Friday, November 21, 2008


I went for a my first bone density scan and got a big surprise - I have osteopenia.

It is simply the indication that bone loss has occurred and therefore preventative measures need to be taken. Maximum bone mineral density is achieved at 30 and after that it's all down hill. Diet, exercise, illness and certain medications can accelerate bone loss.

My doctor called me with the news. I was told to take calcium supplements and get lots of weight bearing exercise. I work-out, I lift weights, I regularly walk with ankle weights, I take Pilate's and when I'm not deliberately exercising I have three kids who push my body to its limits everyday. How much more can I do? I started to wonder if this advise is totally worthless. I suppose if I wasn't as active perhaps I would have more bone loss, maybe that's the benefit. Either way I think its a weak prescription.

Caffeine, sodas and steroid medication also zap bone loss. I drink very few sodas and I hardly think the one cup of coffee - that I rarely finish is the culprit. What then? How do I solve this mystery? I wonder if nursing 4 kids for a year each contributed? I was a huge fan of nursing. I even went to La Leche meetings. Everyone sat around and nursed and told stories of how wonderful nursing was. No one ever talked about possible side effects like bone loss or sagging body parts.

I've heard that drinking 2% milk doesn't give you the necessary calcium from a regular glass a milk. I can't remember the last time I drank regular milk. Fat is such a giant threat in our society that I think my mother stopped serving whole milk when I was a teen. I remember recently seeing someone drink whole milk and I nearly gagged with disgust.

Family history and being slim are other indicators. Don't know much about family history - my mom hasn't even had a bone scan and she is 71. I am slim - for a couple years when I had braces maybe too slim. Now that they are off and I can chew, I'm eating and I've gained weight but I'm still slim. Is that the final conclusion - being slim caused my osteopenia.

FYI - men can get osteoporosis too. My husband hates milk and rarely takes calcium pills. Yesterday I saw a man with a spine so curved he could barely lift his head upright. I watched him walk to the elevator and thought how painful life must be for him. I was deeply impressed. I don't think that doctors or the medical professionals have adequately addressed this issue and I think that there is a whole lot that is not being shared. I don't want to grow old and not be able to move. I don't want a cane, or a walker, or a wheelchair.
If you know more please share.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What to Do?

What do I do?
Do I spend money or save?
If I spend money I get to buy new things and since I've had my stuff for over a week now it's old and therefore no good. I need new stuff. I need to go shopping. I need to hit the going out of business sales and enjoy buying everything at up to 70% off. How I can I resist the urge to shop at the greatest shopping event of the year, the Christmas buying frenzy? 'Tis the season to buy.
If I go shopping I'll have to charge everything 'cause I don't have any money. My credit card debt is already pretty impressive so maybe I should save my money and pay my bills. Maybe I don't need another pair of shoes - I've already got 30. I could skip the hunt for a parking space and save shipping and handling charges and be happy with what I've got. Could I? It feels odd to repress the urge to buy. It feels dare I say un-American. Maybe it's not a good time to buy considering the stock market roller coaster ride, the bailout, stores going out of business, and foreclosers in the news.
But, it seems to me that the economy is strongest when people are buying. When people buy, manufactures make and hire and then those people go shopping. Great.
What to do?
I've wondered for a long time about the economy. I've thought about the mixed messages of buying and saving. Buying creates a healthy economy but debt erodes that foundation. I've wondered if capitalism will continue to exist in America. When do the percentages of government intervention and control change enough to create a new breed and where do I Ms. Consumer fit into the picture?
As much as I ponder the consequences of the changing economy I truly believe that it is not defined by its strongest moment but instead by what happens in its weakest event. America is the Land of Opportunity. As much as we love a bargain we love an opportunity. We seek the niche, we create the new idea and we hope to be lucky enough to spot the trend before anyone else. While companies go out of business, new ones file fictitious names. While the stock market tumbles, money is made by betting on the loss. While homes are foreclosed on, buyers welcome the bargain.
Economist worry that Americans won't spend a lot of money this Christmas. I'm worried that we will.
But, if you can resist the urge to buy more, if you can defeat the challenge to buy gifts for people because you have to, and if you can save your money than you will become one of the powerful in this weak economy. The question is what kind of power do we want, the immediate rush of a new purchase or the quiet strength of acquired wealth?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award

My friend and neighbor Yarnhog gave me this award a few days ago. I was humbly surprised especially since I hadn't written much in the past weeks. Yarnhog was my inspiration for starting my blog. I still remember the day she told me she had a blog. In a sheepish almost secretive way she smiled and said,
" I started a blog", I said " A What?". I really didn't know. After she explained I asked, "So what's your site name?" Poor lady had to tell me three maybe four times and finally resorted to writing it down. Yarnhog yarnhog what at what com???? Yarnhog, what's that all about? You're not a hog. She couldn't get just one yarnhog because that was already taken so she had to be two. Anyway, six months of reading her entries and I started to see the beauty and benefit of a blog. I remember the early days of writing and getting no comments. I struggled in the quiet wilderness wondering if anyone was reading my site. It was a big event the day I finally got a comment. I loved reading and re-reading the line. Later my friend helped me out again and gave me what I affectionately called,

A bloggers Christmas.

I kept writing and of course reading other sites. I was having fun, making some cyber space friends but relating and sharing in a way that was different from my face to face friends. In the past few weeks I've slipped into what I call a writers Bermuda Triangle. It's that place where thoughts and ideas disappear into thin air and are never found again. Then one day out of the blue I get this pretty award.

Thank you Yarnhog :)

The rules for award acceptance are as follows: 1. The winner can put the logo on their website/blog. 2. Add a link to the person who gave you this award. 3. Nominate at least 5 other websites/blogs. 4. Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs. 5. Leave a message at each website owner that you've nominated.

Here's my five Award winners -

Uberstrickenfrau - Always interesting and fun and really creative.

Deborahkslife - Deborah knits a lot and finishes her projects. It's amazing how much she gets done in a week.

Freerangechick - She knits, writes, and is always working on something interesting.

Shameka - Check out her really cool Obama earrings on ETSY

Yarndork - Thanks for giving us your all and congrats on meeting The Yarnharlot.

My personal thank you to all bloggers who give a little piece of their lives to the world. Thanks for sharing.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mail Theft

It's a normal day nothing particularly exciting happening; take the kids to school, pay some bills, wash clothes, and then something unbelievable happens. A car pulls up to your house, the passenger jumps out, opens your mailbox and grabs your mail. You can't believe what you saw, you rush downstairs and run outside but they are gone. You've been robbed in the middle of the day while you watched and the thief never had to open your front door. But he got away with much more than your T.V. or your Grandmas jewelry, he got all your personal information - he stole your identity.
Two of my neighbors had their mail stolen this week. Evidently the thieves made their first of the month rounds in my neighborhood and left everyone stunned. One neighbor didn't watch the event but after hearing the story decided to check his bank statement and learned that the check he had put in the mail had been stolen and washed and cashed - in one day.
This is a growing problem in our society and serious issue. Identity theft can affect your personal, business and financial worlds for a long time. Prevention is the best remedy.
Here are a few tips -
1. Don't put mail in your mailbox for the letter carrier to pick-up.
2. Get a locking mailbox that has a special compartment the mail drops into and can only be accessed by a key.
Most stories like this have little importance until they hit home and then they become too close to dismiss. This is the time you don't make excuses or pretend that it could never happen to you. This is the time you buy a little piece of mind. Take a close look at your mail box; is it mounted on a weak post that could easily be knocked down. I have heard stories where thieves take the entire mailbox to get the mail.
Please pass this story along because it is worth sharing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Prima Question

Being a new knitter I routinely learn things the hard way because I don't know enough to ask the right questions. Consequently, I have knitted the pattern backwards and had to rip. I have knitted the wrong size and had to rip. I have followed the directions wrong and had to rip, and I have followed the directions exactly and had to rip. I have begun to notice a theme in my knitting projects and in an effort to interrupt that pattern - and actually get an FO, I have tried to work more carefully.

What I have learned is that in the knitting world one cannot ask too many questions. In fact it is probably a very healthy attitude to question everything. I find myself constantly counting each row and reviewing the stitches for any mistakes and reading and re-reading the directions to understand what is to happen. Reading the entire pattern - even if I don't understand it , is also a good idea. I have read my "Free Pattern" from hence forth to be known as Prima - because it is Yarnhogs first hand-spun free pattern. Prima is a great pattern. A simple 4x2 rib knit pattern. I am knitting it with bamboo yarn that I absolutely love, love, love. It is so soft and silky and pretty that I can't wait to enjoy the experience of wearing it. An event that is sure to come soon since I am finished with the back and nearly done with the front. I only have one problem, a rather big problem. I don't know what to do next.

Here's where all you wonderful smarty experienced knitters rescue me.

The challenge-

The directions read -

Shape Neck-

Work across stitches to center of piece and divide for split collar. ( Did that )

Work each side separately until armholes measure 7.5', ending with WS. ( Did one side)

Next Row ; working each side separately, BO 7 sts. at each neck edge.

Since I split the piece I am wondering do I BO in the middle - which would be at the V, or on the ends which would be on the sides. 7 stitches is a lot to BO.

Do you see where my needle is? Do I back off stitches there?

Yeah I now I may have put too much thought into this but after ripping my previous project 3 times I'm more comfortable waiting for the answer than taking the plunge.