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Old 12-06-2012, 05:09 AM   #91
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Don't be mad at yourself, Gail. It's not like you scarfed down high carb stuff! I don't know where the number came from, but I read here recently that it takes about 60g of carbs to kick most people out of ketosis. I think it's more like 50g for me, but I never did actually keep track.

I'm eating very plain to keep my calories down right now, but I'm definitely going to try that dip over the holidays. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I hope it doesn't make me eat too much of it!

BTW, were those the milk bone crackers you were eating? (how does he know what a milk bone tastes like?)

Last edited by NH_Free; 12-06-2012 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:44 AM   #92
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LOL NH!!! I said the same thing about the Milk Bones! Then he told me that back in junior high, his friend dared him to eat one and he did -- but with peanut butter on it. Gross! I wish I didn't ask the question in the first place!

The dip is really good and VERY low carb -- it has like 1 gram of carb in 3 heaping tablespoons. It is so good on raw veggies. Remember: after you make the dip, let it set for a few hours in the fridge for the flavors to meld. Fresh dill and parsley make a big difference in the dip too.

Thanks for letting me know about the 50-60 grams to get kicked out of ketosis. I won't use that as an excuse to fall off the wagon though.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:23 AM   #93
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We are making red curry chicken tonight -- all low carb -- so I am excited for that. You saute onions and peppers first, then set those aside. Blend coconut milk and red curry paste and bring to a boil and then a simmer. Add chunks of chicken breast and let them poach in the sauce. Then you add fish sauce, fresh lime juice, garlic and ginger (and even a bit of natural peanut butter if you are so inclined but optional). Then you add the veggies back and and let it all blend together. Top with fresh cilantro.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:01 PM   #94
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Man, you must be a gourmet cook, Gail! I've never even heard of half the things you make.
I want to try it all!

During the summer, when I was just maintaining, I was trying a new recipe 3 or 4 times a week. I wanted to add some new things to our list of LC dinners, so we don't get bored and fall off the wagon. But DH was with me every night then, so he was my incentive to cook. Now that he's only here every other weekend, I took the opportunity to go low cal and get the rest of this weight off. I'm looking forward to cooking some new stuff again soon, so thanks for sharing your recipes.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:56 PM   #95
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Thanks NH -- I am not a gourmet cook but I try. I like cooking and believe that we deserve to have good eating experiences on this diet or else we will go crazy. It must be hard for you without DH -- I am glad that you have the dog there with you. You are doing so well with your weight loss -- so you should stick with your eating plan. When DH comes home, that is when you can experiment with some fabulous meals. The late great Dr. Atkins always encouraged us to prepare and enjoy wonderful meals! Viva Atkins!
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #96
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I just talked to DH, as a matter of fact. He's flying in tomorrow evening and staying until Tuesday afternoon, but he's got some good ketosis going and said he doesn't want to get off track with holiday goodies and blow it before he gets to goal (again). I'm relieved. Now I don't have to make those cookies I can't stay out of.

I think my legs are finally looking a little thinner! I bought some Gap Long and Lean jeans in September and they were a little big in the hips, but tight in the thighs. They're looser today and I had to keep hitching them up. Might have to go back and see if they have them in size 0. Of course, a 0 in Gap jeans is really a 3, but I just get a kick out of owning something in a size 0!

The vanity sizing is actually pretty annoying though. Years ago, I could walk in any store and pick a size 7 pants off the rack and they'd always fit. Now I have jeans in size 1, 3, Junior's 5 and boy's 18. They all fit the same as those size 7s of old.

DH has been on the road for 20 years, so I'm quite used to it. What's new is that we bought an RV last year and I go on the road with him now in the summer. When fall comes, 1/2 of me wants to stay and 1/2 of me says "I need to get away from him and have some space!!"

Have a good night, Gail!

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #97
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Gail, as long as you register on the ketostix you are in ketosis no matter the color.

I love Thai food and your curry chicken sounds soooo good.I do a red curry pork that my BF always requests.

Now if you want some noodles I use the Miracle Shiratake noodles with Thai food. They are a good represtention of asian noodles, not that great for subbing in Italian food, but I still do. I just don't expect them to be like semolina pasta. You have to rinse them really well as they have a weird "fishy" odor from the liquid they are packed in. But rinsed well you then pan dry them in a skillet until they are no longer wet. They are very good with curry as they absorb the flavor of sauces. And best is that they are carb free and no calories! They are basically just fiber to add bulk to you meals so you can have all the good fat, caloric sauces and cheeses. There are other Shiratke noodles out there, but most are soy based and I try to avoid too much soy and they also have calories and I do count calories. Some people love Shiratake noodles and some hate them, just thought I would let you know about them since you cook a lot.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:18 PM   #98
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That curry recipie sounds wonderfull. The Husband is into spicy food so I should make him that one day soon!

@NH: Vanity sizing is a ***, as someone who makes clothes it is insanely annoying. I constantly have to warn people that if they order from me, they need to send me their measurements not their size, because their size does not tell me anything anymore.

@ Gail: Do you have plans for the weekend?
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:49 AM   #99
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NH -- congratulations on the size zero and your legs looking great! Isn't that the best feeling --- when you know your hard work and dedication has paid off and you see tangible results? Yay for you! I'm glad your DH will be home soon and you will have a relaxing weekend. Thank God you don't have to make cookies -- I would be worried about that too. Tony does not have to lose as much weight as I do so he can eat low carb sweets (those sugar free peanut butter cups and peanut brittle) and still lose weight. He also has a secret candy stash of non-low carb candy (like Snickers and Cadbury) that he thinks I don't know about hidden in one of our top kitchen cupboards -- LOL. Candy is not a huge weakness of mine but I appreciate that he does not want to tempt me. Now if it was chips, that would be a different story!

Frankie, thanks for letting me know about the noodles. We have not tried Miracle Shiratake yet but we tried another brand and Tony hated them. That being said, I have heard good things about Miracle Rice and Miracle (Shiratake) from Scalestepper who also comes to this journal. I should buy both from Netrition this weekend. You are right Frankie about adding some heft to the dishes I make. We liked the Red Curry Chicken last night but while we were eating, Tony said "I wish we had some jasmine rice to go with this." And he was right. It would have been much better.

Velvet & NH -- I agree with you about vanity sizing and it makes online shopping almost impossible.

Velvet, I am going to visit a friend of mine tonight who is recuperating from an operation she had in October. I was going to bring over dinner but now she wants to go out because she is sick of being cooped up at home. On Saturday, Tony & I will finish shopping and finally get a Christmas tree! How about you? Do you have any plans? I hope everyone has a great weekend.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:02 AM   #100
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Gail - my legs definitely don't look great, they're just finally starting to look more like they belong on my body. My thighs and waist are still inches bigger than they ought to be (darn middle aged spread). I just have freakishly small hips and the jeans only come to hip level. If they came up to my waist, I'd need a much bigger size. Also, those Gap jeans are so thin and stretchy now, I could probably share them with my 190 lb. husband. Vanity sizing, for sure.

We're getting our tree tonight after I get DH from the airport, so decorating it will be our weekend plan. And maybe some clothes shopping. My honey's jeans were ridiculously baggy last time he was home and he's lost more since then.

Have a good Friday and have fun with your friend Nice of you to go get her out of the house!
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:05 PM   #101
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I really enjoyed reading your journal - you are doing so well! When the holidays ease up for me I want to try the curry you made. I hope you have fun grating your tree!
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:39 AM   #102
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JMac, thank you! You are doing really well too. NH: have fun with your tree and clothes shopping. I love how you and your husband do the diet together. I am fortunate that Tony does it with me too.

I am on my way home this morning. First I will workout on the elliptical and then Tony and I are going to get a Christmas tree! I think for dinner, we are going to try a low carb mexican meal. We like to make ground pork tortillas with low carb tortillas (made by either Mama Lupe or the Tortilla Factory -- the small ones have 10 grams of carbs per tortilla so they work if you don't eat any other carbs that day, which I never do).

First you cook the ground pork in a separate saute pan. Then you saute chopped red pepper, jalapenos and onions. Merge the cooked pork and vegetables and add a can of diced tomatoes, salsa, fresh garlic, cumin and chili powder. So easy -- and it has tons of flavor. Then we put the cooked mixture in a tortilla with melted cheddar cheese and serve with homemade guacamole, sour cream and fresh cilantro.

I may even serve with a homemade skinny margarita -- 1 oz of Patron tequila, the juice of one lime, a speck of orange flavoring and a splash of low carb simple syrup (you just boil water and splenda until the splenda disappers and then cool in the fridge). Ole!

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Old 12-08-2012, 08:10 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by GailyGail View Post
JMac, thank you! You are doing really well too. NH: have fun with your tree and clothes shopping. I love how you and your husband do the diet together. I am fortunate that Tony does it with me too.

I am on my way home this morning. First I will workout on the elliptical and then Tony and I are going to get a Christmas tree! I think for dinner, we are going to try a low carb mexican meal. We like to make ground pork tortillas with low carb tortillas (made by either Mama Lupe or the Tortilla Factory -- the small ones have 10 grams of carbs per tortilla so they work if you don't eat any other carbs that day, which I never do).

First you cook the ground pork in a separate saute pan. Then you saute chopped red pepper, jalapenos and onions. Merge the cooked pork and vegetables and add a can of diced tomatoes, salsa, fresh garlic, cumin and chili powder. So easy -- and it has tons of flavor. Then we put the cooked mixture in a tortilla with melted cheddar cheese and serve with homemade guacamole, sour cream and fresh cilantro.

I may even serve with a homemade skinny margarita -- 1 oz of Patron tequila, the juice of one lime, a speck of orange flavoring and a splash of low carb simple syrup (you just boil water and splenda until the splenda disappers and then cool in the fridge). Ole!
Alright, I have some ground pork in my freezer and have had no idea how to use it. This sounds delicious. I'm trying to get myself to like cumin and use it in more recipes, and this sounds like a grand way to do so. I haven't had fresh cilantro in soooo long. Now I'm really craving it. I'm so glad I'm not one of those people for whom it tastes like soap; my fiance hates it because of that very reason. :P But me? YUMMMM. Bring on the pico with cilantro! Sounds like you have a great night ahead of you.

I don't eat wheat anymore, but the Tortilla Factory tortillas are great stuff.

Good luck wrangling your Christmas tree!
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #104
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Once again your dinner sounds really yummy. I live in Dallas so Tex-Mex is big here and I live in a mostly hispanic neighborhood with a taco stand on every other street and restaurants that have menus only in Spanish. I love some good pork carnitas or a fresh fajita meat taco with a load of cilantro and pico on it. I will at times even eat the small corn tortillas on a street taco if I have not consumed many carbs for the day. The "corns" as we call them are not as high in carbs as the "flours". I also love a good salsa. I will use a chip to get the salsa to my mouth and not eat the chip.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #105
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Limetwist -- I eat that recipe plain without tortillas too. I usually make a sauce with sour cream, a squeeze of lime juice, cilantro and fresh black pepper and eat it out of a bowl with a dollop that and guacamole and salsa. You get all the flavors with the none of the carbs so for me, it is a Godsend. Chips and salsa is my biggest vice -- particularly if the chips are homemade or from a really good Mexican restaurant. I could eat that until the cows come home with guacamole and a good Patron margarita.

Frankie, you are so fortunate to live in Dallas where the Tex-Mex is incredible (along with the shopping. Neiman Marcus used to be a client of mine and I loved going to their HQ. Dallas is a really fun place.) I too love a really great homemade or gourmet salsa -- that can make anything taste good. You must live near some fantastic restaurants!

Tony decided to forgo Mexican in favor of eggs. We were watching a local restaurant show that featured all of these incredible brunch dishes so he wanted brunch for dinner. We skipped breakfast and lunch except for coffee (usually do anyway), exercised, showered and then did our errands (holiday shopping, getting the tree, etc.).

After putting up the tree (it looks nice with simple white lights, gold and bronze ornaments and a light touch of gold tinsel), we poured a glass of Veuve Cliquot champagne and made our meal. Tony made this very ambitous Mexican omelette with onions, jalapenos, Monterey jack cheese and black olives. I kept it simple with scrambled eggs. We split Maple Bacon (delicious and no carbs) and half of a low carb bagel with butter and cream cheese.

This will be all I will eat today but it hits the spot -- and I full totally full and satiated. Tomorrow, I will go heavier on lean protein, veggies and salad but a high fat meal like the one I had tonight really seems to spur the weight loss.

I hope everyone has a good Saturday afternoon and evening -- whether it is relaxed and chill OR energetic and productive OR simply exactly whatever you want it to be. It is good to have time off, take a deep breathe and make some sense of it all. xo xo xo -- Gail

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Old 12-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #106
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so gaily i am here because i like your posts on sharksandwich (what a great thread!) and your avatar is so pretty. Now, can i ask, are you 170 now? Cause that's not a bad weight at which to be!
As for craving what? really? chex snack mix? you are kidding, right? Why is it even in your house? Let me think of what i have in the house that isn't atkins friendly: a loaf of bread for my mike, and -- i THINK that's it. So that's the first way i fight any kinds of cravings. It isn't there to be had.
Secondly, what is there in the world to eat that could make you go off plan? Someone's cookie or cake mix dessert that took 5 minutes to put together and bake? Or maybe Julia Child just showed up at your door and she wants to make you some fig tarts?

The second way i fight cravings (which I actually don't ever have! Now...why? because I go to work every day, and, almost every day, there is some new treat at the news desk: this week we saw: cupcakes from one of the local cupcake emporia, several bags of mixed candy bars, twizzlers, leftover greek salad and wraps from a local restaurant, and a five layer chocolate cake. Did I even look twice? No. Because I know the exact same food will be available when i reach goal, a year after I reach goal, and forever after that. I don't care that there is food in the newsroom, sitting right in front of me. Sometimes I go out myself and buy candy and put it in front of my nose for everyone in the building to eat. I don't need it, I don't want it.

So, my point is: Your mind will decide whether you eat a treat or not. Stay strong!
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:18 AM   #107
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That margarita sounds nice.

I like eggs, I eat them a lot, you can so do many different things with it!

Great that you put up your christmas tree. It sounds wonderfull We do not have one (small house, big dog) but I did put candles everywhere.

Hope you have a nice sunday!
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:41 AM   #108
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Dairy Queen, thank you for stopping by and providing advice on cravings. I love Shark's journal too -- he is such a great writer and so funny, honest and well-informed.

As for cravings, I do NOT have Chex Mix in the house -- I don't have anything that I should't be eating in the house. Tony has his secret candy stash that he thinks I don't know about but I don't care because that is not really a weakness of mine! I do love your advice about how to handle cravings though and I will take it readily! LOL -- I only WISH Julia Child was coming to my house to make fig tarts and just about anything. She is one of my heroes!

Velvet, I think candles are beautiful during the holidays and I don't blame you for not putting up a tree. I used to have cats and they would climb the tree and ruin it so I did not have trees for many years. I hope you have a great Sunday too.

DQ: my weight listing is messed up because I first joined this forum in January 2012. At that time, I was 200 and got down to 170 in two and a half months. Only to come off the diet when Tony's mom died (we were very close). My own mother died only a few months before in Sept. 2011 and I had just started a new job and moved back to Boston in November 2011. I know, I know -- I make lots of excuses! The truth is that I fell off the wagon and started eating whatever I wanted. Before long, I was 208 pounds and very unhappy with myself.

So I started again on Monday, Nov. 12 at 208. Now, after one month eating low carb, I am 196. I know I must accept low carb as a lifestyle -- NOT a diet, or else I risk gaining all that weight back and then some -- not to mention the health problems that go along with it. This is why I am investing so heavily in learning how to be a good low carb cook so we can make this journey as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

Sorry for the long diatribe! It is a sunny Sunday morning here in Boston -- not too cold, thank goodness. My holiday shopping is done and Tony is at work this morning. I am going to write an article for a hospitality trade magazine for one of my clients on new directions in hotel loyalty programs. Tony and I eat one meal a day on the weekends -- usually in the mid-afternoon while the football games are on. So I am going to go to our local fish market and get some jumbo shrimp which I will saute in butter, fresh garlic, lemon and white wine (or I may do a pink sauce with no-sugar marinara sauce and a splash of cream) and a nice homemade caesar salad.

Have a GREAT Sunday everyone. And Velvet, DQ, Limetwist, Frankie, BJMac and NH -- thank you so much for stopping by the journal this weekend. Your support, sage advice, good ideas and encouragement mean the world to me!

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:49 AM   #109
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Oh Gail I am so sorry to hear that! I can totaly undedrstand that healthy living was not the first thing on your mind this year. *big hug for you*

You are doing great agian now. I am sure that you wil nail this lifestyle.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #110
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Velvet, thank you! You are such a love and I am so happy to know you, even if it is just on an online basis. Thanks for the big hug -- I am giving you a hug right back.

We had a change of plans on the food front today. Tony called me from work and told me he was craving comfort food like a homemade chicken pot pie. I searched and searched for a low carb chicken pot pie recipe and did not come up with much. Pretty hard to make a low carb flaky pie crust -- plus the chicken pot pie sauce is usually thickened with flour or corn starch -- not good.

I did come across a recipe from New York Times food editor Mark Bittman for a "Chicken Not Pie" -- which was healthified by him. I took it a step further and removed the carbs from his recipe -- and it still tasted good. I have shared his full recipe below and just put the carb stuff -- which was just carrots and potatoes -- in parenthesis as some people can handle the extra carbs.

I estimated that each portion is about 10 carbs per serving. Now, it tastes nothing like traditional chicken pot pie -- it tastes more like nice country french cooking which I love. Mark Bittman served his recipe over brown rice, or whole wheat fettucine or whole grain bread. I served Tony's with a half of a low carb bagel and also gave him green beans sauteed in butter and garlic on the side. I had mine without the bagel to keep my carbs super low. Here is the recipe:

Ingridients: 1/4 cup of olive oil divided, 2 leaks cleaned and chopped, salt & pepper, 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts chopped, 1 cup of dry white white, 1 cup of vegetable stock, 1 TBS of fresh tarragon, 1 TBS of fresh thyme, (3 large red potatoes and 2 medium carrots chopped, obviously I did not use these), 1/2 lb of sugar snap peas chopped (or you can use frozen peas instead, I did not eat much of those as they are high in carbs), 1/2 lb of fresh asparagus chopped and two TBS of fresh lemon juice.

Heat a large pot or skillet with 1/8 cut of olive oil or a little more if need be. Add chopped leaks, salt & pepper and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add wine, stock, tarragon and thyme and boil for one minute. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer for 6-7 minutes (just keep checking your chicken -- it should be done within 5-6 minute or less). Remove chicken. (Add potatotes and bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes and then add carrots and cook for 3 minutes for you higher carb folks). Let the sauce thicken for a few minutes and then add the remaining olive oil very slowly while stirring (I added more than the recipe called for--almost a full 1/4 cup). Add peas and asparagus and cook on medium heat for four minutes. Add chicken back and add lemon juice. Heat up for a while and then serve -- either plain or with a low carb biscuit, bagel or toast.

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Old 12-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #111
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Hi there! What a great journal you have here--some of the recipes you've shared have me drooling! I'm making Shepherd's Pie (Linda Sue's) tonight and will then take leftovers to work for lunch throughout the week.

Thanks for stopping by my journal, by the way. I've been enjoying your posts over on Z's pages and it's nice to be starting to talk with you.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:16 PM   #112
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Ann F. -- it is so great to see you and you are a fellow Z fan! You are doing really well with your low carb plan -- I really admire your progress. Linda Sue's recipes are really good and I adore her whole attitude about low carb. She really adopted it as a lifestyle and contines to look and feel fabulous -- what a great inspiration!

Ann F., you are also super close to your goal -- very excited for you!
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:53 AM   #113
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Today marks one full month on Atkins/low carb for me -- yay! I've lost weight and I feel so much better. I just hope I can stay on this trajectory. It is a rainy morning in Boston and unseasonably warm (well, not super warm but warm relative to Boston in December). I am really glad we put the tree up because the bright lights make my living room look alot less gloomy when it rains like this.

I don't know what we will have for dinner yet. Maybe turkey burgers and greek salad? That is always one of our standby meals.

Have a fabulous week everyone!
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:32 AM   #114
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Congratulations, GailyGail! Enjoy your tree!
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:12 AM   #115
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Awesome! You have the first month down!

I made your curry chicken tonight, and I loved it! :-D
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:06 PM   #116
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Thanks Ann and Velvet -- hugs and kisses to you both! Velvet, I'm glad you liked the red curry. I love ethnic food --especially Asian, Thai, Indian, Italian, French -- so we need to enhance our low carb food with fresh herbs, spices, sauces and veggies. That helps us stay on track and faithful to the diet.

I got super hungry tonight and ended up ordering a burger and a salad from a really nice bistro next door to my office. Tony was making a pork stirfry at home but I was not in the mood. The last time I ate was at 2:30 PM on Sunday and I skipped breakfast and lunch, except for a cup of coffee and a bunch of water. So by the time 5:00 PM rolled around, I was crazy hungry and wanted a burger.

I brought the food home and ate the burger on a low carb bun with a tablespoon of red pepper aioli and dressed the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. It all tasted delicious -- and even more so because I was so darn hungry! When you get into ketosis, you can so easily skip meals because you just aren't hungry. Then when you aren't careful, the hunger suddenly sneaks up on you. That's when you need really tasty low carb options to keep you on track -- especially when you've been a "bad dog" by meal skipping. Yes, I am a meal skipper and I hang my head in shame.

I feel better after a good meal now though. And I do believe that it is good to do some intermittent fasting -- not eating for 8 hours gives your body a chance to metabolize your food, breathe and do its business. I just should have had a small snack today.

Oh well --live and learn -- and keep getting better in the process, I hope.

Last edited by GailyGail; 12-10-2012 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:37 PM   #117
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Oh, GailyGail, I should have started hanging out here in the journal section a long time ago. It has a very different feeling than the rest of the site, I think.

Or maybe it's just that many of us are Z fans!

Wow! That's a long time without food! I do agree that a bit of fasting can be very healthful, but... wow!
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #118
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I know -- I was a bad dog. I am just grateful I did not cheat. Ann, I am so glad you found the journals! This journey is hard so we need to be there for each other through thick and thin -- literally. It is so easy to just chuck the diet, say "forget it, I'm just going to be fat" and then eat whatever we want. Only to hate ourselves the next day when we catch a glimpse of our visage in the mirror. At some point, you just say "I'm going to do this - come hell or high water. And then you do -- but you really need good company along the way.

I love reading Z's journals because not only do you learn something meaningful and important about low carb dieting, but Z also uniquely captures the human side of dieting, weight issues and belonging in a complicated world. I wish Z would write a series of magazine articles or a book as he really gets the whole experience.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:22 PM   #119
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Ann, I am so glad you came to the journals! We need to support each other through thick and thin (literally) because this journey is long, hard and basically never-ending. When you feel like quitting, it is good to hear someone say "no, keep going. It's worth it." And there is nothing like good old fashioned humor and empathy -- which can replace sugar and flour any old day if you ask me.

Isn't Z the greatest? I love him! I think he should write a book about his experiences, get it published and then made into a show for HBO.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:39 PM   #120
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A guy could come away with a first-rate ego listening to you two. I'd gladly write professionally, but they're usually looking for people with lofty qualifications like "graduated the 9th grade," And I just can't compete with that

Still - Maybe after I've made my goal and held it for a while, I'll compile and distill some of my thoughts and attempt to submit them. Realistically, I can't imagine anyone would be willing to publish me - much less buy my book.

That said, I do enjoy writing. I am fascinated by the hidden mechanisms of language. You can write two different sentences that mean the same thing, and yet the individual words add shades of meaning that aren't quite recorded in the dictionary definition. Consider the difference between a 'scent' and a 'smell'.

A scent generally smells good - while a smell is almost invariably imbued with pungent and malodorous scent.

The words 'scent' and 'smell' trade meanings back and forth in that sentence, and yet it parses cleanly in our minds. Words can change meaning based on context. When we write, there are two stories - the dictionary definitions of the words do the heavy lifting - but the specific words we choose, and how we put those words together build a subtext that can run parallel with or contrary to the explicit text. And that relationship between the text and the subtext allows for the creation of endless shades of meaning. Subtext is that place where sarcasm and symbolism and allegory live. Sometimes, subtext is built not with words, but with strange meters and structures. A syntax, unusual, informs the mind's ear to hearken for artfully manufacted prosody. We can even make words up, and have the meaning ring clearly in the minds of our readers.

I don't know how it works, but I think it's all pretty neat.

I've really had a lot of fun sharing my experience thus far with you. Without someone to share it with, it would not have been worth writing in the first place. And since my writing is never planned, but spews forth in a sort of stream of consciousness way, what I write is often as much as surprise to me as it is to anyone else. I distill the concepts on my mind to their purest abstracts, and set about the task of considering the problem from some new perspective.

The downside of that, is that I tend to speak in the first person a lot. I am always shy about discussing other people. I don't ever want to demand my truths from others. We live in a world where compliments often cause more offense than insults. But at the same time, I run the risk of sounding like a self-centered blowhard if all I can talk about are my observations. So, lest I come off as self-centered I'll leave my redoubt of self-reflection and risk the treacherous chasm of the observation of others.

GailyGail, You radiate a kindness, optimism, and genuine positivity of such tremendous magnitude that it is plainly evident to everyone you meet over the Internet. To put that another way; The thousands of miles of clacking keys, and copper wire, and glass fiber-optic strands, and trillions of microsopic transistors between us are insufficient to obfuscate or diminish the quality of your character.
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