Snow

Today there was snow. Wet, heavy-ish snow. The kind that sounded like popping bubble wrap as you walked upon it. It was warmish, as warm as it can get and still have snow on the ground. It’s really the second snowfall of the season, but the first to actually need shovelling. I like snow when it’s like this and I like it even better because it’s new.

As I was walking back home, I came to the part where I met the solitary tracks of my son and I that were just made minutes before. I all of sudden was grateful for those tracks. I saw where I turned to see if he was close by. I noticed there is a slight drag in the heel of his step, undoubtedly caused by the dragging or shuffling of his feet. New boots can be heavy. I imagined our presences passing me on the way to school and saw that we were happy.

I often walk him to school because I am thinking of the environment or time. It’s faster for us to walk most days because we live so close, but we also walk because of him. He loves the walk. He is always insisting us to walk. Some mornings when i’m tired or when I am freezing, I have a hard time understanding why. But today, today I think I might have gotten a glimpse.

Nervous But Trying: Teaching in Church is Hard For Me

A little nervous. I have to (I mean get to) teach again tomorrow. I often feel so inadequate, and frustrated when my thoughts cannot be put into words and thats when I just make comments, let alone teach. It’s something I have struggled with for a very long time.

When I was young, I knew all the answers. I have a pretty good memory and am able to regurgitate facts or information pretty easily. At a young age that is all that is required. As I got older, the questions got harder. There was more applying the knowledge then repeating it. I am ok at that too, but I’m slow. And often when I am put on the spot, I stutter, say the wrong thing, or never really get out what in my heart I know is really good. EVERYTHING sounds way better in my head. ALL. THE. TIME. Don’t believe me? Just try to have a conversation with me in front of people.

I had a great group of friends growing up, but often my comments were followed by “It’s all in the delivery AL” They weren’t trying to be mean, and I know that. In fact I laughed some of it off, but now over 20 years later. I would just rather sit quiet and never talk. After all it’s better to remain quiet then to remove all doubt. That’s sort of how the saying goes. Right?!

I long for the ability to be a great orator, but would that gift be for my glory or would it be for God’s? I’m afraid that I do enjoy the “praise of men” and I probably weak enough that I would start to think it was all me. I am ashamed to say that at times I have come very close to that. My pride does enjoy the stroking.

Maybe I am also nervous because I can be judgemental (I’m totally trying to work on that) and maybe others are as judgemental as I am when I am teaching. Just so you know my judgements aren’t thrown around all the time and not willy nilly. I really try to stay open minded and am really trying hard to be open to the fact that perhaps the spirit told them they needed to teach the lesson that way, despite the fact that I have prepared as a student and am ready for the lesson that was scheduled. Oh, I really need to work on my judgements. I am trying REALLY.

We also have a difficult class member. By difficult I don’t mean antagonistic or mean. They ask questions that I am not prepared for. Luckily there are others in the class that can support me, but often, I am a flustered and have a hard time wrapping my head around what they have asked. Then add the language barrier. It’s getting better but it’s hard and uncomfortable for me. Kind of like training for a marathon, for your brain.

I knew when I was called to be a Ward Missionary (also something way out of my comfort zone) that it would involve teaching, and my first thought was dread, but my next thought was this will be good practice. I know it will be good for me, but I just don’t like to do it. At least I’m trying that is half the battle.

White

I grew up with white walls. I was so excited to be introduced to colour back in the early 90’s. Now I want white, but I’m scared. Even more scared than I was picking colour. Gah. Why?

1. I have 3 boys and everything gets dirty when you have 3 boys.

2. I want to pick the right white. Even though I know my eye will read the various shades of white as plain white, in the store, I don’t want to pick a yellow, or a green or a pink or a baby blue. I want it warm but I also want it cool. My indecision is driving me nuts. What is also driving me equally nutty is the Chocolate Wendy’s frosty colour on my walls. It’s great for selling a home, but it’s boring and oh so dark in my house that doesn’t get direct sunlight ever in it’s windows.

3. The money. I want to spend the money, but I hate spending the money, unless I’m sure.

 

Thats pretty much all the things that are holding me back.

It was my tibial plateau

Yesterday I got to go to the follow up with the bone doctor. Much more informative this time. I came in and immediately found out it was my plateau and that it was non-displaced because it was written in on my chart sheet. Question #1 answered.

After they took the progress x-ray, I got to sit in a tiny curtained room next to a lady who was trying to sell it big that she was ready to drive and can walk full weigh bearing. I think she even said her leg felt bionic and she got up and walked around to prove her point. As she was leaving she apologized to me for being so excited. It turns out it had been 6 months for her. She was at her six week post operative checkup and pins and plates were involved. Clearly there was a long process for her to even get to surgery.

Thank you Universe for making me realize YES it could always be WORSE

She alarmed me a bit, and yet I was also encouraged. She was walking around. If I get the ok, I could be walking around and soon. Student bone doctor came in and took a bit of history and the poor boy got a little of an emotional display. He said tell me about your break and I said I really don’t know much about it other than what led to it. He took me through the x-rays and anatomy. Apparently the resistance I was feeling when trying to bend my leg was REALLY TIGHT Ligaments. Also I was given a prescription for physical therapy. Questions #2 and #3 answered.

I was told I was in the drivers seat for how long this will take and those who did their homework tend to progress faster. Good to know that I am in control. Question #4 vaguely answered. I was also told that physical therapy will hurt and I should be sore in the evening. We danced around the topic of pain medication and I avoided it. I am starting to think I should have asked for some more. Last night was the most painful sleep in my memory. I slept with ice on my knee and a pillow at my knees. Took 2 extra strength tylonol and still had to get up a couple of hours later and take something. This is without physio.

All in all good news:

1. I can drive
2. I can start trying to walk
3. The doctor thinks with physical therapy I can get my knee bending all the way back.
4. Things are returning to normal-ish
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Pahhhhstahhhh

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We aren’t big pasta eaters, we would be but husband isn’t a fan unless it’s lasagna, the heaviest of the pastas. So if we get 2 pasta meals in in a month, it’s a big enough deal that comments may or may not be made. I say maybe made as one knows if they complain, they might be on dinner making duty for the next 3 days. I however could ,if not careful, get into a pasta rut and eat it 3 times a week. It’s good I have a husband, he provides balance.

So recently I was shopping and found Catelli’s Gluten Free Pasta. It is made from white rice flour, brown rice flour, corn flour, quinoa flour and monoglycerides (whatever that is). The calories per serving are comparable to regular pasta and the taste, the most important part, is pretty much the same. I say pretty much because if you don’t watch how long you cook it for, they kind of melt together and get mushy. So far this is the best gluten free pasta I have tried, just make sure you cook it only for 8 minutes.

We team it with Kelly Ripa’s mother-in-law’s sauce. It makes a lot and so I can freeze it into 3 servings. My family likes it and they get extra veggies. I haven’t used the bouillon cubes because I don’t ever have any in my pantry but I add a bit broth instead and try to reduce the sugar.

INGREDIENTS:
3 lbs. ground round beef meat

3 (28oz.), cans crushed tomatoes with puree

1 large sweet onion

5 celery ribs

1 lb. carrots

5 big cloves of garlic

2/3 cup virgin olive oil

2 beef bouillon cubes

a “pinch black ground pepper

1 cup fresh basil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

5 teaspoon sugar (or as needed depending on the acidity of the tomatoes)

DIRECTIONS:
-Brown, crumble and drain the meat. Set it aside.

-Peel onion, carrots and celery. Cut them in small pieces and finely chop them in food processor to a puree consistency.

-In a 10 qt. non-stick pot pour the olive oil and cook the pureed vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, at medium heat.

-To the cooked vegetables, add the meat, the tomatoes, the bouillon cubes, the garlic, the pepper and the sugar.

-Cook at low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

-Finely chop the basil and crush the oregano. Add them to the cooking sauce.

-Cook the sauce for an additional 1½ hours.

-Remove the garlic, put it on a small dish and crush it into a puree consistency using a fork. Put it back in the sauce, stirring thoroughly.

-Cook sauce for 5 more minutes.
Note: Generally, the sauce is done when the garlic is soft.

Human lab results and a new experiment.

So I tried the oil cleansing, retin-A and Greens plus to improve my skin. I liked the oil cleansing originally, but as the weeks passed not so much. It felt much greasier by the end of the day (even a month into it) and when I had breakouts they were worse. I read somewhere that one shouldn’t use olive oil and that might be part of the problem because it was in my combination, but in my defence other sites said I could use it and since I had it that is what I did.

As for the retin-A, I will keep using it. I like the turn over on my skin and I think it is improving.

Healthy Greens Beautiful Skin smoothie: I will continue to use it (at least until it is done) I’m not sure how it’s helping my skin, but (sorry for being blunt) it keeps me regular and that is also very satisfying.

The new thing I will be trying is DIY dry shampoo for dark hair. It only has two ingredients (that I have in my home). It can have more like cinnamon or essential oils to add smells, but I have never been big on smells.

 

Recipe for DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair

2 tbsp Coarn Starch

2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa (you don’t want sugar, it attracts bugs)

Mix together in a air tight container. You can add 5 drops of oil or a bit of cinnamon. I didn’t. I am applying with an old powder brush at the roots scrubbing my fingers through and using a boar bristle brush to brush it through. We shall see how it helps me with my fine dark hair. And well, if it doesn’t work, I could always make cookies. I know that was gross. sorry.

 

 

House Hunting Sucks

About a month ago I thought house hunting rocked. I enjoyed looking at peoples homes and the promise of something that would be our own and be where we wanted it to be was quite appealing. So fast forward to now. On friday I got a call from our realtor that he was setting up appointments for Saturday. Almost all the houses we wanted to see were already sold including one that was listed that morning. The signed were reminiscent of the early market days of 2006 (coincidentally another immediately post flood year). Back then housing prices were pretty much going up $1000/day. A nice average home (that we were looking at back then ) went for around $260,000 now they go for $450+. It’s really sick. Anyway we were obviously priced out of the market in a like a month back then. Never mind The Mad Hatter was going to school.

So Yesterday, with this thought in my mind, I am feeling the pressure and realizing that for what we need, we can’t get where we want. We travel to what feels like an eternity away to look at houses. Enter our first open house. Walk into a large home with a beautiful view that smell of cigarette smoke. The carpet on all levels seems like it has lived an eventful life. I want to do some work on a house but I don’t think I’m ready for a full gut. Anyway we walk in and like 10 couples are leaving. The realtor pipes up that he already has 2 offers and the way the day has been going, it reminds him of 2006.

I figuratively wanted to through up right then and there. I literally wanted to cry but didn’t. You see it takes me months and many visits to buy a pair of shoes for $40 and now I’m asked to drop $XXX,XXX amount in an area I don’t want to live (because we can’t afford where we are) and to do it in hours. If I don’t we could be priced out of the market again. This goes against every cell in my body. We saw one more house after and it was nice. There was some weird stuff about it but a lot I liked. When we got in the car to go home The Mad Hatter asked me what I thought and I just started to cry. I cried because I don’t want to leave friends. And I mostly cried because of all the work I have done at the school and now I get to rip my children away from what few friends they have. We didn’t make an offer but I see the writing on the wall. I need a miracle. My one rich uncle died years ago and we didn’t see a thing so I’m doubtful. Oh my heart hurts right now.

I couldn’t go home right away as I was afraid I would loose it in front of the kids. So I made Husband and I go check out the Lindt Store that is near our house cause chocolate cures everything (well almost everything) and who knows, this may be the last time I get to go to it.

Resolution Check Up

It is almost the end of the first quarter and I am checking in to see how I am doing. I think I resolved, sort of, to do something to better myself.

1. I think the first one I wrote down was a weekly savings plan. I think we are chronologically on week 12. Savings wise, I’m a little behind, but I still am saving. It’s really the act of saving that I am trying to develop and the chart is helping. Now that I have a printer I can finally check off what I have done because I finally printed the chart. Charts are important, they show progress.

2. I have been baking. A lot more than I have in the past so yay me. However now I have been eating more. Boo me. I have put on some weight and it’s not entirely because of what I have been baking but I’m sure it doesn’t help. This week I took a bit of a break as things have gotten significantly busier, but I will probably get back to it. I just need to have more self control … and a hiding place plan so that I forget that I baked. I am enjoying making the bread. It feels like such an accomplishment when I am done.

3. Weights was another thing. I have been doing it and I have been feeling a bit stronger. I have also had a bit of an exercise epiphany and when I wrap my head around it I think I will be changing up what I regularly do. I am of a certain age and things that may have worked for me in the past may put too much stress on my body and consequently having the opposite affect.

4. Being prayerful has been hard. I love sleep and I have all these due dates, but I am acknowledging there are more blessings in my life. There have definitely more opportunities to say prayers, and I feel more guided, but I am not where I think I should be or giving what I think I should be. There is always room for improvement. Am I more prayerful? Probably yes. This is one that I need to work on more.

Skin Deep

You know what the difference between your thirties and your twenties is? When you look at pictures you can see you would look the same if you just had a really good nap.

Do you know what the difference between your thirties and your forties is? WRINKLES.

And loss of skin tone which manifests itself as wrinkles. I’m told it only gets worse.And what you would use to combat wrinkles makes my acne bad.

In most skin care lines that I have looked at it’s an either or situation. You choose what is bugging you the most and treat that. For the past two years it has ton back and forth. I need to treat my acne. Ugh my wrinkles are terrible. Now my acne is bad again. I have half full bottles of everything and I look the worse for wear.

My Aunt said Don’t worry you can cover anything with good makeup, but honestly I don’t think you can.

For the past 2 years I have been researching different treatments to help me out. I even bought a groupon for a Microderm abrasion treatment, but then chickened out just before because I managed to find a few people who had a terrible reaction and their skin suffered greatly. It still isn’t the same.

I think about doing laser or taking acutain or all those other things but what it comes down to is money, pain and irreparable damage. Thats what keeps me from doing more than skin care line after skincare line.

A part of me just wishes I could go to the Capital (in the Hunger Games) and get all buffed out to beauty base 0 and start all over. I bet you thats what microderm is.

Anyway I have come across three things I am willing to give a good solid try. Hopefully they will improve things ar at least one will. I’m going to try some Oil Cleansing, retinol and Healthy Skin greens+.

Tonight is Day 2 of Oil cleansing. I am using a combination of Olive oil and Caster oil. I massage the 1:1 ratio in my hand then onto my face. I then use a very HOT clean cloth, let it steam in and then remove the oils. Thats it. Last night my skin felt good and I woke with less inflammation (I had a really big pimple on my cheek for the last 3 days) Tonight it feels a little oily, but I don’t see anymore blackheads than normal. I hear it takes a while for your skin to adjust so I hope it isn’t bad.

After my skin is dry I apply a pea size of a retinol prescription that I have been on for a bit. I only apply this at night. I do see a bit of a quicker turn over of skin but I’m not sure if it’s really helping with the acne.

Tomorrow I will have my first Healthy Skin Greens+ smoothie. I have been thinking about starting on some greens+ for a while now, but then I usually say if I just east more veggies, especially greens, I wouldn’t need this. The fact is lately I have a hard time getting any veggies in. This is strange for me because I usually love my fruits and vegetable but I have been craving carbs like they were on a short supply and having a hard time limiting it. So I broke down and bought it. 

I am a little nervous about trying so many things at once but that just shows you how desperate I am. I’ll try to keep posted on the progress. I’m hoping all of it works. I don’t want to be twenty or even 30 again but I do want to look well rested and tighter. Fingers crossed.

 

Changing The Theme

So for the past year-ish I have had “I can do hard things” up on my blog. I was looking for something more meaningful as I had finally reached a stage where I thought I had more time. The truth is I have the same amount of time I just had different things to do. Well, the universe must have taken that as a challenge because I have pushed through some comfort zones and done and are still dealing with things I have never thought I would have to deal with. It was a good reminder, but I am thinking I need to go back to something a little more light. I have the “I can do hard things” mantra down. I have said it many times even when I haven’t been blogging. I will still use it, when necessary.

Since one of my goal is taking on a little more cooking, baking and frankly battling the area of food, I will change it.