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!
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