Monday, August 31, 2009

B.A.B almost there!

I took a little time out from the blog last week for personal reasons, but am back on it now and am happy to report I am down another 2 lbs! This brings the total so far to 17 lbs lost! Yay! my goal (modified, I originally posted a goal of 10 lbs when I went back and looked)is only 3 short lbs away...I am home free! Slow and steady if definitely winning this race for me, I have not even been good about exercising and if I want something I have just a little instead of depriving myself completely. I am feeling hopeful these are changes I can stick with and reach the bigger goal of losing 100 lbs or more. Check out Mama Notes to see how the rest of my team is doing! Only one week to go!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reiki Thursday
Lovely music for Reiki or meditation.
To be added to the list, please leave name, location, and need for energy/healing in a comment. Please send healing, energy, and prayers to the list.
S.V. Swamy
Lady Rose
Mama Kelly
Brandi in Indianapolis
Mojo (finally diagnosed w/reflux)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A for effort

I took the girls to the mall in Anderson today after dropping the Hubs off at his truck to go to work. I had to buy a new nose stud because I pulled mine out in the shower washing my face and it went down the drain. So we pulled into the mall, I put Mojo in the sling and we went in for my nose jewelry. After buying the new stud, I noticed that it was time to nurse, so I found a bench off to the side, got Mojo out of the sling because I don't have a lot of luck nurseing her in it (I should practice at home...), whipped on my nurseing cover and settled in. After just a few moments I realized I had chosen the turn around point for the mall-walkers. No problem, I was covered and was not to worried about it. Two older gentlemen, walking at a brisk pace, pointedly avoiding looking in my general direction and a lone, older woman walking considerably slower were making the circut. As the woman made her second pass she caught my eye and stepped closer. I must admit, I thought "Great, here it comes." I have been very lucky that I have had no bad experiences to date with nurseing in public with either baby and figured I was due and I was about to hear I shouldn't be doing "that" here.
"How old is your baby?" she asked.
"9 weeks." I replied, smileing. When in doubt, be likeable.
"I breastfed all my children and it's the best thing you can do." I was so excited! I was all braced for my first "confrontation" and I was getting random act of encouragement.
"Thank you, I think so too." I replied, suddenly overjoyed I had decided to come to the mall this morning.
"You be sure to drink a lot of fluids, it takes it out of ya. Enjoy those girls." She smiled at me, Mojo, and Jiji, who was playing her own version of hopscotch on the pattern of the carpet, and continued walking. Once Mo was fed, burped, and back in the sling, we went to a few more stores then headed home, in a pretty darn good mood! That kind of thing has been typical of my experience. I have never had even a hint of disapproval from anyone about breastfeeding, or gotten comments or evil looks when nurseing in public. I know from stories other mothers have told me I am very lucky in that regard.
A friend of mine commented over the weekend that he was amazed I could enjoy living in a small "narrow-minded" community being the little pagan hippie Mama I am. I replied that my awesomeness can overcome anything, and that's kind of true. I don't expect any trouble...or and pats on the back. I am just living my life the way I want, doing what I feel is right for myself and my family, and just happen to be doing it here because of all the places I have lived this is the place that works for us. I am not throwing my life out there, demanding love what I'm doing or screw you, I do not have a chip on my shoulder, waiting for someone to disagree with me so I can debate why I am right. I just want to make my choices and move along. I want to share my experiences, but only with those who seem interested. I am open, but not shouting from the rooftops. I am approachable, but not preaching why I am right and you should agree. I am, in my opinion, a nice, friendly, helpful person who people like and so when my weirdness comes up, it just tends to be filed away as an eccentricity, rather than a detriment. And so, as I think of that sweet woman who paused her mall-walk to give me an atta-girl about breastfeeding, I will file it away, in gratitude, as one more example that you tend to attract what you put out there, and I try everyday to put out something good. I don't always make it, but I try and based on results I get an A for effort!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lemon All-Shook-Up

I am declareing this week a sucess. I in no way resisted the fair food, don't get me wrong, just check out the last post, but I broke even as far as weight. Need to check out Mama Notes to see if the rest of the Red Team fared better. Given the amount of lemon shake-ups and cheesecake on a stick I consumed, I call it a win that I did not gain 5 pounds! As the picture demonstrates, it was ridiculously close, and I am a weak, weak woman when it comes to fair food. The picture is taken from my back yard over the neighbors fence, all I had to do was cut through their gate and bam, sugary and/or deep-fried awesomeness. Already back on the wagon. Water instead of shake-ups, fruit instead of elephant ears. Moving on!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to reality

This years Elwood Glass Festival is drawing to a close. My 4 yr old is glad to be getting 'her' park back, and I am glad for a few more reasons. I love the festival, don't get me wrong. There has, in fact, been only 1 year of my 34 so far I ever missed it...granted I spent the majority of those years, including this one, living in a house literal steps from it, but that's beside the point. I love sitting in the "Busybo" in our front yard and people watching, then spending time with friends who drop in to sit along with me. I love seeing people I only seem to run into during the festival. I love the parade. I love finding that one booth at the festival that has something new I love. I love the Optimist fruit drink, elephant ears, and my new favorite...chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick. I love that this year there were wood carving and blacksmithing demonstrations, very cool. I love that there are bus tours to take people to some of the great businesses in this town like Spencer's Lapidary, New Day Meadery, Venus Chocolate, The Opera House, and of course the glass factories, St Clair and Prestige. But, as usual, by the last day I am ready for it all to go. I want to not have to put up a barricade so that people will not park in my driveway and block us in. I am tired of people with loud cars/motorcycles pulling out of the elementary school lot across the street late at night and waking up the baby. I am tired of our yard being a trash can, a short-cut, a hang-out for people who were kicked out of the park when they closed down for the night. I am tired of watching the Praise Puppets again and again as they slaughter classic rock into cheesy Christian songs(I Wanna Rock and Roll all Night was fine with the original lyrics k, thanks) and getting the stink-eye from the other parents when they notice my pentacle. I want to be able to sit on the 'Busybo' at night and it be quiet enough to hear the fountain across the yard gurgle. I will miss it when it is gone, and I will start to get excited about it about mid-July next year...but I am ready for my small town peace and quiet again. H.W.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Reiki Thursday is here again. To be added to the healing list, please leave name, location, and need/situation in the comments. You will be added to my Reiki grid and to the list here.

Healing list for this week:
Lady Rose-recovering from surgery
Michelle in Indiana-moving
Brandi in Indianapolis-just needs some love
Baby Cameron and his family-born 15wks early and on ventilator
Danny-recovering from surgery

send Reiki of you are a practitioner, send love or prayers or just good thoughts if you are not. Every little bit helps!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Yay yogurt!

I just had a yummy breakfast! What was it...I'm glad you asked. I had a big old bowl of home-made yogurt I made in the slow cooker yesterday! I have wanted to make my own yogurt for years, but am too cheap to buy a yogurt maker and every recipie I found to make it without one seemed so complicated it scared me off. I found a recipie on A Year of Slow Cooking over the weekend and tried it out yesterday. It took all day, but there is very little you actually have to do, it just has to hang out in the crock pot a lot, so it worked out great! I was so excited to taste it this morning, I had some with strawberries and the last of my local honey I bought at New Day Meadery...need to stop in and buy more. The yogurt was good and very mild, If it is left to sit longer before refrigerating, it will be more sour if you like that. I had read that it comes out thin, so I added a packet of gelatin to the mix, and it seemed to be normal yogurt consistancy. I am going to try to strain some with a coffee filter in a colander to make thick, Greek-style yogurt. The recipie in on the slow cooker blog here, I reccomend it if you like yogurt...easy, cheap and yummy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

B.A.B. halfway mark!

I am halfway through my Body After Baby challenge, and I am really doing great. Check Mama Notes to see how the Red Team is doing! This morning I weigh 266, which means I have lost 15lbs of my 20lb goal! I am not quite where I want to be lifestyle change wise but I said I wanted slow and steady. The water and exercise have been hit or miss, but I have been doing good making small changes in my eating habits that add up. I did a lot of research over the weekend on new slow cooker recipies because evening is when Mojo is worst with the colic crying and dinner is a challenge that is too often solved in a drive thru. I found a great site called A Year of Slow Cooking with some great ones, even one for making yogurt which I have been wanting to do and will be trying this week, so check back on that one! I also want to get going on doing my dance workout videos this week, if all else fails I think I could do the bellydance ones with Mojo in the sling if I had funny will that be! Will post a pic if that happens. I am really getting excited because I am doing well and am not killing myself working out or starving myself, which I have done time and again, and then burning out and gaining it all back plus 20. I just keep telling myself this is a lifestyle change, and I can't go the rest of my life with no ice cream, for example, but I can learn to be satisfied with a small dish instead of mindlessly eating half the container, barely tasting it because I am watching T.V. I am finding that if I want something and really concentrate on enjoying it, I can have just a little and be full. I have even noticed that when I eat fast food, if I slow down and taste it I don't finish it all...which is huge for me, I mean throwing away french fries! Amazing! Especially since I have been struggling with post-pardem depression and a colicky baby keeping me up all night...the fact I am not bingeing to comfort myself is really awesome, because I have turned to food as comfort all my life. Oh no! The Elwood Glass Festival is this week and the park behind my house will be full of fair food...elephant ears and polish sausage literally steps from my back door...yikes! Be strong, Tori, be strong!

Yeah, toast!

Just a quick update, toast did not brown well, but got crunchy and toasty and was just lovely with a thin smear of Nutella! Yummy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Speaking of bread...

I used to bake a lot of bread. Not the bread machine kind, although that can be excellent but my only 'bread machine' is the oven, but old fashoned bread. For a good 2 year stretch we did not buy bread because I baked it all. When I first started I was stranglely terrified, as if some baking mishap might go down on my permanent record or something, but I found an easy recipie and eased into it. Suprisingly soon given my unwillingness to actually measure ingredients while cooking (the cause of many a baking failure) I was churning out the bread. I even started getting creative with herbs, cheese, and yummy lemon poppyseed! Then, about 2 1/2 years ago, tragedy struck. My stand mixer went into storage in Nevada and I moved home to Indiana. It would be 18 months before I would see it again, and those months were tragically home-baked-bread free because...I'm lazy and will only bake bread if the stand mixer does the hard work for me. Once we got our stuff out of storage and I was reunited with my beloved stand mixer, the bread baking began again, in an admittedly more sporadic pace. Then...pregnancy bed rest. I could barely go into my kitchen for a while there, let alone bake! Then, just this weekend, my neighbor (hi Sarah!) mentioned baking bread and my mind said yeah, let's do that, we are out of bread anyway. So after I made myself go to the store today (for some reason I am feeling anti shopping lately) I came home and got going. I have a recipie I have been using since I started, I just tweak it here and there with variations. No idea where I got it, it's written in pencil on the back of a flyer and has been stuck to the stove hood with a magnet the last 3 places I lived.

3c flour
1t yeast
1t salt
1/8c sugar
1c warm milk
2T butter
1/2c warm water

put milk, water, and butter(cut into small cubes) in a small pan over very low heat until butter is melted
in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook put all dry ingredients
turn mixer on medium and add wet to dry, scraping the bowl down until combined if neccesary (my mixer does not turn the bowl until it comes together as a dough, so I have to babysit for the 1st few minutes) and let it knead 10 minutes.
put dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and leave to rise in a warm place 90 minutes
turn out, shape into loaf and put in greased loaf pan, let rise 1 hour
bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes and let cool on a rack

I will note, this bread is a little dense for toasting purposes and does not brown in the toaster. I am quite fond of toast so as an experiment today after the first rising I kneaded 10 times and let rise an hour back in the bowl, then put it in the loaf to rise another hour before baking. It seems much lighter and softer, and does not taste to 'yeasty' from the extra rising. I will try toast in the morning and report back. Now that my house is nice and hot from baking, running the dishwasher, and browning chicken for a crock pot meal tomorrow all at the same time on the hottest day of the year so far I am not in a toast mood.

Friday, August 7, 2009

clean house, the H.W. way

This week I really got back on my 'routine' for housecleaning. I have found, through trial and error (mostly error) I need a routine for cleaning or I look up one day and the mess is just closing in on me. The routine I have worked out at this point is to hit a certain area of the house hard each weekday, like Tuesday is the kitchen, for instance, and just spend about 15 minutes of 'maintenance' on the other areas. In general, I try every day to do 1 load of laundry, 1 load dishes, both dried and put away, diaper laundry and a 'zamboni' on the house in general which is what I call a quick surface clean. So my house is looking pretty good right now, not perfect because, lets face it I have an infant and a 4 yr old, but pretty good, and as I was admiring the fact I would not be embarrassed if someone dropped in for a visit I realized I did all my cleaning chemical-free. I have been working toward that for a long time now, and I guess I just realized I am there. Besides dish soap and some old SOS pads for my pans I cleaned the house top to bottom with cleaning products I made, or just plain old vinegar, washing soda, and borax. The laundry soap I made has been fantastic, even doing great on the cloth diapers, and I am just now making a second batch. I cleaned the wood floors yesterday with vinegar and vegetable oil. This I was a little nervous about but decided to give it a try. it worked very well, floors are clean and shiny but not greasy like I feared they would be. Although they were slick for a few hours and the Hubs slid and fell wearing socks on them last night. Bathrooms were scrubbed with washing soda and I dusted with a microfiber cloth. I have even managed to break my long standing Fabreeze addiction because the house smells clean, not chemical, and I use a lot of vinegar which kills odors. If it can keep the diaper pail from stinking you know it works. A win all around, since it is cheap to be natural as far as cleaning goes. Now I just need to get back on the ball outside...the weeds are winning.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reiki Thursday

Welcome back to Reiki Thursday! Please leave your name, general location, and need in the comments to be added to the healing list.

I am in an especially prayerful mood today, so I invite you all to pray for those on my list at the moment. Remember you get back what you put out, so send out love joyfully and you will get it back in abundance.

Brandi in Indianapolis
Lady Rose
Mojo (getting 1st vax today...poor baby!)
Hippie Witch (who will be holding Mojo during shots, hard on a Mama)

I am using the prayer below, but please pray in your own way, no matter the name you call god, or just think about those listed here and wish good things for them. It does not have to be fancy or long, just intended. Namaste

O Divine
I send energy joyfully and with love out into the universe. May it go where it is needed to heal, to comfort those who wish to receive it. I throw blessings onto the wind like the seeds of a flower and know they will grow where they land. Blessed Be.

Goddess, I pray

O blessed Mother
I see you, radiant in a star-filled sky and know your pale face is looking down upon me. Fill the well within my heart with the gifts you have for me. The wonder of the Maiden, the patience of the Mother, the wisdom of the Crone. Let me always remember you are with me, beside me, and within me, always. She who calls the name of god shall never stand alone, and I feel you beside me now, your hand on my shoulder and your whispered breath in my ear. I call it out now, the names you have had since the beginning of time and names yet to be spoken. I know you, as you have always known me and called out to my soul as a child of your ways, and in that knowledge I am held safe. I am blessed. I am loved. Blessed Be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Home School Cool

I saw this article today. It is about how families who had been sending their kids to private school and can no longer afford it are deciding to home school rather than send them to public school. Maybe if the 'upper classes' begin to see and show the value of home education it will dissipate some of the stigma about homeschoolers and their families being weird or having something to hide. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I think a lot of parents never thought of it as an option because of misinformation or lack of information. Unfortunately, trends start at the top and trickle down, and maybe these 'upper class' families embracing home schooling will help to begin mainstreaming it as an educational option.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Goddess Hygeia

"Hygeia, most revered of the blessed ones among mortals, may I dwell with you for what is left of my life, and may you graciously keep company with me: for any joy in wealth or in children or in a king’s godlike rule over men or in the desires which we hunt with the hidden nets of Aphrodite, any other delight or respite from toils that has been revealed by the gods to men, with you, blessed Hygeia, it flourishes and shines in the converse of the Kharites; and without you no man is happy."

You know how Catholics seem to have a saint for everything? One of the great things about being Pagan is that there is a Deity for everything. I am big on prayer. Who better to talk to about your life than the Divine, right? I start the day off blessing the gift of another day, and try to take moments here and there to be thankful, ask for strength or patience or whatever the case. At night I pray in gratitude for my blessings, even if I have to look hard to find those blessings. I see the Divine as a giant jewel, and every facet is a name of god, and every name is needed by someone in the world to call out and know they are heard. I found several articles on this goddess today, and I am glad to have her name to call out while I struggle through this bought of depression. I know in my heart she will hear me, because no one who calls out to god goes unheard. Blessed Be.



HYGIEIA (Hugieia), also called Hygea or Hygia, the goddess of health, and a daughter of Asclepius. (Paus. i. 23. § 5, 31. § 5.) In one of the Orphic hymns (66. 7) she is called the wife of Asclepius; and Proclus makes her a daughter of Eros and Peitho. She was usually worshipped in the same temples with her father, as at Argos, where the two divinities had a celebrated sanctuary (Paus. ii. 23. § 4, iii. 22.§ 9), at Athens (i. 23. § 5, 31, § 5), at Corinth (ii. 4. § 6), at Gortys (viii. 28. § 1), at Sicyon (ii. 11. § 6), at Oropus (i. 34. § 2). At Rome there was a statue of her in the temple of Concordia (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 19). In works of art, of which a considerable number has come down to our time, she was represented as a virgin dressed in a long robe, with the expression of mildness and kindness, and either alone or grouped with her father and sisters, and either sitting or standing, and leaning on her father. Her ordinary attribute is a serpent, which she is feeding from a cup. Although she is originally the goddess of physical health, she is sometimes conceived as the giver or protectress of mental health, that is, she appears as mens sana, or huliea phrenôn (Aeschyl. Eum. 522), and was thus identified with Athena, surnamed Hygieia. (Paus. i. 23. § 5; comp. Lucian, pro Laps. 5.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The thing with the ring

So...I just got my wedding ring back this morning. The Hubs found it on the floor just under the edge of the bed. It had been missing for three days because it fell off in my sleep and apparently got tossed under there when I stripped the bed to wash the sheet and quilt again because Mojo peed on them, again. Why is this important, you may be asking? Because it fell off my hand in my sleep, that is how much weight I am losing. I have been wearing that ring for coming up on seven years and it has never come off before of it's own accord. I can take some credit for this phenomenon. I have cut down on the pop and upped the water, (which has also helped the breastfeeding issues I was starting to worry about along w/fenugreek. but that's another post) and have been really good about not having bad for me stuff around the house. If it is not here, I won't eat it because it is too big of a hassle to load up the kids and go get it. If I really have to have it, we walk to the store. I have eaten less at meals, eaten slowly so I know I'm full, and waited 30 minutes before getting seconds so that at that point I really don't want it anymore. I have not been walking, just a little up and down the road through the park when I have taken the girls over there, not like I should be. My neighbor and I have discussed a nightly walk and hopefully that will motivate that area.
Unfortunately, the greatest part of the credit for being down to 7lbs under pre preg weight is the Colic diet. What is the colic diet? Well, you can't eat past 3pm except on weekends when my husband is home to hold the inconsolably crying baby, and the rest of your meals earlier in the day you don't finish because you have to take care of the 4yr old who has to take a back seat to a crying baby all night. I love my daughters, and would not change one thing about either of them, but PPD+Colic+truck driver husband may soon=nut hatch. At least I will look good, because food, which has always been my comfort else I would not be excited about being down to 269lbs, does not really have my interest at the moment. I don't want to shop, I don't want to cook, I don't want fast food, although I still resort to it way too often when Mo is really worked up and Jiji is begging for chicken fries. I know this is a symptom of my depression and not really a good thing...but my ring just FELL RIGHT OFF! I have been fat since I was about 8, that is big news. I am taking steps. I am medicated, I have a network of non-judgemental people to call when I have some crazed thought, and for me, the 2 days a week I am working now are the best medicine because I love grooming and am proud of my talent for it.
I have chosen to see this as a good thing, that in my hours of need I am not falling on bad habits and consoling myself w/a gallon of ice cream. I try in my life to see the positive and look for the good. Good is hard to come by, so I will take it where I can get it. I am trying to establish good habits, and the best one is to be positive, move forward, and be in the moment. This moment, I feel good, am counting my blessings, and just keep spinning my loose wedding band around my finger.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again...

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