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The past week has been probably the most stressful one I’ve passed through since I retired from working for a living a year ago. I was not at all prepared, following my five-day retreat, to plunge into the world of financing a mortgage and finding a lawyer. The week was an extremely busy one, unfortunately. I bottomed out on Thursday. Following a trip to the local library (a short walk), I realized I was so tired that I was hurting. This made me rethink several obligations lined up for the weekend, so I cancelled several. Sunday morning, a fever blister attempted to reside on my lower lip, and I had dryness in my throat. Not good signs. I took Vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract. They seem to have worked – the symptoms both retreated.
Yesterday morning I slept late. I am usually up before 6 a.m. (the result of doing this for a great many years), but I’d been awakened by a noisy fan, a hot room, and some (needless) financial worries in the middle of the night. I was awake for a couple of hours before falling back to sleep, and didn’t want to get up since I’d managed to fall asleep just before my usual time to rise. (Ain’t that the way it always works?) I was peacefully sleeping when I suddenly realized that I smelled something burning. My neighbours down the street sometimes burn wood in during the cold months, but this is June, definitely not cold. I jolted awake to find my kitchen full of smoke. Panic was the state of the day. I quickly threw some clothes on and checked the kitchen. There was a cardboard egg carton in the corner near the door, smouldering. I threw it into a bowl of water in the sink. I couldn’t see anything else burning. The stove was cold. By way of explanation, I usually leave my recyclable items on the floor near the door, to be taken out to the bins the next time I leave home. Later, we all came to the same conclusion: the rays of the sun (now with much less ozone protection) had combusted the carton as it shone through a glass water bottle standing on the floor in front of the carton. My windows face east, and of course, the very hot rays of the rising sun.
I ran next door (thank God my landlord lives right next door!). His wife came back with me as we checked everything. I was so afraid that the apartment downstairs was on fire, but it was only the egg carton, which had scorched the linoleum beneath it and the baseboard beside it. We put a wet cloth on the blackened area. My landlady, who stayed calm, thankfully, assured me that the linoleum created a LOT of smoke. She was right! We opened the windows wide and I placed small fans in them, blowing outwardly. The smoke vanished quickly. My panic did not. Unfortunately, it was there all day.
The past week has focused my mind on comfort foods, yesterday more than usual! My comfort foods in the “old days” (before the BTD) were generally dairy/carbohydrate oriented. I would head for potato-type foods (fried potatoes with onions, sometimes with mushrooms added, potato pancakes, potato perogies for starters) slathered in sour cream, or ice cream or chocolate or cake of some description. Almost all of these are now on my avoid list.
Yesterday, my body was in no condition to receive my regular fare, so I had only various fruits, yogurt and teas. By supper time, I could eat my regular fare of steamed veggies with a few tiny lamb meatballs. Later, my housemate, who is from Turkey, made a large glass of ayran for me. It is not only delicious and soothing, it shifted my headache to a much lighter level. It also helped me sleep more easily and to feel as strong (headacheless) as I did when I got up this morning.
Here is how to make ayran: To a generous amount of yogurt, add some cold water (more than half should be water, perhaps 1/3 yogurt to 2/3 water proportions). Add salt to taste, and some finely chopped fresh garlic. Shake, stir or blend and allow to sit for a short while until the garlic infiltrates the yogurt mix. Eat the residue of chopped garlic at the bottom of the glass when the liquid is gone. This is a wonderful summer drink, and also great in the winter when sniffles are imminent.
I am hoping and praying for a very peaceful week after this much too exciting beginning. The good news is that I have had a massage booked for this afternoon for a month now, and it couldn’t be better timing. Really.