Full Deck Plus a Joker

I turned 53 today, 35 in hex. While I might be inclined to tell folks I’m 35, and then explain how that is, I would rather tell people I’m 53. If I looked like this at 35, I would not be aging well.

For those looking for tech talk, I will get back to that, I promise, but this entry is about my health and the number 53. I like prime numbers, and 53 is even an Eisenstein prime (google it, then feel free to roll your eyes).

Someone suggested that 53 was one of those boring birthdays, compared to those numbers divisible by 10, for example. I have frequently let people know that there are no uninteresting integers. The proof is quite simple. Take the set of all uninteresting positive integers. Now take the smallest number in this set. Well, that would be an interesting number, wouldn’t it? Therefore, this set is empty. There are no uninteresting positive integers, therefore, there are no uninteresting integers (final steps in the proof are left to the reader).

I’m delighted to be 53. I don’t know if I am an optimist dressed as a pessimist or the other way around. I see the world through rose-colored glasses, while anticipating the worst case scenario for everything. I think that simply makes me a mom. 

I am working hard, putting in a lot of hours on this project, while also taking time to avoid smelling any flowers (allergies) and also avoid eating flour. I avoid wheat, rye, and barley, eating gluten-free so as to avoid the mini-anaphylaxic shock I apparently have been sending myself into every time I have done any physical activity for the previous 30+ years.

While it has occasionally been suggested otherwise, particularly by my youngest daughter, a beautiful Phi Beta Kappa who I now know reads this blog, I am playing with a full deck. I was very ill after moving to NW Iowa, but I now have proof that my ailments were not all in my head. It took a while to nail this down, but I am allergic to cows, pigs, and other things in the air around here.

A biochemist told me that with this genetic trait, the worst thing in the world for me to encounter are dead skin cells from pigs. You might think it would not be hard to avoid pig dander. I’m guessing you are avoiding such as you read this. However, I live in a county with a very high concentration of pigs and cows, perhaps the largest or second-largest in the country. I forget the exact figures, but the point is that pig and cow dander are in higher concentrations in the air around here than most other places in the world. I am allergic to the air here. How ’bout them apples?

There are not a lot of cultural events in small cities, especially outside of the school year, but this year I know to skip attending the 4H events at the fairground, including the wet pig contest. I always thought they were greased pigs, but not in the contest they have here. Yes, it is quite entertaining if you ever get a chance and are not HLA DQ2 or DQ8 or whatever it is that I am. For maximum enjoyment, don’t bring your PETA friends along. 

Now that I know what prompted my body to rachet down some rather key features, such as the production of adrenaline, I can mitigate this. 

Right now, after being gluten-free for approximately 9 months, I am feeling better than I have in years.

52 was a nice number because I like cards. Pinochle is my favorite card game, but a full Pinochle deck is only 48 cards. Euchre, a traditional card game of my alma mater, uses only 24 cards. So, maybe you guessed it, I don’t always play with a full deck. As is the case for many 50-something females, my brain and body are not always functioning at 100%. They sometimes trip me up, playing little practical jokes on me. Now that I’m feeling a lot healthier, however, I’ll think of the mental nuances at 53 as me simply playing with a full deck plus a joker.

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2 responses to “Full Deck Plus a Joker

  1. If you are going to tell the internet that I’m smart and beautiful, you should always mention single.

  2. Good point, my 24-year-old beautiful and smart daughter, Shanna, is also single. If you are a Dutch-American Calvinist, or within a 5% range of such, and would be interested in meeting her (Chicago area), please email me so her father can interview you. smiles. –mom

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