coronavirus, family, family drama, money, work

my family deals with ‘rona

Friday April 3, 2020

On January 19, 2020, a 35-year-old man presented to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, with a 4-day history of cough and subjective fever. On January 20th he tested positive for Covid19. He thus became the first confirmed case of the virus in Washington State. Since then things have gone crazy and life in these United States has been flipped upside down.

Like so many other states, Washington State is under a stay-at-home order from the governor. Yesterday the governor extended the stay-at-home order until May 4th. Hundreds of businesses have closed in order to slow the spread of the virus. Thousands of households have been thrown into unpredictability as a result of the virus and the steps being taken to slow it down.  And that includes my household.

Financially we are doing OK. My nephew and I are still employed full-time. We are still able to pay the bills, meet the rent and buy groceries. Physically we are doing OK. We are all physically healthy. Still home life is stressful. We are bearing up emotionally but it’s not easy. Thankfully we do love one another and as the Scriptures say, “love covers a multitude of sins.” We are working at being gentle with each other. We acknowledge to each other that these are difficult time and we need to continue to pull together.

We are making plans to help each other deal with the stress of being stuck at home. We are doing our best to care for a 9 year old who is out of school. Crafting an educational plan for him that makes sense is difficult. And to be honest I’m not sure the educational system in our school district is up to the challenge. I expect we will have to do a lot on our own.

What will the school district do? How will we weather this storm of stay-at-home? We shall see.



coronavirus, money, urban life, work

a trip to the bank

Tuesday March 24, 2020

I had a considerable amount of cash on me and I needed to go to the back to deposit it. Normally I would do this at the end of the day but my back now closes at 2pm instead of 5pm, thanks to the coronavirus.

So Monday I headed to the bank during my lunch break. It’s a little more than a half mile stroll. I decided to take the route that went down 3rd Avenue because the terrain was a bit less stressful on my knees. The half mile walk down 3rd Avenue turned out to be a veritable obstacle course. Between the construction workers puffing away on their smokes, the street people and their coughs and the aggressive pan-handlers, it made for an unpleasant journey. I found myself zigzagging from one side of the street to the other and back again as I made my way south.

By the time I got to the bank, there were two other people ahead of me. One of them, still reeking from whatever it was he was smoking, was still holding the extinguished remains of his smoke of chose. I stood back from him because the aroma was actually making me ill. The teller asked him to put away whatever he was smoking. The man was offended to be asked and he threw it in a nearby garbage can. The teller said, “No,” ran to the trash can, fished out the stub and threw it out the door of the bank.

Meanwhile the other teller was having a struggle of her own. She was trying to explain to a customer why she couldn’t cash his check. Try as she might, he simply couldn’t understand. It appeared that everything she said went over his head. He was as lost as a little puppy dog left alone in Manhattan. As he wandered off a new issue erupted.

A man came into the bank followed by a person I had seen often on 3rd Avenue. This woman is very aggressive in her asking for money. She followed the man into the bank demanding that he or someone in the place give her money and do it right now. The woman teller ran over to confront her. An argument ensued but eventually she convinced her to leave the man alone and leave the bank.

By the time I got to teller, transacted my business and left, I was feeling very much shaken. My emotions were all over the place. I was a little angry, a bit scared, but mostly I was sad–deeply sad. I felt bad for the man with the foul smelling smoking material. I felt bad for the man who couldn’t understand why the bank couldn’t cash his check. I felt bad for the man who was being harassed as he came into the bank. I felt bad for the woman who was demanding money out of her poverty. I felt bad for the tellers. I felt bad for people coughing on the street, with no where to go. I felt bad for everyone.

Then I did something that made me feel bad for me. I took a different route back to work. I walked one block up to 4th Avenue and enjoyed a very quite pleasant walk back to my workplace. I could walk away from 3rd Avenue and not have to deal with its mess. But what about all the folk I encountered on my walk to the bank? Getting away from 3rd Avenue and things it typified for me today might not be so easy for them.


exercise, food, weight loss, work

Turnaround Tuesday

Tuesday March 3, 2020

The weekend was out of control and Monday was barely better. It’s time to take charge and re-impose order on my eating. It starts as it always does with a sensible breakfast. I’ve done that and I’m ready to have a good eating day.


I’m not feeling that great about the activity today because it is going to be a slow day at work. Our office closed early yesterday in order to have the floor disinfected. Thank you, coronavirus. Today most of our meetings are cancelled. That means I’ll be doing much less of the set up and clean up associated with each meeting. That means I’ll log considerably fewer steps. I’ll do my best to get around that problem with a number of “take a walk for no reason” events.

Although I’m not going to hit the goal of making this an outstanding week, I can still make it a good one. I can still get it together and register a loss. I’ll have to be much more disciplined this evening and all the other evening of this week for that to happen.

I have the foods I need at home to make it happen. I need to actually eat them.


exercise, food, weight loss, work

The News From Lake Weightbegone

Saturday February 29, 2020

Well, it’s been a quite week in Lake Weightbegone, my new hometown out here on the edge of good health.

Today begins a new approach to the News. As of today I will be writing this post before I step on the scale. The reason for this is to evaluate the week before the number on the scale influences my view of the week. in other words I’m trying to capture my sense of how the week went independent of the scale. The number on the scale has a tendency to change how I feel about the week retroactively. I want to express my feelings and thoughts before I know that number and see what happens.

It was a bad week. My eating was not out of control but I failed on many levels. My tracking was abysmal. I missed two days of eating vegetables. I missed on day of eating fruit. I failed to control 4 of the 5 weekday evening. Even at work I did poorly. there was way too much pointy foods about the office this week and I ate them.

Steps for the week were up quite a bit compared to last week. The week at work was very busy. I walked less because I had a lot of driving and sitting to do that day. No other significant activity took place over the week. However the possibility is that I may be getting on an exercise bike soon. More about that if it happens.

And that the news from Lake Weightbegone

…where all the women are strong because they workout

…all the men are good looking because they watch their portion sizes

…and all the children are above average when it comes to their activity points.

Inspired by:


music, work

on the bus

I was sitting on the 6am bus to Seattle, listening to a station on the Pandora app that was new to me. It was classical piano music for relaxation. I was relaxed; earbuds in, eyes closed.

As the bus traveled down the freeway a person suddenly appeared at the front door as if she had just stepped onto the bus. She placed her hand against the electronic palm scanner which registered her fare. She had a brief conversation with bus driver and then plopped now in the seat next to me, still giggling from whatever the bus driver said. She turned to me and asked, “How does that app work?”

I turned to her and said, “I don’t know.” We both smiled and then I turned away from her.

It was then that my rational brain spoke. “You realize this is dream, right? And I think it’s time for us to wake up.”

My eyes snapped open. There was no electronic palm reader. There was no woman sitting in the seat next to me. It was a dream. However the sitting at the bus at 6am heading for work part was real (sigh).

I managed a sardonic chuckle at the thought of riding on the bus having a dream about riding on the bus.


job search, money, work

The job search – yes, I’m still looking

I currently work for a company that works for a company that works for another company. To be more precise, I work for company A which is a temp agency. Company A has contracted with Company B for my services. Company B has contracted with Company C for the services of their employees. So the flow of money goes like this: Company C pays Company B, which pays Company A, which pays me $19.50/hour. I have no medical insurance, no dental insurance, no vision insurance, no paid time off and no paid holidays.

What I would like to be making is $21/hours with medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, paid time off and paid holidays. I also wouldn’t mind starting work a little later in the day than 7:30am. Free parking would be nice. Failing that reimbursed public transportation card would be great too.

At the moment Company B is in the process of extending a job offer to me. The rate of pay might be as high as $19/hour put I don’t know yet if that will be the case. The job does have medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, paid time off and paid holidays. It also will give me an unlimited public transportation pass for $20/month. To be honest that is simply not enough. That would net be an income of $635 a week and I need a minimum of $660 a week to make budget.

And that brings me to what happened last week. On Wednesday I was contacted by a local company looking for a worker with my skills and experience. I applied for their position and I have a job interview on Thursday of this week. Hopefully this job will pay $20/hour or more and hopefully I can land the job. We shall see.


fat girl report, food, physical status report, weight loss, work

The News From Lake Weightbegone

Saturday January 25, 2020

Well, it’s been a quite week in Lake Weightbegone, my new hometown out here on the edge of good health.

It was not the best of weeks. The real problem continues to be the evenings. Every single weekday i did the same thing and couldn’t seem to break the habit. Each evening started well but ended badly. I got home and ate my vegetables right away. But then the night comes on and I stay up too late and I eat a lot of junk. I’ve got to reel this in or I will find myself not only stuck in my weight loss but I will begin to gain weight again.

I like what I’m doing with the vegetables. I want to give myself credit here. I am eating vegetables five times a week. I’m eating 2-3 servings five times a week. This is new ground for me. This is a huge change and it feels like a sustainable change too. I’m getting my fruit also but it’s the vegetable habit that I’m most pleased about.

Activity was up this week for one reason only. It was not because I was trying to up activity. It’s just that last week I lost two days at work due to a back injury. This week I was up and working again. So the points went up.

Still when I went to weight in, I was expecting a significant gain, maybe a pound or more. I was relieved to see only a slight increase.

Current weight: 208.0 lbs

Weight change since last weigh in: +0.2 lbs

And that the news from Lake Weightbegone

…where all the women are strong because they workout

…all the men are good looking because they watch their portion sizes

…and all the children are above average when it comes to their activity points.

Inspired by:

food, music, work

With apologies to The Rolling Stones

Thursday January 23, 2020

I’m throwin’ down another cup of hot Joe, just for the kick of it.


Though I prefer tea, in this culture coffee is the working people’s drink. Some of us may be a little too attached to our coffee. For us I offer a verse of a song to the tune of The Rolling Stones’ hit, “Mother’s Little Helper

Things are different today

I hear every worker say

“They just don’t appreciate the things I do.”

So they hit the coffee pot

What comes out is nice and hot

They go running the the shelter of the workers’ little helper

Caffeine gets ’em on their way

Helps ’em through their busy day

Traffic’s different today

I hear every worker say,

“Paying for a parking place is just a drag.”

But the bus is running late

And all they can do is wait

And go running for the shelter of the workers’ little helper

Caffeine gets ’em on their way

Helps ’em through their dreary day.

Bari sta please

One more of these

Out side the door

I drink one more

What a drag it is working hard

“And I wish I got more pay,”

I hear every worker say

But the boss says that the budgets down the tunes

No one’s gonna get a raise

That’s the way it is these days

So go running for the shelter of your workers little helper.

Caffeine gets ’em on their way.

Helps ’em through their weary day.

Bari sta please

One more of these

Out side the door

I drink one more

What a drag it is working hard


exercise, money, physical status report, work

the story of the feet (oh, not that story)

Sunday January 19, 2020

I had been at Wright Business Graphics for about 13 months. I was working on the production floor. I was working in the digital print department. I was on my feet most of my shift and the majority of that was standing with limited walking. The floor of the plant is concrete.

Within the first four months of my employment I began to have significant pain in my knees, feet and mostly in my hips. Eventually I had to go to a doctor to be evaluated and treated. The first part of the treatment was getting shoes that would cushion me against the unforgiving concrete floor and letting the injuries heal. The second part was doing stretches and strengthening exercises for my hips and lower back and core.

The progress was slow and was interrupted by a new health concern that came on suddenly: diverticulitis. I was diagnosed after an ER visit. Recovering from that took priority over the lower body issues. The stretches and strengthening exercises went out the window. That delayed the healing process for my lower body by a couple of months. Over the next month or so the diverticulitis came under control and I returned to working on the lower body issues. The hip pain slowly resolved as did the knee pain.

I was beginning to see the end of this wilderness of pain when suddenly my foot pain increased. I was again forced to seek medical advice. This time I was referred to a podiatrist. On August 31st I had my first visit with Dr. Daniel Johnson, DPM. He diagnosed me with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. He told me what the prognosis is for this and that we might have to try various solutions to see which would be most effective. He gave me a pad for the inside of my shoes.

I wore the shoe pads and for almost two weeks the pain decreased. But suddenly the pain increased again and I had to return to the doctor. I had to start wearing a brace but said this was no more than a stopgap measure. The best solution would be an orthotic insert. He was very blunt with me. He told me that eventually I would have to go to an orthotic insert or the tendon would rupture. If that happen then I’m looking at major surgery. However my insurance would not pay for these inserts. I would have to pay for them out of pocket and they are not cheap.

Finally a year after seeing Dr Johnson for the first time, I had to swallow hard and go get fitted for an orthotic insert. The man who got me set up was very knowledgeable. He had been doing orthotics for 40 years. He told all about how they work and what I could expect. Toward the end of my time with him, he took molds of both feet. I was surprised. I thought I only needed an insert for one foot. He said that the doctor had prescribed a pair because my left foot would soon have the problem that my right foot already had. Actually the cost was for two inserts not one. That made me feel better about paying out the money.

I can’t remember if it was September 7th or 14th but on one of those days I picked up my orthoditcs. He man who fitted me slid them into my shoes and made a couple of adjustments. He told me how to break them in and then I was off and running (so to speak).

I must say that the difference has been amazing. They changed my gait, changed my stance and changed my life. The foot pain is gone. I can be on my feet again. I’m walking 10000 plus steps a day. Work doesn’t kill my legs anymore. It has been wonderful. hats off to Dr Daniel Johnson! Hats off to Anderson’s Footwear and Custom Orthotics! My feet are eternally grateful.


fat girl report, food, weight loss, work

The News from Lake Weightbegone

Saturday January 18, 2020

Well, it’s been a quite week in Lake Weightbegone, my new hometown out here on the edge of good health.

Over the weekend I didn’t track. This was not so much a failure as it was an area I’m not ready to deal with. I have decided that as I restart the program I’ll focus on my eating through the week. Once I feel I have a handle of that, I will tackle the weekend.

Speaking of the week, I tracked every day week day.  Eating at work is going well. I bring my breakfast and lunch for the week on Monday. Then I eat what I’ve brought.  Now that the holidays are over there is much less trap food in the workplace. I’m in good shape at work.

However I still struggled with eating at home in the evenings. I am still eating too much junk food in the evening. However I have discovered a series of vegetable dishes that I like. I tried a thing called riced vegetables. The riced part is cauliflower and it is mixed in with other vegetables. I was surprised that I like the taste. The points are low and a couple of servings are filling. So I really uped my vegetable consumption. That was a huge win.

Activity was definitely down this week. I injured my back and missed two days at work. That dropped my steps.At the moment that is my only activity.

By the time I got to the WW Studio for my weigh in I wasn’t expecting much. To my surprise the scale had good news.

Current weight: 207.8 lbs

Weight change since last weigh in: -4.2 lbs

And that the news from Lake Weightbegone

…where all the women are strong because they workout

…all the men are good looking because they watch their portion sizes

…and all the children are above average when it comes to their activity points.

Inspired by: