Wednesday, July 04, 2018

So far today

Went out bright and early, mowed the front and back lawns. Cut a couple of tree branches that get in my way when I mow.

(I also want to get either Mike or maybe Dana - the bell choir director, she seems pretty prone to be helpful and I bet she'd be happy to come help if I asked her - out some afternoon to "spot" me on the ladder because there are more branches on the redbud I want to cut off, but they are higher up - they are getting close to where the power lines go into the house and before the storms of fall and possible ice in winter, I want them gone, to help protect those lines. But they're high enough that I want someone with me when I climb up on the ladder, because I also know raising my arms over my head for very long - like to cut a branch - makes me slightly woozy (blood pressure? maybe) and I don't want to risk falling)

Then I edged. It was still before 10 am but it was after 9 am and it's a weekday even if it's a holiday and anyway some of my neighbors didn't seem to care too much about not shooting fireworks last night after 11 pm, so, they can put that in their pipe and smoke it. (No one came out and complained or looked askance at me but normally I do not like to do loud chores on the weekend before 10 am)

Then I went to cut some more brush. The pokeweed had gotten tall in the back corner of my fence, and I wanted it gone (The reason the city complains about tall brush is that it can harbor rodents - I see that - or snakes, though if they're nonvenomous snakes? They are 100% welcome in my yard and I would not bother them at all.)

Unfortunately, I brushed against poison ivy with my arm SECONDS before I spotted it. So I ran inside and ran tapwater (lukewarm - they suggest cool water to disperse the oils and wash them away but lukewarm is the best I can do in summer) over the arm for five minutes. I contemplated just saying "bag it" then and there and showering, but I figured: I'd already been exposed, I'd done what is often recommended as a prophylactic if exposed, so what the heck. So I cut two wheelbarrows full (the amount I was planning on doing) and then got out the weed killer and dumped some on the poison ivy I could see. (I don't like using it but with poison ivy I feel I have no choice: we're not allowed, really, to leave it in our yards - it's one of the prohibited plants - and I react badly enough to it that suiting up and pulling it is a bad idea).

Then I came in and showered. I THINK all of that should count as exercise for today. (I think my body-dysmorphic outburst of yesterday was partly tied to my not having worked out on Monday and my feeling bad that maybe I wasn't racking up enough "minutes" per week. Yes, I use that "150 minutes of moderate exercise" goal as a "bare minimum" and feel bad when I can't meet it. I am....not a fun person when it comes to "targets." But it was SO hot. And on Tuesday, I had planned to do 45 minutes and got in 35 until my body said "no mas" and I had to quit. I hate humidity).

And anyway. If yardwork counts as exercise I'd rather do that as exercise because it feels more productive.

Fixed lunch. Not a particularly healthful lunch but whatever. The other day at Pruett's, I got enticed into buying "Lean Pockets" because hey, it's like pepperoni pizza, which you haven't had in forever, but it's only like 420 mg sodium, so if you only eat fruit or unsalted vegetables as the rest of the meal, you're under your limit!

Yeah, maybe I should listen to the wisdom of Mr. Gaffigan:

I will say I'm not UNHAPPY I ate it, but it wasn't the greatest thing ever. A piece of bread with some cheese melted on it and a slice of tomato probably would have tasted better. It's tolerable as an 'emergency no time' meal, though there are some of those "steamed" Healthy Choice frozen things that are much better and probably better for you.

I also decided to have a little treat, despite my efforts to cut back on sweets - I bought a bag of "Soozie's Doozies" cookie dough lumps at the Kroger last time I was there, with the thought that cooking up one or two cookies on demand (and requiring the effort of (a) putting the oven on, (b) getting out a pan, and (c) waiting the 12 minutes for them to bake plus cooling time might present more of a hurdle to mindless eating). I decided to bake them in my square copper pan, which works on the stove or in the oven.

NB: the handle of the thing gets wicked hot in the oven. You'll see how I know that in a moment.

Put them in to bake. Shut the oven off at 10 minutes with the plan of leaving them in the hot oven to complete baking. Got involved with something and then remembered the cookies. Ran to the kitchen hoping they didn't get too done (They didn't). Grabbed a potholder, but wasn't paying attention and left the lower left quadrant of my right hand exposed....and it touched the handle.

I said a very unladylike word (the one beginning with "s," for those curious), set the pan down on my padded floor mat (and then worried I'd burn the mat; luckily, I did not) and ran to the sink to run cold water over it.

But of course, in the summer, our water here is never exactly COLD. So then I got my cold pack thing out of the freezer and wrapped it in a paper towel. And I put Foille on the burn but that seemed to do little (Maybe my Foille has expired).

My friend Laura, hearing me talk about it on Twitter, suggested aloe vera, which I did have, and which did a lot more to cut the pain.

I will note that the cookies were still probably worth it. They're pretty good, though if the package didn't explicitly warn against eating the dough raw (probably has unpasteurized eggs in it), I probably would go that path instead. But yeah, the idea of keeping cookie dough on hand (I should probably see if the rest of the package can be frozen so I don't feel so pressured to use it up) and doling it out a cookie at a time every few days probably makes more sense for me than baking a whole batch at once (except when I have to take cookies somewhere).  (I suppose I could also make my own batter, and make lumps out of it, and freeze THOSE and bake off a cookie or two as needed. Not sure how long homemade batter keeps good in the freezer though)

It's not that I lack willpower and wind up eating a whole bag of cookies at a go; it's's easier to go and get one or two when I'm either hungry and need a snack (in which case some cheese or a boiled egg would probably do me better) or when I'm bored or stressed and wind up eating my feelings. So while I don't eat a whole bag in one go, I might eat a whole bag over the course of a week.

And again, I don't know how much of this is my perfectionism: for example, the whole "don't eat more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day" thing becomes less a sort-of-mushy goal to shoot for (where, if you go a little over, but aren't drinking  four 20-ounce Cokes in a day, you're probably good) and more as a prescriptive upper limit and I wind up weighing "but there might be cake at this get together I'm going to so I have to cut back the rest of the week to make up and even if the cake isn't really worth it you probably have to eat it to be sociable" and I make myself a little crazy with it - also with the exercise thing. (THIS is why I won't have a scale in the house; I know from sad experience what it turns me into)

I *probably* eat pretty healthfully - most of my diet is fruits, vegetables, and various lean proteins (and cheese. And yogurt) - but I also like sweets and I like a little sweetener in my tea, and sometimes I like fattier meats, and I just don't KNOW any more. I know, I could go to a dietician but I'm also afraid of them blanching in horror when I describe how I eat. So I don't know. (I don't drink sodas, I almost never eat fast food, a lot of days I eat essentially lacto-ovo vegetarian because that's easier for me, I eat red meat but sparingly....)

I did try the DASH diet, and I keep making vague stabs back at it, but the number of vegetable servings per day they recommend? Without being too graphic, let's just say they don't play well with my digestive system. Also there are not that many different vegetables that I like or can eat (allergies to carrots, celery, cucumbers, squash. Strong dislike of green peas and broccoli....digestive system dislikes radishes, at least raw)

(And yeah: a lot of this angst is tied to the circled day of July 25, when I go for my annual blood-draw. I tell myself that probably my efforts at getting 150 minutes of exercise a week protect me from many of the Big Bads, but I don't know - I have a family history of some weird stuff and I know how crazy I went when I was first diagnosed with hypertension and went MUST CUT OUT ALL SALT so....finding out I was borderline diabetic or had high cholesterol or something would complicate my life more, partly because I like to use lifestyle interventions when possible rather than just relying on meds....)

1 comment:

anita said...

For poison ivy: have you tried Tecnu? (I got mine at Walmart, which meant I had to get a large bottle, which will probably last longer than I will . . . but, anyway.) According to the label, you wash with it for 10 minutes after exposure, but I never time myself, I just wash whatever part is affected. I haven't had any blisters since I discovered it, FWIW.

In case anyone's interested, my method is: put on long pants, old sneakers and socks, a long-sleeved shirt (it's really ratty, but I keep it for pulling the stuff) and garden gloves (also elderly, saved for this). Go outside and work for an hour or so, which is as much as my arthritic will tolerate; then, even if I didn't get any on me (at least not that I saw), I throw the pile of pulled up vines over in the woods across the street (which belong to me, so I can do that) where no one goes, go inside, undress and throw everything in the washer, take a shower with Tecnu just in case, wash my hair too, then put on clean clothes and wash and dry everything I was wearing.

It's kind of a pain, but not as much as a case of poison ivy, and I haven't had one since I adopted this as my modus operandi. Which is good, because it's all over one corner of my front yard, (and not in a place where I can get rid of it without RoundUp, which I try not to use) so I spend the equivalent of a week or so every summer pulling the stuff up.

YMMV, but it works for me.