What Am I Reading? Never Done: A History of American Housework

Never Done: A History of American Housework
Never Done: A History of American Housework

By Susan Strasser

This book is fabulous for the American woman who walks feminism but cringes at the talk of feminism.

Never Done follows the trajectory of American manufacturing from women being producers in the home to women working outside of the home and becoming consumers.

Ok. So. For example. If we follow the manufacturing of candle sticks. It started as a woman producing candles after the autumn butchering then sells off the extra sticks, (she is an income generating producer) which overtime transitions into candles being produced in male owned business that hired women to manufacture them.

This scenario replicates with the textiles market when spinning and weaving were done “in the home” to “working from home” to “working in a factory setting”.

If you thought line work, or manufacturing was a male dominated job, the hidden history is that women were the first producers in the textile mills, before Ford, before Colt. This is at a time when people weren’t working outside the home. Men were silversmiths, blacksmiths, printers, or lawyers, running their operations from their homes (with assistance from their wives).

This is something I picked up on, in this day and age, when I worked at Yonkers before they closed. Females working in the sales departments, including menswear. An all female assistant management team. …Up until Store Manager which was a position held by a male. Why? How did he get there? With such a nice selection of females working their way up, where did he come from? In a market dominated by females selling to those with female buying power adding feminine touches to the home, why was he even there?

Anyway. Back to the book Never Done. The book is the culmination of Susan Strasser’s trip down the rabbit hole of women’s magazines and the advertising history that went with them. She studied women writers such as Cathrine Beecher and Christine Frederick and followed the work of home economists such as Florence Nesbitt.

Yes, the book was a slog to get through but there are some WoW factors that make it worth it. And, sometimes I got lost. I didn’t know if the socialist views were of Susan Strasser’s, or of her subjects, or both, but there are some real gems that we have the privilege of hindsight to judge. In an attempt for women to gain the relevance of men, theories were published for women to outsource all cooking and cleaning and childrearing outside the home to free up women to go get the paycheck…just like the men.

Hopefully to head off your WTF moment, I might point out that these theories they were slinging around actually came true with todays activities of eating out at restaurants, sending clothes and linens off to the cleaners, hiring a maid service, sending children to daycare centers and boarding schools. I would also say that this doesn’t necessarily free women up as all this work usually lands on the lap of women, and like my Yonkers experience, it’s women working to produce dollars for men or a corporation. Unlike back in the day, when women brought this work into their homes to better manage their day childrearing and earning the money for themselves and their home.

Not to say that it was the best, because there was still no time.

This book is constantly filled with WoW moments.

Ok. So. Apperantly… In 1889, there was an overabundance of the population living in boarding houses and hotels. On one hand this is women working from home and keeping that money in their home. But on the other hand was a disservice to the next generation of women… which prompted this quote from Maria Parloa (a teacher at the Boston Cooking School (yes, look at the date again…a woman working in 1889.)) In the best selling book Common Sense in the Household she asked, “Is housekeeping a failure?” Then went on to say, “Boarding houses simply were not homes. So many untrained women, afraid to manage households, that it would seem that a far larger number of people are boarding than keeping house, but a great expense: children suffered, vain women prized luxury and gossip above their families, and unwholesome food and surroundings stifled everyone.”

WoW! Doesn’t that sound like the plight of the working woman screaming for balance between work and home and play. Wondering why there is still housework when we were told that if we went to work it would all disappear? Then add in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram gossip? (at least pre-Covid anyway.)

(and get this.)

“People who eat by contract and in herds, (like we do in restaurants) and whose very bed-chambers are not secure from prying eyes and intrusive feet, (like social media instead of boarding houses) soon began to dress, look, talk, and think for the vulgar many, rather than the beloved few.”

OMG I could just kick myself! That shit just landed here today. This book is proof that we are having the same old argument and I recommend reading it so that we could hopefully come up with something groundbreaking to move women and humanity beyond the “it’s not fair that men get all the work, fun, money, extra time.”

Also, just coming off my last book about the Founding Fathers, this book still supports my belief that we need to move away from being obliged to Republican or Democrat and start being obliged to Virtue. Yada, yada, yada before I change the subject….

Throughout reading this book I often wondered what would have happened if men had made all the money why wouldn’t women get paid the minimum wage portion of their checks. If we had continued to choose to stay home but changed the word allowance to paycheck or compensation, would we still have been offended in staying home? You may have to read the book in order to track these thoughts but then it is all should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. In today’s post COVID world, I think people have seen the value of staying home. Right before COVID we were seeing an increase of stay at home Dad’s. With it all, I think the fear of exiting the work place and rejoining it are falling by the wayside. If one parent could stay home for five years and then trade for the next five years; that’s ten years of child-rearing and getting the last child into school and then getting both parents into the workforce before they graduate. Would the stay home parent feel the need for compensation if they knew it was temporary? When confronted with “Where do you work?” Would the stay at home parent get embarrassed defending why they don’t work?

I hope it is a quicker read but next, I’m going to read her other book Waste and Want; A Social History of Trash. Then she has another one coming out about Herbs and Home Remedies.


What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country.

First Principles by Thomas E Ricks

Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Ricks did a deep dive into reading the romance classics of early literature and took a good hard look at who the founding father’s professors were. Turns out most of the professors of the four different colleges were Scott fresh out of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Thomas E Ricks, goal was to get into the heads of the founding fathers to see how they developed our unique government and to examine the double standard of slaveholders demanding freedom and liberty for all. So he read what they read. He went on Founders Online and read the Federalist Papers and letters written between members of the Continental Congress and also their loved ones. He looked into their professor’s background. Then took a look at the laws, taxes, levies, and acts, that King Charles and the British Parliament had passed onto the colonies.

This book also talks about virtue and how every step, word and deed was tied to your honor. The shocker here? The 17th century use of Virtue was masculine. …as opposed to todays use of the word in relation to female virginity.

My take-a-way after reading this book. If we are to get out of our own partisan mess, we need to stop being obliged to either Republican or Democrat or teams for that matter, and start being obliged to virtue. This will allow more room for independent thought and debate instead of taking sides with the lowest common denominators of socialism and white supremacy. It would make our Congress more fluid, dependent upon the issue their voting on, instead of dependent upon party affiliation and having the same argument with every vote. I have said it before and I will say it again that voting straight ticket is unAmerican. It is your God given American right to have choices instead of blindly voting people in on the coat-tails of party affiliation. These people need to be vetted by YOU. Straight ticket voting is allowing your parties committee to do the vetting, which is in effect, placing your democracy in other people’s hands. Then it is not democracy anymore. I will also add, that by avoiding straight ticket voting I only voted for one incumbent. So think about that, those of you who champion for term limits.

Lately, I’ve heard comments from some newly elected officials, that the Constitution wasn’t written with them in mind because of gender or race and yet here they are winning an election. But I counter that argument. I don’t think that is true. This book points out Abigail Adams’ “remember the ladies,” and the fact that slavery was coming to an end in Europe, and what “liberty for all” meant. They had the discussion, which led to some freeing their slaves and joining the abolition movement.

I will also add that the Constitution did a pretty good job of avoiding pro-nouns by using the word Persons. And if you are used to reading the pro-noun ‘he’ as generic rather than male dominant/exclusive, then the founders kinda did a decent job for paving the way for non-binary people. I might do a post to take a fine-tooth comb to that later. I may prove myself wrong but I think curiosity has me gaming to do the post anyway.

My final take away? I’m done with the idea that our Government is fragile. I’m done with perpetuating the idea that our freedoms can be so easily taken away. Oh, I agree that we could get careless, but nothing about this is fragile.

Case in point. I read this book, a few months later I watched Trump meddle with state elections, and work his way through every branch of government, in an attempt to overturn the results. I’d say he has proven that we are pretty tight and this Government is a tough nut to crack. Reinforced by our common argument that we can’t get nothing done.

Further more, on Jan 6th, all of our leaders walked away from the Capitol riots to find a place to finish their business. They got the job done. That is something to be proud of.

Again after taking stock in some threats for March 4th, they moved up the timeline for a vote. They got the job done.

Perpetuating fragility makes us look weak. It creates a mirage that there are cracks to exploit. So no more. Freedom makes us strong. Our democracy is strong. We are united and that makes us strong.


This Is My Flag

I’ve been thinking about dropping the Redneck.

It was supposed to be funny.

It was supposed to be an examination of my conflicting identities.

It was supposed to be an acceptance of my whole-self. A way to ‘just be’ without offering an explanation as in, “I’m not one of those man-hating feminists.” Or my whole life, the fact never occurred to me that in being a feminist I would have to explain that I’m not a socialist. You know, because, feminism is all about independence. You know, because, socialism is all about dependence.

It doesn’t compute. But I guess that is just my take on it.

I say this to explain that the Redneck had sort of worked to counterbalance the hippie/feminist.

I almost took the Redneck down when Trump was elected. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’m out here in bird dogging, gun toting, pheasant country, with a beer fridge in the garage. I AM proud to live in God’s country growing hay, corn, and raising beef for the rest of the world… until my Hippie begins to question the practices put into growing these things.

See how it all plays into each other. I’m not pigeon-holed into one thing.

But there are things that I can’t abide by. One is the confederate flag. I cringe every time I see it.

It is a sign of division.

It’s a sign of racism (which in itself is division).

That flag has no business being flown around here. It doesn’t represent me. Anyone who flies it around here is a faker. Our state wasn’t around for the Civil War. This area was settled by a bunch of Scandinavians, Germans, Irish, and Czechoslovakians. Settlers that did come from the east, IF they fought in the war, were mostly Union soldiers. People who were already used to the snow and cold.

If you are telling me the confederate flag has become the flag of rednecks, well, rednecks already have the Red Western Paisley Neckerchief for a symbol.

As you can probably tell, I have no respect for the confederate flag. It should have been buried with the peace treaty of the Civil War. That flag is a literal statement that you don’t want to be a part of the United States. That you want to separate yourselves from our all inclusive ideals of liberty and pursuit of happiness.

For this redneck, seeing the confederate flag in the Capitol was kick in the gut. It has no relevance there, especially when democracy is going to be saved from the socialist agenda by Young Black Republicans.

Over the last four years, it seems as though Redneck has lost its sense of humor, but dropping the label isn’t going to change where I live and the people I interact with. That’s why I put it up there to begin with. As I grit my teeth and cringe at the state of the union, will my GenX/Hippie/Feminist counterbalance my Redneck so as to exemplify small town values and the hunting, fishing, and farming lifestyle?

IDK, I really don’t know. But GenX/Hippie/Feminist doesn’t seem to embody the whole truth either.

Hello, Hello!

I’m in here cleaning things up/changing things up. Don’t worry, no more Geographical Oddity stuff. I joined a Facebook group for that. I will probably still post food/inflammatory issues but even though I know it is in relation to my tongue I don’t have to keep telling you that it is. Besides, new project. I’m writing fiction. Historical/Commercial Fiction.

My new book, The American Distaff, is about the female side of history.

Get it? Distaff? Female side of history?

Maybe? Maybe Not?

That’s the problem. I’m not sure if everyone knows what DISTAFF means.


Heh Heh.

Anyway… Imagine Natasha Boyd’s “Indigo Girl” knocking around and trying to do business in National Geographic’s “Barkskins.” (which is a loose adaptation of Annie Proulx’s book.)

A young lady jumps ship after killing her pirate captor and picks up some skills hopscotching through Europe while trying to get back to Norway but instead ends up in America’s pearl trade.

So yeah. That’s how I’ve been spending COVID. I had a job, but the contract ended in June and I’ve been making the most out of my time but I spend most of it researching instead of writing. I question everything! I will look up a word to make sure it was used back then. Yesterday, I spent all day looking up how to drill pearls and if they really used a bow drill or if a brace drill was actually used.

I am also reading a research book on pearls during this time period and it is a real dry and frustrating read. So much so that I decided to come over here and clean up a two year old dead blog rather than finish reading it. I better get back to it, because it does have some information in there

My goals for this are going to be light. I hear “routine” is the name of the game, so I plan for 18 posts. That will keep me on task for one post a month and then some. If I end the year with 24; all the better.

This years topics will be:


The books I’m reading

Food/inflammatory issues

Exercise/fitness/weight projects and activities

Women in history and my timeline

Domestic arts/Home Economics

So that is the plan anyway, because we all need a new plan for 2021.

My sympathies to everyone who lost someone this year, Covid related or not. My heart goes out to anyone whose had a rough year. Best wishes for next year.

Hey… it’s 5:20 pm and not dark-dark out as my husband just point out. So I’m just going to keep on rolling and see what 2021 brings.

Stay safe ya’all


Distaff: Handed down from the female side, as in title, inheritance, etc.. So effectively my book is titled American History handed down from the female side. Or the Female Side of History……

Geographical Oddity: Why Stay On Such A Strict Diet?

To be in total awe of your body is wonderful. I knew that the body is an exquisite machine but I had never known that with my body. Never. Now that I have experienced the efficient machine God intended, I don’t want to let that go.  This efficient machine is not just meant for other people; it’s mine too. I want to keep it.  I don’t want to lose it.  And then, I get a pissed when I think of all the years that I was robbed of it. I could cry.

There are consequences when I eat the wrong foods. I get, heartburn, nausea, aches, pains, sweating, headache, dizziness, vertigo, excessive thirst.  Like diabetic thirst.  Except my blood sugar isn’t that high. I get brain fog; I’m quite spacey, and my intelligence is diminished.  To be clear, I believe my I.Q. is the same, but my intelligence is more accessible when I eat clean.

One wrong food and I stop losing weight. I retain water.  When it releases, I experience an urgent need to urinate and I’m peeing every twenty minutes. Just like when pregnant, a swollen uterus presses on the bladder and creates an urgent need to pee. This makes sense when I think of an inflamed bowel, swollen lymph nodes, and other tissues pressing on the bladder.  This experience can last anywhere from one to four days.  From ONE wrong food. Many wrong foods and the symptoms overlap each other creating a vicious cycle where I could have only one good day a month.

I also experience inconsistent bowl movements ranging from loose to bound up.

I also get those geographical patches on my tongue, white sores on the inside of my cheeks. My tongue thickens, the fissures deepen, the scalloping on the edges increase in size and I can’t taste my food.  That sucks especially now that I know what food is supposed to taste like.

If I keep eating the wrong foods, in a matter of days, I lose my hair in patches. I get anywhere from a dime to quarter size bald spots on my head.  This process is slow.  So slow that I will start growing a little tuft of hair in the center of this circle as I continue to lose it along the outer edge of the circle.  It looks like a weird donut. Once the process starts it continues until some predetermined genetics tells it to stop for that particular spot. Correcting my diet mid-fallout does not help.  I have to prevent it before it starts. The spot on the back left of my crown is usually about the size of a quarter.  The one to the right of my part is a nickel. The one behind my right ear is the size of a dime.   The one on nape of my neck to the right is about the size of two quarters. I have gone to the dermatologist and received steroid shots in my head.

Eating the wrong foods messes with my sleeping patterns. I used to snore, loudly, I’m told. So loudly that I moved into another room, because I was repeatedly awakened to tell me to quit snoring and roll over.  My snoring didn’t bother me. It wasn’t waking me up, my husband was.  Since I started my diet I have quit snoring and moved back into my bedroom.  I eat the way I eat because I like sleeping with my husband.

Low energy levels even when I get enough sleep is one of the first signs that I ate something wrong.  My guess is that this has more to do with disrupting circadian rhythms and the inability to reach R.E.M. rather than snoring and sleep apnea.

I also don’t have the highs and lows of adrenal dysfunction anymore.  My peaks and valleys were so extreme, I would often stop and wonder if I was bi-polar. The peaks were great until I hit the wall with some anxiety filled consequence, some of which I still can’t live down. I have burned bridges with some of my relationships because of this. I do prefer being alone.  When I am alone, I go at my own pace and it’s alright to make mistakes. I don’t have to handle other people’s embarrassment that is result of my high-strung ditziness.

Okay, so, my tongue swells and the lymph-nodes in my neck and chest swell. I feel buoyant.  So buoyant that I feel like that my boobs and double chin will run into each other. That swelling takes up room. All of that creates the snoring, the throbbing, the shortness of breath.

When I wonder why I am short of breath or have heart palpitations, even though I don’t smoke and I didn’t overexert myself, I start thinking about all the lymph-nodes in my chest wall and how my lungs have to press up against them when they are swollen.

I didn’t think I had trouble swallowing until the inflammation was reduced in my neck.

I don’t hear my heartbeat in my ears anymore.

I used to see stars.  I had suspected rising blood pressure because my readings are usually on the low-end. One day I saw stars right after I checked my blood pressure while waiting at the pharmacy. I checked it again and my blood pressure actually lowered. Surprisingly.

Skeletal; I felt frail. My teeth weren’t as anchored as they should have been. At one point I would clench my teeth and wonder just how strong was my jaw? My dentist was always telling me that my gums were at -4 and I had to watch it because it is a precursor for periodontal disease.  Not anymore.  Now it is in reverse and I can tell a difference.  Not only do my teeth feel securely anchored but my jaw feels stronger.  Also back when I was in the other bedroom by myself, I would lay flat on my back without a pillow all night.  Rolling over on my side would knock me out of alignment. …I really did feel frail. Like my joints were loose.  I do not feel as frail as I did a couple of years ago.

My feet hurt. Besides joint pain, I would stand up and have to wait for my weight to distribute over my feet before I could start walking.  I hobbled.  I don’t hobble anymore. Not because I am losing weight, it’s because I don’t have inflammation getting in the way of what my body is supposed to be doing.

I used to get a tingling sensation that started in my shoulder, skipped my elbow and felt it in my fingers. Not anymore.

I’m not kidding when I say I am growing younger.

Because of this strict diet, I quit going to the chiropractor routinely.  My reasoning? My lymph nodes quit swelling and quit pushing everything out-of-the-way and knocking me out of alignment.

Sometimes when I think of the simplicity of it all, I just want to cry. It’s like duh, accommodations need to be made for the swelling.

Speaking of lymph nodes, those tender lumps under my armpit went down.  My doctor always blamed shaving for those lumps. I don’t do routine breast exams because I had always felt lumps. Lumps that weren’t cancer. I should be doing routine exams because my Grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born.  She was young.

My migraine quality headaches.  I used to think they were skeletal; spinal.  Now I think they are lymph nodes in the back of my neck that swell then push up on my skull and makes everything collide with my brow bone.

I also have a dot behind my shoulder-blade that I can never reach, but that doesn’t stop me from backing up to any door jamb or corner to press on it anyway. I have another one on the other side of my back between my spine and shoulder blade.   This one I can reach and the massage is more effective.

Sciatica.  I believe a swollen lymph node presses on the sciatica and makes nerve pain shoot down the leg.

I used to have aching in the upper calves behind the knee.

All of these are gone.

Swollen ankles.  This has been my favorite, favorite, symptom to eliminate.  I actually have a feminine turn between my calves and my feet, instead of a thick cankle.  I can see an ankle bone.  I still have pockets in front and behind the ankle bone, but I expect this to be an area of improvement as time goes on.  (I don’t know what the pockets are; fluid, fat, tissue, lymph, ???)

This strict diet isn’t a wonder cure where one thing fixes all.  Gluten gives me room spins. Tomatoes give me nauseating heartburn. Citric acid makes me sweat profusely.  But, even then I’m not treating a thousand things.  I’m treating one thing, I’m preventing inflammation, and inflammation makes everything go haywire.  It make sense when I think about it.  Inflammation presses on my bladder, it presses against my lungs, it makes my throat smaller, affects the size of my ear canals and makes me dizzy, and swells between my joints and makes them hurt.

Once I eat something wrong, the effect lasts for days. It could be a week.  This isn’t; be uncomfortable for a few hours and start again tomorrow.  I have to let it run its course.  It may start with heartburn.  It may start with a backache. The migraine may subside but I still experience inflammation.

Usually I can tell the episode is over when I break out in a refreshing sweat and I instantly feel wonderful.  Sometimes this happens at 9:00 pm then I am up for another five hours because I feel good.  Feeling good is energizing.  It’s like letting down the flood gates and the energy flows.  Then I’m either cleaning, crafting, or writing all night.

Another reason to stick with the strict diet? It’s temporary.  This can’t last. We have to find out what is going on, because this is no way to live.   The more that people are on board with this the more that the medical community, scientists, have to take a look at what is going on.  I know I am not the only one.  Who else is out there?


Geographical Oddity: Menu

Sometimes it’s easier to list what I can eat.

All Organic.


  • Gluten Free Toast
  • Eggs


My other meals are made up of the same things made one way or another.  Usually in salad form or layered in buttered toast, meat that is shredded or ground, then drizzled in oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.


  • Olive Oil for meats.
  • Coconut Oil for what vegetables I can eat.
  • Butter


  • Olive Oil
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasonings.

This is my Salad Dressing for lettuce and this is also my Mayonnaise and my chicken seasonings.  From time to time, I add the Italian Seasonings to my eggs just to switch it up in the a.m.

My cheat is Spice Islands because I already had it in my cupboard before my elimination diet and found that it didn’t bother me as I used it up afterwords.  So far I haven’t found an organic version that doesn’t have garlic in it. Since I’m not having a problem with it, I’m not trying too hard to find one.


  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Buffalo

Cooked in Olive Oil or its own fat.  I mostly eat hamburger because everything is so expensive, but I will have steak or roast to switch things up.

Beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  … It really is stated on the label.

Chicken is free-range.  About the only brand we see around here is BARE.


  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce 
    • Green Leaf
    • Red Leaf
    • Romaine
    • Iceberg

I usually choose two and mix.

My cheat is non-organic Iceberg. (Dole)  They have really nice big heads of crunchy lettuce.  I know Dole has an organic line, I wish Iceberg was available either TO the store in IN the store.


  • Blueberries
  • Dates
  • Prunes

I try to eat blueberries in my pudding/shake daily.  This becomes and on and off practice.  I don’t know if it’s because of timing or if something in the shake is bothering me.  Currently I suspect flax.

The pudding/shake is made up of:

  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup ground chia
  • teaspoon Spirulina
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 scoops of L-glutamine powder.
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Blend with immersion blender or food processor or regular blender.  Let it sit while you clean up so the flax and chia have a chance to thicken.

Currently: I put 4 scoops of L-glutamine powder in a tall glass of water and down it with my vitamins. My doctor increased my dosage and more than two scoops over power the blueberries and maple syrup.

*The scoop that comes with my L-glutamine is small; more than a teaspoon, less than two.


  • Gluten Free Bread.
    • Canyon Bakehouse
    • Glutino
  • Barilla Gluten Free Pasta

I wouldn’t do pasta during testing phase.


  • Celery juice. (one whole head; daily)


I fry in my own cast-iron skillet on the stove top or reheat in the microwave.  I also have my own toaster oven.  I avoid using the oven in case gluten burns off from drippings created by not-avoiding-gluten members of the family.

After three to six weeks of the strictest form of this menu without cheats (except Italian seasoning) add;

  • Vanilla Coconut Yogurt
  • Katz Glazed donuts
  • Deli meat

Items on the in and out list.

  • Grapes
  • Cabbage
  • winter squash
  • potatoes
  • pineapple

Whenever I eat these, seems to be that I also ate something else that I shouldn’t have.  So I keep trying.  


  • Filtered Water
  • Celery Juice.
  • Almond Milk warmed with a big spoonful of Maple Syrup.

If you can’t do caffeine-free back it off to one cup of coffee a day, or get some organic tea.


  • Maple Syrup
  • Real sugar

I will allow stevia in my processed food such as my CoYo or Almond milk.  When I go out to eat I have no control over this, hence the enzymes.


Even my cheats are health food.

My cheats are the Natural versions of Oscar Mayer or Hormel deli meat or whatever brand, I can find at the organic market.  When I say cheat. I mean rarely. Like once every two to three weeks and I have to use the package up so maybe it will be for lunch, breakfast, and lunch again.

If I buy lunch meats I alternate between ham and turkey, because I am always eating beef and chicken. This is the only time I eat ham, so once every 4-6 wks.

If I have daily cheats I’m not doing any good. All I would be doing is punishing myself with a restricted diet and inducing the pain cheating creates, such as swollen lymph nodes, migraines, inflamed tongue. I would be keeping the status quo without changing the inflammation; without healing.


No Gluten. No Vinegar.  No nuts. No fish or seafood. No pork. No potatoes. No sweet potatoes. No Tomatoes. No Garlic. No Onions. No apples. No bananas. No melons. No strawberries. No raspberries.  No beans of any type; string, green, yellow, kidney, black, red.  No broccoli. No peas. No diary. No high-fructose corn syrup. No natural sweeteners; Honey, fructose, stevia, or whatever xylitol is. No artificial sweeteners. No Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG). No fruit and nut bars. No citrus or citric acid, no lemons, limes, grapefruit.

Do not buy any treats or cheats for at least three weeks.

Do not throw your “naughty” food out. Set a date to begin your new menu and eat up the foods that you will be avoiding.  Use this time to pay attention to how you feel after you eat; aches, pains, sweating, headache, dizziness, vertigo, sleeping patters, alertness, intelligence, energy levels, hair loss, urination, bowl movements, (frequency, urgency, consistency, color, for both) etc., etc., etc.,   Seriously, I really do feel like I am #growingyounger.

Pay attention to your tongue.  Pick a geographic pattern or two … or three and track them. Examine your taste buds and your fissures.

I completely missed out on tracking my tongue, because I had no idea that this was going to affect it. I was told this was part of who I am and to accept it.  I wasn’t paying attention; I went to Los Cabos, Mexico. I continued on with Gluten Free because I only had beer and maybe one flour tortilla that week. (Little did I know back then.)  I only eliminated gluten because I was frustrated that I wasn’t loosing weight from diet and exercise.  I had no idea that I was stumbling upon a “cure” from a lifelong affliction.  I completely missed out.

Little did I know, that it was more than gluten.

I do have a social life. I go out to eat with friends twice a month on Tuesdays. I also have home cooked meals with friends nearly every Wednesday, but they don’t understand things past gluten.  So I pop two enzymes, be very selective, and cross my fingers.  But! I have been on the strictest form of the elimination diet about three times now. These are types of situations you gauge after you are familiar with what is going on, not during your testing phase.

Get your 10,000 steps in.  I regret not exercising during my first two elimination periods. I did on the third and lost 3x as much weight.  Allow for sluggishness from detox.  Just get out there and move.

The elimination diet is a fact-finding mission to gain information for you to go forward.  In the meantime your liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, and over-active immune system and whatever else, are getting a break.  The supplements that you take get a chance to be absorbed and go work. etc.

I don’t have to be right.  Just do it for three weeks and you see how you feel. I want to know if ANYBODY has had the same experience as I did or if they have had a completely different experience.  So please comment below.


Geographical Oddity: Body Image

I stare at my feet all the time.  I always thought that my feet were mostly ok, except for a couple of weird little toes. I have my mom’s feet so they were FAMILIAR. Now, since I’ve been deflating as I fight inflammation, I’ve been staring at my feet.

What am I thinking when I stare at my feet? That they are mine yet, not. mine. They are unfamiliar with all their skinny and slender parts. Mostly I get mad at a lot of things.  Today, I will focus on the marketing for body image acceptance. Because my body was telling me that something was wrong and I was just trying to accept that is what I look like.  That this is the way it is.  Accept it. Get used to it.

Same with the Geographical Tongue.  There is nothing to do about it.  That is the way it is. Your unique. Get used to it.

Here is the deal with past and current image that I have of my body. I have been up the scale and now I am working my way down the scale, which means, I have been this weight before.

I’m looking at the same joints.  I’m looking at the same meaty parts.  AT the same weight.  I hated it before and now I like what I see.  WHY? I am looking at the same parts on the way down as I did on the way up!  I’m looking at the joints below the big toe.  When my feet are up on the recliner, I see the slender outline of my foot; specifically the ball of the foot. I cross my ankles and I can see the slender curve of my instep and how my skin and muscles hug my ankles.  Okay, I’ll admit they still get bigger from a hard days work, but nothing like they used to get.

What I thought was muscular from carrying my weight around, no matter how much I weighed throughout the years, is actually nearly all skeletal.  It is fascinating how slender my feet are.  How it doesn’t need that much muscle to work and my feet are stronger than they ever were and here I am aging but yet I feel like I’m growing younger, because my feet are so strong, flexible and might I say bony?

I’m conflicted, impressed, angered, befuddled; I get excited at how I can be the same size I was on the way up and appreciate my rib line now when loathed it before.

So here is my advice.  Pay attention to what your body is telling you.  Love the fact that your body communicates that something is wrong.  Accept the fact that you are gaining weight, but just enough to listen to your body. Don’t love the fat. Don’t love the bloat.  Acknowledge it but don’t back it with emotion. Then figure out what the heck is going on! Be aware when eating. Be aware of your environment.  Be aware of every little ache and pain. Be aware of when and how you sweat. Be aware when you run. Be aware during all your workouts. Be aware when you get out of bed.  Be aware when you wind down for the night.

I Wanted Change; I Got Change!

For the first time in my life, I got fired.

I’m not reacting like I thought I would.  Most of the evening I’ve been shivering like the after effects of an adrenaline rush.  Every once in a while I have to shake off the shock, you know because it’s awkward sitting there and letting the situation of we’ve decided to let you go play out. I came home to a caring husband; I had a couple of beers with some girlfriends, and I had some laughs with my sisters over a group video chat. I’m short on sleep, but it is more about excitement rather than anxiety.

I should be upset that someone didn’t want to keep me around. That they didn’t care about my livelyhood enough to keep feeding me a paycheck. There was nothing really wrong, but there was nothing really right either.  It wasn’t a good fit and for that I got fired.  Wow! I got fired! Are you kidding me? I don’t get fired.

Yet, I’m not too broken up. I’m not bawling over it. Actually, I’m really curious about what is next. So, I figure I’ve got about three to four weeks before I really start freaking out about money. Starting tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going to make the most of it.

It is supposed to get up to 70 degrees so I am going to walk a marathon.  I’ve biked the loop around the city several times, and I’ve wanted to walk/run it. So I will do it tomorrow. I’m sure it will take me all day. I’ve been running on the treadmill the last two months so I will just be going overboard and not extremely overboard from a sedate winter.  Hopefully that will wring bad energy out of every cell in my body.

Starting Monday, I’m going to write and turn the next section of my proposal in to my writers group.  Maybe by the beginning of next week I will shoot off another round of query letters to agents.

I had hit a little bump in the road with the Geographical Oddity quest.  I was going to write about that instead of this post, so now I will have time. I’m going to continue my efforts on my diet an my work for getting 100 people in a room.

My husband and I also started tearing out the bathroom so we will be finishing that and maybe I will do the sewing project that has been lying around.

On top of all that I will turn in a couple of applications per day and spend some time with friends and family.

All is good until I have to make a car payment. Until then I’m curious as to what God has in store for me.

Geographical Oddity: Change

Okay, big changes have been happening.  For one: I got a new job. Both better hours and better pay.  Plus I only work with three people and we all get along.  …so far, we’ll see how everybody fares the increase in summer business.  For two: I think my gastroenterologist and I have done what we can with the gut so now I am seeing someone in integrative medicine.  This doctor works with a health coach and does acupuncture.  Now I feel that my actions and reactions are better charted.

The worst part is that I’m on an elimination diet … again.  No caffeine. No sugar. No sugar substitutes.  No eggs.  All whole foods, so no bread (not even gluten-free), no sausage.

I was adding maple syrup to sweeten up some stuff, such as hot almond milk,  because some diets allow this low-glycemic sweetener and I don’t react.  Even though I was only having three Tablespoons a day, I was surprised that I naturally cut back to one because even that small amount was just getting a little too gooey-sweet.

For the most part we have eliminated FODMAP foods, histamine foods, high glycemic foods. I hardly eat any fruit and those are just blueberries, blackberries and cantaloupe.  I still get a bloom, or two, or three, on my tongue which lasts about four or five days. Right now I’m blaming turnips, but I’m getting to the point where maybe I have cut through the inflammation and found the real geographic tongue. We’ll see.  There isn’t much more food I can cut out.  So if I can stick to foods that I have been eating for another two weeks, I think I can get a clean slate to start adding foods back in.

Furthermore, I have been running.  Everyday I leave work and stop by the gym before I go home. I’m off work at 5:30 and I have my alarm set for 6:30 and when it goes off I get off the treadmill. I have to take my speed and distance for what it is. It differs because I don’t get out of work right away.  Sometimes I get 45 minutes in, sometimes I only get a half-hour in.  Right now my best is 2 miles in 28.5 minutes.

I’ve lost 12 pounds since January 23rd.  I haven’t had a migraine quality headache since, but I have had withdrawal aches, pains, and cravings, especially with caffeine.  I did have light to medium blooms on my tongue four different times, so I am still looking for that clean slate.  I feel great except I need to have more variety of food.  This is no way to live, although I am hopeful because I feel like I finally found what normal feels like.

Geographical Oddity: Lymph Nodes

I’m not posting pictures of any of this stuff because its gross.  If you want pictures you can google lymph nodes and hit images. I recommend you do so for your own health investigation.

So a lymph node is part of your filter system.  Your body has a lot of them. It is a huge veiny system of filters shaped like pearls, or nodes.  My description here is more for locating where they are at rather than how they actually connect. For that you can refer to those Google Images.  Lets start with the Thymus Gland and go up.  The Thymus is in your chest (below your Thyroid) almost on top of your Heart.  I can tell when something is going on because it swells so much that it pushes everything up until I see a fatty lump sitting in that hollow in the front of my neck where the collar bones meet.

Going up from the Thymus the system branches off four ways, two of these branches one on the left and one on the right go straight up sides of the neck and continues on to the ears. The system splits to surround the ear.  I always ask people to repeat what they’ve said and this is odd because I don’t have hearing problems. I often get accused of being distracted or having an overloaded brain.  Now, I’m thinking its swollen lymph nodes making the ear canal smaller so sound doesn’t vibrate right.

On the front side of the ear, these lymph nodes make their way over to the sinuses and end there. Remember all these are mirrored on the right and left of the body.

The split on the back side of the ear has lymph nodes that wrap around the back of the neck and drop down along the entire leangth of the spine.  Trails of these splay behind the shoulder-blades and trails splay out over the lower back.  From the spine the system runs all the way down to the feet with some nodes in the buttock, and a few behind the knee. When I looked at the pictures of the back and neck, I saw nearly every chiropractic issue I’ve ever had and can blame a specific node. One picture is so good I think it is from an actual cadaver.

Going back to the thymus, two more trails of lymph nodes branch out at the top. These go into the armpits, curve back out and go into the chest, or the breast for women.  This is probably where we hear about lymph nodes the most, if you look you can see how easy it is for breast cancer to get into the lymphatic system. Then it’s also easy to confuse those lymph nodes for cancer lumps in the arm pit.  Not to mention confusing them for cysts developed from shaving.

Now let’s go back to the Thymus and go down.  Here is a pretty thick line next to the esophagus called the Thoracic Duct. This duct looks like a thin tube, or, a thick master vein, and ends in a thicker wad called the Cisterna Chyli. This is located in the vicinity of where your esophagus connects to your stomach. I blame this one for my Acid Reflux — think of what happens when that duct swells. You can come up with your own reason, I say that the esophagus gets bent out of shape, gets that sphincter inside out of alignment and allows acid to spit out into the esophagus.

From the Thoracic Duct the lymph system splays all over the abdomen and in to the groin. You ever get that pain in the groin area that is not quite a cramp? Next time you feel that think of your lymphatic system.

There is a lymph node right next to your appendix.  I thought I was having scar tissue build up after my appendix surgery.  Man, that thing would bother me. It finally subsided with a gluten-free diet and hasn’t flared up since I took the Difulcan. I’m guessing it was a lymph node.  I don’t think scar tissue subsides from a gluten-free diet.

So in addition to fat, edema, and the layers of visceral fat around the organs, we also have swollen lymph nodes nestled in and around our intestines and internal organs.  So, you know about that weight loss thingy that happens when you don’t actually lose pounds?  What if it is your lymph nodes deflating?  Maybe it’s not water weight because water actually has weight.

The lymphatic system includes your tonsils, spleen, and also includes something in your intestine called the Peyer’s patch.

I don’t understand why the doctors don’t see this in surgery or in internal imaging.  Maybe it is assumed that it is a natural side effect and that is the way it is supposed to be.  Would it hurt if a couple of Doctors got together and decided to look at the lympatic system as if it was the cause?  If we care for the lymph nodes would things go back to normal?

In addition to getting 100 people in a room, with a geographic tongue, I would like my 101st person to be a doctor who is emphatic about the lymphatic system.

Yes.  That would be great.

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