Sunday, October 21, 2018

Remembering Phil - my twin brother

Phil - 27




Philip Gregory Patterson

March 9, 1957 to September 16, 2018



Some of you may not have known, but I was a twin!

I was always so proud to be one. It is a special place to find yourself in life. It’s thrilling and agonizing, sometimes at the same time. Phil and I turned 61 this year. My best years with him were our first five years in Birmingham, Alabama where we were born,
15 months - Birmingham, AL
 and then through elementary school where we were becoming more independent of each other, making new friends and experiencing new things like sports and other activities. Phil was more extroverted than me, and throughout his life never new a stranger, and made many friends. He was taught mechanics by our father’s dad as a very young boy about six. As years went on Phil could fix anything with almost nothing (a true McGuyver)!
Phil's already at the wheel...I'm not so sure. #sweet
Phil always fixed my cars, and one of the last things he did for me was install a kitchen faucet, and he even helped me pick out curtains for the dining room. The ones I had picked matched in color but he didn’t like them, he said “takin’ us back to the 70s, are ya Tiss?” I laughed so hard, he had a beautiful sense of humor. He was right! So we headed off to the store to exchange them and he picked out the most perfect pair. They are a textured solid aquamarine blue with leaves and birds. I smile every time I look at them.

He was gorgeous all of his life, he made the Homecoming court in high school, not me! And he had a beautiful eye. He was fascinated with the way things worked. He not only loved cars, he liked timepieces, as he was very agile with his fingers on very tiny things. That gift came from his unique, gentle side. I called him the original “dog whisperer” because all dogs loved him, and he loved them back. He loved large dogs. He had an Irish Wolfhound in his 20s, and in his 40s he adopted two Great Danes from the Humane Society. One had been the victim of a bitter divorce. Yes, dogs get caught up in that stuff too.



Our lives were very different, we disagreed on many topics, but we worked well together on projects. It’s like Phil would think of the first half of the answer to a problem, and I would think of the rest. I remember once we had not seen each other for about a year and I drove home from out of town, pulled into the driveway and there he was, with friends, working on a car. He said “What are you doing wearing my sunglasses?!”

Our home. We loved that house-
I did not have on his, they were mine. He must’ve lost his, but they were evidently identical. It was always like that. The twin bond is real in a mysterious kind of way that most people can’t see. It even baffled us! 

Being a twin to Phil has been the most special blessing of my life. He made me laugh harder than anyone, and cry harder than anyone. Both of us had hard challenges throughout our lives and we worried each other senseless, but these last few years I’ve never seen him try so hard under such harsh circumstances. He was so strong inside and had a big heart...more than most people knew, because his gentle essence hid his true strengths, and vice versa. 


In my funky, dreamy wishes, at his memorial service, if our classmates had been there, this is what I would have said (because all my girlfriends had a crush on him). I would’ve said “I’d like to crow a little...I was the first one to get lost in his beautiful blue eyes...the first one to sleep with him, and the first one to see him naked!”



 My memories are in living color, and we are laughing, and doing dirty deeds as three-year old juvenile delinquents. Like the day the painters went on break and we painted a five year old silver! Our mother was inside, and we were left to our own self-expression. We found paint, and a canvas.
Us at apartments in Birmingham. Girl on right is one we painted...she lived.
 I heard a shriek and a puff of wind as she ran past me, grabbed the girl’s arm and literally drug her to the car and to the hospital. It took hours to get that outdoor faucet paint off her. We painted her from head to toe, she looked just like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz! Later, we were sitting with dad at the table and our mother came in looking drained, and daddy said “How’d it go?” She said, “Well, they didn’t press charges.” I laugh just thinking about that, I remember it so well. Yes, it will be the memories that will get me through. That, and God’s grace, which I know so well.



I have to laugh now, or I couldn’t go on. This is harder than I thought it would be. The stages of grief I’ve been through before, but not as Phil’s twin sister. I have gone from being numb to laughing, to recently, crying in my sleep. The pain is deep, but so are the memories. They are in living color, and we are laughing, and playing...together.

Take your rest now, Phil. Evidently God’s got more for me to do here on this earth, and then I’ll see you again.  I miss you so much, but I know where you are, and there is no suffering there, and I find great peace in knowing that. 


Til we meet again, one perfect day.
I love you forever,
Tissie





For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
                                            Philippians 1:21



Sunday, December 10, 2017

‘TisThe Season To Thrive!



Winter of Body and Soul...then comes hope

In 2015 I became sick and had to be hospitalized twice.  Last year, on May 8, Mother's Day, I had to say goodbye to my beloved Shih Tzu "Bo".  On New Year's Eve 2009 in freezing rain and sleet I rescued him out of the middle of the road.  Someone had dropped him off and he had been running in a ditch of freezing water when I saw him, I thought he was a deer until I saw those big Shih Tzu eyes.  My house is way too quiet these days, I sure miss him, he was the sweetest boy.
My sweet boy, Bo Shih Tzu
Dec. 31, 2009-May 8, 2017

This year I've been back in the hospital twice once again.  The last time I met a urologist that found the root of my problems.  So, since then, I've had to learn to catheterize myself because my bladder doesn't work.  The nerves were cut during my first cancer surgery years ago.  I also take an antiseptic for the lining of my bladder to keep bacteria out.  Believe it or not, my illness has reversed.  It did leave me very weak, so home health came out twice, and then I raised money on GoFundMe to pay the co-pay for hospital out-patient visits for six weeks.  I finished on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Several weeks before that, a friend introduced me to a nutritional regimen that has given me a much needed "lift", if you will.
Vanilla shake
I'm so impressed with it that I’ve started a new blog on Word Press to talk about it, and also talk about my personal health experiences.  As you know, I was editor of the cancer site at BellaOnline for three years, but had to resign because of digital eye fatigue.  I had also developed mental fatigue from so much online research.

I can confidently say that this Thrive Premium Lifestyle Nutrition has made such a difference.

 It’s simple 3-steps:
•capsules - vitamins, minerals, plus other potent extracts
•shake - loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals
•DFT patch - Derma Fusion Techn
Holiday DFT patch

It's ultra-micronized to penetrate your system.

There are patches you place on your body each day to support the simple 3 step program, and the patches say they aid in "mental acuity" and I can attest to the fact that they indeed, do.  I don't do "trends" on the market. I watched someone I knew do the program for a year, and after seeing photos of her appearance, not only did she look well, she was thinner and her overall visage had changed.  I was impressed.  So after asking a bunch of questions which she honestly answered, I decided to jump in with both feet, and I am so glad I did.  I have written a blog about my last hospital experience, and the nutritional program both in different posts on my new blog on Word Press.  The link is below.


Thrive(c) shake nutritional ingredients

Thrive(c) DFT patch formula/ body placement













I believe that you can get better too!

Visit me at Rann Patterson | Patient - the view from here
for keeping up with me as a patient, nutritional stuff, good food, recipes, and maybe some new medical trends that I might find interesting.

Week 5 - It's FA-LA-LA time!

Time to Thrive®️! Click here to read about the nutritional program. I’m on Week 5, and I’m feeling much better. It's an 8 week challenge, but most people stay on it.

Sponsorship is necessary! I will be glad to sponsor you.
To get it you have to be sponsored. I'm not trying to sell it, but that's how it is set up.  All you need to do is let me know you want to start, and I can give you my number.  You do the rest.  The landing page is user-friendly, as well as the ordering page.  Couldn't be easier.  If you get just two people under you on auto-ship, yours is free!  And, so it goes. They can do the same thing.  Be sure and let me know if you want to start it, or if you have any questions. I had many, trust me.

It’s simple 3-steps:
•capsules - vitamins, minerals, plus other potent extracts
•shake - loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals
•DFT patch - Derma Fusion Technology, supports the other two

It's ultra-micronized to penetrate your system and get to the cellular level.  I’ve had no side effects, so I'm very happy with it so far!  I knew after three days, I was going to be okay, and then when I hit the 21 day mark, where it is known that is the time addictions diminish, I knew it was going to work in my oh-so-complex metabolic system.  Every person's body is different, so always approach things like this with optimistic caution, and check with your doctor too.

I’ll still blog here for inspiration, but I can’t think of anything more exciting than getting my health back! So, Yay!
My front door

From my home to you and yours,
Blessings for a wonderful holiday season! 🎄🎁❄️
~ Rann xoxo

Monday, February 22, 2016

How to Make a Fabric Card: Color Dolly




"Creativity is intelligence having fun" ~ Albert Einstein
My Inspiration

My inspiration to make this lovely card came from two places.

First, my sweet furiend Dolly The Boston Buddha, Pooch Editor-in-Chief at TaoofDolly.com asked me if I would be willing to take part in her (at that time) new interactive art space for kids, young and old.  Since I love art, I was excited to do a project for her.  

But that was over a year ago. Sweet Dolly has been patiently waiting while I continue on my journey as a cancer survivor. 

Being a cancer survivor can be hard, and the past eighteen months have been trying while I have been coping with the same side-effects I've had since I was 26, except now I am just a few weeks shy of 59 -- (wow that looks scary on the screen...yikes ... ) and the 'ol bod ain't what it used to be, but I am a Baby Boomer and I grew up with Mickey Mouse and Cinderella so that means, at least inside, I get to be a kid forever!  

The second reason that I did the project was not physical but relational. I was in a very tough place with a loved one and needed a distraction. Been there? 

Life throws us curves just about every single day and some of those curves we can manage or change, but more often than not, there is absolutely nothing that we can do about the situation.  And I've found out that accepting that fact, is very liberating.  So I redirected my thoughts, and channeled my energy into the art project. And it worked!
Art has the power to heal and uplift you into a world of imagination, beauty, and creation, and is the very reason that I named this blog Color Me Well.  

So...while Dolly waited patiently on my contribution to her art gallery, two wonderful things happened.

  1. The fabric card turned out so beautiful, way beyond my expectations, and I've never made a fabric card in my life.  I guess my creativity genes were "mulching" during those unproductive months, think?
  2. Mentally diving into this project saved my mind.
Why did I use fabric?  Because I can't paint! I'm certified in interior design so I naturally went to what I was familiar with. I love fabric and am familiar with it's personality and how it behaves. 

I documented the project with photos, and below you can see a box of colored markers. I couldn't use them because they were dried up. I just stared at the box for a while with glazed over eyes wondering what to do.

My pens were dried up. Time for Plan B

Then...my eyes turned to my fabric box.  I opened it up and immediately had a light-bulb moment. My mind started thinking in 'pixels'.  I wasn't seeing the print on the fabric anymore, I was seeing swirls and motion and curves and dots.  

You will see that I used two pieces of substantial cardboard. I originally punched holes in them because in my mind I was going to make a card that would open and close, but I covered the holes up when I decided to go with fabric. It sort of evolved on its own and I just went with what idea came next, and, I'll admit a few things did not work, so I had to undo and start over. That is how the creative process works. Don't be afraid to admit something doesn't work because usually another idea will come to you that works better. Keep moving forward.



      This pretty pink harlequin fabric remnant is from Jasmine's memory box. Jasmine was my Malti-Poo. You can read my tribute to her entitled 'Mine' on Dolly's site in the PawCircle section. 

The finished card is only 5" x 9" (about the size of a journal) which means all of the objects on it are quite small.  Dolly by herself is made up of at least 50 very small pieces, and there are over 15 pieces just in her face and ears.

Contributions in fabric mostly came from:
  • Best In Show (cream background) by P. Kaufmann. Available at fabrics.com or hobbylobby.com
  • 3 of Jasmine's (1992-2010) bandannas
  • vintage fabric I inherited from my grandmother and great aunt
  • every piece used was from what I had on hand
Below you will see one page from a coloring book that can be downloaded from her site.  

I chose the picture below from the Color Dolly coloring book for my project because I like the treasure chest and the way Dolly is looking at you.  Her expression really got my imagination going. What do you see? 

photo: Copyright Tao of Dolly




It appears summer is over and Dolly has carefully packed all her special toys in her treasure chest. 

   
Dolly is in her bedroom looking in her chest of drawers. She has just received an invitation to a masquerade pawty, and I think she is ready to get all dolled up, but I wonder what she will wear? 

Guess what? She's going to be disguised as her mom Suzanne! Her furiends will never know it is her. "Look out, here comes Glamour! (with a big slice of trickster) Dolly can't wait! Look at that face...

    
As you can see, I replaced the chest of drawers with a pretty stool. It was easier for me to pull off, and the colors blended beautifully. The stool was one piece, cut from the fabric Best In Show. Best In Show is an elegant fabric showing vignettes of different types of small dogs sitting on stools, chairs and beds.  It is available in a light blue and china red.  


Here is a photo of a pillow I made in the cream color some years ago and I love it.

Here's the back: That's Bo! How did they know I would one day have him? If you look closely to the left you'll see the teddy bear I used beside the treasure chest. 

Dolly's fur, and Suzanne's hair also came from Best In Show, where a Pomeranian, Shih-Tzu, and Pekingese gave their all for this art project (there is no limit to a dog's love).

In so many ways, the Best In Show fabric truly pulled all of this together. 


And, of course, I had to finish it.  Here's the back of the card. 


I added one of my fabric labels to the back to give it a HallmarkTM look! That label is at least 30 years old.  I used to sew a lot when I was younger. 

So...

Dolly's mama Suzanne loved the card so much I sent it to her from Alabama to Montreal, Canada! It took ten days, and we sat on pins and needles while it made it through Customs. It made it there without a hitch, and we were all so happy.

I was grateful to the Lord for watching over the artwork while it went on its way. It is obvious that his hand was on the project the entire time.

Be sure to catch the next blog which will be mostly photos with my commentary of the project in process.



The card is featured in Dolly Art Galleryso be sure to go over and check out her awesome site!  

If you like pets, animals, love and human compassion for all living things, you will fall in love with Dolly. She is one of mine and Bo Shih-Tzu's favorite furever furiends. (Bo is secretly in love with her.  He calls her "Pwincess"). 

Dolly says I'm "sweeter'n buttermilk biscuits dipped in honey!"
~ Bo

and he really, really was.
New Years Eve 2009 I stopped two lanes of traffic to rescue Bo. It was dark, freezing rain with thunder and lightning. I thought he was a deer, until I saw those Shih-Tzu eyes. The vet said he was around 5 years old, but, we don't truly know.  

Update: 
In loving Memory
Bo
my precious boy

12-31-09
to
5-08-16

Run free with Jazzie now Bo!
I miss you so...
Love, Mom








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Color Dolly: Fabric Card In-Process Photos



"Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

~ William Blake


This is a photo post with comments, and a continuation of my last post where I introduce my fabric art project for Color Dolly and Dolly Art Gallery at TaoofDolly.com.

Just click back one post here, and take a look if you haven't seen the first one yet. It is called: How To Make a Fabric Card: Color Dolly.

Believe it or not this is where the fun was for me. 

I had no idea where I was headed but each turn gave me an exhilarating idea, or a challenge that moved me up another level in creativity. 

Photo collage #1 - I begin

The brown fabric is a wood floor, and the cream is the wall to Dolly's bedroom. Remember, the card is only 5" X 9", so I had to scale down the stool to make room for Dolly. I put a pleat in the middle then quilted and embellished it. Notice the start of the mask.  I used Elmer's-type glue (sparingly and gently) on everything. While one side dried, I began the treasure chest. It was like a paint-by-numbers, except here, it was cut and paste. 

Photo collage #2

Clockwise: 
Teddy bear is from Best In Show and works nicely, and I quilted it as well. The monkey's head, face, and body are all made from 1" vintage fabric samples from a brochure I found in my grandmother's sewing stool (ca.1954) three years before I was born. 

Three of Jasmine's bandannas were used for the chest including the plaid bottom and the cute frog (you can see him in the photo of the finished treasure chest). 

The baseball cap came from my old jeans, in four small gores, plus the cap bill, where I added thin cardboard underneath and bent it a little, to mimic a real baseball cap. The ballet shoes I crafted from satin that also came from my grandmother's fabric card. 

Photo collage #3
Here you can see where it gets messy! 

Clockwise, in the top two photos you can see Jasmine's bandannas. In the lower left photo are two of the scissors I used the most. The small ones are called "snips" and are used by professional seamstresses in the industry. They are for close clips to get a clean finish. The black handled scissors were my mothers and are quite old, however, they were very sharp, so I used them a lot (with a bundle of gentleness) as it is unwise to use large tools on such small projects. Keep your scissors sharp! 

Photo collage #4

I crafted Dolly first, and although it was very difficult, I've never been more challenged mentally, or felt more exhilarated emotionally. It was amazing how it all started falling into place. 

I quilted her, then cut her out (sounds painful doesn't it!) then placed her beside the stool. This is when it got exciting because I had to move her close to the inside and when I did, her feet fit exactly in line with the stool! It was spine-tingling. 

I added her lovely gold collar (the ribbon came from Hobby Lobby), and you will see it just added so much to the project. 

The last frame is where I try the mask (which is actually Suzanne, Dolly's mom) on her, and it fit perfect. It is so cute! But, I had to leave all up to the imagination and place the mask separately on the card so we could be able to see Dolly's beautiful face. 

You will see where I started on her dress. The ribbon I adorned it with (along with the jester's hat) came from a rainbow of ribbons I saved from a beautifully wrapped gift. (do you save stuff like that?) I'm not a hoarder, but I save useful and beautiful things. It pays! 

Photo collage #5

Here I'm trying to figure out where I want everything. 

I added a metal hook to the top of her dress so her mom could hook it to her collar if she wanted to. She's so cute either way, but with the dress on, it would've covered up most of Dolly's body, and her cute legs with those bows!  I felt like I was playing with my Barbie dolls, I was having so much fun. 

As you can see in frame two the dress is on the stool, and Dolly with only bows on her feet.  She's so adorable, and a tad risque in an innocent kind of way! 

That idea for the ankle bows came from a floor ad in an old Traditional Home magazine, which was on a stool in my bathroom. I was going to take a photo of it to post here, but was in hospital in December and the EMS put Bo in the bathroom while they loaded me in the ambulance and he tore it to shreds! Poor Bo. It was a ballerina in fish-net hose in stilettos, standing in first-position with tulle bows around her ankles. I wish you could've seen it...I really wish you could have seen the bathroom when I got home (mattress explosion). 

Lesson: when an idea hits you, don't hesitate to act, you may miss an opportunity. Haha! That's Bo's fifteen minutes of fame. OK, back to Dolly...

In frame three you can see that I'm putting together her jester's hat.  I had this idea in my head ever since I thought of the mask idea.  I had to cut that 5/8" ribbon way down, stitch it, then twist the colorful ribbon and stitch it down.  I added a "make-believe" bell with my gold thread, then glued the hat behind Dolly's head so her head would show.  

Adding the jester's hat and adding the baby peacock feather to Suzanne's mask was another spine tingling moment, because not only did they match in color, they balanced each other out on the card.  I was ecstatic at the results. Every step seemed to have a surprise in it.  Oh, and I actually knew the peacock the feather came from, his name was Sam.  He belonged to friends I used to house-sit for. He's been gone a long time, but he's not forgotten here! The animal kingdom does it once again. 

The feather didn't do well laying flat, so I propped it up by gluing a cotton ball behind the mask. That worked well in giving a 3D effect, and also served us well in shipping to Canada! 

Photo collage #6
This is my favorite set of photos. 

In frame one, Dolly has on her cute ankle bows. Look at that pose! In frame two she has her dress on. The third frame shows the dress laying on the stool. Can you see how Dolly's arm rests across the top of the stool?  I did not plan that, it fit perfect like a puzzle piece. It still blows my mind. I think Dolly looks just like Audrey Hepburn in one of her big hats! What do you think?

The last frame is a close-up of the mask. Suzanne's lips are plastic and came from a Christmas window decoration.  They are so small...I think I should get an award for cutting those out, it's amazing, I did it first try. I used my fingernail scissors. Well, it was my second try. The fabric lips I tried fell apart they were so small, so I had to go to Plan B.  Her hair is from Best In Show and is of 5 parts, cut to shape, and then I snipped the edges like a razor cut for it to look like hair actually does.  Doesn't she look great?    

So now you know how I went from this:
To this!

Special Thank You:
I would like to give a shout-out to Stephanie at Observer Supply who helped me with browsing for masks and jester hats, photocopying size and scale. She is friendly, smart, and professional, and I couldn't have done this project without her help. 
Thank you Stephanie!
Observer Supply
Gadsden, AL

Bo and I love Dolly and appreciate all she does to promote pawsome love and compassion. Be sure and download her coloring book for your kids (or yourself). Her website is chock-full of pet stories. At Tao of Dolly the animal kingdom rules!


Dolly is also on these social networking sites:
Pinterest, G+TwitterInstagram, and Facebook
But her site is amazing all by itself. You can see all of her latest social posts just while you're there from one place. 

I hope you enjoyed my project. It was pure joy to me! 

See you next time!
  Rann


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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Way: Lessons From a Sparrow



When I opened the screen door to go in, I heard a noise and realized a bird had somehow become trapped within the front porch.

I had taken my dog Bo for a walk and in returning I  found this scared creature fluttering around from screen to screen, here to there, trying to find a way out.

I quickly got the dog in the house and closed the door. The bird began to hop around on the floor, hiding coyly behind the wicker furniture. When I moved about it would begin sprinting from screen to screen. 

I pushed the screen door open holding it, hoping the bird would fly out, but it wouldn't. Why not?

Knowing I couldn't stand there indefinitely, I grabbed a chair and fixed the lock at the top of the screen so it would stay open and the little bird could fly out when it got ready. 

I no longer had done it and turned my back, when I heard a movement behind me and then a "whoosh" - out it went. 

I'm not sure how it got in, unless it flew in just as we were going out. 

This evening as I was resting, I noticed a small book beside my chair. It had a robin on the cover tending her nest and eggs, and was titled "In The Shelter of His Wings: Resting in God's Tender Care. It is a small compilation of inspirational quotes and stories. 

I took the book and it fell open to a page with a sparrow on it. It was the exact color and shape of the bird on my porch. Was this an odd coincidence, or was there perhaps a message lying within? 



Below the drawing was this quote:

"God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him." ~ Oswald Chambers

On the facing side were these last words from Jesus himself:

"I am leaving you with a gift ~~ peace of mind and heart!

And the peace I give isn't fragile like the world gives. 

So don't be troubled or afraid." ~ John -4:27 (NLT)

I began to wonder why the bird wouldn't fly out while I had the door wide open. I suppose it was afraid of me. And I'm sure it knew my dog was just inside. It had reason to be afraid. 

It must have been the wind. 

There was a small breeze blowing, and that's what birds know a lot about. They depend on the wind to move them from place to place. There are built for it. 

I believe that when I opened the door with no hindrances, it wasn't that the bird could go out, but that the wind could come in. What I could not see, the sparrow knew all too well, and just as soon as it felt the wind, it flew out. 

Isn't it amazing what nature can teach us? In just a few moments of time I learned a lesson from a sweet little bird. 

Sometimes the world gets too big for me and I'm afraid too. 

Today, I was reminded that I know the One who knows the way, and he says that I am worth much more than many sparrows. 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Color Me Well Blog supports #FedUpChallenge


Starting May 12, FedUpChallenge began, and Day 1 is done!  The challenge is to go 10 days without any form of added sugar.

I was watching the Katie Show late last week, and became interested in what she was talking about.  America's obesity crisis is troubling, especially among the young. Kids and teenagers have always been the most energetic of all ages, by far.

Our culture shift to computers causing a sedentary lifestyle has changed the way we do things.  But enough is enough.  As a patient for many years, I can personally tell you that if you don't have good health, you are not really living a good quality of life.  

Fresh food was usually cooked at our house by both my parents. Having lived through cancer two times, I believe that eating that way built my body up enough to endure the surgeries, the treatments, and the many side-effects that I've had for the past 31 years.


Katie and Coop - Day 1
The challenge comes from a film, a type of documentary on the subject, which I admit I have not seen yet.  The URL for the trailer is FedUpTheMovie.com.

Although I'm not sure that this challenge will start a health revolution, I do believe in it's ability to start pushing the dominoes in the right direction.  If nothing else, it will make people think about what they are eating, and how it affects them.  

I have been so encouraged by the tweets I've seen on Twitter under the hashtag #FedUpChallenge on Day 1.  People are asking questions about certain foods, fruits and vegetables, and even questions concerning sugar in wine and other alcoholic beverages.  I've even had a few questions myself! I'm learning, too.

I've noticed that some are perplexed at what few choices they have at home of foods that do NOT contain sugar.  I went through my fridge today and read that processed wheat loaf bread was 2 grams of sugar, and cinnamon-raisin bagels was a whopping 13 grams. 

The point is to help us realize how much sugar we are consuming. 

For my first day I skipped the usual oatmeal (with brown sugar) and bagel that I usually have for breakfast, and instead substituted it at brunch-time with delicious Thai Jasmine rice and scrambled eggs, half a banana, coffee, and water.  I cut bread, butter, and sweetener.
Overall, I feel good - so far.

Sometimes when you change your eating patterns like this, cutting out anything the body has been highly dependent on (sugar, caffeine, etc.) might cause you to experience shakiness or weakness --at least in the beginning. This happens to me, so I am saying it in case there are other survivors, and complex patients out there who are taking part in the challenge. The arc of a lifestyle change always includes a little pain and suffering.

Also, realize that if you know that you normally consume a large amount of sugar (no guilt allowed!), you should probably cut back more moderately. Like with medicines, not all people will be able to do this at once. Cold-turkey is pretty much for the overall healthy, in my humble opinion. If you are cutting back at all, give yourself a lot of credit!

If your blood sugar gets low, eating protein will even you out. Eat smaller portions more often. And you shouldn't eat dense meat late at night. It takes too much for your liver to break it down.  I have a Homemade Chicken Soup recipe from scratch here on my site: http://color-me-well.blogspot.com/2012/10/homemade-chicken-soup-and-dumplings.html?m=1. It tastes great, it is light, and will give you the protein that you need. The soup can be ready in less than an hour. 

I realize that the temp is warm outside now, but it is a great dish and excellent stand-by just in case.  When I diet using it, it completely satisfies me, and I have no taste for sweets at all.  The broth is not store bought, everything in it is natural, and I use Sea Salt in it sparingly. So give it a try. (except don't try the dumplings until after the challenge is over!) 

Remember to eat food groups (meats, fruits, vegs, carbohydrates, etc.) together.  Eating one thing will not fortify you much.  Foods eaten together cause a synergy (combined action) that makes all kinds of positive things happen within your body.  Eating this way makes your hair, skin, teeth, and bones healthier.

Katie Couric is taking a very bold stand, and I appreciate her for using her influence and platform for the cause.

Note: I'm not a registered dietician or healthcare professional. I've written this from my own experience. 

If you are currently taking treatments for cancer, or are on new medications, check with your doctor first. You can always do the challenge later with a buddy! 

Good Luck! 
Rann

Twitter @RannPatterson
Katie Couric - @katiecouric @KatieShow
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@FedUpMovie 
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Danea & Phillip Horn Kidney Transplants set for Oct. 1

If you saw my last post about the Chronic Resilience giveaway contest, you should recognize this beautiful young woman. It's Danea! She has been living with reduced kidney function for a long time, which is where her inspiration for her book came from. 

Her blog Chronic Resilience - life + illness  is rich with inspiration and refreshingly candid openness about being an engaged patient.  Danea speaks boldly what "hoops" some of us chronic patients must jump through in healthcare, and what we deal with oftentimes in the healthcare setting. Oftentimes (usually in an emergency situation) there is no access to our medical records or the one "on-call" is not our doctor and doesn't know us or have knowledge of our "unique" conditions. Danea gracefully addresses these issues with tact and finesse. 

The very day her book launched publicly (and in the middle of her book tour!) she found out she was in full-blown kidney failure. I'm certain she wondered if her resilience would stay in tact, in fact she wrote about it on her blog. She openly knew she was facing "practicing what she preached!" to quote her.
            Phillip and Danea

The beautiful thing that has happened is that her husband Phillip has become her donor match! Is that not awesome? Her most recent blogpost is a very neat thing I think every patient should do (if able, of course) before a major surgery. 

They have made a list of things to do to reduce stress for their homecoming from the hospital, since both of them will be recovering. It's so good it reminds me of a "Tornado Preparedness" list I was taught in junior high school (very important here in Alabama!). 

As an added blessing (which many patients don't have), is that their  mothers will be there to help in their recovery at home. They list cleaning out the refrigerator to getting their dogs groomed, to their own haircuts! The list is so true-to-life. I've always loved 'practical', in fact, preparation is hard, but well worth it. 

This couple has it going on! Please keep them in your prayers as they quickly approach a day that is full of hope, love, change and challenge-- and more love.

On Danea's blog you can also download 101 Inspirational Thoughts while you're there. 

"You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Please remember them October 1st. Thank you.~ Rann


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