Monday, October 25, 2010

This Week I Will Be Mostly...

...wearing my favorite sweater again! I left it in Montgomery the last time I was there, so I got it back this weekend.  Ah.
...reading my school books.  I would like to read for pleasure right now, but I'm afraid that'll have to wait until Thanksgiving break.
...watching Part 2 of Nicholas Nickleby.
...listening to the soothing sounds of Heinz Kiessling's Orchestra. Another ah.
...eating better than last week. I'm still learning to balance my new schedule. for food.  There is truly nothing perishable in our house besides the houseplants right now. Not good.
...praying in gratitude for all of my blessings amidst my busy schedule. I want to focus on the roses instead of the thorns.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This Week I Will Be Mostly...

...watching old episodes of Newhart before bed.
...reading my Kinesiology and A&P textbooks.
...wearing the cute closed-toed shoes that have been patiently waiting in my closet for Fall to come.
...listening to 1st Peter on my Audio New Testament.
...eating still quickly. for a present for my cousin's wedding.
...praying that I will learn better to rejoice when others rejoice.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10 Things I Love About Fall

Until I was about 23, I had no real preference for any particular season. They were all just okay.  Over the past, ahem, few years, though, especially after Richard and I bought our house, Fall started to become a real front-runner.  I noticed that as Autumn started to come around, I began to feel invigorated and excited. Now I can whole-heartedly declare Fall as my favorite season, and over the weekend, a several reasons started to swirl around in my head that I thought I'd share.  Some of them are definitely cliched; others are probably limited to me and a few other nuts that I haven't met.

1. Lower humidity means frizz-free hair that stays straight all day.  I think of this all summer long.
2. The view from our backyard is of Monte Sano Mountain, and it is wonderful. I still can't believe that we live in a home with such a nice view, and Fall totally exemplifies that.
3. Fall is officially the kickoff of the holiday season; the year closes out with a bang.  Every month has a great holiday to look forward to.  (Don't be surprised, by the way, when in about three months there is a post entitled "10 Things I Hate About January.")
4. Long sleeves.  I am, for a couple of reasons, self-concious about my arms, and I welcome long-sleeve weather.  Paradoxically, I actually like my hands, so long-sleeved clothes are the best of both worlds: covering up my arms, while making my hands a highlighted feature.  Yes! In a related vein, it's the beginning of the general public starting to wear more clothes, which makes trips to Wal-Mart somewhat less perilous.  Bonus.
5.  Pumpkin. Cinnamon.  Apples.  Warm Soups.  Fall food is the best.  And I actually feel like cooking from time to time because of that.
6. I'm crazy about boots.  I don't currently own a good specimen of said fashion implements, but I still enjoy seeing them out and about, and I'm always hopeful that I'll come across a good pair for myself.
7. I'm not wild about the shorter days, but I do love coming home and cozying up with my husband and puppy in the evenings.  There's that great hibernate-y feeling that's not great for the thighs, but wonderful for the heart.  You don't have to feel guilty for spending the whole night reading.  Not that I ever do anyway...
8. Planning for Christmas shopping.  I love planning things, and even though I don't actually shop until at best mid-November and at worst mid-December - by the time I do shop, I've got it all planned out.
9. Brown is my color.  I love wearing browns, and fall is the time to do it!
10. The death of most outdoor bugs. The weather is nice enough to spend time outside, and you don't get eaten up by mosquitos.  Now if you can just dodge those wasps...

Monday, October 11, 2010

This Week I Will Be Mostly...

First day of school! First day of school! It technically started last week, but I was out of town, so I was able to participate in my online class, but not actually sit in a class class.  But tonight I had my Anatomy & Physiology (Organs and Structures) class, and I sure am glad that I spent a couple of hours studying last night, because tonight's class was mainly review for the test we have on WEDNESDAY! Ack! But I feel like I was able to keep up alright.
Everybody in any medical or para-medical field on campus is required to wear scrubs, and each area of study is separated into different scrubs colors, so tonight I had a very Joey-working-at-the-museum experience when I walked into the classroom and everyone in navy scrubs was all sitting on one side of the room. (Mine are tan, if you're wondering.) "The people in the white coats don't sit with the people in the blue blazers!" It turned out that the gray scrubs mostly sat in the middle, and the few tannies like me were on the opposite side of the classroom.  I was an ignorant rebel and sat in the middle.  I don't know what the different colors are for the field areas yet, but I'll keep you posted.  I know you are all on the edge of your collective seat with baited breath just waiting to find out.
But I digress, so without further ado...

...wearing those tan scrubs. Woot!
...watching the Dancing With the Stars results show, and then nothing else until the weekend - gotta hit the books!
...listening to my America/Bread station on Pandora. I don't know how lame this makes me, but nothing makes me smile like "Sister Golden Hair Surprise," "Horse With No Name," and the like. This won't be the first time I admit that I was clearly born in the wrong decade.
...eating quickly. for nothing. I bought a toothbrush holder at Target today and I feel guilty. I'm supposed to be saving money! It's a hard habit to acquire.
...praying about my ability to juggle work, school, family, and friends again.  The Lord has given me much strength so far.  I also need prayers to be a more gracious listener.  If your eyeballs loosened every time you rolled them, I would have lost mine long ago.  That's a bad habit I really want to break.  Internal eye-rolling counts, too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Week I Will Be Mostly...a day late again...

I'm back! Yay! I have been either sick myself or tending to another unwell member of my family since August 30.  Yes, I remember the day. I learned this morning that my right eardrum is so full that I am going back to my ENT to have my ear manually drained, and - this is how miserable I have been with my ear - I am looking forward to it. So this is my excuse for having not blogged lately.  Rich asked me last night if either one of us could remember the last time we had actually bought real groceries or cleaned the house.  We both laughed.  It's been a pretty pitiful September.  But, I'm looking forward to Thursday night as my orientation to my Therapeutic Massage program, and then Friday to have my hearing (hopefully) restored, and then I'll have an unprecedented week-long vacation with my husband, sister, BIL, nephew, and niece. Things are looking up - and hopefully that means posting will start again.  So, without further ado....

This Week I Will Be Mostly...
...wearing short sleeves but bringing along a light sweater - yippee!
...reading The Return of the Native. And I think this one's going to take a while.
...watching Season 5 of The Office on Netflix Instant.  Even though the show right now looks like it is ready to jump the shark, season 5 is still tres entertaining.
...listening to nothing.  Music has been, sadly, very frustrating with my temporary hearing loss.
...eating junk food.  I'm just being honest, folks.  Last night I had cheetos and peanut M&Ms for dinner, and Richard had flat pretzels, cheetos, and mini pumpkin muffins.  So sad. for groceries for the trip!
...praying for our family - our whole family to all be well before and during the vacation.  It's alot to ask, but I have faith in God!

Monday, August 30, 2010

This Week I Will Be Mostly... With a New Category!

...wearing black. Not for any reason, I just noticed I have a good bit of clean black clothes, and I like clean.
...reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I give myself this week to finish it.
...watching nothing. Really - I've got to get that book read, and I want to spend some time on my bike, too.
...listening to calming music. I'm not stressed, but I think I might be getting a cold, so I want to Zen-out my immune system.
...eating lentils. As soon as Garden Cove has green lentils back in stock. Oh! And chia seeds! I found some, and they are wicked cool! As soon as they touch anything wet, they make this little gel-cocoon. It's weird, but neat - and since they are even healthier than flax seeds, and more easily digestible, I'm down with that. for nutritional yeast flakes and hemp protein powder.  I might also look into spirulina and maca. We'll see.
...praying about the new church I visited last night.  It was very interesting, vibrant, and it seems to be another possibility for a church home.

Please let me know if you have a prayer request!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

(Lolli)Pop Psychology

My sister and I had a conversation this morning about color.  Certain female members of our family are known to get fixated on a color or two, and then completely drench their homes with it. Which is not intrinsically a bad thing - I mean, it's your house - color it how you want it! I think she and I were just commenting on how color variety, especially around a home, can also be quite nice.  The conversation made me start thinking about the colors that I love and am known to associate with.  I've lately become widely affiliated with orange, which is funny since it had been a color I really despised (especially while I was in high school, where our colors were orange and brown - two of my favorite colors now).  The psychology of colors has always been intriguing to me, so I decided to revisit the concept in search of some answers about what my favorite colors say about me, or at least how they are purported to make me feel.

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ORANGE: According to the website Suite 101, orange is associated with warmth, enthusiasm, and exuberance. It’s a lively color, associated with Halloween and Thanksgiving. Orange isn’t as intense as red because it’s blended with the cheeriness of yellow.

Orange has been touted as one of America’s least favorite colors, perhaps because it’s been associated with arrogance, danger, and overemotion. Orange is used to draw attention – such as the caution signal on a traffic light.

BLUE:  Blue is associated with spirituality, thought, and melancholy. It’s also connected to calmness, cleanliness, and wisdom. When you feel blue or “have the blues”, you’re usually a little sad for the moment – but the blues are fleeting. This color is thought to be an appetite suppressant, because blue isn’t a natural color for fruit, vegetables, or meat (even blueberries are more purple than blue).
Blue colors have the opposite effect of red colors. That is, blue causes a decrease in breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. It’s a subduing, cool color that can appear peaceful, but may also seem sad.
(Also from Suite 101)

BROWN: The website Squidoo offers this information about brown:
 It is a natural color that evokes a sense of strength and reliability. Brown can also create feelings of sadness and isolation.  Brown brings to mind feeling of warmth, comfort, and security. It is often described as natural, down-to-earth, and conventional, but brown can also be sophisticated.

So, I can take from this that I'm an attention-seeking, melancholy person who tends to feel isolated, but craves warmth, comfort, and security. Yup! That just about says it all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good: 2, Evil: 2

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Today has been a challenging day for me so far, willpower-wise.  Lunchtime will be that way, I suppose.  Many of my different selves were warring with each other.  The first battle was while standing in line at Piccadilly. (It is Piccadilly Tuesday, for the thus uninformed.) They were serving a golden-fried butterfly filleted chicken breast with a light and lovely-looking mushroom sauce.  Right away, I think to myself, Mmmm...that looks so good. Compassionate Me pipes up right away: "No! No meat! You're here to get a veggie plate and nothing else!" Still-present Callous Me rebuffs: "Don't listen! That chicken looks delicious! Boy, you sure picked a dumb time of your life to be a vegetarian! Couldn't you have waited until you were like, 80, or something?"
Compassionate Me: "No! You're doing the right thing! Those chickens were certainly factory farmed! Poor things! And imagine how grossed out you'll be if you come across a vein or a tendon while you're eating!"
Callous Me: "Eh, shut up. Chickens don't have feelings, really. Besides, no one will see you, and no one has to know...."
Compassionate Me: "Do I have to remind you of the Meet Your Meat video again? How many times do you need to see chickens being de-beaked or violently thrown across a farmyard for you to get this through your head?"
Well, at the mention of the video, I caved.  Or rather, I didn't cave.  Score 1 for Compassionate Me. I had a veggie plate, just like I had originally intended.
The next battle was of Frugal Me vs. Extravagant Me.  I've been wanting a bottle of black nail polish since last Thursday (I know, an eternity, right?), and I had been continually having to remind myself that I don't need it.  I've got to be very economical now that I'm going back to school; I should only be buying the things I really need.  But before I can swing out of the restaurant, Extravagant Me has fully taken charge, and is marching me down to Trade Secret for a bottle of OPI Black Onyx. She has her hand tightly over Frugal Me's mouth - who can be heard mumbling weakly.  Frugal Me is such a weakling, by the way. She's gonna have to go to an assertiveness training class if I'm ever going to survive my Therapeutic Massage program.  Well, at the register, the deed having been done, the cashier complements my ring, and asks me if I got it at the new store in the mall - Charming Charlie. When I tell her no, she informs me that it is the most amazing accessory store. My pulse quickens, and I feel Frugal Me starting to faint. And that's when Fat Girl Me stepped in: she decided that Frugal Me would feel much better if she ate a brownie.  And she was mostly right.  Fat Girl Me really enjoyed that unnecessary brownie from the Great American Cookie Company.  Score 0 for Skinny Girl Me.
On the way back from said ruinous brownie, Frugal Me was just getting her strength back when Extravagant Me walked past the aforementioned Charming Charlie.  This time, as I passed the windows gleaming with rack after rack of brightly colored baubly necklaces, chunky bracelets, huge fake rings, and leathery purses, Extravagant Me and I were holding each other and weeping. "Just one little peep," we promised each other.  I practically ran over to a display of brown-ish sparkly rings.  I was breathless.  Frugal Me, clearly on a sugar high from the brownie, shouted, "OUT!!!! OUT OF THIS STORE!!! NOW!!!!" Fine, Fine.  So I put it back, and walked sheepishly with my head down.  I may need to take an extra job just for accessories money, now.  Thanks alot, MALL.
So if you lost count, here's the final score:
Compassionate Me: 1                                         Callous Me: 0
Frugal Me: 1                                                       Extravagant Me: 1
Skinny Girl Me: 0                                                Fat Girl Me: 1

This Week I Will Be Mostly... a day late...

This week I Will Be Mostly...

...wearing clothes that I have lain out the night before. Trying to save time in the morning!
...reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. My fSIL and I have started our own little book club.
...watching the last episode on disc 3, season 2 of Little House on the Prairie, and then I won't be watching anything else this week.
...listening to Gregorian chants. I'm working on Christian meditation.
...eating some whole grains -gotta round this green smoothie out. for chia seeds and hemp powder. I still haven't found them. Also, I've looked up and down for canned pumpkin - I guess when the grocery stores finally do stock it, I'll have to buy enough to last me the whole year. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

This Week I Will Be Mostly...

...wearing comfortable shoes. Grocery shopping in heels threw my hips all outta whack.
...reading the last bit of Eat Pray Love. Then it's back to Byron Katie.
...watching not much; the last episode of Community I haven't seen, maybe.
...listening to calming music. I'm feeling the Billie Holiday right now.
...eating/drinking Jealousy. Not intended to be a double entendre, but it is, I think. for a spiralizer, maybe a mincer, chia seeds, and canned pumpkin.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hospital Food: You've Come a Long Way, Baby

The green beans and the carrots were actually LABELED as being vegan!! (clearly, the Mac & Cheese is not) That is crazy rare, and I was impressed by the loveliness of this simple fare. Simple graces.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jealousy and Salt

a.k.a. The recipe for a good smoothie and a good evening, respectively

I am still violently in love with our new blender, Vera. And I have been so proud for people to see my/Richard's beautiful green smoothies and say yuck! Because we're scamming them. Truly, the color of the green is so beautiful that I don't know why people aren't snatching them out of our hands and guzzling them down themselves - or at least taking them to Home Depot to use as a sample for the color they would like for their bathrooms.  Anyway, the scam is, we're getting the leafy greens that all of us desperately need, but don't feel like eating, in a drink so delicious that you would never guess had spinach and other good stuff in it.  I'm telling you, Smoothie King is charging $5 for the same stuff that we get for around $1 from home.  And we know that absolutely none of it is processed, unlike Smoothie King, where you are not 100% in control of what goes into your cup.  Whoopee!  So this is where Jealousy comes in to play.  I am haphazardly busy creating recipes for smoothies of my own, and I've come across one recipe in particular that I'm really crazy about.  And being the word nerd that I am, each drink has a name, and so far, each name is a play on words.  Hence, this favorite green drink of mine is named Jealousy!
If you are feeling adventurous, here is the recipe:

Voila! Green Goodness!

  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh baby-ish spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 banana, torn into 3 segments
  • 1/2 Fuji apple (optional)
  • ice as desired (optional)
  • Hemp or other protein powder as desired (optional)
Add the ingredients in the order listed - okay, you might want to dump the protein powder after the grapes - and if you're working with a Vitamix, go from variable 1 to 10 quickly, and then go to high. Blend for 30-50 seconds.  
If you add a milk/whey based protein powder, it might affect the flavor, but I'm not sure - I'm trying to keep my green smoothies as vegan as possible. 

Now for the salt aspect: 
I have become a recent convert to Epsom salts.  I had a painful Swedish massage a few weeks ago at the start of a detox, and afterwards the masseur told me to make sure I took an Epsom salt bath that evening, which I was all too happy to do.  For whatever reason, I had a large bag of Lavender-scented Epsom salts already on hand.  Now, being the ingredient reader that I am, I had read the back label of the salt bag to see what it actually was (magnesium sulfate), and then after the bath Googled "benefits of an Epsom salt bath." You can find my favorite but altogether standard answer to that query here, but the long and short of it is that we don't really get enough Magnesium in our diets, AND we don't absorb it very well in our stomach and intestines, but GUESS WHAT!?! We absorb it very well through our SKIN!!! You'd be surprised at all Magnesium does when you get it in proper proportions - not the least of which is makes you feel better.  

All that to say, the other night I declared a "Baths and Books" night, sparked in part by Eat Pray Love, which I have embarked upon at the behest of my future sister-in-law who wants me to have read in time for our visit next week, so that we can go see it in the movie theater.  I drew a lovely Epsom salt bath, texted said Sister-in-Law, and then had a lovely reading session.  It was the recipe for a truly lovely evening.  All that was missing was a green smoothie. Cheers!

Friday, August 13, 2010

See, This is Why I Have One

Why is it that I always feel the need to impress my therapist? Like he's going, Hmm... She didn't straighten her hair this morning - clearly unstable. Or, My that blouse looks wrinkly - did she pull it straight out of the dryer and slap it on? (Yes, yes I did.) Perhaps we need to increase her dosage... 
I'm pondering this as I get ready to put on the highest heels that I own to sit with old Judgey Judgerson for 15 minutes! It's FRIDAY for crying out loud! And I am up to nothing else important today! Yet I will go trudging along to my husband's school, and Wolf Camera, and whatever else I'm doing all in heels because I'm afraid Dr. Bemused Grin with his Steno Notebook of Critical Observations will look disapprovingly upon me showing up in flip-flops.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inspiration: Operation Beautiful

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To every woman who has ever felt unworthy
To every woman who has ever felt lonely
To every woman who has ever wondered, “Am I beautiful?”
To every woman who has compared herself to another
To every woman who has asked herself, “Why me?”
To every woman who has ever been lied to
To every woman who is struggling
To every woman who is crying
To every woman who is empty
To every woman who is searching for an answer
Take this.
From a woman who has experienced the deepest low and soared at the highest heights
From a woman who has questioned everything
From a woman who has discovered her beauty
From this woman to you.
From inside your heart, beauty blossoms.
From inside your soul, love dwells.
From inside your mind, wisdom emerges.
From the inside, your beauty shines.
Love your body for all it can do, love your body for all it has done.
Never forget how far you have come, and always remember how far you will go.
Click here, pass on the love.

The dates are a bit off, I realize, but the poem is inspiring nonetheless.  I definitely teared up towards the end.  I have certainly struggled with self-esteem and a seemingly genetic predisposition towards low self-worth, and it's nice to know not only do others fight that battle, but that someone is actively striving to get us all involved in changing it. Beauty is not a number on the scale, or even a reflection in the mirror.  It's not a size on a clothing tag.  There's an antiquated saying that my grandmother actually  used on me as a child: "Pretty is as pretty does."  Nothing could be more true.And I need reminding everyday.