Thursday, May 26, 2011


If he can do it, I can do it. I'm on day 7 of 40. Fifteen pounds and counting.

As much as I detest using my blog as a diet diary, I'm a bit consumed by what is happening to my body. I feel better most of the time, am not so much hungry as weak, and had accupuncture yesterday for the first time. It didn't hurt, and may have helped. The only lingering problem is leg cramps. I was having them prior to the cleanse/diet, and am trying some natural measures to stop them. Thanks to asia for her wisdom, and for running until she cramps so she knew what to tell me. There is always someone in front of me on whatever path I find myself on.

My conclusion at this point is that naturpathic medicine is still medicine, is pricey, and there is still alot to do about my once-failing self. I do feel better, lighter, and hopeful. Diets are for fools. Call them cleanses, call them what you will. I know this. But my knees hurt and I was so sick. I just wanted something like a zipper that I could unzip the last 5 years of stress and cortisol and fast food and step out of the fat suit I've acquired. The only lasting solution is movement, something I don't get with my current set of hobbies. Change. Ah. I remember change.

This weekend we will observe Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as we used to call it in the nursing home. We used to load all of the old women, they usually outlived and outnumbered the men, on the bus and take them around to local cemeteries because everybody pretty much lived and died in the same place. Most men went to war and were buried out at the Veteran's cemetery. My family did, and is. Women grew gardens specifically for Decoration Day, tulips and lilacs and daffodils and iris. Things that would bloom by May. My father is buried on the coast and he said he only wanted flowers from our own gardens. Never store-bought. I wish I'd known him better.

My former mother-out-law turns eighty today. We will celebrate her with a big party at Jackson Park on the Applegate River. She is a remarkable woman, the most influential in my life. She loves my son and I without reservation, even though his father and I never married except in a biker-sort-of-way. Her dignity surpasses anyone I've known. Her advice is sound and never given without asking and I've never heard her say a bad word about anyone -- and I can't say that about anyone else except my brother Doug. She is equally comfortable in a remote cabin cooking for a pack of men and mules or bringing out the fine china. I am blessed to be counted among her daughters.

Well, my wax is melting and I am working on a small piece for her birthday gift. Wish me luck. I'll put a bird on it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Don't misunderstand. I'm still all for the natural way, however, I have now signed up for the diet program. Why, I'm wondering, are all nutritional specialists tiny? What do they know? Do they understand the intrinsic mistrust of the fat for the thin? Seriously.

Naw. She was nice. Just in a tiny way.

So I feel much like Jack in the hours just after he purchased the magic beans. I am hoping for a beanstalk outside my window tomorrow morning. I have purchased many magic beans in my lifetime, but, as usual, that's another story for another day.

So don't come for dinner for 40 days and 40 nights. I won't be cooking except for 100 gm. portions of meat and a plain vegetable. one. at. a .time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

cold feet

I'm complaining, formally, about the weather. I'm not complaining about the luscious lilacs in my back yard, or the sprouting baby grass where the dogs used to poop. I'm cold. I'm tired of being cold. I want to be warm now. I'm done. I am, to quote any teenager, over it. My feet are cold. They've been cold for months. I am grateful not to be in Mississippi right now. I'll give you that much.

So, anyway, back to my life on Clinton Steet on a cold and rainy sunday morning. The trucks were out today, two big metro vans of men on overtime hanging our new street art above our streetsigns, on our dime. I think the art is nice, bicycles, to indicate that Clinton is indeed a "bicycle boulevard" as if you couldn't tell from the volume of bicycles. Its part of the Clinton Street Bicycle Boulevard Street Art Project and costs 70,000 dollars. My husband had to set them straight, sign-maker that he is, and offer his opinion. I told them to ignore him. He's grumpy.

Speaking of grumpy, Duffy is guarding my bay window, warning of cats and wire-walking squirrels and crows that threaten our airspace. Kurt calls him Dick Cheney because of his continual grumbling. He still doesn't understand birds. He doesn't yet grasp the impossibility of catching something capable of spontaneous flight. Oh! to be so simple again, to cover my eyes with tiny hands and believe that what was there is gone simply because I can't see it. I hated learning the name for that: Conservation of Mass. I think there should be a better name for that kind of magic.

As summer approaches, sneaking up behind this vicious spring, I am not prepared for the heat that is sure to follow, but will welcome it with open, if sunburned, arms.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


I am subdued. I finally think I understand the psychological underpinnings of my poor health. Fair warning: I am going to try to explain it to you.

As you've read, I grew up dirt poor. Not third world poor, but make your own clothes poor, no dental/health care poor, charge groceries at the corner store so your mother can have wine poor. See? Somewhere along the line I developed this notion that going to the doctor was reserved for the rich. That it ensured health.

So... along goes my life, then my child's life, and we are poor (not third world poor, but steal groceries so your mother can have heroin poor) and we don't have insurance. We have welfare, but that isn't the same thing. When you're on welfare, you're not encouraged to come back for the follow up care. They patch you up and send you home and you can't afford medicine so you do without.

The logistical leaps that follow are many and high. Stick with me. Eventually, my conclusion is that having health insurance is the key to good health. The beauty of this theory is that it requres nothing of the insured but insurance. It requires no lifestyle change, no running, no avoiding haagen das ice cream or creme cheese and crab enchiladas. Not that I eat those things. If you have insurance, you can make as many appointments as you want and fill all of the prescriptions you can get to treat all of the diagnoses that apply after a sedentary lifetime of resentment and unmet expectations.

I married up. I had finally reached the pinnacle of health: I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield full meal deal health and dental and vision. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholestrol, obesity, diverticulosis, interstitial cystitis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, chronic bronchitis and the great thing was that there were pills for all of these things. If I took the pills, I didn't have high blood pressure, ad nauseum.

But I did.

On occasion, my tiny little asian gynocologist would say, "whatever you eat, eat less; whatever you do, do more." I laughed. Great Idea.

But I kept taking the pills and getting sicker. And then I'd get more pills. Antibiotics. And more antibiotics. And I was getting sicker and sicker and sicker. And going to the doctor more and more and more and the guys at the pharmacy know my name. And the thing is, this made me feel affluent. Rich. Finally: I had arrived. I had healthcare.

But no health.


So, on monday I had my first visit with a Naturpathic MD. We had a great time. I am now taking un-drugs: Pro-biotics and healing agents. I am going to the doctor not so he can fix me, but so he can teach me to fix myself. We hope to unwind the past ten years of passive consumption. It will take effort on my part. I told him he had a narrow window of opportunity that I call willingness, a condition brought about by exhausting all other avenues. Easier, softer ways.

Its just like being poor, only without the heroin.