Saturday, April 26, 2014

100 Happy Days

Still in, here is what I've gotten so far

Day 1 - spring

Day 2 - My Scoby

Day 3 - pineapple plant grown from a cutting.  I named her Samantha and gave her to my daughter's boyfriend who likes to grow things

Day 4 - My Balloon apron

Day 5 - My Silly Kid

Friday, April 25, 2014

dancing - training for Jane

I might get some miles in later - depends on when I go to work.  It's sunny and that's balloon making weather.

Did get an hours worth of cardio though.

Crazy, unscripted dancing to upbeat happy songs.

I'm in a great mood, breathing hard, accomplished and needing a shower.

Dancing is such a fun way to work out!

Bowling For Soup - "Real"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Tophi

I decided to post a photo of my tophi, however mild, because I didn't see many photos of mild tophi on the web.  The advanced photos are horrific.  I'm determined to get things under control and keep them there, so I never reach that stage.  I'll add a photo, you'll see why.

Barely visible yellow bumps.  They are much more lumpy than they photographed.  Like having small peas under the skin.  Nobody except me would notice them, but I did and I obsess about them.  They are not painful, but left untreated (and likely without diet modification) they can become this

Nope Nope Nope Nope - don't want that.  

This is what I think about whenever I decide to eat something not on my diet.  This is why I am a vegetarian.  I do NOT want to go there.  I work with my hands, so it's terrifying to face the loss - especially in such a painful way.  I can't imagine the hand in the second photo could make a balloon animal.  at least not without terrifying a child!

So, now I'm a vegetarian, making even more careful choices about my diet.  As soon as my insurance kicks in next month I will see a doctor for medical treatment, though I would prefer natural therapies if they work.

Smile, you'll feel better

Day 2 of 100 Happy Days

Today my pineapple plant makes me happy.  It's just the top cut off of a pineapple I ate.  I put it in some water to grow it.  At first I had to change the water daily as it got cloudy.  Now the pineapple is filtering the water and it stays clear PLUS there are baby leaves starting to form!

won't grow a pineapple in Missouri, but it makes a great houseplant

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

100 Days of Happy

I have decided to participate in the 100 days of Happy.

Seems that most people who try, don't finish.  the goal is to find a reason every day to be happy, take a photo of that reason and upload it with the hashtag #100happydays

When you sign up you are asked a reason why you chose to participate.


Happy people live longer!

I'll be posting my photos on twitter - follow me there - The camera icon below links to my profile


Follow along and join in!  Will you be one of the 29% who manage to finish the challenge??

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4 slow slow miles - Training for Jane

This gout flare up is slow to totally subside.  It's not the OMG cut it off pain of an acute attack, but it's still sore.  I thought some exercise might help and it was a beautiful day here.  With that in mind I decided to make a 4 mile (round trip) walk to the store.  It was SLOW, but I was going, so no real complaints.

(shirt is from

Miles 1&2 were pretty uneventful.  Enjoyed the day, took some pics of violets.  Did some shopping, saw a friend and chatted, then headed back.  Mile 3 was ok, but by the end of it I could feel soreness in my toe.  Not the stabbing, cutting pain of gout, but sore like I was healing from a break or sprain.  By mile 3.75 I was in a lot of pain and really wanted to call someone for a ride - even though I knew how close I was.  Nobody to call, and if I've gone that far, I couldn't let a quarter mile stop me - so I pressed one.  The hardest part was actually the stairs into my house.  Stairs and gout are NOT friends.  

I said that tomorrow is a bike day - but I suspect that I will sneak in at least a mile in the morning.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kombucha on my hair

I'm doing my best to live the "no-poo" lifestyle.  Baking soda on my hair and  vinegar for conditioner.

I've also trying to make kombucha.  Started a scoby from commercial kombucha.  It's ready for me to try  my first batch and the starter liquid is pretty much vinegar.

so instead of apple cider vinegar I tried that.  I LOVE it.  My hair looks great.  Better than with the plain vinegar.

I'm not chemical free.  I do still color my hair.  I just decided to reduce where I could and the shampoo/conditioner was one way to do that.

I'll update after I've used it for a week or so with a more informed opinion and some photos.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Working & working out

Yesterday was my first real weekend back to work.  Being a professional balloon artist is a seasonal life.  Winter is very quiet but Spring can hit with a vengeance.

When you do it right, my job is HARD.  I have to make it look easy, but it's quite a workout.  I use My Fitness Pal to track workouts and while they don't have "making balloons" they do have fishing while standing which is kind of the same thing.  I do walk some, but not as much as people imagine.  I move my arms a lot and do a lot of squats and bending over, but not so much walking.  I didn't get a lot of steps in from work even though I burned 600 calories at the gig.

But I like my steps so I have to force myself past the exhaustion to get moving later.

My other job - crochet/knitting design - that requires a lot of sitting.  With that one I have to force myself to stop, stand up and move, but it's easier since I'm not worn out.

Today is a balloon day though.  I will be busking downtown and I'm going to be stationary, not roaming, so I'll have to remember to take steps back and forth so the fitbit knows I'm moving!  Busking can be less intensive than working a party since the lines aren't guaranteed.  Makes moving around a little easier, unless it's a swamped day.  Hoping for that kind of day though.  I love to get my steps in, but I'm pretty fond of paying the bills too.  :-)

Working or just working out today - starting over or keeping a streak alive - beginner or certified gym rat...wherever you are on your fitness path, wishing a healthy day to you!

And here's a balloon

It's a Moo-maid

Happy Easter

Warm wishes for a Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back to work - training for Jane

Some setbacks as of late.  Isn't that always how it goes.  One step forward, two steps back.

Weather is back and forth.

Then I had a gout attack.  I did what I always do.  Too much, too fast.  Got over it, but would have healed faster if I hadn't pushed myself.

Now that's past and today I should get my 10k steps in plus some time on the bike.  Tomorrow will be more of the same plus some yoga.  One day at a time.  :-)

I haven't started an official training program yet, but I will soon.  September will be here before I know it.  Time passes quickly when you're training for a race.  

Tophi, Gout and OMG! Why did I Google That???

I have gout.  It is hands down the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  If I had to list the 5 most painful things I've ever experienced this is how it would go

5. broke my wrist
4. 4 C-sections
3. 24 hours of labor with contractions starting at a minute long and coming 1 1/2 minutes apart.
2. 2nd degree burns from finger tip to elbow on both arms when a pressure cooker exploded
1. Gout  - about twice as painful as the burns.  I never considered having my hands amputated, but the thought crossed my mind with my ankle a few days into the first attack.  Sleep was out of the question and Vicodin didn't even dull the pain a tiny bit.

My first flareup a couple of years ago in my right ankle.  I've had two more flare-ups in that same ankle, often coinciding with either a bacon binge or the change of the seasons.  This year I had my first flare-up in my toe on the same foot.  It was mild and taking cherry extract + drinking lots of extra water seemed to take it out before I hit the worst stages.

Tophi are related to gout but I didn't have them so I didn't worry a lot.

But now I do.  Because one formed on my left thumb.  They don't show up just where you have gout.  They go where they want to go.  Knew what it was so I googled it it.  My eyes are still hurting from what I saw.

I'll spare you any links to the photos.  Mine is like this - still mild.  On my thumb, not my ear.  Google worse ones at your own risk.

Ok, so now what?  I already don't drink, and I do exercise, so the only things left are diet and medication.  I want to avoid medication if I can.  I have read much about the benefits of a vegetarian diet and gout.  So now I am a vegetarian and will transition to vegan soon.  I do love meat, but not as much as I fear gout.  I picked a good season to switch.  Spring is coming and I can stock up at the farmer's market.  

It's not easy at times.  The family is not vegetarian yet and that chicken I cooked yesterday smelled so good.  I resisted though.  Vegan will be harder to achieve.  I do love cheese.  So much so that I have to keep block cheese out of the house because it's a trigger food for me.  If I have it, I will eat it.  Chocolate and chips can hang around for weeks without me going on a binge.  Cheese has hours if it's lucky.  

So it's veggies and veggies and more veggies.  Not mushrooms though.  I hate them.  In any form.  Same goes with celery.  I wish people didn't think portbella was the go to substitute for main dishes when dealing with a vegetarian.   ewww  Eggplant people, think eggplant.  It's tasty.

Weeks 1 & 2 have passed in my new life as a vegetarian.  Not always easy, but doable.  My goal is to be vegan by week 6.  Give myself time to transition.

wish me luck!