Thursday, November 5, 2009
Same title, same stuff, just a MUCH better and easier format.
Also, I noticed upon importing my posts that I missed SEVERAL comments from people...I've replied to them on Wordpress and I'm reallyreally sorry about that:(.
I would also request that, if you like reading my blog, that you'd subscribe to it and/or follow me and/or add me to your blogroll. I really love blogging and want to turn it into something worthwhile, so I'm going to work diligently on that and would love to see that people are responding.
I love you guys and hope you'll all make the trek with me over to my NEW HOME !!!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
- Get to the gym three times per week. This shouldn't be trouble...Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are pretty open for me since I gave up the band.
- Yoga twice a week...this is something I've been wanting to try for a while.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator every day. I only travel upstairs/downstairs two or three times per day anyway, so I'll climb the stairs from now on.
- Drink 8 glasses of water every day. I've been slacking here because of how much we've had to do at work. It's good for my general health and to prevent kidney stones!
- Eat whole, real food, not processed food.
- Reduce junk food consumption (chocolate, chips, pasta, "white" grains, calorie-laden beverages, etc).
I'm really excited about starting yoga. I've wanted to so badly since I started reading Heather's blog, and when Angela posted about it today, I couldn't resist. I printed the guide from Yoga Download that she referenced and plan to give it a try tomorrow since I won't be able to hit the gym.
In case you haven't noticed, I've shifted to writing more about food and fitness; I'm trying to focus the blog more toward things about which I'm pretty passionate. I made a list in my mind and came up with:
So, that's where I'm going right now...it could change at the drop of a hat, I guess, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to offer some insight and info!
Monday, November 2, 2009
So, I went MIA for a few days, which I was expecting because of the big project that I had to do, but it's done and all is well! So, I finished the week out at about 95% vegan. Some of my non-vegan indiscretions included: 1 cookie, a few pieces of chocolate Halloween candy, 2 marshmallows, and maybe 4 individual serving containers of non-dairy creamer (which contains a milk derivative).
What did I learn? First, I don't need cheese to enjoy food. I love cheese...so much so that I could have it at every meal, but going a week without it made me realize that it's really not that important. Next, dairy makes me feel worse, not better. I can definitely tell you that my stomach has been less upset this week that I went vegan. And, I lost three pounds also!
Would I go vegan 100%? Probably not at this point...as far as my religious reasons for vegetarianism go, I don't believe that veganism was necessarily prescribed by God originally, so I don't feel obligated in that way. However, I'm pretty deeply convicted about factory farming and the cruelties that are done in the dairy and egg industry, so I suppose I'll have to find a way for my ethics to meet with my purchases...perhaps finding someone who has chickens that I know treats them well? Or maybe trying to buy milk at a farmer's market or looking into which brands treat their cows well?
What's important, though, is that it's a learning process; if I didn't learn anything other than the fact that cheese is not a necessity to make food better, then the week was worth it. That's one more lesson that will keep me on the path of eating whole, clean, nutritious food, avoiding processed "junk" and enjoying what God gave us to enjoy.
Yay for Joey and me...we hit the gym tonight after work! Step one down:)...now just to go back tomorrow and we'll be on the way to starting a habit!
Stay tuned tomorrow for information about my upcoming challenge for November!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Spooooky...mine is the scary one:)
Roasted Pumpkin seeds:
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Dinner was Chinese takeout tonight...don't fear, though...I did my research and found out that General Tso's sauce is vegan, so I got General Tso's tofu. It came with broccoli and white rice. I may or may not have had a couple of Utz reduced-fat potato chips too....and now some coffee with soymilk (which I am currently drinking).
So, how did I manage to keep myself mindful of my Vegan Challenge today in the face of all of the wonderful treats and goodies? Check it out:
This morning, after I had about 1 tbsp of peanut butter, I took a nice ink pen and drew the word "vegan" on my wrist. It worked like a charm, and got a couple of comments, too. Someone actually thought it was a real tattoo...hehe.
I had a 100 calorie popcorn ball at work that my friend gave me; I checked the ingredients and it qualified, and I also discovered that Ruffles potato chips are vegan, so I had a few of those...skipped my oatmeal, though, because of the other stuff.
How about some real knitting content finally? I'm working on a Cowl from an easy pattern that I found on Ravelry...it's got a very simple quasi-lace pattern (I don't know if it's lacey enough to qualify as "real" lace, but I'll take it!)
Like that it's on top of my MITs list? MITs stands for "Most Important Things." It's my relatively short list of things that I need to get done today. I think that this may finally be the day that I get it all done! Anyway, here's a closer shot of the knitting:
Check out the rest of the table of goodies...there were chips and tortilla chips, two kinds of dip, brownies, cookies, and cupcakes.
Lunch was processed, but vegan....Trader Joe's rice noodle soup bowl...the spring onion flavor. It's instant and salty and wonderful...I knew I'd need a favorite if I was going to let the cake pass me by. I had some hummus/cabbage and 1/2 an apple for a snack.
No Shelli pic tonight...I need to take some more. She's been a little antisocial tonight.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Food-wise, the entire day has been an epic win! Breakfast Part 1 (I always divide breakfast into two halves) was some chopped cabbage and Sabra hummus...followed by a travel mug of coffee and soymilk.
At about 10 am, I had 1/2 cup oatmeal with 2 TBSP Jif Natural PB (which is sweetened with molasses, which is definitely vegan)
And lunch, my friends, was this:
A GIGANTIC salad with Romaine Mix, cabbage, black beans, and the rest of the pico de gallo that I got on Sunday. No dressing, just pico-y goodness:).
I had a serving of raw almonds for my afternoon snack, but was DYING for some candy around 3. EMSI came by the office and dropped off Halloween treat bags for us, which had a Reese's cup and a mini-tootsie roll (both definitely not vegan) and a small pack of Twizzlers. Thanks to VegNews and their listing of Vegan Halloween Candies, I found out that the Twizzlers were vegan and I tore into them!
We hit Trader Joe's on the way home so I could stock up on tempeh, tofu, and hummus, and then hit the Teeter because I had to get a treat for our office's Halloween Snack Party tomorrow (which I found out about this afternoon). This one's going to be a huge test for me; I'm relatively sure that nothing is going to be dairy/egg/animal product free, so it looks like I'm going to be staring at everyone while they chow down. I've come up with a pretty good way to remind myself to resist the treats, though, which I'll share with you guys tomorrow. I got some tahini at the Teeter too...expensive, it was, $8.50 for 1 lb, which in our house is obscene, so I'll have to use it up. thankfully, Heather did a whole week on the stuff, so I should be all set with ideas!
Which brings me to my EPIC dinner win:)...I was reading The Fitnessista today and saw that she'd done something pretty unconventional with her sweet potato. It looked pretty good, so tonight I took two small sweet potatoes and "baked" them in the microwave. The first, I topped with 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (I had Wal-Mart Garden Veggie Sauce), some nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder, crushed red pepper flake, and a little cayenne. Holy cow was this incredible! I will absolutely be doing this again, and often. On the second, I put a little ketchup, hot sauce, cayenne, garlic and onion powder, and crushed pepper flake...it wasn't as good, but I'd used up the last of the spaghetti sauce. Gina, if for no other reason than this recipe, I love your blog (but I loved it anyway, so I guess that's kind of irrelevant)!!
Shelli got into the "special 'nip" last night....
Monday, October 26, 2009
So, in keeping with the spirit of my Vegan Challenge Week in honor of World Vegan Day on November First, I had 2 tbsp of peanut butter at home before I left for work, a travel mug of coffee and soymilk, and then 1/2 cup oatmeal with salt and pepper around 10 am.
For lunch, I had this:
Yep! Last night's Potato-Veggie Soup (recipe can be found HERE). It's thick and hearty and warm, and I added a TON Of pepper, so it was nice and spicy too.
To celebrate after finishing my paper and getting my work-work done for the day, I had this apple:
Hopefully, tomorrow will be low-key as well. I'll have schoolwork to do, but hopefully Joey will be further along with his paper and we'll be able to relax and watch a little NCIS!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Breakfast was 1 cup of brown rice and some hot sauce, and a travel mug of coffee with soy milk.
Lunch was, as always, at the nasty ol' Captain's Galley, where I got a side salad and a baked potato. We'd stopped at Wal-Mart beforehand, and I got some Sabra Roasted Red Pepper hummus and some pico de gallo, so I put both of those on my salad and potato (no dressing on the salad and the croutons removed). It actually made the CG food edible! I think I've discovered a combo that's a winner!
We napped after that because Joey had a really late night working on his paper (I intended to work on mine this afternoon, so it was quite the bummer to have slept the whole time). But dinner was a definite win! I made Potato-Veggie Soup with Cabbage, which was FANTASTIC (the success of the dish was probably directly proportional to the amount of garlic I added to the soup)! I used a little soymilk to make it creamy, and it was thick and warm and delicious. I'll post the recipe soon...hopefully I can get a decent picture of it at work tomorrow.
So, it was a food success today; I was a little tempted by the cheese tonight that Joey and Cory put on their soup, I'm not going to lie, but I sprinkled a little nutritional yeast on mine and was perfectly content. It's nice to know that there can be a life out there without cheese.
This weekend has been such a whirlwind; I can't believe that it's about to be Monday again and back to the grind! Also, I started Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food yesterday and it's really excellent...very eye opening. He's got lots of facts and presents a pretty stark indictment of food processors/corporations and the government in making people's diets about "nutrients" only and not in the least about "real, whole foods." Something that I've been coming to realize especially over the summer after having read all of these health/fitness/food blogs is that we've gotten so far away from real foods that we don't know how to exist anymore in a world that's not prepackaged and microwave-ready in ninety seconds.
Almost hands-down, in all of the blogs that I'm currently reading about the above topics, the writers have lost weight and maintain their health, not by sucking down vitamins and supplement powders left and right, and not by eating nutrition bars and power-drinks, but by eating real whole foods. I really believe that it's something to which we need to return if we don't want to screw up our childrens' generation just like we are.
At any rate...that's enough thought-provoking stuff for the night. I'm going to turn in. Hope everyone survives their Monday!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Man, today was busybusybusy...we went to breakfast with my parents, went to the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, which is always super-crowded, worked on school stuff, and had dinner tonight with some friends.
The gun show was lots of fun; we got some stuff, and we saw lots of neat firearms and other self-protection items. I was looking for an old olive-drab messenger bag at the booths with old army/navy surplus stuff, but it didn't look like any place had any. It was wall-to-wall people at any of the booths that had handguns, which is normal, so we had to weave our way through and muscle in so that we could look at things.
I've gotten my discussion posts done and now just have a paper due Monday...next week is mine and another girl's week to lead the discussion for our reading in Ethnic American Lit, so it's going to be busy on that front, too.
Tomorrow begins Mel's Vegan Challenge week in honor of World Vegan Day!! I'm going to make cabbage and potato soup tomorrow night that we'll have for dinner during a night of football and FUN!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
So, I was looking for recipes for next week's Vegan Challenge and I came across this Southwestern Cabbage Soup that looks insanely good...I'm thinking that I'll make this Monday as I've got the ingredients already...a big pot will give me plenty to eat for lunches during the week!
On a non-blog related note, I'd really appreciate if you guys would hit up my Examiner website if you haven't already been. I write about Frugal Living, and while sometimes the articles over there mirror what I'm taking about over here at Inner Monologue of a Madwoman, there are plenty of articles that are totally unrelated. And, come on, everyone can use a little advice about saving money these days, eh??
Today was pretty good; I got some major headway made on my cowl during choir tonight, which is great, because I want to get it done as soon as I can so I can decide whether or not to make another to give as Christmas gifts. Since I'm trying to do a totally handmade Christmas this year, I'm needing to get on the stick with that now!
And, I'm not going to talk about it too much yet because the idea just hit me on the way to choir tonight, but I think I'm starting to stumble upon one of the things I'm supposed to do in life...a way to advocate for animals and show that animal advocacy and Christianity do not have to be mutually exclusive. Just say a prayer for me as I mull things over and try to get a plan into action.
Good night, folks =^-_-^=
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As most of you probably don't know, November 1st is World Vegan Day, and is generally filled with pleas from animal rights groups asking that people give veganism a chance for just that one day. While I don't necessarily think from my reading of Genesis 1:29-30 that veganism was prescribed, I do deal frequently with wanting to be vegan just because I see it as the natural end of vegetarianism. No, I'm not throwing out all of my shoes and purses and setting Shelli free (not all vegans believe that we shouldn't even own animals, but some do). But I will be doing my part to promote World Vegan Day through next week's personal challenge:
I'm going to take the next week (starting Sunday, 10/25) and am going to adhere to the principles of veganism (no eggs, dairy, or honey) through World Vegan Day (11/1). I'll spend this week picking out recipes and meal ideas so there will be no boredom in the Weaver house!
I've read so many good things from people who've given up dairy; since dairy increases mucuous production, it's really not a singer's best friend, and most people are actually mildly lactose intolerant (at least), so I'll be very interested to see what kinds of changes I feel by not dealing with its effects.
Join me? Join me!!
Monday, October 19, 2009
A Veggie Parmesan sub from the Smoky Mountain Sub Shop. We stopped there while we were enjoying Waynesville's Apple Festival.
- We will not be going back to Moonshine Creek. The staff was really nice, but the sites were too close together and we originally had a site where we would have had to carry everything by HAND across the creek (no car access). That would have been unfortunate since we had 1/2 a truck bed full of firewood. We got our site changed, thankfully. The campground was also really small. But the bathrooms were clean.
- Every meal, save for the one that we ate out, was cooked over an open fire. Joey was an AWESOME cook!!
- It was 37 when we woke up Saturday. The high was 48. It was 31 when we woke up Sunday.
- It sleeted on Saturday night.
- Electric blankets in the tent are the BEST IDEA EVER.
- Camping without James is noticeably quieter at night. Enough Said.
- It's hard to knit while bundled up like an eskimo.
- Mountain people are strange.
- Senior Citizen cloggers ROCK!!
- Men + Fire = singing hair off something.
- Watching a group of kids from App standing in the dark freezing because they didn't know what they were doing was a riot.
That's all I can think of for now. It was a good weekend. Even with the freezing temps and sleet, I wish I was still there.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Had breakfast with Mom and hung out there for a long time! There's nothing like drinking copious amounts of coffee and laughing loudly and unceremoniously in a restaurant full of old people and a grumpy manager;). Mom is so my best friend. Dad too. I'm pretty freaking blessed with my parents.
I had lunch at Eastland Mall with Mom and her best friend Bobbie; I purposefully schedule my dentist appointments on Wednesdays so that I can have lunch with them two or three times a year. I found a new knitting pattern to work on while I was there; it's a lacework cowl, but I like the pattern so much that I'm toying with making it into a scarf. I've never made a successful cowl, though. I'm using a really deep greyish teal worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles. It's not knit in the round, but is knit flat and then seamed at the end with some kind of bind-off method I've never tried before. Looks like I'll be hitting up the Knitting Help website soon!
Tomorrow's going to be pretty hectic; I ended up spending most of the night tonight finishing up Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison...good book. It was a little more crass than what I generally like to read, but I think that the message was pretty incredible. And, as usual, I had to have the obligatory cry-fest because it seems that nothing that we read in grad school has a traditionally happy ending. At any rate, tomorrow will now be the day that we do the rest of what we need to for the camping trip.
So, all of this stuff today has left me with a jumble of thoughts and emotions, trying to figure out where I am now and where I'm supposed to be, and whether that's going to involve writing, or music, or frugality and preparedness, or animal rights (from the Christian perspective) or Christian vegetarianism, or all of the above.....I have to believe that all of the restlessness of spirit that I've been having lately is more than just a sign of being mildly disillusioned with my current life position. It has to have been more than that. Otherwise, I think that it would have ebbed by now and I would have fallen back into my normal routine of thought patterns. Something's there. I've just got to seek it out, or wait it out, or whatever. It's funny how, with God, lots of times you don't know whether to do one or the other, or whether you need to figure out how to do both at the same time.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Today was not a very good day; I'm not going to lie. I had a very encouraging evening after I spent lots of time Saturday night mapping out things that I can do now to work toward my passions and dreams, and I was able to hold onto that despite the drama from yesterday, but today really took away my joy. My life isn't falling apart or anything, but I'd managed to work through something and be at peace only to have it upheaved again and now I'm left looking to the sky trying to figure out what God's trying to show me.
Anyway...enough of that. I should be back in Frugal Living Examiner mode within the next couple of days. I have some good story ideas that hit me during my "car time" (which was pretty cold) today.
OH!! And I've got both the front and back knitted up on the sweater, so I just need to seam the top and then pick up stitches for the sleeves!! Gigantic purple bag sweater, here I come!!
That's all I've got tonight. I've got to get going on Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon...I may or may not have slacked off a little since nothing was due last week;)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Cory was nice enough to make a special, smaller pot of chli without meat, which i thought was very sweet of him. I knew that "pickins'" would likely be pretty slim because we were focusing on hamburgers and hot dogs, but I did end up having something tasty to eat.
Then, we gathered at our house for a night of football since we've got a crowd of Colts fans in our life these days.
I'm starting to lose consciousness while blogging, so this'll have to be it for the night.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Next weekend, however, Joey, Shannon, and I are going camping in Balsam, NC, up in the mountains. I cannot WAIT...hopefully the leaves will be pretty when we get up there...I'm also hoping that it's crisp, but not TOO cold. Joey got two stacks of firewood today, so we should be set for the trip. We still need to season our cast-iron cookware and get the rest of our food. Really, I need to just make a list tonight or tomorrow morning so we don't leave anything out.
Also have two assignments due before we leave, so I'll be working like crazy this week to get that done. Wednesday, I'm off for my dentist appointment; I have to work Thursday (to make up for one of the days I missed during the kidney stone saga).
Have you ever felt kind of lost in trying to put your finger on exactly what it is that you're passionate about? I know that I'm passionate about animal rights and especially on the unnecessary death of shelter animals (cats in particular). I know that I need to try to figure out how to get into helping with that, you know, but I'm afraid. I'm pretty sure that helping out with those organizations is going to involve a lot of saying "goodbye" and grieving over animals, but I'm starting to feel like, if it's something that I really care about, then maybe I should be willing to feel the pain to help bring about change. I don't know. But I know that I'm going to need to start taking the necessary steps to pursue something because I can't stay in the same place, because I'm not exactly happy here. And I think it's one of those situations where, if I'm feeling so restless and dissatisfied, then God is probably trying to tell me something and it would be wise for me to listen. So, that's what I'm going....lay it on me, God....
I've been reading Angela's and Heather's blogs lately (well, I've really been reading both since May of this year), and they've offered a lot of insight on the topics of personal satisfaction, pursuing dreams, finding methods/styles that work for you and not being so concerned about doing things "this way," or "that way," because that's what everyone else is doing. So, I'm starting to feel that, little by little, God is giving me these small, quiet messages through people like them to encourage me that dreams and passions are worth pursuing. More on all of that later, I'm sure.
So, that's where I am on this lovely evening...tomorrow is church and then our SS fellowship at Stallings Park (per Tara Lane, it's not going to rain later tomorrow afternoon!), so while tomorrow will be busy too, I don't think it'll be too bad.
Friday, October 9, 2009
So, I'm definitely in a better state of mind than I was the other night...which is normal. We all have bad days every now and then and that day, I just let things get to me too much....today, I'm back on the proverbial horse!
So, we are watching Jeopardy and relaxing!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
One of the most frustrating things about our current lifestyle is the feeling that we're always a step behind other people our age. While most of the people we know our age are married, two income families (or the husband makes enough that the wife can stay home), we are working with one income. Others have moved into (or built) their own two and three thousand square foot homes, while we opted for one that's only eleven hundred so that we'd be sure to be able to afford it easily. Others are having kids while we know that's not going to be a reality for us for some time. We're not ready. And I cannot tell you the amount of times that I've heard, "if you wait until you're ready, you never will be," like for some reason, that's supposed to encourage us to make an irresponsible decision. I really believe that it's absolutely crucial to realize when you're not emotionally ready for children and/or to realize that your current way of life would make having kids an irresponsible decision. A household with two full-time students who are also working is no place for a dog, much less a child. Additionally, my anxiety isn't fully controlled, so I can't even fathom the possibility of going back to a lifestyle of being terrified for nine months (because I'm sure I would have to go off my meds). So, when we get to the point when kids are going to be a reality, other people our age will already have older children, we'll be older parents and will have trouble relating to other parents with similarly aged children.
It's tough to try to explain to people why we don't go places, don't eat out frequently, don't do things that cost much money, why we leave our thermostat set to 80 in the summer and 60 in the winter, why we leave the lights off if at all possible, why we "save a flush," why we drive a car that is twenty years old and was gifted to us, why I (almost) only buy second-hand clothes, why brand-name is a rarity in our house, why our monthly gasoline and grocery budget combined is only $450, why I wash plastic spoons and forks, and why we only have twenty channels.
Would we do these things even if we did have money? Probably. Because I know that, as a general rule, as income increases, so also increases one's lifestyle to match. I don't ever want to get in that pattern. I want to be free...free to stay home to take care of our kids if I want to, free to pursue a dream, free to be free of corporate America. I don't want to live a life where we have two new cars and a big home, but I have to climb the corporate ladder to be able to afford it. That, my friends, is a prison all of its own.
However, if we had more money, I would buy organic produce and fair trade goods. I would buy eggs from a local farm, somewhere where I know that male chicks weren't thrown into a grinder alive and hens weren't forced into battery cages without being able to move. I would give money to animal rights organizations. Hell, I might even create my own Christian-based animal rights organization. I would set up a cat rescue. I would join a yoga studio. I wouldn't feel supremely guilty when we do our once-weekly Chinese takeout meal. I would pay twice what our mortgage payment currently is so that we can pay it off faster. I would opt to pay Joey's tuition out-of-pocket. I wouldn't be terrified when my tuition bill comes due each semester just because we are paying mine out-of-pocket.
I don't really think that these things are unreasonable, but they're just not a possibility for us right now. And sometimes, it pisses me off. Sometimes, I look at the people who eat out three or four times a week and buy every technological gadget that comes along and I'm resentful. Do I begrudge them their purchases? Not really. I think that there are probably more useful ways that they could be spending their money, but I don't hate them for what they have. But sometimes, I do wonder why we struggle when other people quite obviously don't have to.
Do I think it's because we've done something terrible and God is pissed at us? In my weaker moments, yes, I do. I'm not going to lie. Do I sometimes feel like God doesn't really care? Yep to that one too. And before you leave me comments to tell me that I'm wrong, be aware that I know that. But I also think that it's pointless to lie to God...He knows what you're thinking anyway, so you can't really feed Him a line of bull unless you're just trying to make yourself feel holy, which is a waste of time.
In my heart, I know that we're called to a specific purpose. Since Joey and I have been together, we've both known that our calling was in the world of academia. We knew that it would be a hard and expensive journey, and we knew that we were going to have to live a life where we sacrifice the best material things so that we could pay for our tuition. We knew that it was something that would pay off later, if not monetarily, then at least in our feeling that we were doing something worthwhile, that we were helping people and making a difference. We knew that it wasn't going to be easy.
But last night, I had a hard night. After fixing yet another meal of brown rice, I got angry. Today has been better; today, I've regained focus. I don't think that God hates us, and I know that He cares. And I know that my attitude simply needed an adjustment, from ambivalence to gratitude. I'm in gratitude mode today, and it feels much better.
That's all I've got.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
So, remember my comment yesterday that the b-nut squash isn't so good roasted in bigger chunks? It was waaay too soggy and really had a "squashy" taste rather than a sweet taste (like a sweet potato). I really didn't know what to do; I only ate about 1/3 of the squash yesterday. Joey forced some down and I put the rest in the fridge. So, I thought that I'd try adding it to oats and see if it improved any. Today, I packed some dry rolled oats (3/4 cup) with ground cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. I added some hot water (probably just 1 cup) and the (peeled) roasted b-nut. I also dumped in a couple of packets of Sugar in the Raw (not ideal, but it was the most natural option). The end result?
It may look a little weird, but it was actually pretty good. The squash was more pumpkin-y rather than squash-y, and it was really filling and satisfying. Now, I have two ways to eat the rest of my b-nut squashes:).
Then, at 1, I commenced "car-time." I didn't know if I'd feel like napping, so I took my knitting with me. I've finished the front, and so I needed to go back and knit the 8 inches up the back before seaming the top and then picking up for the sleeves. I got maybe five rows done and then tired of it and put it away. I'll probably work on it some more tonight, though!
Then, "car-knit" time turned into "car-book" time. I started on this:
Monday, October 5, 2009
And Shelli, looking a little sullen.
I struggled today with feeling like I really really want to do something that's worthwhile. I've got at least two or three more semesters left before I'll have my degree and can potentially teach at community college, so I'm settled in that knowledge, but it's so hard to get through a stressful day and feel like it doesn't really amount to much. I definitely need to spend some time in prayer and contemplation, methinks, about my own attitude and perception and whatnot.
I learned tonight that butternut squash is best when made into fries. Otherwise, it's really soggy, even if roasted. I've got some in the fridge that I think I'm going to try to add to some oats or something. It'll probably be better served sweet than savory.
Ok...off to knit a little.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
And, so it sat, and sat, and sat, and sat (I'm starting to sound like the book Once Upon a Potty here...). At New Year's, I made a resolution to finish it by March. Instead, I didn't even touch it at all.
Well, I've got everything that I'm currently working on off the needles right now, so I figured that I'd pull it out and perhaps have a sweater to wear this winter (if it turns out being wearable), and thanks to a girls' knit night last night (yay!! Total fun...next one is at my house, girls:)), I finally got to the length that I thought was appropriate to split for the sleeves. I did that this morning.
Splitting for the sleeves is either very difficult, or I was totally doing it wrong, because I felt like a total moron trying to get the cable through half of the stitches to hold while I'm working on the front. I have to knit up the front eight inches, and then switch to the back and do the same, and then seam them together save for the neck hole, and then I can pick up the sleeves and start to knit them down. Now that I have the interchangeable needle set, I think I've got a cable short enough to be able to knit them down without DPNs, which I'm glad about, not because I don't love dpns, but because I think there'll be too many stitches involved, and mine aren't that long.
Here are a few pics....sorry for the crappy lighting, but we keep the lights kind of low at the house to save electricity:
I just looooooove this color. It's one of Bernat's yarns, and it's really really soft. It's a deep purple with grey in it also. Absolutely one of my favorite colors. I'm a little nervous about getting the roll out of the bottom, though, because it's acrylic. I don't know that it'll block out well. It's making me wish I had either done some ribbing at the bottom or done a few rows of garter stitch, which I also think would look pretty freaking awesome. I think that the next one I do will be a yoked sweater. I'm really wanting to do Jared Flood's Cobblestone for Joey.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I'm finally caught up with school...procrastination sucks. I'd make a vow never to do it again, but I'd really be lying, so we'll leave it at that.
A thought on stress management at work....finding a way to relax during the day is really an imperative if you work in a fast-paced and stressful environment. Americans take less vacation time than they ever have before and are working more and more hours and are more stressed and less happy than they've ever been. Many of us may not be in the position to be able to reduce the amount of work that we do, so we have to find a way to cope with the situation in which we find ourselves.
When I began my first corporate job, I noticed that almost everyone ate their lunch at their desk and just continued to work or passed time on the computer for a while before diving back into work. Naturally, I followed suit ("when in Rome," yes?). Within three months after starting the job, I found myself having headaches on the right side of my head and a serious case of eye strain. Unfortunately, it took me another four years or so to figure out that what I really needed was some time away from my desk, away from the ringing phone and chatter.
Just fifteen minutes or half an hour of quiet in the middle of a work day can do so much to help you re-center yourself, calm yourself down, and refocus so that you're able to work to the best of your potential for the rest of the day. Whether you're sitting outside, running to the coffee shop, or taking a walk, time to yourself is so important.
I like to take "car naps." As long as it's not too hot, I'll take my lunch hour and kick back in my driver's seat and sleep for a while in total silence. During some of the cooler summer days, I'd roll my windows down to let a cross breeze though, but it also let added noise in too. These days, with it being nice and cool, I can leave the windows up and have the fan blowing a little air through the car cabin. After an hour of uninterrupted, quiet time to clear my mind and relax, I find myself much better put together for the rest of the day.
You don't have to nap; just find some time to remove yourself from the stressful situation, and you'll be much more clear when you have to jump back in;)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I'm looking forward to the prospect of next week being mostly normal, without tons of extra stuff added in. I'm always amazed by those people who can keep on going and going and have their calendars absolutely packed and be happy. I'm just not like that...I need to have several nights at home each week to decompress and recover. It's something that's taken a long time for me to learn about myself, and I think that, for the most part, I'm doing okay with it right now. I'm down to only one evening commitment, choir, which is a nonnegotiable for me; everything else has been stripped away and I've never felt better about it. It's weird, though....like, I LOVE it when friends come over, but to actually go *out* sometimes is a little overwhelming.
I'm also *very* routine-oriented....so to have a week where the routine's disrupted so much really weirds me out. This week hasn't been too bad; I just had recording on Monday and then went to most of the choir recording last night (I just listened since I couldn't sing), but Tuesday night and tonight were normal and I don't think we've got anything big going on tomorrow night either (except for schoolwork for me).
This semester is really rocking schoolwise. I did procrastinate this week...I hate that; I'd been much better about it for the first month. But overall, I feel much more connected to the coursework and the program in general. I feel like I *am* actually in a graduate program and I *am* actually working toward my academic goals, finally. It's funny...I always felt so confident in my academic abilities when I was in college. No fear. Seriously. I attacked every paper and project and felt absolutely certain that I'd be able to pull off an "A." Then, I get away from school for five years, and go back and now, I feel like the lowest common denominator sometimes. I've got to get my mojo back;)
Saturday...FLEA MARKET day!!! I'm going to take ten bucks with me again and see if I can find SOMETHING this time since I went away with nothing last month. I'm loving going to Metrolina expo again....we used to go every month when I was a kid, and it's so awesome to get to do that with my folks again. We always have a blast! And, the end of the month is the Gun Show! That'll be exciting.
So, overall, lots of good stuff coming up (camping trip in a few weeks too!)...just got to keep the right frame of mind.
Happy World Vegetarian Day, by the way! Most of you probably didn't know about it, so try to go tomorrow without eating meat. It's not that hard, and it'll really make a big difference for you, health-wise and soul-wise. Maybe take the time to think about how far-reaching the sins of Mankind really were. We didn't just sentence ourselves to death with the first sin....we sentenced ALL of Creation.
Friday, September 25, 2009
"Rhonda," as we affectionately call her, came into our lives about a year and a half ago. In December of 2007, my very first car, "Fatboy," my very bestest car friend, finally had his unceremonious and final demise. He'd been with me through high school, college, and a wreck that nearly parted us. We'd replaced part after part, and this time, it was the transmission, and as he was an old Hyundai (everyone I met was amazed that he was still running at all), it wasn't worth the cost to have a new (or used) transmission put in. In February, we donated him to the Kidney Foundation. The default deduction that you're given when you donate is $500. We later found out that he brought only $225 at auction. That actually hurt, to be honest.
We were doing okay with one car in early 08; Joey and I were carpooling to work, and when we needed two vehicles, his parents didn't mind rearranging things and helping us out. We knew, however, that we were going to have to find another car before Joey started his schoolwork at Wake Forest; he'd be making multiple three-hour drives, and I would need to be able to get back and forth to work every day. We prayed about it, and waited.
Rhonda belonged to our friend Wayne, who worked at our church; he'd gotten her in Rhode Island some years back while working there. He bought her for five hundred dollars, and she saw him through the rough weather of Rhode Island, through his move down here to NC, and had driven faithfully for the (almost) four years that he lived here. Shortly after he got married, he and Erin, his wife, felt called to the northeast and were going to be moving to NY. And there, our lives with Rhonda intersected.
They knew they'd only need one car, and felt led to give Rhonda to us....well, to "sell" her to us for $1 for the title's sake. We were speechless. It was a whirlwind, really...they offered, we accepted, they came over and signed the car over, and then, they were gone. However, they did let us know that Rhonda had some...."quirks." Among them were: a hole in the exhaust, a sagging front bumper, power doors that no longer worked, power seatbelts that no longer worked and were fixed in the "locked" position (you have to crawl under them to get in), a driver's side front window that won't roll down, broken AC, TONS of dents and rust damage. I don't really remember what else. But she RAN! and well!! And we were grateful, no matter what.
We had some work done right when we got her, and she's been fine until recently; we had to have a new clutch put in, to the tune of $900. Still, she's cost us less than our new car has in payments and insurance, and her taxes are low and the inspection cost is low. But she wasn't pretty.
To protect the identity of the "culprit," let's just say that someone blessed us more than we could have imagined with an Extreme Makeover for Rhonda. And here she is:
Her dents have been fixed, the rust was fixed (as much as possible). The whole car was painted. There's a new door (with a window that rolls both up AND down), and there's a working AC. The power locks work now, and the knobs on the dash were replaced so we no longer have to use pliers to change the air temperature. I don't even know what else was done.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
So, last weekend was incredibly good for me health-wise. Spending all day Friday and most of Saturday in the bed really restored my kidneys...but, on Sunday, I felt a slight sore throat. On Monday, I sounded like a frog:(. Tuesday, hacking and stuff, and today, more hacking, but it's moved into my head. I should be really grateful, though, because as far as I remember, this is the first time I've gotten sick since last December right before the Christmas Muscial. On a tiny negative note, I'm finding it a little hard to come up with warm beverages that soothe the throat that don't include chicken broth. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not intending to go back to being an omnivore, but, I guess you can say that I'm discovering one of the less-than-great sides of giving up meat and meat products.
I've been making do with some nine bean soup that Mom sent home with me last weekend and I froze. It's DELICIOUS, but, unfortunately, with nine beans....well, let's just say that it must be eaten after 1 pm if I'm at work or else I'm SPRINTING into the house with no chance to say "hello" to Joey. But it's good!
On the docket for the rest of the week? Reading for Ethnic Lit, and working on a paper. Working on my project for Research Bib/Methods, writing another two frugal articles, and practicing the song I'm recording Monday afternoon (I'm wondering when I'll get to practice since I can't sing).
Sunday, September 20, 2009
This one made me laugh today, so I figured I'd share with you (also, especially for my mom, who has a deep connection with raccoons...). I always save my LOL Cats for last on my Google Reader...saving the best for last, I suppose.
As quickly as it began, my three day (that was supposed to be a camping trip) weekend is now over. I've been 25 hours with no hydrocodone...a little pain, but I'm going to wait until I go to bed to take another one so I can get used to not having it in my system. I've never had an "injury" this bad before, so I didn't believe Joey when he told me how much better I'd feel after spending a weekend doing nothing. He was so right.
Tomorrow will be back to the grind, though. I'm a little nervous, really, because I took things so slow this weekend...we just went to Wal Mart today and I had to take a 1.5 hour nap afterward. Tomorrow will be a full work day, and then knitting group at 6:30. Hopefully, I'll be able to stay the whole time.
Good night, everyone!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
- Save the stone. Nope. He just told me what it was going to look like and to look for it. After the fifth person asked me "did they send the stone off for diagnostics?," I felt like a pretty big fool for not saving it on my own. Hopefully, it's not hereditary and whatever dietary changes I make as a result will keep me from having another one.
- Sometimes the pain afterward is just as bad, or worse, than the pain before. My Aunt passed that one along to me (and I'm very grateful. I thought I had another one and was terrified). I passed the stone on Monday and spent Monday night taking a hot shower every hour just to get relief...finally got to sleep at 4 am and then went to work on Tuesday.
- Patients (women, in particular) should have 48 hours of bed rest after passing the stone. I should have been home on Tuesday and Wednesday not doing anything. Instead, I went to work and worked full days. I'm sure that did WONDERS for my muscles in my side and back, as well as my torn ureter, etc.
- It can take two weeks to heal...I have two friends to thank for that bit of knowledge. I had to call the doc again Thursday to ask him to call in another hydrocodone prescription for me so I would have more pain relief since his "48 hour" healing time didn't pan out that way.
So, thanks to family, friends, and extensive internet searches, I've spent yesterday and thus far today doing precious little. Joey didn't let me out of bed at all yesterday, save for an hour at dinner time to eat and watch Jeopardy and 1/2 of AFV. I just made it out to the recliner about an hour ago, and thus far, I'm not having much pain and haven't had any hydrocodone since 4:30 this morning.
I'm thinking about trying to find a new PCP...I've been staying with this one because he's the same guy I've had since I started college ten years ago, so I have history with him, but I don't like feeling like I didn't get a full picture of what I would be facing with this. I feel like I've done a pretty good job over the past year of the anxiety/depression treatment of not being afraid of the doctor anymore, but no one likes having something wrong with them and not knowing either what it is or what to expect. I'm also pre-hypertensive and stress also manifests itself in a physical way with me. I might need to switch to someone who'll listen to me and help me to be actively involved in my own health. I guess it's something to think about.
Well, that's about all I've got right now. Schoolwork is done for the day. I'm going to relax.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, I felt a little weird all day; I had a little tummyache and when I woke up from my car-nap, I felt really panicky for no apparent reason and couldn't calm myself down. The rest of the afternoon/night went fine, though, so I didn't think anything of either problem.
Until about 1 am. I was struck with the worst pain I've ever felt in my life; it seared through my left side and back, causing my back muscles to begin to spasm. I thought I was just having stomach cramps, so I told Joey I was going to go into the living room so I wouldn't disrupt him. I spent the rest of the night writhing in absolute agony, simultaneously feeling overheated and having chills, all topped by wave after wave a nausea. Finally, at 4 am, I made Joey drive to Wal-Mart to pick up a heating pad and some Ibuprofen. I told him I'd call the doc once they opened and he went to work. I prayed I'd pass out from the pain a few times. From the symptoms I was describing, several people told me that I probably had a kidney infection. I've never had one before, so I didn't really know how bad it would hurt.
The doc's office worked me in at 12:30, and I spent the rest of the morning jumping into a hot shower every hour to help with the pain. I was heartened, though, b/c I was told that, if it was a kidney infection, I would feel a ton better as soon as I started the antibiotic.
Not so. The doc thought that I probably had a kidney stone rather than an infection and sent me home with a tiny strainer to pee through and a prescription for hydrocodone and an antibiotic just in case there was any infection. A few thoughts on this:
- Hydrocodone does NOTHING. If I'd know that it was only acetamenaphin and codein, I would have told the doctor where he could put it, since Tylenol has NEVER worked on me.
- Peeing through a strainer is one of the most difficult things I've tried. It's nearly impossible to do without peeing all over one's hand and being totally grossed out.
- Either the pain pill or the antibiotic is supposed to cause constipation. Great. Give someone with excruciating pain in their stomach a pill that's going to make them have to pop an eyeball out to poop.
So, the treatment prescribed was to drink tons of fluid and try to flush the little sucker out. I spent our one and only evening with our friend James (who got a pass before he went to Iraq) feeling crappy, but the pain subsided that night. Saturday, I felt GREAT! Surely I must have passed it, yes? We went up to Charlotte and had breakfast, went shooting, and had lunch with my parents. I was doing great until about 11 that night. *sigh*....another night spent writhing in agony...this time, in bed as I asked Joey to take the chair in the living room. Another night of hot showers every hour so I could get ten minutes of sleep. Another night of having the shakes from the pain. The stone had only lodged temporarily and was now on the move again.
I had to miss church yesterday. I've had to stay home from work again today. I've tried the home remedies and I'm hoping they'll kick in.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Dinner last night was some excellent potato hash that Joey made (check out the recipe HERE). It was incredibly tasty with a little hot sauce and some ketchup!
Here's a pic of the raw almond butter that I made the other night! I didn't process it for long enough, so it's pretty thick, but I'm learning that it's good on/in pretty much anything! Yesterday, I put a little in my brown rice and added some sesame furikake for a savory, nutty treat! Today, I had it in oatmeal, and I thinned a little out and put it on some steamed broccoli, which was interesting, but not bad at all! I'll definitely roast the almonds before the next batch, though...it's supposed to do wonders for the flavor.
Here's a side-shot, and yes, we do recycle our glass jars. We used to mix up powdered milk, and it tastes better when kept in the fridge in glass containers. They also come in handy for sauces and stuff like this, and the jars and lids go through the dishwasher just fine. Why buy thousands of plastic containers when you're almost sure to have used something in a glass jar recently??
Tomorrow's Joey's super-early day again (going to Wake Forest), so he'll be up and moving before 3 am. Gotta love it. I'm so proud of him.