Kidney stones

I had my CT scan and it turns out I have a very large kidney stone.  Kind of crazy and I had ruled it out because I don’t have any pain but apparently it’s in a position where it doesn’t cause pain.  They said they don’t know how long it’s been there, could be years could be months, and I definitely cannot pass it on my own so I have to have a surgery to remove it.  I find it interesting they call it surgery because no cutting is involved.  I don’t have the right kind of stone to be able to use that ultrasonic wave machine to break up the stone so they have to go in with a laser to shatter it and then vacuum it out.  I’m not looking forward to that at all because I have to be put under and after having had my trauma with Leo’s birth I am super sketched out about that process.  Jesse says it’s silly because it’s not the anesthetics that caused my heart to stop, it was blood loss, but technically we *don’t* know what caused my heart to stop.  Most likely it WAS blood loss.  But there is no way to know for sure and I’m scared I won’t wake up from what should be a very easy procedure.  In any event, I have it scheduled in a couple weeks.

We put down payments on the windows and our deck finally and are trying to work out landscaping.  The people we hired to do the job have been kind of shady so we had another team out to bid on it a few days ago and are waiting for their quote now.  We’ve simplified the design but they are a larger firm with more overhead so not sure what it’ll all come out to.

Ezra had end of the year testing at his preschool at got a 166/167 which is apparently fantastic.  I guess they test at the Kindergarten level and he’s already where he should be by the end of his Kindergarten year.  His teacher told us we should get him into a dual-language program, the Gifted and Talented program, or skip him a year.  We’re looking into our options.

We’re still looking at kittens on KSL.  I see some that are cute but it seems like these people are all trying to get ride of 6-week kittens and I’m thinking they should be at least 8-week kittens before they leave mama, at the earliest, right?  Jojo is going to be PISSED when we get them.  She already hates Benny, she’s not going to want to share us with other animals.

Jesse is taking the boys with him in August to go see an eclipse or star show of some kind, I can’t recall.  I don’t have the time available to go with them so I will be staying home.  I have to say, I’m looking forward to that.  I get the house to myself, peace and quiet, and aside from fearing death at the hands of thieves I think it should be a relaxing time.

We have the family trip to Oregon in August as well.  It’s going to be a good month!

Leo has slowly started to string more words together.  Generally I still cannot make out what he’s trying to say but I like that he’s attempting it.  We’re still having some issues with Ezra not listening to us and general zaniness but I don’t think it’s anything serious, I think it’s because he’s five.  He learns so quickly!  He was singing whole strings of verse to me the other day.  Doesn’t quite have pitch and tone down yet but the memory retention is on point.

I started fermenting vegetables in a quart mason jar the other day.  I included onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, and asparagus then filled it with brine (salt water).  I don’t know how it will taste but when I loosen the lid ring to release the gasses it smells awesome!  I do believe I will start another kombucha batch either today or tomorrow.  It’s been so long since I’ve made it I’m going to have to look up the recipe to see how much sugar to water to use.  On the fence about starting sourdough bread again.  On the one hand I know fermented food is beneficial and fermented dough is easier to digest, but on the other hand I’m trying to eat low carb and even fermented bread is probably too much starch.  Will have to think on that.

Have I mentioned before that I think I want to get into flipping houses and owning rentals?  I totally want to do that.  I think owning property is a great investment for retirement.  I told Velvet she should get in the property flipping with me.  She’s done a lot of work around her house and would be helpful in this endeavor.  She seemed interested but neither one of us will have the capital to purchase property anytime soon.  I’m just getting a wee bit tired of what I’m doing for work.  They work itself is ok, I just don’t necessarily like having to deal with the public.  I’ve been doing in for over eight years now and it’s getting old, you know?  Working with my hands, painting, puttying holes in walls, it’s much more visual the stuff you get accomplished.  I think I would like that.

Resisting the allure of soda

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I do love soda.  (On an unrelated side note, in high school I used to call it “pop,” and I had a best friend who called it “soda.”  It drove me nuts when she called it that, but somehow along the years, that’s what I call it now, too.)  Where I work, it’s available for free, and wouldn’t you know, the vending machines are literally right behind where I sit.  They call to me all day.  All day, every day that I’m at work, people make the trek down to these vending machines.  One particular gentleman I see comes by multiple times a day.

Intellectually, I know that soda is not good for me.  Maybe the kind that’s made from pure cane sugar is better than the HFCS stuff, but all in all, not awesome for the body.  The thing is, I love that fizz!  It’s so effervescent and delicious.  It’s the bubbles that make it so, though; I think most of us will agree that flat soda is not appealing.

So, to try and combat my desire for soda, I have been making kombucha tea at home.  I’ve been making it for several months, now, and I think I’m just beginning to get the hang of it.  Komucha is a fermented tea that promotes better digestion, increased energy, and generally just brings your body back into balance.  You can read more about kombucha in many places, but I like Kombucha Kamp.  I bought my SCOBY from them, and they also have a great Facebook group page where I tend to ask a lot of questions and receive a lot of answers.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty pleased with the results (a couple overly-vinegary batches notwithstanding), and they can get great carbonation.  The problem is, I think it looks weird to have a flip-top-type beer bottle at work – because you second ferment in a flip-top bottle to get the carbonation – and I would worry about the pressure causing the drink to fizz everywhere if I tried to open it at my desk.  My kombucha is more of a home drink for now.

1 gallon kombucha tea brewing

1 gallon kombucha tea brewing

I also am going to make a ginger bug.  (I had an awesome part of this post about ginger bugs, and for whatever reason, WordPress didn’t save my draft.  Darn you WordPress!  Now I have to retype everything.  Maybe I should start creating Word documents, then copy and paste….  Oh well, onward and upward I suppose.)  A ginger bug can be used as the base for natural sodas like apple-ginger soda, root beer/sarsaparilla, or just simply as natural ginger ale.  From what I’ve read, if you had a stomach ache back in the day and someone told you to drink a soda to settle it, this is the kind of soda they meant you to drink.  Ginger bugs are chalk full of probiotics, and many folks find ginger soothing and nausea quenching.  I plan to use this recipe.  Seems simple enough, right?  I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

Hopefully I will soon be adept enough at making these drinks that I *will* be able to bring them to work with me, and then I can completely ignore the siren call of the soda machine.