Tag Archives: postaweek2011

More Organic Products Reviews, The Good, Bad, and The Yucky

All the young ones are out! It’s Friday night!

All the old ones are putting on stretchy pants and cuddling in their couch with a date or cat. Who’s with me?!

I’ll be at home tonight with two meowing carpets interrupting my movie.  Husband is out of town.  Although he will be missed greatly and certainly not taken for granted, this is the perfect time to catch up with everything I should’ve done while he was gone the first half of the week, or just to have some quiet time without having to feed his voracious appetite every two hours.  I choose for a bit of both.  I just about killed myself with a gluten-free brownie, via Bonefish Grill.  The taste: so worth it.  The five-finger-death-punch: not worth it.  Won’t be doing that again (ask me again after another stressful work week).  I’m currently remedying the situation with celery juice, a successful new tradition in my home.  This tonic has saved a little piece of my comedic life.

Tonight I will do my usual Classical Stretch since I’ve been surprisingly more flexible and agile lately.  I daren’t expound on it for fear that this feel-good is a fluke or just the wonders of not having to sustain pain at work for 8 hours tomorrow.  But I will also push a small boundary.  Small and careful, for I’m known to break my own records and then break my fragile bones.

I’m will face off with the elliptical.  A frenemy that I haven’t confronted for months.  Fifteen minutes. Level One. Versus my ex-45 minutes, level 8, interval climb.  The second I feel my ankles or knees complain, I’m down. Off. Try again at another time.  I’ll keep you updated on how that turns out.  It may be that I’m not ready to exert anything and I’m just mentally in a good, but deceptive, place.

Okay! New items I’ve tried:

Giovanni 50/50 Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner

Amazing-a! Although not as organic as Kiss My Face Everyday Shampoo.  Still safe.  This one suds up yummily.  Nice and slimy.  A little product goes a long way.  I can tell the healing of damaged hair is not immediate, but its long lasting.  My hair is already thicker.  Husband couldn’t believe I hadn’t blow dried my hair on the first try.  Free of sulfates and all that other crap that destroys hair.  No parabens, existing in most average shampoos that are known as carcinogenic and estrogenic.  So if you want to keep your colored hair looking hued much longer, these are great. Click for the inexpensive link of $4.43 each.  I, the idiot, paid $8.99 for each at Whole Foods. You raped me, WF!

Alba Moisturizing Cream Shave – Unscented

Alba Moisturizing Shave Cream

I have always used sensitive skin foaming shaving gels and still would get nicks and dry ucky skin.  Fail!  This shave cream was divine.  Unscented was a plus for my recently angry skin.  I’ve been getting hives from who knows what allergy.  This left me all silky and touchable and desirable….ask the cats.  5 stars. Again, buy at Vitacost, my dears. WF didn’t accost me this time, but Nutrition S’mart mishandled me in Tampa.  I spent $5…. $3.75 online.  What I spend on gas, I would have saved on time and energy for shipping.

Kiss My Face Summer Liquid Rock

Kiss My Face Summer Liquid Rock Deodorant

Three thumbs down. I don’t know what came over me, but I didn’t read the label cautiously as I threw it in the cart.  Still cheaper at Vitacost, but somehow I missed the part about it being a roll-on.  I saw “liquid rock” and assumed it was a stick.  I didn’t even know they still made those wet, sloppy rolly-bally majiggers because in my mind, why would consumers keep demanding such a product?  Ugh.  Unless you’re into that slap noise a damp armpit makes, don’t try it. At least it smells great, cause now I have to give it use.  No giving away THAT personal a toiletry.  Next time, I will get the STICK, which was what I was suggested by a friend.  No parabens or aluminum, so you don’t get cancer in one of the embarrassing body parts.  Also, this is a major lymph node site.  I know because during the initial stages of detox, this is the first location where I experienced the pain of toxins clearing out.  Very strange place to have issues.

Namaste Foods Vanilla Cake Mix – Allergen Free

Namaste Vanilla Cake Mix

Worth the risk for cake, but a disappointing outcome.  Completely allergen free was the selling point! No histamine ingredients.  Not even potatoes which is my personal foe.  (I’ll explain the potato thing in the near future). Costs about the same at Vitacost compared to both other two health food stores around here.  It might have turned out better if I had made a different cake. I’m not sure.  But it had a bit of a butt taste.  A soapy butt.  The baking soda was too prevalent and I had to drown out the funk with pineapple and ice cream.  I even had a whole spunky entry ready for you guys called Down in the Dump Cake featuring a jolly mix of happy cake recipe and depression straight-talk; with fabulous step-by-step pictures and all.  But it doesn’t matter because I burnt the pecans and didn’t put the memory card in the camera.  Great blogger am I!

Namaste has a great line of flours and mixes for all kinds of baked goods. Anyway, I have some left over and I might try one last experiment with it.  It may not be as great as butter and all-purpose wheat flour.  But butt cake is better than no cake.  I can’t believe it’s come to that.

Country Life Omega 3.6.9 Ultra Concentrated

Country Life Omega 3.6.9. Ultra Concentrated

I could literally kick myself.  If I’m too tired, you can take a whack at it.  On sale, I paid $26 for these $30 supplements.  On Vitacost: $17.30.  Never again.  As much as I love shampoo and soft legs, this is the most prized find as of yet.  With Wolf disease (lupus) and similar conditions, it is common for hair to thin out, fall out, or have trouble receiving nutrients.  I’m not sure why or how.  As a matter of fact, it was the symptom that lead me to re-test myself for the lab results that would determine my problems.  I haven’t found a legitimately source that can explain this, not even after a $1,000+ scalp biopsy from a Dermatlogist that was more of a bad comedy than anything else.  Hair means 75% percent of a women’s appearance and self-confidence.  I go through many lengths (unintended pun…yay) to keep it healthy and affixed to my stubborn cranium.  A kind knowledgeable floor agent at WF (more so than my doctors) suggested that I exaggeratedly increase my flax oil and seed intake, and all things fishy.

Since its probable I would break bank and die of mercury poison from eating salmon every day,  I opted for a good Omega 3.6.9.  The previous one I had was a cheapo from Target.  It was eh.  Better than nothing.  But this one, in one week its slowed down the onset of muscle pain, inflammation is manageble, and hair looks more nourished (consider the use of new hair products too).  I was even comfortable enough to bust out my 4″ers for a quickie date before Husband had to ship off again.  Hindsight is 20/20, so flats would’ve been smarter; but to even think about sexy over convenience doesn’t cross my mind as much as it does a healthy person.

A good combination of the omegas help: cardiovascular, skin, brain, and immune health.  It fights inflammation and inflammation is that precursor to ANY and ALL diseases (recent findings that I may talk about in the future).  Basically, everything that goes wrong when your body is out of balance.  If you’ve been inexplicably off lately and can no longer blame it on the full moon, try your luck with this.  It even helps you lose weight (if you’re doing your part) since everything in your blood and other traveling byways are functioning at its maximum.  It’s greasing the wheels.  This could be why I feel so confident that I’m ready to do some pedaling on the cardio monster. If I recommended any one product on here, it would be the Omega supplements. At Vitacost.

BVLGARI – Au the blanc

BVLGARI - au the blanc

No. It’s not organic and it’s not economical.  But it was an anniversary gift Husband searched far and wide before being able to find it in his scarce spare time.  I don’t wear many scents if ever.  But this line of fragrant products was in the all-inclusive resort we stayed at in San Jose, Los Cabos, for our honeymoon.  I’ve been lugging around my one left-over miniature body lotion and rationing it out for special occasions.  This year, he knew how to win me over.  Though it came late, it came with perfect timing after a rough month of aches, pain and mostly frustration.  I want to melt in the Pacific Ocean every time I smell it.  It takes me back with a longing passion to those perfect days, luxurious service, and natural foods (yes, I found an organic resort!).  The nostalgia that quickly became attached to the scent is forever sealed.  And no headaches! Bellisimo!

There you have it.  The latest review of things that will aid your temple to concentrate on resisting the heavy influx of chemicals coming our way and give you a bit more peace of mind.  They are inexpensive, they usually work better for immediate results, and for long-term revitalization.

Next on Stimulating the Economy I shall probably explore a good leave-in conditioner and if enough research is done, a good facial moisturizer.  Oh, and homemade cleaning products too.  If you are curious about other organic products and you have any particular suggestions or inquiries, I just might experiment as well since the goal here is to transform all my household products to natural anyway.  Okay, I’m off to pedal myself back to Cabo. Toodaloo!

P.S. I’ve already had one reader/friend/fresh newlywed try one of the last products I recommended and her face has already begun to smoothen, cleanse, heal, clear up.  And..she found it on sale!  I wouldn’t lie to you, see?

P.P.S Disclaimer: I’m not a professional.  These are not suggestions approved by the FDA, not necessarily expert or doctor recommended, yada, yada, yada.  I’m an experimenter healing myself naturally and excited to share the improvements with those in the journey to find wellness as well.  Try at your own risk or share the products you’ve found with the coming readers.  Grazie.

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

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:

http://bhawc.com/page.php?6

(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.

UPDATE

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.

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

Somewhere Over the Percocet

At work, a small white tablet was found straggling around in my purse.  I heard angel choirs chanting not too far off this multi-dimensional realm.  I split the porcelain little helper in two.  Even before popping the first half, the placebo effect of the hope that was to come was already melting troubles away like lemon drop shots.

All these mornings have been groundhog-ish.  I had an interruption in my regular treatment for the ‘wolf disease’, and so the inflammation and pain came back with a vengeance.  With permission from a doctor’s note, I have stumbled into work late almost every day in the last two weeks.  When I pry my dessert-dry eyes open in the morning, while blood is trashing around in my skull, I begin the process of gauging my pain levels.  Neck: Stiff.  Hips: swollen.  Feet: extra swollen.  Back: stabbing.  Elbows: Stuck. Wrist and Fingers: numb.  Organs: Tender.  I’m exhausted from lack of recuperation, but also mentally, from the automatic conditioning that has set in;  the rapid-fire assessment I make two minutes from wake-up time.  I know the day is going to be a battle and my brain wages war to stay home for an hour or two more.

Eventually I unfurl my spine and muster the bravery to place my feet on the floor.  Morning stiffness and swelling is normal. For the rest of the day, continual movement is paramount, otherwise, my joints will stay stuck in motionless positions.  I still don’t know how to describe many of the symptoms that come with this condition.  The best one yet, which I don’t know if the average person can understand, is that it feels like my blood doesn’t fit inside its veins and my limbs don’t fit inside it’s skin encasing.  The most recent pain is my lower back.  The doctor said there is no damage.  “It’s just inflammation.”  I doubt the words of that arrogant fool, but I’m also helpless in my limited amount of time to take off work and see every doctor for every spot on my body that’s wrong.

My excitement for the Perk was because I had run out of them.  The physician switched me to Vicodin, a very unpleasant substitute which reduces pain, adds headaches, has angered my autoimmune and takes my literal breath away.  This cannot continue.

For that reason, finding a lost little Percocet made my next 4-6 hours.  However, the concern simmers within. It won’t be long before it wears off and no more rogue pills will be laying around to be found.

This is not the most unbearable pain I’ve ever experienced, but it’s the most ongoing pain I’ve ever  had to deal with.  I’m not sure how to do it and when the big picture spans out before my eyes, out of focus and blurry, panic begins to stir.

Am I becoming dependent on a short-term solution?

Am I falling trap to a cognitive dissonance that justifies pill popping. Even if its prescribed?

What constitutes the right to pain killers?

What if you need them to keep your job?

What is the deal with organic herbs that ease pain without causing systematic damage like synthetic narcotics? Why don’t I live in California or Amsterdam?

When will they build a Whole Foods in my neighborhood?

How do I keep my job and my home from being neglected in my condition?

How am I to reduce to a more manageable part-time, if I need to pay for so many medicines, appointments, and tests? How am I supposed to keep my mental peace when its at war with my body?

How am I going to do my part as a capable housewife if I run out of energy too early on the same day that my beloved cat decides to poop on our mattress and pee on all our spare mattresses?

What if  I don’t stop asking all these unanswerable questions and die right here of cardiac arrest?

All these questions ruminate above in my head with great insistence.

They tumble inside my brain like a dryer with damp laundry all they want, but none of it is solvable if i don’t stop the cycling.  Stress exacerbates fatigue, pains, and surrender.  Action however, gets the job done.

I’m a big believer of a mini-break down. If you fight it too long, you’re have a certified melt-down and that’s just too inconvenient for everyone.  After you’re done crying and venting to a friend/family member who provides you a less morbid solution than resorting to admitting yourself in an insane asylum, you wait for your blotchy skin to normalize, you assume rhythmic breathing, you decrease your voice’s pitch from supersonic back to human, send a quick prayer through the proper channels, and you lay out your plan.

As soon as your vision isn’t blurred,  you call all your doctors with reasonable inquiries and requests.  Then you research on acupuncture and and natural therapies because your doctor is bound to take guesses as good as a two-year old.  You buy a box of pinch-proof gloves and an enzyme cleaner for unpleasant odors.  You put aside any feminism and ask Husband for suggestions and to kindly pass the vacuum once a week for you (He won’t know if you don’t ask).  Draw smiley faces on the bills you don’t intend to pay.  Powder your face again if warranted.  Thank your friends for letting you be at your worst with them and still letting you maintain your credibility when the show is over.

Ages 4-7

You also learn to prepare better for next time. It’s time to invest in the sponge bat I’ve been suggesting might be the greatest problem solver in the world.

I especially like this one with the adjustable size for the days my symptoms throw me on the couch and the cats start meowing suspiciously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pain killers are a temporary solution. Being in turmoil is inevitable but should always be dealt with.  Being overwhelmed doesn’t have to be the dirty little secret many sweep under the ground as if this life was a summer breeze.  Take meds if you must, but learn how to get on by your own terms. That alone is like natural opiates.

 

 

And that’s the way Sue C’s it. *

*High-five, Glee Geeks!

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Filed under Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Stimulating the Economy, Under the Weather

I Saw Red#40!

It’s becoming a once weekly habit (habit that must be curbed) to talk myself into trouble. Thanks to insistent suggestions on prime time’s syndicated television, I’ve had a violent hankering for strawberry flavored ice cream. It’s a mystery how sugar depravity can make me slicker and enhance my self-justification skills toward any illicit actions. I can talk myself into feeling good about almost anything detrimental.

My diet must remain very low in sugar.  Confectionery items are allowed but sparingly within a month’s time.  The most important part, to ensure my immune system is working at it’s maximum, it must be limited to organic and natural treats.  At this point I have no excuse in my life to be eating anything with preservatives or high corn fructose syrup (Except that the nearest Whole Foods is a million miles away. That’s how far it feels when my body is complaining). Did you see how I just justified having any ol’ adultered cookie in my life again?

A few weeks ago, I read the McDonald’s ice cream portion of their Sundae nutrition facts online.  Although much less than 15 dubious ingredients, I knew the sugar content was high and that corn syrups make your digestive system work too hard.  This is not just because I’m more sensitive to foods; it goes the same for every person.   Additionally , dairy is another food group that I must tip-toe around carefully. Only minimally processed dairy, if at all, or here come the hives and tummy discomfort.  Mind you, I’m not lactose intolerant, but any foreign chemical in my body will tell my autoimmune system there’s a new playground to explore, so it best be pure.

I drive up to the window in shame, as I don’t belong there for any excuse in the book. At the talking, static-y menu, I order a strawberry sundae.  Pulling up to the pay window, it occurs to me I could be making a monstrous mistake.  I never checked the toppings list!  I ask the awkward-acne-freckle faced adolescent boy,

“Would you be able to find out if the strawberry sauce contains food color & dye #40?”

With a non-confident shrug he tells me, “Uhhhmm, I dunno. Uhmmm I don’t think so. Uh, I mean, it’s just strawberries.”

“Just strawberries?  JUST STRAWBERRIES???”, I clamored to the high heavens!  Well, what I really said was, “Do you mind checking to see if you can find out for sure?”

This coming-of-age teenager works at McDonald’s and yet he so innocently thinks what you see is what you get? He probably thinks those Big Macs are made from happy healthy cows skipping alongside fully-feathered flying chickens in a wide open field where the sky is always blue and it never rains!  Bless his heart again. I suppose it wasn’t my job to fill him in that there’s probably baby chick beak in his golden crispy nuggets.  What was I doing there?

Moving on up to the pick-up window, unbeknownst to the server, she hands me a sundae with the nuclear red fruit goop generously drizzled over my white sugary ice cream. Re-submitting my inquiry, she kindly checked with the scrambling servers in the back (it seems nobody in the Riverview McDonald’s has ever asked to know the nutritional ingredients, unless they’re smarter than I am and just stay away from such a place).

“Yes! It does!”,  someone hollered in the background between the french fry heat lamps and corn syrup dispenser.

I cussed up a storm with my inside voice, “Is it okay to change it for a caramel one? I’m not able to have Red #40.”

With a smile she politely obliged.  I paid and I was off.  I ate half of my sundae, justifying that half the damage is better than all of it.  I don’t even want to know what’s in the caramel surprise.

Check your favorite McD's Snack Ingredient Fact. Double dog dare you.

That switch spared me from being knocked down for 3-7 days with a migraine that comes complete with fireworks displays. It’s a 15 minute reaction time to any red artificial ingredient, but more so lasting with the FDA approved food dye and coloring.  Go figure.  Even the unsuspecting Sobe LifeWater will also give my vision and perceptive senses an ecstasy-like “wah-wah”, only with accompanying excruciating brain pain.

This account is not to say there wasn’t any more lesson-learning to be had. The difference between the cheap sundae  and the Natural Breyer’s Ice Cream I should’ve splurged $3 more on (in my defense, I was extremely weak from the work week and wouldn’t last a trip to the store)(more justifications), was still a strong acid response to an already out-of-balance body.  The next two hours I was tossed into bed with weird numbness in my legs and prickling in my shoulders before I could move smoothly again.

The moral of this story, don’t toy with a delicate balance, no matter how much sweetness one need in one’s life.  (Justification No. #I Lost Count: Husband has been out of town for abour 5 days now, the longest he’s every been, and my health logic is wearing thin because I miss his perky butt).

Let me sweetly reiterate that I do not condemn anyone else who does not memorize all the ingredients in restaurants and fast food joints. This is my lifestyle and its wonderful to those who do not live with such restrictions.  My sharing this episode to show what a fragile environment we live in, so that more and more people are becoming intolerant to unnatural ingredients, and that it should not come as a surprise to anyone, anymore, that what we unwittingly stuff into our mouths could be the reason why we’re so tired, achy, and sick.  If your lovely child is bouncing off the walls, get the food diary when you give him/her M&Ms.  No exaggeration: I’m one step away of recording my man-child’s reactions.

It’s second nature to me, usually, to be hyper aware of every single food I consume.  I will not preach to you about hydrogenated oil if we go out to eat together, but I will send our waiter to the chef once or twice to verify that I don’t get any meals that will flare up my knees and elbows.  I will not always react strongly to foods, but for the most part I must be vigilant about what and how much I eat.  Also, I can take a joke or two about it, cause in the end its so hilariously surreal.

Some people are blessed with metabolizing chemical compounds like it’s nobody’s business.  I’m still waiting for Husband to break in half or for his liver to fall out of his butt. Doctors really are baffled at how he hasn’t reacted to years of accumulating compounds.  Makes me so sick I could shove a few Cinnabons down his throat just to get some relative empathy after I eat a Ritz cracker.  Luckily, he still shies away from enriched breads and greasy foods and may be his saving grace.

Well, yesterday night was rough and somewhere in the cluttered back of my head, I knew I would pay for it.  The battle to resist yummy foods continues…

…but if you ever see me reach for a pink cupcake without reading the label first, you’re free to smush it in my face.

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Filed under Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Under the Weather

A Wedding Picture Fantasy – The Procrastinated Version

One year and a month after the wedding. We’ve come full circle and I suppose now we’re just going to keep going in circles until we live happily ever after. It’s been a crazy year with limited time, energy, resources, and alcohol; and I just finally got around to putting together our wedding album. Isn’t that the first project a new bride undertakes as soon as she unpacks from the honeymoon? Screw the thank you notes!  There is still a fading aura of wedding festivity that lingers and can be stretched out for a few more days. Or months.

If you’ve been keeping up, you know last year was rough. At first, I thought I was just a lazy unsuccessful home maker when it was taking such agonizing effort to get the laundry and the dishes done by the time my husband got into town.  He would be gone two or three days for business and I was living in neat, questionable piles until the last minute he came home, only for him to find me passed out on the middle of our bare floor with rogue socks about.  Last minute pressure was my greatest motivator. Little did I know that my joints were stiffening up and wheat products were piling up toxins in my lymph nodes so that I was becoming as dumb as a board.  I would simply make lists of everything I had wanted to achieve and would stare at it every once in a while.  Never has a person wanted to do tedious chores.

Now that I  refrain from specific food allergens and don’t feel feel drunk every day, my first project was the wedding picture album. Our family home is devoid of history and we must build on the little bit we have accumulating;  except for a few masterpieces I hung on the staircase hall.   I was probably on a salad kick (with Adderall croutons) that day, so no brain fuzzies.  Probably also a full moon.

I’ve printed the riveting pictures taken as our wedding gift by Husband’s long time friends;  now mine too. Their current website is on the blogroll of if you click here. The one where our wedding was featured is here.  See if you can find us! They are both a must see and worth considering if you live in Florida or can’t find your good side.

You would think, living next door, a literal beer run away from Target Superstore, I would’ve easily taken care of this even throughout the early fog days I experienced.  You would think.  I have no excuse for that one.  Somewhere between too much headwork on which pictures to enlarge and money that I could use buying cats, it got put off.  But last week when I had a tiny window of energy, I marched right over and picked me up this eye-pleasing album:

I had almost ordered it online to save my swollen hips a bit of strain, but the walk came in handy, and it was $8 less at the store than on the website. Score! There are many more frilly, ostentatious  albums more reminiscent of a wedding event. There were some tasteful flowery ones, some with artistic cursive  ‘Love’ lettering thrown up all over the cover,  and one that caught my eye with a slim white gown and a pink flower dotted on.  But I considered Husband in this decision and if it were pink, he would be more hesitant to leaf through it.  If it were full or roses, he would say, “It’s nice” without even knowing what he was saying “It’s nice” about.  So I went for the monochrome, elegant, fabric-covered, simple album that is very similar to our style, together.

Now, the disconcerting part to me about this little tale is that I eagerly tore into the pictures, ripped off the plastic cover like cat on catnip (a lot of cat references), and waited dramatically for that wedding excitement to sucker-punch me across the face all over again.  Nothing. I started inserting the 200 4x6s one by one. Halfway through I was bored. I tucked the remaining ones in the box and slid it into a corner to finish later. Where were all the lovey-dovey fluttery feelings? Was I supposed to slip on my wedding dress before I started this project for the clouds to part and radiant sun beams to shower down upon me and my wedding album? Eventually I got around to it, of course, while on the phone and multi-tasking without any solemnity put into the task.  But I must say, it does feel more complete to have the beginning our of little adventure ready for display or memory lane trips. The cat agrees.

Dang Cat claiming territory

And here’s one of my favorites. This one if for you housewives trying to get domesticated:

Courtesy of Pietri Photography

 

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Giggly Truth Serum Confessions

Launching a personal blog is a daunting action.  Most writing usually uncovers pieces of the author’s core, but no matter what approach to manipulate a particular picture of how you want people to perceive you, the truth of who you truly are still glimmers through.  I could have chosen not advertise my story to the public, bypassing the announcement to friends and some acquaintances.  They only would’ve found out about it if they are avid internet surfers or if in ten years this website boomed.  I thought about it long and hard before I set on this bold move of being a little more transparent than the lock-down mode I’d been settling into.  Right before I shared it, I called a family member and Husband for opinions.  I was nervous about the repercussions.  Reporting information and/or stories always create an emotional response, opinions, or critics.  To make this work, I knew it would require a bit of private exposition unless it was purely factual.  And well, it’s not.

But let me tell you, I don’t regret the decision.   The conversation with Husband went something like: We know the situation. We’re handling it. You’re not planning to live a hidden life of illness.  But you’ve been a closed book, even with friends.  It felt like a secret.  It even meant rejecting sympathy when I honestly needed it. Everytime I had to explain someone I’ve been less social or MIA because I was sick, it was like admitting a horrible shame.  My positive outlook toward cope was limited so long as I postponed a genuine explanation, instead of letting it fester on the tip of my tongue.

I said a little prayer and hit send on notifications to all, rather than to complete strangers. Every muscle temporarily froze. So soon after tracking the readers’ traffic chart that this website generates, I stopped checking it every two minutes. Slowly, the tension in my shoulders released and my lungs remembered to expand deeper.  It played out almost like a confession. I didn’t have to go into detail; I didn’t have to go over this long saga of what’s been leading up to this day for so long, but I embraced my reality fully. By the next day, I was catching up with friends that I had reduced contact with for fear of mine and their reaction to this news.

This week – health-wise – has been stupid; however, I’ve been spunkier and more productive than usual.  Not necessarily more physically active, but mentally and emotionally.  Without the burden of trying to conceal that I’m not the firecracker I once was, I was free to talk about other things going on in life and smile easier; despite subtle aches roaming in the body. I felt lighter and lighter as I stopped giving the problem so much attention and focusing on relationships and goals.

Last night, I watched Knight and Day on DVD.  At some point in the movie, Cameron Diaz is administered a truth serum.  It was some experimental technology that made her laugh and enjoy spitting out thoughts on the forefront. I thought to myself, “This is what it felt like this weekend”. No, it is not the Percocet talking. The half- tablet is not that powerful.  I exposed myself a little bit, although of course, just a few aspects of life, not all. I reconnected with friends. I’m doing it through one of my favorite mediums: writing.  And I received an overwhelming understanding and awesome response.  It’s off my chest.  I feel I’ve that I’ve man-handled a huge part of the challenge life has thrown at us.

All this is very mushy and layered. Normally, I would prefer to twist this into some form of sarcastic humor, but as long as I’m in the spirit of motivation, I’m gonna suck it up and continue sounding like a self-help book for another paragraph.  This might be a personal experience, but like I’ve said before, I share to relate.  I hope other people, especially younguns or withdrawn ones who are very aware of this critical and harsh world, can find ways to express themselves. Keeping things bottled in only create stress, a confused heart, a conflicted mind, and constipation. Not out of proportion either. Listing every emotion on a Facebook status is NOT healthy.  There is a balance of knowing who, when, how, and how much, to share. But it’s so liberating, and even surprising, how being genuine and truthful can grow confidence.  It took me a while to come clean, but now I have a buzzing giddiness to brag about, and more space to welcome more challenges.

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Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Picture of Health, Post A Week

“Sticklers Unite!”, said the Panda

As the earth spins and people go about their daily life, history is being written,  love and war is being documented, the citizens of the world are becoming ambivalent to dying punctuation and grammar.  Most of them unaware.  But not I.  I have a nagging sense – a perception that emanates from the universe to those hyper aware – of structure falling out of place.  When I write a letter, an email, a post, I feel out where apostrophes belong because I don’t know the actual rules. I’m not sure if the period goes inside or outside of the quotation; inside or outside of exclamation points.  I’m pretty sure that I abuse of semi-colons, put hyphens to shame, and dishonor commas.  I vaguely haze through the elementary mnemonic tricks embedded long ago in our memory that taught us how to construct proper sentences. To this day,  I don’t know what a conjunction is or where the junction proposes to be. Determining a possessive, which should be cake, makes my spine want to disconnect from the brain.  For a self-proclaimed writer, syntax should be my cup of tea. (As you get to know me, you will see that I wrote the last two sentences just  to incorporate cake and tea into the matter.)

I believe in language and literature.  For all the rebellious tendencies I have to defy the norm,  I’m still an advocate of proper grammar, punctuation, and writing in all its forms; a lazy advocate at that.  Now that I find myself typing reports at work trying to make sense of atrocious run-ons and freaking out when I have to rearrange a sentence, and more recently attempting to make it effortless for readers to capture the essence of my thoughts, I break into an invisible sweat admitting I know not what I do and hope that the sticklers forgive me when I violate the building blocks of expression.

Here is a small example that will practically force you to appreciate how important it is to give mind to punctuation:

A woman, without her man, is nothing.

A woman; without her, man is nothing.

Case closed.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a wonderful British token to help all the lost ones find their position in regards to the dying discipline crying out for adherence to the most basic foundations of communication.  She even works for a company designed solely to protect the integrity of the apostrophe in the coming generation of texting and fried brains, where full-stops (the word for period in Britain) do not exist, much less the respect for spelling.

For those who have a nagging sense to risk losing their friends by correcting someone’s ghastly use of ‘your’ versus ‘you’re’, or cringe at their personal disappointment of not remembering what a clause is, this books is for you. It’s a hilarious read at the least (gotta love those BritBrits), if you don’t give a flying monkey about easy-to-read paragraphs.  Communication skills are plummeting fast in a world where its kitsch to bend the rules to your liking.  I strongly believe in the human right to self-expression, so it’s about time I re-educate myself and enforce the laws that my disgruntled English teachers didn’t bother to instill in us, leaving us lost, shattered, and with a strange void that needs filling.  If you’re going to write, do it right!
*I swear I didn’t intend on making that pun.  My geeks status rises without even trying.*

I’ve known about this book for a long time.  I checked it out from the library years ago. The fear of responsibility that comes with knowledge threatened me to put it down before the first chapter was over, despite its hilarity and wit.  Today, I’m taking it on.  I will do write (right, more puns made of cheese) by prose, essays, letters, texts, and even post-it notes. Read up if you’re writing is atrocious. Yes, even if you’re just a chronic TXTR:

If the language doesn't attract you, let the illustrated Panda be your inspiration.

*P.S. This post does not even begin to scratch the surface of how I feel about my Alzheimers-like attack on spelling, spell check, and the misuse of words’ definitions (shudders).  Kudos if you catch any downtrodden mistakes of language. Save them before I do.

* P.P.S. The blog, Cake Wrecks, on the blogroll to the right, is a direct result of the tragedy that happens when you don’t mind the English language. A depressing waste of cake. Must see to believe.

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