Coffee Talkin’ – And An Announcement

Meditations in Motion

Time to get out those coffee (or tea) cups again, pull up a chair, and have a little virtual chat. Today, I have three things I would like to talk about over some java. Then an announcement. Let’s get started.

An Alarming Situation

In a previous post, I wrote about visiting our son and his family in Colorado this spring. We decided to drive rather than fly. It felt safer – we could have better control over whom we came in contact with.

A bonus of driving across country is that we got to see areas of the U.S. we have never seen before. Since we are retired, we have the time to drive at a leisurely pace.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

A freak spring snowstorm threatened to close the mountain pass that leads to the town where my son lives. After consultation with him, we decided we would either have to drive for 15 hours to get to Denver pronto or hunker down in Kansas for three days and wait for the storm to pass.

We chose the former option.

After driving for 15 hours, we arrived in Denver at 11:00 p.m. (1:00 a.m. Eastern time). Exhausted, we checked into our hotel, went to bed, and immediately fell asleep.

It seemed like two minutes later that I felt Bill gently shaking me to wake me up.

Honey,” he said, “we have to get up. The fire alarm is going off.

Yes, the fire alarm at our hotel was blaring.

At 4:00 a.m.

We had to evacuate.

I would have slept right through it.

Apparently, a prankster had pulled the fire alarm, thinking it would be hilarious to send hotel guests out into the parking lot in the middle of the night. A fire truck quickly showed up, determined there was no fire, and we were allowed back in.

I was not amused.

Bulgarian At Last

I wrote in an earlier post that my son gave me bacteria for Mother’s Day. Yogurt-making bacteria, that is.

He got me four heirloom strains that can be cultured at room temperature.

The fifth strain, however, was for Bulgarian-style yogurt. This culture must be mixed with milk and incubated at 110 degrees for 12 hours. My son informed me this is his favorite strain.

The problem was, how could I maintain a constant temperature of 110 degrees? My son has a fancy-schmancy oven that can heat to that temperature, but the lowest setting on my oven is 195 degrees. My yogurt culture would be scorched.

Bill to the rescue.

A package arrived last week addressed to me. I didn’t remember ordering anything and wondered what it could contain. My husband informed me he got me a present. Curious, I tore open the box. A new yogurt maker sat inside. 110 degrees was now possible.

I tried it out by making a batch of Bulgarian yogurt. My son is right – it is my favorite too.

Not the Reaction I Expected

When I was growing up, and even as a young woman, I always believed that the whole reason for eating dinner was to have dessert.

When my children were living at home, I made a meal, including a homemade dessert, every night.

Two years ago, I was shocked to learn that my cholesterol levels had skyrocketed. My doctor wanted to give me a prescription for a statin to lower my very high numbers, but I asked if I could have a chance to reduce it by making changes to my diet.

I planned to minimize my fat intake, focusing on decreasing the amount of saturated fat in my diet. 
Then a biology-teacher friend advised me it would be more effective to reduce my sugar intake.

I eliminated most foods with added sugar. My friend was correct. Cutting out sugar resulted in a cholesterol decrease of almost 50 points.

Over the past year, however, my strict diet rules relaxed. This spring was especially bad. There was always some excuse to break the no-sugar rule. First my grandson’s birthday and the accompanying cake, next came Easter dinner, when I made some killer chocolate chip cookies, then the local ice cream parlor reopened with their delicious homemade ice cream…you get the picture.

I was making so many exceptions that the exceptions became the new rule.

At my physical exam last month, I learned my cholesterol numbers went up by 25 points. Half of my hard-earned loss had evaporated.

My doctor’s response? “Meh! I’m not worried.

Y-you’re not?” I queried, astonished. I had imagined making sincere promises to redouble my no-sugar efforts.

No,” she said. “Your cholesterol ratio is still excellent. Allow yourself some treats now and then.

Apparently, my good cholesterol is very high, which raises my total cholesterol. I was not about to argue.

And Now, An Announcement

The day after this post goes live, I will be traveling to Cape Cod to visit my sister and brother-in-law.

We will return home for a short time, then head out to  Oregon to visit our son and daughter-in-law. We will not be home until early July.

I will respond to comments on this post, but I will not be posting again until the week of July 11.

I will miss interacting with all of you, but I am also looking forward to a little blog silence.

I hope to see you again in mid-July, refreshed, renewed, and ready to share my deep thoughts. Or maybe just write about swallowing a bug while running.

Until then, stay safe and remember to be kind!

You can find the places I link up here.

135 comments

  1. Safe travels Laurie and see you again in July!
    And we have chatted about sugar before and earlier this year I was having some and it snuck upon me! It i found that Alexis has a great ice cream – keto and almost no sugar – and then other little options –
    And your post about this reminded me how sugar and desserts are a huge part of our culture and I am just going to make sure I start feeling comfortable with saying No and leaving it at that.
    My good friend Mike modeled this for me – a while back someone offered him a granola bar (it was an all sugar kind of one) and he just quietly said that he did not want to put that in his body – the HFCS and empty food that pulls from health,
    So I guess I also want to model this more – that we aren’t feeling deprived by saying no.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen Bulgarian yogurt at some specialty stores and have not gotten around to trying it. I’m also trying to reduce my sugar habit too. I love dessert, but I need to realize they should only be occasional treats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have great trips Laurie! We have spent many summer vacays on the Cape. My inlaws lived there for a time. Although seriously I think my husband likes the idea of it more than the reality — so much traffic in season (and we rarely ever went in season, except when the inlaws were still living there).

    I’m not at all shocked by your dr’s reaction. Even though sugar really is evil, the reality is few of us are really able to give it up long term. I wish I could!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am loving the Cape, Judy. I have been coming to this house for over 50 years – even before my sister and BIL were married. The traffic was not too bad, but we arrived at an “off” time.

      There is sugar in so many things where you don’t expect it – bread, almost all cereal, peanut butter, pickles….

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m very vigilant on getting things that don’t have sugar — I buy no salt, no sugar almond butter. But I have other things that have sugar. It’s definitely my Achilles’ heel.

        I think 8 had only been to the Cape once before I met my husband. We’ve been many times since, but we haven’t been in a few years (together, I did ran a half there a few years ago with a friend).

        Glad you’re enjoying your stay!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard that about cutting sugar to lower cholesterol, Laurie, and I’m glad to know it actually works. Also glad that your ratio is good enough to indulge in sweets every now and then (life’s too short and all that). I hope your time away and off the blog is restful and fun, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you back in July. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had never heard of the cholesterol/sugar link until my friend told me about it. I am glad I can have a treat every now and then too. I have already had my treat for June when we went for ice cream while visiting my sister! 🙂

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  5. Have a great tip. I had a similar adventure with the fire alarm in Edinburgh some years ago. It was a nightmare!!!! At the arrival we didn’t find our baggage (lost?), at midnight the fire alarm and at 05:00 we were woken by the reception because the baggages had come! But not only ….. the morning after I had a 10 miles race that in the cold Scottish winter I had to run in t-shirt because the appropriate clothes were in my son’s bag who arrived late because he was “losing” time taking pictures. And not only…. in the afternoon Scotland won the rugby match against our Italy!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband and I went on an anniversary trip – and someone kept having fun with the fire alarm constantly! It became irritating very quickly! Thanks for the sugar tip on the cholesterol. While we had covid, my husband and I craved carbs – pasta, potatoes, breads – and ice cream. No broth for us! I just started a two week “stop” to all that to stop the cravings! Ugh! Have a delightful trip in June! Hopefully, no fire alarm pranks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good for you, treating yourself and not going off the rails. I don’t bake so sweets that aren’t bought aren’t around to tempt me, but I worry about salt as it seems salt is in everything, even in milk, which kind of blows my mind. Hope you’re still enjoying your Cape Cod holiday. I am trying to catch up, but doing as you suggested … meandering through and I went in reverse chronological order. I hope you’re getting some nice breezes – it’s been horribly hot here, but we will finally get a very small break Tuesday. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I always did when I fell behind – reverse chronological order. We are home now. We did have a wonderful visit. It has been cloudy and cool, but humid here – pretty good running weather! I am trying to build up my long runs ahead of the London Marathon. I think it will take me a while since I have been out of the marathon frame of mind for a while.

      Like

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