Category Archives: Localyokelgal

My glass is half empty (yes, I did say empty)

Life is an adventure full of trials & tribulations where we are constantly reminded of the importance of gratitude.  I reflect upon this during times of good and bad.  We make choices each and every day, some more difficult than others.  And, no matter the pains, there is almost always someone else out there who is not as fortunate.  The reality of life is that it is what you make of it.  Preachy words…I know.  Nonetheless, words deriving from self-talk that exists to save ourselves from self-absorbed behaviors.

Depending upon perspective, you live life with a glass half empty or half full.  Optimists are taught to crave a glass half full while having a glass half empty is associated with a negative perception.  I’d like to flip the switch on this age old idealism.

What is so wrong with longing for more in life? Does this necessarily translate into not appreciating current blessings and what may already be in the glass?  I believe the answer to these questions may come down to an exercise of self awareness.

On one hand, my glass is half full.  I am truly grateful.  But on the other and more humbling hand my glass will always be half empty.  I don’t pretend to have all of the answers and can always make room for more.  I personally don’t believe there is anything wrong with craving more patience, wisdom, understanding and empathy while at the same time appreciating what is already in my glass.  I think the real lesson is that, whether your glass is half empty or half full, it is important to make every effort to raise it up and share it with others.

So proud of my son, graduating middle school.  And my daughter who is moving into her final year of elementary school.  They are my joy of life. Nothing makes me smile more than to watch them grow, celebrating achievements both big and small along the way.  And nothing makes me happier than seeing them at the start and end of every day. 💜

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Balance: Autoimmune Disorders

 

It was August 2016, I had just returned from an awesome adventure in Gunnison National Park, CO when my world was turned upside down. I began to experience aches and pains quickly dismissed as battle wounds from my recent mountain adventure.

After a couple weeks had passed the pain and swelling spread throughout the left side of my body, traveling from lower back to wrist and foot.  I couldn’t grasp a tea cup, was having trouble opening doors, operating zippers and buttons.  I hadn’t connected the pains I was having at that time nor did I understand what I was up against.

I no longer felt like the same person that I was just a month prior nor was I capabable of putting a brave face to what was happening.  I began to feel scared. Really scared.  And, for the first time in my life I went from playing the role of helping others to the one always seeming to need help. My husband, children and mother turned into caregivers. I felt tremendous guilt over all of the help required by others just to get through a day.  I feared the worst wondering if I would ever be able to function again.

I was misdiagnosed twice before landing in a hospital bed unable to walk.   I underwent every imaginable test and scan.   I was treated by several specialists via a series of the strongest antibiotic cocktails administered intravenously.  I lost hair due to reaction of all of the hard core drugs.  I was laid up missing my kiddos field hockey and baseball games, weddings, girls nights, day hikes…well you get the picture. I missed my mobility, independence and life as I knew it.

While hospitalized with condition now traveling from left to right side of my body, I was introduced to a Rheumatologist who ran additional bloods and quickly connected the physical pain, swelling & presentation to chronic inflammation resulting in diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis.

It took  three months for the prescribed biological to kick in. After six months, and some orthopedic shoes, I started feeling semi normal again.  Eight months later, I became obsessed with reading about Autoimmune Diseases convinced that what was happening to me was a condition that I could conquer.  I hung on to hope that the trigger was bacterial and after a year passed, I could discontinue my dependency on the biological that kept my immune system from attacking my body.

Fast forward to today and no such luck…I still rely upon the biological, but have not given up the fight. I have come a long way.  I can function and my inflammation levels are down. And, while  I accept that I am genetically predisposed (HLA B27),  I continue to research and experiment with my diet being mindful of triggers.

Two years ago, if you asked me what an autominnue disease was…I couldn’t tell you. Instead, I may have simply replied “you are what you eat” not fully realizing the depth of this truth.  At that time in my life I felt fantastic. Never looked better and was loving life having fully committed to a plant based whole food diet. The daily menu read fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes & quinoa ( and plenty of them). I had replaced flour bread with Ezekiel sprouted grain products. I even replaced traditional flour pastas with lentil and chick pea versions. It was all about how much I had gained instead of lost. I was far down a path of wellness, or so I thought.

I was operating under some very basic rules:  if it was plant based, unprocessed and did not contain additives such as oil, sugar, meat, or salt – the more the merrier! I had established some go to favorites not realizing that the combination was a perfect storm for leaky gut and chronic inflammation.

Since then I have limited some foods consumed prior, and in abundance, such as; evening shades, legumes & quinoa that were later proven to aggravate my condition. I have also introduced healthy omegas from sources such a fish, coconut, olive and hemp oils.

And, while I still believe today that “you are what you eat”, I have learned that a diet is not a one size fits all solution. It is instead a personalized and delicate balance.

Listen to your body and find your own balance.

On The Fly: Week 23-24

It is a quiet Saterday morning.  The first time in two weeks where I need  not worry about where I need to be first thing or play the role of air traffic controller with making sure the kids are where they need to be, safe and happy.

So what does a localyokelgal do with this time?  She enjoys a cup of coffee, watches I Love Lucy, and catches up on her blog of course!  The kids will awaken soon and it will be time for baseball.  My son Lee won his first game in the play offs so we return again today to challenge the mighty Mansfield Mariners.

On the list of things to do today is straighten out my family data share plan.  Suddenly am without the ability to take photos and videos of all of those special moments I like to share.  Cloud back up capacity has maxed out since arming my son with his first phone.  Time for that boy to get a job!  I am a storage & data nightmare.  Look out AT&T….here I come!

The last 2 weeks are a blur.    We celebrated my fathers birthday, hosted the children’s friends for several play dates, baseball games, Ava’s Science Fair, Lee’s Shakespeare school play…I am sure I am missing something!!  These are some of the pictures that I managed to take before storage issues took over: 

  

   

  

  
            
Feeling great but missing my Pro-Activity friends.  Very busy so will not be able to get back to base camp until July.  

Big news on Stone Row Farm front….we have a new roof on the barn (pictures to follow). Man power is truly incredible.  Am feeling very grateful for all of the help from my husband’s Uncle Doc who is back here this morning to finish.  Thank you to Wilcox and the Schierer (sp?) family for pulling off some crazy long days in the heat.  You guys are amazing…💪

Happy Birthday to my awesome nephew Kelvin.  Sending lots of love your way 😘. Give my brother a big awkward hug and kiss from me and and lots of love to your mom for me.  Miss you all.

And, also, Happy Birthday to my loving and selfless mother.  Mom- you are beautiful inside and out.  We love you and appreciate you, your sacrifices & decision to be part of our every day life.  Your daily presence is the best gift you could ever give.  Thank you for all you do.  Looking forward to celebrating you later today.  Love you so very much 😘

 

On The Fly:  Week 21

Started my new job this week!  So far, so good.  I made it out of the house every morning with a delicious greens and fruit smoothie plus fruit & veggies to snack on.  I was also delighted to see that the MetLife Bridgewater cafeteria has a fantastic salad bar 👍

My new friend Snoopy and I had a lunch date on my first day: 
It was a busy week but I still managed to make good choices, remained positive and tried my best to get move minutes in (despite the occupational hazard of a desk job).  I took the stairs over elevator and managed to get outside on Friday with a friend for 2 laps around campus (1 mile).  The new office offers a nicely equipped gym that offers a schedule of classes.  Just need to figure out what on earth “Yopi” is:

  
Feeling on track, motivated & inspired.  Did the usual running around with the kids and sports after work throughout the week.  Attended the children’s school Art Show & Spring Concert:

   
      

Home sick today with my daughter Ava.  My poor baby has the stomach flu.  Hoping that she gets better quickly and can enjoy some of her long weekend.  

 
Gumby says “Happy Memorial Day”!!!  

Am feeling especially grateful for all of those who have made sacrifices to serve our country and defend our freedom. 

Remembering my grandfather today who was one of the brave whom served in World War II. Love you and miss you every day Pop-Pop ❤️  

 

 

On The Fly:  Week 19

It is official!  My first post of “On The Fly”.  This is follow-up to the New Begginings blog to share my transition as I return to work and enter life in the fast lane again.  I recognize that by continuing to share my health journey with you, I will remain on track, motivated and inspired to maintain my newly found energy and overall health.  

Ok, so here is the week in review…ready???  Here we go:

Was having fun grilling veggies earlier in the week.  And, I made a batch of cream of broccoli soup in my new blender on Wednesdsy.  Love how this blender makes hot soups!  Yummy:

   
   

  
 On Thursday, I made a bulk batch of very berry sorbet.  It was awesome…just frozen berries, ice and a little soy milk.   I have enjoyed some for breakfast and late afternoon snack.  Very refreshing in this warmer weather:

  
Been really digging the warmer weather, nature and all of the beautiful flowers everywhere:

 
   

Can smell the lilacs now as the breeze blows through the window.  

And, finally…also this week.  Breaking news, in main stream media folks!  It is official, Kylie Jenner has been getting lip injections (in case you were wondering):   

  
Love the clinical photo of an actual lip filler injection procedure!   Hahahaha! The media’s definition of breaking news  today never fails to amaze.

Going to go pick up my plants for my veggie garden this weekend.  Looking forward to getting them in the ground and on the table!

 So, there you have it folks…my first week in review.  Happy Mother’s Day!   See you next week 😄

 

New Beginnings:  Day 81-84        

Had a great weekend that started with my daughters softball game on Sat. AM:  

  
We invited those who came to watch back to the house with us to barbecue and celebrate Ava’s 8th birthday.  It was a nice, but busy, afternoon.  Lee had a practice in the middle of the barbecue and of course when we fired up the grill we realized we were out of gas!  We always seem to run out when we have company…

After the craziness died down we were able to feed our guests and have some fun.  We even played a game of whiffle ball (adults against kids) after pin the tail on the donkey:

   
  

On Sunday, we took a hike on the Dunnfield Creek Trail and picniced along the way.  It was a beautiful day:

   
     

Beautiful afternoon.  Stopped over at my bud Sonia’s house for a visit.  It was our first play date with our dogs Ella and Clover who wore each other out while little cutie Kiersten (Sonia’s gorgeous daughter) enjoyed a little water play in her styling sundress.  So wish I had pics of all of this!! 

Needed a little inspiration in the WFPB department so decided to grill some veggies tonight to help bring back that loving feeling again:

  
Just feeling very lazy this past week and need to make a come back to keep on track.  Still blaming it on allergies. Need some rain! 

Right now, I am listening to a very vocal frog who has been chilling in the pond since Friday night.  This dude has a set of pipes on him.  Hope he finds a mate soon! Oh the sounds of nature 🐸

So, been doing some thinking about this New beginnings blog.  I have met my goal of a healthier new version of me and now need to switch tracks to maintenance and continued inspiration as I return to work again.  All things considered, I decided to name this new chapter of localyokelgal “On The Fly”.

New Beginnings:  Day 78 – 80

Been keeping especially busy this week.  

Took care of some pre-employment formalities as I prepare to start my new job. Also been busy shopping for chairs for my dining room.  What an experience.  After a lot of running around, looking at both new and antique, I scored a nice deal at Jack’s Barn Antique Shop located in oxford NJ.  Great spot that hosts private venues too. Purchased eight sturdy chairs that if could talk would surely have some great stories to share!

   
 

Been feeling run down these past couple of days and think allergies may have something to do with it.  No energy and not feeling very motivated.

Made some salads today (feature pic) so that we can BBQ following my daughters softball game tomorrow and celebrate Ava.  It was 8 years ago tonight that she decided to get ready to make her sudden debut!  I was having very mild contractions around this time that I decided to ignore.  I slept on it and was woken up around 3AM….it was Ava ready to say hello to the world.  We barely made it to the hospital, could not sit down in the car as we were crowning! She was born May 2nd @ 5:10 AM and has been the sunshine of my life ever since. 💜

Will soon need to reinvent this blog space, recognizing that when I return to work, I may not find the time for a daily entry…weekly maybe!

Am grateful for my sweet daughter Ava, love of family, friends and Mother Nature. 🌺