Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Thoughts: The Cost of Hope: A Memoir

One of my goals this year was to read 10 nonfiction books.  I haven't really cared what topics the books were, but hoped for some variation in my reading.  Choosing the books has been relatively simple. I'd log into the library website, clicked nonfiction and sorted by what is available right now electronically.  I came across Amanda Bennett - The Cost of Hope: A Memoir and began reading.

This book was probably the wrong choice for me, but why I selected it among others that were available is because I was curious about the cost of hope with her husband's cancer.  The story is told from when they met through a little after his death.

I shed less tears than I thought I would, with cancer being a topic I've thought a lot about over the last four months.  Reading about the treatments, the doctors, the cost, the downward fall, the remission, adjusting to new routines, clinical trials, insurance, working, the family, hospice...I couldn't not help but wonder about ManFriend and my aunt especially, but even a past co-worker and my godfather.

I didn't love the style of writing.  She would tell a story then do flashbacks or fastforwards and at times it was confusing (which is surprising because normally I love that style) because it happened so frequently.  But the overall story was a quick read and I 'enjoyed' (for lack of a better word as I type this) reading about cancer from someone who had way more at stake.  It helped me understand what my aunt and uncle are currently going through, and I thought a lot about the past people I've known that had cancer and what their families went through, especially years ago when I didn't quite understand as much.

The one part of the book I was not thrilled about was in the afterward.  After the story, we tend to be curious, we want to know where the people are now.  I would have been happy with knowing what the total cost of care was, more facts about insurance, treatments, the 'interviews' after the fact, realizations that you didn't think of in the moment but realized in hindsight.  She touched a little on that, but also included that she is happy and has moved on, I felt like that should have been left out.  240 pages were about the husband and how they had a rocky relationship to start that turned into respect, devotion and passion for over 20 years.  I am all for moving on, healing, having someone by your side, but I just spent 240 pages reading about how much you loved this guy and what you did to try to save him.  Seemed a little out of place.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

high in protein

I ate bugs today.  Yes, that is right, more than one.

I may have shared in past posts, my huge fear of bugs.  Eating bugs is not ideal for someone who is 'scared' of bugs.  I don't even eat the tentacles of calamari because it looks like a spider.

I know we eat a few spiders a year and maybe inhale gnats while running outside...but somehow this seems different, even though I didn't do it intentionally.

But the fault is my own.  I didn't wash my blackberries I only rinsed them quickly under water.  Is there a difference between rinsing and washing fruit?  Would rinsing longer make a difference anyway?  I put a handful in a container for work.  I popped open the container, and popped a blackberry into my mouth as I worked.  Then I ate another.  For some reason, I looked down and I noticed that something was moving.  It was tiny, probably smaller or the same size as the little 'hair' that sticks out of the blackberry.  I saw it move.  Then I saw another. And another.  

I only had 4 left.  I had about 6...and the last two days I ate a pint (granted today's was from a different pint container).  I can't imagine how many little bugs I ate, it was kinda infested.

So, I drank about 30 ounces of water really fast....you know, in case my teeth didn't crush the bugs when I was chewing and in case my stomach acid didn't kill them, I was trying to drown them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

hard time letting go

Just the other night I stopped to pick up a friend, and her family were all gathered in the living room for the last moments of my friend's mother's life.  I was able to see her tiny body, shrunken face and those sad and confused eyes.

Immediately I thought about ManFriend, wondering if he was in that bad shape before he passed away, not looking anything like himself.  His mother said they kept him at home as long as they could.  He stopped eating solid food for a few weeks before and couldn't talk for the last week, which means that when we texted, it was among the last day or two he was corresponding with any of his friends.

While I've thought about ManFriend everyday and my eyes still fill with tears when I think about something, seeing my friend's mother brought back such strong emotions that I wasn't expecting.  It is normal to be sad over a friend's death, especially when it was unexpected (to me) but our relationship was over.

As hurt as I have been that I had no idea what was going on, I am also selfishly grateful he didn't tell me because watching him suffer like that would have been even more heartwrenchingly painful. He knew how I felt about him and that I would have been there if I knew, but yet he is the one who chose to withhold that information and I have to accept it.

I know I have a hard time letting things go.  I see this both as a negative that it consumes me but also a positive that those that I care about get all of me and that I care that much about someone that I miss them or that I am hurt when they disappoint me.  I am fortunate enough that I've been lucky enough to have those people in my life to give me that overwhelming feeling of love.  I've been blessed to experience that.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

sorting candies

Purchasing single color m&m's can be expensive.  Instead, I purchased a large bag from Costco and sorted the colors.

The problem with this method is that my fingers touched each one.  I washed my hands well before doing this...but it made me realize I should probably eat less of anything that is unwrapped.

Thinking that the bag would have close to equal proportions, I was a bit surprised that after I sorted there was a big difference.

After sorting, I decided to weigh the candies. I put all the candies in a plastic bag, which I weighed, then I subtracted the bag weight from the total weight.

Yellow:  218 grams
Green:  351 grams
Blue:  372 grams
Brown:  230 grams
Orange:  335 grams
Red: 68 grams

I probably ate 8 candies or so while I was sorting, before I thought about weighing the candies.

I used the blue; wanted to use red too, but there weren't enough and I wasn't going to buy another bag.  The rest of the candies will be eaten or used in cookies or other baked goods.

Lesson learned, if you want guaranteed colors, buy smaller bags during certain times of year (Valentine's Day = red, pink, white; Easter = pastels) or buy bulk colors directly from m&m's website.