Tag Archives: Health

Is the Diet Dying?

My diet (minus the top 3 tiers). Yes, I add protein, B12, and D. Obtained from Google image search (licensed for reuse).

Well, it has been nearly 3 weeks on my new vegan diet (actually, a bit extreme vegan diet) and it’s now time to ask the question:


Let’s see the main rules are:

1) No animal products (no meat, no milk, no cheese, etc…)

2) No added oils (I should get enough from the vegetables and the fruits themselves)

3)  As much low GI as possible (no high fructose, no heavy processed sugar, etc…)

So, the purpose was to reduce my blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.

This, in turn would, hopefully, reduce my meds in those categories.

So far, I have not gone off the diet.  I have weighed, tested sugar, and blood pressure each day.

My blood pressure before meds in the morning hover around 132/78 or lower.

My blood sugar is rising slower, not as high, and lowering quicker.

My weight is dropping about 1 pound per week (expected).

I eat no cholesterol so it should be going down.

I feel better, more refreshed, seem to be able to do more, the pain is down, and I may even sleep a bit better.

So, that’s all positives.  I don’t really miss my old foods.  I knew they were either bad for me or just not working.

I eat heavy fiber (at least 30-45 grams per day), quite a bit of high-fiber cereals, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.

I am, overall, pretty happy with what’s going on.

Future is to stay on this for the rest of my life.  I think that is very feasible.

I see the doctor early to mid-August for blood work.  I will update you all then.

Thanks for reading.  Love you all.



Snuggle Anyone?

I am not going to say much until I give you the chance to watch the two informative clips below.



Okay, now for talking.  I was tremendously intrigued by this woman’s idea of business.  Not because of any sexual connotations.  Instead, it’s because I, actually, thought about this as a business years ago.  The problem I saw with it was that I figured people wouldn’t go for it being non-sexual and I would end up in jail.

I saw this on Comcast’s news summary.  It was a different clip and one that, in many ways, went into a little more depth.  For instance, the two clips talk about her $60 / hr charge to cuddle.  The other clip reported that for $300 she would cuddle with you for an entire night.

Now, I can already hear the screams of “I bet it’s not sexual!” and “You have got to be kidding!”  However, let me ask you this:  “Do you get enough human contact to be healthy?”

My stroke counselor gets worried about me at times because she wants to make absolutely certain that I get out and be around people.  She is happy that I am on the computer, that I have my blog and those friends, and that I have my cat for company.  However, she tells me that you must have actual human contact in the right amounts or you will become unhealthy and depressed.  I have read enough to know that to be true.

Here’s the thing:  I talk a lot about going out for dates and things like that.  I talk about never getting married again because of how much I might have to give up that I am not willing to anymore.  There is all of that talking.  But, what I do truly miss is holding someone’s hand, hugging someone, and…yes, sleeping with my arm around someone.  Are there sexual thoughts?  Well, yes, but that, often,  takes a back seat to just the idea of holding someone.  I have had many times in recent years when I wanted to ask someone if they would spend the night just to cuddle.  I have wanted to cuddle with some women, but didn’t because I knew what would, most likely, start going on in their heads.  We are nearly programmed to think that touching and holding means sexual interest and more of a permanent relationship being desired.

Why does it have to be that way?  Why can’t people simply touch and hold each other and do that for an evening once in a while?

I am not certain here that I have any good answers.  That’s not really the point.  My point here is that this person seems to be offering something needed in our society and she is being met with a lot of criticism and crude humor.  I, for one, wish someone would legitimately open a snugglery near here.  It would be a pleasant alternative to so many things.

What do you think?

Would you go?

What would you think of someone who did?



You Need It, so “Bud, Get” it!

My Dad sent me a good article to read this morning. It started my day out on a good note and told me that I am doing a lot of things right.
The article, Family Lives on $14,000 , is a good one. It talks a lot about budget and saving and doing without while being ok.

When I left my teaching after 6 years, I was earning around $36,000-38,000. That’s decent around here, but certainly not rich. Social Security and Disability figured out my wages (if I understand, it’s a percentage of the highest 5 years you earned in 30 years). It came out to roughly $1760 / month. That’s more than some, less than others. I am not complaining, just writing and stating facts. What is true is that it, certainly, is less than what I was making and I had to take insurance out of that. Medicare finally kicked in and it is much better now (in fact, the $1760 is after medicare and my Rx plan is taken out).

Whatever the final tally was, I had to change the way I was living. Let’s not say it was easy, let’s say it was drastic deathly horrendous slowly manageable.  I couldn’t do it all at once.  I took one thing and worked on it and, perhaps, started something else right after, and continued that until things looked much better.  I still do some little things to help, but here are my list of what has been pretty major:

1)  Groceries – my biggest thing was to stop impulse buying, find what worked for me, then see if I could get it just a bit cheaper.  The diabetes makes it a little more difficult, as a lot of it is more expensive, but I don’t buy a lot of the crap I used to either.

2)  Cable –  After several years of paying for but not watching cable TV, I bought a Roku box for about $40 and use it to tap into thousands of free movies.  I have, after trying several different things, started getting Amazon Prime for $79 / year.  In addition to a lot of free movies, it gives me a discount on a lot of Amazon shipping when I purchase something.

3)  Kindle – I have a Kindle soft touch (not “the” greatest thing, but it works fine for me).  I bought it on Amazon at a discount and have downloaded a lot of free books.  I do buy some, but usually the $0.99 or up to $2.99 books.  I am working on using it to access our local library (a resource I don’t use enough!).

4)  DVDs – I don’t own a Blu-Ray player, so I don’t shell out the extra money for it.  I used to buy all my DVDs, not rent them.  Since trying to declutter everything, I have found that paying $2.99 to watch a movie and, occasionally deciding to buy one later, works well for me.  I have hundreds of DVDs and haven’t watched them all, but I will, slowly now.

5)  Declutter – This simply means that I have decided to get rid of a lot of treasures crap items in my house.  This is a slow process.  I admit that I hoarded kept a lot of stuff over the years.  I was always afraid I would not have money and needed these things “just in case”.  Well, I decided that I can do without most of it.  What I can sell on Amazon I have, what I can give away to Goodwill I have (that was about 5 big boxes), and what’s left I am going through slowly.  I have someone(s) who have/are helping me to clean my house and make it beautiful livable comfortable.

6)  Car – The car has turned out to be the easiest one so far.  Since I don’t work, I drive a lot less.  This saved on insurance (gotta ask, folks) and gas.  By it’s nature, this cuts down on trips to the shop.  I keep the oil changed and fluids and all checked.  I let Jiffy Lube do this consistently every 3-4 months.  I have never had to add a quart of oil to the car, nor ever had a flat tire.  The car now has about 138,000 miles on it.  I expect 2-3 more good years out of it.  It has been paid for since about 2005.  It looks nice.  I bought a stick with nothing powered so it was cheaper and had less to break.  It’s been a good choice.

7) Budgeting Spreadsheet:

I use Excel for my checking / budget.  I created a column of “outgo” and then plotted what needed to come out each month for each item when I got my check.  Then I try hard to stick to that.  Sometimes, it’s a little borrow from one to pay another, but it works pretty well.  Notice that I add something each month to things such as “property tax” so that when it comes time, the money is already there.  The worst thing that can happen to you is to have a “surprise” yearly bill that shouldn’t have been a surprise.

House Payment
Cell Phone
Middletown Utilities
Vectren Gas
State Farm
Amazon Deposit
Amazon Mailing
Amazon Prime
Property Taxes
Adjusted Savings
Reeder (Heating / AC)

Totals 7/22/2012
Bank Balance
I use this as my checking register.  If I am careful (I am getting better), it will closely match my checking account balance after I do the unposted checks/deposits.  I use my debit card a lot (as a credit card to avoid the $1 charge) to make it easier to balance.  It feels good to see all the time how much I have and how it is allocated to be spent.

8)  The last big thing I have to work with is “common sense”.  Some of it is easier now because my OCD is mostly gone since my stroke.  I am able to look at something and say, “No” and not get it.  It feels good to finish a month, have the new check come in and see on the spreadsheet that you had some money left.  I have a “savings” column and, each month, I put $50 in that column when the month starts.  That’s my first “dire emergency” fund.  Anytime the new check comes and that is $50 or more, I transfer it to savings.  That really feels good.

Uncle Sam gave me a refund (probably my last of any noticeable size for awhile) this year and I was able to put about 75% of it in savings and still feel good about how my excel sheet looks for March 2013.  I count that as a big success.

Just decide whether you want to run your money or let your money run you.  That’s a really good first step.



The Day and After Effects

Well, yesterday was the procedure…my colonoscopy.  Obviously, I lived.  But, for the more curious, here are the details.

The Prep day was strange and, at times, a bit scary.  I began at 3pm drinking their liquids and taking their pills, finishing last bit at 7pm.  Nothing really happened until 10:30 except that I was nauseous.  I did  take my sleeping meds at 1:30am when I decided that things were just going to be whatever they were.  I was not as “cleaned out” as they would have liked.  I called their service at 1:30 and the Dr. on call told me to take my last two pills (that made 10) in the morning when I got up.  I took them at 6:30.

When Dad and Mom picked me up at 8:30, I was still not sure what would happen that day.  When I arrived and the nurse checked me in, I told her.  She went to refer with the specialist, but felt I would, most likely, have the scope, but they might have to stop and reschedule if it wasn’t clear enough!  Arg!

The doctor was an hour late (emergency), so I got in about 11am.  The scope itself went very well.  My blood pressure stayed good and my sugar was okay.  I told them I was awake the whole time, but I think I dozed off.  It went awfully quick for how long I was gone.  I left about 1:15pm.

The news was fantastic!  I had no polyps, no cancer, and was told to come back in 5 years.  It would have been 10, but she could not see some of the finer details and wanted to make sure in time.  She said, though, that she found no problems at all except for 4 pills in my colon.  I have no idea what they were as I had only had 2 pills since 1:30am.

My Mom came and stayed with me for a few hours (after we ate! Man, was that good!).  We watched “The Reef”, an animated show for Mom, but I fell sound asleep and she slept through a lot of it!  I slept on the couch that night and stayed there all day today.  I actually watched 5 movies while I lay there.  I am getting ready to go to bed right after this post is done and I am still exhausted.  I may have to stay on the couch again tomorrow.  We will see.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.  Except for the tiredness, I feel great.  Big load off my mind.



The Story of Me – 2012

Loved this Picture!

I wasn’t going to send this out to my blog friends as you have been with me the whole time, but I did realize that many haven’t been, so, for my recent followers (I wish you were Legion 🙂 ) I sent this letter out to my family and friends via email, so I will share it with you.  To those who know all of what is in the letter below, thanks, you are a part of me – I love you all.


PS – if you have any questions or need elaboration on anything, don’t hesitate to ask.  You all should know I am, mostly, an open book, ready to be read or referenced.

To:  All My Friends, Relatives, Loved Ones, and Any Others the Previous Doesn’t Cover

Date: December 14, 2012

Good Day,

It seems to me that I have been writing all year, but the fact remains that I haven’t put together anything that concisely tells what this year has been like for me.  To say that it has been long doesn’t do it justice; what it has been is eventful.

Over Christmas of last year, I began getting a bit concerned about various differences in the way I acted and felt.  There were more pains in some areas, less in others; there were just plain out differences in the way I felt.  In January 2012, I was still a part of the New Castle School Corporation teaching 6th-12th grader in Special Ed at the Alternative School.  This came to a grinding halt in late February.  I had to give in to the pain, the inability to remain fully focused, the fact that my fatigue level was going downhill.  That was one of the most difficult decisions to make.  I had wanted to teach since 7th grade and had just signed my 6th contract.  At long last I was doing what I wanted to do and what I thought God wanted me to do.  It was not the first time I have learned that God always has tremendous things in mind for you, no matter where you are, how you are, or what you think.

I decided to dig in and begin my writing in earnest.  Actually, it was in my house, but in earnest sounds so much better!  I found that for my attention span, ability, and the market, short horror fiction worked best for me.  I have, to date, sold 3 stories.  I know they were supposed to be in print by end of October, but I have found that in the writing market deadlines change a lot.  I have been told again that between the 1st of January and the end of February all three stories should see print.  The contract gives them quite a bit of time to do this, so I am not worried or concerned.  It all works out in the end.

I also, began writing daily in my blog, Kindredspirit23 on WordPress.com.  That small (laugh) undertaking began taking over my world.  It was a good thing.  I made friends, learned how to write better, and started making a name for myself in the world of the Internet.  I can now find myself on Google if I try hard enough.

The blog has been in nearly constant growth since the big start in February 2012.  I have gone from trying to hope I get 10 people to look at my posts every day to expecting at least 50.  My biggest day was 150 and it has moved off the statistics block so I am not even certain exactly what that was! Lol I do know that, as of now, 8:45PM, I have had a total of 11,145 visitors to my blog, comments is very near 3,000, and a grand total of 325 followers (not counting Facebook).  I have had at least one person from each of 103 countries view one of my blogs.  It now takes up several hours a day of my time.  I love it dearly.  I have made countless friends through the writings and have come to care for many of them as dear friends.  I do not know the exact number of blogs I am following right now (that means I get emails telling me when they write something new), but it is enough that I am nearly always behind in my readings.  I know it is way over 50.

On November 9, 2012, my daughter, Aarika became Mrs. Aarika White, when she married Josh White.  They live in Noblesville and I do get to see her on a decently reoccurring basis.  She obtained her Doctorate in Psychology this year, so is actually Dr. White.  She was Dr. Vannatter for a little bit, so I am okay J  I wrote a poem about their marriage and love: https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/from-the-perspective-of-the-father-of-the-bride/

Aaron, my son, still lives and works in Portland, Oregon.  My understanding is that he is a software developer for Websites.  I think my knowledge of computers is falling quickly behind.  I will stick with my writing.

I am working now with a Reflexologist as well as my Family Doctor and a Psychological Stroke Counselor.  I seem to be doing well for someone who died and then decided (with some help) to stick around.  My current problems are several.  I do still have double vision; My fatigue level comes quickly; my left hip is in horrible pain most of the time; I do have some neuropathy in my feet; I am a type-2 diabetic (on meds, no shots); and my memory is good, but not perfect.  The memory problems have made it difficult for me to plan ahead well.  My eye and coordination difficulties make life, um, interesting.  Ie:  I drop and knock over a lot of things.  I do use a cane to walk most of the time.

I do sell books, tapes, and CDs on Amazon – the vast majority of the sales are for the Middletown Public Library.  It is charity work that I really enjoy doing and it does seem to make a difference.

My driving has improved.  I do now drive at night.  I prefer it be clear.  My purchase of a GPS has helped so much in allowing me to expand where I drive.  So far, Aarika’s wedding (Plainfield) has been the farthest I have driven away from home, but I do intend to expand that in the spring.

I have joined a group called Meetup (www.meetup.com) who have different groups who go to different places all the time for various activities.  I have a card gathering at my home, go to eat out, do watch some movies, and, in general, keep busy and have fun.  At home, I play Words with Friends on Facebook, watch movies, work on the computer, and tolerate my cat, Tamika (she tolerates me as well).  I do have someone who comes to the house once a week and cleans for me.

I think I have rambled enough.  This was to catch you up on me, so I didn’t go into details about the rest of the family.  Here are the best ways to keep up with me:

https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com – my blog, I write daily.  Comment/Follow

bookman23@comcast.net – My main email.  Drop me a note.  I will try hard to respond.

Thank you all.  You are each part of the reason I am succeeding in life.  I love having all of you in mine, so I need to stick around.

God Bless,



Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

North Noir


carly books

I read lots of books, from mythology retellings to literary fiction and I love to reread books from childhood, this is a place to voice my thoughts for fun. I also like to ramble about things such as art or nature every now and again.



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