2019 North Texas Walk for PKD

I’m making it easy for you to donate in my team’s name this year! Just click on the link, enter my name (Kim Smyth) in the Box (find an individual) and your donation will count towards my team fundraising goal.

Register and fundraise for your local Walk for PKD. A cure is our finish line!
— Read on pkdfoundation.salsalabs.org/2019walkforpkd-northtexas/index.html

Thank you all in advance, by now you know that my mother passed in 2014 from complications of her PKD and that I also have it. Luckily, I am not symptomatic yet, and take preventive measures to stay that way!

Millions aren’t so lucky though and have to have transplants or suffer through years of dialysis like my mom did. She was on it for over 18 years!

Please give whatever you’re comfortable with, every little bit helps and again, thanks so much, I appreciate it and so does the foundation!

Day 314-Because Of You

Today I am not going to do my normal Throwback Thursday instead,  I want to thank everyone who has given to my PKD walk or otherwise supported the Foundation and ask that you join me again this year as I prepare to walk again this fall. This is one of several posts you can expect before October, I will try to make future posts more exciting and fun!

PKD Foundation

Those who know me and follow my blog have all heard my story, but for those that might be new here, PKD stands for polycystic kidney disease. Currently, my status is that I have too many cysts to count, yet they are not bothering my kidney function and I am otherwise healthy. I may have bad knees and arthritis and normal aches and pains, but that’s no different than any other 56 year old! However, as far as insurance companies are concerned, my condition is considered fatal therefore, I cannot get life insurance. Thank goodness that right now I am covered by my husband’s insurance or I might be up a creek.

It is because of you and your generous support that important research has been able to take place, research that will one day bring a cure to this debilitating and potentially fatal disease. My mother had it and died from it, I also have it, but currently,  I am not in any danger and my labwork looks wonderful, praise the Lord!

You can help me by joining a walk close to you, volunteering your time serving at one of the walks or donating money for research so that we can someday find a cure. My local chapter will walk again this October and we are currently taking donations. Be a hero again, help us beat last year’s goal and know that your dollars go 100% to projects like the ones involving 5+ potential PKD treatments now in clinical trials. Last year you helped us reach the goal of 2.5+ million dollars in science and research funding and walked the road with thousands of patients and families in 60 local US Chapters.

Register today at walkforpkd.org and if you choose to support my team, great! I am in the portal North Texas Walk for PKD as Kim Smyth (I don’t actually have a “team” yet but I will by Oct.!) Thanks in advance for any help or donation you are able to give, I realize there are many causes to support out there, I appreciate you considering ours.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to let me know. See you mañana on the patio!

 

 

Day 281-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Time to Gear Up For Walk PKD

Well folks, I got my first email today from the PKD Foundation letting me know that it’s once again time to start thinking about the PKD Walk for a cure. Last year some of you were so sweet and helped me raise some money for this potentially fatal disease. I appreciate it and I want to do something this year to encourage you to help out again, whether that be a giveaway, a coupon or some other goodie I can dream up. Good thing is, I have until October to figure it out! Maybe some of you creative geniuses can even give me some ideas on the subject…you know, help me help you!

As you may or may not know, my mother passed away from complications of PKD after being on dialysis for 18+ years and I also have it. I discovered I had it when going in for testing to see if I could donate a kidney for her. Later on I found out that the disease is genetic and children of mothers with PKD have a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. You can check out my posts from last year to find out more, but basically, PKD is short for polycystic kidney disease. In my case, I have too many cysts to count, but they aren’t impeding my kidney function so far. I am monitored by a nephrologist (who I LOVE) and I try to eat healthy and take care of myself so the disease doesn’t progress any faster than normal.

Since you will be hearing more about this in future posts this year, I’ll cut it short and just tell you that I am already registered and can start raising money immediately. I myself will again be donating a personal pledge for myself and also in my mother’s memory. You can feel good knowing that 100% of the money raised goes to research! Go to walkforpkd.org to donate, whether you do it for my team or not is totally up to you, I do want to surpass last year’s goal however-I’m shooting for $500 this year. If you are a company, or know if one who would like to sponsor the walk, get sponsor info at: julier@pkdcure.org or call 816-268-8462, or go to the sponsorship tab at PKD Foundation page.

 

Day 83-Free Days-Walk, Bake and Showtime

Site of PKD Walk in Southlake Square
Site of PKD Walk in Southlake Square

This morning was finally the day for the PKD Walk, put on by the good folks in Southlake and was relatively well attended.  Nothing compared to the walks to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, and not as organized, but I was glad to be a part of it. My hubby walked with me, after the balloon release, which was emotional for me. It makes me feel bad that I could have and should have been doing more to raise awareness and money since my mom was first diagnosed. So, I was thinking of her as we released our balloon and her name was on my back as we walked. Not that many were there to see it-my hubby and I were way out in front of the pack the whole way, our pace being much quicker than most. Thanks again to everyone who donated to my “team”, even if that team turned out to be my hubby and me. I also put in my own private donations, although I would have done that online as well, I would have been able to designate part for myself and part as a pledge in my Mom’s name. She passed away two years ago from the disease. As far as I know, I’m the only one of her five children to be diagnosed as well. Anyway, I hope next years Walk is bigger and better, and that the contributions for research keep pouring in.

Later in the day, he took our son Chris to play golf as part of his birthday present. While they were gone, Becky and I secretly baked him a kickass Banana Pudding birthday cake and, just in case he smelled something cooking when he arrived back home, I made some Paleo chocolate chip cookies so he wouldn’t get suspicious. I got the recipe from http://Www.ambitiouskitchen.com and they are delicious.

My homemade Paleo chocolate chip cookies
My homemade Paleo chocolate chip cookies

After all the activity in the kitchen, I subjected Becky to my taped recording of the Rocky Horror Picture Show remake-she wasn’t impressed. Then again, she is so young, she barely remembers the original. We had fun laughing at it anyway. See, I DO remember the original and I appreciated the music of both versions. The soundtrack and of course Tim Curry (the original Frank-n-Furter) made the whole movie. So I was happy to hear all the songs again, even if they weren’t exactly the same renditions as the first. I though the remade Riff Raff was awesome and Victoria Justice was very good as Janet.

Credit:Fox
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: L-R: Reeve Carne, Annaleigh Ashford, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCartan and Christina Milian in THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW coming this Fall to FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Steve Wilkie/FOX

 

Original stars, Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon
Original stars, Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon

The new Dr Frank-n-Furter
The new Dr Frank-n-Furter

It was kinda like the creators of this one forgot the whole point, originally, it was so outrageous for a man to be playing a transvestite with over the top makeup-just not the same with a female playing a transgender role.  Although I must say, the acting and singing would have been fine had you never seen the original and had it to compare to.

All in all it was a very good day, and the night is yet young! I can’t wait to see if Becky chickens out on performing her birthday “rap” for Chris’s birthday! Stay tuned, results will be in tomorrow, on the patio 😉

 

 

 

Day 82-Last Chance

Wow! It just so turns out that my Dad’s 82nd birthday is today and I’m also on my 82 post in the 365 day challenge! What a coincidence!

Also, today is the last chance to get a donation in for my team in the PKD walk. Of course, you can always donate or make a pledge, however, tomorrow is the actual PKD Walk, and I’m just halfway to my team goal. I’d appreciate whatever you can do to help me in this effort. And thanks again to the bloggers who have donated so far! I was reading some news today concerning future treatment options for my disease, and there are five new medications in clinical trials! Yea! Would it not be fantastic if me and  hundreds of other PKD patients had the option of stopping the advance of the disease with a simple medication and not have to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant? That is what we are raising money for, to make medications like this possible and other life saving treatments and research is ongoing in this endeavor.

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Tap on the picture to enlarge it, otherwise, just go to http://Www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas to give in my name for my team.

I know y’all are probably “tired of” me talking about this and pleading for donations, I will soon be giving it a break for a while…til the next walk lol! But seriously, because it is a cause close to my heart, my Mom had it too, I will continue to educate myself and others and do what I can to support this cause. Wish me good luck and pleasant weather on tomorrow’s short walk. Luckily, mine is short, since the old back ain’t what it used to be. A mile ain’t nothin for a stepper though, and my hubby will be with me all the way.

After all that, I will be busy with preparations for the big birthday weekend. My Dad and my son have birthdays two days apart, and my friend’s is the day after my son’s. She is unfortunately out of town on business, so I already put her card and gift in the mail. My son and my Dad will be joining us for dinner Sunday and so far, that’s all I know, lol. Hopefully I get something figured out for their gifts before then. I, for one, think birthdays should be special. I’m sure I will get something worked out. 😉

 

 

Day 74-Open Topics Week-What is Kombucha? and PKD Walk update

As some of you know, we are nearing the homestretch! Only 9 more days till the walk for PKD.  Thank you to my fellow bloggers who have helped so far in my effort to reach my team goal (now reduced to $150), I’m halfway there! This is in addition to my own personal donations I’ll be making day of the walk. Please consider a small donation to help us find a cure for this potentially fatal disease. Additionally, if anyone reading this post is in the area, we can always use more walkers and this year, you can bring your kids and dogs in costume, or wear one yourself! All the info can be found at http://www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas I appreciate all of you!

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Ok, now on to my next subject: What is kombucha? Well, it is a great tasting way to get your daily dose of probiotics, for one thing! The one I’m sampling today by Kevita is the Tart Cherry flavor, and it has 4billion CFU’s of lactobacillus rhamnosus, and bacillus coagulans (LactoSporeMTCC 5856) live probiotics.

Kevita brand Kombucha in Tart Cherry
Kevita brand Kombucha in Tart Cherry

Probiotics are necessary for optimum health of your digestive tract. We all have good and bad bacteria in our systems. Taking a good probiotic and eating (or drinking) foods that include more probiotics, can only do a body good. Different strains and species of bacterias provide different health benefits. Some of those benefits include preventing and treating diarrhea associated with the use of antibiotics, fantastic immune system function and soothing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Studies have shown they may also aid in lowering cholesterol and helping one drop body fat as well.

 

The actual definition of Kombucha is “a beverage produced by fermenting a sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria.” The culture used in the fermentation process is called a “SCOBY” and it can be home made or purchased at health food stores like Sprouts. I prefer to leave it to the pros and get mine pre-made and I have tried a few  brands. Kevita brand is very good and comes in all kinds of flavors. If you don’t like the taste of vinegar or beer, it might take a few times or a couple of different flavors to get used to it. What I found is to start out with just a cup or so a day until you get used to it. Now I like it (and I HATE beer) and have tried many different flavors. I like fruit flavors the best, although you can also get flavors like ginger and lavender.

A typical bottle contains two servings, so you can make it last a couple of days, which is good since they are a bit pricey. A typical bottle goes for $2-$5.  I drink it AND take a probiotic and that way, I can be sure I’m covered. I don’t know about you, but I did not get the flu shot this year and I want to do everything I can to stay healthy. On top of being incredibly good for you, it is also low calorie, low carb and surprisingly low sugar-8 grams a serving. It also packs 10% each of 6 different b vitamins and folic acid per serving. The one I’m drinking today is sweetened with organic cane sugar, however, some kombucha is sweetened with honey or fruit.

Besides the probiotic benefits drinking kombucha provides, it is naturally energizing and can help with inflammatory ailments like arthritis and help with fatigue, hypertension and constipation. It has been around for 2000 years but has recently gained popularity among folks looking to better their health.

I say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, and try it you should! My favorite flavor is Mystic Mango but this tart cherry is quite nice as well. Let me know if you’ve tried it, made it and which flavors you like! Comment below or shoot me an email please and don’t forget to donate to the walk if you can. Tomorrow may be Friday night, but ill be blogging for ya on the patio! 🙂

Day 71-Open Topics Week-A Little History

Happy Columbus Day to everyone here in the good ole USA and for my Canadian friends and fellow bloggers, Happy Thanksgiving! Until I talked to Teresa, aka Ladybuggz from Photos and Word From A Wandering Mind blog, I had no idea that Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. It is also older than our Thanksgiving, dating back to 1578 when explorer Martin Frobisher landed safely after losing a ship on his third voyage there. He was giving thanks for the fact that he arrived safely and held a big celebration. Now you know the story.

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As far as the USA goes, we celebrate Thanksgiving in much the same way, stuffing our faces with turkey and all the trimmings while watching football but on a different day of the week. Ours is set on the fourth Thursday of November and can be traced back to 1621 when early settlers celebrated at Plymouth Plantation for having a successful growing season. All 50 survivors of the Mayflower were in attendance as well as 90 Native Americans and the meal was prepared by the four adult Pilgrims women who survived their first winter in the New World (according to wikipedia).

There are many different accounts of this as well as the Canadian version, depending on the source the information comes from. The bottom line is, Thanksgiving is just that. Giving thanks for all our blessings. So that is my very short history lesson for the day and now we can all start considering what we will do in a couple of weeks to prepare for our own feasts and what we all have to be thankful for.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you cook it yourself or eat out somewhere? Let me know in the comments and also, share what else we can discuss this week which I have deemed Open Topics week. It could be crafts you are making or food you want to share some recipes for, whatever! If I don’t get any input, you will see something random from me-thats for sure. I become quite overwhelmed at this time of year with all the events coming up, birthdays, holidays, home repairs going on, a baby on the way, Halloween decorating to do (maybe) phew! Surely I can find something to talk about but I want some ideas from you guys.

One more thing, please remember the PKD Walk is coming up soon-Oct 22- so consider contributing to my fundraising team by visiting walkforpkd.or/northtexas to donate in my name or finding out more info on a walk in your area by visiting the PKD Foundation. Thank You!

I decided to go walk to get the old legs in shape for the upcoming walk, the route I chose seems perfect for this, it has a few upand downhill gradients, sort of simulating being on a treadmill. It took me exactly 30 minutes, perfectly fine amount of time to get the excercise in and still have time for other things. I plan on continuing in this fashion until I build my leg muscles back up to a point where I can then be able to climb back on my bicycle and carve out a new path. Y’all wish me luck and I’ll see you tomorrow on the patio!😀

 

 

Day 37-Support a Cause Week-PKD Walk

Fall is shaping up to be very busy, with all kinds of walks and festivals to help support worthy causes. Everything from my personal health issue (PKD) to one of the most famously supported causes, breast cancer awareness.

Although I have covered the PKD Walk before, it bears repeating, since I’m trying to reach a specific monetary goal for my team-$250, not that much in the big scheme of things, but if every team walking reaches their goals, it would help the foundation so much in their search for new medicines to treat and/or cure this potentially fatal disease.

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As stated before, you can donate a little (or a little more) to my team by heading to www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas and search my name, Kim Smyth. So far, one kind blogger that follows my blog donated $10. That was very sweet. I would like to point out that if all my followers donated just $5 each, I would definitely reach my goal. I am personally donating $50 for myself and a memorial pledge of $50 for my mother who passed away from complications of PKD in 2014.

I’m going to post these causes, each day a different one, starting with the month of Oct. and working backwards to Sept. my thought being about how much time you have to get ready for each one. Tomorrow’s post will feature some kind of walk for breast cancer, (there are so many) I wanted the latest one in October for my area so we would all have more time to get ready for it. Even if you don’t live in the area, you can make a pledge/donation at the website I will be providing.

We should all do our part to help out worthy causes when we can, don’t you agree? If you can’t help financially, they always can use volunteers. However you choose to donate, with your time, or money, it will all be greatly appreciated, and you can feel good knowing you helped make a difference.

Now a bit about PKD for those who have never heard of it. The letters stand for polycystic kidney disease, it is potentially fatal because the cysts will at some point grow large enough to choke out the kidneys and at that time one needs to either go on dialysis or get a kidney transplant. Polycystic means multiple cysts. Nothing can be done currently to remove or drain the cysts, although they are always working on finding medicines to treat it. I choose to be proactive and at least eat as well as I can, that is why I live the Paleo lifestyle. My mom chose dialysis, I found out my diagnosis when being screened as a potential donor for her. By the way, every person with PKD stands a 50/50 chance of passing it to their children. Mom was on dialysis for 18+ years and eventually, her organs started shutting down one by one and she went into a nursing home and then on hospice about a month later. She lingered another week or so, at which point they made her comfortable with medications and stopped feeding her. It was so painful to witness her wither and not be able to communicate with her due to her dementia. I assume it was a very painful and uncomfortable month for her as well, although she could not express this in words. I have decided if and when I progress, I will opt for a transplant, if I’m able. I’m told one can’t even get on the list until you become more symptomatic. Currently, I have too many cysts to count but my kidney function is fine and my lab work is perfect. I was lucky to find out early enough to get on top of it, my doctor keeps very close tabs on me.

I want to help others as well as myself, that is why I became a member of the foundation and why I’m bringing attention to this cause.

Please, go to the PKD Foundation for more information about this disease and/or how you can help. I appreciate what ever you can do, and so will thousands of others affected with this disease. Until tomorrow, see you on the patio. 😊

 

Day 16-EO Week-Lemon and Lemongrass

The lower temperatures and cloudy skies inspired me to walk this morning, something I need to get back to doing to ready myself for the upcoming PKD Walk in October. On top of that, the lemongrass I put in my water gave me the energy boost I needed to get going. I’ve used lemon essential oil in the past but on my most recent shopping trip, I saw and smelled lemongrass and decided to try it instead. It is very light tasting, almost sweeter, and I enjoy it in water and iced tea.

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Lemon and lemongrass EO’s are similar in benefits and uses. I think it comes down to personal preference, strong and pungent or light and sweet. While both oils are used for cleansing and detoxing one has a cooling effect and eases digestive and menstrual cramps. That one is lemongrass. Both are anti-microbial but if you want a stronger flavor enhancer, choose lemon.

As is true with frankincense, both are wonderful in a diffuser and help clean and freshen the air. I’ve been lazy lately and I’ve only been consuming my oils, I really need to get the diffuser busy again. I’m just so stingy I don’t want to use multiple drops in my diffuser-lower priced but good quality oils would be ideal for this.

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As you can see from the photo, lemongrass has some amazing benefits and remember, you get them whether you diffuse, rub on topically or take internally. Is it any wonder both of these oils are found in so many cleaning products and bug repellents?

I actually just got up from my writing and went to set up the diffuser! Already the air is filling with the fresh, citrusy scents of orange, and lemongrass, in addition, I threw in some frankincense and peppermint for good measure. These days, we can’t be diligent enough about cancer prevention and I feel I’m helping our chances when I use and diffuse my oils. Plus,  who doesn’t love the smell of a clean house?

Back to the start of my post about walking, please remember to give what you can to help the PKD foundation and I reach our fundraising goals. The walk is in October and you can donate in my name to www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas. My team goal is $250 but I will be pledging my own amount as well in my mother’s memory, and a separate personal pledge also.

If you have any comments or questions, let me hear from you! Comment below or shoot me an email and also remember to get a free download of Dr Axe’s ebook on all things essential oils, it’s called The King’s Medicine Cabinet and no, I don’t work for him, I just love the handy references when I need them. While I didn’t put any disclaimer on my post, please know, I’m not a doctor or an aromatherapist, please check with yours to make sure whatever oil you choose to use will be safe. Please buy quality Theraputic grade oils. Pm me for direct links to my favorite sources.

I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon, I’ll be enjoying the cooler temps while they last later on, on the patio. 

Day 6-Free Days

This is my blog and I hereby declare that weekends I’m free to write whatever I want-that being said, I’m still going to give y’all a recipe, this one is for our furry friends though. I make them for mine sometimes, when I have extra time. Most of the time however, I make a simpler, quick treat that they love just as much. These are made with natural ingredients we could eat ourselves, if we were so inclined. Enjoy!

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I “borrowed” this from a post on Instructables.com and she just called them sweet potato treats.

1 sweet potato

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1/4 unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

Basically, you mix everything in a large bowl and roll a small amount into a ball. It’s time consuming, but they love em, and they are good for them-they provide fiber, protein, iron, niacin, and Viatmin A. That can be modified by adding dried blueberries or changing the type of flour, I prefer brown rice flour because it’s inexpensive and better for them than wheat.

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Preheat oven to 350 and bake until crisp, about 35-45 minutes.

(You could bake a sweet potato and use that after its cooled down but I cheat and buy containers of baby food sweet potatoes to save time) Sue me, but I find lots of ways to save time in the kitchen since I do a lot of food prep.

I hope you try these for your fur babies to use as rewards or treats, mine get one at least twice a day! Since I know what is going in them, I can feel good about giving them to my Shorkies. Have a great weekend everyone, stay cool by watching the Olympics, if that’s your thing! I might watch a little, but I prefer to write, swim or catch an oldie but goodie in the movie dept. While my guys are off suffering the heat on the golf course, I’m in here staying cool, writing to you and catching Cold Mountain on Cinemax while also catching up on laundry. Later, I’m sure I’ll retire to the pool for a refreshing dip and possibly a nice beverage. 😉

Please don’t forget about helping me reach my goal for the upcoming PKD Walk. I appreciate whatever you can do or give, you can donate at the website: www.walkforpdk.org. Thanks again for visiting me here on the patio!