Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Not Gone

I am not gone, just  preoccupied with the stuff of life.  On March 23 my husband had a stroke from which he completely recovered with no lasting effects.  Then on Easter Sunday I had to send him back to the hospital with dangerous hypoglycemia.  His blood sugar had tanked.  They took him off his insulin and he hasn't had it happen again but his blood sugar is running too high and we are trying to adjust his diet and exercise to maybe make a difference.

So, I am up to my eyeballs in exchange diets and trying how to make fried chicken without actually frying it and -- well, you know -- trying to keep him alive and happy. 

So, I will be back with a couple of book reviews.  Otherwise all is well, just swamped.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Bean and Me Book Club -- The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won

Recently I read two of Bean's recommendations -- "The War That Saved My Life" and it's sequel "The War I Finally Won" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

In the first book, "The War That Saved My Life", we meet Ada, Jamie and Mam.  They live in London's East End in a tenement slum.  Ada, born with a club foot, is older sister to Jamie and their mother, Mam, is a cruel, abusive mother.  It is set at the beginning of World War II.

When the children were being evacuated from London to the English countryside for their safety, Mam didn't want Jamie to go and she wouldn't even think of Ada going, she was so ashamed of her being a cripple that she locked her in one room all the time and she wouldn't even consider them going.

But....the kids had other ideas.

I don't want to say too much because this is definitely a worthy read -- it flows, it reads well, it is truly a page turner.  It is emotional and satisfying all at the same time.

Then, moving on to the sequel -  it brings the children and the people in their lives further into the war with some frightening events but you see how they grow and learn how to make do, do without and still learn to love.

I absolutely loved these books.  Even though they are written for ages 9-12, I was totally taken in by them and enjoyed them thoroughly and recommend without reservation.

Bean's description  --  "these books are amazing!"

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bean and Me Book Club -- Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

I just finished "Pugs of the Frozen North".  It is the story of Shem and Sika, two children who during the True Winter decide to take Shem's 66 pugs and a sled on a sled race to get to the Snowfather. Sika wanted to ask the Snowfather to heal her grandfather and make him well to be able to make the race himself during the next True Winter.

The children met with all sorts of peril and danger along the way.  My favorite was the Yeti Noodle Bar where one could get trapped forever if one was not careful.

The Bean loved this book but she is perplexed that it has taken me weeks to finish it and she accomplished that in an hour.  It is a cute book, good message and great illustrations. 

I would recommend for school age children and adults who want to get lost in the fantasy.

Temple Secrets by Susan Gabriel

As you probably remember, my family vacationed in Savannah, Georgia last year. I was completely taken with the place, the culture, the food, the architecture -- yes, I could live there -- well, in the winter anyway because I understand that the summers are pretty bad with the heat.

So, since then, I have been reading a lot of books that involve Savannah.  The latest is "Temple Secrets" by Susan Gabriel.

It is the story of the Temple family -- a generations old Savannah family with connections to slavery and a whole lot of secrets.  The family is a blended family -- black and white -- wealthy landowners and slaves in the past and this is the modern day remnants of that family.

The main characters would appear to be Iris Temple, along with the  daughter and granddaughter of the some of the most influential men of Savannah at their time.  However, Iris's demise takes her out of the story pretty early and the attention goes to her half sister, Queenie, and her granddaughter, Violet.  Queenie is the daughter of Iris's father and Old Sally, a black housekeeper at the time.

Then there is Rose.  Rose is Iris's daughter with her husband Oscar.  She is Violet's half sister with Queenie being Violet's mother and Oscar being Violet's father.  History repeating itself.

And I thought my family tree was confusing.

And then there is the Book of Secrets.  It is a ledger that was kept of all the indiscretions of Savannah's rich and famous over the decades.   This book takes on a life of its own.

And Edward -- what an idiot.

And the ghosts.

I will just leave that here.  If you love Savannah, the south, ghosts or a humorous, messed up family story this is the book for you. 

Next on my list -- the sequel  -- "Gullah Secrets". Hopefully it will be just as enjoyable.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Food as Medicine or Is It My Imagination?

Ok, since my husband was released from the hospital  we  have been following an 1800 calorie diabetic eating plan.  The first few days were a little daunting because I haven't meal planned in forever.  I also haven't weighed and measured food since my last attempt at calorie counting.

Fast forward to today -- it has gotten much easier, Hubs is eating what I cook, I am learning some kitchen tricks to keep myself sane and I am not dreading the activity quite as much.

However, I have noticed something that is sort of surprising.  I feel completely different.  I have lost seven pounds and I feel like my digestion has improved.  Those are things one would expect when changing your diet completely.

But......what I wasn't expecting is that my joints are so much better. I am less stiff. I even got on the floor to look for something under the bed.  I was shocked.

Is it possible that changing a diet could make your joints quit hurting?  Very interesting.

Just thought I would share.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Can't Catch a Break

Ok, we have done the two follow-up appointments for my husband with the cardiologist and the neurologist.  Both appointments were positive, no restrictions on him and future appointments made. 

Then we discussed the "sleep" issues he is having and they are going to schedule him for a sleep study.  It is two parts -- one overnight for sleep apnea and then one during the day.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

So, in the middle of it all I had to take the Bean to the doctor yesterday for a cough she has had.  Doctor said she has a cold, it is viral, go home and let it run its course.

Fast forward to today -- I had to go get her early because she is running 102 fever. 

We are back to the doctor for a whooping cough test. It is going around the school.

Really?  Seriously?