July Superlatives

20180729_123207Brighter days have appeared, in comparison to June anyway. July was largely spent at family gatherings, enjoying each others’ company and a rather busy staycation. Some happy occasions this month:

Celebrating our sixteenth anniversary, a wedding between two former speech students, a fun baseball game attended by the rival Pirates and Indians fans of my family, traveling out of state to catch a day game in the tricked-out Comerica ballpark, meeting a cousin’s sweet foster children, creating my own custom candle at a Coventry shop, lazy swim days, finally viewing a lovely performance of Shakespeare in the park, coming home after work to new recipes prepared by my husband, experiencing much music/video nostalgia at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with my teen nephew, taking a bittersweet trip to a classic amusement park/storybook forest, silly sleepovers, family game nights, ice cream treats and a sweet afternoon exploring a lush garden park. 

All joyful memories of a more lighthearted time counteracting the heaviness I’d been feeling. The only bummer has been my husband’s back injury and residual pain. He still cannot lift anything and moves slowly with some discomfort. Thankfully, he gets to take it easy during summer break from school.

Keto diet update: I should probably refrain from calling it Keto, because I don’t calculate macro levels or maintain ketosis. I simply restrict my intake of carbs. And guess what, I’m pleased with the results. Eating low amounts of carbohydrates=weight loss. Last time I checked, I was down 17 lbs., not the losses experienced by stricter followers, but I’m running my own race which suits me fine.

Wax ban update: I should definitely stop referring to my current spending as a wax ban, as I placed 2 orders this month. It’s my own fault. I vocally wished for Super Tarts to update on Instagram rather than solely on Facebook, which Brandi did and boom, not one but two wax orders in the same month. Reviews coming soon.Screenshot_20180721-115812Habit tracking: I started utilizing Daylio, a digital habit tracker. It’s useful to visualize how I spend my time and how those activities correlate to my moods. Mostly it works for me because it’s free, convenient, customizable and sends a daily reminder to participate without needing to type anything unless I wish to. Thus far, it’s been an eye-opening tool.

Blogging patterns: Speaking of habits, I’ve accepted that posting 1-2 times per week is a best practice for me these days and has been for awhile. It takes me a long time to compose posts and I usually spend much of one day taking, editing and uploading photos. Although I write mostly in the early mornings and late evenings, I don’t want to spend more than 3 days a week blogging, it’s unfair to the rest of my life and I’ve never been an every day blogger anyway. As long as writing and offering content fulfills this  expressive ‘want’ in me, I will be here and I hope my followers will too.vintage books (2)Newest obsession: thrifted books. Oh my, I can foresee this being the next rabbit hole to fall down as I’m loving following vintage/thrift book dealers, viewing their wares and snapping up a few when they speak to me. Surely, old books aren’t included in a shopping ban, right? Some recent thrift purchases and pick-ups:

  • The Sun Also Rises-Hemingway, Scribner library, c 1970
  • Julius Ceasar- Shakespeare, Scholastic library edition, c 1965 (my 3rd Caesar text)
  • The Woman in White- Wilkie Collins, enriched classic, c 2005
  • Abridged versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey by Rosemary Sutcliff, c 2005
  • Brideshead Revisited- Evelyn Waugh, Back Bay edition, c 1999

My husband also nabbed a few Agatha Christie paperbacks at a charming used bookstore, Mac’s Backs Books. We garnered some trade in credits and are looking forward to returning soon. There’s nothing better at the moment than searching for classic gems and, for me, receiving fresh bookmail wrapped in brown paper packages. I follow several traders, but all listed above are from The Bookish Pursuit.

20180729_112855Tomorrow is only August 1st, yet, the end of summer is palpable. There are big changes ahead this upcoming school year, including seeing my nephew off as a college freshman. My heart is full of pride for his accomplishments but I will miss his warm presence at weekly family gatherings. A sense of the unknown and uncertain is pervading my thoughts, but I am making efforts to focus on the present for the remaining summer days. I hope the season is treating all of my friends and followers well.



6 thoughts on “July Superlatives

  1. I know you’re going through a tough time right now, and I’m so sorry for that – why does life constantly have to boot you while you’re already down? – but it warms my heart to read about how much was good in your July. Sixteen years, dude!!! That’s amazing – such an accomplishment. A while back I said a similar thing to my mom, who has been married to my dad now for 47 years, and she kind of scoffed, like being married to the same person for nearly five decades is really no big deal, happens all the time. Except as I practically screamed at her, no, it doesn’t happen all the time! And it IS a major big deal – but not just at nearly 50 years, but 16, too. Marriage is freakin’ hard sometimes; if you can co-habitate mostly peacefully with a person for 16 years, that’s cause to celebrate!

    But just not with cake, because apparently carbs suck. Huge generalization, but I love them, and I’m slowly coming to the realization (courtesy of a scale measurement that has not budged in seven GD months) that I may have to curb the carbs and start looking at a more keto-adjacent diet, like yours. Does it totally suck, or do the benefits you’re enjoying outweigh the lack of pasta? Because I’m getting kind of frantic about this epic plateau, and I might need to try something new. Please impart your wisdom.

    Blog it up at whatever pace you’re comfortable with, buddy. 🙂 I used to be an everyday person, and I sometimes return to that, but this year I’m lucky if I get three posts in in one week – usually it’s more like two. It likewise takes me an eternity to write my longer, more elaborate posts, and two of those in one week is like seven of the smaller guys.

    And your husband’s continued back pain can go and suck a butt. I hope he’s feeling more limber and comfortable soon.


    1. Thank you for your support and friendship, Sandra:)
      I look back at this post and am (once again) stunned at how life can change so quickly. I’m grateful that I didn’t know what sadness was about to come so that I could enjoy these fleeting happy times, which I’m thankful to have had.

      To answer your diet question–YES. It’s worth it, and the benefits outweigh my lifelong love for carbs. Having no bread, milk, cereal or pasta since May 14th, I can say I no longer miss most carbs. The first week sucked and after I learned what the “keto carb count” looked and felt like for a few weeks, I’ve stopped counting. I simply (but not always painlessly) avoid anything with more than 7-10 carbs per serving. I’ve eaten tons more cheese, nuts and fish than I have in my previous 40 years. They are my go to. Plain greek yogurt, berries and all above ground vegetebles are staples, I never thought I’d be a low-carb beer drinker, but a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.
      Restricting carbs will kick-start your losses again, but it will mostly be carb bloat. After that, for me the pounds came off incrementally, currently down 19, but I haven’t eaten much this week.
      When I started, I missed carbs fiercely but not sugar, yet since then, I have accepted starchless eating but realized I require occasional sugar re: dark chocolate or ice cream to keep me happy and not feeling deprived.


    2. Hit send too soon, but just want to mention, it is simple and works pretty well for many people. I will slowly introduce more carbage in a few months (especially after our garden veg gives out) but I will always remain aware of how many carbs I’m consuming and awareness is truly the lifestyle change for me.
      Also, not for nothing, but I just had a conversation with my aunt retired from the medical field who reminded me how bad sugar is for inflammation. As a cancer survivor with several areas of inflammation hanging about on my scans, I’d almost forgotten. I feel pretty healthy and am enjoying the benefits of this diet. My husband is a huge help, happily cheffing me up eggs and bacon, and protein carbless meals most days. I wish you luck and my only advice is to learn what a low carb diet looks like, find the adjustment that feels comfortable to you and it will get easier. You can most definitely do it.


      1. Ugh, of course you’ve got to go and talk all sensibly about it! But you’re right, of course, an excess of carbs may be delicious, but they just don’t *feel* great. And this plateau has to end, so I’m willing to drop the carbs for a bit (she says with dinner reservations lined up at Disney restaurants that might as well be called “CARBS R US.”) I should also remember that unless you’re talking about a very unpleasant, hyper restrictive diet (nothing but cayenne water and celery sticks, for instance) it’s really not that much of a sacrifice to cut back or modify how you’re already doing things. But blargh, I just love pasta so much! Okay, enough griping!


          1. I really like spaghetti squash, actually. I have a spaghetti squash casserole recipe in an old hippy cookbook I should dig out, it’s quite good (basically tastes like deconstructed lasagna.) If the passage of time has not made it all too hazy, I think my husband and I tried the South Beach diet back in the early aughts before our wedding to try to take off a bit of pre-wedding weight we had gained. I didn’t mind it too much, not even the low carb stuff, but I was also going vegetarian at the time, and I found the two together not quite compatible – like, what the heck am I supposed to eat here? I do remember we posted some pretty nice results, though, and when we did return to “regular” eating, we both felt kind of cruddy for a while. I’m sure you’ve noticed, but after a while, your body weirdly begins craving good (or at least better-for-you) stuff in the way it used to crave junk. What a weird puzzle these bods are, huh?


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