Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dear Atlantans

My friend Sheila at The Adventures of Ordy and Joon blog has a dog who is her baby. He is BIG, black, half Great Dane, and full grown. While someone was dog sitting, a storm came and he got out and they have been unable to find him.

Here is a special request from one dog lover for a fellow dog lover to ALL my buds in the greater Atlanta metro area. If you think you have seen a big black dog roaming on his own, speak up! Any info helps her. If you see and think it may be him, please get him. I will connect you with Sheila. He answers to Bandit and
she is posting a reward for his return to the person who finds and brings him home. (although I think we can all agree that doing a good deed is reward enough).

You can see his lost dog listing here:


Thanks dog lovers, hope you find him!

Monday, June 20, 2011

So Corny

Well, since nailing the corn allergy diagnosis, there's been a lot that has changed! So much is making sense, and I no longer feel like my body has so many short comings and failures...just a REALLY bad allergy that manifests itself in different ways. For instance:

1. We thought I was becoming allergic to dogs. Honey, in particular. Every time she gave me puppy kisses I would break out in a rash where her tongue licked me. It was very itchy, and very hive-y. She is now on a corn-free, grain-free all natural dog food. It's more expensive, but she's healthier and...no more rash from being around my dog!

2. For a long time I thought my body had an adverse reaction to the chemicals in deodorants. I went through a few dozen brands and types, and every kind caused a severe rash in my underarms, complete with hives, peeling skin, and bleeding. I found one brand a few years ago that caused no discomfort or abnormality at all. Turns out, it's one of the only brands out there that isn't made of corn-based chemicals!

3. I really thought I was dairy sensitive. Whenever I ate the more affordable cheeses, creams, milks or creamy sauces, my face would break out and I would have some embarrassing and uncomfortable digestive issues that followed. Turns out, it's not the dairy, but the cows' diets! How wild. If I eat dairy from cows that are exclusively grass-fed and free-grazing, I have no reaction. Corn fed cows, on the other hand, trigger a strong reaction. Who knew!

4. Since trying a new all-natural fabric softener for our sheets a few weeks ago, I had been waking up with hives and a rash all over my body. I read the label and found out it had corn alcohol in it. I switched to a corn-free natural brand and had my first morning today without an all-over rash. Good change of pace.

I have been HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) free for a long time, and never baked much with corn starches. I also never really enjoyed corn as a food, so I never ate it much. If I had, I imagine I would have made stronger connections sooner. It turns out this allergy thing is pretty far-reaching. I still eat gluten free, and have the hang of it...but cross contamination hasn't seemed to be a problem to the same extent. So my gluten intolerance isn't nearly as severe. But now I engage on the life long journey of learning what chemicals and ingredients are derived from corn, looking out for them, and avoiding them.

I know it sounds like a bummer, but it feels like a victory. I'm not some weakling invalid who gets sick all the time. I'm just someone with a really intense allergy. And now that I am empowered with the information to work around it, I am going to have a much higher quality of life. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Our Expanding Family

Consider this your announcement...that we are adopting another dog!

Isaac has been wanting a golden or golden mix for some time. A coworkers dog conveniently knocked up a golden, whose owner (+the dog) has been living with them. In August little Hiro will come home with us. He is 1/2 golden, 1/4 German Shepherd and 1/4 black lab.

The dad has a very similar temperament to Honey... all play and affection. The mom is very sweet, polite, and mellow.

Since Honey is 1/2 German Shepherd, I think they will be great siblings.

I picked this little guy before his eyes were even open. He is so super ticklish, stretchy, and cuddle-seeking, I could not resist!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Yard In the Making...in pictures!

Our yard has gone from being an unlevel mess of rocks and weeds, to a level mess of lava rocks and far fewer weeds, to a fenced in mess of leveled lava rock. We're getting there. It's taking a lot of time, a lot of money, and LOTS of hard work. And that's just our back yard!

Peter came out in April for Spring Break and to help us level the yard. Madeline has been here for the summer and helped Isaac put up the fence. I am glad we finally got some pictures loaded. It's interesting seeing the progress.

We still have a long way to go, as you can see. Next step is renting a compactor and putting down mulch, soil, and eventually planting plants, trees and laying down grass seed. I've already bought about 1/4 of the vegetables we'll be growing in raised beds on either side of the house. Hopefully we get enough done in the yard that I will be able to transplant them in July!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Early Summer Update

Madeline is in town for most of the summer. She's been working for her keep, that's for sure. Every day while I am at work, she and Isaac work their butts off putting the fence up in our back yard.

Since being here we've spent ample time at the beach with Madeline. She tried her hand at surfing but wasn't a fan of some of the more aggressive or hostile surfer's out on the waves so she retreated back to shore. One of the guys (carelessly) put a dent in the board she was on. Fortunately, it was reparable and on a board we don't use much anyway.

I also had the chance to take her up in a company helicopter, where we went over the volcano (Kilauea) and into the valley. The lava activity was really going off. I got a recording of the flight so if I can figure out how to load the DVD on the computer and pull a few short clips from it, maybe I will be able to post them soon.

Other than that, we've been swimming laps in the pool or going on long hilly runs every evening. A few mornings a week we make it to some of the more intense yoga classes in town, taught by Jen or Tasha.

I am glad she relishes exercise to the same extent Isaac and I do.