Monday, July 16, 2018

Memories of Nene

Last week was a sad one - the passing of my dad's oldest living sibling and his only living sister.  My aunt, Marlene Meadows Archer, was one of a kind.  Her grandkids called her Nene - probably because they couldn't pronounce Marlene.   She was the family historian.  The one who remembered everything - right up to the end.  She was 85 years old and even though her body was rebelling her mind (she called it her "members") never left her.

My granny passed away when I was only 9 1/2 years old.  I remember that night clearly because it was the first time I ever remember hearing my quiet, sweet daddy holler or cry.  When the call came he cried out loudly, and I didn't know why but I knew it wasn't good.  He loved his mama!  I remember that Aunt Marlene tried to take her place best she could to keep all the family together.  Her home became the new gathering spot.  She loved her brothers oh so much, and she loved all her nieces and nephews too.  She remembered our birthdays, our spouses' names, our kids' names - all of it.  She lived just across the river in Texas until she and her husband retired to Toledo Bend.  We would visit there too, right on the lake.  When he passed away she moved back to the home place in Louisiana.  She had a gorgeous yard with old plantings that I never was brave enough to dig up (I do NOT have a green thumb!) 

My grandparents had 6 children, but their oldest girl (my namesake, Mae Imogene) died before she turned 3.  In fact, my Granny would have been pregnant with Aunt Marlene when she passed.  I can't imagine.  After Aunt Marlene, my Uncle Kent, then my Daddy, then my Uncle Curtis were all born within 5 years of each other.  Uncle Sam was the youngest; born seven years after my Dad.  My daddy was the first sibling who lived to adulthood to pass away, in 2006.  After the funeral in Lufkin Aunt Marlene's son John did the escort to Louisiana and conducted a service there for the family who wasn't able to make the trip to East Texas.   Once the burial was over, we all gathered yet again at Aunt Marlene's home.  She told stories as only she could, and even though we were heartbroken we laughed and laughed at the tales she told of our Daddy, uncles, cousins and their friends when they were young.  Many of those stories we had heard, but some we hadn't.  She had a warm, often loud voice, and had that Louisiana accent we didn't get here in East Texas.  

Last year I took my mom over to visit Daddy's gravesite and we went to see Aunt Marlene in the nursing home where she had gone to stay a few years before.  She wasn't doing well physically but she was the same Aunt Marlene!  Telling stories and laughing, even though she was in pain and having a hard time breathing well.  I wish we had gone more.  I wish I had recorded her telling those stories.  Even though two of my uncles are left with us, her passing was like losing a link to my Daddy no one else had.  

I will miss you Nene !

Monday, July 9, 2018

KETO update

I just wanted to do a little health/Keto update.  Wade was having some really high blood sugar readings earlier in the spring, so we decided to do something.  I had been researching Keto and following a local FB group to get as much info as I could for a few months and I felt like that was the best way to go initially.  We decided to start the day after Easter.  We took out all sugar and as many carbs as possible - we try to eat 25 g or less (20 for me) each day. 

Right away we both noticed no heartburn and less bloating.  Within two weeks Wade had cut out his injectable insulin and was only taking half of his Metformin dosage.  Within a month he wasn't taking any Metformin at all.  He still monitors his blood sugar readings daily and all is normal.

As of today, Wade is down at least 32 pounds (probably more, but we didn't weigh on the same scales from the beginning).  I didn't weigh before we started, so my first weigh in was two weeks after we started.  I'm down 24 pounds!  Wade hasn't been able to work out yet due to his shoulder surgery and the elbow surgery he will be having soon, but about 3 weeks ago I started trying to go at least 2 days a week.  Sometimes I get in 4 days, and I will work on making that more regular in the days to come.  This summer has been kind of crazy so we are readjusting our routines.

We have gotten tons of info from our local FB group, Keto AF (And Fasting) and a youtube channel/website called Keto Connect.  Lots of recipes, great support, and lots of helpful information.  I don't know that we could have gotten started without all of that.  I was overwhelmed and confused in the beginning, but now I realize it isn't really that hard LOL.  

We approached this as a total lifestyle change in our way of eating, so we plan on staying on this until we reach our goal weights and then maintain.  

Here's to healthier days ahead!!!