December 29, 2018

Goals for 2019

It's that time again, when I make goals with every intention of keeping up with them all year. And every year, I have forgotten about them by March, or sometimes February. But not this year. This year, I am going for attainable goals, baby steps to the big goals.

Walk five days a week
Yoga three days a week
Acupressure daily

January - drywall
February - interior light fixtures, wood walls
March - bathroom and closet cabinets install
April - kitchen cabinets install
May - Pantry cabinets install, and under stairs build
June - cabinet doors and facing
July - door trim and baseboard
August- doors
September - fireplace
October - Rugs and curtains
November - Dining Table
December - Christmas decorations!

January: Move lily tank, retaining wall east side
February: Remove trees and install fence posts in poison ivy corner
March-May: Build and fill planters
June-July: Water new plants and trees, collect seeds, mow
August: Regrade driveway
September: Driveway gate
October-November: Replant field
December: Final mowing

Finish at least 6 quilts
Read at least 20 books
Write at least 12 books for my grandsons
Make a barn quilt

Most of this is dependent on Hubby's help and cooperation, and of course, finances. The main goal is to be living in the house by February, and living like normal people by June. Right now, that doesn't seem possible, but if we can stick with it, we can do it.

December 20, 2018

AIP Turkey Vegetable Soup

Tuesday, Hubby took me to Costco. I looked for glasses frames while he loaded up on groceries. We both had eye exams last Thursday and he had gotten new glasses there, but I couldn't find any frames that fit my face. But Costco had a surprising number of petite frames and I finally had it narrowed down to two or three. But then Costco had a problem with my prescription so we left without ordering, and stopped by the eye doctor on the way back home. Turns out she didn't find any astigmatism in my left eye and only put a prism on my right lens. I don't know if the Graves eye disease caused the change in my eye or if astigmatism can magically go away on its own. I've had astigmatism in both eyes for the last fifty years, but the doctor insisted there was no astigmatism in my left eye now. Hmmm.

Yesterday, I didn't want to kill another day for Hubby, so I drove myself to Costco. I made it there without hitting anyone, yay!, ordered my glasses, and bought a four pack of ground turkey. I know, you're thinking "what does glasses have to do with soup?" Absolutely nothing. Except that the reason I made this soup is because I need to get back on the AIP bandwagon. After my frustrating visit with the thyroid eye disease ophthalmologist who only wanted to talk about plastic surgery, and the subsequent phone call from my endocrinologist who insisted that thyroid surgery is my only option, I decided to get back on the diet and see if that made any difference. I am 90% convinced that surgery won't do anything except make me hypothyroid for life.

On the way home from Costco, I stopped at Sprouts to check out their vegetables, and bought white sweet potatoes to use instead of white potatoes. The combination of turkey and white sweet potatoes, along with the other vegetables, made a tasty soup. Slightly sweet, with just the right consistency to make it stew-like. Even Hubby, who often cringes at my AIP recipes, thought it had a great taste.

One pound ground turkey
Small yellow onion
Two celery sticks
Two carrots
One white sweet potato (it was big)
One zucchini
Four cups of chicken bone broth
Salt and pepper to taste. I leave out pepper.

Normally, I wouldn't put onion in my AIP soup, but I had it in my refrigerator and just couldn't throw it away. In the future, I'll use roast a clove or two of garlic instead.

I started by dicing all the vegetables, and then sauteed the onions. Add all the vegetables and broth to the soup pot. Then brown the ground turkey, cutting and stirring with the spatula to make it crumble. Add it to the soup, bring to a boil, and then turn down to simmer until carrots are tender.

That's it. Super easy and delicious.

This will be the start of an eternal soup for the next few days. I'll add something new to the pot every day along with water or more broth. I have more zucchini, and then I think I'll add cauliflower, though we're not crazy about the smell of cauliflower cooking.

December 14, 2018

Now WHY Did I Go to That Doctor?

During my last visit with my endocrinologist, she wanted me to see an ophthalmologist who specializes in thyroid eye disease and then a thyroid surgeon. She said she wanted the ophthalmologist to take measurements and test the progression of the disease. It took almost two months to get an appointment with the doctor she wanted me to see, and once there, he never even looked into my eyes. He spent nearly the whole time talking about "lowering" my eyelids.

He asked at the beginning if I was having double vision, and I told him I was, to the point that I think my time driving on the highway is over. It's hard to focus with all the eye movements needed to watch traffic, and each eye movement takes a few seconds to adjust the focus. He didn't seem too concerned except to say he wouldn't do the eyelid surgery until the changes in my eyes was stable. Huh? I'm worried about losing my vision and he is talking about plastic surgery to make me look better?

I have a call in to the endocrinologist. Either she wrote the order to the doctor wrong, or she misled me as to why she wanted me to see this doctor. I just want to be able to see at this point.

The day after I saw that ophthalmologist, Hubby and I had appointments at an optometrist for new glasses. A couple of months ago, right after I found out I had thyroid eye disease, I told him I really needed new glasses and he recommended getting cheap ones because more than likely, my eyes would change so much in the next year that I'd need to change them again. This optometrist turned out to be at Walmart. It didn't say anything about Walmart on our provider list, and frankly, if I had known she was the Walmart optometrist, I wouldn't have gone to her. But she was actually one of the better optometrists I've been to. We discussed my eye disease, and she recommended putting a bit of prism into the lenses to help me focus. My retina specialist had mentioned that, so I agreed. Walmart has a low selection of frames that fit a narrow adult face, so I haven't gotten glasses yet, but hopefully, I'll find a pair in the next few days.

In the meantime, the wind is howling here. I hadn't planned on stepping foot outside the barndo today, but the wind isn't supposed to last all day. If it does, I'll run over to the nursing home to play a game with my mother-in-law and try to sneak some clothes into her closet. She has gotten really weird about clothes. She worries about not having anything to wear all the time and yet, she doesn't like anything we bring to her. So I thought if I could sneak some of her old clothes into her closet, I could pull them out when she asks what she is going to wear tomorrow. Wish me luck on that one. She is still sharp enough to know what clothes were in her closet.

December 11, 2018

It's Hard to Believe that Christmas is Almost Here

It doesn't feel like Christmas here. Other than Christmas movies on the television rerun channel, tv commercials I tend to tune out, the Salvation Army bell ringers at Walmart, and a few Christmas songs on the radio, I haven't seen many indications of the season. Neither our town, nor the nearest bigger town has any Christmas decorations on the streets as they normally do. I haven't seen many cars, make that ANY cars, with wreaths on the grill or antlers on the roof. But most of all, people I've seen in town seem to be doing the same thing they do every other day, just like me. I haven't heard anyone say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, or any other holiday greeting. Don't get me wrong, people are polite, they just aren't any different than the other eleven months of the year.

We don't have our lights and decorations up, save for one star Hubby put on his radio tower, and I seldom have a view of it. Maybe, because we don't have a normal home right now, with our normal decorations, that I just don't notice them in other places. Maybe it's because I haven't been to the mall. Maybe it takes circling the parking lot for thirty minutes looking for a parking space and then battling hordes of people for the perfect gift to feel the full effect of the countdown to Christmas. Maybe it's because I haven't bought any gifts. (We're exchanging consumable gifts this year, so I'm waiting until the last minute.)

The weather isn't helping either. Except for a few cold and rainy days last week, it's been warm and pleasant, not like Christmas should be at all. I've never thought much about the smells of Christmas before, but now that I have, most of my memories involve them. That cold, crisp smell when it is about to snow, the scent of pine when walking into a warm house, and that tantalizing aroma of cinnamon, and ginger coming from the kitchen. It's all missing this year.

I think I need to find my copy of It's a Wonderful Life (I bought it last year), followed by The Nativity Story, make a cup of hot chocolate, and spend an evening letting the reason for the season seep into my soul.

What does it take for you to get into the holiday spirit?