two songs that actually brought tears to my eyes.  Oddly enough, I found I was not alone.  The first link is with Martin Gore singing "But Not Tonight."  That song is one of my very favorites from the band and that was the first time I had ever heard it performed.  What was bringing tears to my eyes was that whole audience was singing the lyrics so loudly back to Martin.  Also, the lyrics matched the weather.  It had been raining for most of the day and it was still sprinkling that evening.  However, in some instances, you could see a full moon shining.  The whole thing worked on so many levels.

"Precious" is another of my favorites.  I had seen the band perform this song live and read that Martin had written it regarding his children and what they had to endure while his wife and he were going through a divorce.  With the backdrop of the dogs, the song took on a whole different meaning to me.  I had read somewhere that this person would photograph dogs before they were euthanized at a pound.  So, hearing "My God, what have we done to you..." tore me apart.

Another amazing backdrop was during "Enjoy the Silence."  There are about 5 women in the pretzel form pressed against a plexiglass.  At first glance, you figure it might be a picture until you see one of the women blink her eyes.  Very weird.  All I could think was - Damn - that had to be uncomfortable!

The rest of the show was amazing for me.  I love the band and their music.  I always get a kick out of watching Dave Gahan dance about the stage.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Depeche Mode and as their song says "Just Can't Get Enough" of them.

Funny story about that last song.  I remember when Old Navy used it for their commercials a year or so before my mom died.  My mom kept tapping her foot to the song when the commercial played.  Finally, she asked me what it was.  I told her it was an old song from 1981 or 1982 and I had it.  She had never heard it, so I put on her iPod.  I would catch her playing it from time to time.  It always made her smile.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Working on Feeling More Upbeat...

I got a compliment today.  One of my co-workers came by to see how I was doing since the illness.  She said I actually sounded better.  I told her I felt better, but still have some lingering symptoms.  I stated that it was probably because of my allergies.  At that point, we both laughed and talked about our various allergy issues.

I am trying to see the positive in everything.  Some situations, no matter what I do, it is just going to be negative.  So, I am trying to ignore those.

I am always working on my blood sugar.  Today, I have been lucky.  Measurements are ranging around 120 - 155, which is good.  I really want to focus on what planning out meals.  I went to the grocery store this Sunday and bought those items I need to make the following meals:

  • Jambalaya
  • Hungarian Chicken Goulash
  • Hamburgers
For the hamburgers, rather than picking up a package of hamburger buns, I got the sandwich rounds.  Less bread helps my blood sugar.  Jambalaya is my celebration of having been in NOLA last year.  I so want to go back there soon.  I would love to spend 4 days running about the French Quarter and the Garden District.  The one bad side, I would love try all of the various foods.  I am thankful that I do not have to have all fried.  I know that is most popular, but I love grilled/broiled/boiled seafood as well.

Hungarian Chicken Goulash is my comfort food for when I think of my mother.  I cannot tell you how many times she wanted me to make that for her during her last days.  She loved that meal and really was thrilled when I would make it.  At one point, she said that I made it better than her.  I said that there was only one really great cook and that was her.  I could only aspire to be as good as her.  That part is very true.  I can only hope to be as good of a cook as she was.

I think that by planning out the meals for the week, that helps with making the right decisions.  As I have said many times, cooking meals helps me know exactly what is in the meal.  There is no guessing work involved.  That makes life a lot easier.

My problem is that I never do a good job of planning out meals.  I bought a crock pot, which I have used many times, to help with cooking meals.  However, I never seem to get that part working for me.  Obviously, another project that I need to put down on my "To Do" list.

Speaking of "To Do" lists, I worked on creating a personal journal on my iPad the other day.  I put in all of my long term goals, those things I want to work on changing about myself, and create a journal of those things I would love to say publicly, but better not.  I think that this is a good release.  My goal is to better myself internally as well as externally.  Write out what I am feeling and get it out of my system.

Then, again, I am probably more OCD than I need to be.  LOL

What God Wants Me To Know:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you can conquer your fears.

When fear is holding you back, don't give up. Even the bravest people feel afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to go on in spite of it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

True Fatigue or Just Feeling the Beat Down...

Not quite sure if my problem is related to by past illness for the past 3 weeks or what.  I get up in the morning, walk the dogs, eat breakfast, and quickly feel dragged down.  It is like I exerted all of my energy in one burst and have to recover before tackling anything else.

At this point, the situation is very annoying.  I just want to have a lot of energy to get the stuff done that needs to be done.  I can understand being dragged down when I was really deep in being sick and having to work long nights.  Now, I am starting back on my way up out of that and I wish I could feel much better.  I suppose this bout of illness has truly knocked me off my feet.

Tomorrow, I need to get up early and get the groceries done.  My plan is to cut up my veggies and fruit and place in containers for the week.  As for the dinner, I think another week of cooking meals and eating the leftovers sounds like a great plan.  Jambalaya and Hungarian Chicken Goulash sound like a really good couple of meals.  Both are great the first day, but after the ingredients meld together, the meals taste better.

I think my low blood sugar days are over.  Last night, I measured my blood sugar before getting dinner and it was 126.  When I got home with dinner, it had climbed to 192.  I tried to enjoy it while I could, but I figured that something had to be wrong or I was doing something that I did not realize.

Going to give myself another 15 minutes, then I am going to get up and start straightening up the living room.  I would like to lie on the sofa with the dogs and watch a movie.  Just need to rearrange the cushions, vacuum the sofa down, then freshen up the cushions with some Febreeze.  After that, put down some colorful beach towels and blankets for the dogs and myself.

I just realized that my sofa is 12 years old.  Before I moved out of my parents house (after feeling that my mom would be okay), I would pay my mom rent.  She saved that money and used it to buy me my sofa.  She let me pick it out and liked it as well.  However, when I bought the parson chairs for the old kitchen table she had, she made a comment about my decorating skills.  I had too many neutral colors.  LOL

I probably should buy another sofa, but quite honestly, I haven't the heart.  I love that sofa and it is one of the things my mom got for me.  When I sit/lie on it, I think about her.  I know she hated it when I moved out, but she was proud of me for making it on my own.  That worried her more.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Break from the Chaos...

Today, I was supposed to be in Fort Worth and should be having a colonoscopy about now.  With the upper respiratory infection, both the doctor and myself decided it would be best to postpone for a month.  Rather than go ahead and work, I decided the best thing was to take yesterday and today off from work.  Most of yesterday was spent dealing cleaning up the environments that were created and not done properly.  Today, I refuse to get dragged into all of that.

Lately, I have been fretting over my blood sugar, but for a different reason - too low.  Yep, I said it - my blood sugar levels have started to get too low.  Imagine that!  I have complained for years about not getting my numbers down low enough.  Now, I get the numbers low and am worried about going too low.

Starting on 8/29, my blood sugar numbers started to be much lower than normal.  Meaning, I was used to having my blood sugar numbers between 160 - 200.  When I was sick and not taking my meds, I hit between 300 and 400 - horrible, but I was battling with stress and illness at the same time. 

Since that time, I have watched my numbers lower down to between 130 - 150.  Next, my numbers lowered between 110 - 130.  This week, I have seen my numbers down to 74 - after eating calamari with a sweet and spicy Thai sauce, Grilled Flounder Del Rio, and Peanut Butter pie.  If anything, that pie should have spiked my blood sugar.  Before I left for dinner, my blood sugar was 105.  I got home and walked the dogs.  I started getting really shaky (mind you, having the lower numbers has caused me to be more shaky and the doctor said that my body is not used to the lower blood sugar - it has to adjust.).  I measured my blood sugar, it was 74.  I grabbed a juice and started drinking it.  Within 15 minutes, my blood sugar was raised to 91 and I started feeling a bit better.

It has been very weird.  I hate to complain about low numbers.  I have been concerned that maybe my meter was off, so I got another meter yesterday (different brand as well).  I measured my blood sugar with my normal meter and it was 88.  I measured with the new meter and it was 85.  That confirmed for me that my meter obviously was not broken.

I feel bad for worrying so much, but this is was something I figured I would never have to worry.  My blood sugar was always high, no matter how well I would eat.  Maybe I have finally found the right medication combination to keep my blood sugar low.

What are my plans for today?  I think it would be good to do a "clean and purge".  Work on making Bo and, more importantly, Chloe very happy - clear off the sofa, freshen it up, and put down some beach towels and blankets so that we all can enjoy TV together.  Also, get some laundry done.

Time to start all of those nice projects!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Month and New Goals...

It is the first of September.  Time to start fresh again and make some new minor goals.  Try to whittle away at the clutter in my apartment as well as my own weight.  Try to regain more patience, rather than losing it. 

Also, I need to try a spending fast.  Granted, I went to the drug store several times in vain to get things that would help me feel better.  However, I prepared dinner and ate either freshly made or left over meals.  That actually made me feel better because I was not spending $10-$20 for lunch and dinner.  I like that savings and I know exactly what was in my meals.  I ate better and the results show in my blood sugar readings.  Heaven only knows how difficult it has been for me to keep my numbers down.

During the week, my friend with Type 2 diabetes told me that her blood sugar number at the doctor's office was high.  She claimed that she ate healthy the next day and her numbers were down, so she went to one of the fancy grocery stores to stock up on veggies, hummus, and eggs.  The part that blew me away was the statement that the next time we went to dinner, she wanted us to go to healthy places to eat - places where she could have a salad with boiled egg.

That blew me away because every place we went to eat, there was a healthy choice to be made.  I realize that I can be weak on selecting the poor choices.  However, I made the choice and was responsible for the results.  I should have said that, but being ill, I just did not want the hassle.  It really agitated me that it seemed the statement about dinner places was directed towards me.  Not sure really what to do at this point.

Since I have an extra day due to the Labor Day weekend, I am going to work on the kitchen and living room.  I did not get much done yesterday as I spent most of it in bed sleeping.  I suppose I really needed the extra rest.  The downside to sleeping most of the day away was around 1:30 AM, I was wide awake.  Luckily, I had fallen sleep watching 'Allo, 'Allo on KERA and it was showing a new series on Mystery Theater called Silk

Silk is about a British law firm.  Two of the main lawyers, a man and a woman, are up for "Silk" (QC robes are made of silk) or QC (Queen's Counsel).  The series actually follows along the female applicant, Martha Costello.  I find the series interesting because it is a view on how the British courts and law works.  The show kept my interest, so I am looking forward to watching the next episode playing at 8 PM tonight.

Hoping that the rest of the weekend stays calm and quiet.  Quicker I get better, the quicker I can get back on my feet and get stuff done.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Trying to Get Over the Muck and Writing...

Two weeks ago, I worked an all night release.  I got to bed at 4:00 AM, then was back up for more work by 8 AM.  At that point, I had a sore throat.

I finally got free of the sore throat by Tuesday, but was carrying around a runny nose, congestion, and a nasty cough.  My ailments were not getting much better as the days went by and I had another work release to do the next weekend as well as on-call.

I tried to see the doctor, but each time, my doctor's office was always booked.  Finally, on Wednesday, I headed to CareNow.  I was tired of waiting and feeling badly.  The doctor there determined I had an upper respiratory infection.  I worked from home the rest of the week and tried to rest as much as I could.  Unfortunately, that was not going to happen as each application seem to need an emergency code push just about every night, so that meant late nights each day.

Today, I tried to rest as much as I could.  I did have to run the dogs outside, but in generally, both dogs were happy to stay in bed with me while I tried to get some rest.

My blood sugar last week was off the charts, but this week, the numbers are much lower.  Most are under 170 - generally, hovering around 130.  To be honest, I am quite happy about that.

Last night, before going to bed, I tried working on writing an book.  I thought I would give writing a book a shot simply to get some of these ideas out of my head.  I feel like I have something to say and I need to get it out of my system.  It is more about the "story" than anything else.  Maybe, writing will help me think more clearly or help me emotionally - get out those emotions I have been holding.

I only got one chapter done last night, but it felt good to get all of that out on the iPad.  I had a lot of emotion running through my mind.  Maybe this is the right therapy for me, like Watson in Sherlock.  In Sherlock, John Watson's therapist suggests that he create a blog and write.  Granted, Watson writes about his adventures with Sherlock, but the writing helps him with the issues he has from the war.  I have not been in a war, but I think writing may help in a constructive way.

I would like to congratulate RandomCathy for her new book, The Vegan Teen Cookbook.  I am very excited for her and if you are interested in checking it out, here is the link:

Taking a Page from the Old Days...

When I moved to Texas, one of the AM radio stations would play old radio show classics.  My parents and I would turn off the TV and listen to the shows on the radio.  Listening to the old shows, it would allow my imagination to run wild.  Like reading a book, you used your imagination to mold the characters and scenery.

Back in 2004, I became a fan of James Purefoy after watching his performance in Vanity Fair.  I noticed that he was doing a radio show for the BBC 4 today.  Luckily, my Logitech Squeezebox system allowed me to access the BBC radio stations, so while I rested in bed, I listened to the radio show.

I spend a lot of time listening to "talk radio" of one form or fashion.  Most of the time, it is for the background noise while I work.  One way to keep myself up to date on the current events, just listening to the radio.  I moved over to internet radio a couple of years ago.  I have had some issues with streaming from time to time, but in general, I have been pretty happy with it.

I wish there were more radio shows like this here in the US.  I know that there are audio books, but this is so much different.  Audio books have maybe two or three readers, but with a radio show, it adds a bit more.

If you are interesting in trying it out, here is a link to the replay of The Sporting Life:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No Rest for the Wicked...

For the past week, I have been trying to figure out what exactly I have done wrong.  Last weekend, I had an overnight code push to help perform.  I spent most of the day and night working on that.  I finally got to bet at 4 AM, only to be woken up at 4:30 AM from someone calling if they could turn on the scheduler.

When I finally woke, about 3.5 hours later, I had the worst sore throat.  I am a complete baby when it comes to that.  Also, the evil stuffy head/nose combo rides right behind it.  I have no time for that.  I suppose none of that matters - No matter what I did to avoid all of this mess came barreling down on me by Monday.

Sore throat has diminished considerably by this point.  However, I still have the hacking cough and stuffy nose that cannot decide if it should stop up and drip, or consistently have me running for the tissue get all of that gunk out of it.  I hate this.  I am miserable and I have another code push to work again this weekend.  Oh, the cherry on the top - I have to do on-call duty this week.

Therefore - my statement - No rest for the wicked.  What in the world did I do for this?  I laugh at the bad luck I am experiencing.  But, it is a little discouraging.  No one wants to work or clean or cook when they are sick.  Myself, I would rather just lie in bed and try to sleep off this mess.  Unfortunately, "LIFE" won't let me.

A few weeks ago, I applied for a new position within the company.  One that I would hope would reduce the amount of responsibilities (and stress) I have.  I feel that the job would add another feather into my cap to learn about the warehouse and how it works.  The new position would be working in the development and QA areas.  That suits me just fine.  My problem is that certain people are trying to instill doubt that this is a good move for me.  Others have said that it would be a good choice.  I learn this aspect of the company, should I decide to leave, there are plenty of jobs out in the world for this sort of work.

The opportunity to reduce the amount of responsibility and learn something new is scary, even nerve-wrecking.  However, I really want this.  I want this job for the opportunity to learn something new as well as as a fresh start.  Learn something from the ground up - take the things I know and mold them for use here and forget about other stuff that do not apply.  Understand how this area of the company "lives".  My current "living" environment has become just too intrusive. 

Just let me go - no hard feelings - this is about me and what I needed to do to fix my current situation.  I cannot depend on the promises of others that take forever to come to life.  I had to do something now.  It just bothers me that one would try to make me feel bad for making this choice.

God's message to me today:

Today, we believe God wants you to know that ...

it's time to start living in the present.

Letting go of the past is not easy, especially if you have wounds that have never properly healed. But, the past is past and living there may be preventing you from fully experiencing the present. Likewise fear of what may be looming around the corner can also prevent you from fully enjoying the present. Live in the moment and look forward to eternity with God, now that's a great present.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Work/Home Life Balance...

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize how important the Work/Home life balance is.  At work, a series of recorded lectures are provided to the employees to view.  One such lecture talks about the "Work/Home Life Balance."  The speaker discussed how important it was to create that balance, but in the end, the message was that you cannot be good in both.  If you plan to succeed at work, then your home life will not be successful.

Sad, isn't it?  However, it is so true.

If I spend all of my time doing the work stuff that everyone wants, I never have any "me" time.  I cannot go to the movies, plan a vacation, or even return back to school.  My life revolves around work and it's demands.

I thought for a long time about the "Work/Home Life Balance" and decided I really needed more "me" time.  I sought out a position that would reduce the amount of responsibilities and provide me with the "me" time I need.  Now, I am being questioned if that is what I really want?

I think we all want to be very successful in our jobs and home lives.  When it comes right down to it, when one side is over taking the other, you have to make a choice.   I spent many years working really hard.  I made a lot of sacrifices, but saw very little return.  I fought a hard struggle with caring for a dying family member and trying to maintain the work needed with a high profile project.  In the end, I lost that family member and got nothing out of the work I did.

Thursday night, I pointed this scenario out to a dear friend.  I remember saying I know it is God's test, but what was I to learn about or from it?  As I sit here, writing, I think that what I was supposed to learn from that is how life is so short.  You have to enjoy the time you have and do the things that make you happy.  If you keep doing what people expect all of the time, you do not get any satisfaction from that.  Therefore, your return on investment is little to nothing.  You cannot spend your life on those situations where the return on effort is less than what you put into it.

As I struggle with others doubting my choice, I really wish that they could see my view.  Understand the sacrifices I made and got nothing in return for the efforts. 

Then, again, it would probably do no good.  It is what it is.  I wish to move on and what I lose in responsibilities, I will gain in "me" time and happiness.  It really is time that I start concentrating on "me."  I do not want to wake up and find out I am too late.

Manners - Do They Still Exist...

I will probably have multiple posts as I have so many thoughts running through my mind today.  However, this particular subject came to my mind last night during dinner.

Since it was Friday night, a co-worker/friend wanted to go to Red, Hot, and Blue for dinner.  When we got there, we were seated and the waitress took our drink orders.  As my friend began discussing her son's new job, she noticed a man in a wheelchair coming into the restaurant.  Now, she probably would not had much thought on the subject matter, but in this case, the situation was rather odd.  The woman he was with was sitting in his lap while he wheeled himself around to the table.  He was basically doing a "wheelie" as he rolled past our table.  I thought - "Okay - whatever floats your boat."

Once the couple got seated into their booth, he was all over her.  My unfortunate problem - the couple was right in my view.  I would try to look away, but they were RIGHT THERE!  I felt like I should be in the seedy part of town watching some lurid floor show. 

When the manager talked to them about the behavior, the man started to get pretty belligerent.  The manager never raised his voice, but the man started getting louder and louder.  Finally, the couple left the restaurant with the man screaming that he was going to report the manager to the head office.

As I was taking my friend back to her house, she started talking about "manners."  In my opinion, society has lost a certain amount of "manners."  I am not sure why other than simple laziness or cultural changes.  However, simple public displays of affection, like holding hands, peck on the cheek, or even a small kiss on the lips is acceptable.  Full on groping?  Take that back to the hotel room next door, won't you? 

The incident made having dinner last night VERY uncomfortable.  I realize that this couple probably did not care.  Moreover, the act of being watched or causing a stir could have been exactly what they wanted to achieve.  Still, in the realm of manners, the couple had no consideration for others. 

Of course, I have my issues with manners.  I try to make sure I say and do the right things.  From time to time, I tend to stick my foot in my mouth or completely lose what manners my mother attempted to instill in me.

My friend from dinner has her own issues as well.  I am not sure what to really say to her without offending her.  On the other hand, some thought has gone into reducing the amount of time I spend with her.  She is nice, but some of the things that she has done/said tends to irritate me.  For example, Tuesday night, we tried Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant.  I overate a bit, but I really wanted to try the soft pretzels, some wings, and burger.  So, I got an appetizer with a few pretzels and 6 wings.  I had a burger for dinner. 

When the waiter came to give us our bill, he was about to give us the after dinner treat - Strawberry Twizzlers.  I thought this was cool.  Before the waiter could put the Twizzlers down on the table, my friend, immediately with a stern voice, "You can take those.  We do not need them as we are both diabetics."

The Friday night before this, we visited Half Shells for dinner.  I had the mahi-mahi dish with green beans and Parmesan potatoes.  While I was eating my dinner, my friend reached over with her fork and started eating my potatoes.  Also, we had the chocolate cake for dessert.

I have some major issues with that.  If you do not want the Twizzler, just leave it on the table and do not say anything.  Considering that the Twizzlers are individually wrapped, the waiter could have picked them back up for another time.  Also, my being a diabetic is my personal issue/struggle.  It is not others responsibility to make sure I eat right.  That information should not be offered as an excuse for anything.  It is totally different when I ask about substitutions - that is my way of choosing how/what I eat.

It is one thing to sample each other's food, but it is quite different if you keep digging into the other person's plate.  I just wanted to be clear on that because if someone offers you to try something, that is different.  In last Friday's scenario, I never offered the potatoes.  Might have been rude of me, but then again, she never offered anything off of her plate for me to try.  Honestly, there was nothing on her plate I wanted to try. 

As I said, I am not without sin.  I know my manners are in the toilet.  I never seem to get the "Thank You" notes out as I should or offer to do something in return for someone else.  I figure this may be a good time for me to pick up a book on manners and try a bit harder.  The simple act of trying might be a positive thing for someone else.