Traveling the Country

I recently ran across a kind of quiz on Facebook that suggested identifying the states you’d lived in and those you’d visited. I started adding my icons right away. I knew the states where I’d lived – where my dad was stationed when I was little and where I moved as an adult.

The traveling got a little more difficult.

My mom and me in New Mexico in 1966.

I knew we’d driven west when I was a year old, when we went from visiting family in Pensacola to my dad’s new duty station in Seattle (we lived in Kirkland). Years later, my mom and I drove out Interstate 10 to Los Angeles so I could go to a Star Wars convention, and then we took a little bit more northern route back, visiting Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, along with a few other points.

I remembered a trip we took when I was maybe in middle school to visit some of my parents’ old friends, but I had to call my mom to find out exactly where we went. She couldn’t remember some of the details, either, but we each pulled up a map of the U.S. on our computers and figured it out.

I had to rely on my mom more for some of the traveling we did out west when I was little. We had a tent and my mom’s parents came out with their trailer, and we went to a bunch of national parks. I’ve already shared the story about the bear. We ran into a little confusion with some of the bigger parks, like Yellowstone, that crosses state lines. Between the two of us, though, we think we have an accurate list, although it’s possible I’ve been to a state or two I can’t recall.

So here’s the list, and in the future I’ll try to work on something similar for European countries.

Alabama 🚗
Arizona 🚗
Arkansas 🚗
California 🏡
Connecticut 🚗
Delaware 🚗
Florida 🏡
Georgia 🏡
Idaho 🚗
Illinois 🚗
Indiana 🚗
Louisiana 🚗
Maryland 🚗
Massachusetts 🚗
Michigan 🚗
Minnesota 🚗
Mississippi 🚗
Missouri 🏡
Nevada 🚗
New Hampshire 🚗
New Jersey 🚗
New Mexico 🚗
New York 🚗
North Carolina 🚗
North Dakota
Ohio 🚗
Oklahoma 🚗
Oregon 🚗
Pennsylvania 🚗
Rhode Island 🚗
South Carolina 🏡
South Dakota 🚗
Tennessee 🚗
Texas 🚗
Vermont 🚗
Virginia 🏡
Washington 🏡
West Virginia 🚗
Wyoming 🚗

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The Big C: Isolation

It’s day 6 of quarantine for me. I’m radioactive after a treatment for thyroid cancer, so I can’t be around anyone. Husband and cats are at his mother’s house, and I’m home on my own.

I don’t feel radioactive. If I’m tired at all it’s from doing two loads of laundry every day, and washing it all twice, and taking extra steps in the kitchen and bathroom to reduce contamination of my surroundings. It’s very labor intensive, especially for someone like me who hates housework! Oh, and I managed to screw up the settings on one load, which caused the washing machine to overflow. Add to the daily routine sopping up water for half the day.

The process of preparing for Radioactive Iodine Therapy (RAI) began on December 28th. I had to go on a low-iodine diet. No seafood, only non-iodine salt, no dairy, no eggs. The LID Life Community was a lifesaver, because they’ve talked to manufacturers to verify ingredients, and that allowed me to easily locate a variety of foods that were safe.

Over the weekend, I dropped Tim and the cats off at their temporary abode.

On January 3rd and 4th, I went to my endocrinologist’s office for an injection of Thyrogen. I don’t entirely understand what that does, but it allowed me to continue taking Synthroid and sped up the timeline for the RAI.

January 5th, I went to the hospital and received two capsules containing nuclear material known as I-131. My husband had RAI years ago to treat hyperthyroidism, and he said he had to swallow two pills the size of my pinkie with a tiny medicine cup of water to wash it down. I received two quite normal-sized capsules and standard Styrofoam coffee cup three-quarters full. Easy-peasy.

I drove straight home, sitting on towels and wearing latex gloves to reduce contamination in the car. I didn’t use the home computer for the first two days, while I was most toxic. I’ll use a special cleaner on the keyboard, remote controls, appliances, sinks, the tub, door handles, etc.

I want to give a shout-out to that company. They make a soap and cleaner called Bind-It that helps remove radiation contamination. I discovered the product over the New Year’s holiday weekend. I called them on Monday and they assured me they could get the order right out. I received it on Thursday (and the initial projection was Wednesday, so I blame the post office). It gives me piece of mind that I’ll be able to decontaminate the house before the cats come home (Tim doesn’t have that much thyroid left, I don’t think, so I’m not as worried about him).

Friday, I go back to the hospital for a scan. They’ll look to see where the radiation is concentrated, which should be mostly in my neck where my thyroid used to be. If any cancer cells spread, the scan should show where it is, and the radioactive iodine should kill it.

I’ve thought positively before during this process and been surprised and disappointed, but I’m still thinking that this is going to be it. The cancer will be concentrated in the one area where it’s supposed to be, and the RAI will kill it all, and my life can, for the most part, go back to normal. I’ll be on Synthroid for the rest of my life, but my biggest concern about that is my work schedule changes all the time, and I must take it every day at 7:00 a.m., whether I’m just getting to work at 7:00 a.m. or whether I got off late and didn’t get to sleep until 3:00 a.m. Tim takes his Synthroid at 7:00 a.m. so, as long as I’m home, he’ll remind me/get me up. It’s only those days that I go in early that I fear I’m likely to forget. Yes, I will set an alarm on my phone, but I did that for my eye drops and I’ve been known to turn it off and “just do this one thing” and three hours later realize that I missed the time slot.

Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share later this week.

Posted in Cancer, My Life | 3 Comments

#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Favorite Find

It’s inevitable, entering a third year of the 52 Ancestors challenge, that the prompts will evoke stories I’ve told previously. I’ve written about several favorite finds before. Today will be a tale of two cities.

Well, one’s more of a village than a city.

Last year, I wrote about the Y-DNA tests that I hoped would at least weaken the structure of a couple of brick walls. My favorite find from the results is that Germany has two locations known by the name of Berlin.

William F. Hahn’s obituary published in the Pensacola newspaper.

About a year and a half ago, I wrote up the details that I know about William F. Hahn. One of those details was that, according to his obituary, he was a native of Berlin. I venture to guess that many people in Germany, when given the name of Berlin, would picture the capital city. The other Berlin is that small.

Once I knew about Little Berlin, as I think of it, I went to Google. It took some maneuvering – figuring out the county and state, basically – to get it to come up on the map. It’s like if you Google Pensacola, you’re not likely to get the city in North Carolina unless you’re really looking hard for it and add some extra terms to the search.

The Y-DNA test I purchased was the cheapest option, the Y-37. In my fantasy, I would open up the results and find several other people named Hahn – or with Hahn ancestors – in Germany, and I would look at their family trees and find the branch that had a son named William who ran off to the U.S. when he was barely a teenager. The mystery would be solved. The brick wall would come tumbling down.

What I got was a match named Glander, and another match whose earliest known paternal ancestor was named Glander.

At least I got consistency.

Incredibly, both matches did respond to emails, but of course, they have no idea how my Hahn is connected to their Glanders. Both matches are 3 genetic steps from my uncle, which means the common ancestor could be way back.

One of the matches has an ancestor in Posen, which was in Prussia in William. F. Hahn’s time and is now in Poland. The other match lives in a town about 20 miles from Little Berlin.

Next, I searched for autosomal DNA matches to myself and my other uncle who tested for me several years ago, before he passed. I found one person with a Glander in her tree, and that person hailed from Little Berlin.

That really clicked – because it makes perfect sense. William F. Hahn, according to his naturalization document, was about 13 years old when he came to the United States. We have an 1870 Census, presumed to be our William, in which he’s boarding in the home of a ship’s captain, and is identified as working as a sea captain. He lived in downtown Pensacola and in the Perdido Wharf area, and is listed on another document as being a bayman. He made his living on or near the water, and Big Berlin is nowhere near the ocean.

Granted, there are rivers that were – and probably still are – used for commerce but it’s a bigger jump to get from Big Berlin to an ocean-going vessel than it is to get from Little Berlin. It’s a 14-hour walk to the major port of Hamburg, according to Google Maps, and less than 10 hours to Kiel.

Then there’s the ethnicity results for my atDNA tester: MyHeritage: 24% Scandinavian. 23andMe: 29.6 French and German (with a note about Switzerland) and 1.2% Scandinavian. FamilyTreeDNA: 14% Scandinavian.

I know we have to take ethnicity with a grain of salt, but Little Berlin is very close to the Danish border, and that part of Germany was, at one time, part of Denmark.

I’m just saying, Little Berlin makes a lot of sense.

Birth records from that area in the right time frame are in the hands of churches, and they have not yet been digitized. I’m told that they could be made available online within the next five years. That’s something to look forward to.

In the meantime, I’m very excited to have learned about Little Berlin. I’ll continue to look for connections to that area both in documents and in DNA matches. Hopefully, I’ll someday be able to share a new favorite find – William F. Hahn’s parents.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Foundations

It’s a new year for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Amy Johnson Crow’s weekly challenge to write and share family history information and discoveries. When I saw the prompt for week one, my first thought was construction, and that reminded me of my maternal grandfather, Hoyt Cook, and his work at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

According to my mom, Hoyt – later known as Pap-pa – worked as a contractor for DuPont and helped build Sherman Field, home of the U.S. Navy’s renowned flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels.

I believe it was at the same time that Pap-pa got a contract to haul off food waste from the base’s mess halls. He used the thrown-away food to feed his hogs, most of which were sold for extra income.

A major foundation of genealogical research is finding documentary evidence to support family stories. Somewhere there must be a list of construction workers authorized to enter the base during construction. If Pap-pa had a contract for the removal of the food waste, and it seems like there must have been one, surely there’s a record of it.

Today, I emailed the historian at the National Naval Aviation Museum, located right next to Sherman Field, to see if he has any suggestions about where to look for relevant records.

Next, I searched for information about government contracts. I was delighted to learn that digitization of the Federal Register going back to 1936 began in 2015. Another search turned up a web page containing links to those archives from 1936 to the present. Sadly, though, the earlier records are PDFs. As in, scanned images of the original documents. As in, not searchable or indexed. The Federal Register is published daily. That’s a lot of pages to look through manually.

I used my subscription at and found an article that told me construction of Sherman Field began in July 1951. Searching in 1951, I found an article referencing the request for bids. This narrows it down, but it’s still going to take some time to go through the Register.

Construction of the new facilities was completed in 1954. I’ll have to ask my mom if she knows any more about the time frame when her dad picked up the dining hall garbage.

I wondered if DuPont maintained any records that might list employees. I found an archive that included photographs and prints from 1885 to 1952. The records do not appear to be digitized, but there is a searchable index online. I see nothing related to NAS Pensacola or Sherman Field.

If you have any other ideas of where I could look for information about contracts with Naval Air Station Pensacola, please let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: After I wrote this post, I talked to my mom, and now we have some questions. She’s sure her dad worked for DuPont, but that company many not have been associated with construction of Sherman Field. He worked for DuPont during construction of the Chemstrand plant in Escambia County. He *may* have worked for DuPont around 1942-1943, when the family moved to Alabama and Oklahoma for jobs. My mom’s brother was a baby, and the rules meant she had to leave teaching that school year.

My mom is sure her dad always talked about helping to build Sherman Field, but my mom was in high school in the early ’50s, and she thinks his work at the Navy base was earlier than that, in the final years of World War II.

More research ahead!

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Future

We are living in the future, but it is not the future of my childhood. The future I was promised.
Rosey (sometimes Rosie) the Robot from “The Jetsons.”

Where is my household assistant robot? The Jetsons, The Twilight Zone, and various movies from the ’50s and ’60s showed robots taking over mundane household chores. Where is my Rosey to clean and do laundry?

Robots can do some pretty amazing things these days*, but they’re still mostly experimental at this point and way too expensive for normal people to have one at home.

And where is my flying car? The Jetsons, again, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner (the movie was set in 2019) all show people commuting in flying cars. A search on YouTube will turn up a few prototypes. Some are planes with folding wings. Some are overgrown drones. They don’t look easy to fly and use. A proper flying car should be as easy to drive as a four-wheeled car.

Flying cars, known as spinners, in the “Blade Runner” universe.

When we learned phone etiquette in school, we received a pamphlet produced by Ma Bell, telling us we’d soon have videophones. That was in the mid-1970s. Yes, we sort of have that now via Skype and Zoom and various smartphone apps, but it’s not exactly the same. Maybe if Bell Telephone had gotten off the stick and given us our videophones, landlines wouldn’t now be an endangered species.

Space1999 Year1 Title.jpg

And by now, we ought to have a moonbase (Space: 1999) and a colony on Mars (The Martian Chronicles). The U.S. space program started in 1958 and in just 11 years, they put two men on the moon. 52 years later, you’d think we’d have gotten further along on these projects. After decades of doing nothing more than going into near-orbit, NASA is finally talking about building a settlement on the moon and sending a mission to Mars. I wonder if either of these concepts will become reality in my lifetime. It’s cool that space tourism is a thing, but it’s depressing that it’s only an option for the ultra-wealthy.

I have seen a lot of impressive and life-changing developments. Home computers and the internet are amazing (even if the web can be a frustrating place at times). They’ve been a blessing for my genealogy research. It’s so easy to find digitized documents, or at least indexes of information. We can easily share photos with other family members and researchers. Of course, we’re still dealing with limitations – many records have not been digitized. Some state and federal agencies make it difficult to access certain record groups. The fees to request documents or to join some of the for-profit family history research sites can be prohibitive. On the flip side, we can harness the power of DNA for under a hundred bucks.

Who knows what new advancements are awaiting us right around the corner? I have great hope for the future.

* I can’t show you the incredible moves of the Boston Dynamics dancing robots without showing you how far these two-legged contraptions have come in the last six years. The two-legged robots are being developed to take on dangerous occupations where human-style mobility and agility is necessary – things like search and rescue after disasters. At the DARPA Challenge finals in 2015, things didn’t always go smoothly. Watch this one, then watch the BD robots dancing again – and check out them out doing Parkour – and if tears come to your eyes, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Posted in Genealogy, My Life, Social Commentary | Tagged | 1 Comment

#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Holiday

In 2009, my mom gave me a tiara for Christmas!

When I think of Christmas, I think about the time that I was left alone with the wrapped presents, and I carefully unwrapped one of the packages with my name on it. I found something I loved, a set of Breyer model horses. Then I taped it back up and felt guilty and had to pretend to be surprised on Christmas morning. I never did that again. I would guess I was around 14 years old.

I was an only child, and Santa never wrapped or put name tags on the presents he left for me. He just piled them around the Christmas tree, which was behind the couch when a little bit of confusion ensued. I was probably in about fourth grade, maybe. I was going through all the presents, and my mom said, “What’s this one over here?” It was a plain brown cardboard box with a piece of machinery inside, so I responded, “I think that’s something of yours.” My mom told me it definitely wasn’t hers. I took a closer look and found a rock polisher. I was really excited about that. Some friends of the family made jewelry with polished rocks and I thought it was so cool. I never used it much, though. You had to buy special rocks to get something spectacular.

Santa left me something once to let me know I was a little naughty, but do you know I can’t remember if it was a lump of coal or a bundle of switches! I’m getting old!

Thinking of Santa makes me recall the time my mom had her hysterectomy. I know my dad came home from his submarine, but for a while, at least, it was just me and her. I lost a tooth, and she just wasn’t up to doing the tooth fairy thing. She was crying when she told me the tooth fairy wasn’t real, and I was crying when I told her I already knew. I was about 10 years old.

My mom told me stories about Christmas when she was growing up. Their stockings would have fruit and nuts, and maybe a bit of candy. She usually received a book, and perhaps some clothing. Nothing on the grand scale of 21st century Christmas consumerism.

P.S. I got a bit mixed up on my topics, so this is the second 2021 #52Ancestors post with the Holiday theme!

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Violence and Heroism

Movies, books, and television give us examples today of villains as heroes. We watched “The Suicide Squad” a couple of days ago. I don’t recall any one of the Dirty Dozen doing the heinous things the Suicide Squad did. Am I just misremembering because violence wasn’t as gory back then?

I see the arguments that bad guys don’t see themselves as the bad guys, that they have some trauma that made them do the bad things. But I wonder, did Bernie Madoff see himself as the hero as he took other people’s money and lives? For every Ted Bundy, who psychologists now believe was abused as a child, there are thousands of abused children who don’t grow up to become serial killers.

When evil characters are given excuses for their actions, it’s letting them off the hook. William Shakespeare wrote the line for Don John in “Much Ado About Nothing” – “…it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain.” There is something to be said for black hats and mustache twirling as an example that when people choose to do wrong, they themselves are wrong.

By the same token, when did it become a bad thing to be good? Many movie “heroes” today are not good people. My husband and I have watched a lot of movies and TV series produced in the last 20 years and said to each other, “I don’t like anybody in this program.”

A character who always does the right thing is, nowadays, portrayed as weak, inexperienced, stupid, or a comedy caricature. Contemporary stories suggest that in order to be successful in life, we must steal, lie, cheat, and get into fights.
Thomas Edison.

Now, I do recognize that many financially successful and famous people lie and steal. Some of the wealthiest companies in the world got to the top by stealing ideas and technology, and by destroying or swallowing competitors. Thomas Edison became a household name because he stole ideas and lied about his competitors. Some leaders in the free world gain power by lying about their opponents.

But is this what we should aspire to be? Cruel, selfish, uncaring? Evil?

Growing up, I never thought that TV or movies or comic books could adversely influence the viewer’s actions or beliefs. It was ridiculous to me to think anyone would be harmed by seeing fictional violence. I say that because I lived in a household where, for the most part, my parents protected me from seeing things that were too grown up. Not that anything was as violent or gruesome or graphically sexual back in those days. Nearly 20 years ago, we went to see one of the “Lord of the Rings” movies and someone had brought their little kids. It was not a family film. Orcs were being chopped up left and right. Yes, it’s fantasy violence, but when the kids are kicking the backs of the seats in front of them (where we were sitting) and asking what’s going on, they don’t need to be in that theater watching that film.

Today, between cable and streaming, ultra violent and highly sexual content is in the living room, and I can guarantee a lot of children are seeing and absorbing those images and situations with no discussion, other than some adult or older child in the room saying how cool or awesome it is. I’m certainly not saying every family is like that, and yes, some children can handle more mature content at a younger age. However, those parents who ignore their children while they run around or scream in stores and restaurants, who hand their kid a device or turn on a seatback DVD in the car instead of talking to them, who yell obscenities at them in the front yard – those parents are not monitoring their children’s consumption of media or placing the content in any kind of perspective.

I have to wonder, every time I see a mass shooting, or hear of pre-teens ganging up to kill a classmate, I have to wonder, what have they been exposed to from the time they got home from the hospital? And ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, what are the kids going to be doing who were nursed by mom while she was watching “Game of Thrones” or who were standing in the playpen behind dad watching him play a first person shoot-’em-up videogame?

Are the children watching “The Suicide Game” today being taught to believe that killing and maiming is the road to becoming some sort of hero?

Posted in Entertainment, Film, My Life, Social Commentary, Television | 1 Comment

#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Holiday

Growing up, we didn’t always celebrate the traditional holidays with family. We often lived too far away. I think that lifestyle has made it easier to deal with COVID restrictions and separations.

On the other hand, we had a lot of holidays in the other sense of the word. We took vacations all the time. Plus, because we lived in a lot of different places, we got to visit the attractions and sights in each of those areas. When we lived in San Diego, for example, we went to SeaWorld, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the San Diego Zoo.

Zenova Cook Hahn and Desa Auriette Hahn at a petting zoo.
Mom and me at a petting zoo, probably in Southern California, circa 1968. Maybe it’s the San Diego Zoo. If you recognize the location, please let me know in the comments.

For many years, we went camping at least once a month. When I was really little, we had a tent and a station wagon. Later, we had a travel trailer, then a motorhome, then a bigger motorhome. Any time we traveled between duty stations or if my dad had a school somewhere for a few weeks, we would stay in the trailer or camper.

As we traveled, we sang songs or played games. When we camped with the Good Sam Club, there were always games to be played – Jarts or horseshoes or UNO around the table. We had potluck dinner on Saturday night, and sometimes we’d gather for a few hymns on Sunday morning.

As a child, I got pretty jaded by all the traveling. Mom says my attitude was “seen one mountain, seen ’em all.” I got over that later. In 1987, we drove out to California, my mom and I, so I could attend a Star Wars convention. On the way, we drove through Saguaro National Park, and I stopped repeatedly to take photos of different cacti. To this day, every time I see a Saguaro cactus in a movie or TV show, I have to point out that they don’t grow arms until they’re at least 75 years old.

My husband’s not much of a traveler. His childhood vacations in a car with two siblings wasn’t quite the same as my only-child travels in an RV. He hates to be in the car, but he doesn’t want to stop at every roadside attraction, either. We’ve only been on a handful of holidays since we’ve been married. I hope once this pandemic passes, perhaps we can give traveling another try.

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#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Lines

This week’s topic in the 52 Ancestors challenge is really wide open. I could right about family lines, or learning lines for a play. But I decided to write about bylines.

Merriam-Webster defines a byline as “a line at the beginning of a news story, magazine article, or book giving the writer’s name.” I’ve earned a lot of bylines over the years. I had poetry published in a couple of high school literary publications, and I wrote several stories and poems for Star Wars fanzines. I’ve written a lot of stories for the website of the TV station where I work. My blogging dates back to 2006. And, I’m not the only writer in the family.

I found out my dad worked for the Tate High School newspaper when he was student there in the 1950s, and my mom contributed to a school gossip sheet called “Teen Talk” in 1949, when she was in the 8th grade.

My first cousin once removed, Clark Hale, was a grillmaster who wrote “The Great American Barbecue and Grilling Manual.”

My second cousins twice removed, Ed. E. Reid and his brother Winifred Hugh Reid published a newspaper in Escambia County, Alabama. An issue of “The Escambia County News” from March 1935 (available on lists Ed as publisher and Winifred as editor. Sadly, only a few issues are available online, and even the Library of Congress doesn’t have the full dates of publication. Ed went on to help found the League of Municipalities, becoming an important lobbyist for cities and towns across the state. Reid State Technical College in Conecuh County, where he was born, is named after him.

I’m sure some of my other kinfolk have gotten their own bylines at one point or another. If you’re family and you’re reading this, please leave a comment about your own writing or share your knowledge of other relatives’ work. I hope to discover more family-related writing as I continue this genealogy journey.

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The Big C: The Dietary Challenge

When the endocrinologist told me I’d need to limit my intake of iodine for a week before taking my radioactive pill, I thought, “No problem.” I rarely eat seafood, and I don’t each much salt anyway. Piece of cake.

Rather, no cake for me, because it’s made with butter and eggs, both of which contain iodine. Who knew? Fortunately for me, a lot of people know, because they have posted helpful lists of what you can and can’t eat before, and immediately after, taking a radioactive pill.

The main things are no dairy, no eggs, no milk chocolate (milk+dairy). no red dye #3, nothing from the sea, and no soybeans (although soybean oil and soy lecithin are okay).

Thyrogen, the company that makes a preparatory medication that I’ll be receiving on January 3rd and 4th, has lists of appropriate and banned foods on its website. Several medical centers have posted helpful information. One of the most useful sites is the LID Life Community (LID=Low Iodine Diet). They actually have lists by brand name showing pictures of products that are safe.

I’ve started the shopping. We bought vegan buttery spread and Arnold 100% Whole Wheat bread, which is on the safe lists on several websites. I can have toast. We bought plain instant oatmeal, to which I can add some brown sugar and maple syrup. We plan to pick up some Egg Beaters closer to the day. Breakfast is taken care of.

Some of my low-iodine grocery purchases.

We picked up vegan mayonnaise, so I can have sandwiches, and I figure I can mix in a little honey and mustard and make salad dressing. Tim will be here for most of my prep-week, so he’ll be cooking for me. We have chicken breasts and ground beef, and a whole bag of potatoes (which I can eat with my buttery spread and non-iodine salt). I have several single-serving fruit cups of pineapples and pears. We bought unsalted peanut butter, so I can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Oh, and unsalted peanuts for a crunchy snack.

I plan to pick up some fresh fruit and Oreo Cookies (according to LID Life, they don’t contain milk chocolate). I’ll also get some non-dairy milk for drinking with PB&Js, and adding to hot tea. I may also get some non-dairy whipped topping (I thought Cool Whip qualified, but apparently it contains cream), because if you add hot chocolate mix (or in my case, Hershey’s Cocoa and sugar), it makes a kind of mousse.

The worst part, of course, is that many beans are high in iodine. I saw on the banned list kidney beans and soybeans and navy beans, and I thought, “Oh, no!” and I looked up black-eyed peas, and I learned they’re a major source of iodine. It’s a southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. My pap-pa always told me, you earn a dollar in the new year for every pea you eat on New Year’s Day. I figure they’re worth even more now! But alas, this year, my bag of peas (which I bought weeks ago), will sit uncooked on the counter until the dawn of 2023.

The paperwork from the doctor says to follow the low iodine diet for one week before taking the radioactive pill and 24 hours after. I’ll probably start on Tuesday, December 28th, just to be on the safe side; my pill date is January 5th. I can start adding back in foods with iodine the afternoon of January 6th.

I won’t starve, but it’s going to be weird.

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