31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Not much to say here tonight - my little girl went out as little red riding hood tonight and scored a dining room table's worth of loot.

I stayed home, where it was warm, and gave out treats. Despite the fact that we live in the city, we only got 14 kids. That was, however, double what we've ever had before. I totally credit the decorations.

So here's what the house looked like to trick or treaters tonight. And yes, that is about a foot of snow. I know I've mentioned I live in Canada before, so this should be no surprise, what with the 9 foot wall of snow at the 49th parallel and all.

The graveyard Greg put out when he got home from work tonight.

The overall look. The white blobs along the driveway are ghosty lights. They were a clearance bargain at Canadian Tire last week!

Family Pumpkins. Mine is the one on the left. Miss F's is the one in the middle, and Greg's is the wee terrified looking one on the right. Greg's was grown in our garden!

Interior of the house. Just for us to enjoy :)

The desk at the top of the stairs.

The dining room window. Yes. I painted that.

The living room window. I painted this one too.

So that's Halloween. Something funny: The playlist I put together, and started when we got home this afternoon? It finished as I started washing the windows.

In other news, I am trying to figure out if I need a root canal. I have this broken tooth. And I was a lazy slacker about going and getting it looked at, initially because we had no dental coverage, but then just because I was a slacker. So it started to hurt a lot. I went to the dentist this week and they took x-rays and there was this HUGE crater in my tooth. The dentist said they might need to do a root canal, but in the meantime, he was putting a medicated filling in and hopefully that would work. I still am having pain, but I'm wondering if it's just typical 'just saw the dentist pain', or if it's this bad tooth of mine. Until then, I am able to eat and drink like a normal person again finally, so am happily chugging water and taking ibuprophen to make the pain stop. 

More tomorrow after I dig myself out from under the Halloween stuff that needs to be put away.

29 October 2012

Pro-active rather than reactive

One of the things I determined was important to my general well-being was that I start being more pro-active about my health. To that end, 18 months ago, I started tracking my food intake. I've been a big girl my entire life, and while I mostly like myself, I do have a lot of fat-shame. More importantly than the fat-shame, I have a child who needs a role model. She's going to be tall, and she's going to be strong and healthy, and I want her to know that healthy and strong are not bad things for a little girl to be, but I also want her to know how to plan a healthy meal, and healthy snacks, and get plenty of exercise because those things will allow her to stay healthy.

So I started to think about my health. I've had arthritis since I was 12. I had gestational diabetes, which puts me at risk for type 2 diabetes. I have a history of cancer and stroke in my family. I needed to take control of my health, and do whatever I could to minimize those risks.

Back to the food tracking. I'd been unsuccessful at weight watchers about a million times. I'd recently gone through a 16 week period where I attended and logged faithfully and lost 3 pounds. Total. I was beginning to think there was something physiologically wrong with me.

One of my girlfriends had been using myfitnesspal.com to track her weight loss journey, and so I thought to myself, "Self, if there is truly something wrong with you, you need evidence. You need to track your intake diligently, so that you can take that data in to the doctor and say 'look, this is what I eat, and I am either gaining or maintaining this unhealthy weight.' You need to have evidence because medicine is about evidence."

I started tracking. I didn't get on a scale for the first two weeks, but I tracked. And one day I noticed my pants were a little bit roomier. So I got on a scale. And I chose that as my starting weight. It has been 16 months since then, and guess what? There's nothing physiologically wrong with me. I have yet to see my doctor to wave my 'evidence' in his face and demand answers.

Because I've lost over 50 pounds.

After about 6 weeks, I realized that weight watchers just wasn't working for me for whatever reason, and that this calorie counting business was. And I went with it. If I'd remained as diligent as I was the first three months, I'd probably be down 80 or 90 pounds by now, but I'm operating on 2 principles: 1) Life is meant to be lived and that means sometimes I have ice cream and 2) if it comes off slowly, it means I am finally changing my eating habits, and I will finally be successful in keeping this weight off, and the yo-yo dieting will end.

So now my goal is to lose another 50 pounds over the next year or so. And then I'll be just a little bit heavier than I was when I graduated from high school 20 years ago. I think I can do it, and I hope I am teaching my daughter determination and strength as well as teaching her how to eat healthy.

P.S. There are 2 posts up at the writing blog (http://superheronightgown.blogspot.ca/)

28 October 2012

Recycling Excitement

The shame of living in a small city in central British Columbia is the ass-tastic lack of recycling options. Our local regional district offers paper, cardboard and metal can recycling, but not glass, and not plastic. Since everything in the universe is made of plastic, it really wasn't reducing our footprint.

I thought I'd struck gold when I found a private curbside recycling place. But dude wanted to put me on a waitlist! So that kind of sucked. What also sucked was that he never phoned me back about anything. Jerk.

Eventually, through Facebook, I noticed a friend of a friend talking about her private recycling guy. And I did a few hours of research (seriously, dude was hard to find) and tracked the guy down. So now, for just less than 12 bucks a month, we have a guy come and take away our recyclables, including glass and plastic. YAY.

We had the smallest can the city gave us anyhow because we're pretty good composters, and have been pretty diligent about the cardboard. But now? We have 1 Glad Kitchen-Catcher a week! Manthing's attacked the project with an unnerving zeal, and even the munchkin is getting in on the act.

I feel like we're actually making a difference. And then, next year, when we go even more hardcore and relocate the compost to somewhere closer, I'll be feeling even more excited about it all.

26 October 2012


What the what? I have a blog??

I totally forgot. No, that's not true. I got busy saving the world as a member of a super secret government initiative that adequately utilizes my super-pow-- you're not going to believe that either, are you.

I just lost the joy of writing. Again. This seems to be happening more and more to me, except all of a sudden I'm having these massively detailed dreams which I suspect might be stories trying to escape and make it on their own. I also have a huge to-do list, not the least of which includes decorating for halloween this weekend. I also have some commissions to work on, a disgusting house and some personal projects that I suspect will bring me huge amounts of angst as well as joy. So there's that.

The garden became a garden of neglect. It was super weedy thanks to Manthing's insistence on putting weeds in the compost. I don't weed. I also apparently need a watering timer because I would forget to water for days upon days and then water for 24 hours straight because I forgot I turned the damn tap on. We got 1 beautiful pumpkin out of the garden, and an enormous amount of tomatoes and carrots. The potatoes had what I thought was potato scab but after being out of the ground for 2 days they rotted and made the most horrifying smell I've ever encountered from something that came out of the ground, so I think it must have been blight. Which would make sense because of my Irish ancestry. Or something.

The peas... the poor sad peas. I never got around to stringing them up so the squirrels loved them. And the squirrels also loved my zucchini, which were appropriately enormous, and still growing when the little bastards started to nosh on them.

But here's the good news! Manthing secured a transfer home on October 1st, so guess who won't be responsible for the veggie garden of cruel neglect again? ME! I will tend my remedy garden (the third attempt!) and mind the pumpkins because they are my favourite and leave the rest to him.

I should talk about remedies now. I learned myself how to make a sore muscle salve this summer. I thought it worked quite well, and it also worked for me as a bruise salve, so I made some more and gave some away. Then one of my friends blew out his knee, and I gave him a tiny container (because tiny was all I had on hand in the moment) and he said it worked better than the store bought stuff he had! So I made him more, and he still loved it! So I had one test subject who thought my sore muscle salve worked well - after his MRI, it turned out that he has a torn meniscus and possible ACL tear, so knowing it helped an injury that bad made my heart happy.

I was chatting up one of the women I work with and she was having a hard time with her elbow, so I brought some in for her too. And she said she used it for a few days and then was fine. <i>It actually cured her pain</i>.

To say I was pretty stoked would be an understatement. I was thrilled to bits. So now I know what people are getting for Hexmas! With the success of my antiseptic ointment as well as the sore muscle salve, there's going to be some home remedies in everyone's stockings.

So that's my crunchy update. My other news is that I may have to start a new writing blog because I have these tales rolling around in my head...