Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Dear Jack Blizzard - is that all you've got?!?

You can’t live in South Dakota and not talk about the weather, especially this time of year. Jack Blizzard stomped across the state in the first week of the year, dumping about 15” of snow on us. Happy fecking New Year! 

We got that just about cleaned up when Jack threw another hissy fit, and this one was a real doozey. Another foot of snow at least, real temps that got down into the -20s, and wind chills that got as low as -48 here (colder in other parts of the state). There are little mountains of snow all around town and down the middles of streets – nowhere to put it all. It’s a balmy -3 right now, heading for a high of 13, which will feel like summer. We’re finally going to venture out for groceries today, wrapped up for our polar expedition in multiple layers of wool, fur, wicking nylon, Thinsulate, and more wool.

I’ve heard a number of people wonder aloud lately (including us), why do we live here? The honest answer is “because we’ve always lived here, and humans don’t really like change.” But another answer, for me, has to do with something I learned early on about poetry: Good poems play with contrast. Think about it. My favorite poems show me the contrast between dark/light, life/death, day/night, out there/in here. Similarly, one of the things I love best about winters here is that when spring comes (or even on bright sunny days like today, with temps above 0), the contrast is absolutely stunning.

Spring isn’t just the next season here, like I imagine it is in warm southern states. It’s a goll dern miracle. The sense of relief SoDakians feel on a suddenly-warm winter day or with the first signs of spring beats any mood-altering drug on the market. We’re positively giddy. We peel off layers and go right outside. We invent chores to stay out as long as we can stand it. We scrape gunk off birdfeeders. We stack empty flower pots in order of circumference. We make a new garage hanger for our 17 pairs of garden gloves. Did I go outside this morning and brush a foot of snow off my clamshell lawn chairs? Why, yes. Yes I did.

And I know I’ve said it before, but SoDakians, like the stalwart prairie stock from which many of us spring, are uniquely prepared to deal with Jack’s little tantrums. Here at the row, we’re dipping into our larder for those wonderful jars of canned summer – stewed tomatoes. Tomato soup, chili, spaghetti. We could probably live a month on tomatoes alone. There’s always a couple whole chickens and roasts in the freezer, along with bags of frozen veg, and plenty of noodles, beans, and grains in the pantry, so we could live another month on soups. We have wine, a good supply of coffee beans in the freezer (I order coffee in 5-pound bags), and we refilled all our old-people prescriptions before Jack rolled into town.

Winterfolk learn early to self-entertain, which retirement makes infinitely easier: I have a new poetry book, Hysterian, coming out this year, and I’m already well into the next. Then there are jigsaw puzzles, guitars & ukuleles, crossword puzzles, TV documentaries (I now know more about cephalopods, fungi communication, and the Branch Davidians and Heaven’s Gate than any human should), knitting, journals, and books books books. I unpacked my new set of Fluent Pet language buttons yesterday, because I’m pretty sure Pretzel has something to say about winter, too. (Check out What About Bunny for a dog who’s mastered the buttons.)

So bring it, Jack. You don’t scare us. In the time it’s taken me to write this post, the temp has already gone up to +2, and the wind chill’s only -16. I’m pretty sure the students at Little Town University are wearing shorts. And if we get a few groceries today, we’ll be good till mid-April.

FOOTNOTE: Here’s a link to the poem that gave Jack his name, at least for me. It’s from Australian poet S.K. Kelen, who spent some time here as a visiting professor, so he knows whereof he speaks:"Jack Blizzard" 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

In the name of...

I’ll keep this short because honestly, I don’t know what to say. I’m heartsick and kind of paralyzed by the war in the Middle East. And it IS a war, not an action, occupation, resistance, self-defence, or whatever else they want to call it to “clean it up” or justify it. And the fact that RELIGION is the excuse at the root of this ongoing war (and so many others) makes me sick, and it moves me even further away from whatever respect I used to have for organized religion. Throw in the Indian boarding schools, Magdalene laundries, sexual predation by clergy, obscene wealth hoarding, and more, and my blood boils when I hear religious figures talk about righteousness or sin.

So I’m turning to poetry again, as a way to sort it out for myself, to slog through it, to respond somehow. This is a poem by Joseph Fasano that we should all post in our homes, on social media, everywhere…and we should read it EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

Words Whispered to a Child Under Siege
Joseph Fasano

No, we are not going to die.
The sounds you hear
knocking the windows and chipping the paint
from the ceiling, that is a game
the world is playing.
Our task is to crouch in the dark as long as we can
and count the beats of our own hearts.
Good. Like that. Lay your hand
on my heart and I’ll lay mine on yours.
Which one of us wins
is the one who loves the game the most
while it lasts.
Yes, it’s going to last.
You can use your ear instead of your hand.
Here, on my heart.
Why is is beating faster? For you. That’s all.
I always wanted you to be born
and so did the world.
No, those aren’t a stranger’s bootsteps in the house.
Yes. I’m here. We’re safe.
Remember chess? Remember
The song your mother sang? Let’s sing that one.
She’s still with us, yes. But you have to sing
without making a sound. She’d like that.
Sing. Sing louder.
Those aren’t bootsteps.
Let me show you how I cried when you were born.
Those aren’t bootsteps.
Those aren’t sirens.
Those aren’t flames.
Close your eyes. Like chess. Like hide-and-seek.
When the game is done you get another life.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Cottage Industry

Our Little Town is bustling with activity! Kids of all ages are back in school, the squirrels are stashing walnuts as fast as they can drop from our tree, and in spite of a heat wave that’s been cooking us with temps above 100°, there’s that smell some mornings that signals autumn is on its way. And everyone knows autumn is the time of year when prairie people panic (don’t say that into a mic without a good windscreen). With the first whiff of cool northern air, we shift into overdrive; we stock the larder, smack the dust out of our parkas with a rug beater, darn our woolies, and prepare to hunker down.

Inis Meain shawl between Pretzel's unravelings.

Photo David Shaw: The Real Deal

Ray and I have been getting in some end-of-season kayaking, a chance to relax for a bit, paddle around a lake, and pretend the garden isn’t at that very moment busting out of its fence and heading for the neighbor’s cat. Feed me, Seymour.

I have three poetry manuscripts finished and out looking for publishing homes—it’s amazing what you can accomplish with TIME (retire as early as you possibly can). Ray’s been playing lots of summer gigs and continues to amaze me with his quiet (ironic for a drummer?), consistent excellence. But he still won’t play “Wipe Out” for me.

We’ve also gotten in quite a bit of domestic industry. I’m working on a crocheted Inis Meáin shawl, a traditional shawl worn layered over dresses in Ireland back in the day. Like the Fates who spin out the thread of life, our puppy Pretzel occasionally decides I’ve had my “allotment,” and he pulls my skein of yarn apart, weaves it throughout the house, and wraps it tightly around table legs. Reclaiming my yarn is a lot like a game of Twister.

Sun sugar cherries...LOTS of them.

Cherry tomato confit, of course!

Ray bought a used set of electronic drums and has been working to convert Mom’s room into a music parlor. We have the piano, drums, and a host of stringed instruments all in one place now. Mom would love that her space is filled with playing and singing.


We’ve lost whatever false sense of control we ever had about keeping up with our garden, but we’ve put up dozens of quarts of roasted tomatoes. We’ve eaten cucumbers and zucchini until we finally put a “FREE” table out front to “gift” our surplus. We froze gooseberries, pesto, basil, and tomato confit. We dried parsley, basil, and dill. We have a lug of peaches on deck for processing. And with this week’s heat, we’re far from done.

Someone's been in the peaches...

I can’t quite explain my joy at seeing the pantry full of home-canned bounty. We live a mile or two from the Corporate Monster store, yet we stockpile tomatoes like they’ll soon have to buoy us through an apocalypse, like we know they’ll be currency if we need to trade for beaver castor for our steel conibear traps (which we don’t have).

Good year for our gooseberry bushes!

Gooseberry "pudding" is more like a cobbler.

I think my devotion to canning, drying, and freezing a summer’s worth of stuff I couldn’t work through in my lifetime (I’ve got frozen parsley that’s probably 25 years old) is a hereditary and geographical fear of Jack Blizzard, and his ability to lock us in during winter. I read a brilliant short story once, “Winter” by Kit Reed, where two old sisters in an isolated cabin find an ingenious way to stock their larder during a blizzard. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say without my garden and my canning obsession, I could BE one of those sisters…

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never gone hungry a day in my life, except for my teens, when I lived on sunflower seeds and Boone’s Farm, or when I’ve gone willingly down some brutally restrictive diet hole. Still, I look at my seventeen jars of pickled jalapeños (2005) and my 13 jars of wild plum jam (2007 and yes, I’ll still eat them though I won’t feed them to guests), plus the last two years’ worth of tomatoes, pickles, and peaches, and I know I won’t starve.

Did we plant that zucchini on purpose?!?

They're breaking out!

A full larder is a joyous thing...

This weekend we’ve got a granddaughter’s 10th birthday to fuss over, more tomatoes ripening in this heat, and a couple of trees to plant. But first, a night of dancing and merriment at our Little Town Watering Hole, for what we like to call our Friday night happy hour “church service”—we are fervent, faithful, and [ir]reverent about our Friday evenings with Ray’s Little Town band. Then, it’s back to the industry and welcome, Autumn!

The Boyz in the Band

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Better check that warranty...

I’ll be 67 on my next birthday. With age, wisdom, and one of the wise revelations I’ve had recently is that like an LG front-loading washer, human design includes planned obsolescence (PO). We are designed to break down and need replacing.

Another day, another backless gown.

This came into sharp focus over the past month. First, Ray had another heart attack. This was #5 (#1 with quad bypass and a couple stents was at age 50, for which he always thanks his mother’s genes). Thankfully, we know the drill by now and got him in post haste. This time, he needed a couple new stents (the cardiologist called himself “the plumber”). He also had a new glitch this time—atrial flutter. So they had to put the cables on and jump-start his heart back into normal sinus rhythm (a different cardiologist for this one, who called himself “the electrician”), which worked like a charm. After a few days in the Big City heart hospital, Ray came home wearing a monitor for a couple weeks and feeling good but tired.

(Sidenote: We learned that cardio nurses get a big kick out of police and hospital shows that zap dead people back to life. She told us there’s no zapping someone back from a flatline.)

The next week, I was picking up a laundry basket and felt a pop in my lower back. I couldn’t straighten up, I needed a cane to get up or down, I hobbled around like Quasimodo, and I whined. A lot. I loaded up on Advil and ice packs until the following week, when I already had an appointment scheduled for my annual Medicare checkup. If you’ve never had one of these, they’re pretty funny. They start with a “wellness check,” a series of questions to test your mental health and memory, and to try and figure out if you’re a fall risk. You can’t imagine how badly I wanted to blink my eyes like a stunned doe or make up silly answers just for fun.

Meanwhile, waiting back at home...

At my age, they forego certain formerly-routine checks—no pelvic exam or pap test needed, you dried up, non-reproductive old prune, and that last home colon test will hold you for another year or two. So after the wellness quiz, the wafflemaker (a mammo), a dexa scan, lab work, peeing in a cup, and an ultrasound of my thyroid to monitor old nodules, I was released on my own recognizance with Prednisone and muscle relaxers.

(Sidenote: Prednisone is my very favorite drug. You take it for a couple days, then one day you’re walking up the stairs and realize nothing hurts—not your back, not the arthritis in your feet, not your stiff “knitters thumb,” not the shoulder that you landed on falling off your bike—uh oh…should I have reported that as a “fall risk”? Yes, the steroids can make you a little cranky and wired, but the irritability is far outweighed by how clean your house gets.)

The BEST therapy.

Now I’m scheduled to go back in a couple weeks for a thyroid biopsy, because of course one nodule is .08723 mm bigger. If they test you enough, they will find something.

Somehow, in the run-up to all this, Ray put in a beautiful veggie garden, and we lived without water for a day and AC for a week, while a crew put in a new sewer line from our house out to the street, something that was long past due before we bought our 1904 house eight years ago. Our yard is now fragrant and gorgeous, dotted with hanging baskets of flowers in every color, the orioles and hummingbirds are back, and we’re settling back into our spring peace.

We’re eternally grateful for our “maintenance and service team,” which includes our daughter, who dragged all her children to our house to dog, bird, & house sit during Ray’s upgrade; our son, who trekked down once we were back home to help with lifting and pulling chores we both have to avoid for a while; our daughter-in-love, who kept me company all day in the heart hospital while Ray got his tune-up; and so many other family & friends who brought us food, sent cards and flowers, drove us to appointments, filled in on drums for Ray at our Little Town watering hole while he’s on the DL, checked on us, and let us recount ad nauseum our harrowing medical tales.

Blue iris.

Ray and I know well that each hospital visit, each doctor’s appointment, every effort to eat more salad and move every day is just us buying time. No one, regardless of genetics, healthy habits, longevity supplements, yoga, inversion tables, or prayer gets to wiggle out of PO. The warranties will expire. But I’m also grateful for the reminder that every moment we’re still humming along is a gift and a wonder.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

What I really want to say about spring is...

Mom and Dad, 1952

What I want to say is, there’s nothing more welcome or more beautiful than spring in our Little Town. We’ve gone from another layer of snow last week, to an explosion of brilliant green and temps in the 80s, to rain and cool. Lilacs are budding; iris, lilies, columbine, and hollyhocks are all pushing up; a dozen wild turkey hens paraded down our street; our Little Town resident vultures have come back after a very successful winter south—when they circled over our backyard, I lost count at 55, and Ray says it was closer to 100.

I think what I really want to say is, I feel a little blindsided by this particular spring, which is also the first anniversary of my orphanhood: My mother died a year ago this month, after a years-long illness and slow decline, and my father died a month later, after his own years-long illness.

I’ve often said, it isn’t one event that sucks us under the waves—it’s an accumulation of events, the PILE-UP. And since 2020 with the pandemic, I’ve been in a kind of adrenaline-fueled fog of perpetual action and stress, my Superwoman crisis mode. Then 2021 brought “pandemic+” (a heart attack for Ray, multiple hospitalizations for Mom, Mom needing full-time care at home, and her decision to enter home hospice at the end of the year). Add in 2022’s deaths and debacles (see my Christmas 2022 post), and I’m pretty sure I was exhausted in body, mind, and spirit by the time the ball dropped on 2023.

I’d like to say that I still see hope on the horizon. Mom’s Bergenia is coming up, and when Ray raked out the hollyhock and iris beds a couple days ago, it was enough to make me cry, knowing how happy it would have made Mom. Ray and I laughed at the decorative marbles everywhere in the garden, where Mom had thrown them because they were “shiny.” I can still be slayed by the smallest reminders of her, found in corners where she’d lost or tucked them away—a hearing aid brush, a pearl fallen out of a ring, a note to her from a great-grandkid, tucked in a sock.

But what I’m also saying is, now with spring busting out all over, with no more classes to teach (I re-retired), with our health more or less stable, and with my general pace slowing and calming, I find I’m missing my parents terribly. This spring—a season Mom adored—reminds me I still have much work to do re-orienting my life on this new road. Maybe that work is never done. And I think I’m still exhausted, if that’s possible. I keep myself busybusybusy, warding off the Big Cry that I feel welling just under the surface, the kind of good cry that makes you take to your bed. I’ve been holding it back because, what if I can’t stop once it starts?

What I'm trying to say is, full steam ahead (or maybe half steam).  I’m breathing in spring after an extraordinarily long winter that started in 2020. I’ll keep slugging down coffee to stay awake, and I'll drink it on the porch in my pajamas. I'll keep plugging away at the inner work—Mom donated her body to the Med school of our Little Town U, so maybe once I get her ashes back (it can take up to 2 years) and scatter them in the places she loved, I’ll feel a shift. I’ll scrub the oriole and hummingbird feeders. I’ll switch from boots to sandals. Ray will get down the bikes, and the kayaks won’t be far behind. I’ll wear outfits specifically designed to call up Mom’s voice quipping, “Are you going out in public like that, dear?”

I guess I'm really just saying, spring is springing, and I’m okay. And to welcome spring’s renewal and to celebrate these bittersweet anniversaries, I’ll plant Cupid’s pansies this week (sorry…vague English teacher reference). You may even hear me singing (as Mom always told me to do, loud and off key, in troubled times), Battle Hymn of the Republic

 “We sat in silence, letting the green in the air heal what it could.” 
― Erica Bauermeister

Mom and Dad, 2019

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Trying to Breathe

I know I’m not supposed to say this, or dignify “shooters” with their names, or regard them as worthy of consideration. And I know I’ll get some flak for this. BUT, I’m a mom and stepmom of four, all of whom were 18, or 24, or 27, or 30 at one time, and some of whom struggled to come out into the light and get to where they are today. So when I look at these [mostly, not all] young people who choose a path of violence, my heart cracks open—again—and I think like a mom.

When I think of my own kids at these ages, they were ABSOLUTELY still kids. They were making stupid choices, rash decisions, and every time one of them hit bottom, they BELIEVED that was it—no good would ever come again. They skateboarded down cement stairways (who wouldn’t break a wrist/ankle?!?), they lived in a car 400 miles from home, they had surprise babies, they thought about suicide.

So when I see another kid "shooter's" face in the news, usually the angriest, ugliest picture the media can find of them, I want to hug them, though I know that’s not the answer. I want to talk them down, though I know it would have been too little, too late before they ever stormed the school/nightclub/massage parlour. I want to comfort their families, though I know some of their families raised those kids in violence or dismissal or ignore-ance. I want to (and do) cry for them and their sulky, or defiant, or curly-headed, pimply, awkward baby faces.

IT ISN’T EITHER/OR, and this might be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to finding a national solution to this steadily-escalating tragedy. It’s not US vs THEM. We are ALL us. We are ALL them. I don’t disrespect or love or ache for these kids’ victims any less because I also feel compassion for those who see violent explosions as their best option in life (and death).

They say the human brain, especially the decision-making prefrontal cortex, isn’t fully capable of long-term consequential thinking until around age 25. This means many kids can’t understand that what they do now will have consequences—sometimes irreversible—in the future. They do know right from wrong, no question, but they don’t always understand that this wrong thing won’t just be “done” when it’s over, that the ripples could spread and continue for a very long time, and that there won’t be any coming back from it.

I think we have to stop kidding ourselves by demonizing “shooters.” These kids and young adults who go on violent rampages aren’t evil, even though they commit evil acts. They aren’t soulless psychopaths. They aren’t trying to “stand for something,” “make a statement,” or get revenge for gender discrimination, bullying, or bad parenting. They’re in pain or they’re mentally ill or they’re indoctrinated, and they’re committing suicide, like so many other teens and young adults today. They know their actions won’t end well; they just don’t understand how permanent that ending will be (for more on this epidemic, check out https://www.uclahealth.org/news/suicide-rate-highest-among-teens-and-young-adults).

Anyway, this latest school shooting in Tennessee makes it hard for me to breathe. The three students killed were the same age as two of my granddaughters, Ezri and Hazel. I don’t have answers. All I know is that we need to find the balls and human decency to control access to guns. We won't stop them all, but we can make it HARDER. But even that won’t solve the problem. We also need to figure out why so many kids (and that’s what they are, I know from watching four of them grow up, and now six grandkids) feel their only road to relief or recognition is dying.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Let’s talk about diets. Because honest, they crack me up.

When I was a kid, my family teased me about how SMALL I was. They called me Lilli, short for Lilliputian. My mom took pictures of me in boot boxes. I can still remember at 14, my brother called me fat pig, as evil brothers are wont to do. I was horrified and immediately weighed myself. 73 lbs. Ah, the good old days…

I'm planning to get back to this weight.

But I’ve struggled with my weight ever since. I can look back and clearly see the gradual pileup that started not long after those early waif days. I first got pregnant at 20 and gained an amazing amount of weight—it was the brief period in history when “natural” pregnancy meant you don’t track or worry about your weight. Just eat your bulgur and black beans (and Hostess cupcakes, Butterfingers, backalley McDonald’s fries, Goodrich Butterscotch malts, etc.) whenever baby makes you hungry. Then, I had two more pregnancies, each adding to the packing-on.

My eventual divorce added more. A rough perimenopause and depression diagnosis in my 40s added more. A stroke at 56 meant a smorgasbord of meds for the first time, and—you guessed it—med-induced poundage. The stroke impaired my mobility for a few years, so little or no exercise, and yep, more weight. Then came the inevitable Type 2 diabetes diagnosis after 10 years of being “pre-diabetic.” And yes, I’m an emotional eater and will admit I have eaten my way through it all.

Too bad this ideal body type didn't stick
It wasn’t all just foraging, stuffing, binging, and reckless eating, though. Starting in my 30s, I’ve also tried every diet, “lifestyle choice,” and “eating plan” known to humankind: KETO, WW, cabbage soup, Mediterranean, Atkins, macrobiotic (sprouts and brown rice for a month), Eat Like a Bear (fast all day, bigass salad for dinner), Whole 30, Medifast, Profile, vegetarian, clean, dirty, Paleo, and plain old fasting (which I like to call starvation).

I’ve tried the prescription weight loss/diabetes meds. At one point, I consulted a bariatric surgeon, fully ready to go under the knife and hack my stomach into a tiny shrunken ball, but he said I wasn’t fat enough…yet. I could come back in 6 months and try again. I’m telling you, my diet ladder has been a comical Escher painting, where I just keep ending up back where I started.

Sometimes I worked out, sometimes I didn’t. I walked. I did yoga. I rode bikes. I swam. Sometimes I took supplements, sometimes I didn’t. I’ve counted points, calories, carbs, sugars, I’ve eaten “green” foods and avoided “red.” I’ve jabbed myself daily to check my ketones. I currently jab myself weekly with a new wonder drug for diabetes that’s supposed to also be a trendy weight-loss drug. I’ve lost a pound. But it IS keeping my glucose under 110.

I’ve been to an endocrinologist, I’ve done metabolism testing, I’ve had acupuncture, I’ve practiced using the law of expectation (The Secret), meditation, visualization. I’ve used food journals, wall charts, self-rewards, kitchen scales to measure portions. I’ve plastered my house with weight-positive affirmations. I’ve cleaned out my pantry, fridge, and freezer so many times and given away so much food, my kids are probably stocked up for life. I haven’t tried hypnosis, but my friend did and found it unhelpful—just before her bariatric surgery.

Throughout this decades-long obsession with what goes in my mouth, well-intentioned friends, family, and others seem unperturbed by what comes OUT of theirs. Like the total stranger in Walmart who accosted me recently in the Slim Fast aisle with her “just eat less and exercise more” dribble. Gosh, I’ve never thought of that before, thanks!

“Just be mindful and think about what you eat,” someone else told me. So, I just need to think MORE about my weight and eating habits than the 24/7/365 I already spend thinking about it? Gee, thanks! Most of these do-gooders have never struggled with weight. Most of them will go home and eat 6 slices of toast piled with gooey, sugar-laden jelly. O gawd, the carbs! Dear, dear skinny people: We fat people think about our fat all the time, whether we’ll admit it or not. Every time we eat, pass a mirror, go to the doctor and have to step on a scale, try on clothes. ALL. THE. FECKING. TIME.

One of my theories about my weight dilemma is genetics. It’s no coincidence, I believe, that at 50, I was shaped exactly like my mother at 50, or my maternal grandmother at 50. I was positively svelte compared to my paternal grandmother at 50. My mother used to joke that the women in my family are “keepers,” which meant we like to hold on tight to our fat.

This HAS to work, right?

Here’s an interesting one: a psychic once told me I was being influenced in this life by a past life in ancient China where, as a man, I gave away everything I had in order to care for the poor in my village, and I eventually starved to death. So maybe my present-life self has just been saying, nope, never again.

Another theory of mine is that my body decided long ago, probably at birth or before, what it wanted for its ideal adult weight, then it got me there. No matter what I did, my body took a straight and steady path to its ideal weight. And by gum, it’s determined to stay there.

I’ve been at roughly the same weight now for about the last 7 or 8 years, during which I’ve dieted, taken up kayaking, tried a program of daily, long “good old Irish walks” (if you ask Irish folks for directions, they’ll say, aw, it’s just a 10-minute walk, no matter how far the destination), and put in miles and many stairs just doing daily laundry and housework.

I’m currently back on the KETO wagon for a number of reasons, and I feel so carnivorous, I think I might be growing fangs and fur. But I’m doing it again because the science makes sense to me—your body will burn carbs if it can. If you don’t give your body any carbs, it will burn fat (including the fat you’re already storing on your lovely, ample butt and hips). If you give it both, it will burn the carbs and store every bit of fat you eat (for later, when you might have to run from a saber tooth tiger). So, you can’t SORT OF do KETO. You either kick the carbs or you don’t.

Also, I get some pretty instant gratification. It only takes about a month on KETO for me to see lower A1C and glucose, better cholesterol numbers, a fabulous drop in triglycerides, and more energy. Unlike many KETO fans, though, I don’t lose much weight, although my daily calories seldom go over 1200.

Spring is coming. Ray heard robins this week, which he says means one more snow, then green grass! I will sashay my fat arse out there soon and resume my good old Irish walks. We’ll haul out the kayaks. I’ll pack buttered turkey legs, grassfed beef jerky, and cream cheese dip (you need to eat LOTS of fat on KETO) in my backpack. I’ll go to the beach in a swimsuit. I’ll cherish and admire and respect my fat family and friends. I won’t tell them how great they’ll feel if they lose weight. I won’t tell the ones who do lose weight how beautiful/handsome/fit they look (with its unspoken you looked like total sheit before). And I will keep trying to love this wonderful, lumpy, magical, very large body I’m in.