Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Chukka Time

I'm into chukka boots lately. Like my suede version?

I like them because they're kind of like a cross between a sneaker and a boot. I spent a great deal of the summer running around in canvas and mesh sneakers. But when the winter rains truly descend upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, it is time to switch out the barefoot inside sneakers experience for warm socks and substantial shoes. So I'm ready. Bring it, winter.

Oh, right. I was supposed to be damp mopping................

What's your favorite winter shoe?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all!

Beautiful picture and graphics by Kristi Marie Howell at incourage.me. 

Hello, my friends. It seems that I always have abundant reasons for not posting as frequently as I have in the past, and I have another to the list. I have tremors that frequently are so severe that I can type on my laptop only by the two finger hunt and peck method. Oh brother. I thought previously it was related to my thyroid medication management, but the frustrating shakes are back with a vengeance. It has been a problem for a long time and I am guessing that the solution to the problem will be a long time coming as well.

Ah, but we keep on trying....

I have to say, in spite of shaking like a leaf, I do feel better overall than I have for awhile. I suspect that the fact that I have finally lost a significant amount of weight may factor in heavily towards my slow increase in energy and increased mobility.

Can you tell that this cropped photo (sorry about taking out half your head, John honey) is from a church directory session? Like the Squiggy hairdo? 

Oh, yeah Squiggy. (David Lander). You rocked that haircut, big guy. Me? Not so much. Image found here.

So I really don't want to debate the merits of various diets and weight loss programs here, but I have to say that my internal medicine doctor and programs offered through the clinic were instrumental for my success.

So far.

I guess all programs boil down to this: eat less and move more, and the easy part of weight loss is losing the weight. The hard part is keeping it off. So they say......but I can vouch for the accuracy of that. Y'all KNOW ME. My mango margarita obsession will be problematic here, as well as the upcoming pumpkin pie and fudge season creeping up on us. But I will soldier on and keep up the good fight, as I am sure that all of us have experienced in the war on obesity.

(But, but.........pecan pie!...............)  Begone, Bratty Inner Child Julia! BICJ has not been happy about the change in my eating habits. Too bad, so sad, girl. So there.

So what's new with y'all? Share your happy and not so happy experiences this summer with me in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Don't worry Goldie: I won't love her more than you.

Guys. I am sorry to report that my beloved Goldie the Prius, now ten years and 150,000 miles old, is moving on to a different garage.

*dabs tears*

Ah, but she is staying in the family. She's heading north to my daughter and son-in-law who promise to take good care of the old girl, failing water pump and all.

Which brings me to the point of this post: to introduce Goldie's successor, Sadie. Isn't she a beaut?

Yup. I was beyond excited.

She's named Sadie because she's a Mercedes-Benz. She only has 22,000 miles on her, which makes her just a babe. Oh, Sadie honey, we are going to have us some really great adventures!

Lulu approves, since this is her car just as much as it is mine. Oh my. With Sadie's turbocharged engine, we can get into a whole world of trouble!

I hope.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Anyone who knows me understands that I do love to host a shindig. And what a weekend-long shindig of epic proportions our daughter's wedding was. It was wonderful.

Photo credit: My awesome newest son-in-law

See y'all after a week long nap.

Friday, September 8, 2017

They Will Still Say, " I Do"!

You may have heard or read about a wildfire endangering our beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Which is a tragedy for many many reasons, one being that it is the site of Daughter #1's wedding tomorrow. 

Yes, my girlie is tying the knot tomorrow with a wonderful guy. (sentimental sniff)

But the party is ON in spite of the fire, the city in which she will be married is safe, although a bit smoky. Ah, but we Oleiniks carry on. With lots of really really bad puns such as Hunka Hunka Burning Love Wedding. 

Sorry Elvis. 

Pictures to follow after I'm recuperated from the fantastic event. In the meantime, check out this great photo of a firefighter clowning around after he and his buddies saved an iconic area of the gorge. Thank you Thank you Thank you to all those smoky superheroes!

I found this on Facebook; so sorry I can't attribute the photographer. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Who Knew?

Did you know that if you have been taking too much synthetic thyroid medication for a long time and you and your doctor forgets to check your TSH levels (which actually were way off), that this situation can make you feel really really crummy?

Now I know this first hand. Seems over the last year with everything going on, my thyroid test got shoved to the back burner. And as time went on, the symptoms ofhyperthyroidism (also known as factitous hyperthyroidism) began to surface and gradually gained strength. In my case, my tremor became more violent to the point that I couldn't carry a cup of coffee without splashing it all over, and I couldn't type on my computer because I literally couldn't hold my fingers still on the keys. I had a very difficult time sleeping AND, I was fatigued far and above my usual levels. I did not know that fatigue was a symptom!  You can read more about hyperthyroidism here:

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities are your body's metabolism. If your thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is more common in women, people with other thyroid problems, and those over 60 years old. Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the most common cause. Other causes include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, consuming too much iodine, and taking too much synthetic thyroid hormone. 
The symptoms can vary from person to person. They may include
  • Being nervous or irritable
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Heat intolerance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hand tremors
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Weight loss 
  • Goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid that may cause the neck to look swollen
Last week my fabulous internal medicine doc sat patiently as I told her how I was feeling, then ordered a truckload of labwork, most of which was normal with the exception of those that measured thyroid function. Which was very very abnormal.

Bingo. Mystery solved!

I'm starting to feel better on my new, much lower, dose of Synthroid.

Watch out, world.........

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's About Time

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Karen sent the following text to me:

I'm tired of looking at your nose every time I check for a new posting!
Can't say as I blame her. I sure wouldn't want to have that big rashy schnoz pop up every time I opened Reasonably Well. I totally concur: A new post is overdue. So this one's for you, Karen; and for everyone else out there that shares the same sentiment. Myself included.

Lots of stuff has happened since my June 3rd writing. Here's the lowdown.

1. John and I took a very cool two week drive back to Wisconsin to bring several of Mom and Dad's things back home. Along the way we saw some beautiful scenery:

And wildlife:

2. I was given my mom's wedding ring:

I have always loved this ring. I love that it's chunky, I love that the white gold is engraved to look like a flower with diamonds placed in the petals, but mostly I love it because it makes me feel connected to Mom.

3. Last, but certainly not least, I had surgery for a ruptured appendix early Saturday morning. Sigh. Yes, sad but true. I had a few rough days but since yesterday am beginning to feel as though I may survive this thing. While I was in the hospital, I couldn't help but think of this cute little book that I used to read to my children.

You can buy your very own copy of this awesome book here

And so that's about all I have to share right now, folks. Any suggestions for light reading while I'm recuperating?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Y'all were right.

Thanks to those that cautioned me to be super vigilant for flares of autoimmune activity after my stressful spring. Because even though adrenaline kept me going strong through Mom's funeral and the trip back home, I was knocked for a loop over the last few weeks with tremendous fatigue and a brand new addition to my autoimmune club -- rosacea. And it isn't pretty:

Would YOU be willing to be seen with someone sporting a nose like this?? Ewwww.

My doctors suspect that the stress I've been experiencing lately contributed to the appearance of rosacea. And I was surprised to read that this schnozz-reddening disease could be autoimmune in nature:
Female rosacea patients have higher rates of autoimmune disorders including type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Men, with rosacea, however, were only more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent study.
The findings, published Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, provide more evidence of a link between rosacea and autoimmune disorders.
“Rosacea may be a marker for autoimmune disease,” says study lead author Alexander Egeberg, M.D., Ph.D., who works in Denmark at the Department of Dermato-Allergology at the University of Copenhagen’s Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.   Continue reading here
So my plan of care lately includes rest, rest, and more rest; as well as following a careful regime of cleansing, moisturizing, applying topical medicines, and sunblocking my face.

Here's hoping that I can beat this into submission before Daughter #1's wedding in September.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Swingin' In The Shade

A few days ago, John hauled out my hammock chair. So Lulu and I immediately crawled into that ancient thing that has knots and strings hanging out everywhere. But it still swings just dandy, and we love it.

The view from my swing has always been lush and green, but since we sold the bottom half of our property, and judging by the beginnings of excavation there, I suspect that a new house will soon appear. I'm guessing that my view will change dramatically. But that's OK. That chunk of land was just waiting for a family to live there and I can't wait to see kids climbing all those trees that John and I planted so long ago. I'm just tickled that the contractor decided to keep the biggest and best trees for the new place. The pin oaks and ponderosa pines are particularly good climbing trees.

If our plans work out, in a couple of years or so a young family with kids of their own will be living in my house, and we'll be blissfully living in a new single story abode and my view from my swing will contain a whole new forest of trees. Wouldn't it be great if those two new families on our old place become friends and their pack of little kids run around and terrorize the neighborhood just like Bev and my kids did twenty years ago?

Sigh. Such good times.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day

Hello all. It's been an intense few months, but I'm back. I've spent a great deal of time in Wisconsin with my mom, who had suffered a series of strokes after the death of my dad. Ever since her first stroke, Mom would repeatedly tell me and my family that she was ready to "go be with your father", and as of May 5th, she finally was able to do just that. I feel privileged to have been with her when she drew her last breath.  

Her funeral was Wednesday, and what a funeral. Two priests con-celebrating the Mass, the church filled to the rafters with family and friends, the altar overflowing with flowers, and an enormous luncheon spread provided by her friends afterwards. Mom certainly would have been touched had she been able to see it all.

So Mothers Day this year is bittersweet for me. I will miss her dearly and feel as though our family has been cheated out of potentially several more years with her; but I also am sincerely happy that she is now where she has longed to be since January of 2016.