Sunday, May 29, 2011

South Beach Diet

Thirteen days ago, Al and I began the South Beach Diet.

Recommended by his doctor, I bought the book and began reading.  After I returned from visiting family in Minnesota (Al had his appendix removed while I was gone), I made a shopping list, and we began.

It's actually a pretty easy diet to follow.  Phase 1 lasts for two weeks.  No bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit or alcohol are allowed during this time, BUT eat your fill of most vegetables and low-fat meats and cheeses.  No counting calories or points.

The book says that average weight loss during Phase 1 is 8-14 pounds.  The first week the pounds FLEW off, but only in the last few days have I FELT thinner.  And I guess Al feels it too, because the other day when he hugged me HE said I felt skinnier.  I said 'It's probably because we are both skinnier and we can get closer now!'  My clothes aren't falling off yet, but I don't bulge as much.

On day 13, we fall within that average.  I have lost 11 pounds, and Al 14.

We are looking forward to adding some carbs back to our diet beginning on Tuesday.  We HAVE experienced what has been called 'the South Beach Flu', or 'carb crash'.  We feel fatigued and a bit achy, especially with activity.  Of course, Al is still recovering from his surgery and from a cold/cough, and me from travel.  But we look forward to a rise in energy in the week to come.

Some other observations:

White bread is worse than ice cream.
Eat an acid at every meal to help slow the glycemic effect of foods (tomato, vinegar, lemon).
Fresh lemon juice IS a tasty salad dressing!
We notice food commercials a lot more now.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Will we EVER get out of here?

It seems the common theme through the country this spring is Water.  Water everywhere!  The Columbia River shares that.  We have had high water for several weeks now.  Not to the level of devastation say around the Mississippi, but still we are currently at or a little above 'Flood Stage'.

So, what does this have to do with getting out of dodge?  It is the Dry Dock.  With the water this high, and the associated strong current, we can not get on or off the lift deck.  And as such, even if we have the lift reserved, it is a No Go.   AND as you can see in the attached photo - the outlook is not changing much.

Till the river drops 8 or so feet we will not be able to haul Viking Star.  Between the River and other boats, am thinking it might be July till we can get the boat up. . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Alive!

Today I test fired the Hurricane Heater and it went well! The heater cycled just as it should, burned clean, and was a bit quieter then I was expecting - considering the 'exhaust' was just a flex pipe and had no muffler installed. Have great hopes for this system - and having an early Hurricane heater with the original Analog controller is a plus. I understand the shift to Digital controllers was a total disaster. In fact, the service guy who is installing the real exhaust commented one did not see too many of these heaters with the Analog controller - as folks tended to hold on to them :-)

I simulated a 22 minute shower as part of the trial. 22 Minutes! Water temp was holding at 125F, and would stay there until we emptied the water tank. AND, this was with the Shower head in the 'Wistful Luxury' mode as opposed to the Fine Spray mode. Over all - between the new Par Max JR water pump, and this Hurricane Heater, showers will be Just Like Home. Our Old Home, the one with the 65 Gal gas fired water heater. Where we NEVER ran out of Hot water. . . .

Maybe a bit too much like home, guess I will need to get that water maker finished up!

And PS, I am alive also. Almost all effect of the surgery has passed, amazing I think.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

An Event, Delays, and a Witness of Faith.

Thursday morning (around 2am) my Appendix started to leak.  There were the classic symptoms of appendicitis... pain on right side, shock, vomiting, and overall pain.  Kristi is out of town.  At first I thought it was something I had eaten.  Appendixes are not something we ‘50+’ are told to worry about.  I had intended to go in for a follow-up to my Tuesday physical on Friday morning, so I waited it out.  Friday came, I went in for my follow-up, get the fasting blood work, and ‘Oh, wanted to talk about one more thing with the Dr.’.   Well, he bounced me up and down (that hurt).  Listened to my story of Thursday’s early morning event, poked some (that also hurt).  Noted my temp was slightly elevated and concluded:  You are showing classic indication of appendicitis.  We are going to get you in for a CT scan and assuming that confirms get you operated on today.

The CT scan confirmed and they had me in the OR Friday evening.   Three small holes later (complete with three band-aids!) I was back in my hospital room by 8pm and already feeling better.

Have not slowed down to really assess or let sink in what has happened over the past few days.  It is my personality to not dwell on the What Could Have Beens, and perhaps I am making light of this whole thing.  However, I am going to get a bit philosophical now . . .

Insurance kicked in only two weeks ago.   Had just ‘located’ a doctor the Tuesday before.  (I remember overhearing my Doctor talking to his staff  “We know nothing about this guy, he showed up Tuesday for a Physical, and is back in 3 days later presenting an appendicitis”)   In the post-op meeting the Surgeon said things had started to leak and spread, but was localized.  However in a couple more days that might not have been the case…   I was “feeling better” Friday.  Discomfort was reducing.  Could it be had some of the above not been in place might I have delayed things a few more days till my body started falling off the edge?

Stepping back some:  I have personally had, and been witness to, Larger Things where the paths forward had many options.  In looking back on many of those, there were so many opportunities for things to go so very very wrong - but they did not.  And no, all those 'paths' were not determination by Human Choice.  In the end the paths that WERE taken led to success – and this is what I point to as a Confirmation of Faith.  In MY words:  we are not alone, we are being watched over ready to give a hand – if only we will listen.  And this gives me comfort when facing life’s Big Unknown’s. And here is one of the top things that draws me to this lifestyle we are embarking on:  Get closer to Nature, get closer to yourself.  Be able to listen, feel, and hear.   - -  Hear, not just with your ears.

Get Well Soon Bear from my Daughter
Impact:  We will delay our departure a month.  Have already extended the apartment through the end of June.  Garage and Slip as well.  Notified the Lift Deck I will not be able to haul out in a week – perhaps will look to mid June, need to close on the deck availability Monday.  Am a bit sad at the delay, it is PRIME cruising times up north right now.  Very sunny and moderate temps in the shadow of the Olympic Peninsula.  But we will get there, and late June promises a higher chance of Smooth Water heading north.  (But do not want to delay much beyond that.  As when the Pacific High starts to settle in we will  start getting winds from the North, which would put waves On The Nose.  Not the most comfortable point of sail).

And finally:  It has warmed my heart the voices of concern and offers of assistance which have reached out these past two days.  Even with little communication out (perhaps Kristi’s Facebook posts had the largest reach), I do appreciate the kinds words, offers, and thoughts.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Taking a break.

Today Kristi and mark our  9th anniversary.  It has been quite a journey, Jobs, House, Boat, Kids, etc.  And yet she still seems to want to stick around :-)    We are heading to the beach tomorrow to spend some time with friends at their house at the beach.  Will be a nice break.

Just finished painting the cabin of Viking Star, and she looks nice.  Still need to do touch ups, and will want to repaint the Blue accent later in the year.  Will get the Hull during the haul-out, and this will be the 1st time we have painted the entire boat.  Getting her ready for the trip north!   Have been chasing down the leaks in the heating system – I hate no-lead solder..  Not too keen on Teflon tape as well.  Have found 2 bad solder joints, and 4! leaking screw joints.  Refreshing using 50/50 solder and paste joint compound.  Yes, going back to the old-school traditional approaches.  Though have to say am a bit baffled by number of  the screw-in issues using the tape.

Now that the boat is painted, will have to get back on track with the other projects.  Have been picking at a few: routed DC power to the SSB, still need to connect the auto-tuner.  Mocked up the Lectra-San placement, and measured the heavy DC power cables.  Heater exhaust goes in Monday.  Ordered LOTS of small parts for the water maker, will pick several of them Friday on our way to the beach.  Am starting to cut items, ala:  Am thinking of leaving the spare hull planks behind with someone instead of getting them over the port fuel tank.  Also an thinking the aft head might be in Kit Form when we leave, as opposed to being installed.  Aft cabin overhead likely the same -  will see.

Kristi and I are also looking to go to Minnesota for a few days to see her family.  With that and the Beach I have 4 working days left until the Haul Out is scheduled.  Wonder if I will make it. . . .