After my doctor appointment yesterday, Nan and I went to Grocery Outlet. Advocating for yourself, even in a safe, familiar environment drains a person emotionally.
My work in the kitchen not only provides the nutrients for my recovery from my mallet finger, but also helps me continue my fitness journey with Apex Fitness.
Maybe I’ll finally commit to losing weight.
Last night for dinner I had leftover pancakes, almond butter and apple slices with a can of blueberry elderflower sparkling water.
And this morning, Louise insisted I get up at 4:15 a.m. And it’s only Saturday not even a work day.
I cuddled her for a while, tried to go back to sleep, and finally just got up at 5:45ish.
I came downstairs, had my coffee and started cooking my treasures. I sautéed kale (reduced for quick sale) in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt pepper and lemon juice. I made shredded potatoes in the frying pan with peppers. I prepared quinoa and midnight grains.
I fried an egg and mixed some of everything together with some apple, some of my homemade roasted red pepper hummus and pumpkin seeds.
And then right before the gym I had two medjool dates.
And I also prepped some plain lentils just to have on hand. I’m taking Nan some of the different ingredients.
Now for lunch I toasted some Ozery multigrain thin and made no-nitrate smoked turkey sandwiches (the free protein of the week from Hungryroot) topped with Brie, roasted red pepper, spinach, butter lettuce (reduced as well) and chipotle mayonnaise also from Hungryroot.
And I fell again today. At the gym today. Andrew my trainer seems to be concerned that I won’t make as much progress with upper body during my injury (but I did bench press today, but I inadvertently favored the right pretty heavily). But I’m okay with that — a body has to stay active and exercise, alcohol and excessive caffeine are the only way I can get my left hand warm. Well, unless I curl into bed under a heat blanket.
That’s two falls this week that lead to not serious but definitely painful bruises and scrapes.
Thursday is my Saturday for those who don’t know or can’t keep track of my schedule.
Since my schedule change— from second shift to day shift— I have met with my friend Nancy (poet and essayist and blind lady with a wicked sense of humor and simple approach to life’s joys) usually every other Thursday to work on her writing commitments.
Recent changes in her life have made that every Thursday now, as I help her with some errands, and then I changed trainers at the gym and the teenager now works out with us so Nan gets Thursday morning while the teen is at school.
It’s automatic in my brain. As automatic as my standing Friday morning chiropractor appointment.
But what happens when we get together is never ordinary. Or the same two weeks in a row.
Like today we were going to see if our local Family Dollar had the individual creamers she likes. Except they weren’t open. So we opted to go to ShopRite.
And somehow— I got turned about driving there and thought I was on the wrong road but I wasn’t. So we zigzagged all over the place and eventually I had to Google map the grocery store.
We finally made it to ShopRite and the first thing I saw was a single serve bottle of orange juice— which Nancy is always looking for.
Then I saw fried chicken, still warm out of the oven. $9 for eight pieces. I had to get it. And I knew damn well I’d probably end up eating in the car.
Nan and I went through the various salads and deli meats— I picked out some broccoli slaw and ultra sharp cheddar for Nan and some black pepper Cooper for myself.
And next we saw small partial loaves of rye bread in the bakery. And muffins.
And so it went.
We found the items we needed, items we didn’t and a slew of things that we want to buy in the future.
The cashier actually addressed Nancy and understood to speak so Nancy could locate her.
And then we were in my car eating warm fried chicken at 9:15 a.m. Nan hadn’t had fried chicken in ages, and she kept saying she didn’t want any. But I insisted and handed her a drumstick.
She said it was delicious and that she’d forgotten that she likes fried chicken. And I said I’d be good on the fried chicken front for probably at least six months if not a year.
And then she pulled wet naps out of her purse.
After retrieving Nan’s laundry and taking her groceries home, I brought Nan back to my house for chai and well, the plan was poetry. But we got sucked into NASA briefings (crew4 and Axiom) on YouTube.
Nan listened to the briefings and pet the dog while I cooked some random items for her to share with the teenager and I. Nan enjoys my cuisine so when she comes over I try to send her home with a meal.
Sometimes you need to have fried chicken with a friend, in the car, for breakfast.
The last 48 hours have been chaotic and exciting. On Wednesday night, as I hobbled around like a Barbie doll with her leg half popped out, I received my LLC approval via email in a pdf called “Happy Letter.”
I brought this and my fictitious name registration and my EIN to my banker, Jake, who is not from State Farm.
Turns out I’ve gathered more paperwork than I need. And none of it matches. So in the future I may need an EIN for the LLC as the original EIN lists the business as a partnership and the LLC does not.
Jake not from State Farm enjoyed my enthusiasm for setting up my banking business and shared that his wife is working on a book about parenting autistic children. And how much he enjoys poached eggs.
I had had plans to have breakfast with Nancy, but those plans had to be delayed. I was supposed to pick her up at 9:30 but I told the teenager I would drop her off at school at 9 and I thought I would run to the bank and see if I could open business accounts.
I told Nan if I were on time it meant I had bad luck, and if I were late, it meant I had a business bank account.
So when I called her at 10:30, she was happy for me but it also meant we couldn’t get breakfast potatoes at Wendy’s. We opted for egg sandwiches from Dunkin instead and came back to my house to work.
I made Nan chai, we did her work, and I subscribed to Poets & Writers for the business. Then Nan and I went to Grocery Outlet.
We got some goodies for the upcoming ice storm— which for Nan meant cotton candy grapes, Cherry Coke Zero and cheddar quinoa crisps. I got the sea salt version of the crisps, some creamers, hot dog rolls, monster cereal, raspberries, dates, frozen cauliflower and whipped cream cheese.
Somewhere along the afternoon, Nancy and I laughed ridiculously hard about things I don’t remember. We picked up the teenager from school.
We went to pick up Nan’s laundry. The teenager helped her carry it up to her apartment and as Nan washed and started snacking on her grapes, the teenager and I went to the gym, Apex Training
The teenager achieved a new personal best for barbell squats— 175 pounds.
I managed my lower body workout, which wasn’t easy with my right hip and leg not acting as a team. I feel so weak and still feel out of shape, as if I’m wasting my money, but this morning I found it much smoother to move so maybe I am moving forward.
And then the teenager and I showered and met my stepmother for dinner. We ate at Thai Orchid in Stroudsburg and followed with ice cream at Jimmy’s.
I had a delightful, flavorful tofu in yellow curry and canned Bubble Tea that made the teenager get over her distaste of tapioca.
This morning I wrote a blog entry for Parisian Phoenix and spoke with Ludwig about merchant services. My credit card reader will arrive next week.
F. Bean Barker assisted in the “office.”
And now to share Parisian Phoenix’s post:
Two official big announcements from the Parisian Phoenix universe today: 1. Not an Able-Bodied White Man With Money, the nonfiction anthology of …
Sometimes my journals are nothing but to do lists and shopping lists. But I like lists— even if I never refer to them again, the act of making a list allows me to stop thinking about things.
If I want to refer to it later, I know where to look, but I no longer have to worry about forgetting as if I want to remember or revisit items from an earlier day I can but I am not staring at a list focusing on what needs to be addressed versus what I actually did.
Many people make lists to receive the satisfaction of checking off the things that are done. I don’t do that. Sometimes I do, but now it’s more like I am acknowledging the list versus trying to conquer it.
I used to finish my list every day or stress over the things I didn’t get to, and on top of that— the list never made me feel better or more in control.
But I also received the cover for Not An Able-Bodied White Man with Money, which I will be blogging about on the Parisian Phoenix site this weekend.
And I have a 4 p.m. meeting today with another author who I have been hoping would join our family.
Now if only I could finalize some of our business documents to really move the projects forward.
Yesterday (Voluntary Time Off) and evaluating my health
Life at Stitch Fix’s Bizzy Hizzy has been odd lately. We’re shipping something like 8,000 fixes a day and having the opportunity for voluntary time off.
Last week, I performed at pretty damn close to 100% without pain or significant mobility issues. This week, issues started mildly during my Sunday shift and deteriorated Monday & Tuesday, leaving me at 80% and crying myself to sleep. I talked about this here.
I’m very much wondering if my menstrual cycle has something to do with it, as the Mirena IUD has done miracles for my pain and issues in that department but has made my cycle irregular. I think my body is trying to menstruate later than usual.
I was taking inventory of my recent balance, mobility and functioning issues as today I had my annual “wellness visit” that the office rescheduled from last week.
I took VTO yesterday to allow myself some rest and some time as life (and grief from my father’s death two months ago) has gotten chaotic and overwhelming.
And I made the teenager and I grilled cheese as I had promised to do, and the child acted like I had prepared filet mignon for her.
I have a feeling I will be repeating that after school today.
We also watched Miranda Sings Live on Netflix. The teenager went through a time when she watched the show, so that was weird. It always amazes me how much talent it takes to perform badly.
The doctor today
I have spent more than a decade assembling a talented and caring medical team, so now I can confidently say any issues with my medical treatment stem from the system and not from my doctors.
The doctor and his resident agreed with my assessment that it’s time for me to get into the physiatrist and that their office will advocate for me on that as well, and that my instincts and approaches are correct.
I learned that women more so than men tend to favor one side when they move or stand. As women age, this tendency can create problems. That means this is a problem normal people have and not just a result of cerebral palsy.
And most interestingly… I learned that women more so than men tend to favor one side when they move or stand. As women age, this tendency to let’s say ‘lean’ can create problems, just like what I am experiencing now with my right hip and right leg/foot. That means this is a problem normal people have and not just a result of cerebral palsy.
I reiterated to them that I do know I need to lose 20 pounds, but that we have some issues to address before that.
The psychology ofemotional and physical pain
When I was turning 40, I embarked on a journey to lose five pounds and gain muscle. I inadvertently lost 30 lbs and ended up a skeleton and regained some weight to look like this:
That was about 30 pounds ago. I have no need to be that lean again, but I’d really like to see 135 lbs again— which means I need to lose 20 lbs.
I told my doctor and his resident— I know I can’t eat an entire bag of cheese puffs or Wawa bowl of mac and cheese and brisket after dinner. But I’m struggling with depression from my body pain and my father’s unexpected death.
I’m grateful I haven’t turned to alcohol like many in my family, but I have “given in” to food as a psychological crutch.
I pay almost $300 a month for a personal trainer, but I can’t work as hard as I want to because I hurt and I feel like I need answers as to how to move my body so it doesn’t hurt. Because if I could exercise more and move more, I wouldn’t sabotage myself by eating garbage (or if I did, I would be active enough to balance it).
But right now, when I come home from a ten-hour shift with my body twisted and aching badly, and wishing I could call my dad so he could make me laugh and tell me how much it sucks to get old, I grab junk food because it’s the last pleasure I have.
I can’t move without pain so if I’m going to be forced to get fat and lazy I might as well enjoy the process.
These are ugly thoughts and I know that, but I’m being honest.
The fun stuff: errands with Nan
After leaving my primary care doctor, I called Nan as we were scheduled to do some errands together. We stopped at Wawa for some hot caffeinated beverages (cafe con leche for me and vanilla chai for Nan).
Among other stops we visited Park Avenue Market and Deli, one of our favorite haunts known for its deli, salads and meats.
Although I am once again contemplating more of a vegan diet, which will make the teenaged carnivore wince, I am not ready to commit until I feel better. We must achieve discipline before we enact change.
I never got around to meal planning yesterday so I didn’t have a list. I ended up spending $36.89 and I think the results will work.
I purchased: two packs of beef jerky, one small box of minute rice for the teen, three or four teeny tiny bags of Wise snacks from popcorn to potato chips, meatballs, the biggest damn carrot I’ve ever seen, frozen vegetable medley with potatoes and garlic herb sauce, sweet potato crinkle cut fries, pork roll, Lebanon bologna, liverwurst, turkey, olive salad, a store-baked pig ear for the dog and something called “hot pepper shooters”— round hot peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone.
Rough meal plan
My rough meal plan for the next week or so is:
Meatballs and green peppers, either as a sandwich or in pasta
vegetable lasagna still in the freezer from last week
Burgers and fries, using ground beef from the freezer and the sweet potato fries
Cold tortellini salad with roasted carrot, olive salad and seasoned broccoli (broccoli is in the freezer)
Pork roll and egg sandwiches
Chicken and the frozen vegetables and rice or other grain
PS— we also welcomed a new foster into the house. Her name is Babs. Meet her in this video. I need to make her a page.
Yesterday I cleaned a lot of my downstairs and had a relatively good work out at Apex. I haven’t felt incredibly strong lately, but my IUD must be working because I’m not in pain.
I had a good week at work, so cleaning, working on Parisian Phoenix projects and watching Cobra Kai suited me just fine yesterday.
I even found two of the dog’s Kong balls under the couch which made for a very happy dog.
Today, I was supposed to have my annual physical but my doctor’s office called yesterday and rescheduled for next week— which also means another week without answers from my CT scan and physiatrist referral. Neither the neurologist nor the physiatrist’s office has called me back.
And I need a doctor that can help me understand the motion and mechanics of my body, and not just its individual parts.
Today I scrubbed the exterior of the stove and did dishes. Then I went to help my blind friend Nan with some errands and grocery shopping.
We made plans to pick up some pizza at Little Caesars so Nan could try the Batman Calzony. No matter how I tried I couldn’t explain what it was to the blind lady. So we bought one.
But we had time to kill before the teenager got out of school even after we put groceries away. We grabbed the dog and got drinks and hash browns (for the dog) at Dunkin.
And then we surprised the teenager with the dog at school.
Then Joan stopper by to drop off some hand-me-down magazines and erotica, cupcakes and photos that Joan needed us to sort.
Now, I’m cuddling with Louise, watching Gotham Garage and enjoying kitten photos.
The teenager and I headed to the gym this morning for the first time in a while. I did a gentle lower body workout to stretch everything and get my body rolling after the chiropractic adjusted just about everything yesterday. Even my ears.
The teenager wanted to find her max weights for powerlifting— which seem to be 100 pounds on bench and at least 155 on squats.
Tomorrow I head back to work after a weekend of falls and rest.
So that means meal planning and meal prep.
Our Hungryroot box came yesterday and since the app showed they didn’t have much product, I focused our box on mostly proteins.
With leftovers from last week’s box, the new box and pantry items I had in the house, I made this:
Chickpea rotini and beef meatballs with marinara and superfood tomato sauce.
Lemon pesto broccoli
Homemade pesto hummus
Omelet (with green olives)
We also have leftover pizza and pancakes.
So for breakfast after the gym, the teenager had omelet with mozzarella and tempeh bacon on organic, sprouted everything bagels. I went vegan and had my bagel with my hummus and tempeh bacon.
And last night, the teenager and I went to my stepmom’s for Christmas and I got my hand bag. I have been admiring this Urban Expressions work tote since I started at Stitch Fix. I have one now.
On Saturdays, I tend to make my work lunches and make a loose meal plan for the week ahead.
I ordered an extra Hungryroot box after the snafu of last week’s shipment as we have almost eaten everything in the pantry and freezer.
And since I have heard there is mandatory overtime this week and I have already signed up to work next Saturday, I ordered a box to be delivered this coming Friday.
I have a $15 credit currently on my account and should see an additional $87 credit hopefully Monday.
I put most of the teenager’s food into one big divided container so she can design lunches.
one lunch of kohlrabi noodles with marinara, shredded parmesan, nutritional yeast, two beef meatballs and two turkey meatballs
one lunch of kohlrabi noodles with thai peanut sauce, superfood blend, and broccoli
one lunch of teriyaki salmon, superfood blend, sesame ginger sauce and sesame seeds
One lunch of tortellini in kale pesto with shaved Brussel sprouts
Dinners will include nachos or tacos with chicken, cuban beans and avocado. Another of burgers, sweet potato fries and my “popcorn” cauliflower, and some sort of stir fry or grain bowl with the remaining brussels and/or cabbage, one of the leftover sauces and tofu burgers.
But by the time I made everything, I forgot to save a meal for today. So the teenager and I tried Hungryroot organic peanut butter on her homemade cinnamon raisin bread with a side of the dark chocolate banana bites also sent by Hungryroot.
Her assessment of the peanut butter: “I don’t hate the peanut butter.”
“These don’t taste like banana.”
I looked at the package. “That’s because they are salted caramel chocolate cashews.”
Teenager very much likes the cashews and doesn’t mind the bananas, though the cashews are infinitely better.
It hasn’t even been a month since my employer eliminated second shift in favor of a seven-day-a-week operating schedule.
It has been about six weeks since my doctor ordered tests to try and pinpoint the cause of my spine, hip and leg pain. And about five weeks since the x-rays revealed a spine, that as my doctor said, wouldn’t be a problem if I were 70 or 80.
My dad died almost three weeks ago.
It has been several weeks since Omicron has soared across the world— and I discovered today, today, that Omicron grows best in nostrils and doesn’t take so well in lungs.
Did I have Omicron before Christmas? When I had stopped taking my allergy meds because of the funeral and had a congested head?
We had ten new cases of Covid at work today. This is the highest count ever. Most of the people who attended my father’s funeral have it. Curly, my college roommate, went home from my house to discover her teenage son had it.
My psychologist tested positive. My trainer did, too. My neighbor did. My other neighbor’s employer did.
It’s been almost two weeks since my neurologist appointment.
It’s been five days since my Hungryroot order shipped.
It’s been four days since my head CT was canceled.
It’s been four days since foster cat Danu went to Pet Supplies Plus.
My grief has heightened my anxiety and has me lost in feelings that I am surrounded by love but I lack enough support. My feelings swirl in my chest and manifest as panic, panic I am too often stuffing away or channeling into tears.
My Hungryroot order came around noon today, after being shipped on Thursday. And the cooling gel pack exploded. Coating all the food. The food arrived bathed in some sticky chemical and warm. I contacted customer service but they warn they are busy and may take 48 hours to get back to me.
And in the meantime, I don’t know if it’s safe to eat the food. At least, the food in packaging. My guess is no. I hope they refund my money. But I ate everything in the pantry over the weekend and now I am out $100 and have no food.
And as I threw items away, I noticed the chicken they shipped me was dated, use by 12/21/21 and they sent it 12/28/21.
Then I got a text from my cat foster godmother: Danu was missing her rabies shot so she had to come home.
Normally I can handle this. But my numbers at work were around 65%, my body pain felt like my bones were burning, and then another member of the cat group sent a long message about how monitoring the medical records of the cats is important.
The vet was supposed to give Danu and all of her kittens the rabies vaccine when they were spayed and neutered. The vet didn’t. I didn’t notice. I screwed up.
Between the medical issues, the family drama, the grieving process and the shift change, I can’t get it life under control.
The second I empty the dishwasher, reload it and run it again, the sink is full. The toilets are dirty. The cats eat the dry food in the gravity feeder as soon as I fill it. The dog keeps eating things.
I’m not sleeping well.
And I have no time left to do anything I enjoy.
So my business plan for Parisian Phoenix is lagging behind.
I pick myself up and look at the positives every day, and every night I fall into bed defeated.
I “fixed” my roomba, had a therapy session that left me sobbing in my psychologist’s office, had an incredible workout (full body as I will be traveling this weekend, but we did a lot of work on hip mobility), and cooked.
The business cards for Parisian Phoenix came in. Thanks to my trusty business partner Gayle.
Perhaps the chaos of earlier this week is finally settling down.
So, last Saturday I got my regular Hungryroot order. And Tuesday was Purple Carrot. I wasn’t going to get a box from them this week but they had West African Peanut Stew on the menu.
And then I got a text that Green Chef was on the way.
I promptly canceled Green Chef so there would be no more surprises as they were my least favorite. But that box was on the way.
It arrived yesterday after I left for work. I received this message today.
I certainly hope there is no more food coming.
Because the teenager came down with an ear infection and has so much phlegm in her throat that she can’t swallow. But don’t worry she took some antibiotics and some DayQuil so she could enjoy a Hungryroot burger.
I prepared a bag of greens and a Green Chef meal for Gayle as I am supposed to go to DC this weekend and I can’t physically prepare it all. And M, my host, said I can’t bring it. The result— I now can say I pay my art director in groceries.
Purple Carrot has a $75 Thanksgiving box available. I ordered one.
And today I cooked:
Green Chef Mojito Cauliflower
Purple Carrot Buffalo-style tempeh and roasted sweet potatoes and garlic
But much to my chagrin— Purple Carrot swapped out the peanut stew for a grilled tofu meal.
From Gayle, after making her Green Chef meal.
I came home and just put everything in the fridge. Brown bag and all.
Pat looked at the recipe when she headed to the bathroom. She made vomiting noises. Not surprising.
I thought I remembered it saying 30 minutes. About 4:30, I started working on it. I didn’t look at the recipe earlier and didn’t realize it had two sides. I was overwhelmed when I saw all the instructions on the other side. I quickly realized that they were dummy proof and that made them longer.
I got the farro on and started the oven, then cut the squash and picked the tarragon. That was the most tedious part of the whole thing. That all went in the oven and I opened the chard. It was nasty. One leaf was probably okay. Glad you gave me other chard. I’m not a fan of raw chard so I wilted it. The nasty stuff went to the compost pile.
The rest of the prep was easy. By the time the farro and squash were done, the rest was too.
I made two portions. One for another day and one for supper. I did not put the apple on the leftover portion because it was already browning.
I was left with two large piles. One was compost and the other was plastic bags. So many bags. One said to pull off the label and recycle it. The rest had no numbers, no nothing so they went in the trash.
It was nice having all the ingredients and a recipe. It was fantastic having something different to eat.