So, nevermind on that whole "goodbye" thing

I have decided to sometimes post here & sometimes on my new blog ( I think I feel a bit too exposed over there right now and as if everything has to be perfect, so I'm going to allow myself the freedom to retreat to the more private lj world when I need to breathe. I have no idea why I put that expectation on myself, but this is my way of dealing with it for now, so we'll go with it. :)

  • Current Mood: pensive pensive

New Blog, New Journey (taking this off as a sticky post)

*Edit: I have decided to sometimes post here & sometimes there (my new blog).
Hello LJ Friends!

Well, I've finally reentered the blogging world, but I decided to do it elsewhere on the interwebs. I will keep this one open to check other people's, but I'll no longer be updating here. Here's the new site - I hope you'll come visit! I miss all of you!

Love to Everybody,

The REAL reason salad diets work

My health world has been a roller coaster the last few years. While investigating why I was feeling nauseous all the time (the last time we did this dance in '08), my doc recommended that I get my gallbladder removed. While the surgeon was in there, he discovered that my liver was "very fatty" and recommended a DRASTIC change in my habits - diet, exercise, the whole bit, and said I was in danger of DYING if I didn't make changes then. So, I did. Tom and I did a lot of exploring as far as meals go, and we finally settled into a regular menu of half a grilled chicken breast each, fried potatoes for Tom and some sort of fresh sauteed veggie for myself for dinner 4 nights a week. If you're thinking, holy crap, that's boring!, you're not the only one. Tom seems to be okay with monotony in his meals, but I've tried a couple of times to steer us in a different (but still healthy) direction. We've made lots of stews and Cristy's surprises, without a ton of luck. We're still working on it.

I got my blood work done about a month ago and found out that the hard work is FINALLY paying off! My triglycerides were in actual *normal* range, which they haven't been since I've been getting them checked. They started in the quadruple digits, and not low ones. Now, they are in low triples. Amazing, and gratifying, yes. My cholesterol was also in good shape, so I'm relieved about that.

BUT, in order to not go down the same path my dad did recently and need triple bypass surgery, I need to keep it up. So I am. Right before we found out my numbers from the blood work, I went to a specialist (an hour and a half away - the price of living in a small town nowadays), and I asked her how I can possibly get the number of veggie/fruit helpings required a day into my meals. I told her how I'm trying to do veggies for dinner, tuna with no creamy stuff for lunch and fruit for snacks, but how the heck could I fit 4-6 total servings of veggies in there?? I was already eating several times a day. She recommended a large salad for lunch. That would give me a few helpings there, and she suggested eating a fruit with breakfast. So, that's what I've been doing. I get LOTS of fresh produce every week for my lunches and occasionally vary some of the ingredients. I also make my own dressing with white vinegar and olive oil and spices, which has worked out really well.

The problem is... it takes me about an hour to MAKE the darn thing every day. And then about an hour to eat it. Who knew making a salad was so time-consuming? I set up tv trays around me (standing up to prepare everything would be murder on my back), the cutting board and bowl & chop away for what feels like forever, and then chew... and chew... and chew. I feel like half my day is taken up with lunch!

I know there are pre-mixed choices out there, but we're on a budget, and buying all of the fresh produce I need already takes up a huge amount of our grocery bill every week. Don't get me wrong - I feel really good about it, but wow, does it eat (ha!) away at my day. I know, I know, *first world problems... :) Just finished my salad for today (2:45pm - I started around 12:15). I'm going to go try to accomplish something ELSE now. :)
  • Current Mood: amused amused
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Good intentions are boring

Conversation with the hubs just now:

C:  Hey Baby.  I'm going to go do other stuff for a bit.  I will concentrate on the budget another time.  I'm about to fall asleep, and I think I need to start it fresh.  My goal will be to have that as #1 priority tomorrow & over the weekend.

Also - I'm all for calling it a night at 9:00 tonight.  I'm dyin'.

T:  okie

C:  And...


C:  ...wait for it...

NO Dr Pepper this groc trip.  I gotta' quit seesawing myself like this, esp. with not enough sleep.

T:  Wow!

C:  It's just not smart in a lot of ways, healthwise, and I neeeeeed to be smart nowadays.

T:  very true

C:  I've gotta' stop the coffee drinks, too. *sigh*

T:  oh my

C:  blech

T:  sorry

T:  sort of

C:  J   

Yeah.  I know I need to do it.  It sucks, but if we're actually serious about being healthier, I have to do some of the basics.  It will benefit me in multiple ways. and continuing would only hurt me in multiple ways. sigh

T:  understood

… {some talk about lunch tomorrow while running errands}

C:  speaking of eating... I just realized I'm starving!

T:  me too

C:  I need to snack on something.  There is no freakin' way I'm going to be able to deal 'til you get home. sigh


T:  I leave in 10 minutes

C:  Gosh, that'd be handy if.....

T:  Hmmm

C:  Good intentions are boring.

T:  And they don't taste good either

C:  We don't want to be boring

C:  What the heck are we going to do with ourselves???  (after tonight, I mean)

T:  be bored

C:   It probably doesn't help that I basically had two pieces of homemade bread with peanut butter & apple butter on one and peanut butter & strawberries on the other... and that's all I've had since 1:00.  I *did* make myself breakfast burritos around 9am, but that was a long time ago, too, and I'm not sure it even counts as a "separate meal" since all I eat for bkfst is cereal.

Right? J

T:  J  Right

C:  I see a Southwestern Salad and a Snack Size M&M McFlurry in my future.  How 'bout you?

T:  You have a crystal ball???

C:  Yup!

T:  Will I win the lottery?????

C:  Her name is actually spelled with a "K"... and she's on Ed's show ( a lot.


T:  *sigh*

C:  I see $3 somewhere (somewhen?)... or maybe $4... or maybe BOTH!  Wow.

T:  Hmmm

Not exactly what I was hoping for

C:  Ah, well, you have to be more specific, and what with tax and penalties for getting it all at once and everything, that's a tall order.

T:  ok, never mind. Just gimme the 3 bucks

C:  Okie.  Oh.  Did I mention she doesn't know *exactly* when that'll be coming to you?

T:  *SIGH*

C:  Whadoyawant?  She's only paid minimum wage, and the damn Republicans won't raise it.  So, frankly, she doesn't give a rat's patootie.

T:  LOL and on that note...

I'm outa here

C:  Yay!!  :)

  • Current Mood: amused amused
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You did WHAT to your WHAT?

Guy Readers: You may relate to this, in a way, but be warned that I'm going to be mentioning girls' unmentionables in this post.

My sister, Steffany, and I share an unfortunate habit of finding ways to injure ourselves. We've both walked into, tripped over, fallen down and bumped into everything you can imagine. Just within the past few years, I've fallen down my basement steps, jammed my pinkie into the wall trying to catch myself (whilst tripping over the dog) and fallen into the tub (so imaginative, don't you think?), knocking down the handrail inside. Wednesday's incident was not so unlike these past adventures. Here is how it(I) went down (ha!):

It happened right after I finished vacuuming the bed (yes, I vacuum my mattress). We have a monster Kirby vacuum cleaner that has a heavy front piece that comes off in order to attach the hose. Well, I was putting that heavy piece back on, which involves twisting a few levers to reconnect the belt and latch the front section back on. I was sort of crouched in front of the vacuum, pulling and twisting on one of these levers, when one of them slipped and jerked me off-balance. That's when I fell backward onto this:

The Culprit

This is the end of the hose that attaches to the cleaner. You see that long, hard-looking pointy bit? Yeah, THAT is the part that bit me in the ass. Or, more accurately, just a bit north of my ass. Yeah. WTF, right? OUCH!! Thankfully... it scored not quite north enough to be as bad as you might imagine. Man, did it scare the living &#*% out of me, though. Yikes. As soon as I felt it, I jerked back up & swiped the hose out of the way and then bounced back down on the wooden floor. Yeah, yeowch again! The hubs has been kind enough to investigate (LOL :) ), and I seem to have one helluva knot and quite the bright blue bruise. As far as lasting effects go, let's just say sitting down has not been my favorite activity of late and putting ice on my boo-boo has taken on a whole new meaning. :)

I had to put the brakes on the walking in the morning the rest of this week, but I'll try to get back out there next week. Until then, let's hope my bulbous areas go down to their previous bulbousness soon, and the bruise heals ASAP, as this is quite a pain in the butt, man.

Duh dum DUM. :)
  • Current Mood: amused amused
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It's Comin' Along

I know I've been away from here for a while. I have so many post ideas floating around in my head, but the time just keeps eluding me. *sigh* Anyway... on to cheerier things!

Here's what I've been up to lately (okay, ONE of the many things I've been up to) - designing and making a pattern for a quilt I'm making for my niece, Alexa:


Here's the rest of the set (if you view them in order - they're numbered - you can see the process I've been using to create it): Quilt for Alexa

I'm loving the process, but it feels like it's taking FOR. EV. ER. Part of it is fear. I've never made anything quite like this before so I've been lost on some of the steps (though I've figured out quite a bit so far), but that's how I approach all my big craft projects - I am not a part-way type of girl. I go whole hog or I change my mind and do something else - there just isn't any middle ground for me. When I decide to do a big craft project, I go WAY BIG. Feels good to be making some headway. I'll keep you posted. Miss you guys!!

  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

Temper, Temper

One of my favorite bloggers, Bluz Dude, posted about an interesting subject a while back. I’d originally intended to answer right away, but life has been a bit goofy, so it took me a while to get back to him. The post was titled Argument Clinic, and he went on a bit of a rant about women’s style of arguing (yeah, his female commenters loved that ;) ) and asked some questions of his female audience about their argument styles, and here’s what I responded (the lines in italics are his questions/statements – go to the original post link above to see the whole thing):

{This ran a little long, so I'm putting the rest behind a cut - if you'd like to continue reading, please click hereCollapse )

So, what's your arguing style? Does it work? Do you wish you could change it?
  • Current Mood: curious curious

What We Think

Tom & I started a new blog on WordPress called "What We Think," that'll include posts written by both of us. It's sure to have lots of political topics, so please don't visit it unless you're prepared for that, but we'll talk about animals, house stuff and other things, too. I am specifically NOT going to talk about politics here on LJ, but I wanted to share the blog's address with those who'd like to visit it. Here's the main page link: What We Think. And, here's my first contribution to the blog: Poppin' the Pill. Enjoy (or not)!
  • Current Mood: curious curious

Finding the Tin Lining

Yeah, I said tin. I know I usually have the motto of "Finding the Positive," but you'll just have to give me a break this time. Trust me when I say I'm doing good to find the tin. At least it's not gray, right?

So, here's a list of things of which I've found the tin lining lately:

  • Though our toilet requires plunging 2 out of 5 times for "stuff" not going down, does NOT {knock on wood} send things back UP

  • Though we currently have a plastic bin full of medical bills we can't even try to pay right now,
    ...we DO have decent medical insurance and a flex-pay-type benefit that makes paying for my myriad pills and doctor appointments manageable

  • Though I am currently a mouth breather because of a sinus infection (blech!), am bed-ridden a few days a month due to female issues, can't do dishes for longer than 10 minutes without taking a break for my back and am taking a literal handful of pills every day for everything from migraine prevention to nightmares,
    ...I AM able to easily use all my limbs and organs (minus that pesky gallbladder), am in full possession of my mental faculties (at least, *I* think I am. I could be delusional about that part.) and lead a fairly uncomplicated physical life.

  • Though I have a busload of emotional baggage -- and the accompanying coping and personality issues,
    ...I have a husband who knew all that before he proposed and constantly reassures me that he loves me just the way I am.

  • Okay, maybe that last one deserves a "silver" rating. :)
    • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

    A Maybe Life

    Have you ever seen The Weather Man with Nicolas Cage? Tom and I watched it for date night tonight, and it hit a nerve I've been feeling on the fringe of my consciousness but haven't really delved into yet. Here's the part that summed it up, which is appropriate, since it's at the very end, when the character is summing up his life:

    "Things didn't work out the way I predicted.
    Accepting that's not easy...
    ...but easy doesn't enter into grown-up life.
    I'll take this American accomplishment.
    That's where I live...
    ...behind Fire Brigade 47. Okay.
    But in front of SpongeBob."

    We all have these expectations of our lives. We have "when I grow up" statements that either we've put in our heads or we've had put there by parents, society, friends, whatever. We plan to be someone important, to do something that matters. We expect to have success in relationships and be good at something. We see our heroes or celebrities or our parents, and we think they have it all together and expect ourselves to meet those standards.

    The problem is even the people who seem to have it all together, the heroes from the history books, the stars of the shows, the father with the spotless record of achievements and glory, don't really have it all together, either. They all have maybe lives, too, in some area of their lives. It may be difficulty with relationships or the inability to remember the dry cleaning or the stubbornness that makes them refuse to admit they're wrong in an argument that alienates them from friends. Nobody has it all together. Everybody has a maybe life. Even our heroes. Even our mentors. Even the people that really seem to have it all. Everybody has something that's not quite right and that they struggle with.

    So, the next time you look at that astronaut or that really together super mom or that millionaire athlete, remember that they have something that they feel they haven't succeeded in, too. We're all in this together. In this maybe life. And, it's going to be okay. We're all going to make it through. I can do it. So can you.
    • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

    I miss interjecting myself into your daily life

    As one of my favorite bloggers, Mrs. Bachelor Girl, said recently, I haven't been "bloggy" lately, and I miss it. I miss reading about everybody's stuff on their blogs, and I miss talking about my own opinions and experiences on mine. That's what you do when you have a blog, after all. I've been so obsessed this last year with To Do lists and projects that I haven't "let" myself do fun stuff on computers for quite a while. Sucks, right? Well, it gets worse...

    These last few months, I've gotten so riled up about the political happenings around our fair country that, instead of voicing any of my thoughts about it anywhere, I've convinced myself that I have to have all the back-story researched and all documentation gathered on any subject before I can post about it... which, of course, can never happen. Because there's so much damn material out there on the interwebs on any one subject (especially the political ones) that I'll NEVER have anything completely researched. *sigh* The problem is that I'm so obsessed with not being embarrassed by misstated facts or forgotten reference points that I've stopped letting my opinions flow at all. I've put a full-stop on my writing. Blech.


    Here's what I'm doing about it:

    1) I'm separating politics *completely* from my regular blogging. I know I attempted to do this before, but I think this will be more successful. Tom and I have started a blog together elsewhere on the ole world wide web where we're both going to feel free to get all that political angst out there, lay it all out on the table, and, since Tom is waaaaaay more courageous about defending political points than I am, I won't be nearly as nervous about making an argument. He's awesome at details; he has one of those minds that can spout trivial pursuit answers in the middle of relevant conversation. Wow. Anyway, so we're doing that. Along with separating the place on the internet that I do that, I'm also going to separate the research I do for that from my "fun time" reading blogs and stuff. This may not make sense to a lot of non-ADD, non-OCD folks, but this will help me in a humongous way. Okay, so that. And...

    2) I'm going to officially "give myself permission" to get back on the blogging bandwagon, writing on mine and reading other people's. It's something that gives me pleasure and doesn't hurt anybody. So, I *should* allow myself to do it. So, THERE! :) Expect to see more of me in the coming weeks. Hope you don't mind. I'm looking forward to it. Later, y'all! :)
    • Current Mood: excited excited

    Happy New Year, Friends! :)

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    I'm attempting to add some things to this blog, so if you find something not functioning or looking weird, please ignore.

    How was everyone's New Year's Eve? Mine was great. The hubs and I got smashed (okay, maybe tapped is more like it) for the first time in a looooong time. We never drink these days. It's just not something that interests us, but we both felt like it this year, so we bought a bottle and... barely made a dent in it. :D Oh, well. So, we're cheap dates - so what! We had a good time, and since it took nothing to get us tipsy, neither of us had hangovers. Win! We stayed in and played our standby, Trivial Pursuit (we ended up stopping when we were tied, which NEVER happens). Lots of fun had by all. Can you believe it's 2012 already?!?! Wow.

    How about Christmas? Ours was really nice. I was reaaaaally behind on chores to prepare for T's family to come over on Christmas Eve, so we had next-to-no decorations up when people got here, but I felt like we got some awesome visiting time in with everybody, even more than previous years. Really wonderful. And, this was the first year we've had a baby (Nolan - Courtney's precious baby boy) present since I've been here, and they said it was the first in decades. Neat! :)

    All in all, a successful holiday season. What about you?

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, Everybody!! Love to family!! :)

    • Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

    How does it always sneak up on me?

    I've had lots of years in my life when the "spirit of the season" and the family time and church and all that mushy stuff was meaningful and special and needed. LOTS. But this year, I have kind of felt "above it all" for some reason. I love my family and adore my husband and animals and home and all that, but I was (up until tonight) perfectly content busying myself with all the "To Dos" associated with this time of year - preparing the house for Tom's family's annual gathering on Christmas Eve, attending Jan's cantata, putting up the garland on the railings up the front steps and, of course, finishing the HUMONGOUS craft projects I set for myself this year - and not really digging too deeply into the emotional part of it all.

    Okay, let's be honest: I haven't been precisely "perfectly content". In fact, I've been a tightly-wound yarn ball of stress. Ever since my temporary job arrangement (doing medical transcription for the first time ever, thank you very much) ended in October, I have held on to an incredible amount of guilt over not bringing in any income. Tom has tried to reassure me countless times, but the reality of our financial situation weighs on my shoulders like a ton of bricks. We spent more than we'd intended for our impromptu visit to Texas that month (even though my sister paid the bulk of the trip), and then my job ended soon after we got back, so we didn't have a chance to really rebalance and have been playing catch-up ever since. Thankfully, Tom is very skilled at prioritizing and juggling bills and has us back on track (enough that we were able to get each other one gift for Christmas this year when we'd thought it'd be none). Regardless of his efforts, though, my stubborn brain feels obligated to feel guilty. *sigh* So, I've had that going on.

    Along with the rest of the Christian world, I've been swirling in the abyss that is Halloween (Wait - what happened to September?!?)/ Thanksgiving (Dude, I was just getting used to fall!)/ Christmas (Holy crap! And, I was feeling smug three months ago that I had it in the bag this year! Shoot! A-shopping I will go...). I've committed myself to finishing a few REALLY HUGE (did I mention *BIG*?) craft projects by the end of the year this year, and they've been kicking my butt. The world's not going to end if I don't finish them (at least, not 'til next December), but I set a goal, dammit, and I intend to keep it! *sigh* Anyway... where was I? Oh, yes, holiday stuff... So, I've been going 3 billion miles an hour trying to get stuff done while simultaneously trying not to push my back so far out of whack that I can't survive on my current meds for it, which seems entirely too easy to do these days (*sigh*), and thus far, completely ignoring the whole "Aww, family stuff, love stuff, time to reflect, blah, blah, blah" mumbo-jumbo that comes up everywhere you look this time of year. I even attended a very moving cantata without much more than an academic appreciation of how well Jan did (*very* well!) and how great the story was (*very* great!), but...

    Tonight, I was talking with Tom about calling my dad back after he'd left a few messages, and how I felt too stressed out to call him, and was even getting angry about the whole prospect of the conversation, and he said something that hit me. He said, "You just need to call him. The reasons for not calling don't matter. All the stress you're feeling about the situation doesn't matter. If you don't call, someday it'll be too late, and you'll regret that you didn't do it." Crap.

    Ever since that moment, I've been bombarded with emotion. I did call him. And my brother (it's his birthday). And my stepmom (I forgot her birthday - that was the reason my dad was calling). And, yes, I do feel better having done it. And, now, I'm an emotional mess... when I should be... dusting or vacuuming or crocheting or mopping or something productive... and then I realized, um, no. Sometimes it's okay to take a second and actually FEEL. It's tough. It hurts. And, it feels good. All at the same time. But... I feel blessed to have the opportunity to feel that stuff. It means I have love in my life. People that love me. People that I love. And all the crap that goes with it.

    Thank you, God, for giving me all that love crap. And reminding me constantly that I need to appreciate it.

    Love and Merry Christmas to all my family and friends. May you be blessed with love this crazy season, too. :)
    • Current Mood: thankful thankful

    Christmas Tree!

    We bought a white artificial Christmas tree several years ago, and I absolutely love it! We use lights that have a white wire (tough to find, man!) and just use one color throughout - simple and pretty (*I* think). The problem is, I can never get a good picture of it (I admit, I'm using my point-n-click - Tom's nice one might do it justice). We decided to do red lights this year. In real life, it looks lovely - like a snow-covered tree in twilight with tiny, red glows of reflection bringing out the subtle sparkle on the branches. But when I try to take pictures...

    my pics *without* flash make the entire room look red:

    Without flash - red

    ...and my pics *with* flash make the tree look pink:

    With flash - pink


    I don't care. I love it! We decided not to do bulbs this year. I love the simplicity of it. The only ornament is one Jan (sis-in-law) gave us a few years ago. Tom put the tree up over the weekend, and I plug it in as soon as I get up and keep it lit the whole time I'm awake. It cheers me up just being close to it. I haven't done a lick of other Christmas-related chores or decorating, but this simple one is making my day for now. We'll see how I feel tomorrow! :)
    • Current Mood: chipper chipper


    Howdy Everybody!

    This one's short. I just wanted to let everyone know that I've posted to our long-silent community, projectyou, with a goal for December. If you've never visited, give it a look! We'd love to have you. We've kind of been on hiatus since the summer (when my life got a bit hectic), but we're back online again. It's a community for working on ourselves, with a goal each month to focus on. Past goals have included getting crafty, making healthy choices, and this month's: Take a Bow, where we ask you to take a moment from this nutso time of year to give yourself a pat on the back for what you've already done. Come on over!

    Hope everyone's doing great! Love to family!
    • Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
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    A Totally Non-Holiday-Related Vent

    The medicine I take for my ADD has been on manufacture back-order for about a month now (don't ask me how that can happen - I don't know). I finally got fed up and called my doc that prescribes it (whom we're not super confident in usually because she doesn't seem very, let's say, on top of things, which is why I didn't call her at first) and asked her if she knew if other pharmacies had it or if she knew anything about it. Well, a few days later, she called back and left a message saying that I had an appointment with her the next week so we'd talk about it then.

    Okay, fast-forward another few days to the appointment. She knowingly nods and says she's been hearing this a bunch and writes down a list of pharmacies that may have it and tells ME to go get my original prescription from the pharmacy that I usually go to and then call around to these other pharmacies to get it from somewhere else.

    First of all, wtf? If she knew it was at another place, why didn't she just call in a prescription to another place & call and cancel it with my regular place? Why do I have to do all the running around and calling? It's been on BACK-ORDER, lady! Even if I wanted to fraudulently get a double dose, I COULDN'T because it's been on BACK-ORDER and they haven't HAD it! *sigh* But, me being the nice person I am (and knowing her lack of confidence-inspiring work before), I said okay and went on my way.

    Well, guess what happens to To-Do items when a person who has ADD doesn't have their medication to keep them focused? THEY FORGET TO DO THEM!!! So, *because* I haven't had my ADD medication, I've been forgetting to call to get it. Geesh. And, guess what? My appt with her was on Monday. This is late Wednesday afternoon, and I'm just now realizing I'd forgotten to do that. *bang head* And, guess who's probably closing early and/or not open tomorrow to try to pick something up? Just about friggin' everybody. For cryin' out loud, dude.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody.
    • Current Mood: frustrated frustrated