Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good (almost lazy) Friday

Date: March 21
Mileage: 9.0
March Mileage: 40.9
Year's Mileage: 40.9
Temp/Weather: 58F, Sunny, very windy
Days Until RAGBRAI: 119

So yesterday I had the day off from work. All I had on my schedule was the finishing of folding and putting away three loads of laundry, and to run (bike) a couple of errands. Sadly, I got stuck on the couch somehow, and didn't wake up until 4:45. I thought of it as a rest day after biking to work the last 5 days. I know that to a lot of you that biking only 4.6 miles a day, round trip isn't all that hard, but it is a big deal for the self-proclaimed couch potato. And the fact that I rode 5.8 miles yesterday, into the wind, is huge for me. I happen to be quite proud of myself.

So, anyhow. I got out on my bike about 5 pm. I had to go to the specialty pet store to pick up 8 pounds of frozen dog food. I got to Borders about 5:30, it is only half a block from the pet store, and I was so frozen. The wind was blowing into me the whole time. My ears were frozen, my fingers were frozen, my legs were frozen. So I stopped at Borders to warm up with a hot tea and a cookie. While I was enjoying my Chai, I thought I would look for a book Scott has been wanting to read, and I found it, the last copy at the store. So I picked that up, got a biking book, and headed back out. I got to my bike at 5:55, unlocked it, got situated, and coasted down to the pet store. Pulled up, and the doors are locked, lights are out. The damn store closes at 6 pm. What the hell? What kind of store closes at 6 pm on a Friday? Do they WANT to go out of business? Apparently. So now today, I have to bundle up again, and ride out there again. They are the only store in Omaha that carries this brand of pet food, so I really don't have a choice. I am a little miffed. I had no idea that this store would close so early. Damn my frozen fingers, and Borders beckoning warm embrace.

On my way home, I made three more stops. One was to the bike shop; I needed one of my fenders to be tightened, and my computer calibrated to miles instead of kilometers. I found the cutest cycling jersey, but I have to wait to buy it. Hopefully they will still have my size, or will be able to order it when I can afford it. Then I stopped at a new "pet boutique" right by my house, but they won't be open until April. I wanted to see if I could convince them to carry this brand of dog food that is so hard to find. Finally I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some chicken breasts for dinner. I got home right at 7:00. Not too bad. Two hours. My longest day on the bike so far. Nice and lazy, right up until 5 o'clock.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Commuting can suck


Date: March 19
Mileage: 5.4
March Mileage: 27.3
Year's Mileage: 27.3
Temp/Weather:
Sunny, clear, 54F


So, commuting can suck. I haven't minded it so much yet, but this morning I had a messenger bag on my back with about 35 pounds of books inside, jabbing into my back. Ouch, ouch is all I can say. Between the strap rubbing my shoulder raw, and the books doing their best to puncture one of my lungs, I had a hard time of it this morning on my way into work. I made it half way before I decided that puncturing a lung would be worse than massive back and shoulder cramps, so I swung the bag around and rode with it basically sitting on my lap the rest of the way.


I came to the decision somewhere between home and work, that perhaps a rack and some panniers aren't quite the "luxury" item I had thought they would be. If I am going to use my bike in replacement of my car, I am probably going to have to spend a little more money, and get some cargo holding equipment for my bike.

Grocery shopping probably wouldn't be such a great idea if I want to bring home ice cream and all I have is my messenger bag. Back heat in summer is pretty hot. And speaking of hot, carrying a loaded down messenger bag in the summer is going to suck big time. Omaha can get pretty humid, hot, and muggy. And with Spring knocking on the door, we probably only have 1 - 1.5 nice months of non-muggy weather coming up.

So now I should look for a rack ( I really like Planet Bike's Disc Rack), and some panniers. I have no clue about these. I think I will call the Bike-Rack and see if they carry the rack that I like, and if they will help put it on my bike, along with some panniers. I want to run errands on my bike on Friday, since I have the day off for a religious holiday that I don't celebrate. But I'll be damned if I am going to run those errands with my messenger bag (I need 15 pounds of frozen dog food).


By the way, I remembered my camera this morning. I got a great shot of a frost covered "field" for your viewing pleasure.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Foggy Morning

Date: March 18
Mileage: 2.3 in a.m., 2.3 p.m.
March Mileage: 21.9
Year's Mileage: 21.9
Temp/Weather: 35F, thick fog
Days until BRAN: 81


It was so beautiful this morning. The weather was almost perfect for riding. It was just cool enough for my fingers to be cold when I got to work. But I didn't mind. The fog made it all worthwhile. And I feel just awful that I forgot my camera. Between the golden grass, the thick thick fog, and the skeletal trees, I felt like I was the only person out this morning that really saw how beautiful the fog is.

If I had been hurtling down the road in my car, I would have thought the fog was just an annoyance. An impediment to me going as fast as I wanted. Conversely, on my bike, I wanted to go a little slower so I could enjoy it longer. I am looking out the window, and it has already burned off. It is so fleeting. We should appreciate those little beautiful moments that make life seem more wonderful, who knows how long before it goes away and it is just a whispy memory.

Tonight, after work I have a hair appointment. This will be my first attempt towards my final goal of being blond. I am ready for something drastic. Spring and the changing of the season does it to me every year. Last year I was going to get a tattoo, and ended up with 4 new piercings. Sadly, the tattoo never happened. The piercings did, but they didn't stick around.

I think maybe, this is my attempt to shed my old winter skin and feel fresh and new. I am really afraid that if I don't drastically shake things up at least once a year, I will become stale. I don't want to be mundane and boring, but unfortunately, my personality is heavy on the boring and mundane. I fall asleep at 8:00 at night, wake up at 5:30, prefer to stay in and make fun of reality TV, knit, and/or read. Not a whole lot of excitement there. I need my own reality, not TV's version of reality. I still want a tattoo, but I am afraid I will get something I will regret someday. The tattoo I want is a whole back piece. I CAN do it, I WANT to do it, I just don't know if I will REGRET doing it. I am also thinking of getting another piercing, my nostril. Scott would just about have a heart attack if I got a tattoo, but it wouldn't be grounds for "divorce". He would just seriously question my sanity. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

Date: March 17
Mileage: 5.7
March Mileage: 17.3
Year's Mileage: 17.3
Temp/Weather: 36F, 29F with wind chill, snow/rain mix
Days until BRAN: 82


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

The ride into work this morning was uneventful. I was expecting rain, got some sort of slush falling out of the sky instead. But it wasn't as cold as my ride on Saturday. For some reason though, I had a much harder time on my ride into work this morning than I have the last two days that I rode. I was wheezing and huffing like a smoker jonesing for a cigarette. What the hell?

I like cycling in wet weather. The smell of the wet concrete, and the feel of the drops o my face make me feel like a little kid again. The rain I am really looking forward to are those mid-Summer rainstorms. You know, the ones that cool everything down for a couple of hours, before it makes everything unbearably muggy outside. I can't wait to ride my bike during those storms. That will make me feel free, just for a little while.

But today, it is just cold and gray outside again. It is a little after 9:30 in the morning right now, and the sky is just finally starting to pale to a medium shade of gray. I think today is just destined to be dreary. At least inside it is warm and cozy. I have my portable heater on, my Ipod is on shuffle, my glad faux-candle is cheerily flickering away, and my cup of tea is steaming slightly while it cools off to a respectable drinking temperature. I have my little cocoon of warmth until 4:30 when I have to ride back home. Maybe I will get lucky and it will have warmed up slightly this afternoon. But it really isn't a big deal. The brisk ride is over too soon after a day of being cooped up in a little cube of space.

Tea Quote for the morning: "We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bike Move

I found a link to this on the Planet Bike blog and thought you would enjoy it as much as I did.

Bike Move

Post Office

Date: March 15
Mileage: 4.8
March Mileage: 11.6
Year's Mileage: 11.6
Temperature: 36F, feels like 29F

I had to go to the post office today. It is so cold and gray outside. I put it off as long as possible. But the post office keeps post office hours, so I finally had to just go. I was hoping to put it off until it at least resembled warm weather outside. But by 2:15, I had to leave. I bundled up, put on my latest pair of biking gloves (these ones are SUPPOSED to keep my fingers warm), and headed out. The first part of the trip wasn't too bad. It was 1.8 miles to the post office. Pretty much a straight shot. I pulled up, got some strange looks, and went inside. I had to ship 3 cds that some people had bought from me on Amazon, and a gift to my "mystery" swap partner on Ravelry. Sadly, I didn't think to take a picture until just now. Hopefully, she will post a picture when she gets it so I can post it here. It's pretty neat...

Anyhow. I got done at the post office relatively quickly (as quickly as one can be done at the post office), and had the tough decision of which route to take back home. I could go the quick way which would be slightly more perilous: I would have to cross three lanes of traffic to get into a left turn lane, then negotiate an on-ramp, and then West Dodge Road, which resembles a higway in every way possible except name. Or I could go the longer way, which would also be a little more safe (just have to cross the road from the post office to get onto the "multi-use" pedestrian path.) I chose the long way. Mainly because I would rather inflict pain upon myself in the form of longer ride home, than to be hit by some redneck's pick-up truck from behind.

As I set out for home, this all seemed like a dandy plan. I wasn't hating the world too much going up the hills. But then, I had to go down a hill. That breeze would have felt good any other (warm) day. But today, with the wind chill, it is already below freezing outside. I didn't even factor in my self-inflicted wind chill. By the bottom of the hill, my fingers were frozen. As in I couldn't even grip the brakes kind of frozen. That can get scary, especially when you want your hands to function in case a car swerves in front of you and you need to stop quickly.

When I had about a mile to go, some redneck in a pick-up truck with a Bush/Cheney '04 sticker rolls down a window and yells "nice CAR!" out at me. It was weird. No one has ever yelled at me from their car before. I expected that when it finally did happen, I would have some smart retort. I had a snappy comeback, too. But by the time it finally registered and processed in my head what had just happened, they were already 50 feet away and gaining. I couldn't even flip them off, because my stupid fingers were frozen in the shape of the handlebars.

I finally made it home, and had to take my gloves off with my teeth. My fingers were all but useless at this point. My garage door opener doesn't work when it gets cold, and I had it in my pocket. So I had to grit my teeth, and use my thumb on the key pad. I got in, and it was almost immediately better. Not just because I was back in our nice warm home, but because my puppies were waiting at the door. They were so excited that I was back that they didn't care that I was petting them just to get some feeling back in my fingers. I headed upstairs, turned on the tea kettle, and got out my tea. I wasn't really thirsty, but something warm to drink has supernatural restorative powers, I think.

I hope next week it gets warm enough to comfortably ride again. It was nice on Thursday when it got into the 60's. And I would like to go back to the bike rack and get the computer on my bike calibrated. Turns out this whole time it was set to km/h. And the magnate on the pedal is too far away from the magnate reader part on the frame, so I am not even getting accurate readings. The guy at the bike shop said that if I brought it in, they would be able to fix it so I don't have to rely on Google maps to get my mileages from. This fall, I think I am going to have to invest in some NICE biking mittens if I want to bike in cold weather.

Until next time, I'll leave you with the quote from my tea tag: "Understanding is found through compassion."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Biking

Date: March 14
Mileage: 0
March Bike Mileage: 6.8
Year's Bike Mileage: 6.8

Well, there is no relief in sight for my gas guzzling, oil eating car. I just don't know when I will be able to replace it with something not horrible. I have been known to walk to work at various times in the last few months, depending on my car's temperament. So I decided to one-up the old ball and chain. I broke out my bike.

I invested some money in getting her and I street ready. My daily commute, round trip, is less than 5 miles. There is absolutely no reason for me to drive. My car isn't even warmed up by the time I get to work. I googled my various routes to get to work, and the route that I normally walk is 2.3 miles one way. So I will be commuting by bike nearly 100% of them time here very soon. This is making me feel really good....

I was going through almost $100 bucks a month in oil and gas, for a 5 mile daily commute. There is something obviously screwed up here. Not just in my mindset, but in the "average American's" mindset; when did it become okay, and expected, that we drive everywhere? Since when is the person that uses an alternate mode of transportation a "freak"? I mean, seriously, $100 bucks. That's a lot of time invested at work, just to buy gas and oil to drive.

I am finding inspiration in a fellow blogger up in Juneau. She is my biking hero right now. She just finished the biking version of the Iditarod! She bikes in Alaska year round. And now I am full of remorse for driving my car today, just because there is a 40% chance of rain.

Well, what do you do? I for one, am headed over to the Bike Rack for the third time in three days. I have decided to rainproof myself so I can't use rain as an excuse to not bike. I am going to need a rain-proof biking jacket, a headlight for my bike, and fenders. I might also pick up some padded fingerless gloves for the warmer weather that we should be having next week. I would much rather invest in making my bike commuter friendly, than to buy a new car. The last thing I will need, but need to wait on, is a rack and some panniers or a small bike trailer. Those would be kickass. Then I could go grocery shopping with my bike.

Lastly, I will try to post a picture at least once a week of something neat that I see on my bike commute. See you later.

Way too long!

Wow. I didn't realize it has been almost 2 months since I posted last. Shame on me. Shame shame. Okay, no more shame. I was being lazy. I felt I had nothing exciting to post about. Life has been moving along at a nice steady pace. Not much exciting has happened, and who really wants to read post after post of how I am knitting this or that, or even more exciting, that I just finished the laundry? Yippee! Well, it's almost Spring, so things are starting to get a little more interesting around here. So let's see what I can tell you.

I took my hibernating plants out of the garage today. Last Fall I bought some concord grape vines, some blackberry and raspberry plants, and some strawberry plants. They arrived well after the ground outside had frozen solid, so I threw them in the garage, hoping to keep them dormant until spring. Well, when I checked on them this week, they were starting to sprout little buds. So yeah, they are still kicking. I figured they are getting pretty thirsty, so I stuck them out on the back porch today in a little protected alcove. Today it isn't supposed to freeze, and we are supposed to get some rain, so I thought it might be good for the little plantlings to go outside for a few hours. I will be bringing them back in tonight though, as we might get snow overnight, and I don't want their tender little buds to freeze.

For the last 2 weeks or so, I have started work on a shawl of my own design. It is exciting, and a whole new process for me. I have adapted it from a pattern for a dress that I found in the book Romantic Style by Jennie Atkinson. Ironically, the dress is on the front cover. My shawl consists of casting on 103 stitches using Knitpicks Lace weight Alpaca Cloud yarn in Cherry Blossom, using the beaded cast on on size three lace needles. (I used clear size 8/0 glass Czech beads from the Beadwrangler. If you ever need beads, check with her first. She has great prices, and I always get my beads really quickly, and they packed very nicely. Her colors are also pretty accurate on the website. I was even able to find a crochet hook on her website small enough to go through the center of the beads.) Anyhow. I strung all 1000 beads onto my yarn before I began. I used the pattern repeat from the dress for the XL size, and changed the beading so that there is a bead in the center of each "butterfly". I also typed out the pattern repeat, because after the eighth time frogging, I realized I can't read a lace chart yet. I am about 6 inches into my shawl, so i have quite a way to go. But it is going, without all the errors I had before. 9th time's the charm, right??

To go back the the Butterfly Dress pattern, I am working on spinning up some lace weight silk yarn in white to knit up another modified version of this pattern. I need to get some design software for this project though. I just don't think I should try to wing this one. I want to make it longer, slimmer, and with a solid bust with an empire waist. I think I am going to ply my lace weight silk with some lace weight wool so it has a little spring to it. I realize how heavy and saggy knits can get. This is going to be my wedding dress someday, I hope. I am using beads on this, too. I have heard that the beads help weigh this pattern down a little. I am going to mix 3000 clear blue and 3000 clear blue with copper lining beads in with 1000 clear and 1000 emerald with copper lining beads. I am sure I am not going to need 8000 beads for this dress. But the beads only come in 1000 bead containers. And to get the right color mix, I need 3:3:1:1, and I am sure not going to count out 500 and 1500 quantities.

So between my regular evening chores of cooking and cleaning, and designing, spinning, and knitting, I keep my free time pretty full.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I really am not a ditz, I just act like one!

Ok, now don't laugh at me. Well, it doesn't matter, because you will laugh anyhow. Have you ever seen those pictures on the internet that are usually labeled something totally lame like "stupid Woman Driver"? Well, add me to the list. On Tuesday morning, Iwas backing out of our driveway, completely absorbed in my to-do list and trying to put my garage door opener away, when all of the sudden: crunch. "What the hell just happened?" I thought to myself. I look behine me thinking Imight have accidentally ran over the mail box. Nope, it's still there. Ok, go forward, did I run over an errant neighbor's trash can? Nope, cause I can't go forward. Alright. So I "park" the car to get out and take a look and see what's going on. It is only at that point that I realized I drove over a 2 foot tall blod of ice at the end of the driveway. Andnow, both my right front and rear tires are lifted on the ground. The ice has lifted my car of the ground. So I called Scott and sheepishly told him what happened, and he called AAA and (most likely laughingly) told them what happened. Then I called work to tell them I might be a little late, grabbed my camera so I would have photographic proof that I really am secretly a ditz, and headed back inside to wait for AAA to show up. My car's rear passneger floor has a huge dent in it, but other than that, all is fine. Pictures will be up tonight. Then we can all have a nice laugh at my expense, together.

On a (somewhat) lighter note, I get to go testify against someone in court tomorrow, then I have a four day weekend. That will be nice. Yeah for long weekends. I might try for a five day weekend, if I can get next Tuesday off. Scott will be out of town, so it would be a great time to get caught up on housework, and more importantly, knitting. And maybe brainstorm for ideas on my Etsy shop. We'll see.

Monday, December 31, 2007

End Of My Rope

I have reached the end of my rope. I can't stand not feeling healthy for one minute longer. So I decided to do something about it. Last night I found a website that sells vitamins for super cheap. So I got Scott more mutli-vitamins, I bought myself some high vitamin Cod Liver Oil, and a new book called We Want To Live. I also started a couple of new techniques last night.

The first one is a different facial washing technique. I found out that Pro-Activ is a three step process that basically uses fancy equivalents to 1)Rubbing alcohol, 2) An astringent/toner, and 3)Hydrogen Peroxide. So I started that last night on my face, chest and back. I am supposed to do it twice a day; it will be interesting to see if there is a difference. What do I have to lose? The worst that will happen is that I won't clear up my acne, and I am already pretty used to that.

The other new techinque that I started last night is called Oil Pulling (OP). I had never heard of it before, but I am really excited about it. The basic premise is that you swish a tablespoon of sunflower or sesame oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, but you have to do it on an empty stomach. You can do it up to three times a day, most people only do it first thing in the morning. I was so excited about trying it that I did it last night before bed, but I will probably only do it in the mornings from now on. Last night, I noticed little difference other than almost puking when I first tried swishing the oil. It really has little to no flavor, but a big mouthful of oil is a strange sensation, and one that my stomach and I did not agree on. But I persevered. I chose to not spit, but to step out into the cold and take some deep relaxing breaths, and wait for the pukey feeling to pass. It did, and quite quickly once I calmed myself down mentally. I swished for the whole 20 minutes (not an easy task, my cheeks became quite sore). I didn't notice much of a difference once I spit, other than my mouth felt fresh, like I had just gone to the dentist. I also noticed it felt like I had just flossed my teeth. And I started coughing/had some phlegm try to come out of my throat. But that was the extent of it.
So this morning I did it again. This time, though, I felt some plaque break free! I could feel the grit swishing around. This is plaque that even the dentist couldn't get because a couple of my bottom teeth are crooked and VERY close together. When I was finally able to spit (after 20 minutes, ok, 19 minutes), I couldn't believe how much whiter my teeth looked. And they feel even smoother. They are also already less senstive to temperature changes. My sinuses have begun draining, I didn't even realize how stuffed up I was! I hate to say it, but my skin looked clearer too, and with a bit of a "glow" that I haven't seen since I was pregnant. :)
After you OP, you are supposed to "wash" your mouth. You aren't supposed to use toothpaste, according to some sources. I use tooth powder anyhow (awesome!), so that wasn't a problem. (I quit using "regular" toothpaste a long time ago because it gave me bad breath. I ran out of tooth powder at one point, and almost immediately after I used the toothpaste I got two cankersores. I have never had a single canker sore with the tooth powder.)
There is quite a bit of controversy over OP and how/why it works. Honestly, I don't care. It seems to give me a better feeling and looking mouth, and if it clears up my acne, too, well, so much the better. Here is the website that I got my information from, if you are interested:

http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/oil_pulling.html

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why am I awake at 2:30 a.m.?

It is the night before my court date. I am scared, nervous, excited, angry and super pissed off. I woke about 2 am, and I can't get back to sleep. Well let me back up. Yesterday, Scott was still asleep when I left for work. After work, he left a voicemail about 5:30 saying he was headed home, but he was going to stop for a few drinks with some of his work buddies and he would be home by 6:30. So I made dinner, and waited for him to come home. By 9 0r 10, I started to think he wasn't coming home, and I had a bad headache, so I was crankier than I would have been. I called, told him I was angry and that he should stay out as late as possible. Well, he apparently took me at my word. I think he got home about 1 am. I was out by that point. I went to bed at 11:30, tired of WAITING. He came home stinking drunk. I know this because he left lights on in the house, which is ultimately what woke me up. I made the rounds, turning everything off, and I find that he wasn't content to just come home and pass out, he had to surf the web for porn. Additionally, his car REEKS of booze, and I am pretty sure that he had someone else in the car with him. Why? Why now? Am I so horrible that he has to completely avoid me, get wasted on a thursday night, look at porn when he gets home instead of waking me up to talk? I didn't see him at all yesterday, and I talked to him for a total of 5 minutes. Add insult to injury, the dog is spooning him, so I couldn't even snuggle up when I woke up to find him passed out in bed next to me. It is 2:38. I want to sleep. I have court at 8 am. I am so upset I am pacing throughout my house. I am so wound up, I don't know if I will be able to get back to sleep. Perhaps tonight I will just go with it, follow the rhythm of the insomniacs dance. Tomorrow, I will be confronting Scott. I refuse to be second best. Going out for a couple of drinks with the guys is one things, coming home drunk at 1 am and then looking at porn is a whole other category as far as I am concerned.

Am I being unreasonable? I don't think so, but maybe I am. This whole court thing is stressful for both of us, it doesn't affect just me.

I feel like I am full of unshed tears. I have felt this way since last night. I even watched programs that I thought would make me cry. No luck. You know that achy feeling way in the back of your throat, down by your heart? That is where my tears feel stuck. I don't know how to loosen the dam, but I need to, or I am going to explode. I start thinking about crying, and my eyes start to sting a little, and then I think about crying a bit more, and I feel ridiculous, and it goes back down. But that lump in my throat just keeps getting bigger and harder every time I swallow back down those tears. It is a horrible feeling. I don't want to get in the habit of repressing my emotions though. I just don't know how to break free from this cycle.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fall is here, time to GARDEN!

November 9, 2007

Fall is HERE! It is getting dark out nice and early (by 5:30 it's pitch black outside... :) ) I love fall. I love that it is time to start nesting. I get to hole up in the house, cook delicious meals, make things cozy and comfy, and dream about long winter nights turning into brisk spring days. In the spirit of spring being right around the corner in terms of time left to putter in the garden, I have scheduled my Sunday into a manic panic gardening day: I want to wake up early and rake all of the leaves out of our lawn and collect them into lawn bags for the compost pile and for mulch. Next, I am going to spread a thick, thick layer of newspaper where I want to put in beds next year, and weigh it down with branches and rocks and bricks. Then I am going to borrow my boyfriend's dad's truck and take our dog and head up to the farm that I used to work at and collect a truckload of used horse bedding and manure. I am going to go home, spread that on the current bed, and on top of the newspaper where next years beds are going to go. Then I am going to go back to the farm and get a truckload of spoiled straw to throw on top of all the manure. Whatever I have leftover will also go in the yard bags to add to my compost throughout the year. At some point I am going to have to let the dog sniff and roll in all of this manure, and he might eat some of it, too. But that is fine by me. I have this practically limitless supply of fertilizer and mulch for free. I would be crazy to pass it up just because the dog might think it is a delectable treat. :)

The way I see it, I can't really complain about the (very) high cost of fresh, organic, in-season produce unless I am willing to garden a bit and do something about it. I have a job, my debt is getting paid down, and my boyfriend is excited about having less lawn to mow in the long run. I will be able to by some nicer gardening tools next spring instead of using crappy, old, dull ones. I will also have the resources to invest in some organic pesticide help. I am starting small this year. Up front we are replanting the bed with herbs and decorative flowers. In the back, I am planting some berries (pretty much plant and forget type plants), and then two beds that will be 2'x6'. The following year I want to add on to our beds by making them 3'x6' and adding a third bed. We'll see. I will get that third bed going in the spring, and just plant something like hairy vetch or alfalfa, till it under in the fall, add more manure and it will be ready to go the next spring. It seems like a lot of work, but it is so worth it when you have beds that will need little extra fertilizer during the growing year.

Our backyard is pretty steeply sloped, so I am going to use cinder blocks to raise them up to a proper level next spring. I am not too worried about it at this point; I just want to get the grass killed off, and the manure and mulch on. That can sit and break down over the winter, and next spring I will raise the bed and fill them up with compost and more manure. I will let it sit for a few more weeks, and at that point it should be ready for some plants.

During January, February and March, I want to start stockpiling tools, cinder blocks, starting seeds, and building trellises. I am really excited by the prospect of vertical gardening. It will save space, make harvesting and pest removal and weeding easier, and, I think, be prettier. It will also take advantage of the little bit of sunlight that we do get in the backyard. Our hill is between a row of pine trees below (tp the north) and a couple of big houses above (to the south.) It does get pretty intense sunlight in the summer, but only for a few hours, so I need to take advantage of it by gardening vertically.

I would also like to spend the winter reading up a little bit on permaculture. Specifically, I would like to read "Gaia's Garden". I heard it is pretty good, if a little preachy about taking care of the earth. No need to preach to the choir!

Honestly, I am hoping that all of this will benefit not only Scott and I, but my daughter, too. I want her to appreciate eating whole, healthy, organic food. I don't want her little body to start filling up with chemical laden garbage. Organic isn't for me. Organic is for her, and her babies. What she eats now while her body is growing and forming will affect her health for the rest of her life, and her children's health for their entire lives. On top of all that, I can't have a garden in the back yard, and then spray it with a bunch of chemicals. What about the birds and the bugs, and our dog and cat that go out there. I don't want that bad stuff getting into their systems, either.

I think that is about it for now. I will be taking some before, during and after pictures of the new beds, and will try to post them next week.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Got A New Job!

Hip hip hooray! I have finally gotten a job. And it isn't just "some job", it is a GREAT job. I finally have a job, so I can get paid up on my lawyer, my other bills, and hopefully I will get to see my daughter again soon. As for other areas of my life, I feel that I am finally getting some control over things that I felt I had no control over in the past. Thanks to having regular paychecks again, I can make a budget and pay back all the bad things on my credit report. It will be a good day for me when I have paid back all of my creditors and can start doing some good with my money. Like investing in my 401K, replacing my car with one that isn't like Uncle Buck's car, and working on some personal goals and development (I want to become a certified childbirth instructor and teach classes out of our home a couple of hours a week.) But these are things that I don't feel comfortable doing until my credit report is cleaned up. I have gotten to the point where I am tired of being judged by mean people based on what I have or have not done with my money in the past. Yes, I have f***ed up credit. I have no excuse other than the fact that I was irresponsible. But having some bad thing in my past DOES NOT make me a bad person, regardless of what other people may say. So please, you know who you are, stop judging me. I should be the most critical person of myself, not you. I already know you hate me, do you have to judge me too?

I am FINALLY starting to come back to my old self. I was the same person my whole life, until I met you. All that was good in me went dormant, but it felt like you murdered it. It is starting to wake back up, slowly, like the first flowers budding in the spring. I am waking up. It feels good. It makes me feel whole again. I can feel my juices flowing like sap. I am starting to envision some more creative things for my future. I would like to put in a garden. I feel creative when I garden. I feel like more of a part of the earth, more "grounded", no pun intended. We are also eating better. We are following the paleolithic diet. It is NOT environmentally friendly, but it IS people friendly. We are feeling physically healthier since cutting most grain and ALL fast food out of our diet. I fell off the wagon over Halloween (lot of candy), and am paying the price in the form of a major acne breakout. :( We are eating more protein, more butter and cream, more mineral rich broth, more fermented foods, more healthy fiber in the form of fruits and veggies. Less grains, and no white bread or sugar (pretty much the same thing). It goes completely against the grain of all the modern diet "gurus", but it is how people evolved to eat, so I have no problem believing in it. And in light of that, next year we are going to stock our freezer full of farm fresh meat: lamb, chicken and bison. All of our meat from that point forward will be pasture raised and antibiotic/hormone free.

I am also starting to fantasize about buying land. I would like to build us a cob home, with a separate "creative studio". This would be a place where I could paint, draw, sculpt and teach my childbirth classes. I would like to make it two rooms: A bedroom, and a great room with a kitchenette, a small wood stove, and a big claw foot bathtub. I would also like to build a garden shed with an attached greenhouse. And of course, housing for all of our farm animals: horses, chickens, ducks, sheep, and a couple of cows or goats, or both. This is not a pipe dream, but a real dream. I will work towards it slowly. But I have many other things that I need to accomplish first. I am thinking that I wouldn't even be able to start looking at land for at least five years. I would love, Love, LOVE to be a work at home mom with a small homestead/farm. We could sell some produce, chickens, eggs, lambs, ducks and duck eggs. I could offer my services as a childbirth educator. In real life, it would be hard, dirty and take a lot of work and time, but it is so pretty in my mind. I think that it would be worth striving for.

These are not my pictures. I borrowed them off the internet, but I don't remember from where. If they are yours and you want me to remove them from my sight, or to credit you, please let me know so I can do the right thing. :0)








Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How often to breastfeed?

I love this quote!!!!!:

Other than "very frequently day and night"... you absolutely cannot make a general statement about nursing frequency for human babies that would fit all or even most of them. ~ Katherine Dettwyler

Monday, September 24, 2007

New Knitting Pictures





A couple pictures of some things I just finished knitting. The sweater is sized 9-12 months.

The sweater, bunny, and hot water bottle cover are all knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. And the patterns came out of her book Baby Cashmerino 2.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just when you think...

You know, processing emotions is an ongoing process. Just when you think you have mastered sad, or angry, or happy, or any other emotion, something new comes up. Or like a cold, I catch a new version of an old emotion, and have to go through the process of processing it all over again.

I was fine until I learned that my ex-husband has won his motion for me to have "limited visitation" and "supervised visitation" with my daughter. How much does that suck? I feel like a criminal, and I haven't done anything wrong. It makes me so angry! When I found out from my lawyer (3 days after court) I was speechless. What do I do now? Have I lost completely? I can't possible have supervised visitation with her until she is 18, can I? So I did the only thing that I could think of. I packed up her bedroom. All of her stuff is now in a box at the back of her closet. I haven't called.I have to distance myself for the moment, otherwise I will be completely overcome with grief. This is his way of punishing me for finding out that they live in Omaha. It is the only way that I can see it for right now. He claims that I sexually abused her when she was with me for the weekend. I did no such thing, and it turned out that she had vaginitis, otherwise known as a yeast infection. But the judge would hear nothing beyond "sexual abuse."

I feel like I am spiraling towards the bottom of an abyss. And that I am lost at sea, and my life is the deserted island. I feel so alone and scared. I have an a**hole for an ex-husband, whose sole goal in life is to make me miserable by keeping me from my daughter, I am unemployed and tired of mooching off of my boyfriend, and my lawyer is basically ignoring me and letting my case fall through the cracks because I can't pay him right now. So what am I to do? I do what I must. I keep asking my boyfriend to pay my bills, I keep applying for jobs and going to interviews, and I take what I can get with my daughter, and I try to remember that I am not a bad person. Even if the world is set on punishing me (or maybe it is Karma biting me in the ass), I must keep hoping and moving forward. Otherwise I will drown in a sea of misery.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I am sorry.

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to post. Things in my life have been crazy like a tornado in middle of a hurricane during an earthquake! I am still looking for permanent employment. Unfortunately, I was "laid off" from my last job at the orthodontics office after 1 day. I had an emergency come up, I knew about it the night before and called work to let them know. The next morning, my boss took me into her office and told me that she thought I wasn't committed enough to the job, and that she was going to have to let me go. I was more than I little upset, and spent most of the day alternately between sleeping and crying.

It has been a hard few weeks. I found out that my ex-husband has been living in Omaha with our daughter for the last 9-10 months. The whole time they were here he led me to believe that she and he were living in Oregon and Washington. I have been so upset over that, you have no idea.

The last 3 weeks my emotions have been all over the map. But the predominating emotion had been anger until I went in and talked to my pastor. He gave me some insight that I had not been able to see. I was able to finally see the forest for the trees. My goal is to now take this one moment at a time.

I say one moment because sometimes one day is to long to get through. I miss my daughter so much. To know that she is only 15 minutes away is like waiting for surgery to have a limb re-attached.

I want my daughter to be a bigger part of my life. It isn't complicated until it is made complicated. I love her. She loves me. I think of her like a million times a day. I can remember the first time I felt her in my belly. It was like I had some pop rocks in my womb. It was like a tickle. I kept it a secret for more than a week. I remember the conversations I would have with her when I was still pregnant. I swear she could hear my thoughts. I remember her favorite song when I was pregnant. My first "weird" craving was for teriyaki chicken skewers from a restaurant that was 4 states away. For more than a month, all I wanted to eat was tomatoes with basil on crunchy bread. She always got the hiccups after I ate a large meal. And when she stretched out, I could see the exact outline of her foot. And then she was born. It was the pinnacle event of my life. It was everything and nothing like I expected it to be. I look back at that version of me, and I wish that I could talk to her. I would tell her some things that would save her a lot of pain. But perhaps she wouldn't have grown up if I had saved her from an inevitable future.

The first few weeks and months of Isabelle's life are more blurry in my memory than my pregnancy. Sleep deprivation can really wreck havoc on a person's memory. I remember that she never wanted to be put down, and that I was okay with it. I was like a mommy tiger, never letting her out of my sight. She would sit in her bouncy chair in the bathroom while I was in the shower so I could keep her near.

I remember the night her father took sleeping pills, and I was so scared and angry. He hadn't told me he was going to do that, and I couldn't wake him up in the middle of the night. We both think that he took them for different reasons. But he never did it again. I also remember when our water heater blew up, and shortly after that, we found out that our rental had the worst case of termites/carpenter ants that the exterminator had ever seen.

I remember what a strange surprise it was the first time I tried to breastfeed our daughter. I had never felt anything like that before. I felt funny and different and good all at the same time. I remember that as soon as she latched on, I felt like I had been in the desert for weeks without anything to drink; I was that thirsty.

I remember how agonizing it was when we decided to teach her to sleep in her own crib. She screamed and screamed. I thought I was doing the right thing. I know better now. She is a big girl now.

This is what I remember most. These are the picture memories in my mind. Sure, there are lots of things I remember. But these are some of the things that I remember most vividly. I wish I had kept a journal when she was a baby. A journal just about her and I. Sure, I made a baby book. And I still periodically write letters to her that I plan on giving to her someday. But I should have kept a daily journal for her. What we did that day, what she learned or tried. It would be her story, from my perspective. But it is never to late to start.

I am sorry to burden you with my memories. They really aren't special to you. They don't invoke smiles or warm cozy feelings in anyone but me. But sometimes I worry that if I don't get it out, I won't remember for the next time.

I am sorry to my daughter for having missed the last 10 months. It wasn't my fault. I cried a lot because I thought you were so far away. Now we have each other again. It might not be a lot of time right now, but it is better than nothing. And it will get better. You will grow up so fast. And all of this will just be a blip of a memory.

I love you Isabelle. You are my little princess. And I will always be here for you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Viva Las Jami

We just went to Vegas over the weekend. It was our first vacation together, and it was wonderful. No, we did not "win." No, we did not get married, either. But we did have a lot of fun, and I played poker at the MGM, the Mirage, Cesar's, the Venetian, and the Flamingo. We can out just a little bit behind, because one of us was never willing to leave the table until we had made up what we lost. I got about 3 hours of sleep all weekend, and then came home and slept on and off (mostly on) for the next 24 hours.

The best part of the weekend, as far as I am concerned, was getting to see my mom and sister for the first time in a year. We had lunch at Carnegie deli. My mom and I shared lunch, and we were both too full to finish our meal. Their portions are THAT BIG. I can't wait to go back. It was a great trip, and it came a the perfect time. Scott and I have been really stressed out lately, and our vacation was the perfect antidote. I came home refreshed and ready to tackle the things in my life that have been causing me problems with renewed vigor.

I also got good news when I came home. I get to see my daughter on Saturday, and I was offered a job that I had been really hoping to get. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it all works out.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Job, part II

So, I guess people would like some details about my new job... right? I am what is called a "First Impressions Coordinator." Say that 10 times fast. :) Basically, I am the face of the company for any of our clients and guests that come to the lobby. I am supposed to provide a positive first impression for our clients. I will coordinate all of the first floor activities, including greeting clients, conference room set-up and catering. A big part of my job will be to gather and maintain customer profile data. Another big part of my job is to research competitors and business journals for articles about our clients. This is probably to most important job that I have ever had. I have to wear suits to work every day of the week. I am completely responsible for myself. On the plus side, I am not just some "administrative assistant." I will get a bonus at Christmas time every year, starting next year. They offer a wellness program, and free healthy snacks to encourage the employees to take care of themselves. The company is one of the biggest insurance brokerage firms in Omaha, and it has been voted one of the best places to work in Omaha for the last two years in a row! I am REALLY excited about this opportunity. One of the things that gets me really pumped up about this job is that there will be chances for me to move up in the company.After a year I will be eligible for schooling to be paid for. I will get classes, fees, and books paid for. All I have to do is pass. This will lead to promotional opportunities down the road. This is a job that I can grow with and develop with. This is the chance that I have been looking for for a long time. If I hadn't gotten a job at CUS and then laid off, I wouldn't have been referred to this company. I have to tell you, some of the biggest crises in your life can be blessings in disguise. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

The FURminator

Ok, I am not one to advertise for other people, normally. But this is incredible. I have a Beagle and a medium hair kitty. Anyone with pets KNOWS how much these critters shed on a regular basis. I have always combed my pets with those rubber pet mitts, and given them baths. It usually gets rid of quite a bit of the fur, right? So last Christmas I wanted to take them into the groomer as a present to my guy. When I was asking about prices, the groomer asked me if I wanted to have them "furminated for an extra charge?" I said, "Well, what is it?" She goes on to tell me that "FURminating" reduces up to 90% of shedding pet hair. Hey, I am totally on board with that. How can I say no to 90% less pet hair floating around my house? I hate dead pet hair. It looks ugly on my work clothes, makes cleaning even more of a chore, and to top it off, I always end up with cat hair stuck to the back of my throat after I pet Kitty. So, anyhow. I was in line at PetCo, and I saw this display for the FUTminator brush. Let me warn you now, the smallest brush costs $39.99. But, the company gives a 30 day money back guarantee. So I figured that for the cost of taking two pets to the groomer, I could but this FURminator, try it, and if it sucked, oh well, I can at least get my money back. PetSmart and PetCo both carry it, and I think that you can but it on Amazon for less than retail.

So I get nothing out of this. I promise on my daughters life that this isn't a paid endorsement. I just can't believe how well it worked! Our pets are both visibly slimmer now. I took a picture of the pile of fur that I got off of Kitty, I will post it below. But here's the thing about Kitty's fur picture: I couldn't get her to stay still to be combed out for the whole time. So we have had to do it in "spurts" while she eats. The the fur that came out of her in this picture is only a)1 session, and 2) about half of the fur that has come off of her!




If I was smart, I would go buy a whole bunch of these wholesale, then go to the dog park and do "demos" on other peoples' pets and sell them furminators. The price tag is scary, but when you see the results, you won't be sorry that you bought it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Job "hunting" sucks

I am, unfortunately, still unemployed. It sucks. I have my last paycheck coming to me in two days, and now I am starting to panic a little bit. I could have sworn that I nailed my last job interview, and I still haven't heard back from them. :( Granted, I interviewed yesterday. But I was hoping to hear back by today. I am still looking, but I need a job sooner, rather than later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vegan amniotic fluid

I have a renewed interest in my diet. I gave up for a few weeks after my last fast attempt, and after I got laid off from work, I pretty much gave up everything good for me.

But I have a renewed sense of hope for my future. I am looking forward to a healthier life. I will hopefully be working again soon, and these means income. And purpose. I like working, I really like having something to do with my day. So with the promise of work on my horizon, I am ready to go vegan full time. This is going to be hard. My boyfriend is about as carnivorous as they come. And I don't want to get all preachy on him. I wish that he would eat healthier though, I worry about his health and his weight. All his extra weight is carried around his midriff, the spot that corresponds the most with coronary heart disease. He always complains about how uncomfortable he is, and then he orders steak and mashed potatoes. I want to scream at him somedays: just because you work out doesn't mean you can eat crap!!!! You must eat consciously in addition to working out if you want to be healthy.

So anyways, now that I have that off my chest. I can't find any kind of generic vegan/vegetarian shopping list that I can download. It is maddening. But I am going to call the local health food store and make an appointment with the stores dietitian. I will tell her/him that I am new to being a vegan, and I need some shopping pointers and some meals ideas until I feel more comfortable with my new diet. If Scott wants meat, he will have to learn how to cook it himself. He will also have to buy it himself. It can be in the house, as long as I don't have anything to do with it. :)

My goal is to start bringing my body into "optimal" health, focusing on the quality of my food instead of the quantity. We want to start trying for a family in the next 3-5 years. I want to make my body ready for a pregnancy before it happens. I want to be comfortable as a vegan before I start having people question my diet as a newly pregnant woman, too. And I want my future babies to start life as vegetarians before they are even outside of my body. They will be used to my food choices through the amniotic fluid before they are even separate from my body. And then , when I am breastfeeding, they will again be familiar with the flavors of my meals, making transitioning to vegan solids easier. Call me an idealist.

I want more than anything in the world to be a mother again. If it means starting to get ready for it 3-5 years in advance, I am ready, willing, and able. I won't be super-mom. But I will try to be the best mom that I am capable of being. I lost my chance once, I won't lose it again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

MY NEW JOB

Well, I started my new job yesterday. It is going well so far, I think. It is kind of scary. I have a lot more responsibility than I did at my last job. It has been a long time (2 years) since I have worked a day job, and I am a little bit overwhelmed. I am amazed at how much there is to do in 9 hours.