Genetic Test Results Can Leave More Questions Than Answers

A few weeks ago I had genetic testing performed to see if I tested positive for any genetic mutations that would make it more likely for me to develop breast or ovarian cancer.  My mom and four aunts developed breast cancer and both of my grandmother's died of ovarian cancer.  I also have a cousin who tested positive for BRCA-2 after she developed ovarian cancer.  Several other family members have died from other various forms of cancer. I was tested for:  BRCA-1, BRCA-2, TP53, PTEN, CDH1, STK11, PALB2.  I tested negative for everything but a...

Smartwatches: You’ll Have One Soon!

The Samsung Gear Fit is a hybrid smartwatch/fitness tracker and I have been using mine for about a week now.  There are several reviews online already, as the watch was released over a year ago.  Most of the reviews give it high marks on design and build but much lower marks on software.  A software upgrade was released a few months after the watch's release and I'm not having the same issues many of those earlier reviewers complained of. For instance, I've found the pedometer to be fairly accurate.  The only issue is that it...

Random Weight Loss Thoughts As I Hit Another Milestone

I'm finally down 35 pounds after 195 days.  That's averaging a little over a pound a week but I certainly haven't been losing a pound a week.  Some weeks I stay the same, some I gain a pound or so, some I lose a few ounces, and others I suddenly lose a couple pounds.  I've found that weight loss is not predictable because there's so many factors to consider, such as water retention, muscle gain, hormonal fluctuations, salt intake, just to name a few.  But it all boils down to a simple science when you...

My Review: Paco’s Sol Bistro

I admit I'm not the hippest person in the world nor quick to the scene of the latest social spot in Decatur, probably because I'm always buried in homework, but I did finally find my way to Paco's Sol Bistro on the eve of my 20th wedding anniversary.  (Hey, my parents always went to Dairy Queen on their anniversary, so this is a step up!)  My daughter and a friend of hers had gone to Paco's a few months ago and enjoyed it, so I figured if it met their standards (good tasting food, within...

West Okaw River Fish & Wildlife Area

Last week I visited the West Okaw Fish & Wildlife Area near Bethany for a school project.  I was there to study wildlife reserve design for an endangered species class.  This is a part of Central Illinois I haven't visited very often.  Though I've been to Lake Shelbyville for fishing, boating, and camping many times, I had never visited the more extensively managed wildlife areas before. West Okaw is about 20 minutes from Mt. Zion.  Basically you just head towards Sullivan on 121 and watch for a sign that says "Water Fowl Area" as you're...