Thursday, August 29, 2013

So much time, and so few books!

I love books. I can finish a novel in a single day, given enough free time to do it. Usually I can get through it in 2-4 days if I have less time on my hands, or I only read after I get in bed.

I've always been a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz. I have a goal to read and own a copy of every book he's written. Yeah, I love his books that much. But while Koontz is amazing, sometimes I need a break. A change of pace. Even a change in species.

Hubs likes the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton. When I was buying the set for him for Christmas, I snagged a few of books from her Merry Gentry series. I'm a sucker for faeries, so the Merry Gentry series wasn't something I would turn down. I read the entire series in a couple of weeks.

But what was I to do after finishing those novels? Well, a neighbor solved that problem for me and introduced me to Anne Bishop and the Black Jewels Trilogy. Oh Em Gee. Suspenseful, thrilling, intriguing, novels that I couldn't help but get sucked into. I bought a few of the continuing series.

And then I was done. I had read that series and needed something new. I started searching for more books by Anne Bishop, and found the Ephemera series, starting with Sebastian. Loved it. Magic, hope, evil, love, and destiny all wrapped into one novel.

But this is where my problems began. I didn't want to continue buying tons of books because I don't have the space for them yet. I need a house with a dedicated library or something. So until then, I've decided to use the local library. Of course, they are missing books in the series. They always do. I hate reading novels out of order, because the story line gets really jumbled. so I had to pause the Ephemera series and find something else. And the all-knowing Google has helped. I've found Gena Showalter and her Lords of the Underworld series. Immortal warriors, cursed to carry demons from Pandora's box. Plagued to fight internal battles, along with Hunters that want to kill them. And intermixed are beautiful love stories, overcoming all obstacles. I'm addicted.

But I knew that the Lords of the Underworld series would eventually end - and someone else was reading the same series I am, so we are switching out copies at the library in an effort to read them in order. While I'm waiting, I looked for another author. I found www.fictionvixen.com, which had a post about authors like Anne Bishop. That introduced me to the Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson. It's about a King finding his soul mate in a peasant girl, and their fight to save the world. I'm in love, and I haven't finished the first chapter. Thankfully the library had the entire series, so I checked them all out.

I took my mom with me to the library one day, and she questioned my reading choices. "Since when do you read romance novels?" hahahah I thought it was funny, because I think the 'Romance' classification is a little off. That category makes me think of trashy books like 50 Shades of Grey, which I have no interest in reading. But then again, the love stories in these books are beautiful, and what woman wouldn't want to read them? I've always loved books because I have a vivid imagination. I can play the book as a movie in my head. I can feel the love, happiness, pain, despair, excitement when I'm reading. And as long as I can continue to find books, I'll keep reading them. And I'll ignore the classifications.

It's taking every ounce of willpower not to buy all of these books off eBay or find them on clearance at Half Price Books. So I'll continue with the library books for as long as I can. And FictionVixen will be one of my new favorite sites to look for more authors.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Goal 1 complete. Onto Goal 2.

I've mastered the first step back to healthy. My morning smoothies are really easy to make, and I'm getting a lot of nutrients that I previously was going without. My next goal is to start drinking lots of water again. I went off soda and coffee completely a few years ago, and although I have the occasional soda and lots of coffee, I still choose water most often. With the coffee - I'm not putting any sugar in it, just half and half. I'm pretty happy with myself for that. But I need to start drinking a lot more water than I used to. The latest recommendations are 1/2 of your body weight in ounces. For me that's twice the previous recommendation of 8 glasses of 8oz water - 64oz. I need to drink around 120oz. I have a 32oz cup sitting on my desk, so I need to drink at least two glasses full while I'm at work. That'll get me through half of my goal. Then I just need two big glasses at home, too. I can do that. For now, until I can come up with something cuter, I'll be putting rubber bands on my drinking glass, and remove one for every full glass I drink. I might get bored and color them, too. I'll make ice cubes tonight out of ginger and lemon so I can have different flavors and added benefits.

I'm going to work on this goal before I start a new one. It's less stressful that way.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sometimes dreams are weird...

This morning I couldn't remember what I had dreamed about last night, but it just hit me. And now that I remember, I wanted to write it down before I forgot. And maybe I want to analyze it, because it was a little weird. Not a nightmare, but weird. (And this was not the first time I had it...)

Hubs and I went to a gym. It was beautiful, bright sunlight through the windows, tons of equipment, a second floor with classes and a lounge. It had rows and rows on equipment. Compared to a real-life building, I felt it was about the size of the main floor of the Fort Worth Convention Center (I spent many summers there as a kid, which is why I remember that reference.) I spent the time cycling. The guy assisting us with getting our membership set up was the same in this one as the last. I couldn't find any paperwork to tell me how much it cost to be there. He said that it only cost money if we came before 5pm. But it was after 5, so no charge. It wasn't until this point that my dream self had deja vu, realizing I'd been to this place before. And like the first time, there were only a handful of people in the entire building. So I decide to go cycling again. When I first had this dream, it was just Hubs and I. But this time, while I was cycling, a baby started crying. I looked over to realize it was my child, in Hubs' lap. I motioned for him to come closer, and I decided I would try to work out while holding her. I was just moving my legs anyway - it was one of those cycles that has a chair to lean back in. The trainer thought it was humorous that I was holding her and working out.

That's all I remember. It was just a weird dream to have. Like I said, it wasn't a nightmare. I didn't wake up in a cold sweat, or kick and scream, or even wake up at all. I've always been interested in things like dream interpretation, especially since dreams are supposed to the brain's way of sorting out issues and solving problems.

The quick interpretation that came to me is that my dream self is ignoring what other people think of me in order to get my health more in order. That it could potentially lead to a baby and I'll continue to keep my health in order for her. Of course I could be looking at it way too literally - because some dreams are just like that.

Here's some of the info I got from www.dreammoods.com - Dream Dictionary. (And I guess my interpretation is fairly accurate.)
Baby: To dream of a crying baby symbolizes a part of yourself that is deprived of attention and needs to be nurtured. Alternatively, it represents your unfulfilled goals and a sense of lacking in your life.

Exercise: To dream that you are exercising signifies your worries about your health. You may be concerned about fitting into society's ideals of beauty. Or you just need to get up and exercise more! Alternatively, the dream may also indicate that you need to "exercise" your rights and  power in some situation.

Gym: To dream that you are in a gymnasium indicates that you need to apply what you learned and incorporate it into your daily life. Alternatively, the gym may be telling you that you need to get more exercise.

Room: To dream that you are in an empty white room indicates a fresh start. It is like a blank canvas where you want to start life anew. Alternatively, the dream means that you are trying to isolate yourself. You do not want any outside influences.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prepacked smoothies... I'm eating breakfast again!

Mom and I put together my smoothie packs last night. I have two weeks worth. It was pretty simple once we got organized. I bought freezer quart sized baggies - although freezer sandwich bags would have worked just as well. In each bag I put in:

- a banana (I get the almost too ripe ones on clearance at the farmer's market and freeze them)
- 1 cup of fruit, in this case, peaches and mangoes
- hemp protein powder
- probiotic powder
- spinach ice cube
- chia seed ice cube

The ice cubes were really easy to make. I added some water and a big handful of spinach into a magic bullet cup. I blended it up really well, then added more spinach and more water until I had a thick spinach mush. I spooned it out into an ice cube tray and stuck them in the freezer. For the chia seed, I put water in a bowl, poured some chia seeds in, and let them soak for 20-30 minutes. Soaked chia seeds turn into jelly. Then I blended them up with a little more water and spooned it into an ice cube tray as well. I think I ended up using 1/2 cup of chia seeds and 4-5 cups of spinach, to fill one tray each. I'm only planning on making two weeks of smoothie packs at a time, and it's perfect because that's how many ice cubes I get from each tray.

This morning, I pulled a bag out, dumped it in my magic bullet, added 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and blended the crap out of it until it was all mixed well. Yum!

As for replacements:
- You can add avocados instead of banana, or even yogurt! You can do the ice cube trick with the yogurt as well.
- Any fruit of your choice can be added.
- Use whatever milk or liquid to thin it out. I've used hemp milk before, but you could do soy, coconut, goat's milk, cow's milk... You get the point :)
- I highly suggest using a protein powder or your choice. It's good for you!
- I'll be adding kale to the next tray of spinach cubes, and you could add chard or any other greens you feel like adding.

In the past I've made chocolate covered cherry (cherries and chocolate flavored hemp oil), strawberry banana, nectarine... Get creative! Get seasonal fruits or buy frozen pre-packaged fruit.

Spending 20-30 min getting all of the bags prepped is totally worth it because it'll take less than 5 min to blend it all up in the mornings. Doing it yourself is also a lot cheaper than buying shake mixes like shakeology and visalus.

Are you going to try morning shakes? What are you putting it them?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From sad to excited in an hour :)

Lately I've really been fighting with the fatigue issues that come along with fibromyalgia. I slept almost the entire weekend, even missing a workday because I slept through all the alarms and Hubs trying to wake me up. Being exhausted is exhausting. I had planned on stopping at the library before work today, and gave up on that idea when I woke up. I decided that the extra 30min of sleep was more important than a book. And it is. But some days, when I'm staring at my computer, trying to concentrate on what I should be doing, I get teary-eyed. Some days I just can't focus, and all my body wants to do is sleep. As a way of fighting it, I load up on coffee (with no sugar!). Of course, then you could do some googling and find out that caffeine isn't all that great for people with fibro. I'm sure it's not that great for any of the other issues I fight with. But the coffee really doesn't help. It gives me a short burst of focus, then I have to have another cup to get me going a little further. I know that's wreaking havoc on my body. I don't have the ability to just take days off to sleep, because if I miss too many, I can't pay the bills.

I've been eating healthier, lots of fruits and veggies, yogurt. I haven't been cooking like I want to because I'm just so tired by the time I get home.

I know that I'm still writing a lot of depressing stuff. I think I want to feel better - but writing all this isn't helping that much. But it feels like it must come out of my head. Maybe if I keep it bottled up, it'll just make it worse. So I'm writing about all the crappy stuff in hopes that I won't have to think about it anymore.

I need to take better care of myself. Everything I read about others who have started to feel better have all changed their diets, cut out things like gluten and dairy. Honestly, it would be fairly difficult to give up dairy. I've limited myself a lot, and rarely use cheese, and only occasionally drink some milk or eat cereal. Mainly because Hubs drinks all the milk before I get to it. When I need milk in a recipe, I use almond milk. The unsweetened kind. When I was making my morning smoothies, I used almond or hemp milk. But I think, by far, the most difficult diary product to stop using would be butter. So I'll take it slow when attempting to eliminate that. I had a food allergy test done a few years ago, and there were a lot of things on that list. I stopped following it because it cut out a lot of healthy things I was eating, like fruits and veggies, and herbs. I tried hard to keep those out of my diet, but I couldn't see any differences in how I felt while not eating them. So I added them back into my diet - but in small increments. If I eat something on my list, I'll do my best to keep away from everything else.

Why am I not having my smoothies every morning anymore? It's not like they were hard to make. I should prepackage everything I need to make them. I just googled the idea and apparently I'm way behind in the times lol. I used to prepackage some of the fruit, but never the entire smoothie, minus the liquid. Holy crap. That's what I'm doing tonight. I can add the protein powder to the baggie. *facepalm* I can't believe I haven't been doing this.

So new plan - morning smoothies. I need to go to the store and pick up spinach and kale, since they appear to be easily freezable. GENIUS! I'm so proud of myself :)

And I'm starting a weekly healthy challenge in my local PCOS group. I can't wait to get started! I feel better already :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Trying this menu thing again

I've mentioned it already, but I have no car. I think it'll do me some good, though. I'm going to start walking to the grocery store a few times a week, buying only what is needed to make meals for a few days. This will allow me to get exercise - about 1 mile at a time, and keep produce fresh so it doesn't get lost in the fridge. I'm still using the organic food service from urban Acres, and I'll use it to plan some of my weekend meals.

I have to change my life. I have to get healthy. I need to focus on wellness. I WILL succeed.

I keep saying that I'm going to change, but haven't done anything about it. But I can either say I want to do it, or actually do it. I need to shave my legs and hit the pool. I need to walk to the grocery store instead of asking my mom for a ride. I'm going to pull my yoga mat out of the closet (I'm a bit ashamed that it got put in there in the first place...)

I know I sound like a broken record. "I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that." But I haven't done it. So I'm going to keep saying I'll do it until I actually do it.

I'm starting with my menu and grocery plan. I should get paid tomorrow, and I'll head to the grocery store tomorrow night to get the needed ingredients for the rest of the weekend. Then, Sunday, I'll go to the store that evening and get groceries for Mon - Thurs. And it'll be a repeating cycle. Every Thursday and Sunday I'll go grocery shopping. That guarantees 2 miles of walking a week.

And I'm going to start bringing my lunch to work - and reheating it in the break room so I can do laps while waiting on it. Yesterday I speed-walked 1000 feet - 1/5 of a mile, in just 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Doctor... Doctor Who? A.K.A. Damn you, Netflix :)

Oh, the hardships of having no cable TV... We decided that we were paying way too much money for cable, when there were only a handful of channels we watched. Of course we couldn't get the basic cable, because it was missing half of the channels we wanted. So I cut it off completely. And I'm so glad I did. We upgraded our internet service, bought a year of Xbox Gold membership, and subscribed to Hulu Plus and Netflix.

Although we have decided to cancel our Hulu subscription, we love Netflix. Hulu is great for current shows, but Netflix is awesome because we can watch an entire series. When it first came out, I LOVED Alias. It was a spy show starring Jennifer Garner. My mom and I used to watch it every week. But Hubs had never heard of it! Seriously, he lived under a mountain. At least when it came to TV. So we watched all 5 seasons of Alias. We decided that instead of watching various shows all at once, we would choose a series and watch it all before switching to a new show. Except I watch TEDTalks when Hubs isn't around.


After we finished Alias, we started on Doctor Who. Previously, I had never seen an episode of Doctor Who. And I can't believe I waited so long. I love it. Rose (Billie Piper), one of the Doctor's companions, we knew from a show we loved called Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Of course that just made us more excited about the show. There's a lot I would love to say, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. I can say, though, that the world is small. Just a day after we watched the first episode that featured the town/city of Cardiff, I received a request to make a card for someone that lived there. I mentioned what a coincidence it was, and I found out that not only did she live in Cardiff, but she was one of the people that worked on the team that was responsible for getting some of the shows filmed in Cardiff! That was definitely an awesome moment. And I got to share that with a coworker that is a Doctor Who fan - and of course, he thought it was pretty cool too.

Photo from http://www.bbc.co.uk

I'm torn as to which one is my favorite Doctor so far. They are equally funny in their own way. Hubs thinks that the one on the left, played by Christopher Eccleston, is his favorite, and I tend to agree. But David Tennant is awesome too. 

As for all the newer series shows that we don't get on Netflix, like Ink Master, CSI, and Grimm, well we just watch them via a website.

So I can honestly say that I doubt I will ever go back to cable television. This way is so much cheaper. and no commercials!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eliminating fear of change by changing fear

I did my final weigh in for SCWLC. It was 247 pounds. The first weigh in was 251.2, so I lost 4.2 pounds in 6 weeks. Oh Em Gee. And I didn't really do anything. Well, ok, I was eating better. very few donuts. And I've been eating lots of fruits - strawberries and cherries :) I've considerably cut back on Jack in the Box, because we found WhichWich. And because the car broke down, so I have to bring food from home. and I started eating the fruits and veggies I get from Urban Acres every two weeks.

So that was a nice surprise. I know that I really need to start working out more. and I get mad at myself for choosing TV over exercise. I just end up exhausted by the time I get home, especially now that I'm working much longer hours. But I'm working towards getting better. It's a slow process, which frustrates me, but in the end things will change.

I'm one of those people that wants to see results immediately. I think a lot of us are like that now. I feel I don't have time to wait. Or that I'm tired of fighting and I just want the end result.

I know that major drawbacks for me are my illnesses. I fear that if I start taking better care of myself again, start working out, then my body will fall apart all over again. It's a stupid fear. It sounds counter-intuitive. How can taking better care of myself lead to getting sicker? It happened the first time. That's what bothers me. I was doing so well, then it all went to hell, and I haven't been able to find a way to fight that fear. Yes, it probably was just a badly timed coincidence.

So that's my new (and only!) goal for the next month or two, or four. I have to get over this fear before I can move on and move forward with my life.

This post on MindBodyGreen.com showed up in my email today:
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10577/dont-believe-everything-you-think-especially-when-youre-afraid.html

"What’s causing you to keep running into the same damn brick wall? Fear. To be specific, fear of PAIN. Our nature is to avoid pain at all costs."

Tonight I'm getting something done.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Bucket List

I've done the 101 in 1001, 30 before 30, and now it's time to focus on my lifetime bucket list. I think it's easier for me to look at a list without a due date attached. Eases the pressure and potential feelings of failure. Although at some point I need to get used to setting deadlines for myself and actually following through with them...
  1. visit another continent
  2. go zorbing
  3. climb to the top of a mountain
  4. visit Machu Picchu
  5. spend the night in an underwater hotel
  6. spend a night in an ice hotel
  7. see Aurora Borealis
  8. see a show on Broadway
  9. write and self publish a cookbook
  10. run a 5k
  11. go sailing
  12. go deep sea fishing
  13. learn another language fluently
  14. go scuba diving
  15. ride in a hot air balloon
  16. go skydiving
  17. become a beekeeper
  18. read all of Dean Koontz's books
  19. become as healthy as possible
  20. become a big sister
  21. own a farm in the country
  22. Adopt a child
  23. swim with dolphins
  24. go on a yoga retreat in another country
  25. go to a TEDTalk conference
  26. go geo-caching
  27. Drive the entire Natches Trace in a convertible
  28. Eat at a Mario Battali restaurant
  29. Eat at a Cat Cora restaurant
  30. Eat at a Masaharu Morimoto restaurant
  31. Donate money to a KivaLoan
  32. Visit Yellowstone at least twice
  33. Make 100 cards for strangers (4 down, 96 to go)
  34. Watch baby turtles enter the sea for the first time
  35. Visit Salem, MA on Halloween
  36. Get my navel pierced.... again.
I'm sure that this is going to be an ongoing list... I'll find things I want to add or subtract from time to time, and I'll want to update it when I accomplished an item. We'll see how it goes :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

That figures...

Every once in a while I mention that I think Murphy's Law needs to be changed to  Lynne's Law. It strikes, yet again. Tuesday, the car died on Hubs when he was  coming to pick me up. He just barely made it into the parking lot before it  completely gave up.

We had a tow truck come get it, and decided that we'd start looking for issues on  Wednesday. We were attempting to check the fuel filter when we noticed that the  hose that connects the air box into the intake manifold and mass air flow sensor  and a huge crack in it. We had to go to the dealership to get the part because no auto parts store sells them. You'd think that such an important (and fairly simple)  part would be available there, but no.

So we replaced it. The car started!!! Yay! Then the knocking started. Damn. After  doing some online research and finding videos on YouTube of the same knocking  issue, we determined it was 1 of 3 things - a rod, piston or crankshaft problem.  All of which require taking the frikkin' engine apart. After several calls to  mechanics in the area, and lowest quotes going for $3500, we might as well get another car. I promised myself I'd get another Mustang, and I hope that I can make  good on that promise. But I need a vehicle, so I'll take what I can get. I don't  know where I am going to come up with the money, but I will. We always manage to figure it out.

I wish there were Groupons for cars.

On a much lighter note, I finished 4 cards last night, out of the 13 currently on  my list. I spent 3-4 hours working on them, and I was really happy when I was done. I didn't watch any tv, just listened to Hubs play video games. I didn't hurt much, which is always awesome. I really hope they like the cards. I made 2 for little kids, one for a teenager, and one for an adult. I'm doing a Dallas Cowboys themed one next, so I've got to start looking for pictures to print.

And.... I have friends coming over tomorrow night for a pot luck and the neighborhood's biggest water balloon fight! With temperatures in the triple digits, I figured water balloons would be a lot of fun :)

And.... I got my IFF hyperbolic geometry book! If I find time this weekend, and a crochet needle and yarn from my grandmother, I'm going to start making coral! I'm so excited to read and learn and craft!