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I’m still intermittently working on another low-sodium recipe post, but I’m busier than usual (or just better at procrastinating), meaning it’s taking me longer.
So in the meantime, here are a few updates (in no particular order).
My last post
Thank you to everyone who commented on the open letter to my father. It was interesting — and very helpful — to see the different viewpoints.
I wanted to see if simply posting it for someone to read all the way through would provide sufficient catharsis. Rather than sending him the letter.
And for the moment, I feel like it has. And yes, I agree with those of you who said that there would be at small part of me that would want a response. So the current feeling is that it’s best I don’t send it to him.
If that changes and I do decide to send the letter, I’m going to take my mom’s advice and use his own address in the sender area of the envelope. That way, he can’t write back, meaning he can’t reply to me. (I’d ask the couple relatives who do have my address no to give it to him if he asks.)
So again, thank you all for sharing your thoughts. And just for reading it. You have no idea how much it helped.
San Diego is a go!
Some of you may remember that Pirate Party Guy and I were supposed to go on a road trip to San Diego in late August.
Then both PPG and I had health issues rise up. I had to get off Adderall, which left me no energy to explore the city. The final nail in the coffin was that PPG’s work got extremely hectic.
So I agreed we’d try again in the fall. But our schedules didn’t mesh up well for a while.
Now we’re set — for early May. A mere 10 months after the original trip. But it’s something to look forward to.
I get “free” nights through my Bonvoy credit card (“free” in that the card has an annual fee of $95) so we’re using those. The room was a bit more than the free night certificate are worth — 77,000 for two nights versus 35,000 per certificate — so I supplemented with some points.
But that means we’re staying two nights in the Gaslamp Quarter for essentially $190 plus about 1/5 of the points necessary for a free night. Oh and I made sure to choose a place with a free breakfast.
So all in all, a pretty darn good deal.
I’m still hitting some walls when it comes to cooking low-sodium food. Sometimes, it feels a bit overwhelming; other times is fine.
So I’ve been trying to blitzkrieg the times when I do feel up to preparing food. It’s batch cooking, so I can have leftovers to freeze for when I’m feeling less inclined to cook.
The last time I batch cooked, I:
- Made enchilada sauce, which is the base for multiple dishes I have, and froze half.
- Used the rest of the enchilada sauce to make a dish, which I then froze half of
- Cooked bean soup in the slow cooker during it all. And of course froze half.
I got a $5 magnetic white board for the side of the fridge to help me keep track of what’s in the freezer. (As an Amazon affiliate, I’m compensated for purchases made through my links.)
I drew a line down the middle to keep things clearer. The left half is used to keep track of ingredients I’ve frozen: enchilada sauce, chicken, cheese, etc. The right side is a list of any prepared food in there for when I don’t feel up to cooking.
The system is working pretty well overall, though I can be pretty weary once the cooking whirlwind abates.
But hey, I’m still going. I even prepared food this week. And froze half, of course.
Remember that anklet?
Back in January, I wrote a post about my and chronic fatigue’s silver anniversary.
It was mostly pontificating about how strange it had been, realizing I’d been dealing with this crap for 25 years — aka 57% of my life.
But I also mentioned that I’d decided to commemorate the occasion with a silver anklet that had turtles on it. Why that? Well…
- An anklet because I’d been debating getting one off and on for almost a year.
- Silver because of the anniversary.
- Turtles because they’re sort of the unofficial mascot of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, since the joke is that GBS stands for Getting Better Slowly.
It showed up shortly after the anniversary, and I love it.
I wear it constantly. It’s the type of sterling silver that doesn’t tarnish as long as you let it dry well after any water contact. (And there are plenty of at-home recipes if it does tarnish.) Also partially because it’s a pain to get latched.
But it’s an ongoing tribute to the whole situation anyway, so it seems fitting to just wear it all the time.
Speaking of jewelry…
Some friends and I went to the Renaissance Festival, and a few places had Claddagh rings.
A Claddagh ring is a design where two hands are holding a heart with a crown on top of it.
Besides being a cool design, I like that the ring has meaning.
If you’re single, you wear the ring on your right hand, crown pointing inward. If you’re taken, you wear the crown outward.
If you’re engaged, you wear it on your left hand, crown pointing inward; and if you’re married, the crown points outward.
I had one in my teens and early 20s. I kept it even after it’d split along the band. (I joked that now it was an adjustable size.) But eventually that pinched my finger one too many times. And even if I’d had the money, it wasn’t the level of quality where it could’ve been fixe by a jeweler or someone.
Knowing I was bummed about tossing the ring, my then-boyfriend gave me a white gold one, which I loved and wore constantly.
Then about a year or so into the relationship, Tim told me he felt uncomfortable with my wearing something from my ex. *Eyeroll* But I stupidly placated him by giving it away.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve thought off and on about getting another one, so I checked a few booths.
The more affordable ones were a bit flimsy for $30. The really nice, solid one was almost too substantial, and the handcrafting/material required put the price at $120. Understandable, but too rich for my blood.
So instead I went home and found one on Amazon for $20. (As an Amazon affiliate, I’m compensated for purchases through my links.) And I love it!
It’s perfect — not flimsy but not huge — and I wear it constantly, just like the anklet.
That said, I’m on a self-imposed jewelry-buying ban. But the anklet and ring make me happy pretty much every day, so no regrets. Just no more jewelry for a while.
It’s not dead!
I’ve had crappy dark circles all of my life. They get worse when I don’t have enough sleep or have a fair amount of sodium, but they’re never great.
Three or four years ago, I found Becca Under Eye Brightener/Concealer and fell in love. It’s almost a miracle product. So I was upset/annoyed when the company went out of business last year.
Thankfully, it looks like Smashbox Cosmetics is now selling it, and it’s still called Becca Under Eye Brightener/Concealer. Woot!
If you have undereye circles, I can’t recommend this stuff highly enough.
I should note that it’s not a cheap product at $33. But…
- Even when I used it practically daily, a 0.16 oz jar lasted probably eith to nine months.
- Smashbox has 20% off sales/coupons fairly regularly. Once in a while, it’ll give 30% off.
- Smashbox is on Mr. Rebates for 5% back. During extra cash back specials, the rate can be as high as 10%.
So if you wait for a 20% off sale and go through Mr. Rebates for 5% cash back, the end is $25.08 plus tax.
If the stars align with both the extra cash back and a 30% off coupon, you’ll pay just over $20.
Comparatively, drugstore concealers run around $11 to $13 — and I’d have needed a second one in the time the Becca product lasted. So with the discounts it’s not really much of a price difference — or might even be cheaper.
So yeah, I recommend it because in the end you’re getting a superior product for barely more than you’d spend on drugstore concealers.
Well, it’s superior assuming you use it right.
Some people complained that the stuff was too thick and wouldn’t blend. Which means they don’t know how to read directions.
This product is essentially a paste — one reason it lasts so long — so you can’t just dip your finger in and apply immediately. Yu need to warm it up a tad between your fingers.
Here’s the process with pictures.
Me at the start:
Because the concealer/brightener thins out, you need very little of it. This is how much I took.
Press your two ring fingers together and give it a few seconds. I give it five to seven.
When you separate the two fingers, you’ll see the paste has thinned out notably and is on each of the ring fingers.
It still will be far from liquid, so you should pretty your ring fingers onto the undereye area in three to four spots, starting at the outer corner and working inward.
Then use the remaining product (and there will be remaining product) to fill in the gaps and blend. If it’s not blending well, you need to warm it back up a skosh. So gently press your fingers in the undereye area for a couple seconds. Then you can finish blending.
Not bad, eh?
Well, that’s about all the news that’s fit to print. Anyone else have any updates to share?