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Monday evening

September 11th, 2023 — 6:01pm

The muffins I made were stupendously good. Seriously. This recipe except homemade apple vinegar, no cinnamon, and a cup of chopped walnuts. I only needed one large Granny Smith to get two cups. And I did the all-in-one method a la Mary Berry. So moist, so flavorful, wonderful texture. That is the best way to chop apples for baking, for certain! Because of the extra mass from the walnuts I ended up with enough batter for 13 heaped muffins so I made the extra one in a measuring cup.

My experimental strained kefir was a resounding success. I ended up with a very thick cross between Greek yogurt and sour cream — I’ll use it in place of either. Super-creamy because I use whole milk to make my kefir. I drank some of the whey, which was surprisingly refreshing, and I think I’ll use some to soak my bulgar wheat overnight for tabbouleh tomorrow.

I made myself a tiny salad for lunch as a treat. I usually try to eat more calories if I can eat at all, but the garden cherry tomatoes were so tempting and I just craved a crunchy juicy salad. So good, so good.

I got two more big bags of fresh library books yesterday and started going through them today to winnow out the unreadable ones but the first one I dipped into was so good I couldn’t stop reading it! “The Husbands” by Chandler Baker.

I think I’ll have another tiny salad for dinner and then some Potato Mess for the calories, with my new homemade sour cream!

God it’s wonderful to have a better day. I don’t even feel that great — but in contrast with yesterday I feel like Wonder Woman

Oh yeah I put up two quarts of dill pickles, too! In three weeks or a month they’ll be amazing. I cut them pretty small, in quarters lengthwise and then in half the short way, so I can fish out a little piece when I want a pickle and not over-salt myself.

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September 11th, 2023 — 11:39am

I took metolazone at bedtime last night even though I knew I’d need to get up to pee all night. I just felt so awful that I decided it was worth it. And I was right. I got up every 1-2 hours to pee but my abdomen felt UNFULL when I got up in the morning. God what a difference. I did the washing-up, baked apple-walnut muffins, and started straining some kefir for kefir-yogurt. Now I’m all tired and starting to feel full again but not miserable yet. Yesterday was so horrible. I lay in bed all day like a lump. Couldn’t even handle listening to an audiobook.

Now I know I can trade sleep for a few hours of feeling not-full-and-puffy the next day.

Mom brought home cucumbers for me to pickle, so I’m gonna try really hard to scrape up enough energy for that after I have a little rest. Those full-sours I made are just BEYOND DELICIOUS. I’m definitely a full-sour girl.

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September 10th, 2023 — 7:02pm

A very hard day

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September 9th, 2023 — 8:11pm

So tired. Mom bought me the most adorable pants at our local Weird Discount Store. Linen/rayon blend, woven blue-and-white stripes, pockets, loose and beachy, elastic waist, long enough! I feel so cute in them.

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September 8th, 2023 — 5:07pm

Tired. So tired of being tired. It’s tiring and tiresome.

I found a website full of recipes for single serving meals. I’m excited. I’ve filled my recipe app (paprika) with interesting recipes like pad thai for one (I rewrote it for tofu instead of shrimp, eww), eggplant parmesan for one, split pea soup for one. I have a hell of a time recalibrating my cooking muscle-memory to make non-family-size meals. This should help, and a “single serving” is still probably two-three meals for me. I keep ending up with like a week of leftovers every time I cook for myself. It’s too much.

Also she/he/they list ideas of what to do with your surplus ingredients; for example if you have surplus mozzarella from making eggplant parm, you could use it for a personal pizza or a caprese salad

Hoping to wake up with enough spoons to cook something new for myself sometime soon…

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September 7th, 2023 — 8:07pm

Yesterday was a metolazone day so last night I woke up every 2 hours to pee. So that tells you how today was.

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September 6th, 2023 — 8:09pm

Mom is visiting, yay!

I took a bath and washed my hair this morning, then baked a batch of banana-nut muffins. Perfect recipe. but I skipped the spices. I don’t want spices in my banana-nut muffins. Used a cup of walnuts btw.

Then worn out and did nothing for the rest of the day. Zelda, audiobooks, YouTube. Lots of Townsends.

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September 5th, 2023 — 8:21pm

I made a big ol’ spinach lasagna this morning, some for fridge, some for freezer, and then I crashed hard and basically napped for the rest of the day.

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Tuesday morning

September 5th, 2023 — 7:40am

No insomnia! Only got up twice to pee! Hallelujah.

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September 4th, 2023 — 5:59pm

WHAT is WITH the INSOMNIA. Why did my brain forgot how to sleep? Ah well, all I can do is ride it out. It wasn’t terrible last night, and I just felt regular-crappy today, not extra-super-crappy.

Got the kitchen uncluttered so our cleaner could give it a good scrub. Also I made crumpets! See video in one of my previous posts. And then I did absolutely nothing for the rest of the day.

Oh! Henry and Jayla stopped by to pick up a dresser that’s been languishing in our basement since they moved. And they were sans children so we could actually have conversations! Henry moved furniture and helped Dave a bit, and Jayla gave the lounge a thorough hoovering and swept the dining room. And we chatted, and it was lovely lovely. I adore the littles but my goodness grown-up time is nice too :)

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September 3rd, 2023 — 4:18pm

Weird insomnia again. So tired. Made another batch of lemon icebox pie filling yum yum and then napped and did nothing.

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September 2nd, 2023 — 5:43pm

Yesterday was so awful but today was a million times better. Thank goodness. I lost four pounds of fluid weight in one day, which means my heart and lungs are much happier.

I think about food all the time. I collect recipes, I watch videos, I daydream about nice things to eat, I make elaborate grocery lists. Too bad food doesn’t usually taste good (thanks, potassium) and I can barely eat anything without feeling uncomfortably full (thanks, edema). I just watched an Englishman make crumpets and now I feel like I MUST MAKE CRUMPETS omg. How tempting are they?? Maybe tomorrow. I have everything I’d need and they’re not much work.

Speaking of food, we got our first order from yesterday. Henry kindly drove over here to pick it up from our neighborhood drop-off because a) I was in no shape to get out of bed and b) most of it was food for him anyway and c) to lift those ten-pound bags of flour and onions would be a challenge for me. Look, just look at those amazing prices. Organically-grown potatoes for $1.79/lb. Ditto onions for $1.68/lb. A 6lb beam of really good whole milk mozzarella for $3.92/lb. Two kinds super high-quality flour for Henry’s baking (he’s a passionate bread-baker) at $1.89 and $1.40/lb. Oh and my fancy cottage cheese is a dollar cheaper than at the local health food store.

The only disappointing item was the cucumbers— they’re the kind with tough peels. Not great for pickling, and I barely like raw cucumbers when they’re perfect. So I gave them all to Henry. Lulu loves to munch on cucumbers and she started right in on one :)

I kept about 2lbs of the cheese, chopped into half-pound blocks and frozen. Also five pounds of potatoes and the three-pound bag of sweet onions. And two of the three-pack of whole-milk probiotic cottage cheese.

Our next delivery will be in four weeks and I’ve already got my cart started. Dave and Henry have my login so they can shop too. Dave is excited about ground lamb (no antibiotics, grass-fed, pasture-raised) at $15/lb. I’m excited to try some unusual rice and dried beans.

If you want to try Azure Standard, use my referral code and I think I get a $25 credit. Go here: and put in KaraShallenberg1

See? I think about food all the time. I ate some of my killer-diller black bean and Mexican rice soup for lunch and for dinner I just whipped up a little salad of garbanzo beans, frozen peas, onion, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, and a wee pinch of cayenne. It’s marinating now. LEMONY.

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September 1st, 2023 — 4:49pm

Horrible night. Insomnia like you wouldn’t believe, out of nowhere for no reason. Weird stomach issues. General physical discomfort. Barely slept at all. Puffed up like a pumpkin. Took metolazone and napped all day. Ugh.

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August 31st, 2023 — 5:23pm

Slightly better night, slightly better day. Thank goodness. We had gentle, drippy rain from the wee hours all the way till evening. Windows open, house full of fresh damp air. Luscious.

Chloe recorded Farmer Boy for me and once again she’s letting me share with you! I got it all uploaded and tagged and podcasted yesterday and today. Go here and scroll down: I love Chloe’s sweet voice, and it’s one of my favorite Little House books. <3

Online appointment this morning with my cardiologist, Dr. Kahn, just to check in with her. I asked her if she thought the horrible metallic taste in my mouth and my craving for salty and sour things were related to the massive dose of potassium I take every day. She did a little research and said yes, that’s what it is. There’s nothing to be done about it but at least I feel less crazy knowing there’s a reason. She says if I just can’t resist the salty things and they make me puffy I can take my big diuretic more often. Everyone is trying to keep me as comfortable as possible. She said I’m always in her heart — awww!

And then another online appointment with my GP this evening to get his referral for another round of in-home physical therapy. Quick and easy.

I started a new book, Happy Place, by Emily Henry. Excellent so far and enjoying it a lot.

Oh and I made a big pot of Spanish rice (or is it Mexican rice?) to go with the big pot of black beans I made yesterday. Toast rice lightly in butter, add minced onions, garlic, cumin, chili pepper, pinch of cayenne, pinch of salt, cook till onion is soft, add minced tomato, a bit of tomato paste, and chicken broth, and simmer till done.

There’s something magical about flavorful beans and rice with cheese and sour cream and lime juice. I could eat it every day forever, either as-is or added to more chicken broth to make an easy soup.

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August 30th, 2023 — 6:11pm

Tired. All the anxiety dreams. A really fun recurring nightmare I have is one in which I forget to give my new mailing address to a credit card so I never get the bills and the interest racks up astronomically. Which, yeah, I pay everything online so that’s not even possible but ok brain you go right ahead and torture me anyway.

At least I felt ok enough to sit in the living room with Dave most of the day. I found a new-to-us ambulance show on the iPlayer that amused us for some hours!

Played lots of Zelda, collecting Korok seeds.

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August 29th, 2023 — 6:34pm

So tired

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August 28th, 2023 — 8:16pm

Rough night. Super tired. Lay in bed and played Zelda TotK all day. And watched old episodes of Tasting History.

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August 27th, 2023 — 8:17pm

Happy birthday to me! I did not ever expect to make it to 54. My goodness.

Nice quiet day. My family is trained to send birthday greetings to me via text instead of phone call. Good job, family :)

Not super exhausted; not feeling as good as yesterday but ok enough. I made some lemon pie filling for a lemony treat. I don’t like the crust part of pie and I spotted this egg-free recipe and thought I’d give it a try. Turned out great! I made a half batch and made it less sweet and more lemony of course. My version:

Lemon Icebox Pie Filling: one 8 oz brick of cream cheese at room temperature (I left it out overnight), beaten until soft and fluffy. Then beat in 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 c fresh lemon juice, a tiny pinch of salt and a drop of vanilla. Chill and eat like pudding! Or double this recipe and pour it into a graham cracker crust before chilling it if that’s how you roll.

Played a lot of Zelda. Unlocked the final sky tower, found another geoglyph, did those two photo quests for the guy in the Gerudo stable, and made my way across the desert to Gerudo town. I hate to say it, but Tears of the Kingdom has taken Wind Waker’s place as my Favorite Zelda Game. I didn’t think that was possible.

Lunch was a little pot of soup made from the last of my beans and rice. I should make new batches of both soon; that was a really easy way to create fresh nutritious soup in five minutes whenever I wanted.

Dinner is three homegrown zucchini sautéed in olive oil and butter, with cottage cheese on the side.

Watching some back episodes of Tasting History while I eat, then it will be time for audiobook and bed.

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August 26th, 2023 — 7:30pm

I slept well and felt good today. I actually felt good. Clear-headed, not exhausted, cheerful. It was amazing! I enjoyed every minute of it.

Let’s see… I dealt with some stuff I’d been putting off. Filled in a form, unpacked several boxed of meds, moved Things off the bed, got rid of some clutter. Fed and watered the garden. Did the washing up and put the clean dishes away after they’d dried. Refrigerated all but two bottles of ginger ale to slow the fermentation. Then I made stuffed peppers using a recipe I hadn’t tried before and they were amazingly good. Pretty much this recipe with the following changes:

1) cut the peppers the other direction so they’re easier to stuff and have no holes
2) less meat, more onions and garlic (I scaled the recipe down to 2/3 and used just 1/2 lb sausage meat, close to a whole medium onion, and three cloves of garlic)
3) add some smoked paprika
4) pre-roast peppers a bit longer (they should be nearly done)
5) cook rice mixture a bit longer

Then I played some Zelda and unlocked the Gerudo canyon sky tower and found the stable. Cleaned about 50 boxes out of the stable for the stable guy and got some photo-taking quests, which I’ll try tomorrow. I also want to find some heat-protection armor.

Then it was outside for my nudie shade-bath, with an ice-cold bottle of sparkling water, the hose to mist myself on this 90° afternoon, and my audiobook. I think I was out there for more than two hours.

Now I’m in bed with potatoes and a different audiobook. It was an excellent day. So glad there’s still a chance of an excellent day popping up at random every now and then :)

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August 25th, 2023 — 5:47pm

Tired. Always so tired. So much fatigue. But I managed to start a new batch of ginger ale in eight little bottles, and a quart of sauerkraut with apple. All fermenting now. Sauerkraut needs to sit for about 17 days but the ginger ale will be ready to go into the fridge in 2-3 days.

Thunderstorms in the middle of the night and five minutes of real rain!

Ate five cherry tomatoes from my garden this morning :)

It’s Owen’s fourth birthday. Happy birthday, my big handsome stupid orange boy. Meow.

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