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30 March 2010

I can't think of a title

I'm very tired.  I've been dragging the past couple of weeks.  Last week i had the chiro i work with check me - he does "nutritional testing" via kinesology that i have found to be very accurate.  (Lab work confirmed his determination after he did the tests.)  

I tested positive for pesticides - which has me rather puzzled as i eat mostly organic food - & my adrenals are shot - also not a surprise.  He said he'd never had anyone test for adrenals as high (meaning needing so many supplements) before.  I also bought the saliva tests for adrenals & other hormones.  Did that yesterday, so i started the supplements today.

The fact is i've got a lot of supplements, & i don't use them much.  Vitamin D3 is probably the only one i take regularly at all.  If i'm really honest, i think it is because i don't really believe they will help me much.  I think i'm past believing that anything will help much.  

We are going to San Diego for Easter.  It has always been tradition for us to go to Duane's Aunt & Uncle's place for a big family potluck (here in OC).  However, this year Duane's step-brother T doesn't want to go there.  (We're told he said that he didn't want to spend Easter with R, a cousin he is working for & there are some issues.)  So T is having Easter at his house & Duane's mom & (step) dad are going there.  I hate family drama!  

This happened once before when X was mad at Y & didn't want to spend a holiday with them.  We were able to smooth things over some then & work it out, but there is no smoothing this.  We would understand if T had said, "I'm not home often (he's been working in Las Vegas) & i'd rather not go somewhere else for the holiday."  But we don't want to get in the middle of a family issue OR have to make a choice, so we're going for a third option - we're spending the time with my sister in San Diego.  

If the family is going to start drama we will opt out & take a third option.  We will see some of the family on Easter, however, as Duane's niece K is being baptized & most of the family will be there.  We will go to San Diego afterward. 

Now that Grandma is not really in the picture anymore (she's in a skilled care center & has lost most of her memory) this will be happening more & more.  Folks don't really want to travel much for holidays.  Of course, most of the time WE are traveling a lot, but that is the reality of our decision to move 100 miles away.  Still, as time goes on i can see that the big family function will fall away, & the individual families will be the ones getting together.  We need to realize it will happen in time.

I'm staying home next week, tho.  Maybe that will give me a chance to rest a bit. 

I meant to bring the camera today, to take pics of the mountains & how much snow we still have.  I forgot to grab it, however.  The weather has been really nice & warm.  Our non-fruit trees are budding to start leaves.  I hope the fruit trees hold off for a while yet.  We are expecting 3-6 inches of snow in the next couple of days.  

So, in hopes of spring, here is a pic of our tulips last year on 22 April. 


28 March 2010

Sundry post for Sunday

 Duane is down the hill today.  It is his last Search & Rescue training weekend.  I've debated with myself on going to church alone today.  Today is the day, Palm Sunday, that our Lutheran Church always has a celebration with a big potluck (traditional Easter food with ham, etc.) & baskets & egg hunt for the kids.  Yesterday all day i was saying, "Yeah, i'll go . . . no i won't.  I won't go . . . oh, i think i will."

But, i think i won't go.  Potlucks are problematic for me as far as food goes.  Also, i find it irritating that because there is so much food there, i end up bringing home 3/4s of what i brought.  I'm also in more pain this weekend & have the beginning of a headache.  I think i'll stay home.

Rebecca made pasta this week & Duane & i had manicotti!  That is the one thing i miss most about gluten-free.  It tasted good & stayed together so well.  Rebecca was so pleased - she'd never made homemade pasta before.  We were pleased, too.  I think it could have been rolled a little thinner, but otherwise was perfect.  She also rolled some in eggplant cut in thin slices (because i had an eggplant that needed to be used). 

She made the above cookie bars.  They are suppose to be a GF version of the Girl Scouts Samoa cookies (the name has changed, i don't remember what they are called now).  These i'm not so sure about.  She followed the recipe & didn't do anything wrong.  Over all they taste good.  I just find the cookie part a bit overwhelming to the rest of it.  

I've mentioned before that i've made a lot of changes in my diet, & in cleaning supplies & laundry detergents, & in personal care products in an effort to be more healthy.  Cleaning is done mostly with vinegar, baking soda, & sometimes Theives oil (for cleaning) by Young Living. I stopped using regular shampoos from the drug or grocery store & found my head didn't itch anymore by not having Sodium Laurel Sulfate (& variations of this) & parabens in my shampoos.  

I also stopped using commercial antiperspirants/deodorants.    These have aluminum in them.  Frankly, no one needs aluminum added to their bodies.  Of course, the claim is that applying something to your skin doesn't effect you because it isn't absorbed, but that is ridiculous.  If it is not absorbed, then medications applied by a patch on skin would do nothing.  Aluminum is not needed or desired in our bodies.  It is well known that biopsies on folks who have died from Alzheimer's disease have been found to have deposits of aluminum in their brains.  We don't know where this came from, if it causes Alzheimer's disease or is a byproduct of the disease.  There are too many questions.  However, i believe that wherever we can reduce exposure we should.  Pots & pans are often made from aluminum, antiperspirants contain it, & most importantly, vaccines often contain aluminum.  There are probably many other sources as well.

Anyway, i began a quest for alternatives to conventionally marketed deodorants/antiperspirants.  Dr. Mercola says he is fine with just soap & water, however i have not found that to be true for me.  I would imagine that his diet is much more pure & "perfect" than mine.  I do believe i'm less stinky since i've cleaned up my diet, but i know that i need something.  

It was about 3-1/2 years ago i first started out with the mineral sold at health food stores.  It comes in a solid rock, but it also comes in a liquid spray.  I've since learned that this contains natural aluminum salts, so i honestly wouldn't recommend it, but it turned out to be academic for me.  I broke out in a rash from it & it was awful.  I itched & itched & nothing seemed to help.  This was when i learned that i don't tolerate lavender oil on my skin, either.  I tried remedy after remedy (baking soda on broken skin is very painful).  

Eventually i landed on the idea of using diaper cream because i was so itchy/uncomfortable that nothing seemed to work.  Diaper cream is zinc based & zinc IS good for the body.  I tried a number of different creams before finding this one (Little Twig), which i like.  I used to use it with a little tea tree oil.  I tried tea tree oil alone & found it didn't work as well for odor, but the cream by itself works fine.  

Of course it is rather inconvenient.  It is applied with fingers & then they have to be washed & as it is a heavy cream it doesn't come off all that well.  Also, i had to be careful putting on my clothes with it because it can leave marks & stain.  

Last summer i read of someone who had made their own deodorant & put it in a deodorant container.  That had me intrigued because of the convenience.  Of course, there are down sides.  This person said that it had to be refrigerated!   I did an online search & found a number of different recipes.  So decided to try making my own last September.

I have an old Pyrex bowl that i use as a double boiler for when i make concoctions.  I used it to melt equal parts of the above pictured diaper cream, shea butter, coco butter, jojoba butter, coconut oil, & lanolin.  When this was all melted & blended i mixed in equal parts of baking soda & corn starch ( think about 2 TB each).  The first time i made it i also added a facial clay powder, but i've found it wasn't necessary; made it tend to cake more.

I poured it into an empty deodorant dispenser & let it cool.  I did not refrigerate it as this is Big Bear, it was already quite cool in our house.  It kept its solidity.  I like it very much.  It works well.  It also goes on lighter than the diaper cream & is more transparent.  If you wanted it completely transparent, leave out the zinc cream.  If you want it scented, you could add a couple of drops of essential oil, too. 

I made two of these & took one to Costa Mesa (Orange County) with us.  That was a mistake.  It is much warmer there.  The melting point of all these items is fairly low.  It didn't melt but it did become gel-like.  The bottom of this dispenser is not a cap but simply a grid that pushes up the solid deodorant.  With the mixture at a gel-like consistency, the grid pushed itself up thru the mixture & was not at all a success.  Refrigeration is necessary for this stuff in warmer climates.  So, when we are in OC, i have this mixture in an empty diaper cream container & simply apply with my fingers as i did before.  

The original dispenser i made lasted 5 months (& i still have lots in the jar in OC from that first try).  It is easy to use too much.   I've found that just a light coating on the skin is sufficient & doesn't cake that way.

Big Bear does get warm in the summer, so i expect that by mid-June i'm going to have to put this stuff in the fridge & use an alternative for the warm months.  (It is pretty cool again by mid-September.)  Applying with my fingers isn't too much of an issue, but i think i am going to try something else.  Antiperspirants also come in gels & those containers are different.  I think i will try & see if i can put this in a container made for a gel antiperspirant & see how that works for OC & summer Big Bear.  But i've not done it yet.  

Another issue i've had is with hand/body creams.  Frankly, i wouldn't touch anything from Bath & Bodyworks these days.  Duane & i both have problems with the heavy scents & they contain a myriad of chemicals i don't want.  The health food stores have plenty of alternatives.  You still have to check the labels, however, because many of the ones sold there still contain parabens, proplyene glycol, & other nasties.  I've tried creating my own (some including the above products for the deodorant) & have found them often to be too sticky or oily.  

Last winter, well before Christmas 2008, i found that my skin was dry & nothing i tried seemed to help.  My hands were very dry & they even began to crack around my nail beds.  In desperation i did an online search.  I honestly didn't find a lot - well, i found plenty, but none that seemed to work for me.  (Petroleum jelly, avocado, bag balm, Neutrogena, & many others were recommended.)  Then i ran across a home remedy site.  I can't give it to you, for i just went back to find that it is down.  At that site i came across a post of a lady who said she is diabetic & nothing had worked for her, not even Rx lotions prescribed by her doc.  She then came across an old recipe that said, 1 part vegetable glycerin & 4 parts distilled water.  She said this cured her dry skin when nothing else had.  

As i was planning to make this, i saw a bottle of aloe vera juice at the store & thought that it would be a good substitute for the distilled water.  So i made the moisturizer with the same parts of glycerin to liquid but used some distilled water & some aloe vera juice. (These days i don't bother with the distilled water.)

This aloe vera juice is made to drink (& vegetable glycerin is also something you can eat, it is a bit sweet).  I'll be honest, with these preservatives i wouldn't drink it.  I think it this tiny bit is ok on skin.  Or, you can buy aloe vera juice that has no preservatives. 

I pour the mixture in a spray bottle & spray it on because it is very liquid. I do have a bottle left over from the glycerin which i refilled with the mix & i keep in it my office.  I use it by just pouring it in my hand.  I use this all over, hands, face, feet & any other part of me that needs moisturizing.  Some folks love this, others don't care for it.  If you get too much glycerin it will be sticky.  I've added a couple of drops of Miessence orange oil for scent.  This does make the solution a bit cloudy instead of clear.  My sister mixes this with rose or orange water in place of some of the liquid because she wants it scented.  I also sometimes add grapefruit seed oil (which is also something you can eat) as a preservative, but so far i've not found it necessary.

I will tell you that while many women like this (it does make your skin feel silky), all three of the men i know who have tried it have complained that it is "sticky."  I believe this to be because most men don't use lotion or anything else, so they find all things like this to be sticky or oily.  

After i'd made this & shared it with the office manager, Lori, at work, she told me that the office used to have a patient in her 80s who would come in.  Lori said her skin was beautiful & her hands looked like she was in her 30s.  Lori asked her what she used & this lady had said, "Glycerin & water."  

I've not had a problem with dry skin since i began using this.  

Duane will be home soon.  He called saying that he passed his test & is coming.  

Since i was in the kitchen anyway, i took pics of my herbs i've sitting in there.  

Have a nice day.  :)


23 March 2010

The internet has ruined my mind!

. . . and other random thoughts.

I've mentioned before, i tend to have between 10 & 15 windows opened at a time, sometimes more.  I flit between them.  I read a couple of paragraphs one place, go & play a game for one round, write a paragraph, check my calender, etc.  I can't seem to focus on any one thing for any length of time.  Sigh.

I can focus on a book for a long time, but if i'm reading a book from a download, i go thru the same "skip here & there" game.  I would like to write more, but when i'm on the computer i seem to have a hard time with my ability to focus.  

I meant to mention it a couple of weeks ago, but i never got around to it.  Two weeks ago we left Sugarbear at 9.30 AM & it was 18F at the time.  We got to Costa Mesa/Newport Beach about 2 hours later.  It is 100 miles to drive, but as the crow flies i'd guess it to be about 80.  I had lunch sitting outside in the sun & wind & almost 70F.  Of course, i don't have to go that far for the warmth, just a 30 mile drive has us down in the desert & heat.  But i still think it funny/strange.  Only in So Cal.  :)

(I didn't go read anything else there - i went & knitted a row on the hat on which i'm working.)

Duane & i were considering a trip to Wisconsin in May.  A cousin of his is getting married.  He'd like to go because he's not seen some of the family in quite a while & we've not been to WI in almost 5 years.  But, he doesn't want to go for other reasons, like the cost, & taking time off work, & he's not very close to this cousin.  Also it conflicts with a Search & Rescue weekend that only happens once a year (the Mud Run).  So we are not going.  I have to say i'm a little relieved because i'm not sure how i'd manage a trip.  The one last year was difficult.  But i also wanted to support him in whatever he really wants to do.  

(That break was actually work - i did an hour massage.)

This is a very pretty little vid, about 2 minutes.  (If you don't like the sound up on your computer - i don't, personally - you don't need it; this is only background music.)  The Best Way Out is Always Through

(Ok, i did go read email, too.)

(And one hand of solitaire.)

Rebecca is working out well.  I'm so pleased.  There are a couple of things.  Duane didn't like how she made one of my standards this week, & we'll have to talk about substitutions.  But over all it is going quite well.  I have to admit i feel guilty about having "household help."  I've been raised that i SHOULD do this myself.  But part of me feels i could get pretty used to this - & spoilt by it!  I almost feel like a "lady of luxury" & that contributes to the guilt.

My mother called Sunday evening.  I knew that she hadn't been feeling well the day before because of something my dad said in response to one of my uncles' email.  (My dad usually doesn't respond to my email, nor would he come to the phone when mother called.)  Anyway, i said asked if she was feeling better & she said, "Who told you that?" about being ill.  I explained, & she said, well, yes that she had had a fever the day before & hadn't felt well.  Then she said, "So i was lazy & didn't go to church today."  She said this in a variety of different ways at least 4 times in our conversation.  "I was lazy today . . . "

I can't claim i didn't know this about her (& my dad as well), but, well, i guess i'd kind of forgotten.  For my mother, the fact that she had been ill & needed to recooperate equated "lazy."  I now understand better why i tend to label myself that way. 

I think that's all.  My mind is blanking out.  

I've not posted pics in a while.  I keep forgetting to take the camera down the hill with us.  The days have been much warmer (nights still in the 20s) but there is still a lot of snow on the mountain.  The road we use is much busier, too, as the road that most people use has been closed for repairs.  They say it will be closed until June (i heard April, but Duane says June & he'd have it direct from the sheriff's dept.).  I figure it will have to be an exercise in patience for me.

I've been meaning to write about a couple of things i make at home to use, a moisturizing spray & home made deodorant.  Next time.  :)


21 March 2010

wow. 300. i didn't even plan

I've known for a while that this post was coming up, but i've been so busy that i've not even thought about something special for number three hundred.  

So this will just be a mundane thing, nothing special.  

I tend to open windows of things that i want to remember but don't want to book mark.  Currently i have the following windows open:

Understanding the Different Phases of Chronic Fatigue.  This is a most informative article.  I've had CFS/CFIDS for a very long time & have know about it for a couple of years now.  Still, even tho this was presented on FB as info for "newly diagnosed" folks, i found it very informative.  Also i think it will be a good tool to use when i share with folks what i'm fighting.  I also found a good list of 10 Discoveries About the Biology of CFS.  But it is in pdf format & i don't know how to attach it here.  It is on the scientific discoveries that proves that CFS/CFIDS is not just psychological or depression.  

That sounds like i'm running down depression ("just depression") & i am NOT.  I know how difficult depression can be.  But i have found it very frustrating when i go to a doc with what i know is a PHYSICAL issue & to have them tell me, "Oh, you're just depressed." They they prescribe meds that do not help or often make it worse.  I know i'm not alone in this frustration, & so it is very good to find scientific evidence to counter the ignorance of these M.D.s.

Another site i have open is Vaccines and How They are Made.  Gives ingredients in the vaccines.  Let me just say there is no living body - whether animal or human - that needs formaldehyde or aluminum added.  No benefit, lots of harm.  I've got it open because my niece is open to reading some of this info, or she told me she is.  

The other one i've got open is an article from the NY Times about the fight ongoing in Texas about the determination of textbooks.  It is called How Christian  Were the Founders.  I have to say, given where it is published, i think it is a fairly balanced piece. 

My belief on this issue is summarized on page 6 ("those people" meaning the Christians trying to revise textbooks):  
. . . Brookhiser rather succinctly sumarizes the point:  "The founders were not as Christian as those people would like them to be, though they weren't as secularist as Christopher Hitchens would like them to be."

I have to say that i've never believed our founders intended to form a "Christian Nation."  I do believe they intended to form a nation as fair as they could devise, balanced, giving the people many freedoms including the freedom to worship as one is moved to do so, without fear of persecution.  I believe many of the founders were Christians, & a number were Deists.  I believe they wanted to form a nation where people would be free to follow their own dreams, beliefs, & paths.  A big part of that personal freedom was personal responsibility.  We have lost much of that dream as we have lost many of those freedoms.  

Duane's Aunt & Uncle stopped by to visit us yesterday.  They've been on a long trip from Wisconsin.  They are rambling around & taking their time.  We knew they would probably be coming (they planned for Friday but then changed to Saturday), so i had Rebecca make a big Mexican Lasagna.  They called about 1.30 yesterday to tell us they were coming.  We waited & waited & wondered if they were held up in traffic or had an accident, because they didn't arrive until 5.45 (it is a 2 hour drive, normally).  So i got ready to put dinner in the oven, & she said, "Oh, no!  We're not hungry.  We stopped to eat on the way.  We didn't want to put anybody out."   ???

Ok . . . you arrive at 5.45, Duane & i have been expecting you for a couple of hours.  WE didn't eat, planning to have dinner when you arrived.  WHAT do we do now?

We didn't eat.  We showed them around town.  We visited in the evening for a while & played a game.  I think we were busy enough that neither of us thought of food much.  His Aunt & Uncle didn't plan to stay the night but then did.  They left rather early this AM (& wouldn't let us take them to breakfast).  

Now, i like these people.  We both like them very much.  Of all Duane's relatives, these are some of the ones with whom i'm most comfortable.  But WHAT were they thinking arriving at that time & having already eaten when we had dinner planned?  I suppose it is partly my fault for not making it clear that we did expect them for dinner.   I understand not "wanting to put anybody out" but sometimes . . . ah, well.

Rebecca brought her daughter on Friday as her SIL wasn't available to babysit.  Her daughter, Madie, is 2-1/2.  I enjoyed it so much.  I'd forgotten how much children laugh.  :)


15 March 2010

I've had something exciting happen

(NOT pregnancy, however.)  I'd like to share it.  I've written about it extensively at my other blog, I looked for love.  It is a long post.  It is also "religious" - so if you are not interested in my journey of faith, you can skip it.  I'd love to share it with you, however.  ;)


13 March 2010

I am blessed

But that shouldn't be a surprise.  I think i mentioned that Duane was supportive of having someone come in weekly when i first mentioned it to him.  But when the actual cost was brought up i think it gave him pause.  But he has said no more about it.  I am so blessed to be with such a wonderful man.  

Rebecca was here yesterday.  I did almost no work at all.

I over did last week, & then didn't do strict bed rest.  The result was that i dragged myself thru the week at a barely functioning level.  When we got home Thursday night, i aspirated a small amount of food or liquid & coughed so that i thought i would die.  I coughed until i thought my head would explode & my eyes were crying like rivers.  If i had any predisposition to having a stroke or aneurysm, that would have done it.  I've continued to have a deep cough (but not at that same brain-breaking level) whenever i move around much.  I was totally exhausted by the time Rebecca arrived yesterday.

She made lunch for Duane & me.  She made a lovely salad for me & also a poppyseed dressing to go on it.  (And, again, i forgot it was Friday & had her fix Duane some Italian sausage i'd gotten for him.  My fault, it wouldn't even hit her radar as she is Baptist.  It didn't hit my radar either - he mentioned it to me later.)  She also made a corn/potato soup, vegetarian chili, & eggplant ready to turn into eggplant parmasean.  Together we made peanutbutter cookies, chicken cordon bleu, & baked chicken to use in meals for Duane in the future.  

She also did or started 3 loads of laundry for me.  Having someone else do my laundry (that isn't sheets or towels) is weird for me.  But i'm appreciative just the same.  

Duane is away for the weekend.  He is doing his second weekend of SAR (Search & Rescue) training.  He left about 5 AM today.  He'll be home tomorrow about 5 or 6.  

I'm happy that he is doing this.  So glad that he has found a local group to be part of & that he so enjoys.

But his being away messes with my way of thinking.  Like serving him meat yesterday.  When i had Rebecca fix it i was only thinking that we needed to use up that sausage before it went bad & that he wouldn't be here on the weekend to eat it.  He's only going to be away on this training one more weekend - AND i need to remember NOT to buy meat for him that week.

The other thing that is different is church issues.  I've already decided that i will not attend our Lutheran Church without him.  I tend to get off-balance there & he helps me to have things in perspective better.  Or we comiserate & complain.    But i also don't want to attend a new small church without him.  If we are going to visit a new church i'd like to do it together.  Also, i have to decide if i'll attend the Lutheran Church - for our traditional potluck, etc., without him.  I'm not sure at this point.

Last week at church (Lutheran) they had no one to do the children's service (both the Sunday School people were ill).  But we didn't have anything for the little ones (about ages 4 - 7) to do.  I went into the office & got some paper & crayons for them to use.  So, i've done tracings of a couple of the stained glass windows we have in our church.  I'll give them to the office manager to copy so we will have them on hand for the kids.   

Here is something i did to use as paper for letters Duane & i send out:

Yesterday while barely able to get out of bed & unable to do much in the house at all, i found myself wondering, "Okay, what CAN i do?"  So i am searching for things to do when i'm unable to get out of bed.  Of course, there are things for me to do, but i find myself wasting a lot of time on the computer.  The computer can be productive, but i often use it as a time waster.  I need to be more productive - for my own mental health - even if i'm bed-bound.  I'm sure i'll find something.


11 March 2010

Cats, cats, cats

Pioneer Woman is having a new photography contest.  This time it is cats.  (It was dogs a couple of weeks ago.)  So, cat photos!  Of course, i think ours should win.  These are the ones i've submitted:

I think i took this one, but i'm not sure (all the others here were taken by Duane).  I like the quality of light here.  Jazz was about 3 months out from a lion cut.

This is so much a "Mac attitude" - him just being smug! that i had to put it in.  This was before we got Jazz.  Mac was also about 4 months out from a lion cut here.  Duane took this pic.

Duane took this of Jazz shortly after we got him.  Jazz was only 8 weeks old when we brought him home.  I love the look of this.  Duane said it looks like a "glamor shot."

Duane took this when Jazz was about 4 months old.  I think this looks like a glamor shot, too.  I love the two cats together like this.  And the colors.

But this was the sequence of events before that pic:  Mac, "Ah, a chance to relax!  No bothersome kitten around.  Sigh.  Just me."

"Hey!  Where'd you come from?  Aaaarrrggg!  Stop biting!"

"Okay, okay!  I'll clean your head.  Just stop biting!"

So, the caption on this pic should really be, "Ah, did you say something?" to the people, NOT "Peaceful coexistence."

I love this pic of Mac, taken about the same time as the ones above.  I'd submit this one, too, but i'm only allowed one per day.

 Jazz, of course, can't leave well enough alone.

 Seems he was always biting Mac in those days.  He still does some, but not as much.  I think Mac worked very hard at ignoring Jazz in the early days.  Jazz in response found that biting got Mac's attention!

A "Jazz in bag" pic.  

I just love this one of Jazz!  The expression on his face is hilarious.  :)

I have been a bit . . . i think one of my submitted pics should win.  Duane did some excellent shots.  Of course, there are over 46,000 entries!  Also, Duane pointed out to me that Ree (PW) really favors "bokeh" shots.  Those are the ones where part of the pic is in focus, & the rest is out of focus & blurring into foreground/background.  We looked thru the 3 days so far where she has posted her favorites, & the large majority are bokeh shots.  But, these that i like & have submitted are mostly in focus.  

Ah, well, i get to show them off here, anyway!

This is Minx.  Or rather she was Minx, tho i usually called her "Little Girl."  I had her from a kitten.  She is the only female cat i've ever owned.  A few months after my cat Bronson died, i brought home Mac thinking that she needed a companion.  Minx hated him & acted like prey, so he stalked her & things got really bad.  I was trying to find a home for Mac & having no luck.  I was running out of options & getting desperate when my dear friend J offered to take Minx.  

That was hard for me.  I've never re-homed an animal that was mine before.  Well, not since i was a kid, anyway.  I feel an animal that i've taken on is my responsibility for the life of the animal.  But it worked.  My friend J & her hubby renamed her "Sudoku" & she ran their household!  I never treated Sudoku/Minx like the princess she knows she is, & she is rather cool to me when i visit J.  But J's husband has developed allergies to her, & they are looking for a new home for her.  We, of course, can't take her.  Even if we didn't have Mac & Jazz, i think she would be very unhappy that we are away from home so much.  

So, if you happen to think on it in the next couple of weeks, please pray that she will find a good home that is a good fit for her.  She's a bit high strung & gets anxious easily, & seems rather fearful.  I'm worried, but can't do anything to "fix" this.  

Thanks.  :)


08 March 2010

Last night i had the strangest dream . . .

Not really, but that song is going thru my head right now.  (Matthew Wilder, yes i'm old!)

I made spaghetti last night with the sauce Rebecca & i made Friday.  (It needed mushrooms, but i forgot to buy them.)  

I made them with this GF pasta, & let me tell you, it was wonderful!  Far & away the best GF pasta i've found yet.  Duane didn't realize it was GF.  This company knows how to do it right!  Hope i can find more of it.  

Now, over all, i will admit that when you go GF, i believe that it is best NOT to find a lot of substitutes for the bread/pasta/grains that you previously ate.  I think the healthiest diets are those with minimal carbs (meaning severely limited sugars/sweeteners, pasta/bread, & grains).  I will admit - i love sugar!  I loved baked goods.  And sometimes i miss pasta.  But i am trying to limit how much of these things i have in my life.  But . . . when you're going to eat them, they might as well be good.  And the spaghetti we had by Andean Dream was good!

I've been routinely attending the Monday AM knit group.  I like it.  These folks aren't friends (yet, we're "friendly" currently) but it is so good to connect with people.  I've missed it.  

I've started knitting a baby blanket for my niece.  I've no idea when she is due.  From the FB posting, i would guess August?  Do i need to say this is hard for me?  

I knew, with my first husband, that we wouldn't have children.  I wanted them, but we had male factor infertility.  (And, as we are divorced, of course it was the best thing.  He also had a daughter by a previous marriage & he didn't do right by her, he would not have done anything for our children had we had them.)  

When Sis #2 was pregnant with her first, i frankly was heartbroken with jealousy.  It didn't help that when i talked to her she went on & on & on about the discomforts of said pregnancy, or later, about breastfeeding.  (I've mentioned that Sis #2 tends to be a bit narcissitic?)  

I called Sis #2 after reading the FB info.  Again, honestly, i'm again heartbroken with jealousy.  Life sure isn't very fair.  It's not that i don't want my niece (EJ) to have children, but i sure wish we could be blessed that way, too.

Sis #2 talked for quite a long time.  She's a lot going on in her life & most of it is not easy or pleasant right now.  I didn't share my feelings about EJ's pregnancy, but Sis did talk about it.  She feels "disrespected."  Say what???

EJ was a month short of 20 when she married last June.  She promised her parents (& her future husband promised too) that she would finish college before having children.  My sis feels that her daughter should keep her promises & when she gave her word, to live up to it.

I will agree with my sis on some things.  The family EJ married into holds no respect for education.  Several promises made before the wedding (by the groom's family) were not kept.  The FIL has been pushing them to have children "ASAP" when it really is none of his business.  

But as for my sister feeling "disrespected" because her daughter is having a child now?  Pssst!  She needs to realize that EJ didn't need her permission to marry when she did.  She was of age.  Personally, i think it would be better if EJ & T had not made promises before marrying (about school, family, etc.) but i think my sis needs to realize that her daughter is an adult & able to make her own choices.  If the plans she had before her marriage didn't go the way they intended?  That's life.  I think it is funny to hear my sis talk as if she could have stopped EJ from getting married.

They say we're expecting another couple of inches of snow tonight/tomorrow, & earlier i did see clouds coming over the mountain.  But if it is snowing, it much be on the west end of the valley.  My window view currently shows a cloudless, deep blue sky.  Much of the snow has melted off, but in thow this AM i could see where there are still places that the berms are still 8-10 feet high.  But most are much smaller.  The one along our curb is about a foot & a half.  

I think i kind of over-did the work on Friday.  I haven't had to have strict bed rest since then, but much more than "normal" for me.  I'm getting tired much faster & easier, & i'm also having a hard time staying warm.  I seem to get chilled & can't warm up again.  I think it was ok for the first week of working with Rebecca, to get used to doing things together & how i prefer things done.  I'm not going to be able to keep it up, tho.  

We were at the Lutheran church yesterday.  First time in a month we'd been there.  Not sure when we'll go again.  Duane will be away on Palm Sunday doing the last weekend of his SAR training.  Traditionally, Palm Sunday is when this church celebrates with baskets & an Easter egg hunt for the kids & a potluck for the adults - well everyone - we do let the kids eat too.  This will be our 4th Easter in BB, & we've always attended this, & Duane usually helps.  Don't know if i want to go without him.  And as far as potlucks go, i usually can't trust food unless it is raw vegetables or something i've made myself. 

I have to say the sermon yesterday was the best i've heard him give in ages, maybe 2 years or more.  I really enjoyed it.  The way this church functions, church is early, at 9 AM.  Then they have almost an hour of "Fellowship" with snack foods.  They they (usually but not always) have a Bible study/Sunday school after that.  We don't stay for the BS/SS.  Yesterday i rushed Duane out so that we wouldn't be there for that at all.  The sermon was so good, i didn't want to hear another opinion from the pastor that might ruin it.

It has been a good choice for us not to attend the BS/SS.  Today at knitting i was visiting with someone who attended there for a while.  She labels herself as "somewhat liberal."  I would label myself as "moderately conservative."  The pastor there i would label as "extremely conservative."  Maybe even rabidly so.  It doesn't always come thru in his sermons, but from what this person said it was very apparent in the BS/SS teachings.  

I think i knew that, however.  I've been there later during BS/SS time, on the days i help with fellowship & am in the kitchen cleaning up.  The pastor will show movies but stop every few minutes to give his commentary/opinion, or history of what they are covering, or whatever.  That would drive me NUTS!  Besides the fact that i often - strongly - disagree with his opinion.  I would want to watch the whole thing before being interrupted.  (I almost said "before having discussion" but what he does is not discussion.) 

Not really fair to insert here, but another blog today (i don't remember if it was Jo's or Cindy's - ah i see it was Cindy) called someone a "twit."  I don't know the person involved, but she quoted the dictionary reference:  (the 3rd definiton) "an insignificant or bothersome person."  (The 4th definition is "an excited state; dither.")  I think this is why i don't Twitter!  (I'm bothersome enough already.)

Alane - i agree, part of the reason FB doesn't work all that well for me is that i do crave a deeper connection to people.  I'm not any closer to anyone at FB, but i know more about them.  However, it does keep me aware of "family news" i'd probably otherwise miss out on.  For that it is worth it to me to stay there.

Having said that about fatigue, i'm tired!  The snow still on our upstairs deck from the mid-January snow was bugging me.  It had melted off around the edges.  Also on the edges what was left was about 8 inches deep, but the middle part was 2 feet, heavy packed snow & icy.  I tossed some off the deck & Duane came out & helped.  I broke up what was left of the deep stuff & Duane says he'll pitch it over the side later. 


06 March 2010

Long week

So much has happened. 

Last week Duane was away for the weekend doing Search & Rescue (SAR) training.  Because a storm was expected & we were worried about icy mountain roads, he stayed with our friend JT.  JT is no closer to the SAR training than are we in BB, but Duane didn't have to navigate windy icy roads at 5.30 AM.  

We got about 5 inches of snow in that storm (& i shoveled it all from our driveway).  I wish i was a better photographer, because the almost-full moon on the snowfall that night was stunning.  Duane would know how to capture that, but i was limited.  I only do normal light settings or use a flash.  I guess i should learn how to do the longer exposure stuff.  

I decided to attend that Baptist church again, but to ask permission to sit in on one of the children's services.  I think one of the best ways to know what a church believes is to hear what they teach the children.  It almost backfired on me, for i couldn't find the person i knew to ask this permission (& i didn't have a "Plan B" - i didn't want to sit in the regular service).  But someone else found her for me.  I enjoyed the kids, there were six of them between ages seven & nine.  I didn't really do anything because i didn't want to step on the toes of the woman in charge.  Toward the end i helped with the craft some.  And yes, i've a better idea of what they push in this particular church.  

Duane is at their men's breakfast today.  I'm not quite sure why he wanted to do this at first, & then i strongly encouraged it.  I think, maybe, just to give him some more exposure to what they believe & what i was taught as a child.  (He just got back.  Said it wasn't bad.  He liked it better than the similar Lutheran men's Biblestudy.)

I just found that what i'd said last post about my comments being removed from that blog was not accurate.  I don't know how it happened, but i got a f/u email from that post.  There were only 4 comments, 2 were mine.  I don't know what i read later that had other comments & i got mixed up.  But i was wrong about being eliminated from the discussion.  

I had a busy week at work.  I did SIX hours of work!  Yeah, that's what happens when you're disabled.  I was exhausted after six hours.  But happy to do it.  I'm happy that i can.  My life would be so much more of a grey color & lifeless if i couldn't work a little. My ILs also had company (family) this week, so we didn't sleep where we normally do & i didn't get a lot of sleep.  I was pretty tired when we got home on Thursday.

I've learned that five women i know are pregnant, learned it in the past week.  I'm struggling with the "poor me" syndrome & feeling that life isn't fair.  Well, it's not!  But my whinging about it won't change it.  I need to change & accept.  It is hard & a struggle.  

Oh, i finished the sweater for my MIL for her BD (which was the 28th).  It is quite big & bulky on her (tho it is meant to be) & the top i got for her to wear underneath was too small.  On the neckline i took the easy way out & did a crocheted scallop instead of ribbing.  And i did just one of the horseshoe pattern down the sleeves rather than have the whole thing in pattern. 

Oh!  And joy, joy, joy!  I've found someone to help me in the house & especially with cooking.  Her name is Rebecca & she came yesterday.  The plan now is to have her come every Friday.  I'm having her do a little housework (bathrooms & vacuuming), but the focus is making meals & having the kitchen clean when we are done.  Yesterday we made:  2 meatloaves (for Duane) & enough meat balls for 2 meals; 2 shepherd's pies (all veggie, so mostly for me); 3 Vegetarian Mexican Lasagnas; a big crock of marinara  sauce to use for spaghetti, lasagna, etc.  Each of these (meatloaf, shepherd's pie, lasagnas) is enough for at least 2 meals.  Except, when i cook the meatloaf for Duane i'll be cooking shepherd's pie for me.  So it isn't exactly 9 + meals done.  But all told - with leftovers - it probably will cover close to 15 or more meals. 

Oh, we made lunch too.  Smashed potatoes (Pioneer Woman recipe) 

& macaroni & cheese (also from PW).  

(My mac & cheese didn't look like this image from PW!)  I'd tried to prepare the night before, so the potatoes had already been boiled.  Also the macaroni, which was a mistake.  I think i should have baked the potatoes just a little longer, but the M&C was inedible.  I struggle with GF pasta.  It either is too hard or turns to mush.  This turned to mush in the M&C & all i could taste was the starch.  But Rebecca tasted the sauce before we added the mac (& i didn't tell her in time, but i planned to put only half the mac in this) & she said it tasted fine.  (I used corn starch instead of flour in the recipe.)  So it will be good if i can ever manage to master good GF pasta.   

After i took the cost off of what is done in cleaning, i figure that if we get 20 meals a month out of what we're doing, it costs $16/meal for the labor (cost of the food not included).  But if i get more than 20 meals out of it, this cost goes down.   Less than what Duane & i would spend eating out, but not as cheap as if i were doing it myself.  Still, i think we got 4 times as much done yesterday as i would have done alone.  Even then, the dishes would not have been done & would have sat, bugging me, for a week or more.  

This is not a permanent thing, either.  Her husband has been notified that due to budget cuts he will not have a job (as a school teacher) here any more.  They are applying to jobs off the mountain & hope to have new jobs next fall so that they will be moving in the summer.  This isn't a bad thing (for me, i think they're disappointed).  If she & i can prepare enough, & i can gain more confidence in the kitchen, then when i hire someone else it can be for fewer times, like every other week, or every third week.  

I'm pretty tired.  Rebecca did much of the work, but some of the time we did it together as well.  I pushed myself pretty hard, but after she left i didn't have anything i had to do, & Duane put the Mexican lasagna in the oven for us.  And, i'm spending most of today resting. 

It has been a long week +.