Published in the Rains County Leader on July 17, 2018:
At the church where I work, there’s a twelve-month calendar on the wall behind my desk along with a multi-colored collection of dry-erase markers. The idea is that each staff member and each ministry uses a different color so it’s easy to see at a glance what’s happening on any given day. The problem is that we have no color key on the calendar, so we don’t always use the correct marker. One day last week, Pastor Jason came into my office to make note of a few days he is taking off in August. He stared at the calendar for a few minutes.
“I don’t remember what color I am,” he said. “I think I’m green.”
“It isn’t easy being green,” I quipped. When he looked confused, I continued, “You know – Sesame Street – Kermit the Frog.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 10, 2015:
Last week I talked about all the “national” months, weeks, and days that are on the American calendar. Specifically, I mentioned that November is National Family Caregiver Month and National Novel Writing Month. One very important month I didn’t mention is October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the months are pretty low key or have limited media appeal, but with all the special events and promotions, it’s hard to miss this month, especially when 300 pound linebackers wear pink socks. (more…)
A little over a year ago, I wrote several posts about the Wheat Belly Diet. I had seen the doctor for my annual check-up, and he suggested I adjust my eating habits by cutting out wheat and other processed grains. He said it might help me lose a few pounds, but mostly he hoped it would lower my triglyceride level which had been on the high side for several years. Since he was diplomatic about the weight issue, I decided to go along with his suggestion and see what happened. My husband David, who isn’t a picky eater as long as there’s black pepper and hot sauce on the table, agreed to join me in the adventure. (more…)
I subscribe to several newsletters that deal with caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and related issues. I don’t always read the articles because a lot of them report medical studies that I don’t understand. However, since I’m always on the lookout for blog topics, I usually scan the headlines and the first few sentences. Recently I’ve seen several articles announcing scientific progress in identifying people who are at risk for Alzheimer’s years before they actually develop symptoms. Some of these early detection methods involve simple blood tests while others require a complicated analysis of DNA to identify certain chromosomes. The most recent test I learned about was an analysis of the spinal fluid.
The one article I haven’t seen is the one announcing a cure for this insidious disease. Since the results of existing treatments are questionable, I’m not sure I would want to know if I had Alzheimer’s.
The progress is still slow in the quest to remove wheat from our diet, but there is progress nonetheless. In my last update, I mentioned that I found both whole and ground flaxseed at the local Food Mart. A few days ago I found coconut oil and a rice-based baking mix at the local Brookshire’s. Purists will say that the processed rice flour is as bad as wheat flour, but I’m too new at this to be a purist. (more…)
Ten days ago I wrote about the possibility of eliminating wheat from David’s and my diet. I haven’t made a lot of progress since then except in the area of awareness. I’ve been reading labels in my pantry, in my refrigerator, and on the shelves at the grocery store, and I’m amazed at where I find wheat. Soy sauce, of all things, contains wheat, and so do some frozen vegetables. The ingredients list on the California mix reads like this: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, traces of wheat and soy. All mysteries are not found in Robert B. Parker novels. (more…)
David and I both had our annual physicals last month, and it came as no surprise to either of us that both our doctors mentioned our weight. I’ve averaged an extra pound for each of the 14 years of our marriage, and he’s doubled that. Neither of us is what you’d call overweight, but we’re both approaching our I’m-not-going-there limits. In addition, we both have blood chemistry issues. His cholesterol is high, my triglycerides are high, and both of us have low HDL levels.
I once spent some phone time with a wellness coach provided by my insurance company, and she told me the only way to raise my HDL level (the good cholesterol) was by exercise. I guess David’s doctor agrees, because she told him to take a brisk walk every day. You can see how well that’s going as I sit here at my keyboard and he sits on the couch with his second cup of coffee, reading a Terri Blackstock novel. In our defense, he plans to work on his tree cutting and burning later today, and I have a date with the weeds in my garden. (more…)