Category: Uncategorized

Follow-up on the MGUS

I talked about my bloodwork and upcoming (then) appointment with the doctor. I said something about some numbers being high.

As it turns out, I’m not qualified to make predictions based on my own lab reports. Who knew?

The doctor (an expert) said that my numbers are stable. She did not order another bone marrow biopsy or skeletal survey. She told me to come back in 6 months to be checked again.

So I had my husband worried for no reason. I’m not sure why he thought I knew what I was talking about. He knows I’m not a doctor.

The moral of this story is don’t look at your lab results before a professional can tell you what they mean.

Will I do the same thing again next time?

We shall see.

Three chocolate lab dogs.
Labs! Do get the joke?
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Instant Comfort

I tried another Instant Pot recipe, Healthy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese from The Girl on the Bloor.

The ”healthy” component of the dish is broccoli. You could add other greens to up your veggie game. The recipe called for regular pasta. I wanted to use whole wheat, but I found none at Walmart. I used the Colby/Monterey Jack cheese I already had in the fridge instead of the white cheddar on the ingredient list.

Overall, the cooking was quick and easy, and I got a little more comfortable with my Instant Pot.

The flavor wasn’t spectacular, but it tasted good and did feel like comfort food. Switching to a tastier cheese might improve the flavor.

I’m liking the Instant Pot more and more. It’s helping me to make healthier food choices for myself. For me, better eating means less trouble with those everyday MS symptoms like fatigue and the dreaded ”brain fog.”

What tricks do you use to make healthy eating happen?

Writing Prompt: Everything Changes (from Aug. 2014)

August sneaked up on me. I should have known it was coming when the first day of summer happened. Well, I did know. The summer solstice, a day that I used to look forward to, has become a reminder that winter is on its way. The days start getting shorter, and I begin to feel like I’m running out of time. I am of course running out of time. Aren’t we all?

It’s hot and muggy today because this is August, and that’s what August does. It serves as summer’s next to last hurrah. The last hurrah is that week in October when the temperatures are in the upper 70s or even mid-80s. Nature is a tease.

I’m on the sidewalk on 10th street, heading toward the big empty bus shelter.  I’m wondering if the bus will be late again. I look up at the overcast sky and hope I can get off of the bus and to my car before the rain starts. It may not rain, but it looks like it might. Out of nowhere comes a surprisingly cool breeze. It blows my skirt up, and as I look down to make sure I’m not flashing my underwear, I see a piece of paper by my right foot. It isn’t an ordinary piece of paper though. It’s one of those origami fortune telling things that kids in grade school used to create.

I pick it up, stick the thumb and forefinger of each hand in the slots, and open and close the device to see what my future might hold.  It’s blank. There is nothing. No boys’ names, no cities where I might one day live, no numbers, no nothing. Is this a sign? Does this mean that the future is mine to determine?

I could tell you that from that day forward my life changed because I decided to take control of my destiny.  I could tell you that I quickly became successful and that all of my dreams suddenly came true. That didn’t happen. What I did do was begin to believe in myself a little more. I started working harder to achieve my dreams because the blank origami fortune teller showed me that nothing is specific. Success isn’t certain, but neither is failure. So why not give life my best try.

 

 

Oragami fortune telling device

A resolution

I’m not going to lie. I’m concerned about the state of the planet. Just read news to find out what’s going on. It’s kind of a mess.

Maybe don’t read the news so often. What if I were to spend significantly less time staring at my iPhone? What if I made more physical art than digital art? What would my life be like if I did some writing with a pen on actual paper?

I can’t change the world, but I can change the way I respond to it.

That sounds like a new year’s resolution.

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. Marcus Aurelius Read

With Words

I’ve seen many crows flying around in my town for the last few days. These are sizable birds. When I see birds I think they must have a message for me. Maybe some of them do. Crows are able to recognize people’s faces. Is there a crow out there that knows me?

My life as a normal person is not at all interesting, so I try and convince myself that the presence of these crows in the sky has some mystical meaning.

I could be expressing gratitude for the uneventful life I lead. I’m not in a wildfire, or getting tear-gassed as I try and cross a border with my child. I have food, shelter, a car, devices that can access the internet, and a lot of stuff that I’d like to get rid of because I have a problem with clutter. Still, it feels as if there is something I’m missing. There’s something that I’m doing wrong.

Sometimes it helps to escape into art making.

Digital mixed media picture of crow
Digital mixed-media collage by Laura McCain Reed

The act of writing a poem also provides relief.

Wouldn’t it be be nice to be able to eat a giant chocolate candy bar whenever the craving strikes? I understand people who use food as a drugs. I see why people get high and drunk. We all need to escape the mundane.

This existential anxt is likely a product of seasonal affective disorder. Things should get better when winter comes and days begin to get longer.

For now, I’ll keep looking for messages from birds and making meaning with words.

Veggies!

I’ve got vegetables lined up for this week.

I roasted frozen broccoli and a medley of broccoli, green beans, carrots, yellow peppers, wax beans & red peppers (frozen) from Sam’s Club.

I used my FoodSaver FreshSaver handheld vacuum sealer to package them for the freezer.

FoodSaver vacuum sealerFoodSaver bags

Here they are:

Vacuum sealed vegetables

For the moment, I’m very pleased with myself.

When art goes bad

I was trying a drip technique with fluid acrylics. I kept adding paint until my little bottles were empty. I was happy with how it turned out, but I decided the sides of the canvas needed some color. That’s when I messed it up. I ended up with a fuzzy band of pink across the bottom.

IMG_1196
I should have stopped here.

Image 2018-08-16_22-00-46-088
Now I hate it

The next time I try this method, I’ll use a thicker canvas to make it easier to paint the sides. I’ll also begin with the end in mind instead of deciding to try something new halfway into the process.

I was about to throw the painting away when it occurred to me that I might be able to tear it apart and use the pieces as collage elements.

I stared these tonight.

Hopefully, I’ll know when to say when with these. So far, I like them.