Thank you to our neighbor

We were quite surprised to find almost 5 inches of snow on our car this morning.    There is no way that Jamey (in his wheelchair) could have cleared that off so that he could go to work.    I went out to do so and am very grateful to our neighbor who came out to help as the top of our car is over my head.

Our cats reaction to their first snow

Our cats have lived in Louisiana all of their young lives and had no idea what the strange white stuff was.    Johnny’s reaction, after taking one look out the window and seeing snow for the first time, was to get as close to Jamey as she could to seek comfort.    Night sat in the window and watched in perplexity as I went out (about 4:30 AM) to take pictures.

Our cats reactions to seeing their first snow
Our cats reactions to seeing their first snow

25 pounds lost

Today I am not only grateful for but celebrating a 25 pound weight loss.   I had gotten up to 145.2 pounds which is way too heavy for someone as small as me.   My weight today read 120.2 pounds.

I was so happy that I danced while gathering towels together for a load of laundry.    (Sorry no picture of that as only the cats were home with me at the time.)

 

Today I am celebrating a 25 pound weight loss.
Today I am celebrating a 25 pound weight loss.

 

My next goal is to reach 117 pounds as that will mean I will have lost 20% of my body weight.    I hope to slowly get down to at least 100 pounds but for today I am thrilled to have lost 25 pounds.

I plan to primarily stick with the Eat to Live Nutritarian diet (which does allow up to a 10% “cheat”) and continue to work on slowly increasing my daily activity level.    I know the weight loss will continue to slow down as I lose more weight.   That’s fine as long as the weight continues to come off.

 

 

Crossword Puzzle

Some health issues are slowing me down so I have been turning my desktop on only a few times a week and then often only for essential things such as budget and bills.    I hope to experiment with doing blog posts on my Chromebook, if I can find a way to create images on it.   My Chromebook is easier for me to use than my desktop computer, so if that works I can try to go back to almost daily blog posts. 

I am on my desktop today.   Since that is where my graphics software resides, I wanted to get a quick blog post up.

When not on our computers, Jamey and I share various activities from reading out loud to each other to doing crossword puzzles together.   (We used to do jigsaw puzzles together before Johnny came into our lives but to put one out now would be asking for trouble as it is an absolute certainty that she would see it as a new cat toy.)

We enjoy working crossword puzzles together
We enjoy working crossword puzzles together

Since I am a decade older than Jamey, it is fun to do crossword puzzles together as we often find that we fill in the gaps well in each other’s knowledge on some topics.   On others, such as modern entertainers, movies and TV shows, I am almost completely clueless.    I love ones based on the 1960s or earlier though as Jamey and I both have a decent working knowledge of history.  The crossword above had a “hippie generation” theme.

So that is what I am grateful for today – non computer based activities that Jamey and I enjoy sharing.

 

Cheap Cat Toy

I love to watch our cats play. There’s the fun of seeing them come begging for morning snacks, then a quick swipe by one or the other (usually Johnny) starts the morning chase and wrestling session down the hall and into the front room. Sometimes, there’s the fun of putting a ball or squeaky mouse on the upper levels of the cat tree, and watching Johnny jump up and grab it, and going trotting off across the room showing that she got it!

But one thing that often gives them lots of fun is the cheapest thing I’ve found for a cat toy. I don’t count Amazon boxes, even though they seem to find those pretty fun for jumping in and gnawing on, since you have to buy the contents of those boxes.

No, the toy I’m talking about, you can pick up just about anywhere on a card with a couple of dozen for just a couple of bucks.

Johnny with Hair Tie
Johnny About To Pounce The Evil Hair Tie!

Johnny particularly loves to play with my hair ties – especially after I’ve worn them for a while. She sends them skating across the floor, and under doors, and then spends quite a bit of time trying to reach under the door and snake them back out.

Night sometimes gets in on the action as well, though they haven’t quite caught on to the idea of playing hockey with them. I’m sure they will get that down soon enough. Sometimes, I use the handle of one of the other toys we have for them to catch one of the ties and send it zooming down the hall – and then I get to watch Johnny slip and slide while she tries to run after it, and then comes the slide when she pounces on it and starts smacking it around!

So, yeah, I’m very grateful that such a cheap little toy provides our kitties so much fun!

The Magic of Simple Things

Sometimes it is the most common things that give me pleasure.  For example, a couple of nights ago I found myself chuckling when just as the country song I was listening to referenced the sound a train whistle, a real train started to go by blowing it’s whistle.

While I have been listening to country music since the 1970s (i.e, not an uncommon thing for me to do) and we hear train whistles multiple times a day where we live, the juxtaposition of the song lyric and actual train whistle struck me as funny.

 

We love country music.
We love country music.

And that is what I am grateful for today – the many time things like that happen.   Things which on their own are common ordinary every day things, but which come together at just the right time to add a bit of sparkle and laughter to our lives.

 

Lost 15% body weight

I have been silent for awhile as I am healing from injuries and not on my desktop much.   There is always a silver lining though.  While healing from injuries I tend to lose weight.  Between the injuries and my nutritarian diet, I have now lost 15% of my body weight.

During September 2017, I lost 7 pounds, which is 3 times as much as I have ever lost in a single month before.  As of today I am 123.2 which is a loss of 15% of my body weight and almost half-way to my goal of losing approximately 33% of my total body weight.

I am almost half-way to my weight loss goal of losing 33% of my total body weight.
I am almost half-way to my weight loss goal of losing 33% of my total body weight.

In addition to weight loss, another benefit of the Nutritarian Eat To Live way of eating is that it is getting me to try foods I have never eaten before.   That is making Jamey happy as some of them are southern vegetables that I have never had an interest in but that he has missed having including purple-eyed peas (I had never even heard of them before), collard greens, mustard greens and turnip greens. 

Jamey is, and likely always will be, a carnivore but this is at least increasing the variety of vegetables in his diet, so it is good for him, in addition to being good for me.

Jamey is glad to be getting his southern vegetables and I am happy to be getting more vegetables into him.
Jamey is glad to be getting his southern vegetables and I am happy to be getting more vegetables into him.

I am in two Nutritarian Facebook groups (Eat to Live Support Group and Nutritarian Women).   Between what I am seeing in them, on YouTube, on other websites and in Dr. Fuhrman’s writings, I strongly believe that the reason Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t add a “results not typical” disclaimer when he publishes results that people have obtained with the nutritarian diet (both weight loss and coming off of diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol medication) is that because for those who stick with the diet, the results are typical.  I am thrilled with my own weight loss and looking forward to seeing the results of my next fasting bloodwork (in November).

I am resting a lot and trying to get back on my feet so that I can get back to doing more than the absolutely necessary things needed to take care of Jamey and the cats.    As I continue to heal, I plan to get back back to posting on a more regular schedule and working on YouTube videos again as I still have a lot to learn about doing videos and the only way I will learn it it by doing them.

Hopefully by this weekend, we will also be back to our normal schedule with Jamey doing his Sunday posts.

In the meantime, I am grateful to the Nutritarian diet for the benefits I am seeing from it.

 

 

Superphoto

While healing from another back injury this past week, I have been mainly using only mobile devices rather than my desktop which is why there have been no blog posts.  

One of the things I did on one of my mobile devices (my Amazon Fire) is to have some fun with the Superphoto application.

I find it hard to get good pictures of Night since she is almost completely black.   I pulled a picture of her sitting next to a cat toy into the Superphoto app and came up the following ways of portraying my favorite black cat:

The Superphoto application allowed me to portray my favorite black cat, Night, in some creative ways.
The Superphoto application allowed me to portray my favorite black cat, Night, in some creative ways.

While at it, I snapped a picture of Jamey while he was on the phone with my surrogate Dad and had some fun with it.   Since Jamey is (by anyone’s definition of the word) a Geek and proud of it, I used a Rubik’s Cube as the backdrop for his photo.

my favorite Geek on a Rubik's Cube
my favorite Geek on a Rubik’s Cube

So today, while I am still recovering from my most recent back injury*, I am grateful for my mobile devices and the many things I can do with them when I am not up to using my desktop computer.

Yes, today is Sunday and should be Jamey’s day to post but he is asleep and I have not posted all week so I am posting today instead.  I am including the Jamey’s post tag on this one even though I am writing it as it features a picture of him and talks about why he is not doing one today.

*Due to my osteogenesis imperfecta, my spinal column is collapsing (which is why I am down to 4’6″) and I am very susceptible to back injuries.  

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A Little Black Silhouette

We don’t keep the apartment lit up super-bright. So, it’s really kind of interesting to watch our cats wander around doing cat things. Especially with one of them – Night – often appearing as little more than a black hole in space ghosting through the apartment. It’s hard to explain, but their purity of movement, and especially Night’s appearance at times as just the essence of cat, smooth curves and silent steps, reminds me that cats chose to move in with humans, to provide us with their silent wisdom and comforting warm purring.

Of course, Night, having been brought in from the wild to live with us, is not quite the cuddler, at least not with me. Still, watching her curled up on Doreen’s bed, or slipping down the hallway, just emphasizes the elegance that is Cat.

Night contemplates the drink of water she just took.
Night contemplates the drink of water she just took.

And I always appreciate and am grateful for the beauty that is cats.

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Johnny’s newest bed

Yesterday I wrote about Johnny’s penchant for sleeping inside of my night stand and knocking the few books I keep in there out unto the floor so that she could spread out.   Last night, I came up with a solution.

When we got our new dryer a few weeks ago, we removed the “milk crates” that the old one had been resting on.   I had been trying to figure out what to do with them.     I realized that since there were two of them already tied together and fairly sturdy, I could use the top one for a book case for the few books that I keep in the bedroom and turn the bottom one into an additional cat bed.    

As the picture shows, Johnny approves.

Johnny has given the newest "cat bed" her seal of approval.
Johnny has given the newest “cat bed” her seal of approval.

So today’s gratitude is for repurposed items, especially ones that bathe more than one bird in the same bath.    (I always use a variation of the phrase “bathe more than one bird in a bath” rather than the common one regarding killing multiple birds with a stone as I firmly believe that given a choice in the matter, any bird would rather have a bath than be killed.)

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mongrosity

I have always loved words.   I especially love word play such as

  • alliteration (the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words, such as “She sells sea-shells down by the sea-shore”), 
  • onomatopoeia (the naming of a thing or action by a vocal emulation of the sound associated with it, such as babbling brook, buzzing bees, crackling fire) and 
  • portmanteaus (word blending the sound of two different words) such as slithy (slimy and lithe) in Jabberwocky).

We are in the United States but today is National Poetry Day in Britain.  Thus I based this post on a portmanteau as Lewis Carroll was a British poet and the person who coined this meaning of portmanteau.   (It had already been in use since the 1580’s to refer to a travelling case for clothes, etc.)

In Alice in Wonderland (1871), when Alice asks the meaning of the poem, “Jabberwocky,” Carroll has Humpty Dumpty explain:

Well, “slithy” means “lithe and slimy”. “Lithe” is the same as “active”. You see it’s like a portmanteau — there are two meanings packed up into one word.

 

Portmanteaus are still used today, such as:
  • animatronic – animate and electronics
  • Bollywood – Bombay and Hollywood
  • brunch – breakfast and lunch
  • chocoholic – chocolate and alcholic
  • cyborg – cybernetic and organism
  • glamping – glamour and camping
  • infomercial – information and commercial 
  • internet – international and network
  • malware – malicious and software
  • modem – modulation and demodulation
  • smog – smoky and fog
  • telethon – television and marathon
  • workaholic – work and alcoholic

 

What is a mongrosity?

Mongrosity is a blending of “mongrol” and “monstrosity” and is my own portmanteau for our one year old cat’s (Johnny) antics at times.   Such as when I try to stop her from doing something that could be dangerous (such as chewing on charging cords) and she reacts by kicking off of some part of my body with her very sharp and powerful back claws so that I end up with a deep enough cut that I am left with a lasting scar.   I have several scars of that type from her.

It also applies to some of her other shenanigans such as when despite all of the cat beds in the house, she decides to sleep inside of my nightstand instead and in the process knock out the books I keep there because they are in her way.

With all the places she has to sleep, she chooses under my nightstand and knocks my books out to make room for herself.
With all the places she has to sleep, she chooses under my nightstand and knocks my books out to make room for herself.

Nonetheless, despite the surplus of new gray hairs we have both acquired since Johnny came into our lives, if we had it to do all over again knowing that we would get Johnny out of it, we would do so in a heartbeat.   She can definitely be a mongrosity at times but our lives (Jamey’s, Night’s and mine) are far richer for having her in them.   

So today’s gratitude is for unexpected blessings as when we initially trapped Johnny’s mother, we didn’t even know she was pregnant (or Feline Leukemia positive) and were just expecting to do a standard feral cat “trap-neuter-release” (after holding on to her long enough for her to heal from her spay first).   We were appalled when the vet said that not only was she pregnant, she was just a few days from delivery.    If we had not gone through that very stressful time, we would not have the blessing of Johnny today.   

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