Friday, September 10, 2010

It's been awhile, but let's give this another crack

I've been away for awhile, and I apologize for not updating. It is September 2010 and last weekend was Labor Day. I'll pick up from there. My weight loss has stabilized at the 240lb mark - I'd like to lose another 25 pounds. I go back to Dr. Richard on Oct20 for my 1-yr followup!

OK. back to "getting there from here"

Had a wonderful time at the Del Yeah bluegrass concert in Black Mountain, NC, though we did not actually hear Del McCoury! We arrived at the concert venue just behind the Pisgah Brewery which is located of Hwy 70 about 3 miles outside of Black Mountain moreso in Swannanoa. There is a field behind the brewery and they had a stage set up that would (theoretically) seat 2500, but once there were about 500 folks in the area, it was pretty much full. Laurie and I got there about 1pm and set our chairs out and enjoyed some local bluegrass bands as the crowd built. The stage was rustic looking, and the volume was just right. The crowd was just what I thought would be in this area – a lot of ‘natural’ folks, lots of toddlers and babies and pregnant ladies, mountain men (full beards and kinda rustic looking), and there was even a dance area in front of the stage. The crowd was remarkably friendly and encouraged the bands and enjoyed the $3 beer that the brewery was selling. The tickets and web page said the show would start at 3pm, so we planned on leaving by 6pm – well, when we got there the staff said the show would actually start at 1pm and go well past midnight! We stuck to our original plans and left at 6pm. The weather was wonderful – never got much past 80 with a nice breeze. We heard some rustic bluegrass with just 4 instruments (banjo, fiddle, bass, drum) and some more elaborate (full electric guitar and bass, several banjos and fiddles and drums set). We had a great time, but knew that we had a 2hr drive ahead of us to meet Courtney/Donley/grandkids at The Riverhouse, so we stuck to that plan.

There were several food vendors there and some clothing and the local PBS station – there was even a Tarot reader! One of the vendors offered ‘game sausage’ and beef, as well as seafood including a very tasty seafood sausage that the vendor waqid was purchased that morning from The Lobster House in Asheville. Asheville has a Lobster House? :o) Another vendor offered Vegan items, including a gumbo and ravioli. All were busy. As we left the venue I saw that the brewery was offering something called a ‘growler’, a chilled ½ gallon glass jug of their product for $9. If you bought one they cut off your wristband (I guess to ensure you didn’t take the jug and contents back into the concert ground).

The drive to The Riverhouse was magnificent, with the weather so clear and crisp. Great views, no haze at all – in fact, the sun was so bright as it set that it kept us busy moving the sunshades around and taking sunglasses off and on. We arrived a bit after 8pm and Peirce and Caden were out front to meet us. They arrived earlier in the day on Saturday and Donley had mowed – he said the pasture side was quite high and he had to go over it twice! On Sunday we used the grass sweeper to clean things up and the place looks great. Courtney and Laurie took the kids in to town to play at the park there while Donley and I finished the yardwork. Donley had brought his gas weed eater, he had all of that taken care of just right.

The river was not running as high or fast as it was previously, so I guess the lake is ‘low enough’ for the planned maintenance. There were many kayakers and canoes on the river – just beautiful. Donley took the kids fishing off of the dock and while they didn’t catch anything, they had a great time.

We awoke Monday, cleaned up, and headed back to civilization – I think Courtney and Donley were planning on stopping at one of the apple orchards / petting zoos on the way home, maybe a corn maze too.

Now it is time to get back to the real world!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

05-12-2010 All is well, random thoughts

Hi friends. Not much to post as of late, for that I apologize. My weight has held steady near 240, sometimes lower, sometimes higher. I’m off Reglan altogether, which after seeing all the ambulance-chasing Lawyer commercials for folks who have taken Reglan makes me glad to be off it. I’ve been hungry lately and have to be very conscious of what I eat and when I eat. I’ve worked too hard to go back. Dammit!
I listened to a great interview today on NPR on Satellite radio by Joel Satore. He does photography work with endangered species, but when I visited his web page, I found that his wife had survived breast cancer and he wrote a very stirring essay. Check it out here. Not sure why this hit me, it just did.
The pic here is of Thomas Richard Cottingham, my great-grandfather on Mom's side.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

4/30/2010 this has been a bad week, but my health is great!

I had a great 6-month Post-Op checkup today. My Dr's first question was 'what did you eat yesterday?" His concern at my last checkup was that I was not getting enough solid food into me - I seemed to be enjoying soups and things and not moving forward to solid foods. I told him what I ate on Tue: protein mix and milk, coffee - caffeinated!, a chicken quesadilla from Taco Mac for lunch (yum), a pork chop and baked potatoe for dinner. He asked how I felt - I told him I felt full, but not too full. He reminded me to be careful with any form of carbs - breads, pasta, etc; for once you start back on carbs, things can escalate quickly to "too many carbs". Good advice. He said to come back in six months, and since his practice is no longer considered "In Network" with my new health plan (as of 1/1/2010), seeing him just twice a year will save me some cabbage (mmmmm cabbage mmmmmmm)

But prior to the appointment I had a major screwup at work and caused a pretty significant outage to our production databases - I really expected to get canned for that screw up...... but the end of the day came and I was still employed! The CIO came by, asked a few questions, shrugged and said "we all screw up at times, let's just make sure it doesn't happen again". I'd love to believe that is the end of it, but my antenna are still just a-wiggling.

I told the nurse who took my metrics that my blood pressure might be "higher than normal" based on my screwup at work and she laughed a bit but still insisted on taking the B/P. It was 160/90, which wasn't as high as I thought it would be.

I kidded that it was a really bad time to agree to lay off alcohol and "drugs" for a year! I sure could have used a toddy or two after the day that I had...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

04/27/2010 Softshell Crab and a weekend in Charleston, SC

I have my six-month post-op checkup tomorrow with Dr. Richard. So far all is going quite well; I have noticed that hunger has returned to my diet – I am quite conscious of that. My weight continues to drop off, but much slower. I am down to 237lbs – a los of 111lbs so far!
Now for the fun stuff. Last weekend Laurie and I were able to spend a long weekend in Charleston SC compliments of my work – there was a one-day user conference by Software AG Southeastern User Group (Friday, April 23), and at the last minute a teammate had to back out and I quickly said “yes!” when asked to fill in. The conference was great, and by 4:30 that afternoon on Friday the conference was over and we had the rest of the weekend to ourselves.
We spent the evening in Charleston having dinner and drinks at the harbor area, at a seafood house (RB’s in Mt. Pleasant SC) and The Noisy Oyster (in Charleston on Bay St) – the weather was outstanding, never got out of the 70’s and a nice breeze. There were a goodly number of Navy recruits that were amongst the crowd – they were dressed in their white uniforms with green coverings over their shoulder epaulets (for security purposes, I hear) , we found ourselves surrounded by lots of very interesting folks.
At the Holiday Inn where we stayed there was the Women’s International Fly-Fishing Association annual conference, and there were lots of (mostly retired) ladies having quite a great time and talking about fly-fishing!
On Saturday Laurie and I drove to Port Royal, SC for their annual Soft-shell Crab Festival and we ate soft-shell crab – a first for either of us. We had to ask one of the vendors “how do we eat this?” for I didn’t see anyone else tearing theirs apart to eat – it turns out you eat the entire crab – shell and all! Ours was deep fried and placed in a soft tortilla and served with an avocado and salsa relish – it was wonderful! We also shared a goodly sized bowl of gumbo served by “We Island – Gumbo and Tings”, one of the many food vendors at the festival. The crowd was friendly, the music plentiful and broad ranging, and the town of Port Royal did a fine job with their festival.
Saturday evening also brought some tremendous storms to the SE United States, especially in Mississippi, but while The Weather Channel called for thunderstorms all the way through South Carolina, our trip home Sunday was uneventful and we encountered very little rain. A few hours sleep, and now I am back at work and on-call!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rain today (4/20/2010), pollen down for a day or two

It rained today, and the pollen that has overtaken this part of the US is slowly washing away. But fear not, for more is surely on the way! I went to the dentist today. No surprises there. Laurie and I had fried rice for dinner last night, Laurie's stomach has been upset for the past few days, the rice seemed to be just right for her. My diet is doing well - I see Dr. Richard (surgeon) next week for my six month checkup. It seems that life is back into its summertime routine - no surprises!

Friday, April 16, 2010

House is quiet, Bridgette and Jon are back in Houston, TX

The house has returned to its 'quiet self' after a 2-plus week visit by Laurie's daughter Bridgette and grandbaby Jon, from Houston, TX. That grandbaby sure keeps everyone on their toes! Now things are quiet again. I'm not sure which way I like better - busy or not, quiet or not.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend at the cabin 4-10-2010

spent the weekend at my parents cabin in Mineral Bluff, GA on the Toccoa River. What a wonderful place, and a great weekend it was. Mom, Dad, and I wpent Saturday doing yard work - they got a new riding mower that really cuts the grass well. I helped Mom with some planting and got things fixed up a bit - my brother Ken and his wife Lisa and family spent the week before there and did a really thorough spring cleaning - many thanks for that! Mom fixed several great meals for Dad and I, including a great tuna salad with apples - lots of fresh fruit and her turkey meatloaf.
On the way to the cabin I stopped at Ingles in Blue Ridge to get some dog food (Koko was with me) and I parked Stella out in the outer fringe of the parking lot with no one any where near me. When I came out of Ingles I found this cement mixer parked right next to me! I could barely get my drivers door open - the dang tire on this mixer was taller than Stella! Oh well, next time I am going to take advantage of my handicapped tag.
Weight still holding steady at 240lbs. Feeling great!