Showing posts from 2011

12 Days of Christmas

"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.....Oh, that's MEAT!
"On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves...MORE MEAT!
"On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me THREE french HENS...ALSO MEAT!!!!
"On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds...MEAT!!!!
"On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...five golden rings! DONUTS!!!! (gotta have a side dish!)
"On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 Geese a laying...EGGS!!!! Egggxcellent!
"On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 7 swans a swimming...gosh, there's so much MEAT in this song!!!!
"On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 8 maids a milking...DAIRY PRODUCTS!!!! YUUUUUUMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!
"On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 ladies dancing...probably hopped up on CAFFEINE...
"On the tenth day of Chris…

Confessions of a Spiritual Lackwit

I feel like I'm in a place in my life where I am slowly moving forward. I know that having more energy than I had heretofore helps a lot with that, although honestly, this week has been a struggle, since I do feel like I'm "down with something vague". Various of my youngsters are feeling the same way, so it is probably not just my imagination.

As a mother, I can see that my kids are growing up and my relationships with them are changing a bit. They are challenging me! It's not always easy but they aren't shy about calling my crap crap, and so I'm trying to work hard on the virtues of gentleness and patience as I parent them through their teen years. I tend, by nature, to be loud and blustery and they don't. like. that. I'm working on it, though. Really, I am.

Sometimes it is hard to be patient with all of their various issues.

We had a big family meeting about meal times over dinner last night. One of my goals it to pre-plan my dinners …

Adventures with my Stupid Tooth: Edited Verson due to TMI complaint

In the past few years I've had two root canals and two crowns put into my mouth. This makes a total of three (yes, weak teeth is another one of those celiac things, apparently). And crowns are not cheap. In fact, I was in pain for over a year because I needed TWO root canals and could only affford to do one per year. But all that is in the past now.

Well, a week ago, I had made a crock pot fudge lava cake for my dd's sleepover, and while I was eating a small portion of that gooeyness, I lost one of my crowns. This was the SECOND time this particular crown had come loose, much to my dentist's astonishment. It's rare to lose them once. It's ultra rare to lose them twice.

I'm ultra-rare, but we already knew that, now didn't we?

So, the crown was gone.

Down the hatch. And as the saying goes, what goes in, must come out.

So, I waited upon it's joy-filled returned to the land of daylight.

Today, I took it to the dentist to sterilize and re-insert. I ask…

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I remember getting on a bus that day. It was November 2, 1982 and the bus was departing from in front of the SBB Bahnhof (train station) in Basel, Switzerland, headed for the airport in Mulhouse, France. (I could be wrong...but that's what I remember).

It was gray. I remember thinking that perhaps I'd never see this place again. I had the urge to kiss the ground and say goodbye but I did not do that.

I have no memories of the transatlantic flight, but I guess I must have some of flying in to New York City because I can't see pictures of the Statue of Liberty without choking up.

Of course I was excited. I was also scared out of my wits. I was coming to America and heretofore it was not my home. From now on it would be.

I remember flying from New York to Boston and the being picked up by a friend of my parents'. We stayed with them that first week. I've been to Boston in the fall! (unlike Larry the cucumber in the Pirates that don't do Anything song!)


Blame it on the Matrix

You know, I've blogged much more about the issues that my oldest dd has, than about anything concerning my other kids. The squeaky wheel and all that. (Always trying to maintain proper boundaries and privacy all along, as much as I can, of course. My goal is to never embarrass my kids on my blog.)

But I have another one of my children, and I've always said: Whatever is wrong with me, this one has the exact same thing.

There has been leg pain, and this kid has dropped out of scouting type activities from it. This kid cannot stand up in Church, has NEVER been able to stand up in Church due to leg pain. (It's frustrating, to say the least, in my everlasting quest to appear more pious than the next person, to have a kid of mine who can't stand up in Church...tongue firmly planted in cheek, in case you did not notice).

So I took this fast-growing-now-teenaged-"child" of mine to the same health care person that gave me so many answers.

She listened. She too…

Something to Say

The other day, someone posted a thingy on Facebook that said: "Having religion is like having a penis. You can be proud of your penis, you can like your penis, but please don't pull it out in public, talk about it, and please don't shove it down my children's throats." (not an exact quote...but that's the gist of it).

OK, so I've been thinking of this for two days. Here's my response:

My religion is like my nose.
It's right in the middle of my face, and everyone can see it.
It keeps me alive and helps me to breathe.
I probably won't talk about it, but it is there, a part of who I am, and I won't avoid mentioning it if the subject comes up.
It is a part of who I am and I won't apologize for it.
But since I'm not God, I won't go sticking my nose into other people's business, either.

The Danger Years

Last Sunday's gospel really struck me. I'd already been thinking about this blog post, and the gospel reading fit right in. It was the story of the seed and the sower...some seed falls on good soil, some on rocky soil, some that gets choked by weeds and some on the path of hard heartedness.

Father Alexis was so good as to point out that we are each of us all of these things. At various times. In various ways.

These are the danger years. I was speaking with my former priest, and he remarked on how so many of the folks in my former parish, who are my age, with kids in their teenage years, are no longer the "show up at every service" types.

We used to be. Lord knows, I was there! I used to be.

I am not any longer.

Like my title says: These are the Danger Years.

It is so easy for the cares and worries of life to choke out the spiritual fervor of our youth. I'm in my 40's now. My kids are teenagers, except for my tweleve year old who in some ways is more …

Adventures in Gluten Free/Casein Free cooking

Today I ventured into making of gfcf yeast donuts. It's Sunday, after all, and a body wants a little somethin'-somethin' after Divine Liturgy. It's really hard to say no to all those donuts in coffee hour in the Church fellowship hall week after week after week, and if I EVER will have a ghost of a chance of convincing my son to do gfcf, I'll need to be able to do things like donuts and apple fritters.

So, I used the basic yeast dough recipe at the and I added a bit more sugar...doubled it, actually.

Without waiting forever for this dough to rise, I just dropped balls of it into the fry-daddy set at 375 and fried them two minutes on each side. Easy, peasy.

I made about ten "donut holes" and drizzled honey on them and they disappeared right quickly. Next, I finely chopped an apple, and mixed apple bits and cinnamon into the rest of the dough and made apple fritters...those disappeared just as fast. We dusted them with powdered Sucanat…

More Answers

Here it is: Autoimmune thyroid disease, causing fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, and caused by gluten/dairy intolerance/leaky gut.

Add to that some serious nutritional and hormonal deficiencies. And chronic Epstein-Barr.

Makes for one sick lady.

And now, I am armed with my Armour Thyroid, a bunch of nutri-ceutical supplements, and a gluten free/casein free diet.

In a few months (perhaps the new year), I might start counting those Weight Watcher points again. I feel like with the medications I might actually have a ghost of a chance at ACTUALLY losing some weight. What a loop-di-loop road to healing I am on!

Maybe some Answers?

Last week I had that appointment with the Nurse Practitioner who came highly recommended by a good friend of mine. She listened, we talked. She gave me lots of questionaires to fill out, about different body systems. She asked questions and found things I did not even consider important or worth reporting on. She was thorough.

And I'll see her again for follow up and bloodwork results in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, she wanted me to do one thing: Go on a gluten free/casein free diet. Because, she said, I have all the symptoms of "leaky gut", and gut health is the bedrock of one's health. That...and there's lots of other things wrong that will get ferreted out. But for now, GFCF and we'll wait on the blood test results for seeing how messed up my hormones are.

Ok...I can do that. I assured her I was familiar with GFCF, having cooked for my daughter who tried that way of eating once before.

So, on week ago was my first full day of GF…

Baby Steps Towards Plain: Inspiration from a Desert Monk

A desert monk was summoned to Alexandria one day by his bishop. As he entered the city, he saw a prostitute, and he started to weep. "Why are you weeping, Abba?" his disciples asked him. "Because," he replied, "I am afraid for the soul of this young woman. And I am also weeping because she takes more time and effort to be attractive to men than I do to acquire the grace of God."

This is a story that Father Alexis told in his homily this morning, and although I cannot remember the name of the dessert monk in this story, I content really struck me. "...more time and effort to be attractive...than to acquire the grace of God."

And that is what I want to write about today. I think having a "plain" heart, means that this be NOT the case. And then I thought of "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." "All these things" here is clothes, and th…

Baby Steps Towards Plain: Definitions

One of the things keeping me from jumping whole hog into wearing "plain" clothes is that "plain" as traditionally defined by the religious groups that practice it, is almost "costumey". One of the motivations is that they be "distinctive from the world".

However, in my little project, I need to find a happy medium. What does "plain" mean for me in my more urban context (people do dress differently here than they do in small town USA)?

I came across a wonderful definition of clothing versus costume that I want to share: Costume could be anything we're wearing that is about deliberately projecting an image that's not aligned with our spirit & environment.And in thinking about all of this, the other thing that comes to mind is that it's more about what's in my heart than what's on my body, although I believe that the outside will reflect the inside.

So my baby steps towards plain are going to involve …

How it Went

SO....I had that appointment today and I really really liked my care giver. She's a nurse practitioner who is very very well informed and takes a holistic approach to her health care-giving. I filled out tons for forms and surveys for her, and my scores showed that I, for one thing, have an inflamed and leaky gut. We talked for a long time. Additionally, my scores on other forms I filled out show that most likely my thyroid, but also all my other hormones are a hot mess!

She was so well informed, listened to my concerns and was on the same page about lots of things: approves of raw milk drinking (although now I get to stick with raw goats milk), wants me to drink Kombucha and be on a gluten free/casein free diet. For starters. I'm seeing lots of bone broth in my future, I think. I've never been off dairy before, so that should be interesting. And I'll have to brush up on my gfcf knowledge base. Its been a few years since one of my kids tried that diet. The da…

Health Care Stuff

It's all I ever blog about, isn't it. I'm sick...blah blah blah...I feel lousy...yadayadayada....

I DO pray, you know. Lots of "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinners" happening around here. Especially while I'm crying in bed at night because I can't get to sleep. Yes, I am very aware that I write depressed person's blog.

So, today is the big day. In about ten minutes I'm off to see a new health care professional and hopefully get some treatment that will ACTUALLY HELP ME, rather than the smarmy "you are fine" garbage I usually get.

This appointment feels like I'm going to a job interview. I feel like I have to go in there and prove that I am "worthy" of treatment. I pray to God this care provider will treat me clinically, and not based on my blood work. Because I am the person who had a negative pregnancy blood test WHILE I WAS PREGNANT. Yes. I did. Blood tests can lie.

Or maybe God wil…

Baby Steps Towards Plain

Plain dressing has, for years, fascinated me. I think Quakers who are plain, the Amish, the Mennonites, Monastics, are all so beautiful in their way. What attracts me to their way of dress is the simplicity and the plain-ness. Now, without being a part of a community that has such a uniform, dressing in such a manner would almost be presumptuous, like going around dressing like a Pirate all the time would be presumptuous. It would be dressing in a costume.

My long time readers will remember that I did a project two years ago, in the autumn, where wore the same two identical brown dresses for a month. It was an exploration of simplicity. It was a fast of sorts. It was a way for me to confront my own accquisitivenes and my own vanity. It is time for me to do another such project.

This time, I am calling the project "Baby Steps Towards Plain". The parameters and the goal of my project will be a little bit different, and I have not thought completely of all that it will …

National Chronic Invisible Illness Week: "You Just Don't Get It"

Tonight I went to an American Heritage Girls meeting with two of my girls. Last year I was an assistant leader, but this year I'm just being a mom in the group. I'll still be "helping out" with the older girls, as needed, but I'm not "official". Everyone knows I've had mono and that it's been hard to recover. People are very kind and understanding and solicitous about the fibromyalgia, too.

So, there's this one nice person there, who was describing her day tomorrow...or some Saturday...that family is always on the run, and she described ACTIVITIES from morning until night that she would literally be running from one thing to the next. Her family has four kids, I think. Baseball, Volleyball, this that and the other...I could not keep track. But her description was literally from about 8 in the morning until ten at night...

And I said "Wow, I don't know how you do it!" And she looked at me and said "Well, you do it too…

In Honor of National Chronic Invisible Illness Week: 30 Things Meme

1. The illnesses I live with are Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Mononucleosis and Hypoglycemia

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2004

3. But I had symptoms since: 1998

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is not being able to be as "involved" in helping other people or being at Church as I'd like.

5. Most people assume that I will eventually get better.

6. The hardest part about mornings are waking up in feeling very sluggish with no "get up and go" and having to eat food I don't care for very much in order to take care of my health. 

7. My favorite medical TV shows are the one's that are love ER or Trauma shows.  I used to love Dr. House until he started fornicating with his boss and that ruined the show and I stopped watching it.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is my comfy chair!

9. The hardest part about nights is trying to get to sleep and then trying to stay asleep. 

10. Each day I take about 5 pills & vitamins. That'…

Homeschooling with Chronic Illness

Homeschooling with a chronic illness is more about what don't do, than what I do, do.

I sit in a chair and we read together. ...and then they go off and do the rest of their schoolwork.

We don't go on many field trips....

We don't belong to any homeschooling co-ops...

We don't have the kids in any sports (because mama's too tired and ill to drive during the kiddie sports happy hour time of day)...

Dad helps out with taking them to scouting activities when I am too sick. Dad takes them door to door for fundraisers. (Mom sews the badges onto their vests. )

And my oldest DOES do volunteer work at the local Public Library a couple of times a week.

We don't have warm cozy friendships where we get together with lifelong friends on a regular least not since we moved.

But we DO learn sacrificial LOVE together, in the context of our various illnesses. And we DO go to Church, and we DO pray together.

National Invisible Chronic Illness Week: How my Illness Affects my life in Church

I found out just now that someone out there has decided that this week is "National Invisible Chronic Illness  Awareness Week".  At my house, every week is invisible illness week.

So, I decided to use my blog to participate in raising awareness.  I'll try to blog something more than once this week.  If possible, every day.

Today I am going to write about how my invisible illness (fibromyalgia with the bonus feature of mono this year) affects my participation in my Church.

It's hard.  Writing this makes me sad.

We moved to this community three years ago, and I hardly know most of the people at Church.  We go to a large parish, and it's been really really difficult for our family to integrate into the community, and a LARGE part of that difficulty has been due to my invisible illness.  The rest of it is due to my children's  and husband's autism issues, which has its own host of fun stuff, MANY of which overlap with mine.  

I get invitations to all sorts…

Labor Day

Today is labor day! My plans: I'm going to sew, and get as much as I can done on this one cassok job that has been giving me nothing but stress since the day I got it. I've had a hard time focusing on numbers and such lately and the job is pretty much a design job which I WAY underbid...sigh. I have to make so many customizations on the pattern that I just don't feel like doing....I need to get my brain in gear for it and "git er done" as we say here in Kentucky. The reason I'm pushing myself to sew is that I've been feeling pretty sick lately and that's not going to go away anytime soon. I want to get out from under my current pile-o-jobs and then stop sewing for a while. Heartbreaking, isn't it? But with the mono and the fibro and all that, I've gotten myself into such a BAD PLACE, physically, that I need to put myself on some sort of regimen to rebuild my fitness and my health. And that includes exercise and rest. And in order…

Alone in the Struggle: Dark Night of the Soul

Insert blog post about me feeling sick and tired and in pain from fibro. Insert blog post about me feeling overwhelmed. Same song, eightysevenththousandths verse. Could get better, but it's gonna get the old song goes.

That's why I have not been blogging lately. I don't want to complain and it's been a season, a YEAR really, of going deep within and seeing the blackness and feeling the desperation of not really belonging anywhere except perhaps to a little cyber community of likeminded and like-illed persons.

And the darkness is black enough for me to really have to struggle to see the people in my life who DO care about me, and who DO love me, to really see that they do.

I don't know that it's depression so much as me struggling against a fleshly response to being chronically ill. Its hard, you know, when nobody outside your family realizes how sick you are and have been for a long long time. I wear that mask, the happy face when I'm…

Home Education

We had a wonderful first day of year five in home educating today. I've decided to, as much as possible, drop the term "home school" and use "home educating" instead. Because we are not "schooling". There's nothing "schoolish" about what we do. We don't stand in lines, call roll, have any security checks, study towards any standardized testing (although we DO have an ACT prep book on our shelf that will get used), or have any nice work stations for each student. There is, however, MUCH that is educational.

We start our day with prayers, of course, followed by Scripture reading, discussion and then lives of saints from the Online Prologue of Ohrid. Next comes History read aloud while the kids take notes, ask questions as needed, etc. Following this, I give a German lesson, much in the same format. I teach, and the kids take notes, and get their vocabulary lists. We work on pronunciation together. I follow this with another…

Auuuugh! School? What School????

I am SO NOT READY for the next school year!!!!! And I'm not just talking emotionally. I'm not READY ready. I still need to grade old papers (my goal for the month of August) and figure out exactly what materials I need to get (very little, thankfully, as I already have most of what I need), and so on and so forth.

I need to sit down and write out which subjects each student is going to cover and pick out which literature selections they shall read. And arrange the textbooks on the shelf, etc. etc.

And I need to find some free on-line writing resources on how to write a good persuasive essay and how to write a research paper. Because that's on the table for my High Schoolers this year.

And I need to do some sewing. Always the sewing. I'd rather be sewing than overseeing the Home School, but both are my work, so I'd better DO both. But I think a few sewing jobs will see me the owner of my own lap top, which I really need.

For sure, I need to get this book.

Our Garden Plot

Since we are novice gardeners, our plot is a wee bit runty compared to some of our neighbors' plots, but then again, it is better weeded than some, as well. There's a broad spectrum.

But we sure are enjoying the fruits of the earth and those sunflowers, I wish I could make them scratch-and-sniff through the computer! They literally had nectar dripping off them, and they smelled like a sunflower butter and honey sandwich! (I eat sunflower butter instead of peanut butter because I'm allergic to PB.)
Well, I decided that I'm going to count WW points for a little while, again. I took a WW vacay, and since I officially quit paying and going to the meetings, I've had no motivation whatsoever to follow the plan. And I've been feeling, shall we say, a bit bloaty lately, which is the precursor to a huge weight gain, so I decided I'd better do something.

I got on the scale and have NOT in fact gained any weight. Yay

And now people are home and it's time for dinner.

Gotta go, and count those dinner points.

Homemade Raw Milk/Cream Ice Cream

I used about a 50/50 blend of milk and cream...about 2 quarts, I guess?
4 pastured egg yolks.
1 T. arrowroot powder.
1 tsp guar gum (this was my brilliant addition to help the milk and cream to not separate),
2 T. vanilla.
1/2 cup raw local honey
2 droppers full of liquid vanilla flavored stevia,
2 T. vodka.

I whisked all this together and froze in the ice cream maker as usual (with ice, rock salt, etc.) and then scooped the ice cream into a used and washed plastic ice cream container from the store. After several hours in the freezer to "set" is PERFECT. Very frozen, but perfectly scoopable. The vodka did the trick and lends just the faintest sophisticated flavor to it. The kids like it just fine, it's not a strong flavor. They got to eat what would not fit into the freezer container this afternoon. Wes and I are enjoying ours now.

As usual with Raw milk and eggs...know your farmer and use only pastured eggs and milk from healthy grass fed cows.

Summer Time Update

I feel like I have not written anything on this blog in ages. I've been busy and then there was a stomach bug type thing that I HOPE I'm over and yes, I'm VERY AWARE that all it seems I blog about is how sick I feel or how often I get sick or that my kids are sick or that I'm having a fibromyalgia flare up and waaaah, waaaah, waaaah.

I apologize.

I think the mono is a thing of the past, now.

Lets see...what's been happening? Well, there's the garden. I wish I could write some deeply spiritual gardening wisdom for you all here, but all I have to say is that I've fallen in love with the idea and the process of putting a seed in the dirt, pulling out the competition, giving it water and watching it grow. It's a miracle. We've had a modest harvest of snow peas, about five green beans (the bugs ate the leaves), four or five large Zucchini, with more in the pipline, several batches of fried green tomatoes that fell off the vine too early, one fant…

Hideous Gargoyle

I seriously thought I was a fat hideous gargoyle when I was a teenager. Clearly I was wrong.

This picture from a box-o-stuff my mom just sent me. I was 17.

Live and learn, I guess.

Busy Busy

Well, folks, I'm finally ramping up to take my sewing on-line. I've been working on pattern development and fleshing out ideas lately, and pretty soon, there will be some links on this blog and on my other blog, to an etsy store and a selling page.

What will I be making? Little girl's boutique style dresses. Among other things.

Ain't No Cure for the Summer Time Blues

Some people get very motivated to diet in the summer time. I guess it has something to do with "swimsuit season" and such people live on fruit and cold tea.

I am not such a person (but I want to be). No, for me, summer is the worst, hardest, most difficult of all the seasons for me to lose weight and focus on dieting. Harder than the Thanksgiving/Christmas crush, even. It's just difficult and so of course lately I've been floating around the same weight and not making any progress at all towards my goals, or towards my sub-goals.

This must change. Summer time will always be difficult for me, but I need some strategies. So, today I decided to figure out WHY summer is such a bad zone for me, and WHAT I can do about it. Here's what I came up with:

1. I love that summer time feeling of being kicked back, relaxed, not working quite as hard, that feeling of being "on vacation". And face it folks, monitoring and limiting my eating is HARD WORK and …

Zoo Trip

Today (my parents are visiting this week) we went to the Zoo. It was ridiculously hot and our pace was very slow and we only made it about 1/3 of the way around the zoo before it was time to buy some drinks for everyone (the kids having dumped most of their water bottles over their heads) and catch the trolley to the top of the hill and head home.

Various ones of us (OK, everybody) was complaining of various symptoms of approaching heat exhaustion, despite my constant hydration attempts.

Going home was good. It was the hottest freakin' day of the year so far, I think.

Ah, air conditioning!

How did we ever live without it?

One cold shower some salty chips later, I was feeling a bit better and my skin had lost it's lovely red and white mottled appearance. Dinnner was good, too. I'd had the foresight to cook the vegetable curry before our zoo trip, so all I had to do was heat it up. Rice in the crock pot.

Before all that, in the morning, my mom and I headed to the …

More Sewing

Today I sewed two dresses. I decided to challenge myself, and see if I could do two dresses, start to finish in one day. Wow! The serger really speeds things up and since I did both dresses with white thread, I was able to do some of the work "assembly line" style.

At the end of the second dress, I had to go to the store to get the right shade of green thread to do the hems on the sleeves and bottom of the skirt. I also used the green thread for the button holes. I'll have to post a picture of the green dress later, since I don't have one yet. But here is the whimsical read print dress. Again, buttons were from my grandmother's stash.

Thrift Store Motherlode of Fabric

Since I had such good success whipping out this shirtwaist dress, and since it is (surprise surprise!) a decently flattering style on me, I decided to hit the local thrift store and see what there was there for sheets.

Pale green-awesome color on me. Retro looking flower pint-I'm thinking this will need some maroon piping around the collar. Blue plaid-a shirt waist dress for B who expressed a desire for a retro-looking dress herself. And the blue fabric-such a lovely shade of blue. It would look lovely with white.

House dresses, here I come!

Inspired to Sew a Cotton Dress

After a recent discussion on an e-mail list I'm a part of, and the finding of the fabulous sewing blog The Opulent Poppy, I decided to be both thrifty, seamstressy, and retro, and make a 1930's/1940's inspired dress out of a Nautica sheet I'd bought at the thrift store one time. Cost: $2.50. The buttons are from my Meemaw's stash that I inherited a few years ago.

This is the first sewing project I've done where I used my machines almost to their maximum capacity...using the serger where appropriate, and even using the blind hem stitch on the bottom and the sleeves. The ONLY hand work was sewing the button holes. I can practically whip them out by hand faster than I can set up and figure out how to do them on the machine. (I should really force myself to learn but I DO SO love doing them by hand!). This project took about three hours sewing, at the most, and was my first time using the blind hem stitch and my new serger on a garment.

The top part of the dr…

Love Mercy, Do Justice, Walk Humbly...

I'm bothered. I can't get this article I read out of my mind. I saw it on Facebook yesterday, and it is about the minimum wage in Haiti. Apparently, the Haitians wanted to raise their minimum wage from 31 cents and hour all the way up to 61 cents an hour. Can you imagine how good this would have been for Haitian minimum wage workers, to have their wages doubled? Wow. That would have been huge.

But it didn't happen.

It didn't happen because the U.S. State department got involved due to the lobbying of Hanes and Levis, who have garment factories in Haiti.

Oh no! We American's can't possibly spend a few cents more per t-shirt or per pair of blue jeans because those huge companies don't want their profits to diminish. Their profits are in the millions. Billions. Huge.

And we here in America are having such HARD TIMES aren't we, that we MUST have cheap t-shirts and Levis jeans. Such hard times that the U.S. State Department has to intervene (t…

Mono Blues

I'm really really struggling with the diet this week. I'm SUPER hungry, for some reason. And all I want is icecream and FOOD. Like chicken and lasagna. I know, I can have some. But I'm SO TIRED all the time from the mono that I'm still not over, and I'm wondering if restricting food to the level of actual weight loss is hindering my recovery.

Of course, wondering that, makes me lose ALL motivation to actually try to lose weight. What if I worked on maintaining for a while? I don't want to go hog wild and gain everything back bause it's taken me about five months to lose about 12 pounds. That's really really slow. And I could easily gain that all back in a month.

So I'm scared, and worried and Oh. So. Tired.

I"m at that "giving up" wall. But I can't give up. I won't give up.

I just need to find a way to get better, get healed and get over this extreme fatigue.

I want to exercise but I'm so tired that I can b…


Why am I ALWAYS sick? I've had this cough for a week and a half now, and tomorrow I'm going to find a doctor. If my regular doc can't fit me and the kids in, we'll find an Urgent Treatment Center it feels like bronchitis.

Of course, I'm sick. I have mono. Still. Blood tests confirmed it recently, blardy-dar.

So of course it's harder for my poor body to fight off a cold. And the cold going around is a doozy. And now, it is just sitting in my brochial area, and it just aches and I cough and cough and cough.

So, these are the challenges I've been facing.

And my new Weight Watchers pedometer went through the wash. I'm hoping I can rescue it by letting it sit in a jar of rice for a few days. The rice will help dry out the electronic components and hopefully it will restore it to functionality. I've heard it can work for cell phones, so surely it will work for a measly pedometer.

Other than that, what else is going …

My Tracking Game

Well, folks, I lost weight again this week. Which, on the one hand, since I have a really bad cold and I did not think my body would multi-task that well, is very astonishing, but on the other hand, since I have been faithfully tracking my points and drinking TONS of water is not surprising at all. 1.2 pounds. I'll take it.

So, have I told you all of my motivational tracking game? A few weeks back I was having a real huge struggle with tracking points faithfully and so I made some rules: For each day that I track, I get a dollar of "allowance". If I track for seven days, I get to keep the money no matter if I lose weight or gain. If I track for less than seven days, I only get to have the money from the days I tracked that week IF I lost weight.

This game is motivating me, and I am happy to report that I have earned nineteen dollars in the past three weeks, to go towards a pedicure once I've accumulated enough cash to pay for such a procedure.

I've neve…

Keepin' it Real!

Yeah baby! That should be the NAME of this blog. Seriously. But instead, it's the title of the FIRST EVER BLOG AWARD for me to receive!!!! I'm stoked. Thanks so much to Genevieve and her generosity, and Matushka Anna for inventing the blog award in the first place.

Yeah, I was so excited to receive this blog award, that I immediately had to have a ferocious coughing fit, sending me in search of some clean pj's (anyone whose had four kids knows what I'm talking about). See, this is what excitement does in my life and I SO don't need it. But a blog award. Now, IF I can figure out how to paste the fancy little picture here we'll all be thrilled, right? Here I go....

I got it on the second try! Just keepin' it real, folks! shall I nominate??????? Let me think about it.

Update: I would like to nominate Juliana from Abide and Endeavor for the "Keepin' it Real" blog award.

A Journey Towards Health

So, I went back to the doctor to talk about how my mono recovery is going and basically: It's not. I'm still sick. On top of that, me and all the kids (well, I think there might be one who has not succumbed yet) have really bad cough/congestion type colds. I'm hoping a week will see us recovered from those.

But the mono: It's been four months now, and it is STILL WITH ME, according to the bloodwork.

Clearly I'm not resting enough. I need to figure out a way to massively change my lifestyle for the next how-ever-long, so that I can get over the mono.

What else can I do? Healthy eating: doing it. Plenty of water: doing it. Exercise: Avoiding it as I am supposed to be at this time.

All this makes losing weight seem sort of funny right now. But ironically, I AM slowly losing weight. I figure if even through this adversity I can manage to change my eating habits for the better, it's only to the good.

It's really difficult to force myself to be…

Its a journey, not a step.

Lost another two and a half pounds this week! Woot woot. And that was with inefficient tracking over the weekend.

I'll take it. I'm not quite where I was before I blew it over Pascha, but getting closer.

Mental struggles galore, but I'm getting to the bottom of some of those nasty issues that have been bugging me for the past thirty years or so. I don't really want to blog about them, but I can guarantee you that if you have a weight problem, you probably have similar such issues.

It's good to look inside and fix what's broken. And allow God to fix what's broken. And to find the support you need in your life for this journey, because the journey towards healing is not a one-stop deal. It's a journey.

So I'm on the slow road. But I'm on the road. The weather's gotten suddenly hot here in KY and my mono has had a flare up. I wonder if I should call the doctor about the off and on pain in my slpeen area that I've been having fo…

Fear and Loathing in the Summer Time

Lost about three and a half this week, which gets me half way towards losing the seven pounds I'd regained during Holy Week and Pascha (Easter). I'm not convinced ANY of it is actually BODY FAT. But whatever. The lady at weight watchers never asks "And, so how were your bowel movements this week, dear?" Nope its always "Wow, this plan really works when you stick with it, doesn't it!"


It may not sound like it very much, based on the level of snark that is likely leaking through here, but I really am pleased with the WW program. I like tracking. I like the accountability and I like that its very "real life" compatible. This morning I still had a slice of my daughter's chocolate birthday cake (we do birthday breakfasts because who wants cake after a full meal, right?) and counting the points and such. It's all good.

No, the snark is simply because I am TIRED OUT from a day of Hellmart, waiting forever at the beauty salon …


Yeah. Pascha happened. Now I'm back on track. Yes, I gained quite a bit of weight. Almost all? Seven pounds in the last two weeks? Yes, it's true.

This is what not tracking for a week, and having a few bad weeks before that where I half tracked, will get me.

But it is a new beginning and I will NOT give up. I have not given up. I did not give up.

It's just that Pascha happened and my sleep got all topsy turvy and that has made all sorts of other things irregular and I am SO READY to be tracking again. Enjoying it, actually.

I feel more secure this way. And that is a load off my mind.

Burn it and Earn it

Well, I managed to lose weight this week (1.2 pounds). I had a little chat with the WW leader and asked for her advice: What do I do if I have a really really bad day, and blow it really bad? Do I ditch all the weekly points and limp along for the rest of the week without using them, or do I pick up the next day and start fresh and still have my weekly points? She told me to do the latter. Good to know.

I did not think I'd lose weight this week because I sort of blew the weekend, what with the AHG camping trip and all. But I guess my workouts and choices in general combined to make it an OK week. I definitely want to track better in the coming weeks.

I have also hit my own personal wall. I'm starting to bump up against the reality that I have big food issues and compulsive eating and I have to deal with the emotional aspects of why I'm overweight (emotional eating, compulsive eating, stress eating and I MUST learn to deal with emotions in non-food-related ways...…