On a similar topic, but not exclusively Whole30, I have been toying with the idea (yet again) of getting trained as a health coach. I have helped a number of people to change their eating habits and loose weight (and quite frankly, they do a better job of keeping it off than I do… the curse of being a snacker who can’t figure out how to break the habit…) and I love being a part of that and seeing people’s lives changed for the better. There’s an online course that I would love to take, it looks marvelous and has a good reputation compared to other online schools I’ve looked at… but alas, the ever-present problem of I-don’t-have-money-right-now keeps me from even applying. Maybe in a could of years, after my car is paid off. We’ll see. In the meantime, I read books (a new one on balancing hormones is currently in the mail heading my way – so excited!) and blogs and try methods out on myself, and cringe and squirm when I read conventional health magazines. Uuuggghhh. I used to get a couple of health magazines when my interest was budding, but I ended up cancelling them, because they are seriously full of lies. I’m a first-hand witness to the effectiveness of many things they call quack solutions, and I’ve seen the damage done by the ‘healthy’ eating habits they promote. Continue reading
It’s been a while since I’ve updated life-in-general things. My last update was right after my sister’s wedding, so I go to my picture files to find out what I’ve been up to since then… it’s all a blur to me, so thank the Good Lord for digital cameras.
Lots of pictures ahead… Continue reading
I was working on filing my taxes online, and got all the way through step one all by myself. Then I came across a road-block. I’m not very good at these things… “These things” being anything to do with numbers. I’m supposed to file information about last year’s taxes, but last year my taxes got all bungled by the lady who did our whole family’s taxes, and then mom went to H&R Block to have them fixed, and so I have a second set of papers; something to do with Amendments. Not even Constitutional Amendments, which I actually would read with interest. Nope. Income Tax Amendments. I looked at the first page for a good hard 30 seconds and my brain was frozen solid. I like to explain this phenomenon as being related to when your computer freezes. It makes an awful roaring noise, gets all hot and nervous, and no matter how many buttons you push and how many things you try to click, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS. That’s my brain on numbers. So of course, I went running to Mommy. Only… Mommy’s not home. Shoot. The kids had dentist appointments today, and I’m sure while she was out of town she would get groceries and probably feed the kidlings at some point, so who knows when she’ll get back. I know, I know… I’m a big girl, I should be able to handle all this on my own. But I can’t. If I was literally on my own, I’d be calling some Tax Help Hotline for assistance.
So, with the ability to finish filing taxes postponed indefinitely, I took the free moments I found myself with to jabber at you for a while. You are welcome. Happy Tax Season.
Two nights ago my solder sister and I spent four hours talking before bed. Yes, that DOES mean we stayed up until 3 a.m. We haven’t done that in a while, since she has a man in her life who she normally stays up talking to on Skype until I’m already dead to the world (aka sleeping). Anyhoo, it was one of those great heart-to-heart sister talks that includes rants of frustration and tears and hugs and ends in prayers. We talked about guilt and emotional defeat, feelings of worthlessness and those days when we just don’t feel close to the Lord. We know those are all lies, but the fact of the confusion is very real.
Then today, she posted a song for me on my facebook page. I listened and read the words and just let myself cry. It’s awesome to know that she has my back, she knows what I’m struggling with, and she knows what will speak to me and encourage me.
And so I pass it on to you.
About two weeks ago, I started juicing. Mostly vegetables. Not major juicing, not the juice-fast thing by any means. Some mornings I have juice for my breakfast, some nights I have it with my supper. Still eating more than plenty of my regular food. I wanted to see how many veggies I could get in there after months of knowing that a small handful of spinach in my fruit smoothie wasn’t cutting it. The handful o0f spinach is great for what it’s worth, but when weight is a problem and sugar is killing several members of your family, having too much fruit is a very real problem. Likewise not enough vegetables.
I have several friends who are attempting the 365 thing this year… you know, where you post a picture of something from your day every day for a year. It is so much fun to keep up with when someone actually does it. I know a few who have; I love the idea, but we all know by now that I’m not good with staying true to a course like that. I might last a week, maybe. So I decided, hey, I can still put up pictures when I feel like it, of whatever I’d like to share with you. Duh.
So, to start with, here are some highlights from my Christmas season.
I made sugared rose petals for our Christmas dessert. It was Jubilee Cake, in honor for the Queen’s Jubilee. Two layers of s moist almond cake with clotted cream and raspberries in between. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right kind of cream to make clotted cream, so I ended up with sorta-thickish but still runny, lumpy cream. Hey, it still tasted good. But it did make me angry at the FDA or whoever it is that thinks we need to have everything ultra-pasteurized. But that’s a different topic…
I’ve been a busy little beaver this Christmas season (and boy, are my teeth feeling it,) with part-time work, part-time day care, cleaning for company, baking cookies, shopping for gifts, getting commissioned paintings finished in time… you get the idea. I love it. Too often we lose sight of the fact that this holiday is a celebration, and we get lost in the ‘must-dos’ and forget to let ourselves celebrate. I know that Christ was not born on December 25th. I know that trees and gifts really having next to nothing to do with His coming (depending on who you ask), and neither do the traditional movies, music and stories that I grew up on, but I love them anyway. Here are some ‘cultural’ Christmasy things I’ve been up to lately.
- Listening to Tim Curry read A Christmas Carol. This man was born to read books with dismal characters. That’s actually a compliment. “If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
- Wrapping gifts while watching Home Alone and quoting half of the lines as they are spoken. “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!”
- Bright green, be-glittered wrapping paper. The lights on the tree catch the glitter in rainbow colors and it is magnificent. Not to mention how fun it is to know I am solely responsible for my family finding glitter all over themselves for the next month.
- Christmas music! Yes, I said it. I don’t believe in listening to it from October on, and many of the commonly played songs drive me bonkers, but I have my own personal collection of Christmas albums that I love. Sarah Groves’ Christmas album is gorgeous and soothing, (especially It Came Upon a Midnight Clear) Kate Rusby’s Sweet Bells makes me happy because it’s all very old traditional British folk music, and I like to pretend that some of my ancestors sang some of these songs. And Charlie Brown Christmas. There are also a few random songs, such as Christmas This Year by TobyMac, Christmas Time is Here by MercyMe, others by Michael Buble, Josh Groban, etc. You get the idea. Oh, and last year I had the kids at church sing This is Christmas during the Christmas program. It still gives me chills.
- Friends are coming! For the first time in my life, this year we are actually going to have people STAYING OVER in our house. For like, two nights. So, with my sister coming home, the four foster kids, and the family of 8 who is coming to visit us, we will have 18 people in our house for three days. It will be awesome. Insane. Hopefully joyful. 😉
- I find that I totally stink at the whole gift-giving thing. I wander through stores without an idea of what to give a particular person, and find about half a dozen things I’d like to get myself. Yeah… that’s not really how it’s supposed to go… just today I finally figured out what to get my grandfather. (Gift certificate to the greenhouse where I work, so he can get his tomato and cabbage plants in the spring. Duh. This is what I’ve given him the past two years. I don’t know how I could have forgotten that.) And I still don’t know what to get my brother. Guys are HARD to shop for! And believe me, I love the whole idea of making gifts for people… but my brother doesn’t want any of the types of things I make. Except cookies. Which nobody needs in my family.
The first week back to work, about 6 weeks ago, I was very happy to be doing something other than procrastinating and puttering around home (according to me, I was ‘working on my art’.). Working with my hands, creating things, has always brought me the most joy in my day. Christmas wreath making is definitely creative. At least, the first 40 hours or so. After a week of filling orders; cutting the boughs into the proper length pieces for wreaths, making ‘hands’ of balsam, trimming, a piece of cedar or pine, clamp to the frame, rinse, repeat about 1,000 a day… well yeah, my brain has been dying lately. I like creativity, but I do NOT thrive on monotonous repetition. Just reenforcing my previous knowledge the factory work would probably kill me. (All you factory workers out there… I’m not trying to belittle factories. My own dad is a factory worker, and we’ve been very grateful for the dependable job he’s had for over 25 years.)
Today, finally, I was completely caught up on the wreath orders and the front of the shop was full with our own standard wreaths… so there technically wasn’t much I needed to do. My boss told me to just make up some extras to keep out back. Spurred on by Robin, the awesome lady who works there as florist, I took the opportunity to do some different things, use different materials, decorate the wreaths the way I wanted them. I do what I’m told when I work, so unless I have permissions to just go crazy, I keep all the ideas I have under my hat. Nobody’s ever said “Do whatever you want.” before, so it was pretty exciting. 😉 I didn’t even break for lunch until half an hour late, I was having so much fun! My mood was definitely lighter than it had been the last few days; I’d been mentally rehearsing the scenario of dramatically throwing a handful of balsam in the air and stalking out in the middle of the day. *angel*
I snapped a few pictures of my favorite pieces from today. I hope you enjoy them.
Boxwood and gradating silver balls. Boxwood is so easy to work with!
Click through for more wreaths. 🙂