Friday, June 29, 2007

Art Therapy

According to an article from Psychology Today, art therapy is really good for you.

Producing something also gives people a sense of control and enhances self-esteem. Perhaps most important, creative expression gets emotions flowing and out in the open.

From my experience alot of my friends who suffer from Bipolar Disorder are very creative. There are writers, just look how many blogs there are. There are also painters, crafters, etc. Many things along the creative line.

I crochet as well as do tons of other crafts. It has a calming effect on me. But the biggest thing is to look at something I have made a feel a sense of accomplishment. Survivors Art Foundation is a place to showcase all your creative talent. In an article way back in 2002 from Reuters Health, they discussed how creative minds and those with bipolar disorder have some of the same traits.

Creative Mind Shares Traits with Mentally Ill

The wildly creative genius often walks a fine line, as many of humankind's greatest minds have edged into the darkness of mental illness. Now a new study shows that creative people tend to share more personality traits with the mentally ill than they do with the middle-of-the-road masses.

This finding suggests that both creativity and manic depression, also called bipolar disorder, may share some of the same genetic underpinnings, Connie M. Strong of Stanford University in California told Reuters Health.

"Both bipolar disorder and creativity probably are genetically driven, and may be related to the same set of genetic predispositions," she suggested.

Strong and her co-author Dr. Terence A. Ketter measured creativity and personality traits in 48 patients with bipolar disorder, 25 patients with depression, 32 graduate students pursuing creative disciplines and 47 healthy people pursuing a relatively uncreative path in life.

Bipolar disorder is marked by extreme mood swings from euphoria and excessive energy to severe depression and hopelessness. These drastic swings can damage the person's relationships and affect their work, and sometimes lead to suicide. Depression is sometimes called a "unipolar" condition in that it is only one half of the equation that makes up bipolar disorder.

Strong and Ketter found that both creative students and those with bipolar disorders shared several personality traits. Such individuals were more open, and more neurotic and moody than the other study participants, according to findings presented at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting held in Philadelphia.

People with neuroticism tend to have more anxiety, lower self-esteem and lower tolerance for stress than other individuals, and they may feel alienated, victimized and resentful, the researchers note.

In an interview with Reuters Health, Strong explained that openness is a trait associated with a willingness to embrace new experiences, as well as being imaginative, curious and unconventional. These traits are often found in creative people, she added.

Because similar traits are found in those with bipolar disorder it might indicate that both creativity and the mental illness stem from a similar genetic predisposition.

"It makes sense that they are two potential outcomes of a shared predisposition," she said.

Indeed, previous studies have shown that there is a much higher rate of bipolar disorder in creative individuals than those in the general population.

Strong said that people with bipolar disorder might also have creative tendencies because they see the world in two ways, with the same surroundings appearing differently to them depending on whether they are feeling manic or depressed.

This "double view" of the world could allow manic depressive patients to be more open, she noted, one of the hallmark traits of creativity.

The bipolar patients that participated in Strong's study appeared to be many times as creative as patients with depression, and showed even higher levels of creativity relative to those without mental illness. In fact, creativity among treated bipolar patients matched that seen in the graduate students pursuing creative degrees.

Strong added that it was important to note that bipolar disorder patients showed high creativity despite the fact that they were being treated for their condition. Many patients are afraid to take medication for their disorder out of fear that it will impair their creativity, but these findings seem to suggest otherwise, Strong said.

In my bio blurb---I say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Also if you look at my blog title you will see the quote---There has never been any great genius without a spice of madness.

So what is your creative outlet and do you feel it helps you in your day to day life???

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Are Obese Children Suffering From Neglect???

An article brought to my attention by CalorieLab , Obese kids: Parents probe, states the following:

SOCIAL SERVICES are understood to be investigating at least 20 cases of neglect involving overweight and overfed children in the UK.

The shock figures emerged yesterday as a small cache of doctors called for obesity in the under-12s to be officially classified as parental neglect.

Such a radical reaction to the increasing problem of childhood obesity could see children taken into care for their own health, if the idea is ever adopted by the Government.

It is unlikely that it will ever be used as anything but a last-resort action as the British Medical Association said doctors and health professionals prefer to work with parents, rather than “criminalize” them.

The organization's annual conference yesterday called for a raft of measures to tackle childhood obesity, including a halt to the selling of school playgrounds and sports fields and condemning supermarkets and food manufacturers who have decided against using the Food Standards Agency’s traffic light food labeling system.

But they stopped short of agreeing that obesity in young children amounted to parental neglect.

Granted, I'm all for looking at way to stop the obesity epidemic among young people. BUT, this is NOT the answer. But what do you expect from the British government. They stop the advertising for a nutritious real food like EGGS. Yet, they still continue to spew forth plenty of advertisements geared towards children for processed food products.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please Help......

I just received some distressing news this evening. It seems a very close online friend of mine has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I won't go into everything, but please call on whatever higher power you believe in. She needs lots of positive energy right now.

Also I want to remind you of my past post about breast cancer awareness, Help Find A Cure Please go back to it. There is a link in the post to help sponsor a friend in a grueling 3 day walk to help fight this disease..

This year, more than 200,000 women and men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will lose their lives to the disease. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes. Every 13 minutes, the disease claims another life.
As I also stated in this earlier post, my son lost his FATHER to breast cancer. Yes men do get it. So this is a personal war for me.

This is Just Gross.....

I got this article in my RSS feed. I had to share it. Don't ask me is just too weird.

Digging in Diapers for History of Gut Bacteria
A new tool allows scientists to map the changes in human intestinal bacteria over time in the precious first year of life

Well it's all in the name of science I guess.

Gimme the Folate....Keep the Bread

Alrighty now here we go again. In their infinite round about way of thinking, some so called "scientists" aka nutritionists, believe adding a great vitamin to a poor excuse for a "food", read food product here, is the way to go for a persons health.

Take a look at this article, Adding Folic Acid To Bread Could Help In The Fight Against Depression, found on

The Food Standards Agency recommended to UK Health Ministers the introduction of mandatory fortification of either bread or flour with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, which can result in miscarriage, neonatal death or lifelong disability. The York study suggests that the measure may also help in the fight against depression.

Dr Gilbody said: "Our study is unique in that for the first time all the relevant evidence in this controversial area has been brought together. Although the research does not prove that low folate causes depression, we can now be sure that the two are linked. Interestingly, there is also some trial evidence that suggests folic acid supplements can benefit people with depression. We recommend that large trials should be carried out to further test this suggestion."

Recent research from the same team published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has also proved that people with depression commonly have a gene that means that they process folate less efficiently. Folate is linked to the production of some of the 'feel good' chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin. The identification of this gene provides a plausible explanation as to why folic acid supplements may help people with depression.

Okay, I'm all for anything that will help those battling serious depression. Since folate is known to do this, I'm all for people increasing their consumption of it. But why bread of all things. Eating a carb laden food can certainly increase your mood when depressed but it only a quick fix. More than often sending you on a binge cycle of needing more and more carbs. I know of this from first hand knowledge.

It amazes me how the food industry believes in fortifying unhealthy foods instead of just eating the foods where things occur naturally. Folate can be found in healthy foods such as green leafy veggies(spinach, turnip greens, etc), citrus fruits(which I don't recommend) and legumes. I'm not real keen on legumes either in my eating plan. I do partake of them on rare occasions. Hey this IS the south, we love our dried beans. But dried beans without cornbread is just unsouthern. Having a large helping of spinach makes more sense to me than eating a bowl of fortified cereal or a slice of bread. Even going to the extreme of having an orange---your blood sugar will hate you for it---is better than loading up on processed food.

So to all of my mental health friends out there, folate is a good thing for any mood disorder. Please include it in your diet each and everyday. But you don't have to eat fortified food products to do it. Just go for the real deal.

Homemade Ice Cream For One

With temperatures soaring this summer, my thoughts turn to memories of past summers. Growing up out in the country, making homemade ice cream was a big treat for a hot summer day. At that time, we had the old fashioned wooden bucket kind with a hand crank. As kids, my siblings and I would fight over the coveted position of being able to sit on top as our father turned the crank. Well those days of hand cranking gave way to the electric freezers. Nowadays you have those freezers that don't even require the use of ice and salt. Simply freezer the drum and place on the base. In no time you have rich homemade ice cream. But being a single person, making a whole freezer full of ice cream just isn't practical. So I would miss out on having it unless with my family. Being the internet junkie I am, I found a way around this by searching for recipes. This one is my favorite. Hope it sparks a few memories for you.

Homemade Ice Cream For One

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Splenda
1/2 tsp SF vanilla extract
6 tbsp salt
3 cups ice
1 ziploc bag, sandwich sized
1 ziploc bag, gallon size

In sandwich sized ziploc combine the sugar substitute, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. Seal the bag and shake slightly to mix ingredients. In the gallon sized ziploc bag, add 3 cups of ice (or fill half the bag with ice) and add 6 tablespoons of table salt.
Place the sealed sandwich sized bag into the gallon bag and seal the gallon bag. Shake the entire contents for at least 4 minutes. Once desired hardness has been achieved remove smaller bag and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

**Note: Shake longer than 4 minutes for harder ice cream. Also be sure to rinse the small bag prior to eating, if you miss this step you may wind up with salty ice cream.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. For those of you with kids, fix up individual bags for each and let them shake it. It is FUN.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dietary Fat, Cholesterol---Good for Your Brain

I was doing some online research for my dad. He is 79 and still works a full time job in a foundry no less. He has been taking Zocor for a number of years for high cholesterol---no history of heart disease for him though. This is not a rant about how bad drugs like Zocor are for people. And they most definitely are. But while doing this research on cholesterol I can upon some mind blowing info about how having low cholesterol can effect your moods.

From my interest in diet and my dealing with the effects of Bipolar Disorder, I'm always looking into research about dealing with it from a nutrition standpoint. As I've stated in previous posts I eat a ketogenic diet--->70% fat. From all the research it is the way to go. But from my own standpoint it seems to be doing the trick. My moods are so much more stable right now. Usually this time of year---I'm way out there in mania land. Only to be followed by a downward spiral come fall. That is not the case this year---I am sleeping better, have the energy of mania without the bad things associated with it.

Anyhoo---on to what I wanted to talk about----cholesterol. I could go on and on but you can read the info yourself. So I'm just gonna give the links.

Depression, suicide and violence information

Low Serum Cholesterol Concentration and Risk of Suicide

Cholesterol concentrations in violent and non-violent women suicide attempters.

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acid Status as a Predictor of Future Suicide Risk

Serum cholesterol concentration and death from suicide in men: Paris prospective study

Criminality, aggression and antisocial behaviour

The Cholesterol Myth

I urge all my friends out there in cyberland, especially my fellow BPs. Take heed of this. Forget all that low fat healthy diet nonsense that has been preached for ages. Wouldn't you rather control your symptoms without filling your body with all those meds. By the way ---my med arsenal has been cut in half, from 6 psych meds to 3. Plus the dosage of those has been decreased to the bare minimum.

If you are truly worried about engaging in a higher fat diet, you need to read some of the research available. One of my favorite low carb people is Anthony Colpo. He has a book out called The Great Cholesterol Con. Plus he wrote a very enlightening piece called Why the Low-Fat Diet is Stupid and Potentially Dangerous. Also Dr Mike Eades did a great post about fat and the brain, Ketogenic diet and brain energy. In it he made reference to a new book coming out this September called The Brain Trust Program. According to amazon it also is: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms, and Boost Mental. Dr Mike also recommends another book The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. Also check out this post by Dr Mike, Low fat isn’t science, it’s a religion.

So do some reading and make the decision yourself.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Motivation For Sustaining or Losing Weight

Everyone who reads this blog knows of my weight loss efforts. I lost 200+ lbs by having gastric bypass surgery or WLS as it is known. You also know that I keep it in check by following a low carb way of eating. But some posts on the WLS sites I visit and the blogs I read have been dealing with the problem of regaining weight after this surgery.

Weight regain is nothing new for those having had WLS. Most are told by their surgeons to expect a rebound weight gain of 10-20 lbs. Some never even get all their weight off in the first place. But that is a topic for another post all together. This is a post dealing with motivation for sustaining weight loss.

In WLS circles we talk about the "honeymoon phase". The time in our weight loss when it is easy and we lose very rapidly. This is usually meant to be the first year or two, depending on how much weight you actually want to lose. The idea is that after the so called honeymoon phase losing weight is impossible or extremely difficult. Many are made to feel that they are failures if they do not achieve their goal weight during this time. How is that suppose to be motivating. Shoot, if you already feel like a failure why not go all out---just go on a real binge and start packing the pounds back on.

Me personally, I do not believe in the "window of weight loss" or the " honeymoon phase" or even the "one golden shot" of the low carb diet. I could lose, regain and lose from now til doomsday. I've done it before on other diets. What is so different about the WLS. If you can "eat around the pouch" and regain, what keeps it from happening for some and not for others? Why does anyone fail or succeed at anything in this life? MOTIVATION.....

Could I have been successful on all those other weight loss efforts? Sure I could have been. So the big question is, why wasn't I? Why did I lose 100's of lbs only to regain them back and even more on top of those? If low carb is so good for me why didn't I just do that to begin with? Why something as drastic as WLS? Believe me--the decision to have WLS was not an easy one.

The simple fact for me remains this---I lost alot of weight in a short amount of time. That is the bottom line. In this hurry up world being able to lose weight quickly is what has brought WLS into the limelight. Don't you think if I could have dropped the weight quickly by other conventional diets, I would have stuck with them. But I couldn't, hence all the yoyo dieting.

Now on to what my point is. I lost the weight I wanted to lose. What keeps me from regaining now when so many others do? Well I finally have my motivation. The excess weight is finally gone and I'll be damned if I let it come back on. But this is a choice that only I can make. So what do I plan to do about it. First off, I no longer follow the generally accepted wisdom of a low-fat/high carb diet. Shoot I don't even follow the recommended diet from my surgeon. He'd probably flip out at the high fat content. They do push the protein issue and lowering of the carbs, but mainstream docs still believe fat to be a villain.

But I'm getting off topic again. Motivation. I now have to make choices in my life to maintain the weight loss I have achieved. I have learned what real nutritional science is---on the cellular level. These things I did because now I'm motivated to keep the weight off. If I could have lost 200+ lbs quickly without having WLS, I probably would have been motivated to keep it off. But one thing WLS did do for me, besides the rapid weight loss, it made it impossible for me to eat carbs. Well not totally impossible---but it does make me sick as a dog when I do eat them---so that is aversion therapy of sorts.

So what is your motivation for weight loss??? Is it seeing yourself in some skimpy swimsuit for the summer?? Is it being able to watch your kids grow up?? Is it the decrease in some health problems??? Whatever it is, it all boils down to free will. It is your choice. I choose to leave off the carbs and go back to eating like my ancestors did. If you gain, you can only blame yourself. The CHOICE is yours....

That one sentence is why I do not like some of the WLS boards. They are mamby pamby. Oh ---you sat down and ate a whole box of oreos---but tomorrow is a new day. Sheesh---if you want to put that garbage in your body---you have no one to blame but yourself. Or I want to be able to eat like "normal" people. Hell eating like "normal" people caused you to go to the drastic measures of having your insides rerouted.

So that is my real motivation---I didn't have my guts rearranged just to regain the weight. It may have been drastic, but it works.......

Friday, June 22, 2007

Doing What is Right

Okay---I have a very long history of bringing home strays. Not only the four legged variety either. I have always been one to fall for a hard luck story. I call it compassion for my fellow humans. My family just says I'm nuts.

All this being said, I found myself in a bit of a predicament this past week. While on my camping trip, my ex-hubby, well not really ex we just don't live under the same roof----anyway that's another long story. He called all in an uproar. A guy we had helped out on numerous occasions---like feeding him---giving him a place to sleep---and a whole lot of other things too, had passed away. This man came from a very large family, but no one was willing to claim the body and make sure he had a decent burial. He had alienated most of them with his long history of drug and alcohol abuse. I personally had worked hard to get him clean. Had helped get him into his own apartment and got him started on disability due to his severe medial problems. He stayed off the drugs but continued to drink to excess finally killing him.

I was totally PO'd by the fact that the family would not take care of the final arrangements. There is just no excuse for it in my opinion. But I had no idea what my hubby wanted me to do about it. So I let it go. After repeated calls from him over what was suppose to be a relaxing weekend for me, I told him I'd check into what was going on AFTER my camping trip.

So once I returned home, I did a little digging. The county was gonna bury him in a paupers grave. I could not see this happening. So I took it upon myself to get things done. I had worked with this mans sister at one time so I appealed to her. She was not willing to carry the financial burden of a proper funeral. She agreed to take care of things if I could come up with the money.

Now my many years of living on the edge of society have brought me into contact with some low lives. As I refer to them---high people in very low places. With alot of fast talking I convinced 5 of them to foot the bill for this man's funeral with no strings attached. So he finally had a proper burial.

I guess I will always be one to fight for the underdog. I will always do what I can for my fellow man. I will always be bringing home strays.....but so what...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Still Around...

It has been quite awhile since I've put anything here. No I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I've been super duper busy ever since my camping trip. I'm just now trying to get caught up on email, blogging, etc.

I did want to share some of my pics from my recent camping trip. The battery in my digital camera is kaput so I used this little key chain digital camera. The pics really don't do the park justice, but at least you can see some of the river. There are a couple of pics of my campsite and of Bear.

The park is Prairie Creek on the Alabama River south of Selma. I would have liked to get some good pics of the wildlife around there, cranes, bluebirds, and alligators, but this camera just wasn't made for that type of photography.

I'll be back later on with some more posting. So enjoy the pics and your day.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Comorbidities of Bipolar Disorder Have Possible Genetic Link

The outdoor movie I had planned to attend tonight got cancelled due to rain. Hate that it was canceled, but glad to see some rain here. So I decided to surf the web.

Came across this article, Comorbidities Common In Bipolar Disorder May Have Genetic Link, from my new news headline box. You can take the time to read the article for yourself. But I wanted to touch on one particular part that caught my eye.

According to Allan H. Young, LEEF Chair, Depression Research, and professor of psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, people who have bipolar disorder are at increased risk for other psychiatric syndromes including anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and problems with substance use. These psychiatric comorbidities, accompanied by medical comorbidities common in people with bipolar, including heart disease, cancer, endocrine disorders (think diabetes here) and autoimmune disorders, lead to complications, overall poor health and a decreased life expectancy.

All of the medical complications listed can be controlled, eliminated, alleviated, with a low carb diet. So is this really a genetic link or is it really caused by our western high carb diet. Talk about things that make you go hmmmm...

Fat the REAL Brain Food....

I'm a big fan of a higher fat diet. This has to do with alot of the research about the Ketogenic diet. This is just some prelim info for you to stew over.

For my bipolar friends---take heed. A ketogenic diet is suppose to be good for our disorder. I'm working on a detailed post, but wanted to give a little food for thought while I'm gone.

Metabolism and ketosis
Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diet and brain energy

It doesn't take a big stretch of the imagination to see that if this diet can work for epilepsy---why not bipolar disorder. Since many of the meds given for bipolar disorder are actually for seizures. I'd rather eat a high fat diet than take a pill any day of the week. AND LOSE WEIGHT TOO!! Now discuss it amongst yourselves until I get back......

Off To The Great Outdoors....

This has been a very busy week so far. But all of that is about to change as of tomorrow. My little furbaby, Bear and I are off to do a little camping all by our lonesome. We'll be spending 4 days and 3 nights on the banks of the Alabama River just south of Selma. It's a Corps of Engineers campground and completely safe for a single woman and her dog. My dad was concerned so he called the campground to alert the host about me. I have instructions to identify myself when I arrive so the host families can check in with me throughout my stay.

Some of y'all may be wondering just what a "host" is. Well it's a job I would love to have believe you me. My own aunt and uncle did this for a time. It is usually a retired couple who bid for the position each year. They live at the campground for an entire year free and work. They are paid what they bid. It is usually 2-4 couples depending on the size of the campground. They share the work. This means they man the gate from opening to closing---usually 6 AM to 10 PM. Plus they patrol the park throughout the day checking up on people. They are not responsible for keeping the grounds or restrooms cleaned---there's a crew for that. But they are on call 24-7 though if any of the campers need them. Some of the campgrounds have volunteers who live there, like the one my family and I went to over Memorial Day weekend. This guy lives there alone and monitors the bluebirds. Since this particular park is only open for visitors from March to mid November, he keeps track of things around there during the off season. I personally would love to take on this job. But the requirements state it has to be a couple of some sort. Bear and I don't fit the bill. Any of y'all out there in cyberland interested in being my partner? Seriously....

The park I'm heading to has a paved bike trail. I hit our thrift store and found an old single gear ladies bike with a wire basket on the front for Bear. I'll be able to use his seat belt to harness him in so we can ride. They also have some fishing piers but the host told my dad you can throw a line out from your campsite. So maybe I'll be having fresh grilled fish for dinner one night.

It's suppose to be a real hot weekend---in the 90's---with afternoon popcorn showers. I don't particularly like camping in the rain, but we need it so bad right now because of the drought we are having. So I'll just muddle through it. I'm taking some crochet stuff and books just for this. Everything is all packed up and just waiting to be loaded in the truck. I would do it today but I have somewhere to go tonight. So will load up tomorrow morning. I'll see y'all back here late Tuesday hopefully with plenty of pics......See ya....

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

More Fake Food...

What is it with our society? Are we so pushed to adhere to "healthy" eating of that stupid pyramid that we will do anything to do it.

I just found this article and all I can say is----stupid. Chemically altering food to make it lower glycemic is not the answer. Just eat real food. Low carb at that. All this so they can have their baked goods.

How to Know You Spend Too Mch Time on the Cottin' Pickin' Computer

Well it's official now. I'm a real computer junkie. I've always suspected it, but it's the real thing. I'm sitting here trying to type with this splint on my arm. My typing ain't so hot to begin with. I was always a hunt a peck kinda typist. I only got up speed by pure repetition.

I've been having the worst type of pain for many moons now in my right hand. I just wrote it off as arthritis---hell I'm 46---not a far fetched possibility. But Sunday the pain was off the charts and I was doing some things around the house. I lightly bumped my thumb and I was seeing stars. Being the computer geek that I am I headed online to figure out just what was going on. There is was staring back at me from the screen--CARPEL TUNNEL SYNDROME.

I ended up calling my PCP yesterday morning to see if they could work me in. Sure nuff--they did. After listening to me, she agreed with my diagnosis and viola I'm now to wear this splint for the next few weeks. I've only had it on less than 24 hrs and all I can say is---what a difference a day makes. The pain is nearly gone.

Having pain is a hard thing on someone who has had WLS. We can't take just any old over the counter type of thing. Tylenol is it. Anything else has to be a narcotic. No NSAIDS allowed. For the lay person that means no aspirin, Motrin, Aleve or anything close to them. My doc gave me a script for Darvocet for my back ages ago. So she said to pop a few of those to ease the pain. Darvocet is pretty mild compared to some others I have taken, but not really one to want to take too many meds. Shoot I'm on enough things as it is.

Oh well, I'll just deal with it for the time being. It's not gonna keep me off the computer. Plus there is no way I'm giving up any of my camping trips planned this summer. So the splint will stay---but it ain't gonna slow me down none.....

Friday, June 1, 2007

Monthly Fatblogging

Well I guess that trip really paid off as far as the weight loss goes. I'm down to 154. Only 24 more pounds to get where I want to be. I'm in no hurry either. It will come off when it comes off. All I know is that my clothes sure do feel a heap better. When I sit down I can actually breathe now. Before the waist band of my shorts cut into me so bad, it was hard taking a deep breath.

I am only gonna be doing this weighing thing on a monthly basis now. I am not one of those who hops on the scale everyday. I figured since I was doing it monthly, might as well make it the 1st. So that's the way it will be from now on.

As far as how fast or slow I lose---not really a problem with me. The only person I need to empress is ME. So I figured I'd be right along with the 30 in 30 Challenge, Jimmy Moore has going on. Averaging 1 lb a week just makes good sense.

Back.... But Not By Choice.....

Sorry, y'all but I did not want to come back from my trip. I got back on Tuesday, but have been taking care of things around here the latter part of the week. So I'm just now sitting down to give an update on things.

The camping was out of this world. I grew up camping most of my childhood. Learned to water ski when I was just a tyke. We ended up staying at one of the Corps of Engineers Campgrounds here. With all the lakes and rivers in the state they have quite a few of these places to visit.

My parents and I went down on Thursday. My sis and her hubby came on Friday. They even had their grand baby with them. I did a whole lot of hiking over the four days I was there. It was marvelous. The park is on a ridge between a river and a creek. To get to the water you have to hike down the mountain. Some spots it was pretty steep. The really fun part was coming back up. It was pretty modern as far as campgrounds go---hot showers, flush toilets, laundry, playground, beach. My favorite part is the wildflowers and birds. This particular park is known for it's bluebirds. This is a pic of the kinds of houses you'll find all over the park.

We did alot of BBQing too, ribs, chicken, steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs. Everything turned out delicious. Of course with that much food we brought a good bit back with us. I was in low carb heaven let me tell you. I had made a batch of my LC BBQ sauce before we went. Plus my dad had to have my baked beans and coleslaw and potato salad. I stuck with the meat.

I sure found out something surprising about my dog, Bear. He might be a little lap dog/house pet, but he loves the outdoors. He ended up being well behaved. They really frown on yapping dogs in a place like that. He even took to hiking with me. My dad has ordered him a pair of doggie boots so he will be able to take the trails with me a lot better next time. After a four mile hike his little tootsies were kinda tender. My dad found them in one of his RV magazines...go figure. Apparently taking your pet is a big thing while camping. I know this campground was full of dogs. One group even had a cat--on a leash at that.

I took tons of pics. But my battery went out on my camera so none will be uploaded until I get a new one. I'll pick one up at Wal-Mart tomorrow. Some of the sites there sit right on the edge of the mountain, complete with a deck. Oh man, what a view!! I bet it is really nice in the fall when all the leaves are changing.

I've already got reservations to take in another park by myself next weekend. This one is down below Selma on the Alabama River. I've got a site right on the water. The guy I talked to about it today says you can fish right from your campsite, so this time I'm taking my fishing gear with me. Who knows maybe I'll have some fresh fish for dinner one night. I'll have to take my cast iron skillet with me. Even better than that, I've got this thing that sits on a grill that keeps things from sliding through the slats. I can throw 'em on the grill, they sure would taste better.

I'll be leaving Saturday morning and coming back Tuesday. One week and counting......