Cat Trees and #Thankful

cats in cat tree

The purrbuckets got a new tree this weekend when they finally very thoroughly destroyed the old one. Plastic bits and fluff and cats were everywhere – it was just chaos. This one is taller and more stable and will hopefully not topple over in the middle of the night.

All in all, a perfect cat photo opportunity.

Thanksgiving is just tomorrow. November pulled a disappearing act one me. I was all ready and planning to do the one-a-day thankful thing, and then it was mid-November and I couldn’t muster the energy.

But it’s not too late, it’s never too late. I know this will help, even a little bit, considering where my mental health has been this past week.

26 Things I’m Thankful For:
(or: A Thanksgiving Thankstravaganza)

26) Tucson and it’s glorious wonderful chaotic weather.
25) Fuzzy furry crazy cats.
24) Gainful employment.
23) BPAL and other good scents.
22) Happy twinkle lights.
21) Standing desks.
20) My overall good health.
19) Deadlifts and squats and everything they’ve taught me about true strength.
18) The local Thanksgiving 5k.
17) The feeling I have during a good run.
16) Zombies, Run!
15) All the amazing musicians who keep making music and life.
14) All the amazing authors who keep writing.
13) Living during a time when we have access to such a variety and depth of great arts and music and books.
12) My agent.
11) Coffee.
10) The opportunities that I’ve worked for and stumbled across.
9) Writing and the purpose it has given my life.
8) The Internet.
7) This blogging community.
6) Being able to cross the world in a matter of hours.
5) Growing older and all the experiences and wisdom that comes along.
4) Financial stability.
3) Family – chosen and blood-related.
2) My friends.
1) My wife.


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Spoke too Soon

I was okay earlier this week. I smiled and looked at the mountains and breathed in the crisp air and felt something, felt normal, felt joy, for the first time in too long.

I don’t know what changed. Or I do? And hope that’s not it?

Now I’m swimming in anxiety and feel like I’m choking and my chest is tight and someone has left their 1 ton weight on my sternum and tears are only a heartbeat away and I’m so. tired. of this, so. frustrated. I have literally changed everything in my life and it was getting better – is better, right now, right this moment – and yet.

Is this all just from TTC? Has this process broken me in ways that I’ll still be piecing together months, years, decades down the line? Or is this me? An inevitable piece of me that is expanding and expanding, relentless?

I guess I can only wait and see what March brings, when I will be done, done, done. Considering I was 100% ready to throw in the towel earlier this week, I can only imagine the relief I will feel then.

In light of all this, we might move up our possible start date. I talked with Lady a bit and she agreed with me that since my cycle is already trying to fuck things up, we might as well cushion our try with a few more weeks. Instead of January, we’re going to be ready to do this thing whenever the next cycle begins. Which, frankly, might be January. But that way I can stop worrying about the cycle after this next one, which could put us into February – or beyond.

That decision is helping me breathe a little bit better, but it’s hard not to just be so thoroughly frustrated with my body. Somehow, it always finds the perfect way to fuck things up. Or maybe I shouldn’t blame my body, but the universe at large, the evil future sky wizard, fate. I want control, but I have none.

The only way out is through.


Filed under depression, PCOS, TTC

In Need of Motivation and: SoA PCOS Diet Day 8

I’m barely a week into this low-carb, me-specific, n=1, PCOS diet and already I want to say fuck it and go back to not giving a fig about carbs. I knew it would be hard going in, and I knew I wouldn’t really “see” a change – not a big one, anyway – but damn if it’s not hard o keep going when absolutely nothing has changed.

Today is CD26 and I haven’t ovulated and I want to cry. I was so hopeful when my cycle picked right back up after my bout of pneumonia. Obviously eating healthfully and exercising and sleeping and drinking green tea and taking metformin and not. stressing. would mean my cycle would keep up its end of the bargain, right? But apparently my cycle and I never agreed to the terms of that bargain.

I *know* a week isn’t anything in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still incredibly disheartening to see no change. Especially because I’m not 100% convinced it’s the carbs, anyway. But everything I’ve read indicates that sticking to low carb is The Best Thing, so here we are.

I’ve promised myself that if I stick with this until Thanksgiving, I can have a no-counting-carbs day, complete with a reasonable amount of pecan pie and some butter-soaked sweet potatoes. I will also run a 5k that morning to help mitigate the damage, but I’m not planning on going overboard.

I’m trying not to count ahead and think about what a long cycle now means for January TTC, but it’s hard. And again, very discouraging. I never considered my cycle would play the long game now, nor how that might interfere with starting. Once we’re on the drugs, it’ll be fine. But getting to that point might be fun (see: not). We were only going to have time for 2-3 tries in an ideal world. I guess I should plan for the possibility of not even having that.

For now, here I am, holding myself accountable even though I very desperately want to throw in the towel.


Day 8 of the SoA PCOS Diet of Awesome was all right. I had:

  • 71g carbs – depending on whether or not I can get up the energy, I might make a lower carb mug cake that will bump this up by 15g
  • Greens, two eggs, and half an avocado
  • Full fat yogurt and lowcarb granola, slices of salame
  • Pumpkin chili
  • Full fat cottage cheese with cinnamon
  • Burger with sauerkraut and roasted beets, + goat cheese

Probably eating too much dairy, but I’m making certain it is organic at least. I just don’t know what else that’s low carb to eat that isn’t a) meat or b) avocados. I’d do nuts, but my granola is 99% walnuts and I don’t want to overdo nuts. Suggestions?


Filed under diet, TTC, depression, PCOS

Tattoos and: SoA PCOS Diet Day 3

Now that I am gainfully employed once again, I am less anxious about money and can look at more frivolous things than say, paying rent or buying food. Like finally getting a tattoo.

I have for some time wanted a tattoo. Since college. It was going to be a tiny little thing on my wrist originally, an hourglass that would be my momento mori. My wife and I both were going to brave the pain and get tattoos a year and a half ago. But then time slipped by and depression slipped in and job worries blossomed and money became tight and getting a tattoo was put – again – on the back burner. It was easy to put off because it’s such a big, permanent thing. I mean, do I really want one?

But then this past summer I realized I wanted something more. I wanted something that would symbolize freedom – the ability to choose and pursue my own destiny. To remember that it is always my choice to be where I am. And I remembered a tiny little tattoo I’d seen on a fellow crossfitter – little wings on the sides of her feet.

I knew at once that was what I wanted. Hermes’ wings. Runners get that kind of tattoo a lot, and I run, but – that’s not why I want them. For me, Hermes’ wings symbolize freedom, the ability to get up and go if you choose, to transcend, to move, to keep moving. This past year has taught me more than anything that my choices are my own, and the situation is mine if I am willing to take it. I want a reminder that I did that, that I can do it again, that whenever I feel trapped, I have the power to get up and fly.

It also helps that Hermes/Mercury has always been my patron god. :) He’s the patron of literature, fittingly, as well as travelers, wit, and, um, thieves. Not that I’m a thief myself, but I appreciate that darker aspect of him.

And last but not least, Hermes = Mercury = Sailor Mercury, who is my patron senshi. Do I need to say anything else? :P

So it’s perfect, in so many ways. Except I still have to decide on size! I was hoping those of you with tattoos might be able to share your experiences? Your delights/regrets?

Right now I’m looking at


For example: do you wish you had gone bigger on your tattoo? Or smaller?

What kind of issues might you have with a bigger tattoo that you wouldn’t with a small one?

Is there anything else I should consider?

Thank you! <3


Day 3 of the SoA PCOS Diet of Awesome went easier than Day 2! I had:

  • 105g carbs :(
  • But 24g of fiber! :)
  • Making 81g net carbs. Decent.
  • Kale, two eggs and some nutritional yeast for breakfast
  • A bit of gouda and some salame for snack
  • Sauerkraut, roasted apples and fennel, and pork chop for lunch
  • Granola, kombucha, and cottage cheese for afternoon snack, and then an emergency Exo cricket bar because I was huuungry
  • Homemade pho for dinner (with those “miracle” carb-free noodles)

I was still surprisingly hungry yesterday, but the fatty snacks helped. My energy has evened out already, so I’m not crashing as hard in the afternoon. Sleeping better, too – although I wonder how much of that is because I no longer get naps. :)

I’m using MyFitnessPal to track all of this and it has a nifty feature where you can just copy and paste a meal from the day before. That has helped a lot, but there must be some further ways to streamline this. I resent having to catalog


Filed under depression, diet, happy things, PCOS, TTC

Okay and: SoA PCOS Diet Day 2

You guys have been through some really dark times on here with me and suffered through endless posts about depression. This blog and you guys have been a light in all that darkness, a place where I could pour out my heart without fear of judgement. And I really, really appreciate that.

But I shouldn’t forget to talk about the good times, when it’s going okay. This blog is my shelter in the storm of life, but it should also be a place for celebration.

And right now, life is okay. Good, even. I don’t know if it’s the TTC break that’s helping or the vitamin D I’m taking – I expect both – but I’m not going to question it. For months and months it felt like someone was scraping sandpaper across my brain, with all of the unpleasantness and irritability that entails, and now that’s gone. I feel calm. Stable. Like a mentally healthy human being.

Weird how good that feels.

Strangely, what made me realize how far I’ve come – since August, since April, since fucking awful February – was when a pregnancy was unexpectedly announced. I didn’t have any walls up and was taken by surprise. It felt like they’d come out and punched me and the jealousy and the anger and the self-pity flooded in, unbidden. But it wasn’t overwhelming and I let myself feel it and then – it was gone. No endless hours of fixating. My day wasn’t ruined. It sucked and then I let it go.

I couldn’t have done that a few months ago.

I’m worried I won’t be able to do it again in a few months.

But that will come later, if it does at all. For now, I’m just thankful to be okay, to be good. To be in a place of stability and peace. Final-fucking-ly.


Day 2 of the SoA PCOS Diet of Awesome went easier than Day 1. I had:

  • 115g carbs, but I ran 2+ miles this morning, which means I get a bonus 20g of carbs, so I’m right at where I want to be.
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil and cinnamon in my morning coffee
  • Sweet potato, greens, and sausage for breakfast
  • Kefir and granola for snack 1
  • Yellow lentils, spinach, and curried chicken for lunch
  • A possum (shot of espresso with some hot water and a splash of chocolate syrup) and an epic bar for snack 2
  • Sliced turkey, salami, and smoked gouda for dinner (healthy? meh. full of protein and low carb? awwyiss)

I was a lot hungrier today, probably because of the run this morning. We also picked up some fatty snacks (see: salami and gouda) after work, so hopefully I can snack on those tomorrow in lieu of the granola which, while homemade, is still pretty carby.

Temp is still not up, but I expect it will take a few days for my body to respond to this new regimen. I’ll give it another week before I despair.


Filed under diet, TTC, depression, happy things, PCOS

SoA PCOS Diet Day 1

I promise not to catalogue every day of the next two, three, forever months, but I am going to check in semi-regularly in the beginning to help stay on track. With these sorts of changes, the first two weeks are the hardest for me.

Today went pretty well, although I definitely missed having an afternoon cookie. My biggest take-away is just how far over on my carbs I must have been eating these past few weeks, because by staying away from fruit and obvious carb-loads like sweet potatoes and, well, cookies, I still barely managed to stay around 100g. Gah! So how high must it have been with the pizza and the beer and the dried fruit??

Today’s carb count: 105g total. (~22% of calories for the day)

Net carbs (minus fiber): 85g

Not bad for a first day, and for not having planned my meals for the week around low carb. I’m aiming for no more than 20% of calories from carbs, so I’ll have to be a little more careful, but I’m not going to sweat 5g. Most of those carbs were from vegetables, which is fine – and which is also why I’m looking at net carbs.

Breakfast was: greens, two eggs, and celery root hash (so good!)

Morning snack was: homemade paleo granola, plain full fat kefir

Lunch was: roasted pork chop with an applesauce marinade (aah, there’s some carbs), roasted fennel & apple & red onion, and sauerkraut

Afternoon snack was: an Epic bar

Dinner was: homemade pho with “miracle” noodles (no carbs) aaand a pumpkin beer


Obviously, I could do better. I could have eschewed that beer or used a different marinade on the pork or skipped over the granola. Maybe tomorrow. But tonight, my wife is at a writing class and I am home alone, researching PCOS, elevated LH levels, and the lowest vegetables on the GI – so I think a few extra carbs are okay. :)

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Speck of Awesome PCOS Diet (of Awesome)

greens and you

While we were in Seattle and while we were mainlining carbs and while we were deciding to go ahead with this whole IUI thing, I was researching and planning out a special PCOS diet for optimal success. I meant to implement it November 1st, but the sudden onset of work threw my off track and then I thought – I seem to be doing okay. Maybe I don’t need to be so careful after all.

So pizza and beer and cookies happened and now it’s CD20 with no sign of ovulation in sight. *sigh* I never learn.

Looking back to this summer and when I was ovulating like a clock, I have to admit that maybe low-carb really does work. It wasn’t until I started loosening my diet in August and falling off for carbs that the 29-30 day cycles I’d been getting jumped up to 40.

It’s hard to wrap my head around carbs being such a big factor because I feel *so good* on carbs. My workouts are better. My running is faster. I recover better. But, alas, I might just have to make that trade-off for now. I’ll just have to accept shitty workouts in the short term.

That’s also part of why I didn’t start Nov 1st. I just don’t wanna. My only real symptom of PCOS is not ovulating, and that only happens… well, for a while, but it’s hard to pin down. It’s not like I break out in hives or get a nasty headache or anything.

So. Let’s do this. I did my research. I know what I need to do. I know it helps. I have no excuse.

I’ve cobbled together all of my nutritional knowledge and everything I’ve learned about PCOS in the last six months (only six?!) as well as everything I know about myself and come up with the Speck of Awesome PCOS Diet (of Awesome). It looks a lot like this:


  • Whole food, low GI sources: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, berries, green bananas, the occasional small apple, pears, grapefruit, dairy.
  • Frontload with fibrous vegetables: greens, kohlrabi, sprouts, endive, bok choy, celery, radishes, mushrooms, cabbage, jicama, okra, green beans, fennel, cauliflower etc.
  • 75g of net carbs or less (this will be tweaked up or down, but never going over 100g)
  • >30g of carbs after a workout or 2+ mile run
  • Avoid high GI fruit in favor or low GI fruit.
  • No dried fruit.
  • This should go without saying, but: no grains.



  • Grassfed beef, pastured chicken & pork, wild-caught fish, clams, shrimp, shellfish, insects, & happy eggs.
  • Pretty much as much as I want.
  • Nuts are okay in small amounts.
  • Beans and legumes and lentils are okay once or twice a week.
  • No soy.
  • Fuck soy, seriously.



  • Coconut oil, grassfed butter, pork lard, beef tallow, olive oil, mayo, avocado oil, avocados, coconut butter, and the occasional nut.
  • I need to work on increasing my fat intake to make up for the lack of carbs.
  • More fatty snacks, too. Fat fat fat.


I’m in the process of making a list of yes-all-the-time foods, sometimes foods, and in very small amount foods which I’ll share when it’s done. I’m aiming to make this a lifestyle change as much as paleo was for me, which will mean allowing for deviations and the occasional special occasion.

For now, though, we have two weeks until Thanksgiving and I’m going to spend those two weeks getting as on track as possible.


Filed under PCOS