Category Archives: Observations

Lifting weights vs. lifting weight ~ why isn’t it as helpful??

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Lifting weights are touted as a great way to get into shape.  You can get all buff and tough by lifting weights; you can amp up your weight loss or body building routine by putting ankle weights on while you work out, or by carrying dumbells as you walk, right?

So.  I am overweight.  Quite overweight.  Every time I move, I am “weight lifting”!  I have to lift all that weight to get up off the couch or the floor.  Every time I go on my morning walk I am packing around a whole lot of weight.  I’ve been doing this for years!

My muscles should be so totally ripped by now.

On becoming 50 – it’s NOT “just a number” – it’s mileage on the odometer

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Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 50 years old.  50. Years. Old.  Half a century this life of mine has lasted so far. I cannot tell you how utterly depressed I am about this.  Now, people will say “it’s only a number” or “you are only as old as you feel” (in which case, I guess I’m about 85….) but I say, that’s a load of crap.

My car is getting on in years… that is, mileage.  It’s only about 8 years old, but in a day or so, depending on how much driving I do tomorrow,  the odometer will read 130,000 miles. That’s a lot of road wear.  My car is a good car.  She’s dependably taken me across the country and back.  She’s taken me here, there, everywhere.  I really like my car.  But guess what?  She no longer looks new.  I’ve tried to take the best care of her I could, but stuff happens. The car wasn’t new when I bought it, so it didn’t come to me ‘perfect’. There are rock chips in the windshield; scratches on the sides where my nephew scraped his bike against her; scratches on the doors where my sister’s in-laws’ dog spent the better part of a day jumping in and out of an open window when I let my sis borrow my car for a trip; a dent in the top back where I tried to back out of my garage before I had the garage door all the way up (oops) …. these are the marks of a life lived.  So, no one can say “130,000 miles, well, that’s just a number”  because, no, it’s not.  It’s a record of how far my car has gone.

That, I think, is the real problem.  How far have I gone?? Yeah, well, I’m 50 years old and I live with my parents.  50 years old and I am 100 pounds overweight.  50 years old and my horsie hopes and dreams seem to be a thing of the past. 50 years old and…. sigh.  I haven’t gotten very far at all in this life – at least that’s how it feels.  Actually, in some ways it feels as though I’ve been drug down the road for about 130,000 miles – and have the scars to prove it – but like I’ve just been going in circles. 50 might be “a number” but it’s really a milestone… and right now I’m not loving the road it’s marking.

Reason # – oh, probably 873 – why men are annoying

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Yesterday morning, my husband says “I can’t believe no one around here is capable of refilling the soap dispenser in the bathroom.  Is it really that difficult?”  My response was that I had been unable to find the refill in the storage room and therefore assumed we were out and needed to buy more.  No, it seems the refill is out in the garage by the work sink…. ok, so fill it up, huh?  Nope.  He knows where it is, is perfectly willing to gripe about the soap dispenser being empty, but isn’t about to fill the thing himself.  That, aparently, is a job for myself or our daughter. 

Annoying.

Musings and mutterings… and fry sauce

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Having spent so much time sick and laying around, I’ve had a lot of time to think.  This isn’t always a good thing, depending on what sort of direction my thoughts take.  But I’ve had good and bad.  I’ve been thinking how weird it is that I am at the same time happy and content and yet depressed and stressed.  Okay, I’m not really depressed – been there, done that – this is more, uhm, feeling blue I guess.  A little down. 

Part of it is probably being sick.  It’s been more than a month and I am still just utterly exhausted.  I don’t feel up to doing much of anything (and haven’t been doing, at all). I did strip the paint off of a vintage vanity I am going to repaint and sell… but now it’s just sitting there… waiting…      Mostly I’ve been reading.  I am reading the “Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series.  I love them; light reading, fun, and gives a little insight to life in another country.  I feel guilty, though, since my parents are 80 now and do so much more than I do – especially my mom, who is like the energizer bunny.  My sister and I inherited absolutely NONE of that trait from her – how is that possible??

This week Kiki has been in theatre camp.  She got a pretty big part (the Wicked Witch; they are doing Wizard of Oz) and last night was the first show.  I was really proud of her, as she remembered all her lines and was one of the few who I thought really “acted” as opposed to just saying their lines… she was good!  The only part she needs to do better is her one solo song – she sings beautifully, but waaaay too quietly for “theater”….  couldn’t hardly hear her.  She has two more shows today; we will see if she can pull off a bit more volume.  In dress rehearsal, Dorothy hit her in the forehead with the heavy wooden bucket while she was pretending to douse her with water, so she has a big ol’ lump on her forehead.  At last night’s performance (not yet knowing about the bucket incident) I thought they’d given her a “wart” on her forehead, lol!  Kiki was not amused.  She’s pretty nervous today even though last night went so well.

I think – okay, I know – I am really stressed about my life.  We have now lived with my parents for a year.  (we had figured 3 months, 6 months tops) That is insanity waiting to happen, don’t you think?! I NEED my own home, and now. Yet I don’t see that happening for… ikes, I don’t know.  As I am tottering on the brink of becoming 50 years old, I wonder if I have ever accomplished anything in this life that counts. 

It seems strange to be on both sides of the fence at the same time…. how is that even possible?  Happy and sad?  Fine yet completely discontent?  Maybe I am just coming unhinged and don’t know if I’m coming or going… that is totally possible.

Then there is the weight loss.  I have now lost 50 pounds.  You’d think that’d be a good thing, and it is.  Yet, when you have as much to lose as I do, it’s a drop in the bucket… I mean, to lose that much poundage and still be obese is just wrong, y’ know?  I feel great that I’ve lost all that weight, yet I look at myself and think “crud….still fat”.  I am not exaggerating… I still can’t buy clothes in the regular section of a store – yesterday found me at Lane Bryant once again.  There is a list of reasons I hate having to shop there; not the least of which is that it is too freakin’ expensive.  A regular old shirt is like $50.!  Stupid. I bought 2 things off the super-marked-down rack, and only because I was told I have to wear nicer tops to work… boss doesn’t like my t-shirts, I guess.  Sheesh.  It’s hard to find fat-lady clothes that don’t scream “look at me, I’m fat”… “and old”.   In my opinion.  I have to keep telling myself “I am 1/3 of the way there”… and when I put on last summer’s shorts and they practically fell off… well, that was a happy moment!

I wish at some point in my life I had done something…. big.  Run off to Paris.  Had a wild fling.  Joined the foreign legion.  I don’t know.  Something… interesting.  I’m too much of a goody-goody girl.  It’s buried so deep in my DNA that I will probably never do anything like that.

Fry sauce.  I love fry sauce.  I’d nearly forgotten, being over in Virginia where they’ve never heard of it.  Then being on a diet where french fries are kind of a thing of the past.  But!  Yesterday after the play, Kiki wanted a milkshake.  We drove thru a little local joint we’d never been to before (the theater is on the opposite end of town from where we normally are) and not only did we get milkshakes (hers, Oreo; mine, chocolate-peanut butter; YUM!) but we decided we’d also share some fries, and the girl asked if we wanted fry sauce – heck yeah!!  SO-STINKIN’-GOOD!!  happy happy happy

When will western doctors quit “practicing” medicine and just do something right?

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Have you ever wondered why they say doctors are “practicing” medicine? Do educators “practice” teaching?  Do policemen “practice” upholding the law?  Yeah, I don’t think so.  (okay, you could argue that lawyers “practice” the law… do you really want to use that arguement??) My dad worked in the aerospace industry – yes, he was a rocket scientist.  If he had only been practicing his job, the Hubble Space Telescope wouldn’t have ever been in orbit, to mention one thing.

I have lost faith in our doctors.  Now, not in the case of trauma or some other catastrophic event – if I was in a horrid accident, there is nowhere I’d want to be other than in an American hospital.  Our doctors are great at putting things back together and that sort of thing.  I am talking about illnesses and the symptoms of such.

When was the last time you went to a doctor because you didn’t feel well, had that doctor truly listen to you and your symptoms, and then said doctor did a whole lot of stuff to find out the real basis for your problem then deal with that?  OR… did that doctor give you some medicine to deal with your symptoms and hopefully by the time your meds were gone your actual illness was gone as well…?

Have you ever actually read an advertisement for a prescription drug?  Check this one out…

How does PRISTIQ work?

No one knows for sure what causes depression. But many experts believe that depression results when certain chemicals in the brain are out of balance. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, relay messages from one brain cell to another.

PRISTIQ is thought to work by affecting the levels of two of these neurotransmitters: serotonin and norepinephrine. PRISTIQ is an SNRI, or    serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor

Is thought to work??  So, they don’t know what causes the depression and they don’t know how or why the medication might work… but, they will prescribe it to you and make you think you will feel better.  Unless you get worse and suicidal, which is one of the numerous side effects….

This is typical doctor crap!  I think the pharmaceutical companies put teachers in the med schools and, instead of teaching how to diagnose an illness, they teach what medication to give for what symptom. I am not joking.

Case in point:  My most recent illness.  I went to the doctor and told her my symptoms.  She said it couldn’t be the flu because it was too late in the year.  (so, I guess that’s a law?) So, she suspected bronchitis and gave me antibiotics.  She didn’t check to see if it was viral or bacterial – if it was viral, antibiotics don’t do a thing.  So why prescribe them? $$$.  They didn’t help.  I went back and by then I had pnuemonia.. so she prescribed a stronger antibiotic.  To which I had a severe reaction… a drug induced lupus, basically.  Which, when I went back in to see her again, she said was a “rare but not unheard of side effect” and as far as she knew “everyone eventually gets over it”.  Wow.  I have been in excruciating pain, unable to sleep or barely even function… they know it can cause this horrible side effect but they prescribe it anyway?!?  .Niiiiice

Doctors and their medications caused my younger sister’s death at the age of only 33.  I can tell you about that, if you’re interested.

So I’ve been going to the herbalist, and I am feeling quite a bit better.  Today is the first day I feel like I might actually feel good again one day, and without pain, hopefully.  I have hope, at least.  I think the pharmaceuticals have us by the throat… think about it.  They tell the insurance companies what they’ll pay for, they tell the doctors what to prescribe..  who knows how far it goes?  The doctor visits, the antibiotics, cost me around $60.00 total.  My cost – so far – for the herbalist is over $250.00… no insurance will cover that.  But can you put a price on your health?

Spring time in Idaho

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I love the Spring in Idaho.  You never know what you’re going to get!  One morning you wake up and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it’s warm enough for a short-sleeved tshirt.  Then the wind kicks up, the clouds roll in, the rain starts… sometimes it might even snow.  And that was all just yesterday!  Two days ago it was in the 80’s, and today we’ll be lucky if it hits 60.  But I’m fine with that… summer comes soon enough, and with it the blazing hot days… so I’ll take whatever spring wants to dish out for now.

Springtime also brings new color to our little corner of the world.  Growing up in Southern California, I didn’t appreciate the colors of spring, because we pretty much had it year ’round.  Here though, I notice each and every new shoot and new leaf that pops up – after all, we’ve just been through the long brown and grey of winter, and color is deeply desired!  It’s also time for babies – ducks and geese are all over the open irrigation canals we have here, and since we still have sections of rural living the fields are full of calves and lambs, and even the occasional foal.

 

 

Spring also brings the promise of long, lazy summer days, as well as the promise of the end of homeschooling for another year!  Yay!  No way are we one of these “year-round homeschooling families”… geez, crazy people!  I want a break every bit as much as my child does!

How do you tell the truth when the truth hurts?

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With each passing day my podunk little job is getting more and more difficult to deal with.  I work in a family-owned and run business, and most of the people who work there – all women – are family members or friends with each other.  Yeah, you can hardly imagine why that might be a problem, huh?!  It’s not like I am feeling excluded; not at all.  In fact, a bit more of that would be a good thing at this point!  The trouble is that I am finding myself being, I don’t know, the confidant of sorts, the go-between of other people’s issues with one another… and I so don’t wanna be there.

The problem I seem to be facing more and more often – and this is happening outside of work as well – is the following scenario:

Someone comes to me, truly hurt because someone else told them something they didn’t want to hear about themselves.  Something that they totally can’t believe could possibly be true about themselves.  Such as “you are such a huge whiner!”  “you are really mean” “you are obnoxious so much of the time” or, whatever.  (these are all adults, by the way.)  Then this person, who is in tears or nearly, asks me “am I really like that?”  Okay.  Seriously.  How do you answer that question when the answer is “Yes.  Yes you are.” ??  Because this person is already wounded by that other person saying that they are – whatever – and so then what am I supposed to say?  I am beginning to think I am supposed to, somehow, be finding ways to let people know that, yeah, you have a bit of a shortcoming there but I know you’re not a bad person, and you don’t want to be that way….  or, something like that.  Maybe.  Or maybe I should just start poking myself in the eye with a stick.  Quite enjoyable either way, I suppose….

So…. it’s Tuesday

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Yeah.  Which means what?  Nothing.  I haven’t posted in awhile so I just figured I should check in. 

We have been kind of busy trying to get our business up and running.  We had a coupon on one of those online sites, so we were kind of swamped… for about a week.  We are at that spot of trying to figure out how to grow the business quickly when we have no advertising budget.  I haven’t a clue.  And it’s really hard for my husband to be doing the business as well as working his full time (sucky-paying) job.  He’s killing himself off, sort of.  And in reality, he should be using his time that he’s not actually “working” in the field to be drumming up more business.  But, without the sucky-paying job, we couldn’t even pay the small bills we currently have…. It’s a catch-22 situation of sorts.  The reality is that if things don’t change drastically, the business will continue to grow slowly and in a year or so we will have built up enough customer base for him to do that work exclusively.  Which sounds fine until you understand that means him having to work basically 2 full-time jobs for that entire year, as well as the fact we wouldn’t be able to move out into a place of our own for many more months… and it’s been 8 months already, and I am soooo done with this situation!

Sigh.  Why does life have to be so hard?

Being “healthy” … I think my brain is going to explode!

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First let me say I made a really yum treat for Kiki and I this afternoon, when she got home from her ITBS testing.  (That would be the “Iowa Test of Basic Skills” which is sort of the nation-wide testing standard to see how students across the country measure up to their peers… yeah, the one she scored in the 95th percentile the year we didn’t do any school… which made me wonder – are they even teaching anything in public schools??!) 

 So, the treat – I bought some tahini and then was like “what the heck am I going to do with this stuff?”   Well, it’s the main ingredient in Halvah, which I love; that gave me the idea… so, I put some tahini in a pan with butter, xylitol, cocoa,

 chopped almonds

 and chunked Granny Smith apples,

 and basically sauteed it all.  OMiGosh!!  It was so stinkin’ good!  I told Kiki it was a middle-eastern treat before she tasted it because I knew that’d earn points with her… and she loved it!  Even my mom and dad liked it, so I guess that recipe is a keeper.  I didn’t take a picture of it because to be honest, it didn’t look that great… now, my dad thought it looked like beef and potatoes –  corned beef hash, maybe – but I thought of its appearance more along the lines of something the dog ate and then – uh – “unswallowed”, if you will.  Yeah.  Mmm.  But it tasted amazing.

To the point of this post though – I am so sick of all the conflicting theories about what to eat, and when to eat it, and how to eat it, and why… the list goes on and on but I think you get what I mean.  It’s annoying!  One group says “this” and another says “this” and then you have those friends who are “Oh, I’m doing the HCG diet” because she has that whopping 5 pounds to lose oh, the fat cow! – and somehow that seems like a bad idea to me anyway…. yeah, whatev

Because the …group… that I am currently going to for health issues is so over the edge in my opinion… for instance:  They think I should go have my dental fillings removed and replaced because they have heavy metals in them.  You know, the shiny silver fillings we old folks got before they started using the white stuff?  Yeah, so, I am not signing up for that particular event.  I don’t really enjoy the dentist that much, so when I happen to be in there and he tells me “these are cracked and we should replace them” then, fine, I will do it… but not before then.  Or how about your deodorant?  “They” say you should never use the kind with aluminum in it (which is pretty much all of them) because that will give you Alzheimer’s…. now, I haven’t got an issue with that – I can use the natural mineral salt stuff and I don’t stink, but my poor teenager!  She uses the ‘evil death deodorant’ or she’d stink to high heaven.  My sister (okay, and don’t even get me started on this girl because I’m about fed up) but she won’t even use regular toothpaste because the flouride will be the death of us all.  Well, ho-lee-crap.  I might as well just curl up and die right now, huh?!?! 

I am not afraid to be dead. I believe in Heaven, so I’m cool with going there.  However, the process of death can be rather uninviting. I have been thinking of the older people I know, and which ones are healthy and happy, and which ones ate heathy or not, and they don’t always match up.  So there is more to it all.

So, that is why my head hurts.  My normal reaction would be to go out and chomp down some cookies, but that wouldn’t help, now would it? 

I think I’ll go out drinking instead.

Global day of prayer for Burma: the Karen people

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The city where I go to church is listed as a “soft landing site” for refugees.  I don’t know why, or what criteria is set up for this.  In fact I can’t really tell you exactly what that means!  It just is.  As such, we have a lot of interesting immigrants coming into our area.  At our particular church we have a large group of people from the Burma/Thai border called the “Karen” (kuh-rin).  I think they come to us because they are Christian immigrants; also, our pastor was over there working for them…gosh, 30+ years ago.  So he knows them, knows their hisory.  They are a very persecuted people; they’ve been subjected to ethnic cleansing by the Burmese since sometime in the 1940’s. 

Well, I’m not gonna get all political on you…. I don’t know too much about the whole deal except that I believe it’s certainly wrong to try to wipe an entire group of people off the face of the earth. 

One guy from their group got up and sang a worship song in their native tongue.  It was pretty cool.