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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

06-07-17 Lovely day for getting lots done!


Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 6:11AM
Good morning.  This is us AND, we brought me along.  YAY!  We are starting a little late this morning.  We’ve been up for about 30-45 minutes, but seems to take some time settling down.  But, you knew that, right? Today should be a good day, but we have some things to get done.  The main tasks are gym, driver’s license place, then C-Pap machine, and then because we have the walker in the car, we want to stop at Walmart’s and get our tetanus shot, and THEN home.  We think there is going to be time between the DMV and the C-Pap to come home and have lunch/bathroom, etc.  AND, we watered Rich’s flowers and vegetables, so they should be good tonight.
There, doesn’t THAT sound like a lot for a day!??  PLUS, we must naturally do the things around here like cleaning and showers and even making some breakfast/lunch AN dinner stuff. So, we’ll do some of that like in 45 minutes.  We are falling apart during the evenings and just getting things cleaned up enough so the kitty and dog don’t get into trouble.  Last night we didn’t go to bed proper until about 10:20PM and it took that long to also shut down the house.  This is not to say that we hadn’t been sleeping before that – because we were in and out of sleep, and we’re yawning now.  We are hoping A LOT will change after we get the C-Pap machine.  Oh, Lordy are we hoping.  I say this thinking through all the yawns at Dr. Marvin’s office yesterday.
We still did the drive, but we weren’t in our top condition.  Yesterday’s drive was very nice though.  We brought our Kindle and earphones, and then later discovered phone over car speakers works too for audible books.  We had bought the Al Franken – Giant of the Senate book with a audible credit and we listened to about a quarter of it between the drive to Dr. Marvin’s and back.  It was GREAT!  I must be careful to pay attention – it seemed that our minds were listening, but being aware especially of car distance around us.  So, I think we’re safe and we’ll just get better and better.  We were riveted by the book.  Not because chapter by chapter was that extraordinary, just that each was very interesting to listen too because Franken was telling his story in an engrossing manner.  He’s a good writer.  Hehe – He was a writer on Saturday Night for 15 Years, so I suppose if I had known that, I could have guessed the other too, right?  Just part of a very interesting life on the way to becoming a US Senator.  Love to have done that!
Ahh, Rich and us talked last night for a smidge about it, but just now we turned to a review and it starts out saying, “Why Not Al?” They continue “Al Franken says his book isn’t a prelude to a presidential campaign, but the American people can hope, right?” We’re thinking the same thing.  We’re thinking that he could come up and nab the position if he wanted to.  He’s from my home state, and has obviously a sense of humor, but also seriousness about him where he really does know his people and people in general – and why not – other TV personalities have done it before.  He’s on his second term, and I think he’s been pretty good about keeping his nose clean, and really knows how to go about things – even getting himself the help he needs to succeed.  He’s nationally known and if he keeps his head about himself as a senator, why not?  He’s a figurehead, right?
There, just finished our 5-minute break from the computer.  Beside using the washroom, we soaked some tough dishes (should have happened yesterday, and we unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher.  With only one person and not a WHOLE lot of cooking, this doesn’t really take too long.  We’ll wait another 10-12 minutes before finishing the work, because we have our 7AM time coming up which includes Dakota, medicine, “cooking” Jell-O, sweeping the floor AND making eggs.  IF we can do all that.  I’m not sure, but that’s the goal.  The next things will be writing/eating for an hour and a half, and then shower finish cleaning/making the bed and getting dressed, and then leaving at 9:45AM for the gym.  We can do this, calmly right?  Did we mention gym, DMV, C-Pap & Tetanus shot?  Hehe ok – that plays out the balance of the day.
What then?  In an ideal world – we’d be coming home about dinner time, of course feeding the animals first, and then we’d watch some news and then go to organizing/reading before jumping into our first night of C-Pap sleep!!!  I think we’ll do some more audiobook reading during the car trip to the C-Pap place and we’re going to need some of that time to chase down our emails and Evernote for the day.  Hey, for the record – we got some Amazon mail yesterday – and we’ve tried our first three gummy fiber things.  Not bad!  Oh yes, need to throw out the box today PLUS throw out that other box we found while cleaning Monday.  Be nice to hit some more of that sunroom, hmm?  Well if there is more time.
Just a couple moments now.  We’re in the three-minute, umm 2-minute wind-up to Dakota doing his morning routine of asking for breakfast.  It’s one of the most faithful few minutes of EVERY day!  He’s such a good dog.  He just reminds us how happy he would be if he got fed.  He and Missy do another routine for the evening dinner – Missy is ALWAYS right next to me and right next to her or on either side of me is her buddy Dakota.  I wonder if it gives them an extra thrill to double team me.  The boys used to get me on all sides too.  It’s one of my favorite memories of their childhood.  Ok, we’ve led a pretty good life.  Oh, and one other thing?  It would be my 37-year anniversary if we had stayed married to our ex-husband Maury.  We didn’t – we made it 13 years and called it quits, but man-o-man what beautiful children we made, hmm?  Whoops chimes!
We are back!  Got Dog fed, medicine taken, Jell-O made, floors swept, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and to be honest … we only had cottage cheese today.  Just too much to think through right now … ok, and we did fill-up our sunflower seeds for probably what will last most of the day.  We also filled our late-morning and afternoon medicine in case we’re out, which was explained above.  Ok, you ARE paying attention to all this, right?  Not that we’re on your case … just hoping to strike up a conversation here.  Should we do a sound check?  Well, I’m ok, how are you doing?  Have you had breakfast yet?  Almost time to start water too!  Right now, we’re still on Coke (diet) and coffee.  Killer combination first thing in the morning hehe. 
One more thing to decide.  Do we do the dishes before lunch or after?  We have our Jell-O made and won’t finish it so we’re not worrying about that bowl and then there is oatmeal?  I think we’re good there too.  We just took out that clean measuring cup, so it’s ready.  How about dinner?  Hmm, that’s something to be paid attention too.  If we have our salad to finish the other chicken, then we won’t have our salad bowl.  That’s just saying, we need to wash dishes before dinner – so after lunch – that will get the oatmeal – yes, I know Jell-O and oatmeal for lunch … who does this?  It works 😉 So, if we wait – we’ll get that cleaned up – so, we decided … dishes after lunch and before we go for the C-Pap.  GREAT!  Done!
Oh yes, the amount of thinking that happens here … it’s spectacular!  I think we’re all good with clothes too.  We washed them on Monday, remember?  We have been wearing our capris to gym with a short sleeve.  That seems to work out.  We’re still having trouble with our right foot.  The blood from the old bruise (from wearing diabetic shoes) has gathered at the top base of my second and third toes, so it hurts to bend our foot there.  It is liveable and better with shoes, just wish it weren’t a problem.  Rich is going to ask if we called the shoe place yet, and we haven’t.  AND oh there is the partials – they are not perfect either and we should call the dentist, but we don’t want to make either of those calls.  It’s where we are behind. 
I would like to say … we’re all good with the other medical situations.  I think you heard that we checked out with the mammogram, colon AND D&C for cancer.  YAY – We’re all good.  We did have a polyp removed from our stomach, but after that no problems.  We still must take the medicine we take for having had ulcers, but after that it’s all good.  AND, to make things better?  We got a note back from Dr. Dorman yesterday stating, “This looks promising.  Keep up the good work.”  I had sent him a copy of our report after completing the second month on the life change with our eating.  That anniversary is the 21rst of each month starting in May.  I will leave a copy here, just in case I forgot to post at the time.
Ann's Goals
Calories - 1600 calories
Carbs - 120 g (30%)
Fat - 53 g (30%)
Protein - 160 g (40%)
Sodium - 2000 mg
Sugar - 55 g

2nd month tracked on average
Calories - 1604 calories (over .2%)
Carbs - 100 g (under 17%)
Fat - 79 g (over 33.1%)
Protein - 101 g (under 37%)
Sodium - 2545 mg (over 21.4%)
Sugar - 58 g (over 5.4%)

2nd month average totals
Ann's weight - 272.3 lbs. (-12.7 lbs. down 4.5%)
Rich's weight - 289.6 lbs. (-4.4 lbs. down 1.5%)
Blood/sugar - 101 b/s (-81.3 b/s down 45%)
BP - Systolic - 115 (-3.1 about the same)
BP - Diastolic - 73 (-1.3 the same)
Pulse - 82 (-.2 the same)
AM Steps - 326 (-90.9 up 28%)
AM Time - 6:15 AM (waking-up 20 minutes earlier)
PM Steps - 2225 (-379.9 up 28%)
PM Time - 7:45 PM (same)
Productivity Score - 74% (.9 up 5.4%)
Time - 12h 32m (-3.9 productivity time is up 32%)

In comparison to Ann's first month of weight loss, the second month she has lowered her weight by 4.5% and Rich is 1.5% lower. Her blood sugar is 45% lower. Her blood pressure and pulse is about the same. Her morning and afternoon step counts are both up 28%, and she is waking-up 20 minutes earlier in the morning. Her productivity score is up 5.4% (rescuetime program) and the amount of productivity time is up 32%.
I know … great, right!??  Anyway, Dr. Dorman said “promising.”  I think we both know that this still must be carried out over time to make it work. 
We were disappointed this morning, because yesterday we were 267 and today, we were 268.  267 has been are target weight because it was the lowest we’d gotten before going up again after the gastric bypass surgery in 2008 – so, 9-years ago.  That’s a lot of time being OVER 267 and most of that time was spent hovering just under 300 pounds.  I know, it’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. 
This weight and exercise stuff was a good part of the conversation with Dr. Marvin on Tuesday.  We were feeling “unsettled,” for most of the appointment.  We were seeing the number – had hit it, but we weren’t confident that we were able to stay there, or go under.  For the record, we did a good job of eating yesterday, so that wasn’t it, but we know there are always going to be fluctuations. 
Between Dr. Marvin and us, we came up with the new goal for weight – and, maybe we should be focusing on that this morning.  We decided that we weren’t going to be good at 260, because we’d want to be in the 50’s, but 250 was too far away, so we set the goal for 257 in about a month – and then we evened out the days to 257 by July 4th.  We also set then a secondary goal that we’d be at 252 by my birthday July 18th.  We didn’t want to go way big or out of control given the amount of time – as to crossing 250, but we’d be getting close to that major goal.  I think the next goal – the third goal would be 247.  That would cross the 250 marks, and get us solid into the 240’s … it would just be a 5 lbs. turnover, and it would give me the grand total of FIFTY pounds lost!  That is so major it has us wiggling in our chair.
But, then we must calm down and just focus on the first goal … again, that is a ten-pound loss between now and July 4th to 257 pounds, and that is exactly 27 days away.  We can do it, right?  Just got to keep working VERY hard!  Maybe too, by then we could change sizes.  I would feel better if that happened going into the fall season, because I believe we still have pants that fit and we’re hoping our capris get us through the summer.  AND THEN!  Maybe we can do a size change coming even into the fall season.  That be nice, right?  By then, we would very much deserve it. 
We still haven’t gotten word back from Amazon if we passed the mark as to being invited to try out the new Amazon Alexa – the Echo Look.  Hmm, nothing there.  We went to the Amazon site, and it only says the product is available by invitation only and that if selected, we will get an email and then it says, “Thank you for your request.”  That blows the idea of asking again.  It’s got my number.  I REALLY want that camera/devise.  It is about grasping the changes of our size.  We’ll not become a fashion editor, and maybe they are going by how much clothing money you spend at Amazon – it’s all about upping their sales in that area, but in general, we wished we already had it so we could learn to accept our size and size changes better.  Dr. Marvin has a hard time convincing me these weight changes are real and are here to stay.  We’re still gloomy in that respect.
I hope by now, you are a bit of a “diet” conversationalist, because this is important with our personhood right now.  My Mother would be so proud of us.  It’s the first time I had that thought since starting to lose weight.  It was the last thing she stated that was very important to her, was that we lost weight and could become healthier.  We talked to Dr. Marvin about it, in that, we still don’t have a tight grip on what it was that made us change.  I’m pretty sure, he gave us some suggestions about things going on in our life.  I remember the part of Jillian being in town and having lost significant weight – with much more to go, but that she and her brother had been doing it on the low carb diet that Rich and us accepted by the weekend Jillian left.  But, I don’t know the undercurrent of what went into that decision to make it real this time.  I know we’d advanced in that we had better tools to be taking on this kind of change, and that record keeping has been a big part of this being successful.  We’re fighting the comment, “up to this point.”  Again, we’re having trouble with the reality of this whole situation.
Another part of that conversation was not understanding who we were … in past tense, we meant yesterday while talking to Dr. Marvin.  There was an old us that used to work for St. Rose, and there’s been the us who has been on disability for the last five years.  BUT, then who is it that has survived and taken over our sense of self? 
The closest we came as to accepting a new identity – other than disabled, is the thought, “We are a writer.”  This is becoming a more assertive though in just this last week or two – maybe since Rich left last Saturday, when we came up with the new schedule that included us writing every morning – the first thing as we were waking-up.  It’s a lot easier to think of yourself as a writer, if you are actively writing, right?
This is where we insert the though – that other than 2016 after my Mother had died, we’ve been writing pretty consistently before and after back to fourteen years-ago.  That should qualify me for being a writer too, hmm?  Maybe we’re a little less forgiving, because we write to a blog instead of books, but then comes the goals – attached to editing, which state that we want our writing to be published.  Adding that word “published” is something that Dr. Marvin helped us with yesterday.  It’s one thing to write, and writing to a blog – IS publishing, but writing so that we can be picked-up on Amazon – God Bless its soul that it ALWAYS survives! Is quite another thing.  The thought of collecting money for the e-books is another thing – and though is just 99 cents, I’d be just as happy if they were free, although there is a nominal situation that says, if we are collecting the tiniest of income – at least a check a year?  Hehe – we’re thinking $25 would be nice, then we would find it EASIER to saying we’re a published writer, and we’re making money at it!  I know … still have my homegrown money modesty of being a Minnesotan.  Can’t help that.  Hmm, did St. Mary’s and Brother Julius do that to us?  Loved that guy!
Hmm, that took us back.  We spent a few moments going back to check on BJ – Brother John Grover.  It seems like he’s still with us and is as strong as an ox.  We saw a picture of him and an additional picture of Brother Jerome.  It was an alumni news article stating that they were naming a new cross-country ski center in the basement of one of the buildings on Campus and they were naming it after Brother Jerome.  That made sense … They were saying he gave like 40 years to building the trail for cross-country skiing in the bluffs surrounding our old college campus and as should be, they had noted BJ for his long-years into the cross-country ski momentum.  I can’t help but think of BJ and campus together, and it came up when we had a couple thoughts on Brother Julius.  It all came up together.  My first week at St. Mary’s, we found that we had already a skiing reputation and it was soaked up by the brothers.  BJ became one of my best friends for such a long time – both he and Brother Jerome together, but especially BJ.  Brother Julius didn’t stay on the Winona campus as long.  He went back toward “The cities” of Minneapolis and St. Paul to work through the graduation center, and to be the one taking care of his elderly parents.  I’m sure they are all gone, but thank God for them in my life. 
I don’t want to now fallback into our familiar gloominess of what happened to BJ and us, so we’re consciously over-stepping that now.  I so wish we could have turned back time. 
Ok, moving on. 
Maybe we should send off with these pictures.  The first one has BJ.  He’s in the orange coat, and the person in the second picture in the bobcat is Brother Jerome.

Ok, moving on … I don’t want to be the one that besmirches their memories.  Feel like we want to cry. OK YOU!  YOU WERE DOING WELL!
Ok, new page … Ok, we took a 3-minute break.  Couldn’t do the whole five-minutes, but we got ourselves a fresh cup of coffee and the realization that we’re only 25-minutes left of the hour, and then shower and move on with our day.  We can do it right?  Just maybe don’t think of is as much right now as being hard.  We did water Rich’s garden last night WITH the walker, so it wasn’t too bad.  I enjoyed ourselves after we got out there.  We were happy to dodge the dogs trails out there (gets cleaned-up every Friday), and we could kneel to get the water turned on and off.  That was one of the troubles. And, Rich included before he left, putting water in the watering can to water the front flowers on the driveway next to the garage.  We stole a look at the beautiful flowers all around Joe’s house.  Pswhoo!  Is he a hard worker!  But, last night?  We did good too.  It was the first time taking responsibility to water Rich’s gardens.  YAY!
Did you hear the other good thing that happened the other day?  I’m not sure if we said this, but on Monday – maybe after we wrote last … well on Monday, we had 6,020 steps!!!!  If you knew us, you would know how unbelievable this is.  Before we started this progress in March, we were walking about 1,300-1,800 steps a day, and then we had a couple 3,000 days and a couple 4,000 days – by that time, we had had the three sets of shots to our spine.  But this week???!!!  We not only passed 5,000, but we passed 6,000!!!  We’ve got the hard teacher at gym – her name is officially Laura, and we had laundry that day – so, maybe Mondays are our magic day.
And, the other thing?  Because we are now conscious of raising our numbers and abilities, we took the long walk to Dr. Marvin’s yesterday instead of driving to the valet-parking.  I mean gosh – we just discovered that, and already we’ve surpassed it!  For a couple of dollars more, it is really an outstanding service, but we’re proud of doing the extra walking.  Yesterday’s steps on a NON-laundry and NON-gym day were 3,389 … I mean gosh!  Is that real?
Hmm, Rich just called.  He needed a number and couldn’t pull up the Internet.  He’s out on a boat.  That be our fishyman!  The Lawrence Fish Finder they have is stuck on night vision and they must call customer support.  That was a nice moment with him, BUT just twelve minutes left Grrr.
Let’s go back to that last number … 3,389!!!!  Great “off-athletic” day number.  We’re thinking that we should be setting a new goal for steps so that getting 3,000 or over is a daily thing.  Wouldn’t that shoot up our step-count average!  Hehe
I am just remembering now that we don’t have electricity for our treadmill, so we should deal with that a bit.  Maybe, we’ll be fine on Thursday with another walk to Dr. Marvin’s office, but after that we’ll be gone and should put in 3,000 easy with the quilting girls, and then maybe we need to walk outside, even if it means bringing our walker.  AND, as a plus, we always have that meeting with our back guy coming up on the 21rst.  Hmm, that’s an even two weeks away YAY!  I hate to say I would look forward to a surgery, but we’re REALLY into the thought that we might be a better walker than we had hoped.  If it took one more surgery to deaden those certain pain nerves, I would be all in.  It might be a temporary set-back, but what a trip that would be!  WooHOO!  Beside walking Dakota – we’d be shooting for a long-term goal of, at least, 10,000 steps a day.  It be WONDERFUL!  And, wouldn’t Dakota love it too!?
Ok, last things … what else is on our minds.  We did show Dr. Marvin the notes from our Trello yesterday, but we didn’t get straight to the point of “dead-messages,” except to say that – we needed to talk about eating and physical, and then it gets closed off from our brain.  I’m not sure how we talked about it.
We did share this validating comment, we’d put together the other day …
Be open and self-validating. Direct and star in your own movie by accepting good and bad, and staying in the present. Develop a plan of action by creating steps or tasks that will inspire us to accomplish while exploring - even in the face of adversity. It's an ADVENTURE!
Dr. Marvin had just said something about self-validation and accomplishing tasks.  I’m not sure how he said it, but it was tied into our conversation.  We had him glance at the purple board to check-out a few of our daily schedules that have us working toward being able to not only write and consider ourselves a writer, but also to edit and publish.  He likes to throw in Quilting too, but we’re not up to putting that on the schedule.  Maybe it could be a couple 7-9 shots.  Right now, we’re happy just that we’re coming up to another quilting weekend with the girls.  Ok, one last thing … any thought on Dr. Marvin’s Board?
Ok, there was that conversation as to “why” we write – and that led to building an identity as a writer. And then there was conversation on the gym and the difficulties there.  I think a lot of work convincing us that we could keep this up even after canceling Ramsey’s class.  That’s the majors, but speaking of … it is now 9AM ... We’re off! Good job!
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