Monthly Archives: February 2011

Pacing myself, Schmacing myself

Living with chronic fatigue and inflammation, the trick is to learn how to pace yourself. Pacing myself is something I’ve never known and might never learn.

Tonight, there is no in-depth and motivated housewifing or organic products to share.  I left work a few minutes earlier so that I may go home and rest since I felt some stress shoving up against the threshold.  The plan was nap, then exercise, then housewife.

But once I was home free, it was so breezy and sunny out….

The plan turned into: go shopping for things that weren’t on the list, reorganize the pantry, refry yesterday’s batch of black beans, make dinner, wash dishes, pass out hopelessly at 6pm with swelling from head to toe, swollen throat and mild flu-like symptoms.

Dang it.

My strength may or may not pick up again and the inflammation may or may not decrease.  At this point, I have to coddle my bratty immune system if there exists any chance of finishing my plans or I’ll end up watching all of Wednesday’s NBC line up.  If I do feel better, I’ll be making more celery juice for wellness and taking advantage of some exotic plants I found during my earlier fake-energy boost exploration.  I discovered a Latin supermarket and bought aloe vera and nopal, the spiky gooey plants that have been Aztec medicinal secrets for centuries.  Getting in touch with my Indian roots. I don’t know how to use them and their exact health benefits, but if I figure it out, I’ll let you know.


So here is a little treat I prepared a few days ago. Check it out: I created a new page, a link tab of favorite blogs.  The list will be ever increasing, but just a few for now. Gotta pace myself.

Shout-out to friends: To those of you who know I have meeting tonight, Husband is out of town so we’re going together tomorrow to another one. Will miss you.


Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Picture of Health, Stimulating the Economy, Under the Weather

The Murder of Two Silver Hairs

Dying hair is not considered much in terms of long-term safety, more so about how long can you go before you drench your hair in paint again.  I certainly viewed it this way the few times I’ve dyed my hair and required follow-up maintenance.  But times have changed and the collective group of women willing to be educated are aware of the chemicals dangers in existence and on the rise.  Last night, I had the responsibility of considering whether I will dye with my mane with Naturint Permanent Hair Color, claiming to be safer than regular dyes (already purchased), or skip the vanity and leave as is, or experiment with Henna dye.

The following article about the risks , although very neutral, had me in a stupefied state.

I don’t dye my hair frequently and I don’t want to anymore. As a matter of fact, I’ve sprouted two “gray” hairs more akin to a silvery snow that I’ve grown fond of.  I don’t care to see them go.  But from my last ventures into hair color, I have slight discoloration. It’s only visible in the sun from my natural dark brown/black hair, but its there.  I was even going to name my two strands of wisdom but if I’m going to darken them out, there is no point in becoming attached.

Growing up, I had an uber-conservative mom when it came to beauty.  She never died her hair, barely wore make-up, and other practical fixins considered to be normal in society for a lady.  She grew up a poor and humble country girl where these things were not needed for survival.  She once told me if I ever dyed my hair, I would not be her daughter.  Being raised in Miami where the masses all have the same sun-bleached brain, there was no way I could not join the sheep herd and dye my woolen hair.  But the peer pressure and curiosity got the best of me.  Against momma’s will,  my best friend and a Loreal bottle  colored my hair into the color of a rusty trumpet.

Mom remained in smoldering silence when she saw the hot mess.  Of course, money had to spent on salvaging my straw mop head.  The chemicals must have reached portions of my brain because I can’t remember who footed the rescue bill, but I do know she let me remain her baby girl.  As usual, my dear ‘ol momma was right.  We just have an innate preference for the natural in my family, whether its the way we were brought up or our indifference to popular opinion.  I want my God-given hair to stay as it is.  At this point in adolescence, I went back to black.

Naturally, an unwritten ethos from a whimsical spaz is easy to forsake in times if fashion kicks and identity switches.  I dyed it for my wedding with some lighter and with some golden tones to catch and glimmer in the sun’s reflection.  A year later, I’m back to my natural kick and want it dark again.  And I’m apprehensive.  Should I leave it and wait a few years until it grows back all dark, or hasten the restoration of balance?

We can’t protect ourselves from all every and all chemicals. “Every year 1700 new chemicals are approved — that’s an average of five a day.” (The Autoimmune Epidemic).  We can buy a water filter for our kitchen faucet and still have residual chemicals, or drink bottled water that’s been leaching plastic particles in the overheated truck its being shipped in.  I’m doing a full on detox, but when the pain is insufferable I must take some man-tinkered pill. We can use everything organic, but we step outside and we’re breathing smog.  But I can make a decision for my next move whether to invite a risk that’s I’m suddenly painfully aware of.  Where is the balance?

I was feeling the stress of all the tiny decisions that come with having a hypersensitive, body begging nature to overpower my faulty immune,  whilst living in a highly toxic city and society.  Considering I was going to dye my hair anyway with regular dye, using a healthier one will not kill me today.  Just like we can’t prevent your kids from every stupid decision that comes across their head, like trying to give yourself blond highlights without a pro in the room, I cannot prevent myself from every dirty little compound that might affect me.  I’ve learned how to read one more label and to research even deeper before purchasing products that we’re never much of a concern before.

My hair is a solid chestnut brown and is looking pretty healthy.  The product itself was great and I would recommend it to anyone who colors their locks regularly and would like a healthier option.  But the paranoia I went through about scabbing, follicles rejecting my hair, and a Lupus flare-up: not worth it.  Not to mention my friend’s dad was talking to me about cancer half the time.  Next time  I go with the henna. Or grow it out. I already miss the two little testaments of time that were trying to make a point.

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Filed under Housewifing, Stimulating the Economy, Teensy Projects

Lovely Lady Lumps With Classical Stretch

I used to make the stairmaster cry. Push ups were my cake.  Asphalt was my playground.  Of course, for a time, I did it all for the love of eating cake in monstrous amounts on cheat day.  The secondary motivation behind inviting pain and suffering were of the aesthetic kind.  Not vanity, because every human appreciates the symmetry of healthy muscles and skin sat nicely upon them.  However, without the right balance, exercise is addicting to an unhealthy level, which I fit that category for quite a while.

It’s taken an illness and restrictive diet to understand the purest health factor of exercise.  It’s not just for the loaded burrito reward after burning 800 calories or for the knock-you-out tris after never ending dips.  No longer do I feel the need for an extreme burn in my thighs to feel like I am truly and wholly benefiting my body.  I can push my tendons and ligaments to their individual limits without exerting them.  When I finish a workout, I don’t drive to the nearest pizza shop and get my own large pie.  Mine own. My precious. And it’s no longer for the heavenly sound of size 3 jeans buttons snapping together.  I used to define my limits by how much and hard I worked out.  Even though I relished on gym days to the point of blowing off good times with friends until I got the last bench press set in, I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting the full benefit of exercise.

Nowadays, I can’t stack on the leg press with 45lb plates or can’t do a back row without dislocating something essential  -even if you offered me an iced cookie- but I can finish a kind and healing workout without making beer and cheese fries the focal point. Not only because my allergen diet doesn’t give me a choice, but because inside… I’m not the fat little girl anymore.  I’ve finally grown up, physically and foodie-ly.  (My vocabulary still needs some maturing.)

However, I still need a workout for my ailing and very sedentary lifestyle.  Sitting down and resting as much as a Wolf Girl (A Lupster) (an autoimmune condition sufferer) has to do for someone who use to squat metal for fun is indescribably intolerable.  When I see joggers around my neighborhood with their hair swinging to the beat without a care, I literally want to cry; or yank their ponytails down until they face-plant.  And no matter how much exercise is meant to maintain systematic fitness, let’s face it: gravity is always fighting our husbands’ favorite body parts.

There are so many reasons we need to keep moving, even those who hate sweating. It’s good for you, simple as that. No but(t)s. (Pun intended). The following exercise modalities have proved in so many ways to therapeutically affect your body and mind.  They may not burn enough calories to have a gluttonous cheat day though.  For that you need to add at least 20 minutes of interval cardio every other day.

Reasons for working out no matter how much exhaustion, laziness, or pain present (without mentioning weight or looks):

1) A body in motion, tends to stay in motion; A body at rest, stays at rest.  You may not want to lift a finger in the morning or after work, but as soon as you do a thorough warm up you suddenly have what it takes to move.  I’m going to put energy in this category too.  You have to kickstart your own ATP and mitochondrial production. What are those? The energy sources and powerhouses in the cells.

2) Cleans your blood from toxins, waste, and by-products. Stimulates your lymphatic system.  If you ate a lot of junk food, too much emotional stress, or sat next to a smoker, you want your body to clean it out. Help it. Otherwise it stays in your body for quite a while, creating the potential for overload; henceforth, disease.  The lymphatic system does not move on it’s own. Must be stimulated.

3) Endorphins.  Your life may still suck after, but you’re much more ready to handle it with grace.  I never cried on a treadmill. Trust me, I tried.  You could slap me after a run and I’d just giggle and squeal like a red muppet on crack.

4) Range of motion.  Use it or lose it and expand it.  The older we get, the more limited movement we have.  It’s also amazing the length our body will allow if we only teach it how to stretch, no matter what age.  It’s never too late to be bendy. *wink

5) Brain power.  As well as a stimulant for everything else we’ve mentioned, there are performance piano players, successful business men, novelists who go for a jog before working on a their masterpiece.  People with ADHD can manage their concentration better if they activate the brain via movement.

6) Strength. The more muscle you train, the less risk for injury in the long run.  Less chance of creating imbalance in the body through simple movements.

7) Balance.  In this world, everything makes us lose balance. Electric machines humming, toxic foods, polluted air, stress overload, sitting too long, standing too long, sleeping on uncomfortable beds, staying up too late, listening to Lady Gaga too long. This will balance your spine, relieve pains, heal your body, fight disease, your chi.

8 ) You poop better.

So, from someone who used to bring the pain, I can tell you the workouts I do now are just as gratifying,  if not healthier and nicer to your body and just as effective, if not more.  Here are the workouts that streamline my life. (Click on the underlined for links)

  • Namaste Yoga – By FitTV – (I don’t recommend this to everyone for conscious reasons).  I personally don’t want my mind slipping blank and becoming available, but I skip anything that give heebeedie-jeebeedie vibes.  Usually, it’s toward the end of a class or episode, I just click it off or walk out.  This has healed many of my back problems and taught me to breath in an anxiety-ridden world.  Ones that doctors wanted me to spend time and money at chiropractors and take pills.  It recreates balance and aids composure.  Right now, I only do this on my most painful days that I can barely move.  I prefer the two below.

  • Pilates – This one not so much for relaxation.  It’s the toughest one of the three, but the one that would attest to the impressive god-given mechanics.  If you don’t have serious back problems to begin with, this will make your core strength stronger than any Muscle Max huffin’ and puffin’ at the gym.  It’ll make you feel and look graceful and straighten up your posture.  Even though I preferred the thicker muscle look, my best and slimmest body has always been when I did Pilates regularly (and cardio every other day). I learned how to do mine best from a book when I was 15 before even trying Winsor Pilates. Understanding your movements are just as important as actually doing them in any workout.

Joseph Pilates - The Creator


  • Classical Stretch – the public broadcasting system that brought you Yanni Live at the Acropolis and Katy Perry on Sesame Street now brings a workout that I call Free Xanax.  This is my workout of choice since I had to cancel my gym membership (tear, tear, soooob).  I saw this on PBS one morning that my ankles were stuck, tried it for less than 15 minutes one day and bought the full season within the next week.  I thought it was for the elderly at first and felt embarrassed; then I realized she created this for athletes and dancers. Through a method called Eccentrics, it pulls from modalities such as yoga,ballet, pilates, PNF (used in physical therapy), tai chi (the Chinese are genius), and brings balance you can feel in 25 minutes.  Painless, easy, refreshing.  You feel light as a feather and smarter when you’re done.  You stand up straighter the next day and realize how bad your alignment was to begin with.  If you can endure the horrible music and cheesy jokes, this Canadian ex-ballerina has become a favorite of mine.  She will teach your body to move and get the loveliest lady lumps, slenderest arms, and girlish-defined delts you’ve had since you were 15.  I’ve been down on that couch, toxins festering in my unmovable joints, and a few minutes into this idiot-proof workout and I feel as if I took pain meds.  I beseech you to check this out. It’s free on TV! Honestly, I just wanted to say beseech.  She even has a video specifically for back pain.


Click to link to history and benefits

About two years ago I had begun studying to be a Personal Trainer with the aim to specialize in nutrition.  For reasons that weren’t obvious then, I know now that my joints and muscles, need to be much healthier if i want to play that part.  The desire to help chicks have a healthy attitude and outlook about exercise, image, and health still lies within.  I know women want to feel good, look good, and find quick, easy, and effective preventative/preservative medicine.  I’ve tried many workouts in the last decade; studied up on them thoroughly.  So I’ve done the work for you.  Just pick one. Get your butt in gear.

Bonus: Here’s a great post from a great blog about health and image. This blog is amazing.

Bonus 2: A funny.


Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Stimulating the Economy

What It’s Like

Following is an article my sister found for me the same week I diagnosed.  What a wonderful creature who cared enough to want to understand what it meant for me to be told I have a chronic illness.  I knew I was having a hard time but for all the communication skills that I claim to possess, I was still unable to articulate simple symptoms, daily aches, frustrations, limitations and alien happenings in my body.  I felt like a gassy child  who couldn’t say the the word ‘toot’, so it cries it’s chubby little face pink and fuchsia while all the other humans scramble around you to try and guess what kind of appeasing you need.

This is the simple yet succinct personal account of a woman who has been a through parallel life with the wolf disease.  The sobbing was more like hiccuping as I latched on to each word, finally knowing that someone else mirrored such similar events and that she understood what it’s like.  Every case is uniquely different, but this was the one I related to the most.  Weeks later I read it to my husband. I remember I was weak that evening and halfway through the pages I was out of breath and having chest pain (that I didn’t admit to, of course).  I hadn’t cried since the last time I read it, and the waterworks opened up once more.

I forget that I’m sick, because my mind feels healthy. It’s only my body that causes conflict.  I had learned to push through pain and exhaustion as if it was normal.  It was second nature to ignore that something was very wrong and would tell myself I was just being a wimp.  He finally understood so much better since I had a comparison that helped me explain where I was struggling the most.  Since I didn’t look sick, it would puzzle us why I was out of commission so often.  We’re still a long way from really understanding the full spectrum of effects that having of having to mind physical health for every step really means (the details that go unspoken and unimagined until that moment actually arrives), but I can’t thank my sister enough for finding this for me.  I go back and re-read it often when I just don’t know how to explain what the heck I feel.

Thanks Nana. You are my favorite.

The Watchtower 1990 5/8 20-24

How I Live With Lupus

The scene is always the same. The doctor walks into the examining room and seats himself across from me. With a warm smile, pen in hand, he asks, “Well, Robin, how are you doing?” As I try to recall in detail the past four weeks of sheer misery, he nods his head and rapidly jots down my symptoms. The reason for these visits? I am one of many thousands who suffer from an autoimmune disorder called lupus. Are you wondering what that is? If so, let me tell you my story.

LOOKING back, I guess I could say I had a fairly normal childhood as a girl. Born in 1958 and raised as an only child by my parents, I grew up in the northwestern United States. At an early age, my mother instilled in me one definite idea: I should always serve the Creator, Jehovah God, in whatever capacity I could.

After graduating from school in 1975, I chose part-time employment in order to devote more time to the ministry of preaching God’s Word. I was content with my way of life and had no plans to change it. Unfortunately, there was going to be a turn of events that would change things for me.

A Turn for the Worse

At age 21, my health began taking a turn for the worse. I started developing medical problems first in one part of my body and then in another. Some were located by doctors and eliminated by surgery. Others remained a mystery, causing the doctors to question not only their reality but my mental and emotional stability as well. Infections seemed to find the road to my body an easy one. Frustration and anxiety ran high—I was continually searching for a doctor who could pinpoint an answer to my health problem.

During one of my better health periods, I met Jack, and we were married in 1983. I felt that once the stress and strain of the wedding and marital adjustment had passed and my life was calmer, my health would eventually improve as well.

I remember waking up one February morning with plans to spend the day taking care of household errands. But my muscles felt so strange, as if they didn’t want to cooperate with one another. I felt a trembling inside, and whenever I tried to pick up anything, I would drop it. ‘Maybe I am just overly tired,’ I comforted myself.

As the day progressed, the feelings became even more bizarre. Cold, numbing sensations alternating with inflammatory aches ran down my neck, arms, and legs. In fact, the symptoms made me so miserable that I went to bed until Jack came home from work. By early evening I was running a low-grade fever and was so weak and light-headed I was barely able to crawl back into bed. We didn’t know what to attribute it to except the flu. That seemed reasonable enough, since there was an influenza epidemic in the area where we lived.

When I woke up the next day, I felt better, at least for the first couple of minutes. But soon the aching started again, particularly down my legs and ankles. My fever was down, but I still felt extremely weak. Flu-type symptoms would alternate with those of a more peculiar nature. I remember thinking over and over to myself, ‘Can this really be just a strain of flu?’ As days passed, there were times when I thought I was getting better; then there were other times when I was so sick I could hardly lift my head off the pillow.

The Search for Help

Two weeks later and eight pounds [4 kg] lighter, I decided it was time to see a doctor. The day of my appointment was the worst I had experienced yet. The pain was so severe that I felt as though someone was pulling my muscles apart and jabbing me with hot knives all at the same time. Added to all of this was a veil of depression weighing heavily upon me. I just sat on the edge of the bed crying.

The first trip to the doctor brought no immediate answer. Different blood tests were run, checking for various types of infectious diseases. Only one came back positive, showing a high degree of inflammation present in the body. Several weeks later, still with no improvement, I consulted another doctor in the same clinic. Again, tests were taken, and again, only one came back abnormal, the same one that had previously been abnormal. Neither doctor had any conclusion other than thinking that it was just a bad virus.

Weeks passed, but time brought no real improvement. Finally, two months after the onset of my illness, I went to see another doctor in the clinic, one who had treated me for various minor illnesses when I was a child. I felt confident that he would pinpoint this mysterious affliction.

Much to my dismay, this doctor did not give me the treatment I was expecting. Instead of sincerely listening to my unusual symptoms, he quickly brushed me off as being a neurotic, implying that my strange complaints arose from my being newly married. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing as I tried to choke back my tears of anger and hurt. However, he did agree to repeat that “positive” test. I will always be grateful for that test!After leaving the clinic, I cried for two hours. I knew there was something definitely wrong with me physically, but it seemed as though no one wanted to take me seriously. The next afternoon, I received a call from the doctor’s office telling me that my blood test came back abnormal once again. I was referred to a rheumatologist (one who specializes in arthritic diseases). I was relieved that finally someone realized that there was an actual problem, but why a rheumatologist? How could arthritis make me feel like this?

An Unwelcome Diagnosis

Two weeks later I found myself sitting in the specialist’s office with Jack beside me. After the initial formalities, I began my story. Much to my surprise, his conclusion was immediate, but definitely not what we were expecting. We were stunned when he said that I was suffering from a connective tissue disease, more modernly known as an autoimmune disease, and that he suspected systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus for short). Was this to become my lot in life? The thought of always being this sick scared me.

The doctor went on to explain that although physicians are able to diagnose diseases of this nature more readily than in the past, they still know relatively little about the cause and therefore have no cure. We also learned that through some breakdown in the immune system, the body is no longer able to distinguish foreign invaders from itself. Therefore, the immune system is constantly manufacturing antibodies against body tissues. It is as if the body rejects itself. These antibodies attack and break down connective tissues as well as wage war with major organs. Unless the disease goes into complete remission, these antibodies are almost always causing symptoms of pain and discomfort throughout the system.

Because of the nature of the disease, the symptoms vary and often differ from person to person. Among the ones that plague me are muscle and joint pain, skin inflammation, rapid or intense heartbeat, shortness of breath, pleurisy pains, nausea, bladder pain and pressure, dizziness, loss of balance, and severe headaches, with subtle effects on the central nervous system resulting in decreased concentration, mood changes, and depression. There are many, many days when my whole body from head to toe feels raw and sore from internal inflammation.

Overwhelming fatigue accompanies this disease as well. Sometimes it is so severe that I wake up in the morning unable to get out of bed. Other times it will grip my body when I least expect it. The feeling is that every ounce of strength drains out of my body, making the slightest exertion, such as twisting the cap off the toothpaste tube, beyond my ability. One thing that can make my fatigue and other symptoms worse is exposure to ultraviolet light in sunlight.

New Adjustments

I had not been able to attend any congregation meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses for two months, so my first endeavor was to try to build up enough strength so that I once again could meet with my spiritual brothers and sisters. Although it took great effort and discipline, I forced myself to exercise. Finally, with Jack’s help I was able to attend at least some of the meetings. As time went on, my endurance increased to the point where I was able to care for part of the household chores and also to engage in the Kingdom-preaching activity once again. I was excited with the progress of my health and kept trying to do more and more. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake, for I found out the hard way that pushing myself beyond my limit meant going into a flare-up.

Stress is probably the worst enemy I have, and avoiding it is an absolute necessity. I have to say that learning to pace myself has been one of the more difficult adjustments I’ve had to make. Since I like to be very active, I have to set my priorities and remember that going past my limit means complete exhaustion, irritability, depression, and crying spells. I try to have set days for certain chores, but it is virtually impossible to follow a schedule when I am up one day and down the next. Even on good days, I have to rest between major jobs. I now leave certain housekeeping chores for Jack to do. It’s another part of the adjustment for both of us.

How Others Can Help

True friends can also give comfort when one is ill. Feeling that they understand the situation can greatly lessen the stress. But people, imperfect as we are, aren’t always discerning as to what the ill person wants to hear. What sounds like a compliment or word of encouragement to the giver may seem just the opposite to the person not feeling well. When people come up and ask me how I’m feeling, they almost always say something like, “Well, you sure are looking good!” Comments like this tend to make me feel that they are doubting the genuineness of my illness or that because I look good on the outside, I should be feeling good on the inside. Unfortunately, with lupus, outward appearances can be very deceiving. Victims oftentimes look healthy; especially is this the case with women if they have their hair styled and make-up applied.

I remember someone approaching me one evening after one of the congregation meetings and saying: “It’s so nice to see you. I know it’s not always easy for you to come, but we’re glad to see you here tonight.” Words like this make me feel that people understand the situation to a degree.

It’s also easy for a person battling a disease to feel excluded socially because of the up-and-down periods. The unpredictableness and surprise of new symptoms popping up means most plans have to be made tentatively. The disease changes so much that oftentimes plans made only two hours ahead of time may need to be canceled at the last minute. Consequently, much of my life is spent with apprehension and anxiety.

How I Cope

You may wonder how I cope with an illness that plays havoc with my emotions and puts many restrictions on my life. Well, needless to say, it can be very trialsome, not only for me but for Jack as well. Not being able to engage in a lot of the activities other people may consider normal, I have really learned to appreciate the simplest of pleasures, such as preparing a special meal for Jack, spending time with my family, or just sitting and cuddling my kitty. (I love this part)

Because of my sensitivity to sunlight, I have to take protective measures when I engage in the preaching activity. People can always spot me; I’m the one holding a colorful parasol. I avoid being outdoors on really hot days, as the heat makes me very weak. Also, having a limited amount of energy to expend in door-to-door witnessing, I look for other avenues to talk to people about the hope for the future that is found in the Bible.

Trying to focus my attention on the positive things in life as opposed to the negative has helped to ward off the “poor me” syndrome. My biggest struggle is learning not to put excessive demands on myself and then berating myself for falling short. But even with a good outlook, depression, frustration, and the shedding of many tears do occur. When I’m having a really bad day and the veil of gloom seems to hover over me, I try to remember that it will pass, and with extra reliance on God, I’ll get through it.

I have truly come to appreciate Jehovah God’s qualities of compassion and mercy, remembering often the words at Job 34:28: ‘And so he hears the cry of the afflicted one.’ Yes, mankind is sick, in more ways than one. We need help that even the most skilled physicians are unable to give. I believe that soon Jehovah will fulfill the first scripture I learned as a child. Then it will be said of all people: “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24) Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It does to me!

—As told by Robin Kanstul.

[Box on page 21] What Is Lupus?

Lupus is a recurring and currently incurable inflammatory disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that turns antibodies against all the body’s vital organs. However, lupus is not infectious, contagious, or cancerous. How serious can it be? From mild to life-threatening. Its name comes from the Latin word for “wolf,” since many patients have a red face-rash in a shape similar to the facial markings of a wolf. Its cause remains unknown.

(The mention of God and religious practice was not a sneaky underhanded attempt to preach to the reader. It was part of an article and so it completes a story. This blog is not meant to be about religion, but faith does come up every so often.)


Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

It’s Definitely Maybeline

Don’t get me wrong.  When I wrote this little ethos (Because You’re Worth It), I meant every word.  It’s a guideline to survive by. But so long as I’m writing about confessions, I confess that sometimes you just have to swallow your own tasty words with your tail between your legs.  Realistically, it won’t always be followed to the letter and I knew this then.  This isn’t Mean Girls where you get kicked out of the lunch table if you break a fashion rule.  It’s impossible to perfectly keep up with a daily regime without developing or intensifying some form of neurosis. A cheer for all you women who make it seem effortless to be mascara’d and flawless every single day, rain or shine.  But ‘fess up!  There lies a midget psycho in you that tries to escape every day right? Don’t worry, the twitching eye will stop.

In my case, there still exists a pair of floppy sweatpants or two that need to be replaced.  I’m sure Husband would appreciate more matching unmentionables.  There’s been a bit of haircut and styling postponing.  I ate gluten in a bowl.

But I do have good updates. Since putting it on paper (and by paper I mean a web page), it’s been a reinforcement and motivator to keep up with my own suggestions a lot better. I’ve been putting on my face more often. With the exception of yesterday’s man-scale exceeding the average, the Minimalist Look with a Morning Dew is becoming a quick and easy look.   The Well-Rested concealer from Bare Minerals and nude-colored eyeshadow (two items I thought were irrelevant when I was a spring chicken) are as faithful as a BFF.  When the really achy and slow awakenings don’t give me time to slap it on, I lug around my little 2nd chance bag for later.  If I haven’t been able to keep up, I at least throw on the moisturizer and lip gloss.

via cuppycake fiend at Flickr

One of my recently developed habits, on days that I look disastrous because of these difficult mornings that spite me and/or creeping age, is that I come home from work straight to shower, puff some foundation on my face and pretty-it-up, even if I’m just in sexy-house-sweatpants.  I make-up for the ugly day I had.  When I feel that I look better, I get more done and with more spunk.  Yes, I have been known to put eyeliner on to do the dishes.

Writing it down, and most notably, sharing my Beauty Belief with everyone was just an extra push to live harder by it.  It’s like Weight Watchers, when you have people expecting you not eat hamburgers every time you have an emotional crisis, you are further encouraged by your teammates to fight the call of dead meat and cholesterol! Even if you slip up once or twice. Even if you skip a week and the girls don’t really give mind to your every ingested meal, you know the universe knows and it will tell on you if you give up on your self-made values.  Thankfully, they understand the downward spiral, but the gals get down because the power of the united cosmic fight requires more energy to be kept to standard for women all over the world.  I’ve never been to Weight Watchers, but I imagine it’s something dramatic like this.

I’m even thinking  of writing another guideline, this one about abstinence.  Vows of Food Abstinence to be clear. Because it doesn’t matter how organic the half box of whole grain chocolate chip cookies that I ate were, they were still loaded with gluten (note that I’m gluten sensitive).  I ended up with a guilty conscience, throbbing knees, and enough anxiety to become a Wall Street stockbroker in our economy.  This area needs tidying up.  It’s my livelihood we’re talking about here.

The point is, we all have a set of rules we should stick to that help up stay on the mark.  Unless we have obsessive compulsive disorder, we end up breaking our rules to prevent from exploding estrogen all over the walls when things get tough and disheveled.  And if there’s anything that I share to you worth a rat’s patootie (I’m saying patootie until I write a age-and sensitivity appropriate disclaimer for my site), is that you should write down the things that matter to you and inner-confidence and check yourself against it every once in a while.   As silly as it sounds, sharing it with someone adds a seal of authenticity.  Depending on the frequency in which you break your own rules, you’ll know how frazzled you really are and that you need to readjust your wacky chi.

So on a day that you didn’t forget pick up the dry-cleaning, are wearing your shirt inside out and backward (true story), ran out of cat food, burned dinner, gained 4 stress pounds, forgot to pay the light bill, and you find yourself eating a snickers bar in the middle of your living room staring at your great masterpiece, not caring…take a breather.  Take out paper and pen and number of bullet a list of things that will help you either prevent or take care of yourself before things like this happen.  Type it up and laminate it.*

But IF there is splippage, don’t beat yourself up. There is always the clause section.  Not loophole section: clause section. And you can only have those amended if reviewed and approved by an official notary to prevent your sneaky alter-ego from changing your creed when momentary lapses occur. And they will. No matter what kind of sugar empowering high you’re on when you write the ethos.

Just keep checking against it to see how you’re keeping up by your own standards.  No one else’s.


via Janny Brocken @ Flickr

*No, I haven’t laminated mine. It’s typed neatly online.


Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Picture of Health

Detox is back on!!! Natural Health : Bio-Energetic Screening

A large number of people (okay, just one or two) have looked at me like I’m crazy for not following the unquestioning medicinal prognosis the Rheumatologist suggested when they told me I fit the criteria for that autoimmune condition with the yucky name.  From now on, we’re going to call it the Wolf Disease.  Much more rad.  Plaquenil  its called, an anti-malarial pill.  It was a 15-minute rushed visit where the Lab Coat handed me a pamphlet and sent me on my merry way. I can give you a mind-staggering list of medicines I’ve taken for vague diagnoses and all the side-effects they each had on me because I’ve been misdiagnosed so many times along the way; a common frustration of an autoimmune sufferer.  You get tossed around from doctor to doctor and slapped with a crazy hypochondriac label on your forehead.  Discounting the initial denial stage that I went through for a few days, this time it’s on paper. Positive blood work. So why not take the pill?

Medicines made/makes me sick. Simple as that.  They start off with organic compounds that are synthetically altered.  They are chemical and foreign.  Allergens and toxins from everywhere accumulated in my lymph nodes over the years to the point where my system no longer filters them out properly.  They hang around my blood; the blood used to oxygenate muscle movement, to supplement bones, to nourish the brain.  Modern medicine’s hard-on to jump the opportunity to medicate me without properly executing my personal history (I’ve been literally cut off mid-sentence in almost every visit) made me sick. I trusted that doctors knew what they were doing since I was sixteen.  None of them would ask me to check for food allergies. Just fill the script. I didn’t learn about kickbacks until I was twenty-something.  I didn’t know how thoroughly capable the body at healing itself, or how humble herbs and tonics can stimulate the original code in your DNA to reactivate a natural process. Schools don’t teach this in nutrition class. I’m not saying that everyone should distrust their doctors and that everything they do is wrong. That would be ludicrous. But I do believe natural therapy is worth looking into when pills are poorly sustaining you, side effects are slowly killing you worse than the original complaint, or you are just in-tuned with nature more.

Enter Dr. Clark, by introduction of a beautiful friend I recently acquired (shout to my peep). I knew I wanted the alternative approach, but by some form of cosmic collision I bumped into this lovely person and eliminated a huge chunk of hit-or-miss experiments.  This is successful medicine and it has helped many, including my friend, her family, and the doctor herself. It’s called bio-energetic screening. If you’re someone who is often off balance, does not heal quickly, constant systematic issues, i.e. headaches, gastro issues, asthma, allergies, take too many medicines, mood/hormonal swings, too much acid in the diet, brain fog, this might interest you.  Basically a lot of symptoms that are not enough to pinpoint there’s something specifically wrong.  Or if you do have specific problems that doctors tell you “you just have to learn to live with it”, there is a way to come back to center.

I don’t think I could better explain how this works:

(The link to Dr. Dana Clark’s Better Health and Wellness Center will always be on the blogroll to the right.)

Following the assessment, there will likely be a detox to follow once finding the troubled areas that are “the root” of a disease or potential disease. For example, my wolf disease was born in a maelstrom of food allergies, candida, and antibiotic abuse.  I didn’t simply jump from healthy to sick.

This detox is a lymphatic drainage (Eastern Medicine understands the importance of the Lymphatic system very much ignored by Western Medicine, unless something goes wrong), away to stimulate the lymph nodes to start cleaning out all the accumulated toxins and chemicals that your immune system could potentially start to attack. If something foreign enters your body (let’s say it gets stuck in your LNs), your autoimmune system will attack it;  a magnificent defense mechanism of nature.  If that foreign substance lingers too long, the body’s autoimmune can start thinking it’s just part of you after all, but instead of ceasing the attack,  it might as well attack healthy tissue because it can no longer tell what’s yours and what’s not.  Unspecified problems in the lymph node areas, like the joint or their surroundings will begin. It will be found that many of the pain sites for people with fibromyalgia, wolf disease, certain types of arthritis, etc., will be relative to the lymph node location. This is the dummies version of how autoimmune works.

There are different ways to clean out your system which include diet, exercise, detoxes, and many other methods I may not be familiar with.  It’s about assessing at what point of imbalance you are in and how much preventative or restorative health means to you.  Personally, to restore my healing ability and getting back my energy means more than time, money, a social life, or home projects. It can be an expensive treatment if you’re at my level and worth every penny spent nourishing your body instead of poisoning it with Big Pharma’s newest and hottest pill.  I spent much of my year-end bonus to do this and would sell my preserved liver too if I had to.  Living your life with headaches, being too weak to do groceries, getting worn out from when you get ready to go out from head to toe  is okay once in a while.  If it’s happening too often, it’s time to take care of yourself somehow. By any means.

If you ever do get curious and/or desperate, please call the Better Health and Wellness Center.  Ask for Dr. Dana and find out how you can fix your whacked out chi.  Tell her Elena Shadle sent you.  She works out of Melbourne, Tarpon Springs, and Clearwater.

Detox can be tough and it gets worse before it gets better. I’m gonna get exhausted and more tired than I currently already am.  I’m not one of these put together superhero bloggers that has a 3-ring binder with colored tabs and shows beautiful pictures of rice sprinkling into a pot like magical fairy dust in real-time photography.   It’s going to be raw and simple; idiot-proof. I just share what I know from years of compiling health recipe books and learning to eat clean.  I also will share simple tips on reducing the potential for added crap in your food without slaving over fancy meals.  If you’re working full-time and only get to grocery shop during high peak hours or have tired knuckles and knees and have to simplify dinner while cooking wholesome, I know enough to get someone started.  For those of you who already know, great!  But like my “about me” says, I’ve had to start many things from scratch and want to expand my knowledge on the new lifestyle.  And this here link will be my reference and it will be available to you too.

If anyone has recipes to share, by all means, email me and if they’re yummy we’ll feature them.


I had begun the detox before the blog and had to stop in its tracks when the other problem, and this one, occured. I no longer have to get the “procedure” done to help the doctor make payments on his Benz.  I’m going back on the detox now and into the second phase.  Say prayers for me if you like me.  And if you don’t get off my blog.


Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Uncategorized

I’m A Snake, I’m A Slithery Little Snake

(Scroll down if you want to go straight for the video.)

Housewifing is taking a break.  This project was for the extra time spend in convalescence.  And though I should be in repose, I’m still dragging my butt around trying to get dinner and laundry done, in a scattered manner, mind you, to match me and Husband’s unparallel schedules.  Husband and I are beat up and we’re struggling mighty hard to stay on point, with the added fiasco of creating strict and isolated environments for our cats since they’re going through feral stages (The babygirl is in heat and being a punk, riling up the little boy. They’re  teenagers!).  He continues being a prince for outdoing himself to support me. Gold Stars for him.

Without garrulous detail, I share that I’m going through flares that are telling me to stay home from work.  Since health comes before work you would think I would kindly indulge my aching and spent body.  But since I’m conditioned the American way, if there is no fever, open surgery wounds or broken bones, how dare I spoil myself to choose rest over hard work. I can still walk, can’t I?  That little limp builds character.

Anyway,  I need a mental and physical break, so I’m not going to exert myself today for anything that doesn’t provide income or spiritual up-building.  Instead, I will provide you with a little something that I cannot resist watching over and over until my IQ drops and splatters on the floor.  This is also for those of you who are also exhausted and have better things to do than take it from the Man.

Disclaimer: If you watch this video and are expecting an explanation for the “why”, you wait in vain.  If you think there is meaning behind this, there is not.  If you are offended by the use of the slang word for derriere, this will indeed offend you.  If you watch this and you “don’t get it”, you have a long way to understanding who this author of this blog is.  It may make you question my sanity and think that I made up the whole bit about being sick too.  There is no reason for loving this next video except that I lose about 5lbs from extraneous laughter and generate sufficient endorphins to distract from pain for several hours a time.

Hoping that next time I meet you on here I’m a bit more coherent and don’t feel like kicking little kids, puppies, and co-workers.  Hasta Luego, my friends.


Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Random, Under the Weather