Tuesday, May 29, 2012

well it *seemed* like a good idea

So I don't come off looking very good in this one, but I think it's useful information to share so here goes: As a lot of you know, my back/hip has been all shades of messed up recently.  I haven't been able to run since mid March.  I finally figured out the cause of my distress; removal of a plantar wart.  Yep, that's the ugly truth.  That stupid wart showed up when I was maybe 10 yrs old or so.  As far as I clearly remember it has just always been there.  I was like 24 before somebody told me what it was.  So of course, I probably should have had the thing surgically removed, but I tried most of the over-the-counter remedies to no avail.  Last fall I read an article about wacky home remedies that really work, one was duct tape will get rid of warts.  So having invested hundreds of dollars in wart removal aids in the last 15 years, I spent the $3.79 of a roll of hot pink duct tape.  Well no shit, it works!  But what I hadn't counted on is that I changed the structure of the bottom of my foot.  I've been walking around on that damned growth for like 30 years and in just a few weeks I made to go away.  Oh Hell my back and hips HATE me.  It will get better, but for now there a a lot of visits to the chiropractor and acupuncturist in my near future as the rest of me adjusts to the new walking surface.  How ridiculous is that?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My weight; time to stop the sick yo-yo.

As many of you know I am unhappy with my current weight.  In thinking of what I will need to do to lose the weight I realized that never in my entire life have I been in "maintenance mode".  When I am at an acceptable weight I start playing a sick game of 'how low can you go'.  Last time I was serious about losing weight I had a secret goal of becoming underweight.  So what always ends up happening is that I get tired of dieting and I give up entirely and gain everything back.  This time I gained everything and then some.  I don't know why I do this to myself.  I just realized that this is what I do.  I recently read that a BMI of 22 is ideal.  The closer people are to 22 the healthier they tend to be. At the moment I sit solidly 20 pounds away from that and while that is a long term goal my short term is just to lose 10 pounds.  Maybe settle there for a while.  See if I can stay at that weight.  I have to stop the pattern of up and down and learn how to settle.  That will be a new thing for me.  In the meantime, I'll keep running, maybe get back into the toning/weight work.  Try to just "watch" what I eat as opposed to my usual obsessive calorie counting, and cut out the alcohol calories and see what happens.  Now I just have to not obsess.  That will be a trick in it's self. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

OK folks, you're gonna have to bear with me. This is my new "cause". It's my kid's school-or Your kid's school-or Every kid's school. It's an idea we're trying to promote because it fills a variety of needs.

Please Join Us For [Chaos's] 7th Birthday Party! Saturday, February 18th from 2-4pm at the Ice Arena, Blah blah. Chaos asks that instead of gifts for herself this year, she’d like her friends to each donate a small item to their classroom that can be shared by all. On a day where we, her parents, celebrate how much Chaos has grown, we think it’s a great idea to contribute to the school and the teachers who’ve helped her come this far. Miss Teacher’s wish list is below. We’ll have a special box at Chaos’s party for your classroom gifts. Miss Teacher’s wish list includes: Colored pencils-sharpened, please Glue sticks (Costco has good deals) Watercolor paints Big & medium paint brushes Thanks So Much For Helping Please RSVP To the loving but inept mom.

I ran the numbers, I found colored pencils on sale for $2 a box. Glue sticks were 3 for $2 as well. If the parents of each kid contributed just $25 my kid's teacher would have the supplies she needs.
If you've read this far, please tell me what you think and if you would consider doing this.  Thanks!

Religion MIGHT just be bad for kids

This morning, as I sat in a class/meeting on officially becoming members of the church we have been going to, I had an interesting self-realization that led me to the idea that maybe we're (the greater "we") hurting our kids with religion more than we are helping them. 
     I was raised Catholic.  Ideas about religion and faith were presented as "this is what we believe".  Everything was pretty black and white.  I can only imagine that the religion worked for my folks.  They never once gave me the idea that anything else was acceptable.  "This is what we believe" or you're wrong was pretty solidly the impression I got.
     Now I am a grown woman.  Sometimes I feel as if I have at least two personalities.  The me I show to the world, and then that insecure me that few people see.  The insecure one is the larger of the two, but she has so freaking many insecurities, paranoia(s) and phobias that darned few people get to see her.  And even then, if I let people see all of my insecurities I fear they will lock me up and throw away the key.  Sometimes I think maybe they should.
     So, all this comes together when I realized this morning that Catholicism never worked for me.  I remember making my first communion (age 7) thinking that the whole thing was more that a little weird.  How was this not cannibalism?  (really, Catholics believe that it is actually the body and blood of Christ wrapped up in a little miracle each week just for them).  And I just didn't believe it.  As I grew up and learned more, went though more and more of their rights of initiation, the more I felt like I was drowning.  I didn't believe this crap for an instant--and there was no way out.  We lived across the street from our church and the school associated with it.  EVERYONE I knew was catholic.  I didn't dare ask anyone else if they didn't believe.  I just knew that even though I wanted to believe, I just couldn't.  As soon as I could get out, I did.  But I realized this morning that I carry a whole world of insecurities simply because I grew up not believing in God the "right" way. 
     Shortly after we started attending the church we do, I had an "ah-ha" moment:  your church  shouldn't define who you are or what you believe, your church should help you express what is already in your soul.  And as much as I love my new church, I vow to be open to the idea that maybe this isn't the place where my children feel they belong as adults. And don't get me wrong, I will make them go to church, but I will never teach them that every other church and faith is wrong.  Because just like I knew I didn't believe in Catholicism, I do believe that God has a place for every faith. 
     This morning I figured out why I carry so many insecurities.  Now that I know why, it's time to start finding ways to dump them.  Thanks

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gifts of Christmases Past

Last year when I stumbled on a recipe that my husbands family had loved, but thought they had lost when their grandma died, I got to thinking about how easy it is to loose those little things we remember that made the holidays special.  This year I am resurrecting a few other old recipes of Grandma Tallman's that I found in her old cookbooks.  While we'll be giving the cookies to my in-laws as gifts, I think preserving some of these traditions, left over from "the old world", is also giving a gift to ourselves and our kids.  In an effort to recover some of the lost past on my side of the family, I have contacted a cousin in Ireland and explained that I don't have any old, handed down traditional Irish recipes, and would he ask his mum, and her siblings what they remember.  I explained that even if they could remember a name and a few ingredients, I could likely find something close on the Internet.  I'm chasing down the past and trying to make new traditions for my own family.  I want my kids to have more of a sense of their heritage than just knowing where their ancestors came from. 
     One of the better gifts I have ever given, was homemade, and will probably never get used.  In digging up old recipes, my mother-in-law gave me the names of some dishes that she remembered from her childhood.  With those and a few others, I put together a "cookbook" of traditional Norwegian recipes.  In between the recipes, I put old pictures of her family that I had found on Ancestry.com.  Pictures of her grandparents when they were still in Norway.  Pictures of her mother as a teen.  Pictures of the family in later years, more the way she remembers them.  My mother-in-law is in poor health.  She can't do much cooking and baking the way she used to.  She will probably never use even one of the recipes I printed out for that cookbook.  But, when my husband gave her the cookbook, she remembered almost all the recipes I had found.  Her hand traced over the pictures of her family.  She murmured the names of loved ones lost long ago.  And she was speechless. 
     Hindsight being 20/20, I should have made a copy of that cookbook for myself, as well.  Someday I will.  For now, I keep fining new recipes to try, I'm still chasing down the old recipes, and I'm trying to find a heritage for my children that has nearly been lost.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Marks of Success

About a year ago I took an interest in cooking.  It turns out that I'm pretty good at it.  I have a good instinct for it.  It's been a ton of fun building my own cookbook and trying new recipes.  I love planning menus and organizing the grocery list so that I have a plan when it comes to dinner every night.  I feel like I am doing something good for my family as well as for our household.  It's funny how what I see as being a success was one of the trappings my own mother and especially her mother broke free from.  Grandma was a professional woman.  In the 40's darned few women went back to work after having children.  Usually if a women went back to work after she had kids, it was because, for some reason, her husband couldn't or wouldn't support the needs of the family.  With Grandma, that wasn't the case.  I mean sure, they struggled through the depression like everybody else, but Grandpa had a pretty good nest-egg stashed.  Grandma didn't cook much.  I remember a few breads and things, our joke was always that our favorite family recipes could be "found on the back of the box" of brownies, or cake or whatever.  In a lot of ways, to a lot of people, Grandma had made it.  She had a good marriage, family and a career.  My own mother was a stay at  home mom, but she was really involved with a lot of things and rarely stayed at home on any given day.  She was a lousy cook.  To be very honest, I don't even think she really enjoyed what she cooked.  I think "eatable" was really her highest goal in cooking.  She had one cookie dough recipe she used for everything.  It had variations for peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies.  It was the only recipe she ever used to make cookies.  Ever.  She tried lots of new recipes.  But in the end, while mom was good at a lot of things, cooking wasn't one of them.  It was never a priority for her.  She had other things she wanted to spend her time on.  It's funny to me to look at how the marks of success change.  My grandmother "got" to work and didn't cook.  Just a couple of generations later I "get" to stay home and love cooking.  I wonder what my daughter will do.  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Me learning to cook & the Visa commercial

So I only started to cook about a year ago.  It has been fun, I seem to have a good instinct for these things.  The best story, however, comes from last Christmas.  I wanted to revive the Norwegian tradition of making 7 different kinds of cookies for the holidays.  I found one recipe that looked really good, but I had to order one ingredient from Amazon.com.  Bakers Ammonia is hard to find, and stupid expensive when you can find it.  So, there I am making these Norwegian almond cookies and rolling the dough into little balls and sticking them in the freezer and my husband had a childhood flashback: he remembered those little dough balls in the freezer.  So after they had frozen, and I cooked them, yep, they were exactly what my husband remembered from his childhood.  A recipe that they thought they had lost with their Grandma, and I had pulled it off of the Internet.  Who would have freaking guessed?  It was better than a visa commercial, cause I had made the cookies-and they were perfect.  We sent goodie boxes to all of his family for Christmas.  For me, the best thing ever was giving them a little of their past as a Christmas gift.  I hope to do it again this year, I have another recipe I need to try.  :D