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Z is for Zoo

Yes, another obvious one: zoo! This is the entrance to the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, CA. You used to be able to get a better picture of the tiger statue, but they recently moved the flamingos out there, so they had to fence it and make it tougher to get a good shot. I actually haven't been to the zoo since they remodelled last year; I might have to do that this summer!

Hope you have all enjoyed my photographic journey through the alphabet during this year's Blogging from A to Z Challenge! See you next year! Cheers!

April's First (& Only) Friday Five

Since I've been participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month, I've been forgetting to do some of my other regular bloggy things like the Friday Five. But, I just suddenly remembered, so I thought I'd do a proper April Update today in 5 bullet points:

  • Despite what my current doctor thinks, I'm convinced the pain and stiffness I have been suffering      from since last July/August (and the same "Johnston Stiffness" or "The Stiffness" or "The Johnston Curse" my      grandfather had) is Polymyalgia Rheumatica.      Twice now I have brought it up to her, and twice she shot me down with the      "Oh, you're too young to have that" baloney.   I'm seeing      her again in another couple weeks, and I'm bringing it up again. The      treatment is a relatively simple, though it could take up to a year (and      might in my case since it's been almost a year since the onset of      symptoms), and the above-linked Mayo Clinic article states if a person      doesn't start feeling better in a few days, then it's likely NOT      Polymyalgia rheumatica. But, I would at least like the opportunity to TRY      to see if the treatment works or not.
  • One thing my doctor did      mention was to try changing my diet to gluten free, since wheat can cause      inflammation. I figured, what the heck? I'll give it a shot. I've been      100% gluten free since last Sunday, and have not felt much better. In      fact, I've had more gastrointestinal distress (sorry, TMI) since I started      than at any other time!  I'm chalking it up to the drastic and sudden      dietary change, and plan to give it a few more weeks before deciding      whether or not gluten free is for me. (And, any advice,      testimonies, tips and/or links to recipes in the comments will be      most welcome!)
  • All this stiffness and pain      has been a real, pardon the pun, pain to deal with! It's one      thing to have trouble getting out of bed, getting up and down out of      chairs, in and out of cars, and having difficulty getting dressed,      but it's quite another for it to completely and totally interfere with my      workouts and fitness goals. I had planned to be running (or at least half      running, half walking) several 5Ks this year, but since I can barely gimp      a few blocks to my opthamologist, that will not be happening.
  • In happier news, I read a      couple really great books this month - Doll Bones by Holly Black      and The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. Both are really      well-written, interesting stories with great characters, and satisfying      endings. I highly recommend both!
  • And, finally, here's a pretty picture I took this week (not related to the A to Z Challenge). Cheers! 

T is for Tieks


So, I finally broke down and bought a pair of Tieks based on the recommendation of my friend Weetabix. She has been extolling the virtues of these shoes for years now, and has many, many converts in her wake. I'm not sure if I'll be a true convert or not just yet. I got the size 10s (the 9s were way too small and were quickly returned), and they seem a bit short - my big toe was hitting the tip of the shoe, and by the end of the day, they were a bit uncomfortable. I don't know if getting an 11 would help, as my toes might fit fine, but I'm afraid they'd be too big in the heel, then. I don't know. I'm still debating. I will say, I love the packaging - small blue box with the shoes folded up inside and a floral wrap around it that doubles as a totes adorb headband - the way the shoes fold up easily for storage and packing, and the ease of returns.