Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Diets, Dogs and Summertime Reading


It’s official. The dog lost two pounds since his last yearly physical and the vet wants him to loss two more. “Ideally,” she said. “At his age,” she said. She questioned me up one side and down the other about what I’m feeding him, how much exercise he’s getting to the point I wanted to scream, Get a life, Lady! He’s fat, I’m fat and we know which one of us buys the groceries in the family. I wanted to tell her that if I was only two pounds overweight I’d be running naked up and down the sidewalk…which come to think about is exactly what Levi does. Everywhere that dogs goes, people praise him for his handsome, good looks and fine manners. Maybe it’s a schnauzer thing but he’s got attitude with a capital A which is probably why no one but the vet has ever fat shamed him.

All this cause and effect between eating too much and moving too little was discussed over my cell phone while I sat in the clinic’s parking lot and they had him kidnapped inside where they drew his blood and felt him up for lumps and bumps. Pandemic rules of engagement. After $215 worth of examination that included two canine flu shots, a fecal exam looking for worms of various descriptions they didn’t find and a CBC blood chemistry test and they finally brought him back out to car. Can you believe it, they charged $3.95 to throw out the inch long sample of poop after playing with it under a microscope. I should have asked for it back and used the $3.95 down the street at Starbucks.

You will never guess in a hundred years what I’m reading right now. No, Not War and Peace. I’m reading a book titled Pandemic by A.G. Riddle, as if I don’t get enough scary data off the nightly news. 722 pages that were written in 2017 and its blurb describes the novel as “a groundbreaking sci-fi thriller that takes you inside the CDC and WHO response to a global outbreak. It's an eye-opening journey that will change everything you think you know about pandemics--and how to survive one. The product of over two years of research, Pandemic is filled with real science and history--and more than enough twists to keep you up late into the night, promising, ‘just one more chapter.’" The Guardian reviewer wrote, it "...reads like a superior collaboration between Dan Brown [The De Vinci Code] and Michael Crichton [The Andromeda Strain]." Oh! My! God! I’ve ready both these authors and is that statement ever true.

I’m just past the half way point in the book and already I’m flabbergasted that our president bad-mouths the CDC and WHO and wants to defund them. The kind of work they do to contain viruses around the world blows my mind. Dangerous work done by super-smart and highly educated people, I might add. The most dangerous thing Trump has ever done is stick his penis where it doesn’t belong without wearing a condom. I’m sorry, I should compartmentalize my politics and not let them contaminate my book review.

So, how about those Yankees? The urban dictionary says that phrase is used to break up incredibly awkward silences, presumably the kind of silence that follows when someone says something mean about the president’s penis. Did it work? Are you now thinking about baseball and how cute some of those players look in their uniforms? I don’t follow sports so I don’t even know if the baseball season was canceled or not because of the pandemic. And once again, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be sexualizing the players by making your mind’s eye check out the players’ abs, tushes or 'bumps' in the front.

I’ve been trying remember what we label the action where you hold your hands in front of your eyes with two fingers on each hand forming V-shapes, then you slowly draw your hands off to the sides. I think it’s meant to show you clearing your head of all its wayward thoughts and are ready to party. I don’t know if that’s true but either way picture me doing that right now because it’s time to change topics. But, darn it, it bothers me when I have a picture like that stuck in my brain and I can’t figure out how to google it for an explanation, but a goofy movie with Woody Allen keeps playing with my thoughts. (If you’re getting the idea that I’m filibustering my own blog post to get my word count in, you’d be right.)

Let’s get serious here for a minute. The dog isn’t the only one with a doctor who is wanting a change in eating habits. When my blood tests came back in preparation for my Reclast infusion, they showed my blood sugars were elevated—duh, pandemic comfort foods did that to me. And the doctor had me run a second test---an A1C test that shows your blood sugar levels over a three month period. For the first time in my life, I’m dangerously close to being labeled ‘diabetic.’ I’m at 5.7% and 6.5% is where they slap that label on your patient file. I told the doctor, “No way! Give me a couple of months and I’ll lower that percentage.” So now not only are we still living in Pandemic Park I have to do it with the added stress of having to trade my comfort foods in for healthy stuff while listening to dog complain when he doesn’t get all the comfort treats. Trust me when I say that he doesn’t suffer in silence. And guess what, neither do I and aren't you glad you're not my neighbor. ©


44 comments:

  1. Definitely a schnauzer thing to have mega attitude. Which is why I love this breed!

    I've been eating a lot more sugars than I ever have due to the pandemic/packing/unpacking/general life upheaval. But things are smoothing out for me finally, and I am ready to get back to better habits. And that means more home food prep and cooking!

    Despite living on comfort/convenience/takeout foods for months now, I somehow managed to be down 2 pounds (as I found when I recently dared weigh myself again). If the scale moves up as I start eating better, I will be mightily pissed.

    Deb

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    1. I'm back in a better frame of mind regarding the stress eating. I've done enough damage and it stops here. Still not cooking much but at least I'm not eating sugars like there is no tomorrow. Hey, does that mean I believe there will BE a tomorrow when this is all over?


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  2. :D Thank you for the cheerful post. I'm smiling from ear to ear.

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  3. I think it's funny you are surprised that the good people of the CDC and WHO are lambasted by the idiot in charge. Anything good is bad to him.
    I am going to the dr. this week. I will get the same lecture on moving more, eating less. I gained my pandemic 15 - similiar to a Freshman 15.
    :-)

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    1. I know. I temporarily forgot that science is bad and proven facts are just opinions.

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  4. Congrats Levi - hard to lose weight while stuck at home. My husband worked for the CDC for 20 years and told me stories about his colleagues experiences in the trenches during the worst of the Ebola crisis. And they volunteered those smart, experienced scientists the current President scoffs at. I was going to add something worse about him but wont'.

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    1. I just heard on the news this morning that we have 3-4 cases of Ebola every year right here in the U.S.A. that the CDC quickly contains. Those people in the trenches are brave and dedicated to protecting us all.

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  5. Well, I am your neighbor in cyber-world, and I don't mind listening/reading about your pandemic and weight loss woes one bit.
    I read this post to H and we laughed our heads off. Poor Levi... and poor you sitting in the parking lot while he was "kidnapped" inside. But you made it so funny.
    I've read Michael Crichton and Dan Brown, too. I immediately went to audible.com and checked on Pandemic, and I already had it on my wish list. It will be my next read. I like that genre.

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    1. I'm always glad when people get my humor and don't just assume I'm off my rocker or meds. lOL

      I finished the book and I will say I liked the first half a whole lot better than the second half but still worth the time and money to read it. The second half seemed more far-fetched.

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  6. I remember the gesture you are trying to define. We called it something like being Egyptian, because we thought we were indicating we had eye make-up like Cleopatra. We were kids, so this might not be the most helpful comment.

    I am eating more sugar and rather tired of it. Now there's something I never would have ever thought I'd say. Strange times lead to strange realizations.

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    1. YES! The Egyptian connection! Now I'm stuck trying to remember guy who appeared on SNL often who did that in a movie wearing an Egyptian outfit---Steve Martin! Thank you!

      Aw sugar is my middle name, or it such be.

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  7. I really need a good summertime read. I'm reading something scholarly and slow right now. Not what I want at all.

    Sounds like you have another project now, Jean. Jazzing up salads and healthy foods is your new hobby.

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    1. I hate salads. I really do. They usually give me diarrhea, probably from the preservatives they put on them and they never make me feel like I've eaten anything.

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  8. Enjoyed your rants though must say I am having a time trying to get that Trump image out of my mind:)
    I did read that book or rather almost did. I think I baled out somewhere in the middle. It was just too depressing for me.
    Hope you get your numbers down. That is a tricky disease and an expensive one unless you have friends in Canada.

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    1. I just wrote a reply up above about the book getting less interesting just after the middle point. I finished it but it seemed far-fetched when they got into the group who caused the pandemic and wanted to take over the world. It didn't depress me, though.

      I do not want to be a diabetic. So I'm paying attention to the warning.

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  9. Like you, if I only had 2 lbs to lose "ideally at his age" I'd be naked right now. I'd rather exercise than quit eating. I'm thinking of the rhubarb bread pudding in the fridge. I find that magazine articles are the extent of my concentration up to now. I'm ready for a good read.

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    1. I love rhubarb but if you look at the recipes featuring rhubarb they are really high in sugar. darn it, now I want some! LOL

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  10. Sorry to hear about your health issues. Sounds like you are determined to do better and I wish you good health (and your dog too)! Being stuck at home makes it difficult but you definitely have proven that you are a woman who can accept a challenge! Good luck!

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    1. I'm good with challenges up to a point, but it doesn't take much to get me to back track when it comes to food issues and exercise. But I need the yin to balance the yang.

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  11. Levi is one lucky man. You two are just right for each other.

    I stepped over that line into TypeII. And I know I could reverse it by modifying the amount of carbs (I live on, but not sweet ones) and WALK. I live in the perfect FLAT neighborhood with parks and walking trails along the river. And I LOVE salads with a chunk of protein.

    Maybe we could do this together long distance?

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    1. He is so demanding. If he wasn't in my life I'd be twenty pounds heavier because he makes me get up from the computer when I don't want to.

      Sugar, once you get through a week of not having them is easier to resist. I'm there now. Carbs are definitely harder but I could live on protein alone. You are lucky you like salads. They are like punishment for me,

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  12. Good having another compadre breaking the sugar cycle with me. :)

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    1. As I wrote up above, I'm past the point now where it's no longer hard to resist sugar. I just have to remember that the next time I go to the grocery store and cake and ice cream are calling my name.

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  13. As my daughter tells me after a holiday or bad eating spree, "Fruit is your boat off of sugar island, Mom." LOL. Right now, I'm enjoying the sweet cherries in the store, and I love watermelon. But alas, they're not as comforting as ice cream, are they? And last week we caught the last of the MI strawberries and had shortcake. Three nights in a row. Oops. I will get a grip...but right now, I'm still emptying boxes and fielding utility people, paint touchup people, etc. See how easily I can make excuses for my bad eating habits? And I found a whole chocolate bar in my unpacking. Haha. Not sharing, so I hid it.

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    1. I like your daughter's saying. I was eating strawberry shortcake like it just got made illegal and I had to get rid of the evidence. It's not the berries that are bad so much as the angel food cake and whipped cream that go with it. Have hat the cherries yet but I love them.

      That chocolate bar would have gotten hid in my belly. Just sayin'.

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  14. The first year I was divorced, I was eating way too much sugar and stressing about everything. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and pre-hypertention. I bought the Dash diet book and followed it to the T. Best thing I ever did for myself. This pandemic has me eating far too much sugary stuff again. Time to get that book back out and follow it.

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    1. I actually like Dash and use it. I didn't know they have a diet book. I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip.

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  15. Fat shaming anyone is wrong regardless of how many legs the have
    The best place to hide chhocolate is in one's stomach
    Trump's penis should never be mentioned we all know you will need a magnifing glass to see it.

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    1. When the vet was talking about my dog's weight I kept remaining myself she couldn't see me therefore she wasn't channeling a fat shaming to me. LOL Guilty conscious, I guess.

      LOL at your last line.

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  16. Actually, the danger started when Trump's father stuck his penis into Trump's mother and created the spawn. Good luck with your diet changes. It's hard, but dealing with being diabetic can't be easy.

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    1. So true, but you said it first. LOL

      My husband was diabetic so I know it's something I want to avoid if possible.

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  17. How frustrating, your blood tests. As for that vet, next time get the poop back. Really? That's nuts. I know they have to probably comply with orders but it should be built into the fee. Fecal exam -- gee, the price went up by $4. The cost of living. And who'd know? I think Levi looks just fine. I actually lost weight on Covid though that might be an overstatement now. I haven't been weighed since I came to the lake and that could be an issue. But swimming more!

    Don't start me on WHO, CDC and all. He makes my brain hurt.

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    1. The vet clinic I go to is definitely nit-picky about pricing. That charge really got me!

      I weigh myself twice a day. Back when I had a scale with a light up face I was even weighing myself when I got up in the middle of the night to pee. Yes, you could call me obsessed.

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  18. Our cocker gets "written up" for being 2 pounds overweight all the time. Tough! She is happy and a happy dog equals happy parents.

    I have just started reading Stephen King's The Stand. Written in 1978, it is about a pandemic that kills 99% of the people in the world after bad stuff gets released from an army post. It is one of the few King books that isn't a horror story or about vampires. At 1,300 pages it should hold me for awhile. The CDC is central to solving the problem. And, there is no Trump in sight.

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    1. Actually, I think I'd like that Stephan King Novel and I'm putting in my Amazon Wish List. There is something about reading about dystopia plots that makes the real world less stressful to me. Thanks for posting this.

      And I agree about the two pounds, a happy dog is important.

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  19. Our cat, Nibbles, is probably two pounds overweight, too, but she's active, healthy, happy, and a joy to us.

    Say anything you want against _____, and I'll agree with you. I am blaming all of the stress I've been under on the 2016 election--honestly; it all went downhill after that. He probably woke up the day after, and said,"S***, what have I done? I was just having fun. I wasn't supposed to win--now I'll actually have to do something, and it will all be out in front where I can't hide who I really am." And all because too many people said, "Anyone but Hillary." Now I say, "Anyone but _____, even a chimp would be better and probably smarter." Imagine a President who brags that he doesn't read?? Rant over.

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    1. It's been reported that when his wife was crying at the victory party she was crying because she didn't want him to win. I think you're right that he didn't expect to win and when he did it went right to his already to big head. Like you, I've been stressed since the election,too.

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  20. The Stad is one of the best novels of all time, man. Some of those escape scenes though...I am reading mindless drivel. I also called a book about quarantines called Lockdown by peter may. My weight loss isin ounces these days but it does exist. I get my blood work today, lucky me I' addicted to sugar, I aknowledge it and deal with it. trying to get four thousand steps round the house daily besides exercise.

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    1. The reviews on the Stand are all outstanding. I can't decide if I want to get the paperback or kindle version. I like to understand in his novels so I'm leaning..

      I normally get 4,000 steps in daily without taking the dog for walks. I really need more exercise. Sugar is a problem for me too but I'm currently off the sugar wheel, thank goodness and am measuring weight lose in ounces. Does that count?

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  21. Vets and Docs are so expensive... I want to just be able to go to my Eastern Medical Docs again and have our crappy Insurance pay for any of it, which they won't. They claim Eastern Medicine is Experimental even with 2,600 Years of proven effectiveness... long Experiment! *LOL* It works... that's why they won't cover it, nobody would be profiting off of sickness if we all stayed Well, no Money in it! I like when you compartmentalize your Politics, speaking Truth to Power. I watched an Interesting Special about "Who Killed Epstein", we'll never really know since they buried that newsworthy fake Suicide deeply since the Dead Man now couldn't roll over on all the Influential People who were part of the Child Sex Trafficking Ring and Scandal. Trump, Clinton, Prince Andrew and many others were nailbiting I'm sure til they had him Offed in Prison, so conveniently... it was ludicrous how many Bedsheets were in that Prison Cell! *LMAO*

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    1. That's funny about the "experiment" to describe Eastern Medicine.

      I've seen that Epstein special advertised a few times and probably will again. Just never had much interest in the puke. I suppose I should catch it next time it's on.

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  22. High glucose? Ditch the sugar. Exercise. Same old story....

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