Good Post Surgery Monday!

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Well, I had my gallbladder removed on Thursday and not only is today hubby’s first day back to work but this is my first morning without feeling the need to take any pain pills! I am pretty sure I was a bit paranoid I wouldn’t wake up with the alarm, since I was bright eyed 2 hours before the alarm went off! I am thinking a nap may be in order later today, since I am not sure how “occupied” I can be if I cannot lift more than 5 pounds.

I have spent the past month or so preparing for this surgery. With fall threatening to become a reality, I wanted to get as much physical labor finished as I could so I wasn’t fighting weather once I was healed. So, would you like a rundown? I am very happy!

We have been living in this house for almost 6 years and it’s amazing how long upgrades/improvements/plans can take when a person keeps changing their mind (cough). The front yard is at the most 20 feet from the house to the sidewalk and raised. I knew before we moved in that I did not want lawn out there. So, after clearing as much of the lawn and weeds as possible, I was given a few small agave plants. So, I decided those would become my neighbor/crackhead deterrent. I planted some along the neighbor’s driveway and the rest along the front of the house. Then, I left them alone. This was a huge mistake!

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April 2015

I did not realize just how big these plants get, nor what their growing habits were. They multiply prolifically, not only in the soil but within the plant themselves. Agave also likes to move whatever is in its way (not excluding house siding). So, when I decided I wanted to remove the concrete shingles, I didn’t realize the size of the job ahead of me.

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June 2017

This is just over a year after that first picture and these plants aren’t just sharp, they are like hypodermic needles that (at least on me) tend to cause immediate infection. So, I had to don a face shield (the kind used to protect your face when using a grinder), thick clothes (that I still got poked through) and a machete to cut the leaves back so I could get close enough to dig out the plants.

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Just one root ball, on a smaller plant.

Between me chopping away, digging, then having to take a break to recuperate, then finally asking my husband for help (here he is with his mad machete skills):

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He can actually hit the same cut multiple times! He’s a god!

Completed a week before my surgery, we now have an almost naked front yard (I will not remove the agave next to the neighbor’s driveway until my husband has a section of fencing ready to go).

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Almost naked yard!

Once I recover, then it’s time to work on removing the cement shingles. I could replace the lost/broken ones but I really hate them. Every time we turn around, one of them is breaking. When we first bought this house, we both agreed that the bulk of any “money” we would sink into the house was in sweat equity (there is no way putting in granite counter tops in this neighborhood would pay off). I want the original siding back. I love wood and so far, there doesn’t seem to be too much damage to the siding underneath the shingles (and there aren’t 50 coats of paint on it).

In the mean time, I have two books I am actively working on. One is basically an expanded version of the FAQs for “My Atkins Journey.” The second one is for my father-in-law. He has been writing down stories from his childhood, either about incidents that happened or stories he was told. He initially just wanted me to type them up for him but I thought compiling them into an actual book would be fun. I even have him hunting for pictures to include (he’s thrilled and so am I).

I am a new member if Instagram, so if you want to follow along, check me out here!

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Podcasts and Twitter

I am about to head into my cave (well, the bedroom with the laptop and no distractions) to write some more. It’s funny. I started out with the basic outline of a book (well, Scrivener’s version of one). Got 9 chapters ready to be filled, found quotes I wanted to use to support my thinking, have written a good chunk of most of the chapters, and now I’m thinking the scope of it needs to be expanded (just a bit). It’s morphing into basically a multi-part lesson on changing and establishing habits, really. I didn’t envision that when I started this.

I just signed up for a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/brendanolen3) that is just me, not solely Atkins/Keto related or homemaking. Just me and all my tangents. Until now I have never been an active Twitter user but will do my best to be better at it.  I think I will have to take a Twitter for Dummies class.

I have always loved the spoken word. The first time I remember listening to an audio book was in my sophomore English class in high school. The teacher was fantastic! We had to read “Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare. Have you just sat and read Shakespeare (silently)? Ugh! Our teacher turned on an audio recording while we followed along in our books. THEN, we watched the movie version with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (to understand their relationship, you need to watch that movie and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”. They were electrifying together). Since then, I have been hooked. It takes my attention-deficient brain a long time to sit and read a book. I cannot tell you how many times I have to re-read a page two or more times because my mind wandered while reading BUT if I listen I get it: I comprehend immediately. It’s a beautiful thing. That is why I enjoy podcasts so much. As long as I am not doing anything loud (running the vacuum or lawn mower) or something that requires all of my attention (like reading) I do not have to stop everything to be entertained or learn.

So, I wanted to give you a list of the podcasts I am currently listening to. It’s difficult for me to find someone I resonate with, so my initial list was much longer. I just started listening to Barbell Shrugged and The Fat Burning Man, so I don’t know how well I will ultimately like the shows. I am sure I will find others to listen to (and if you have any suggestions for me, fire away).

48 Days Podcast

Barbell Shrugged      Here’s the video version of a fantastic episode discussing how to not only change your eating habits but those of your family in a smart, sustainable way:

Darkness Radio

Hunt Gather Talk

Northern Runes Radio

RPCast (My Almost Baby Brother)

The Fat Burning Man

The Publishing Profits Podcast

The School of Greatness

The Tim Ferris Show     This episode was the last one that I had to share on Facebook: The Importance of Being Dirty: Lessons from Mike Rowe

Third (and Final) Amazon Store

Alright!  I have now setup my third (and hopefully final) Amazon store.  This one is woefully lacking in items listed.  This is my oldest blog and I have used so many various resources throughout the years to get to where I am today that I’ll be surprised if I remember them all.  I will continually add to the list as I remember (and scour my brain, computer, and bookshelves to jog my memory).

As of this moment, it has a list of all the store-bought gluten free items we have tried (and liked).  I have a list going of what we liked, what we hated, and the ingredients of each item.  My goal is to take all that information and figure out the right mix of gluten-free flours that we will like.  Right now, it seems as if there will be two (can’t remember if I’ve already typed that or not in my last post): one for quick breads/pancakes/muffins, etc. and another for bread like foods (you know, white bread).  I discovered that with each product link, I can add my own notes (so, of course, I did with all the products so far).

The other things I have listed are all the knitting and crochet books I have.  Those I also know are not complete lists but I’m pretty sure I’m only missing a few.  I have cookbooks listed and yes, that is not a complete list.  I will also include a list of books on gardening/homestead but my brain’s a bit fried right now so that list is empty.

The link to the store is to the right and along the top of the page (I figured doing a store like this would be easier than a links page, where we know web sites tend to disappear over time).

Also, here’s the link: My Amazon Store.  I won’t be posting an update every time I post something new to the store.  Just know that it’s there: a constant reference list of all the things I have enjoyed and learned from over the years.

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Brenda

I have an Amazon store!

One part of my discovering who I am (and want to be) is a goal of becoming a bit more organized.  Since most of the resources I list (mostly on my other blogs) include links to the product (and we all know how long many links can survive over time), I decided to list as much as I can in an Amazon store.   Everything I have ever mentioned here (or neglected to mention) that has helped me throughout this journey I’ve officially been on for 6 months.  The link for the store is in the top menu, and the side menu.  I know I have forgotten to add many of the books I have read over the years, so I will be updating the store as I remember.

http://astore.amazon.com/brennole-20

Thank you.  OH!  I’ve also listed some of my favorite time wasters (stress relievers) over the past few years (I can’t wait for Doom 4 next year 🙂 ).

Brenda