February 28, 2019

Cold Rain Snow Mix

Two steps outside this morning and I was wanting those 55° temperatures back from earlier in the week. It was really cold outside and I wasn't in the mood for it. Stella and I took off anyway for a short 17 minute walk. The day was pretty anti-climatic after getting up around 3:30am and staying up.
By the time lunch rolled around there was a mixture of light rain/snow and Heidi was having none of that. She turned and headed to the house where it was nice and warm inside.
Same with Stella. She was just outside long enough to pee, headed to the house so she would walk up next to it on the way back inside. Needless to say by mid-afternoon it was coming down harder and the afternoon walk was cancelled.

No candy bars today. No insane craving for sugar either. Back to reading my book.

It was good today in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

Wide Awake At 3:45am

Do you remember back in December right after I moved my main blog from Blogger to here? It was around December 9th. I had plans for changes in the way I wrote, maybe the format and the subjects would expand from just the hounds to a lot of other stuff. Just like the blog title says.

There is that word "change" again.

It's what makes life fun, interesting and at times insane. A good example of that kind of change, it was just a few days ago where the hounds and I were not starting our day until 830am whereas it was pretty normal to start at 7am and be in the field for the morning walk by 8am. Of course Sadie was no longer calling the shots on that walk and Stella's clock seems to be on Central time or about an hour behind.

I also played a factor in that starting time. I was staying up close to 2am like the 'old days' and sleeping later. My sleeping app liked that I was getting more sleep, at least that is what it told me.  :)  In the past three days I have done "a 360", I've gone to bed early and woke up earlier. I'm sitting here writing this at 3:48am .... 3:48am !!!!!

I am wide awake and have no plans of going back to bed just like Stella is thinking about right now. She is confused after waking up and walking into my computer room to see the darkness. I just heard her toenails move across the bedroom hardwood floor back to the dog bed in the corner. She will not be getting up at 4am.

I really woke up at 3:05am and after a solid attempt I could not get back to sleep. Thoughts were racing through my brain like screens of computer code. (I just took my fist sip of coffee with 2 tsp of sugar for the first time since last Friday).

This was the type of post I was going to do starting last December, posting whenever I  thought about something or had something on my mind. Multiple posts per day, some with photos some not. I hope I can remember everything I wanted to talk about an hour ago.

Where do I start?

I knew something was up a few days ago. It was a warning sign that I am all too familiar with. "Changes" ... I wanted to change things. Maybe a new blog template, a different look? No. That's it, change the Mac OS to the dark mode. A different desktop picture?? That seemed to have worked. I liked those changes and still do a couple of days later.

Then yesterday it was total mental turmoil. SUGAR over took my brain cells and I couldn't run away from it. I was in my 5th straight day of no table sugar for my two cups of coffee per day. I was eating around 35g of Carbs per day. I was feeling good and I could feel the slight change to my stomach and now having zero heartburn after eating some foods. But ... I had an insane craving for sugar. IF it is more than this I'd hate being a meth addict.

Is it so bad to have just 2 tsp of sugar in a 12 cup of coffee? Or 4 tsps in two 12 oz cups of coffee for the whole day?

So with no intentions of falling off the 'no sugar' wagon Wednesday, I am walking around my library aisle by aisle looking for something to read. Anything to read, because I haven't found any book interesting enough with that "new" tag on the cover. I had no idea what subject I wanted to read about so up and down the aisles I went looking at every book it seemed, from the top shelf to the bottom ... next section.

The book called "Year Of No Sugar" by Eve Schaub

That book stuck out like a sore thumb among the thousands of books I was scanning shelf by shelf, aisle by aisle. It was the only book I brought home with me and I started reading it immediately.

But that's not all that happened.

From the library and the short mile and half drive home ... I made a detour. I stopped at the local Dollar General (Same as the Dollar Store) and bought a 4lb bag of sugar because it fits perfectly in my 21-year-old piece of Rubbermaid container. It kept the sugar safe from mice in 1998 as it does now IF I have any mice.

The the real problem was at the checkout counter of the empty store. One customer before me, one cashier available and she was "a talker". While only checking out a few items I heard her cover everything from health issues, her dead husband, her grandkids, her dogs, cats blah blah blah .... just stick your credit card into the reader and pay for the damn food !!!!!

So I was becoming a little irritable. I don't do well with checkout lines as you read about a few weeks or a month ago. That time also gave me time to look at every brand name candy bar on the planet, strategically placed where I could see them while waiting in a one person line.

An old favorite, kind of off the wall, outside the box thinking ... candy bar ... Zero!!

I grabbed the king size bar and sprinted to my car to rush home. I had a book to read, a new bag of sugar and a candy bar to eat. I had fallen off my 5 day strict Keto meal plan and hard. I could feel myself somersaulting down the side of the highway as I bit into that Zero candy bar with the white icing.

An hour later ... I didn't like it. It didn't taste that good really ... BUT I had no insane craving for sugar.

I didn't have a cup of coffee with my book. It was early afternoon and I never have coffee that time of day. I just wanted to read and find out as fast as possible what this family of four had done for a year with no sugar. After the first 100 pages I had heard their story but nothing about how they felt or how their bodies were adjusting. Only their FRUSTRATION finding food to eat because they were not only cutting out table sugar but any food that had the word sugar in the ingredients. Fructose was the main enemy I learned.

I'll leave the book summary right there. On to my next subject.

By the way, just like when I tried the Paleo Diet in May 2015 for the first time ... ALL indigestion went away immediately. I have not slipped a TUMS into my mouth since sometime Saturday morning around 2am.

Back to that word "changes". As I was looking at my old blog, as I do everyday, I noticed my list of the blogs I followed was so much shorter than it use to be. I had to count them. 19 ... only 19 of them listed. I remember last summer I had 53 different blogs listed that I would read with regularity, each time they posted something different.

I had gone from 53 to 19. How and why?

That cup of coffee with 2tsp of sugar in it did NOT taste as good as it use to. My second cup is black coffee, no sugar.

I look at the old blog sidebar because unlike the sidebar at the bottom of this blog's homepage, the list moves the blogs I follow to the top of the list with each new post. It's easy to pick out those that have posted something that day instead of looking through all of them to see if they have something new.

Also as late as last summer I was still following a ton of RVers that I had followed since finding them in 2011 and 2012. Some of them were full-timers, some part-timers, some tent camped, van camped etc. RVing is what got me started in this type of blogging, although my first blogs were back in 2005 tied into my online sports business and my attempt at affiliate marketing, one product per blog, and hundreds of WordPress blogs.

For those that don't know, in August 2015 when I made the final decision to drive down to Jeffersonville Kentucky to pick up Dipstick (now Stella), I knew then my plans for traveling full-time or even part-time was NOT going to happen. I chose to rescue a bloodhound needing a new home instead of dragging two basset hounds (Winston & Heidi) and one bloodhound (Sadie) all over the USA.

At the time I still felt like following those traveling bloggers though.

Then like anything else, as time passes my interests change and as time moved on the urge to travel decreased. Add in those bloggers that disappeared and stopped blogging without notice or the few bloggers that have died ... it was easy to cut the list from 53 to 19. I don't even read the 19 sometimes. I look at their blog title and decide if I want to read or not.


Stella by the way is NOT a traveler. Oh, she does great riding in any kind of car (Toyota FJ or a Mini Cooper Countryman) but it's when she gets out in public, like the dog food store or at a park or just anywhere that is not her field or yard that she goes spazo. She turns into a scared, anxious, stressed bloodhound that wants to run away if I lose grip on the leash. She has always been more than happy to jump back in the vehicle and head home.

She does not mind riding though and did well on the 4 hour drive home in August 2015.

I will climb back on the Keto Diet horse though. It's not really a diet because I plan on making this change in eating permanent. I have to get down to 185 and then maybe even lower after I achieve that. Friends tell me I look okay and don't need to lose weight. I am never short on breath. I can jog if I want. I can ride a bike for many miles if I want. I can ride a bike fast inside my house on the trainer if I want without any feelings of being light-headed or a pulse rate that is above my maximum.

I can climb on the roof to clean gutters, haul stone one wheelbarrow at a time, shovel dirt, dig ditches and even pull weeds for four days in a row in the August heat ... nothing bothers me. Still I want to lose the weight. I want to lose that fat I can't see inside and behind my stomach. I want a clean liver and not one blocked with fructose.

I DON'T want to live to a 100 or even 90 years old but I want to live healthy while I am living.

So how did my two neighbors live into their late 90's after living near me for over 50 years? I am pretty sure they were not eating grass-fed beef, nor were they using a water filter and used the water the local company was providing straight out of the White River. Surrounded by chemical laden fields of corn and soybeans. Did they go Keto or Vegan? I doubt it.

Or as my dad use to tell me, every meal for him growing up just across the highway from me, was like a holiday meal with lots of fat, butter, gravies, beef, pies, cakes and of course water from the same local water company I use in 2019. He lived to be 89.

So I can't keep from asking myself "is it really that important to eat well, and lose weight" just so I can grow old and live in a society that I am becoming sick of, from politicians, illegal immigrants to $30M dollar per year baseball players??

You really do have to wonder about all of it. Is it that important?

So while I was taking the afternoon walk yesterday with no camera and Stella on the 25' retractable leash I started wondering. Of course this was after that 4 lbs of sugar was back in my house. It was after I had read about 50 pages of the "Year Of No Sugar" book, but I was pretty sure I had a clear mind and was mentally stable, even after eating the "king size' candy bar.

Why do I even give a shit what is happening in a country that I will not be around in 10, 20 or 30 years. Who cares what happens? Yes I have a niece and nephew, one with kids and if the country turned into the worse possible scenario that I can imagine ... then yes, it would suck for them.

I can't comprehend that though. I can't picture the USA turning into a current Venzuala. It's imaginary not real. It could even be outlandish, paranoid thinking. With images of a million people rushing across the borders from San Diego to the tip of Texas ... with white border patrol trucks chasing them across the dusty deserts. Since approximately 600,000 of those million don't have an education past the 12th grade of course they would be supported by the 'dingbat AOC' with free food, a livable wage, free medical, free free free free.

But what if ??? I didn't give a shit one way or another ??

Will all of that effect me and the hounds living here in "bumf***" Egypt ??? Here in small town USA ???

Does it matter at all that 22 Trillion dollars in debt means anything. A couple of friends from my college days with Accounting degrees, try to convince me that the national debt doesn't mean anything. So why not add another 94 TRILLION DOLLARS so I can have solar panels installed for free and trade my Mini Cooper S Countryman for one of those Electric Cars that the 'dingbat AOC' will provide for me. Besides, I don't like flying in airplanes anyway and I have a single railroad track just a half mile away ... maybe we could build a train station with our savings ????

So who gives a shit about all the chaos in the news today. Those in power obviously don't give a shit about the grave possibilities so why should I ... while hiding down here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana ????

BTW ... I don't care who Trump went to bed with BEFORE he even decided to run for President ?? I don't care that he would have made $100M if he had Trump Towers in Russia. I don't care if he was an asshole businessman BEFORE he even decided to run for President ... I've in fact worked for two bosses like that. They were also rich, arrogant and some days were assholes ... but that's what they do. Being sued meant nothing to them, go ahead and do it ... I'm not paying you ... was their battle cry.

With that being said, I confirmed to myself on that Wednesday afternoon dog walk, the Democratic Party can f***off ... FOREVER !!! From yesterday forward I will always vote for ANYONE RUNNING against the Democrats in future elections. And that is coming for someone who jumped back and forth across parties, voting for whom I thought was the best man running.

So we got that out of the way ... politics and sugar, even a little immigration, wandering thoughts, blah blah blah ... I just don't give a shit ... but I DO CARE if my favorite teams win. Any loss is like the world has ended and I either fall into deep depression or fits of anger until the next game.  :)

I STILL DO CARE though about my meal plans. I'll eat healthy, it can't hurt and besides ... if I am going to be blogging when I am 90 years old and still complaining, bitching and moaning about society I need to be healthy don't I ???  :)

Wait ... I'm not finished yet.

I'm only up to
2,492words. (I added a few new words when editing)

Those house rehab tv shows are so much fun to watch. Of all of them I have watched over the years, Hometown is the my favorite out of all of them. I'd love to have them show up here 'in the tropics' and gut this place. I'd have them build the same floor plan, which is simple but just upgrade from the 1970's.

Then I think ... why ???

I am a hermit with few visitors. My hounds are allowed on the couch or the big leather chair, their choosing. I only need a 'man cave', which I call my living room, to watch hours and hours if not days of ballgames or an occasional movie .... or the times I binge watch Dexter, Breaking Bad or True Detective.

My 1975 Tappan 400 stove and oven still works perfectly. My cheapass basic fridge that I bought in 1998 still hums right along while I give it annual deep cleaning on all sides of it, including the back and bottom sides. I don't care if I am wiping a counter of formica instead of marble. I don't care if my backsplash is just a painted wall, unless it's the stainless steel part of the stove and small oven on top.

That living room wall of old fashion paneling looks pretty awesome AT TIMES  but I wonder what it would look like as painted drywall. The yellow aluminum siding I have covering the house and I have painted over for 21 years is in better shape than most of the new vinyl siding which I have never been a fan of. Yes, the siding has a few dents, one major by my 'senior moment' mistake and one by the renters in 1996. Besides I have a box of the original yellow siding stored in my carport shed up top, if I need to repair anything.

So yes ... "they" could make my house look tv quality if they did a total rehab but do I really need to. I mean, I can and do fix the normal maintenance stuff that needs repaired. The house is in great shape and protects the hounds and I in all kinds of extreme weather.

Plus .... I live here for free !!!! Not counting that whopping $220 in property tax I paid in 2018.

Do I really need my house rehabbed ???  LOL

Hmmmm ... I might be finished finally. My list of "blog thoughts" have been written about. I am looking around for my next topic and can't seem to find anything ... besides you might be surprised how many people are up and driving between 5am and 5:24am based on the noise from the highway. No, highway noise does not bother me.

My working neighbors probably think I am an insane old man living next door ... they would have seen my small kitchen light on from their house, as they got up at 5am. I do not have nor do I want a large curtain covering my large picture window in the kitchen that looks out through the carport. If I remember correctly that window is around 80" wide. It's the best view in the house.

Heidi is still in a deep sleep because the house is pitch black besides the light from my computer monitors and the small light above the kitchen sink. Stella is restless and confused as she walks in to the room to see if it is 8am but can tell it's only 5:30am. She has to be asking "Is it too early to eat breakfast???" Then she walks back to her dog bed and goes back to sleep.

Let me know what you think of my new "I don't give a shit" policy. Am I on the right path?

Single digit temperature highs are on the way here in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.

February 27, 2019

Only Photos Today

As you'll see, today was a duplicate of yesterday with warm weather. Not a lot of activity. A trip to the library and a new book to read. A long afternoon siesta. Insane craving for sugar and Stella's afternoon walk was with the 25' retractable leash.
All was good in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana today, just a little lazy.

February 26, 2019

An Amazing Afternoon

It was the surprise of all surprises today. I'm sitting here typing this around 5:30pm and it is still 55°!!!!!! outside. I heard the weekend forecast say the word snow just a few days ago. Besides being blasted by the heat wave this afternoon it was full of activity. From some computer work, a hounds siesta, Stella getting attacked, Heidi sunbathing and ending with the slowest bloodhound walk in the history of walking hounds, the day covered all kinds of activity. Plus I was able to stay on course with my eating changes.
When I let Heidi and Stella outside a few minutes after their early lunch, they were almost in shock about how warm it was. I had overdressed just by putting on a light jacket but Heidi could barely move off the carport. Stella checked out the backyard but after sniffing the air for a few minutes she decided she wasn't ready yet to stay outside.
Stella always needs an after lunch siesta before she can consider any kind of activity. That has never changed since the first day she arrived in August 2015. While the hounds slept I decided to make a couple of adjustments to the Google Chrome browser as well as my computer. I flipped back to the 'dark mode', put the picture of space on my second monitor and a black and white photo on my main monitor as desktop images.

I like the feature that Apple offers, it seems easier on my eyes. I still had to find a way to implement the 'dark mode' on Google Chrome so I did search for "google chrome dark mode". I had my answer in less than a minute and had the Google Chrome theme installed even faster.
Heidi slowly explored the front mulch area one inch at a time, going all the way to the left side and then back to the right all the way to the end of the house.
While Stella roamed in the field I decided, with my camera in one hand, I'd walk around the backyard and pick up all the small tree limbs blown down the other night. I added quite a few to my burn pile. The pile of tree limbs is now almost 6' high so the flames might be an all-time record.
I let Stella wander the field even though I thought there was a pretty good chance I'd be pulling those small burrs from the dead ragweed out of her coat. As  you can see she was heading in the direction of the all that dead ragweed when I took this picture.
After deciding the front yard was okay, Heidi headed for the backyard. Would she take a walk with Stella and I this afternoon?
It was at this point I could see Stella was being attacked by all of those small dark brown burrs. This wasn't going to be pretty by the time I finished the limb pickup exercise.
When Stella ignored my calls I started to walk her direction. I knew it was going to be bad but I didn't know just how bad she had been attacked. You would think with all the bad weather and all the wind those burrs would be gone by now.
Add twice as many to the other side and about the same amount on her neck covering her chest and only a few in her tail plus in the armpits of all four of her legs. She always stands still for me to pull each of them out and toss them in the field .. but she has never figured out why I am so excited doing it. She accuses me of mumbling to myself.
The day was so nice I couldn't resist taking an early afternoon walk. I checked with Heidi one last time to see if she wanted to go with us but she had found her spot for sunbathing. It was going to be nice and hot and when I asked if she wanted to go, she laid down. I took that as a no.
I didn't know at the time that Stella was going to set the all-time record for the slowest walk in dog history. She made the walk so slow that I don't believe that video would have been able to catch it.
She was just enjoying some nice warm sunshine, thinking that it was Spring.
Heidi thought she heard something but didn't know it was us. More and more lately I've noticed she has lost some of her hearing.  While other times just the sound of a fork toucing a plate will startle her.
Stella didn't know the plan was to sneak up on Heidi for some photos. She wasn't sure why I was walking slowly around the fence and down the short incline.
When I called her name, she looked in a different direction. Is that a sign of hearing loss?
After many attempts of calling her name she finally figured out where I was and walked slowly over to the driveway and up the hill.
After having a 10oz New York Strip steak for lunch I was not hungry the rest of the afternoon and so far I have not had the urge to eat a dinner. I'll probably have a salad and that will be it for today in the eating department. I DID make a simple spreadsheet like I mentioned this morning. It's going to work out so much better than writing a journal about it. I can see improvement just with a glance at the spreadsheet.

I went online to check out the availability of some books at my local library. One nice thing is I can have any book shipped for free from any other library in the state of Indiana and pick them up at my local library if they do not have it in their inventory. They notify me by email or text, my choice. I found 3 books I've been wanting to read but always forget them when I am at the library looking around. I finally pulled the Notes app up so I can remember what I am looking for. I'll pick those books up tomorrow.

Also while the hounds were sleeping and before our time outside, I tuned into two tv shows I always tape on Monday nights. I watch them later so I can fast forward through the commercials. I've mentioned them before but I really like the shows Bull and Hometown.

I've still stay away from the news on tv. I'll watch the IU basketball game tonight at 9pm but will do some reading up to game time. It's not a surprise how much better the days seem with bright sunshine and temperatures 30° or more, warmer. We needed a day like this.

Spring is right around the corner here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.