2017-08-10 Strange Days

This week has been so strange. Despite having a few things planned, it seems that nothing is going according to plan. Some of it has been unexpectedly awesome and some of it has been just rotten. I’ll start with rotten so I can end on a positive note.

Yesterday I wrote about my attempt to donate blood and how that turned out. I was so angry. I just hate being turned away and maybe it is because I hate rejection and possibly it is because it feels like a situation that is completely out of my control. Either way, I was just so angry and I felt like punching something when I got back in my car. It was like a mini temper tantrum and that’s not me. I’m very even keel and there is not a lot that makes me angry. This did it though. I channeled that anger into yesterday’s post and also researching more about the diet where low iron is concerned. I tried to take that negative and turn it into a positive and I sort of feel better about it. Sort of.

Yesterday afternoon I had a plan to do Jazzercise, a strength class followed by a dance-mixx class. I was all geared up to do the 45 minute strength set, which was with one of the toughest instructors in my opinion. About 5 minutes in I felt a twinge of a headache, which I had not had going into the class. Another 10 minutes and it was really starting to ramp up into something substantial and about 30 minutes in I was convinced I was having a migraine. On my back doing ab-crunches looking directly up at the light and starting to feel like I wanted to toss the contents of my stomach. The sensitivity to light is a sure sign of a migraine.

Of course I was in the front row and of course it was a strength class which requires one have weights and a ball and a resistance tube and a matt. So many things borrowed from various locations around the room to put away and it would have been very disruptive for me to just quit and put those things away. So I powered through it. It would also look very strange if someone quit 30 minutes into a 45 minute class. I put about 10 to 15% effort into each next exercise until it was finally through. It’s funny how sometimes 15 minutes can seem like an eternity.

When class was over I packed up my things and put all that eq away and high-tailed it out of there. No second class was in the cards for me. After having been afflicted by migraines off and on for my entire adult life, I know the best way to combat them is dark and quiet and sleep, with meds if necessary. That is what I intended to do.

I arrived home and promptly took an Excederine migraine pill, which is just acetaminophen, caffeine, and aspirin. Then I had a bowl of cereal. Then I went up to my room and took a promethazine to combat the nausea. The promethazine also has a nice side effect of making me really drowsy. That’s kind of an understatement though. It actually helps me have a deep relaxing sleep, if I fall asleep. After I took that I had a nice hot shower and then fell into my bed. I was probably asleep in like 5 minutes. No kidding.

According to my Fitbit that was 6:09PM that I fell asleep. The last thing I remember was texting Josh that if I was unresponsive, it was because I was asleep. We were supposed to go to dinner when he finished his work for the day. Apparently he texted and even knocked on my door when he was in the area and I was unresponsive.

I woke up around 9pm, very groggy like I was still in the middle of that drug-induced fog. The headache was gone but my body hurt like I had fallen asleep so suddenly and then slept wrong. It was the strangest feeling. I had a bite to eat and texted with Josh and then decided it would be best if I just let my body sleep and went back to bed. That was about 10:15pm. I slept until 7:30 this morning. Adding it up that was almost 12 hours total. I have not slept that much in forever. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I slept that long. Wow.

Right now I’m at the Toyota service shop getting an oil change. It was good that I woke up when I did so I did not miss my appointment. However, my Mac is very low on power (< 5%) and I don’t have the power cord so I’m going to have to save the “good” for when I’m back home and plugged in.

More Laterz,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-09 Isn’t it Ironic

Today I went to the Red Cross blood drive just down the street. I have a long history of attempting to donate blood which is really great for several different reasons.

First and most obviously, you are doing something good and helping people and that gives me a nice feeling. They say that every time you donate blood, you are potentially helping up to three people who need it. The Red Cross is always saying that supplies are low, but right now they are in dire need and my in-box is getting bombarded with requests. My selflessness ends there however.

It’s really also kind of a free health screening. They check your temp and blood pressure and hemoglobin. I think they test you blood for several icky things which would normally cost money at a clinic or lab.

The third reason would be a slight departure from my normal routine which is kind of nice. I used to schedule around lunchtime and it takes a little time so it was an extra few moments of something different to just sit back and relax. That sound strange, but that is how I feel about it. And nobody is ever going to question my long lunch if they know that is my intent. What kind of a person would harp on someone for doing something good like that? Not many.

So today I went to donate and was rejected, for the second time in one week. I was rejected due to my hemoglobin being low which is iron in the blood. You can’t donate if you are a female and your count is less than 12.5. Today mine was 12.1 so I was turned away. I think it was last Thursday or Friday when I tried at the library and it was 11.5. This is why I say I have a long history of “attempting” to donate. My iron is often low.

For several years I took a supplement every day. I first started doing that not because I was not able to donate, but because I had seen my PCP and my blood work showed like 9. something and he suggested it. That’s not low enough to be a serious concern but he stated it could be a contributing factor to why I was so fatigued all the time. So I started taking some every day. My levels came up but I don’t think the fatigue ever really went away. I think my body just naturally has low hemoglobin.

Durning those years, I was always right around the threshold. Sometimes I would make it and sometimes I would be turned away. My grandfather donated regularly and I wanted to follow in his footsteps in giving back in some way. I never did a ton of research into why my iron would be low or what I could do to boost it naturally, I just accepted that the pill was sort of working and that was good enough.

It did, however, yield another unpleasant side effect that I did not even realize until this year. I would have really heavy periods with lots of blood clots. I came to this conclusion because someone suggested I stop taking the iron and see what affect that had on my system. Magically, after about a month or so, my period returned to normal. So that was it, I was done with that supplement for sure. Except it meant that I also had to give up donating. Damn.

I began researching natural ways of increasing the iron in your diet in the hopes that eating foods rich in iron would have a positive impact on my numbers, yet keep those nasty once-a-month episodes from being too terrible. What I found is that some things I like to eat already are high on the list of foods rich in iron. Hamburger number one, spinach and leafy greens and broccoli, dark chocolate, molasses, whole wheat bread ,quinoa, apricots and strawberries and raisons are among the top. Beans too, but gross, I don’t eat beans.

So I made sure I have something every day. I love cheeseburgers so that’s like a top win. It might even be part of the reason I like red meat so much. My body is craving what it is lacking. People say it does that, and seeks out what it wants. Perhaps there is some truth to that. However, the science of increasing iron in your system does not stop there. One has to consider absorption. With my levels still being too low last week, I began looking into this as well.

I had done a quick search at one point and found out that calcium inhibits the uptake of iron into the system and that vitamin C actually increases it. So the easy take away from that is stay away from dairy when you are having an iron meal and also pair it with something like orange juice. When I was taking the supplements, I always took it with orange juice anyway, so now that I am making my own juice, that works out perfectly.

To make matters a little more complex, though, just eating spinach may not have been doing me any good. Apparently there is another thing in spinach, called an Oxilate which prohibits the intake of iron. So spinach becomes a net zero for trying to increase the iron. Same thing with the strawberries and whole wheat (though that is because of phytates and not oxalates – oh my).

I’ve been doing more and more digging into this and have several sites that confirm that absorption is just as important as what you are eating that contains iron. In fact, about a quarter of the things on the list of foods high in iron were also on the list of foods to avoid if you want to absorb more iron. How ironic (pun intended). Iron from animals such as beef and fish are more easily absorbed that that from plant sources.. but there is apparently no perfect pairing to maximize the benefit.

Anyway, after I was turned away today from donating, I was so angry. I don’t want to give up because I am not a quitter, nor am I willing to let go of the benefits I get from donating. I have a feeling that my body is the way it is naturally, and that my iron will always be slightly low and I intend to continue to try and sort this out. I just find it so ironic that this one tiny thing that I want to do is something I can’t do and it feels so outside of my control. Grrrr.

I’ve made another appointment to try again Sunday. So between now and then, I guess it’s all cheeseburgers and orange juice for me. I guess if there is a silver lining, that would be it. 😉

Isn’t it Ironic.. Don’t you think?
A little too Ironic..
Yeah I really do think.
~Miss SugarCookie

P.S. Thanks Alanis for the Complimentary Close

2017-08-08 Pieces of Me

The kids have been with Brian for over a week and it is so quiet here in the house and so.. uneventful. There is a peace I can get when they are away but it comes at a price. The price is the feeling that something is missing and I’m definitely missing my missing pieces today. Our lives are defined by what we do and who we spend our time with. You can’t stop being defined by your job or extracurricular activities (unless you change what you are doing). You also can’t stop being defined by your relationships. I’m a mother and a daughter and a sister and a friend. Without my children, my life would not be the same. They can be quite trying at times, as teenagers often are, but they are mine and I am theirs.

I have a few lingering meet ups this week to keep me occupied. Two of them are today intact. I’m meeting with another former co-worker in about one hour for a coffee at Starbucks. I’m meeting up with Chris W. at coneflower this afternoon for an ice cream and a chat. Part of me just wants to hide in my house and yard all day today and part of me knows that it will be good for me to get out. The meeting with Chris came about because I saw him briefly at Archetype coffee last week when I was on a meet up with someone I met on Bumble so I did not really have time to stop and catch up. Now we will have the time.

He’s a former co-worker of Matts. That’s how I know him. Matt and I went to his wedding a few years back and now him and Casey have a baby girl, Violet. See, that’s the thing. Everyone.. literally EVERYONE we knew was making progress in their lives, moving forward, and doing the things they wanted to do. At least they were doing something. We were stuck and not doing anything. Gawd I wish I didn’t still think about it every damn day. Perhaps that was part of the reason I was so anxious to meet someone on that stupid dating app. I thought if I had someone else to occupy that space in my heart and in my mind and in my life, then that would leave no room for these lingering thoughts and feelings.

By this time last year, we had already broken up twice, I had been proposed to, and I was quickly on my way to the third. August was a terrible and frustrating month. I try to remind myself of that when my thoughts wander to all the questions of “why”. I can’t deny my relationship with Matt and how it shaped who I am today. I can’t deny what a large piece of my life he was, the fact that I once thought we had such a bright and wonderful future ahead of us. Even now, that relationship is still affecting who I am. I have not seen him in several months now and the email communications have stopped, yet I still think about it everyday. And I just have to accept that. I am trying.

I’d better get myself out of bed and get ready for my coffee meet up and do something productive with my day. 7 more days until the other pieces of me return home.

Time to Caffeine,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-07 GoodBye Alabama

I met with Alabama one last time today. He’s leaving for Alabama tomorrow. He’s so confident our paths with cross again. So confident he can convince me to come to come visit hime. The fact that he thinks he is going to have any time at all to spare with surgery and school and training and commitments from now into the foreseeable future amazes me. Still, he treated me to dinner at Blue and I treated him to a round of drinks at The Brickway and we had a nice time. It was good enough anyway. I felt that melancholy creeping in and tried to hide it as best as I could, but eventually just let him know what I was thinking. Even after I told him I didn’t think his plans would work out because I’m going to want someone here in Omaha, he still insisted that he will be back and will want to see me again.

It’s an untraveled road that I was not meant to travel. As I stand at the start of that road and peer down it, there are trees with large gnarled roots all up and down the path. There’s spots where the canopy is so thick, the light is not allowed in. There’s a feeling of sadness and relief that washes over me as I turn away to continue on my own, alone. We hugged goodbye and I got in my car to head home at around 8PM. I don’t expect I will ever see him again. That’s probably for the best.

In addition to that, I didn’t get much exercise today and I’m afraid I did not do very well with the eating and the drinking. I also only got around five hours of sleep so all-in-all, the week is off to a poor start. I did make progress in cleaning out my garage, so that was good, but did not even start digging out the edging from the back garden. One of my plans is to have that replaced here in the next week or so with the load of pavers I acquired last Friday. If I am going to meet with success, I’d better get a good move on it tomorrow.

I’m feeling really sleepy all of a sudden now and want to capitalize on that. I’m going to put this day in the past and begin again with tomorrow. The Sun WILL come out, tomorrow.

From Somewhere In the Middle,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-07 What Works and What Doesn’t

Last week I decided to throw my trusty to-do list out the window and just live and do the things that struck my fancy when the moments were ripe. By Wednesday I felt very unproductive and unsatisfied and by Thursday I decided to make a list and start crossing things off and by Friday, I felt good again about my week. Why that makes such a difference, I will not pretend to try and understand but can accept the outcome none the less.

It’s Monday again and I’m awake after only 5 hours of sleep and my brain is not wasting any time on how I might change my approach and try something new, it’s ready to make a list and get started. I’ve checked the weather and it will be overcast again but clear which means I can start on my next big backyard project. I’ve checked the class schedules for both Jazzercise and my Genesis Health Club and there are two classes later this afternoon I would like to attend. I know Josh is coming over sometime this morning to borrow my ladder and at some point Alabama (who I wrote about yesterday) would like to meet up in person. I need to look into school registration for the kids and fill out some online forms and also figure out what to do since they will not be physically present for the “in-person” part of the process. So that’s the start of a list for today. That works.

Since winging it does not seem to work for me and making lists does, I may just make a list for my week and also for the rest of August. I’m really not reaching out to any old or new acquaintances or friends or family for meet ups this week so I can focus my meals on eating healthy and not spending money. In July I was really focussed on connections, but now I think I will turn my attention more to myself and just getting stuff I want done, done.

I’d like to get this edging project underway, sell my car, clean out my garage and potentially paint it. I’m going to take an assessment at Metro to see what kind of career I might be geared for. I’d like to take a self defense class and perhaps try the climbing gym and find some other classes (that are free) at Genesis that I might be interested in. I think all of that is enough to keep me busy for a month.

Yesterday I spent half a day working out. I literally did Jazzercise followed by Yoga/Pilates followed by cardio on the elliptical machine. I had brief breaks in between, but was feeling pretty awesome by like 2 in the afternoon. Then I switched gears and had Steph and Barb over to the house for wine, and got an upsetting text, and ended up eating at Qdoba with Josh. All of that was OK, but I ate too much and then vegetated while I got somewhat caught up on Game of Thrones. While all of that was just fine, by the end of the day I felt really terrible. I felt like the exercise I did early in the day was negated by my poor food choices later in the day. So the take away on that is that the exercise works and the focus on the food and sitting around watching a show doesn’t. Not for me anyway.

Now that I have put some thought into what’s on my list for today, this week, and this month, I can rest easy until it’s really time to start digging in. Right now, however, it’s not even 7AM and I’m not quite ready just yet.

Welcome to Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-06 The Raw Truth About This Dating Thing

This IS the organic blog about my life. That means it’s just raw and real and there are no additives and preservatives and no processing or editing. It’s just me. I just need to be real about this moment in my life. For one minute can I really just be exposed and not give a shit about it? I think I can.

I’ve blogged about my dating experiences on a very guarded level. Like here are the stats about how many people I have met and what my impressions have been and what I’ve learned and how that has shaped what I think about the app I’ve been using. Yadda..yadda..yadda. I’ve left out bits and pieces here and there to protect myself from.. myself. Or rather, protect myself from some consequence I have imagined would be applied if I really just came out with all of it.

That guy that I met in the beginning of July that I really liked and had a great first date with. You might recall I named him Mr. Fireworks because we sat in his truck after meeting for a drink at the bar and watched the fireworks explode on the horizon of the Chalco recreation area as the sun went down. We had a very deep conversation that night which delved into faith and philosophy and belief and we also kissed and I felt very connected and hopeful about the possibilities. The second time we met was at my house and I slept with him and after that night he never responded to me again. That’s the raw truth about what happened with that.

I felt really shitty about it. I felt cheap and sort of used and somewhat too trusting and hopeful. I mean, what else did I expect after the snapchats that had been exchanged. I guess I thought there was something more given the conversations that we had, but apparently I was wrong about that. I can chalk that one up to naiveté and perhaps also my own desire to really just want to have something happen after so long not having anyone want me in that way. So I let that go. I did not press the issue and really did not even try to contact him after being ignored for a couple of days.

After several more weeks having text conversations and meeting several more people I really was losing interest in using the Bumble app and had several active connections but resolved not to try and start any new connections. I was just going to let if fizzle out, but did have two people who I was actively chatting with that were very interesting. Again, I wrote about this in a very generic capacity. Last weekend I wrote a bit of a “creative” blog entry about “untraveled roads”. That was sort of an extended metaphor describing the way I felt about two of the people I had met. My mind always wandering to what kind of future I might have with each. One of those people was an ex-military guy, who I will call “Alabama”, that I met for a drink downtown and, again, really had a good time with.

We had a second meet up at Walnut and went for a walk and then had a quick bite to eat before we had to part ways. He was very honest and straight forward about where he is with his life and where he was going and what his plans are for the future. I found that very refreshing. Now here is a person who has direction and purpose and not really sugar-coating the fact that his life and plans come first. Equality was one of his tattoos. It stood for equality in relationships he explains and he even sent me something via email that he wrote about that to elaborate on it further. I really liked this guy but not sure how much. He was super responsive to text and very complimentary and called me beautiful. Who doesn’t want that?

So on our third meet up we had dinner and then walked the Old Market and then went back to his place and I slept with him. It was nice. I was once again filled with hope and thoughts for the future. I don’t want my heart to be hurt again, so I was still somewhat guarded and just trying to enjoy the moments for what they were.

The week following that was the military “Wounded Warrior” games here in Omaha and he’s really heavily involved with that and was quite unavailable. He was also getting some really heavy information back about his medical conditions and being forced to make some life-changing decisions. We met for dinner once this week and he eluded to the fact that his heart condition is being considered urgent and that he’s had to schedule surgery ASAP. Likely moving to accommodate that and his plans to attend school at Alabama. Tonight I got a text that he is packing and moving this week.

Not exactly the same situation as the first guy I slept with but it’s does not change the fact that I, once again, am feeling really shitty about the outcome. I think this is the other reason I am done with this online dating garbage. This is NOT me. I am not the type of girl that goes out with people and sleeps with them on the second or third date and never sees them again. At least I don’t want to be. I want to have a romantic relationship. I want to find a long-term partner. I want someone who is responsive, who I can trust, and communicate with and am attracted to and who likes me or adores me and wants to be with me and build a life together. That is what I want. My God is that too much to ask for??!

So this afternoon I had a few girlfriends over and we shared a bottle of wine and right about the time that they left is when I was finally getting these texts back from Mr. Alabama. So I am a little tipsy and not wanting to be alone and here I am alone. All alone and thinking about how this all has unfolded and I have no-one to blame but myself. OK, so I reason with it and tell myself to just add it to the list of lessons learned and call it good because now I know more about what I am looking for, but really that is just sugar-coating it. My heart hurts and I don’t feel like I deserve this. Why is life like this. What have I done to deserve being alone and feeling this unloved and unwanted?

Why can’t I be happy without a partner? Why can’t I be satisfied with my beautiful life the way that it is? Why do I let myself feel too easily for the emotions that are inevitable with these situations? Why couldn’t I make things work with Matt? Why couldn’t I make things work with my marriage? Why is there always an imbalance in the the way people feel about each other? Why, why, why, why, Why, WHy, WHY????!!

This is the real reason why I’m not using that stupid app anymore. I quite literally don’t think I am in any shape to take on the emotional challenges that come with this constant struggle of questions without answers. I probably should be focussing on my kids and my health and my future career instead anyway. Fuck this dating garbage. What a tricky pickle I have myself in, indeed (that is caught between second and third when I can’t go forward and I can’t go back).

It’s 8PM and still light out. I’m three glasses of wine on the day now and should call it done. There was no sushi, no coffee, and no walking today so it was definitely a far cry from the “paint by numbers” Sunday that I’ve longed for for so long. Just like the rest of my life I guess.

Sayonara,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-06 On Blogging (That’s So Meta)

It was either the 20K steps I had yesterday or the two glasses of wine that did me in by like 10:30pm. Perhaps I should consider that I was up at 4:50am without much significant rest all day. I woke today around 5:45am, partially due to the pressure in my bladder and partially due to my kitten complaining about something. I chucked several decorative pillows at her from the bed, but she kept coming back making more noise. Finally at 6 I opened the curtains and the windows to get some fresh air in the room. It’s very overcast today.

Sometimes when I post things on WordPress I get likes and I end up going to look at what those people have written. Many times it’s some promotional site for some thing or other and I quickly navigate away. Sometimes, however, it’s a real human being who is also just posting about their life or opinions or short stories or poetry. I know some people get lost in an endless stream of videos on You-Tube these days, but I could fare about the same with the WordPress content that is available. I find myself most drawn to the other people who are writing about themselves. It’s fascinating and then I realize, hey, that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve had a couple of people inquire about my blog in real life and I have been quite leery to share. I very much appreciate writing under the presence that “nobody” is actually reading and then I don’t find myself giving much thought to needing to alter my words for the sake of any person. I know the tried and true rule about knowing your audience, and if I know I have an audience, then there might be some slight modifications because of that. That being said, there are a few people who do know what the site is, and I’m happy to say I don’t think it is affecting the outcome.

The first was a person I dated back in 2010 and we ran into each other late last year and then again early this year. That was very early in this endeavor and since I had not seen this person in so long, I did not think their knowing would change things. I honestly don’t know if he reads any of this. I mean, for real, who has time for that (besides me)?

The second person was my closest colleague at my last job. That one was sort of a happy accident I think. I don’t remember how the topic came about, but I eluded to the fact that I post to a blog and he took it upon himself to go hunting things out. He’s the one who discovered that my blogs were all listed together in the “Gravitar” section of my main blog including this one which I had wanted to keep concealed. I wanted this blog to remain somewhat anonymous and there it was, right under my picture and the three or four other blogs I have. Whoops. I’ve fixed that now, thanks to him.

I am not sure if he reads the things I write either. He also shared with me what his blog was and I subscribe to that and read those just about as soon as they are posted (I get a notification via email). His stuff is more retrospective but contain insight into his present state of mind. He’s a good writer and I enjoy reading his posts. I also get a little inspired to perhaps do more “backstory” posts or even deeper dives into certain topics that I think of from something that has happened, but for some reason I haven’t seem to do much of that yet.

I don’t ever seem to get past the “this is what I did today” stuff, which is quite dreadful really. I’ve even written before about the fact that so much of that is just repeating the same thing over and over. I mean, how much can one person talk about their sleep deprivation or achievements? Apparently in my case, quite a lot. I’m more than half a year in and still at it though so it’s definitely doing something for me. I don’t tend to think about it much, which is strange, but I do feel like my writing and this blog have helped me “dig out” of the hole that I had dug for myself in recent times. I really don’t see any conclusion for it anytime soon either.

So I’m going to go ahead and keep on living, and writing, and posting, and reading and we’ll see where that leads. I might be going no-where, but at least I have a great record of my ride.

Today is Sunday. I’ve long ago abandoned the idea that there is a formula for a perfect Sunday. I used to think if you did paint by numbers, so to speak, and practiced yoga and had coffee and sushi and cocktails and writing and listening to music and walking that you could not go wrong. It seems logical enough, but even doing all that may not guarantee a win for the day. There’s some magic ingredient that eludes me. Hopefully it is not sunshine, because it looks like we will be having none of that today. Very overcast indeed.

Just Keep Swimming,
~Miss SugarCookie