New Glasses, Big Adjustment

Yesterday was a banner day. I went from no glasses at all to no line bifocals. I picked them up in the afternoon and wore them in a few stores and around home last night but still haven’t gotten my bearings.

Reading is fine and activity on my phone is ok but – gee whiz – walking around is a chore!!!

I’m told that it’s important to turn your head instead of just moving your eyes so I’m practicing that. Meanwhile, I’m a little sea sick. Actually, I feel like a drunk person at sea if I turn my head too quickly!!

And those of you who have bifocals will understand when I say that looking down when I walk is a super bad idea.

The doctor’s office told me to wear them as much as possible and to keep working at it until I find my sweet spot. Friends say that it will take a couple of weeks but it will simply click one day. A few have horror stories but I’m choosing to believe that I’ll be seeing better in no time.

I’m also hopeful that I won’t fall on my head trying to figure it out. Have advice? I’m open to your ideas!

Quick, Healthy Lunch For One

As a pescatarian person in a world that centers on beef, chicken and bacon, I find that quick and affordable healthy meals can be a challenge.

My schedule sometimes allows me time at my home office and other days on the road. When I travel, the lunch options are somewhat limited and mostly unhealthy so I try to eat reasonably healthy when cooking at home.

I like to cook but am often pressed for time- either because of scheduling or because I wait till I’m already hungry to start preparing food.

Shortcuts are my friends.

One of my regular lunches is the best kind of shortcut. This family size stir fry was on sale and came with all the veggies plus two sauce packets. So it’s easy to make half of the bag at one time!

Sometimes they come with noodles. This one did not but that was fine because I had a microwaveable packet of jasmine rice. That rice packet claims to be a single serving. That seems like too much for one meal so I just use half.

Half of a family pack of veggies and half the rice packet are perfect together. Then I sauté some frozen shrimp to round out the meal.

It all cooks up quickly and it is affordable. Cooking for one or two doesn’t have to be the challenge that society tells us it is. You just have to be creative and smart.

Best Served Warm

You’ve probably heard the phrase “revenge is a dish best served cold.” Well, gluten free bread is best served warm. That goes for the English muffins and wraps too!

I have been working at reducing my gluten intake since learning that it can help with thyroid symptoms. At this point, I avoid gluten at home but simply do what I can other places.

I don’t eat a ton of bread but sometimes enjoy an egg sandwich, peanut butter and jelly on a toasted English muffin or the occasional veggie burger on a bun.

The good news is that there are a number of gluten free bread products in the frozen food case. So, even though the price for gluten free products is always exorbitant higher, there’s no waste like if I buy a fresh product that I forget is sitting on the counter. It probably all balances out in the end.

There are a couple of products from Kroger that are quite good. One is a thin bun and the other is an English muffin that has nice flavor when toasted.

This week, I needed something quick for lunches and picked up some gluten free wraps from the fresh bread shelf. One day, I made a breakfast burrito and was able to heat the wrap in a skillet while my eggs cooked. The next day it was just a regular cold wrap that reminded me of rolling up my veggies and avocado sauce in a piece of college ruled paper.

It’s incredible what a little heat can do to change the flavor and composition of food!

In case you are wondering, I do notice a difference when I eat gluten. The brain fog is real and I tend to feel more tired and sluggish, a gloomy reminder that a random piece of cake or family reunion light roll really isn’t worth the sacrifice.

If you have hypothyroidism, I would recommend experimenting with gluten to learn if or how it stresses your body and mind. Just remember to warm it up first!

An Old Way To Find New Words

Everyone else is going high tech and I’m over here kicking it old school with my new thesaurus.

It arrived this week, evoking feelings of joy that should normally be reserved for Christmas and for finding the perfect parking space at the mall.

The format will require an attitude adjustment. My old 1988 thesaurus is packed full of useful words accompanied by their synonyms and antonyms. The badly torn paperback cover illustrates the quality time this old friend and I have spent together but a constantly evolving language means there’s room for a new friend.

The new version includes simple definitions as well those synonyms and antonyms. However, some words refer you to other word entries to find what you need. This format is foreign after all those years with my other thesaurus but it gets the job done.

This blog is more of a quick daily writing exercise than a labor of perfection. That means I rarely search for words and just go with whatever flows.

However, writing for my job is a completely different process and one where I must stretch and search for the correct word or turn of phrase. Writing for work often means repeatedly finding new ways to say the same things within the confines of a certain tone and style.

Here’s hoping these 1,184 pages of words will prove inspiring.

Top Gun Maverick

I decided to follow the crowd this weekend and went to see Top Gun Maverick. I had hiked that morning and thought continuing my break from reality sounded appealing.

Boy, was this ever the right choice.

To be clear, I enjoyed the original movie but am not a huge Tom Cruise fan. All the same, I’ve heard rave reviews from friends who saw the movie and thought it sounded fun.

It is packed with action, witty dialogue and a whole lot of aerial stunts. They used real planes – in fact everything about this movie feels authentic.

Best of all, this movie asked nothing of me.

There was no political bickering, no griping about inflation, no social maneuvering and no sense that you are expected to do anything except sit in the dark and try to keep up with the high flying action.

We’ve reached a point in American society where the philosophy seems to be you’re either with me or against me. We drag politics and social justice into absolutely every conversation, embracing what divides us rather than seeking common ground.

The message of this movie is teamwork and working together to accomplish the impossible. It’s about bringing everyone back from a mission alive.

I think this was my first movie experience since the pandemic began. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I stepped into a theater even though it used to be a somewhat frequent pastime.

This movie was an amazing escape from my reality which all too often is unpleasant.

Incidentally, this is a movie that you should see on the big screen. Some movies can be viewed anywhere but this one is so expansive, so action packed, that it’s best appreciated at the theater.

February 1

It’s February 1 which means the sun has set on my No Spend January Challenge. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and have to say that it gets easier every time. This month was great.

In short, there was no recreational shopping to speak of and I bought nothing online. No books were purchased and it didn’t hurt a bit.

I did hit TJ Maxx this weekend for a gift. However, that was necessary and I didn’t shop for myself. I ate fast food just a handful of times and only when I really didn’t have a choice.

I did continue grocery shopping as normal instead of only buying the necessities like I have in past years. This is partly because I had opportunity to stock my freezer with sale items that will no doubt be more expensive when I need them thanks to rising grocery prices. I also am attempting to clean up some bad eating habits and was sort of particular about foods I wanted to eat.

The other benefit is I spent my free time resting, walking outdoors, reading and doing stuff around the house. I purged and organized, donated some stuff and got the house ready for spring cleaning.

There’s value in appreciating what you have and realizing that all that unwanted stuff was once something you were dying to buy. It kills the urge to go out and buy more.

My plan is to continue the challenge into February with a few rule changes. I have plans with a friend one day and intend to buy my February Book of the Month. I have a haircut appointment next week but I view that as a need.

So there’s the rundown. It’s not very exciting but I’m calling the challenge a success!