Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Thought For The Year

This is good to remember for the relationships in your life that just don't work for whatever reason.

For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t understand, no explanation is possible. (-an Irish friend of Bill)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A link.

I've had some calls and emails about my health, so I'm just gonna post a link you can read if you want. This one is probably the easiest to understand. Like it says, it's not a medical emergency, but it can become more serious so we're being cautious. Bed rest really seems to be helping. I see my midwife tomorrow and my cardiologist next week, so we'll see what they say. Being at my moms 2 days was difficult (even though they don't stress me out), but now that I'm home I'm feeling much better. I didn't go to an in-law get together last night and I'm sure I offended a bunch of them in the process, but I know the visit would have landed me in the ER so I don't really care. We never have much to talk about anyway. But I haven't had any bad chest pains the last 2 days and that has been encouraging. I just wish I could have a few days off from this to get my home back to it's pre-Christmas state and finish the projects we had planned before baby arrives. I think God's telling us to stay here a little longer and I'm hoping it's because of a certain planned community we're learning about. More about that later.

EDIT: Here's the reader's digest version of the link so no one else thinks I have cancer :)

A pericardial effusion is a fluid collection that develops between the pericardium, the lining of the heart, and the heart itself. Most of the organs of the body are covered by thin membranes. The membrane that surrounds the heart is called the pericardium. Normally, only a few milliliters of fluid sit between the pericardium and the muscle of the heart. Any larger, abnormal collection of fluid in that space is called a pericardial effusion. A pericardial effusion can interfere with the normal contraction and expansion of the heart muscle, which decreases the heart's ability to pump blood effectively. A smaller or more slowly developing pericardial effusion causes chest discomfort. Although chronic or smaller effusions are not emergencies, they do cause discomfort and can become more serious.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just in time for Christmas

So you may have noticed I haven't been posting much. I've been having some health problems and haven't been feeling too well and I didn't want to say anything until we knew more. Though we still don't know much. So this week I had a bunch of tests run by my cardiologist and they found some excess fluid around my heart. Today they told me it was still mild and they weren't too concerned right now, they'd keep an eye on it, and what to watch out for in case it gets worse. I had a Holter monitor on yesterday and this morning and they're going to look at that as well. But because of Christmas it didn't sound like I'd hear the results of that for a while. So I go back in first week of January and meanwhile I'm on modified bed rest. I basically have to avoid getting my heart rate up which means I'm done Christmas shopping whether I'm actually done or not (I'm not). I'm also missing holiday parties and that sucks! But holiday guests are banned from my home which I'm okay with. I get so anxious when people come over, I have a 3 year old, it's never clean! Part of me is annoyed there's no definitive diagnosis yet, but I'm also relieved that it isn't more serious at this point, even though I feel like I'm having a heart attack. Baby's doing well, so we're all happy about that and it's only about 8-9 more weeks before she's expected to come. Hopefully we'll get this figured out before then.

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Vermont must be beautiful this time of year...all that snow"

We finally got some snow! Hooray! I'm hoping it'll stick around this year. last year it was just cold. Cold sucks without some snow to make it worth it! The boy is definitely his father's son. He was out there for 2 1/2 hours and still didn't want to come in. Crazy Alaskan blood. We loved watching the falling flakes most of the day Saturday and building a snowman in the storm.

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We also hit up the Festival of Trees, our family tradition. I've been going since I was a kid and hubby and I worked as volunteers there our first year of marriage and have gone every year (except right after the boy was born) since. Our 2 favorites this year were the Nightmare Before Christmas tree img_0924.jpg and the Darth Vadar tree img_0925.jpg. Otherwise, we've decided we like the smaller trees and wreaths better, they're generally more creative. Despite missing dad like crazy and a rough pregnancy, I'm getting into the holiday spirit. Snow helps. I hope we get more!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A more optimistic Thanksgiving

My awesome sister in law sent us this picture from the Lions/Packers game (we are so jealous!!!)

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Awesome!  I can't wait to see them again.  We adore D's sister and her husband.

The best part about this Thanksgiving was donating our turkey to the food bank.  They said they met their goal of 200+ turkeys that day, so good job Utah County!  Doing that helped take away my Thanksgiving blues so I think we're going to make it an annual tradition.  I hate carving the turkey anyway. :)

L and I have been singing the Thankfulness Song from one of our veggie tales movies today.  I looked all over but couldn't find the video to go with this veggie tales song, but here's the lyrics:

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
Thats an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Pessimist's Thanksgiving

My least favorite holiday after Valentines is Thanksgiving, and for similar reasons. We should reflect and be grateful every day, not just once a year. It cheapens it for me. But on Thanksgiving I get to see family, and I generally like that, so it beats Valentines. That and all the pies. I really do love pie. But mainly, I see Thanksgiving as a memorial day. As a day to remember the beginning of the near decimation of an entire people, over 90%. Every year I get told how pessimistic my view is and every year I smile at the history revisionists.

"It's supposed to be about feeling gratitude!"

"Then I guess I'm grateful I'm white."

Personally, nothing helps me remember the blessings I have, such as seeing the sun rise every morning, like reflecting on a genocide.

May your Thanksgiving be full of gluttony and indulgence! And maybe, just once, may you remember those who really sacrificed their lives for this country.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I know who I'm voting for.

October 17, 2007


Colbert announces bid for the White House


Colbert said Tuesday he will run for president in South Carolina.


WASHINGTON (CNN) — He hinted at a possible run for the White House on CNN's Larry King last week, but Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert made it official Tuesday night: he's jumping into the presidential race in his home state of South Carolina.

"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call….I am hereby declaring that I will enter the presidential primary in my native South Carolina, running as a favorite son," Colbert said on his show Tuesday night. "I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina — those beautiful, beautiful people."

South Carolina is one of four lead-off primary states that will likely play a crucial role in determining the eventual nominee of both parties.

On Larry King last Thursday, Colbert laid out his potential electoral strategy, saying he'd see how he did in South Carolina before deciding to move on to other states.

"I think maybe there's something I could offer the campaign on a state-by-state basis," he said. "I would target a state individually…a test run."

Colbert, author of the recently released “I Am America (And So Can You!),” also told King he'd seek to run as both a Democrat and Republican.

"I'd let the people decide what party I belong in," he said. "I don't dictate the people's actions."

In the interview with King, Colbert also brushed aside suggestions that it was a "cop out" to run in both parties, calling it instead courageous, because, "I could lose twice."

In the slim chance that he wins a party's nomination, Colbert said Tuesday he'd consider either Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Russian President Vladimir Putin, or himself for a running mate.

"Colbert-Colbert — that's a strong ticket," he argued.

Niiiiiiiiiiice.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I learned something

And it wasn't academic. I had a balance about some things that had been bothering me I couldn't get past (for those wondering, a balance is energy work to help your body better deal with stress). It was spectacular (they usually are) and I wanted to write about something that hit me:

My friend's sister killed herself and we were talking about that. She had survivors guilt. I can relate to that sentiment, the feeling like you didn't do enough, you could've done more - taking responsibility for things you have no control over. I felt it with my dad's death, my mother-in-law's, and friends who made poor choices. Anyway, she was telling me about a prayer she said afterwards...

"Heavenly Father, where was I? Why didn't I help her?"

"You were living the life I sent you to live. You couldn't live her life for her. That was hers and those choices were hers. You can't take those away from someone else."

Just the phrase, "You were living the life I sent you to live..." It started me thinking about when we're so involved in other people's lives (even just worrying about what they think about us or our actions) that we stop living the lives we were sent here to live. The bottom line is that when someone is in a different place, you can't bring them out of it. You can be a light and make yourself better and maybe they will be drawn to that, but maybe not. It's not your place to worry about it. It's Christ's. And going around trying to be the Savior isn't going to get us anywhere.

And since it's been going through my head thanks to Sara's post, I'm adding these lyrics to the post:

I don't need you to worry for me cause I'm alright
I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home
I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life
Go ahead with your own life, and leave me alone

I never said you had to offer me a second chance
(I never said you had to)
I never said I was a victim of circumstance
(I never said)
I still belong, don't get me wrong
And you can speak your mind
But not on my time

My dad had so much influence on my life, mainly for good, but sometimes I made decisions just to please him (even without pressure from him). I'm learning a lot more about that aspect of my life now. It helps me deal with his death a little more.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Looking forward to gas...

I got my gas bill today.  I nearly choked when I saw the amount.  I've never had a bill that low.  Even when we lived in 200 sqft.  This is about half of what it was last month and all from getting a new water heater.  I'm actually looking forward to getting my bills this winter to see how the new energy efficient furnace will fare.  Who ever thought I'd look forward to seeing a bill?
Speaking of money, I highly recommend the book The Average Family's Guide to Financial Freedom.  I have a library of financial books I like, but many of them don't pertain to my circumstances.  This one does more than any of them.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's not scary

We borrowed the Nightmare Before Christmas from the library in anticipation of it's re release in theaters. We wanted to take the boy but wasn't sure if he'd think it was too scary. A home trial was in order. He absolutely loves it and has been asking to watch the monsters. Yesterday we were out looking at Halloween stuff and came across some spooky decorations, I asked L if he wanted to "go down the scary aisle?" He replied, "That's not scary. They're just monsters." Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I'm obviously a proud mother right now. I loved seeing the snow yesterday! Granted, I'm in no hurry to rush in winter, since fall is my favorite season. But I really do love a good storm! I even got to go out with Emily and chat and eat rice pudding. It was the perfect pick me up I needed to pull me out of my funk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's a......GIRL!

Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, I'm pregnant. I'm due feb 19 and actually hope she comes late. It's leap year afterall, and The Pirates of Penzance is my all time favorite musical. Too bad I can't name her Frederick....







If you want to skip to the leap year part, it's about in the middle. Here are the words though:

For some ridiculous reasonto which, however, I’ve no desire to be disloyal,
Some person in authority, I don’t know who, very likely the Astronomer Royal,
Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February, twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty,
One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and twenty.
Through some singular coincidence – I shouldn’t be surprised if it were owing to the
agency of an ill-natured fairy –
You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born in leap-year,
on the twenty-ninth of February;
And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you’ll easily discover,
That though you’ve lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by birthdays,
you’re only five and a little bit over!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On Sex and Sleep

I'm reading a book right now that brings up a humorous analogy of sex and sleep. How sleep is the new s-word and how most people's bedroom needs have changed into a lack of sufficient sleep instead of sex. Wanting to indulge in sleep is considered the ultimate selfish act versus indulging in too much sex, which these days is perfectly acceptable. The author brings up these phrases as examples whose meanings have changed (I found it funny):

I never get enough

It can really clear up your skin

A quickie can really perk you up

When's the last time you got enough?

It makes life worth living

It changes everything

It makes you see things in a completely different lgiht

It's embarassing to want too much

You get caught up on the weekends

You feel like everyone else is getting more than you are

It changes your attitude

It puts a sparkle in your eye and a bounce in your step

It is referred to obliquely as "going to bed"

Her conclusion: be selfish and go get some rest!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm done.

Just. Done.

No more home improvement. Ever. Again. (that's a total lie)

We got a new furnace and water heater installed today. I went 2 days without hot water. One of those days (yesterday) was filled with ripping out old drywall, hanging new drywall, installing new flooring, and lots and lots of joint compound. 4 hours of sleep last night. The next day was filled with early waking, supervising, problem solving, and no sleep. It's 11pm. Why am I still awake? Well, the plumber just left 30 minutes ago and I refuse to sleep without a hot shower. 10 more minutes.

We've agreed to a one month moratorium on home improvement. This will be after we finish painting so we can reinstall the washing machine, that is. I can only let it sit in my kitchen for so long.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Playing with colors

I'm on 2 different meds right now.  One turns my pee green, the other turns it orange.  It's like art class meets science.

And if you're not interested in my pee, too bad!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Look mama!

My son just brought me a booger.  "Have my booger mama!"  "oh, thank you.  Here, let's put it in some tissue and throw it away."  (screaming) "No!  I'm gonna hide it!"

There's a booger somewhere in my house.  Whoever finds it wins a prize.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fun stuff

I've felt so whiny lately, I need to blog about some cool things that have happened recently....

First, my older brother taught the boy to pull a "sword" (stick, vacuum attachment) from the couch and say "I have the power!" Awesome! Seriously, 2 is my favorite age. He's also getting really good at holding his breath under water. This kid is a fish!

2 nights ago we went to my uncle's for "Fire & Ice". A night of fireworks and icecream with a lot of families from the neighborhood. It was awesome. They had well over 100 fireworks which were lit in groups of 5 with a blowtorch. You know you're at a good party when a blow torch is involved, right? The ice cream was great and the mosquito bites were minimal. We definitely plan to make this an annual event.

Also, one of my best friends is pregnant and it's awesome for them!

The best news was the weather for the past 2 days. Rainy, cloudy, and gorgeous! I despise sunny days. If I wasn't so terrified of the ring of fire, Seattle would be my home. Stupid geology. Even though I know it has to come to an end, I've been so grateful to be below 100 the past few days.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I love my drugs

Normally I'm very holistic, try the natural approach kind of gal. But lately, the natural approach hasn't worked for me and it's starting to endanger my health apparently. So now I get drugs. Wonderful, blessed drugs. Sure, there's side effects, like sleeping 24 hours/day and horribly dry eyes, but if it means I don't have to vomit blood, I'm okay with that. It's like when I was in labor and vomiting bile and convulsing and everyone was like, "dude, just get the epidural" and I was like, "no, I want to do this natural!" and eventually I got the epidural because, well natural just plain sucked, and then it went from horrendous experience to awesomest experience of my life. You know, natural is still good and has it's place, but sometimes you just suck it up and take the drugs so you stop hating life.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

IKEA

I went yesterday. Twice. I wasn't planning on it, but D took work off for other reasons and we wanted to see my SIL before she left on her road trip tomorrow. So we went. First with my boys and then I told H about it and we went with my niece. I love IKEA because they seem to be the only place that understands the concept of small space living. Since I first discovered IKEA 3 years ago while looking for ideas for living in our 200 sq ft apartment, I have anxiously wanted one nearby to shop at. I've mentally planned trips to Phoenix just to shop at IKEA. When we bought this place a year ago, we knew we could make it work because of some of the ideas from the IKEA website. The last 2 months I've been pouring over the IKEA catalog, remodeling my entire home in my mind: shelving, cabinets, storage and more storage.

So what did I buy yesterday?

Ice cube trays.

Yep. I wanted to buy a computer desk, some shelves, a bunk bed... but I bought ice cube trays. Nice.

Monday, May 14, 2007

hmmm

I don't really feel like blogging anymore.  I keep trying to think of things to write and nothing feels ... important, I guess, enough.  So many things that were once important to me seem rather trivial now.  Death makes you stop, think, and reevaluate things.  At least for me it does.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dad's obituary









Thomas Edward Johnson GONE CAMPING 8/17/1953 ~ 4/28/2007/>
Thomas Edward Johnson, 53, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, returned to his Heavenly Father on Saturday, April 28, 2007 after a courageous battle with cancer. Tom was born August 17, 1953 to William Alvoid Johnson and Melva Frances Taylor in Mesa, AZ. Married Kathryn Lee Wooten on June 16, 1976 in the St. George Temple.He was employed in the semiconductor industry and at the time of his passing was employed by SliceX in Draper. He loved the outdoors, especially hiking, camping, biking, and working in his yard. Most of all, he loved his family.Tom was an active member of the LDS Church and served a mission in the Oregon-Idaho Mission. He served in many positions in the church, and especially loved working with the young men as teacher and scout leader.

Survived by wife, Kathy; children, Michael, Kristi (Dana) Torp, Andrew (Holly), two grandchildren, Gillian and Larsen; mother; sisters, Kyra Nielsen, Martha Fitch, Francy Thompson, Barbara Johnson; brothers, Ray Johnson and Bill Johnson. Preceded in death by his father. Funeral services will be held Fri., May 4, 2007, 12:00 noon at the Bell Canyon Ward, 9880 S. 3100 E. Friends and family may call Thurs., May 3, 2007 at the Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600 S.) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the day of the service at the church from 10:45-11:45 a.m. Interment Granite Cemetery, Sandy, Utah.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

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It's not just for hippies anymore. Earth Day is a day to look around you and see all the beauty around you. Try to appreciate all the delicate balances required to sustain life on Earth. Environmentalism is a religious thing for me. It's my way of being grateful to our Creator for thinking of every little detail and caring about us enough to create a beautiful world for us to live on. So even if you don't want to change anything yet, at least try to find some gratitude for something you love and don't want destroyed on Earth. Need ideas? Check this out. And hopefully we can all be inspired to do a little (or a lot) more to keep things in balance.

And I really like Google's global warming logo today.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Going Green

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I watched Oprah today and the topic was going green. For those of you losers who don't care, Earth Day is this Sunday and she was giving out little ideas people can do. I like the effort, but was bothered by a lot the things on her show. Half of it was about using "eco-friendly" cleaning products. These are the products you see in the pretty bottles at Good Earth made from recycled plastic. But you're still buying the bottle and most people will still throw it away. Instead, most cleaning tasks simply require water and elbow grease. Need to extra boost? Vinegar works great. A small amount of bleach will disinfect, and baking soda is a wonderful abrasive. I'm really bothered by the idea that you have to buy products from hippies to be "green". Which is really better for the environment, buying 100% organic cotton clothes(that still take energy, land and water to produce) or second hand clothing that doesn't require anything to produce? It's like these people I see building "green" mcmansions. It doesn't matter how many energy star windows you put in, you're still using more resources and energy to live in this place (and probably contributing to sprawl) than someone who lives in a small home that's been around for a while. I still can't decide if it'd be worth it to build a (small) green home from renewable sources (strawbale, etc.) or stop sprawl and continue to buy second hand.
The show was still good. I love that Oprah is helping people think about the earth. If you haven't seen Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel yet (she's really promoting it), you really should. My own husband, who's more of a tree kicker than hugger, was moved to stop driving and create less garbage after seeing the rain forest episode. I think he almost cried (I was).
I've been thinking for a couple of weeks about what else I could do to help the environment. I do a lot already. I walk or ride my bike to local shops and use the bus for farther away trips. I'm making more of our food (like baking bread) so we have less waste. We live in a small home close to stores and recreation, and we shop second hand for a lot of our products.
I need to use canvas bags for grocery shopping more. And I want to see how we can recycle more of our waste. Since we're in a condo we can't have a regular can, but I want to call the local office to see if we can do anything. If we can get it so hubby can ride the bus to work and ride a bike home (that's downhill) I think we'd be set. I need to do more research on those hybrid electric bikes like Ed Begley Jr has.

What are you doing to be green?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Feeling Funky

I've been in a funk.  I just feel like everything is pointless.  The boy is sick today, fever and throwing up.  Usually I feel sorry for him, but today I just wish his sensitive stomach would toughen up already.  So no bike ride or yoga videos (he pretty much has claim on the tv).  I'm really feeling the need to work out.  My uterus has been having weird stabby pains, that's new.  Not sure what that's all about, but I am sure I don't like it.

I dunno, with the Virginia Tech thing, difficult relationships, miscarriages (not mine), sickness, and politics...I just feel like God isn't very involved.  That's a weird feeling for me because I usually feel quite the opposite.  Hopelessness does not suit me.   Especially when I'm losing weight and now all I want to eat is pie.

Maybe if it's a peach pie with no top crust I'll feel less guilty.... This one looks good.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Busy

I feel busy. Crazy. I had grading, grading, and more grading at the beginning of the week. I really do love my job. Seriously. I have the best job! Now I'm trying to catch up on housework and mothering and play. Thank goodness for flylady or I'd be in big trouble. Thank you Shauna, for introducing me to her.

We have one last furnace guy coming, but I think we've already made our decision. Thank you Questar gas, consumer reports, the better business bureau and the random HVAC consultants on the web for helping us make our decision. I like to be thorough.
I finally got a bunch of books I put on hold at the library and I'm crazy trying to read them because other people want them after me. It's like everyone wants to raise their kids awesomely or something.
The weather has already killed off 2 of my plants and damaged another from wind. That sucks.

But this weekend I get to go see my little brother and his family get sealed. I love going to the temple. Any chance to get away from "the world" is good.

I still haven't been able to cut cheese from my diet, but I've mostly cut meat. I had to finish off the turkey bacon today though. mmmm turkey bacon. But I haven't been in any pain this week, except Easter. Stupid Cadbury mini eggs (drool). I think I need to get my husband into rehab for those. But now I'm feeling good and I'm still taking me herbs and zeolite. I don't think I could function without them anymore. :) This weekend my mom and I did some balances (energy work) which I haven't done for a while. It's helped me to revive my love for alternative medicine. It's good to get back to things that make you happy.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

On veganism

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I was in hell the other day (don't be so surprised) and someone threw a snowball at my butt. Yes. The unthinkable has happened: my parents are becoming vegans. Apparently my dad feels better avoiding the animal products and mom is (mostly) supporting him. Poor dad. As if the cancer wasn't bad enough. My favorite carnivore has given up the meat.

What's so funny to me is that my parents badgered me more than anyone else when I was a vegetarian, consistently telling my husband he could come over anytime for steak because his wife was depriving him. This, Alanis Morisette, is truly ironic.

I have had awful pain for over a week. The herbs help me sleep and work for acute pain, but I can't OD on them. SoI called the doctor to schedule the surgery, but they were out of the office for 2 hours. I took that as a sign. Gotta keep trying other things. The one time I didn't have pain this week was after eating dinner at my parents on Sunday night. I felt great Monday until I cooked up a pizza for dinner.

Oh. The. Pain.

So maybe there's something to changing my diet. One book I read suggested foregoing chocolate and wheat, but I'm poor. I can give up meat, I've done the vegetarian bit before. But not cheese. I love my cheese. But I hate the pain. More than I love cheese.

And so internets, the cheese loses and I'm going to wean my way into veganism. Hubby even wants to join me. awwww. *sigh* Eat some cheese for me Dennis. Eat lovely foreign cheese.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

but...it's not supposed to hurt anymore...

I haven't had random day (meaning not cycle related) of pain in months. But for some reason, today my ovary was acting up again. I'm really hoping I wont need to medicate to sleep tonight, but I have a feeling....I've been a little slacky on my herbs, maybe that's it. Last month was amazing though! No pain! Okay, well, 1 1/2 hours of pain when my period started, but any one who has experienced this knows this is huge! I didn't even take a loritab (I wasn't home) and now I apparently have a great concoction I can take when things get bad. We'll see how things go next month. I should probably try it for my ovary tonight....

So what did I take? It's a long list: chammomile, blessed thistle, red raspberry, cramp bark, squaw root, peppermint, dong quai, wild yam, and lobelia. If anyone plans on repeating these, I would strongly advice you to see an experienced herbalist first if you are new to herbs. You can pretty much take as much chamommile and peppermint as you like, but some of these, like lobelia and cramp bark, are muscle relaxants that shouldn't be used daily. So safety first!

Despite my setback today, I am very impressed with the effects the herbs have had and need to do some more experimenting with which ones to take when. But I'm feeling positive. If nothing else, I no longer have days where I'm willing to do anything, even surgery, to be free of pain. And THAT is very nice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm ambitious.

The weather has been so nice and it inspired me to get my garden ready. I've been allowed to extend my garden into some of the mud in my small front yard. There used to be grass, but we have crappy soil for grass. Now it's a few blades of grass amongst mud. So I began mulching and adding compost and manure. The plan:

Lupinelupine2.jpg, Chives, Allysumimage.jpg, Snapdragons, Lily of the Valleylilyvalley.jpg, Bleeding Heartbleedht11.jpg, and Violas. I also have a hydrangea bush to put in a pot. We'll see how it does.

The bulbs I planted last fall are starting to pop up and my ground cover looks awesome. Last year my zuchinni, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes did well, my peppers, strawberries, and cucmbers sucked, and the beans didn't even flower. We'll see if I learned anything and an improve things this year.

OH! My (indoor) beans this year have not only flowered, but now there are little beanlets coming off the stems. I'm such a proud mommy. Way to go beans! Still waiting on the peas. The carrots seem to be doing well and the tomatoes are not happy it's not 90 degrees in my house. Sorry tomatoes.

Just because I don't have a large yard (and am growing things out of season) doesn't mean I can't have fresh veggies. The lesson here, if there's something you don't like about your home, see if there's another way to make it work!

Monday, March 5, 2007

my turn

I'm sick now. I actually feel fine, but I've had this awful sore throat. I haven't had one all year :(. Oh well, I guess it was inevitable.

Since I prefer using holistic treatments, I've been enjoying hot herbal tea and apple cider (not together), lots of vitamin C, Ricola cough drops with echinacea, and gargling with hot water (not too hot!) and cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper is probably the most effective treatment I've found yet. I tried to grow a plant so I could use it for medicinal purposes, but the seeds never sprouted. Sad. :( But today is better than yesterday. That's good. Anyone else ready for 60 degree weather yet?

In other news, I've finished replacing all the flooring in my home (except underneath the furnace and water heater)! Yay! We got the last bedroom done Saturday and I feel very accomplished. :) No more carpet! I finally have a carpet free home! If you think carpet is clean, try ripping some up. I had to wear a mask from all the dirt and that was still in it. Yuck!

Monday, February 26, 2007

I bought new pants

Well, not brand new since most of my pants come from thrift stores (I refuse to pay more than $12 for a pair of jeans), but the point is that I bought new pants because my old ones don't fit anymore.

"Why don't they fit?" you ask? Why, I'll tell you. They don't fit anymore because I lost weight and I had to buy a smaller size. *grin*

Hubby also found these for me at the thrift store:

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He bought volume 2 from a used book store in town. These are some of my favorite books to check out from the library so I was thrilled when he told me he found them (and especially fitting that we got them used). I've been a fan of thrift and anti-consumerism since I took a course in consumer health 4 years ago. I liked the message, but nearly everything I found was written by childless people who keep their high stress high paying job an extra year or two and save everything then retire into a 200 sqft cabin. Fun as that sounds, I'd like to stay near friends and family and be able to have a family. The author of these books is a stay-at-home mom of 6 with an average annual income of around $30,000. In seven years at that income, they managed to save $49,000. Now THAT is someone whose book I'll read. We've set some fun financial goals and we're trying to come up with ways to achieve them without selling out. So in addition to my year round garden, we're baking bread and eating more potatoes and rice. Frugality is pretty enjoyable when you do it as choice with a goal in mind.

On another note, we have caught what appears to be the flu. Well, the boys have. Mom can't get sick, I'm invincible (until they're done). Suckage.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One of those days...

BAH! I must get off the internet! I have been so productive lately (our cable tv got turned off, now all I get is Fox), so my house looks great and my projects are getting done. But today I've spent most of it right here. In front of a screen. In a funk. I did get some work done, so that helps me rationalize a little. But most of my time has been spent looking at native plants for landscaping, land to landscape, trailers, yurts, and how to paint your sofa.

I found 40 acres in New Mexico. I'm ready to buy one of thesehome1.jpg

and just go. I feel restless. I've been looking at land and funky houses and jobs in Alaska. I need shakabuku. Maybe just painting my sofa will help....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cynical Valentine's Day Post

I'm not a fan of this particular holiday.  While I don't go as far as a full on boycott, I also don't do much else then tell my husband "I love you."  Flowers are not allowed in my home today.  I might make him a card, but usually I just make him a favorite food.  Eating out is also not allowed.  He bought me some nitrate free jerky and rented me The Sentinel, since I have the hots for Keifer. But that's nothing unusual, he usually brings me treats every week.

I hate pink.  I walk around the store this time of year and feel like I'm in Pepto Bismol hell.  I really can't blame the marketing companies for cashing in on our romantic inclinations, it's a $13 billion holiday.  I've seen very effective ads that would lead anyone to buy impressive gifts, usually to impress people you aren't even giving it to. "*gasp* he went to Jared!"  And the kids are in on it too.  If it's not enough they're always begging you for action figures of their favorite cartoon, now you have to buy them Valentine cards of Yugi-oh and candy (and be sure to get the good stuff so your kid is popular) so they can learn that brand name is way better than handmade.

Bottom line, I see little merit such an overtly commercial holiday.  People (usually men) aren't judged by who they are, but how much they spend on their sweetie.  It's generally a very one-sided holiday.  Even if you adore the person in your life, you are made to feel inadequate unless you spend obscene amounts of money on flowers, a card, dinner, and jewelry, which the industry will take full advantage of.  It's no longer enough to say "I love you" and mean it.  Romance is now defined by how much monetary value you can place on your relationship.

So Cupid, you can keep your tasteless sugar cookies and cliche roses.  For me it's just another day I tell my husband I love him.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

"I love you"

My son said those words for the first time today.  Actually, he said, "I love you mama".  *blink*.  Until now he'd mutter something akin to "Iiieee you!", which was nice.... but yeah.  Good day to be a parent.

Of course then I went to get my taxes done and the guy told me how much more we'd get if we had another kid.  A lot.  I told him God hasn't given me any more because He knows it's just for tax purposes.  *mutter*  Okay, well just mostly for tax purposes.

Just life stuff

I woke up this morning and it finally *hit* me that my son really does sleep through the night. For like 10 hours. I mean, he's been doing that for a while, but it hasn't sunk in. My love for him has increased ten-fold today.

My efforts to rid myself of endometriosis pain haven't completely worked yet. But thank goodness I'm not in pain every day anymore. I had to take a Loritab the other night, but so far it looks like I only need it 2-3x per month. And THAT my friends is huge. In addition to the NCD Zeolite, I'm trying to do visualizations at night, that my immune system is clearing all the endometriosis out. Who knows if that helps or not, but it works for sports people! 90% mental, or something. I've had some tired days as well, but like the pain it has been reduced to a few days/month. At least life feels more livable again.

My indoor garden is going awesome! The banana plant died :(. So no mini bananas. But my lettuce is taking off, the green onions have sprouted and the tomatos are getting leaves. One bean plant has surpassed the others and the peas are in another league of their own. Those suckers grow fast! Really easy to grow! Still no carrots and the cayenne pepper seems to be struggling, but I see a sprout at least. It helps me to not be sad about no grad school when I have fun projects to do at home.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

New and improved food storage

So my favorite foods are fresh fruits and veggies, but you only get those during the summer, right?

Wrong.

I have a giant south facing window that I plan to take full advantage of by container gardening inside my house. Here's what I know will grow well: herbs, tomatoes, beans, peppers, eggplant, lettuces, radishes, and carrots (mini ones). I'm not quite so sure about: spinach and fruit. Most fruits wont do well.  However, a citrus tree is $50 so I wont get to know for awhile. I did, however buy a dwarf banana plant. I'm not holding my breath for bananas, or the plant for that matter.  I've heard some good things about fig, but I've only had them inside a Newton.

So I'm getting my seeds going and my peas have already sprouted.  The only plant going outside is the one that sprouts.

Lovely.

In other food storage news, I build a shelf out of particle board and #10 cans.  Cheap, but effective.   I'll post pictures one day.  Really I will.  We're just having "issues" with the computer.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I'm afraid of Splenda

Ever since it emerged on the market I've been skeptical of this substance. I just don't trust artificial foods. Will I go so far as to claim it will cause cancer or is the equivalent of eating Agent Orange (as my most recent email claims)? No. But I know the results of the tests and I have an inherent distrust of the FDA (blaim it on my consumer health class) and their recent "hiccups" like Vioxx.

It's one of those things where if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Splenda isn't made from sugar, it was discovered while making a pesticide. And like pesticides, it's a chlorocarbon. Because of this, the body absorbs as little as possible. THAT is why it's adverstised as "low calorie". You only absorb about 15% of the substance. Lab rats wont even eat it!

I'm only slightly less afraid of margarine.

I think the bottom line is that we ultimately just need to cut back on sweets. That's it. We don't need to invent ways to make cookies "healthier", just maybe eat less cookies. Also use pure cane sugar, honey, or fruit as a sweetener. I know, I'm suggesting the awful, aren't I?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I did it!

(I totally posted this 2 days ago-stupid interweb)

I went through every box, every shelf, every tiny area of my home I stash things and I purged. I pared down. I decluttered my home. I even got really creative and built shelving. It feels so good to not have so much "stuff". I hate stuff. I wish I could back to the days where I could fit all my belongings in my car sometimes. But getting rid of that much stuff feels GREAT! I still have more to build, but one day I'll finish. And then, of course, I'll move :(. I loathe the idea of a bigger mortgage.

It's hard deciding how long to stay here. I LOVE our condo. But sometimes I wish we had a fenced yard with a playground. Those condos are a lot more expensive, however. Don't get me started on houses. It's hard for me to pay twice as much for the same amount of space and all the responsibility, you know. Or even get more space and have to heat and cool it all. It just seems like such a waste to me. I really just need to live in a tipee or something. Now that would be some efficent heating and cooling.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Overcoming disease

Hubby's doing the community emergency response training and they've said that whether a person lives or dies is 90% mental. The same goes for disease. My dad has decided he will not die from lung cancer and he is beating the odds. I'm going to follow his example. I've talked a bit about this zeolite stuff my dad and I have been taking. He started on supplements around the same time he started chemo in October. The biggest improvement they've noticed has been with the zeolite. Since he's been taking it, the effects of chemo haven't been as noticeable. He still feels pretty sucky on chemo weeks, but he looks a ton better and gets over it faster.

So I started taking it for my endometriosis pain in December and I can't believe the immediacy of the effects. After a few days my fatigue is gone, and after only about 2 days I have little to no pain. I've been off of it a couple of times to test it out and can't believe how much it was helping me. I refuse to accept what the doctors have told me about my options. I'm determined to cure this without surgery and without being on painkillers and hormones for the next 20 years. I keep looking for things on the web so maybe the experiences I post will help others.

Because the culprit of endometriosis pain is estrogen I'm going to try to eliminate as much as I can from my diet. That means no more soy milk and really limiting my animal product (unless raised w/o hormones) intake. Xenoestrogens found in pesticides and air pollution are also culprits. Dioxin has been shown to have a direct link to endometriosis. Zeolite cleans these out of your body so I'm going on a zeolite detox. There's nothing on their website yet about endometriosis and zeolite so I'm doing my own experiments. Let's see if I can get rid of it instead of just control it. I'm going to stay on zeolite and eliminate these things from my diet for a while and see what happens. I also need to use less plastic since it has estrogens in it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Like a surgeon, operating for the very first time"

So, the specialist wants to cut me open as well. But he was nice about it and tried to give me other options. But apparently the only way to confirm anything is to take a good look inside. I've never had surgery so don't go telling me how easy a laparoscopy is, because it's still surgery and nothing to take lightly!

But he gave me some other options so I have some things to think over. Without going into too much detail (my uterus, my business) basically I can live on pills (no thank you) or be cut open (also, no thank you), or be in pain. I'm terribly afraid of side effects I may just prefer the pain. So I'm going to keep taking the liquid zeolite that has helped with the pain and fatigue until I decide. This stuff is incredible! It helps with so many different things! My dad has looked a ton better since he's been on it.

But hubby gave me a nice blessing that is helping me to be more accepting of this stuff. God has a method to his madness.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Priorities

Well, I decided to quit school. Grad school will have to wait. For a while. I'm still going to do my online psych class and some other fun things that come my way, but I'm not going to worry about prereq's anymore. I'm still supposed to educate myself, but my motives were not in line with God's will for me. And that is something I want to follow.

After much counsel with religious leaders, prayer, and a blessing from hubby I know that I need to be home with my son. And that's really hard. Some women are really happy and content being a stay at home mom, but I've really struggled with it. I've cried. A lot. I've always wanted to get my PhD and teach and do research. I just know that this is more important at this time and I'll regret it if I pursue my professional ambitions right now.

I really thought I was an exception to the rule, some people are. I've had a lot of things happen that have led me to believe that. But I'm not. So there you go. I guess the key is being humble enough to accept whatever God's plan for you is.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My new excuse for being overweight: I'm poor.

My brother posted on his blog about how expensive it is to lose weight. It really is expensive to eat well and to really get a good body. I totally agree with it! There was a point in our marriage we were determined to eat healthier and we broke the bank doing it. When you don't have a lot of money for food you almost instinctively go for quantity just in case you don't have enough $$ for dinner that night. $5 Organic salad or $1 burger? Usually the burger wins out.

So it got me thinking about how I haven't lost any weight? Like everyone else I want to lose weight this year, so I'm going to honestly evaluate why I haven't.

I weigh as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant! I lost a bunch after my son was born, but I gained it all back when I was too tired to cook and craving enough calories to keep up my milk. Since then I've stayed the same. Regardless of what I do I haven't really gained or lost, I guess it just hasn't been that high of a priority.

My biggest problem right now? It's so freaking cold! Not only can I not afford a gym, I hate them! I live very close to hiking trails. I also got a brand new bike. I really want to take advantage of those. But I can't take the boy out in the cold, and frankly I'm not too excited about it either. At least he's finally to an age where I can start working out!

Also-pizza. It's cheap ($5 hot and ready!) and it's good. I don't have to cook it. Corn dogs too. Even though I'm eating instant cancer I love those things!

I need a scale that works.

I'm scared that I'll only lose fat and not skin. Seriously. I had this little body before I got pregnant and there was nowhere to put the baby so I grew out. Far. Now I have excess skin. I know, you really want to read that huh? It's not too bad right now because I have fat to pad it. But what happens if I lose the fat and not the skin? EWWW!

I actually like healthy food. Salad? Yes! With oil and vinegar! Oatmeal, granola? Bring it on! grilled chicken? Much preferable to beef or pork, but I'd even prefer no meat. But it's still much more expensive than a can of spaghettios. I really could eat brown rice and stirfry all day, but I don't like cooking it. Bottom line. I'm so tired. Always tired. But my thyroid is fine, so riddle me that one batman. Actually it's a symptom of endometriosis (if that really is what I have). But I've never been able to maintain enthusiasim for coming up with what to eat.

Food storage. I want to store a year of food. Not happening in a condo. I do 4 months. But what kind of food do you store? Cheap stuff that you can make using other cheap stuff, because if you're using food storage, money is more precious than usual. So my food storage consists of flour, cream soups, canned veggies, canned fruit, sodium filled junk, powdered fruit drink (sugar). Most of it is casserole makings. Casseroles go a long way. They're cheap and they're full of fat.

So now I know why I haven't lost it yet: convenience, money, fear. But I have a new fear. Watching my dad's fight with cancer has given me a new motivation for health. While I may not be able to shop at Good Earth every day, I'm determined to find cheap, healthier ways to eat. I've already lost 5 lbs the last 2 weeks by drinking more water and cutting out the soda. I'm still not sure what to do about my food storage, since I prefer eating fresh food. But I'll come up with something.

*I wonder if I can build a greehouse on the condo property?*

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Major Life Decisions

I feel the same way I did when I broke off an engagement many years ago. As much as I want to convince myself that I really want to be a sociologist, I'm feeling that nauseated "this isn't what you really want" kind of feeling. I hate second-guessing myself. And it hurts. Though not as much as the break up. That sucked.

So I'm back to not knowing what I want. I'm good at school. Really good. I like doing things I'm good at. And that is that part that wants to cry when I think of dropping my class. I sat in my class today and loved it. Not because we were learning about deductive reasoning, but because I was in school. I was discussing and learning. Brain candy. mmmm. But that's it. It could have been any class and I'd feel the same way. That isn't enough to get me through a master's program though. I need passion.

I have a passion: small earth friendly houses. I just don't know what to do with it. I don't even have one yet. But I do have a small home and I know many secrets to making it work. Hubby thinks I should write a book.

It could just be bad timing. Because the timing just doesn't seem to be working this semester.

It's probably just my bad ovary affecting my judgement. It has a tendency to do that, you know.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Subject: The rain falls in sheets as lightning flashes illuminate my walls.

My bro had to deal with him as I was off at work. A nice suburbanite Jewish boy growing up in a South Florida neighborhood or say in New Jersey or New York is always on the lookout for a nice Jewish girl. For some reason beknownst only to them, our builders have made the balcony slope upwards towards the drainage pipe. And water running down the wall from said socket in the kitchen. Shirly brought up the vast difference in the breakfasts that Israelis eat. Watching it, you can imagine how Noah felt and as the rain starts to flood in through our balcony door, I wonder if I should start to build an ark. Everyone who see me slather PB on pancakes looks at me cross-eyed. The Jewish boy looks at the final figure in his calculator and becomes bewildered.

I love SPAM sometimes. Very poetic.