Friday, January 31, 2014

Eating and Not Eating

OK, so I had my first appointment at the Coumadin Clinic to have my coumadin levels checked. It had been too long since the last check, but my doctor moved and I had to switch and make new appts etc. Anyway, I was given a list of things not to eat while we wait for the blood clot in my arm (post operation cochlear implant) to dissolve. I am not to eat green leafy vegetables because of their high vitamin K content. I looked at the list and wanted to cry. All I've eaten the last two months is green leafy veggies, nuts, and meat. I've lost forty-five pounds, which is good, but I'm not happy with such an unbalanced diet. But it is at present the only way I can keep my blood sugar at 100 and keep at bay the allergy reactions that have made me so sick for so many years. So, now I'm down to ..... nuts and meat?   So, searching the zero glycemic lists again: there's, well, cucumber. Eggplant. Probably cauliflower despite being so closely related to broccoli which is on the forbidden list. Olives aren't zero, but they're pretty low. I like olives. I'll work out something.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review of An Uncommon Crusade by Caron Guillo

Most people don't know that the Muslims started the centuries-long war with Europe that came to be called the Crusades. Caron Guillo does not go into the causes and justifications of the Crusades; she takes a snapshot of some people in one Crusade. She rightly shows that most people did not want war, on either side, and that hunger and disease killed many more people than battle did. Everyone finds their faith shaken by their experiences.
Another thing most people don't know is the extent to which Europeans (and Americans for a few decades) were sold into slavery in Muslim lands. Some survived and flourished in their slavery, and some were further traumatized. The author vividly shows what life was like for some of the European slaves.
There were many things to like about this book. The writing is clear, the writer has done her research, and the characters are fairly believable. As could be expected for a story set in the Children's Crusade, a lot of the events are depressing, and yet hope in a Good God shines through this story of a variety of people who joined the Crusade with varying motives. If you like historical fiction that is realistic and some romance thrown in, you should like the story of these survivors.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My husband is in Rwanda

My husband is in Huye/Butare, Rwanda for an apologetics conference for college students from five nations. He is also there to dedicate the Kim Foreman (name changed to Joy of God) Bible Institute and to see what else we need to ship over to finish the Lighthouse, a four story building that will house a restaurant, hotel, four local businesses, Bible Institute, and Student Center just outside the south gate of the National University of Rwanda.

Thoughts on some books.

Memoir in an Ant-Proof Case by Mark Helprin I should have realized that this was a Baron Von Munchausen story. Instead I took it at face value (some people do, after all, live larger than life stories) and did not realize until half way through the book that the narrator was lying to me. And then his lies got more and more egregious. I realize that it's silly to resent a fictional character in a novel lying to me but I had to force myself to finish reading the book, and I did so resentfully. The writing is wonderful with perhaps a hundred or so metaphors and similes per page, many of them striking, several thought provoking, some dead on arrival, and some absolutely baffling. Because of the "adult" content, I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to.

Storm Chase by K.M. Carroll    I did like this YA about teenagers acquiring magic powers and saving the world even though it was not great literature. It was fun. I did not date in high school, but I did watch the kids around me going through the dating/jealousy/angst etc, as do the kids in this book. I think any teens who like animorphs, Twilight, Grimm etc would enjoy reading this book with close calls, danger, and exploration of self and roles.

Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren   Once you get past the wish-fulfillment trope of a teenage girl able to kill adult men with her sword (her dad did train her) and just say, okay, it's a given, you find an exciting story of love and hate with teen from modern times thrown into medieval city-states in what later became Italy. Girls and women who love shivery love stories and history will like this series a lot.

A couple weeks post-cochlear activation

I'm told that in six months I will be so glad I had a cochlear implant. Maybe. Right now I'm not. Post surgery I developed a blood clot in my arm (which all medical people say they have never seen before!) and then the stitches got infected. And what I listen to all day is that sound of a needle scratching a vinyl record, static, and tinnitus. What I am not hearing is the human voice. I do hearing exercises with a downloaded DVD, and fail miserably at all the exercises. I cannot tell the difference between a frog and a jet. I can seldom tell the difference between a male and a female voice. All words sound like louder static with a snarl. Yesterday I was finally able to hear some difference between some pure tones. And I was finally able to hear the difference between a drum and a flute. But not a flute and anything else in the orchestra. In real life I can finally hear the turn signal. Somehow I am not fluttering with joy over that. I had hoped to be hearing by the end of March so I could go to the Realm Makers writing conference and understand the speakers. I'm guessing that's not gonna happen. Can you tell I'm depressed?