Saturday, March 30, 2013

Every so often...

Every so often, I get this crazy thought that I should take one of my notebooks and keep a running journal of my exercise, my food habits, and pretty much everything else attached to my health. Then I look at it all and go 'what am I thinking?' I don't know if I should do it or not. I know that I need to do a better job with my mood tracking. I don't know about a journal recording everything about my health.

I suppose it would be a good way for me to keep track of how much weight I am losing and how much I exercise. It feels like a lot of work with out much for a pay off. I honestly don't know if I should do this or not. Goodness knows I have blank notebooks to use for that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Exercise means progress, right?

I just finished doing my little Yourself Fitness dvd from McDonald's. (Random side note: I kinda regret that I didn't get the other ones in the set. I am thinking about hunting down the rest of the set so that I have 'em all to rotate through.) I am torn between pleased that I did 15 minutes of exercise and disappointed that I am so out of shape that it was real work. I want to be healthier. I am struggling with this sense of shame that I'm no where near the shape I was in before I had Cuddle Bug.

I have decided that I am going to do that little 15 minute work out every day. The first few days of it are going to be murder, but I think it'll be worth it. This is something that I can do with the kids even. So, when they have their days off (like on the weekend or during this break coming up next week) we'll still get some exercise in them. Today, I was not pleased that it took me so long to get to doing any sort of exercise today.

I don't feel quite as stiff in the legs as I did this morning. I think it's because I got that bit of exercise in. Oddly enough, it is equally difficult to get the exercise in as it is to stick to my healthy diet. I am having a real struggle cutting sugar out of my diet. I thought that limiting the amount of coffee I drink (along with the sugar loaded creamer that tastes so good), that perhaps I would just cut down on sugar too. Then I realized how much sugar I put into my tea.

I want to set a good example for the kids. I want to get them to where they can eat stuff that is naturally sweet and truly enjoy it. I really do think that is why they love bananas. I want to get my self off of the sugar kick and cut out as much in the way of processed food as I can from our diets. It is not just that I want us to all be eating healthier. I also have noticed that as we cut out processed foods and I make more meals the old fashioned way, we are spending less on our food budget.

I am still trying to get that completely hammered out. (I learned the hard way that Tops markets is not my friend on that front. They proved to be one of the most expensive places to get groceries in the area last week. And that was with coupons.) I am seriously considering going back to shopping at Save-A-Lot in Lima. They were good to my budget and the service has always been excellent.

With my effort to cut out boxed foods, I need a less expensive source for things like meat and fresh veggies. My menu planning has helped some with controlling the food expenses but not enough. I also need to find a way to cut waste out of our food budget. I have a bag of salad sitting in the fridge that we need to eat tonight or it's going to have to be pitched. I have a tray of veggies waiting to go into the soup pot. And that doesn't count the partial bag of potatoes that I have sitting in there either.

I had a few 'misses' with the menu thing. I am apparently the only person in the whole house who will eat sauerkraut or cabbage. As a result, I wound up throwing away half a head of cabbage. Beloved and I are also the only ones who will touch corned beef. The boys really did not like it. It was not to the point of their response to the asparagus last night (where they tried scraping it off their tongues after taking a tiny nibble), but it was clear how they felt about it.

I don't feel like I am making progress. I clean up the house and then it gets dirty again. I clean up dishes, cook food, and have to wash dishes again. I know that it's a spiral that I'm moving on. That things just seem to be the same all the time, but that I am actually making forward progress. It is hard to really feel that, though. When I have mornings that I am just so exhausted that I take a nap after I put the kids on the bus to school, days that I feel like I'm utterly useless, or something else equally disheartening running through my mind, it is really hard to keep that forward progress in mind.

The thing that helps me keep moving is when Beloved tells me that he's pleased with what I've gotten done. When he tells me that he's proud of me and that I am vital to his success. When my boys are making huge strides with what their learning at school, in how they interact with other children, and in their life skills progress, that helps me too. Because I can see that what I am doing is making a difference.

It's hard being a stay at home mom because sometimes the differences made in the course of the day are so subtle that you will miss them.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Exercise and such.

Today, I did my walking. I got in just under a mile walking to the park, around the trail, and back. I am going to go out and walk every day that I can. At the minimum, I will walk there and back. On the days that the kids are home or that I am not able to go out to the park, I am going to do my aerobics exercises (ala the dvd i have). I am going to work myself up to doing those exercises on the days I go walking too, but I am not just going to jump into it right away.

I was a bit bad about my diet. I couldn't help myself, the potato chips were wonderful with my vegetable soup that I had for lunch today. I did remember to eat a nice, healthy breakfast today. This evening, I am making hamburgers, tatertots, and peas for dinner. I don't expect the kids to have much love for the peas, but they may surprise me.

I want to make myself healthier. I don't want to be feeling like my knees are being tortured or get short of breath when I have to move quickly. I sincerely hope that all of this exercise and careful monitoring of my diet will result in my having improvement with my lung function. With the spring weather coming, I know that my allergies are going to be a problem. Perhaps all of this exercise will help nip some of that problem in the bud.

I am struggling with the whole cutting excess sugars out of my diet. I told myself that I was going to stop eating junk food and drinking soda. This past weekend, however, I ate a fair amount of junk food and had soda. I recognize that some of this is because I went shopping hungry on Sunday. I also recognize that some of this is my body struggling with the effort to get myself off of sugar and refined foods.

An interesting thing I noticed last week as I was enjoying the sauerkraut is that with the probiotic rich foods, I have less problems with gas and my body does a better job of eliminating wastes (to put it delicately). I am fairly certain that the probiotics are the cause of this because that is the only major change I have successfully made to my diet. Now, I just need to get myself back into the habit of drinking a generous amount of water during the day.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rambling thoughts.

So, in my grocery shopping, I picked up a bunch of veggies for the stock pot. I think I'll be making vegetable stock this week. I used my beef stock in some soup for my lunch last week. It was positively delightful. I threw in a bit of the sauerkraut when I zapped it up in the microwave. It was a wonderful addition.

It's a bit frustrating that I am the only one in the house who will eat cabbage. That said, I must confess, I don't mind not having competition when it comes to this sauerkraut. I think I am going to make another batch when I finish this off. But the second jar of sauerkraut that get's made, I am going to bring over to my grandparents. I figure bring that and a loaf of sourdough bread will be well received.

I am excited about the coming good weather. I have all these wonderful things that I want to grow. I am really, REALLY hoping that I can do well with tomatoes so that I can make my own salsa. I am interested in doing some small batch canning this summer/autumn. Among the things I want to make are salsa, chutney, and chicken soup. I think I prefer the fermented pickles to the vinegar packed ones, but I do want to try my hand as some vinegar packed pickles too.

I have been letting my cooking interests dictate what I plan on growing (as well as the lighting conditions). I still have some herbs dried from last year that I need to use up. I think that I will be using the mint and lemon balm to make some herbal teas. I am not exactly sure what I will do with the sage. I have seen things about how to make your own smudging bundles with it. I don't think I have enough to do much of a bundle, but I may make some ground incense with it.

I must go and do my cleaning in the kitchen before I go do laundry. I hope that my bread dough will rise properly. I hope that my sourdough starter revives after the feeding I just gave it. And, I hope that you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Good Evening, folks.

Honestly, the last few days have gone really well. (With the sole exception being this nagging bit of a cold that I have, which I am on the mend from. I'm quite pleased with the fact that I didn't lose my voice today. Mayhaps, I'll be recovered tomorrow?)

My experiments in the kitchen have been bearing fruit. My sourdough starter made for a nice loaf of bread yesterday. I goofed up the measurements and screwed up a loaf today, but this is a learning process. My sauerkraut is beginning to smell like sauerkraut. I think it will be ready in the next day or two. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I tried out the crock pot oatmeal recipe and discovered it made a huge mess in the crock pot. I then used one of those disposible plastic liners and made another batch. Clean up was a breeze. The oatmeal was tasty and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The kids, on the other hand, didn't feel like having any. It's going to be a bit of a process getting them converted to 'whole foods'.

My goal over this year is to transition away from packaged foods as much as possible. I see here that it will actually save us money if I do this. When I went grocery shopping last weekend, I only spent about $60. Unfortunately, some of the planning that I did blew up in my face. (Apparently, I am the only person in the house who will eat cabbage in any form. And the boys do NOT like corned beef.) In my efforts to get us 'back to basics' in our diet, I am working to revive some heritage recipes and techniques.

The way I see it, I am a housewife. I should have the skills that my foremothers did. Can I launder my own clothes? Can I preserve food? Can I cook from scratch? All of these things are skills that I feel are very important. While we're living in an apartment and I can't exactly go full bore on this stuff, there are things I can do.

In the course of my travels tomorrow, I plan on picking up a little wooden drying rack. I'm going to trade a bit of housework for the use of my neighbor's laundry machine. I figure I can put the drying rack in the tub and let stuff drip dry in there. I can't do a big huge load but every little bit counts. Flylady figures a load of laundry a day is what is needed to keep a household running smoothly.

My goal is after I get our laundry caught up (mid-week trip to the laundromat is in order here) that I just do that one load a day. Then on the weekends, I do what ever is left over. If I don't have to spend three hours at the laundromat to carry my own weight (and then some) in laundry around, that would be fantastic. Sure, you could say that I could walk down to the laundromat and do the wash. If I were doing that everyday, however, it would make it hard to keep up on other things. Though I suppose that is one way for me to start work on my training.

Yep, that's right. I am in training. I have decided that I am going to run in a marathon next year. I have given myself a year to train and get ready. I think I can do it. Right now, I am just doing exercises in the house because the weather and life haven't really been encouraging me to go out and attempt to start running. This summer, I plan on getting myself up to running a mile regularly. It means that I am going to have to get good sneakers and some appropriate clothes.

I don't have a scale to measure my weight loss. So, I am going to do so on the basis of what my measurements are. I am also going to try to write down my walking/exercise time for every day. When I see my doctor next month, I am going to bring up this stuff that I am working on. Who knows, maybe he'll have some suggestions for me.

But, that's what's up here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Home-schooling trial run # 1

We missed the buses today. Rather then get all stressed out over getting the kids to school late, I decided that they could spend the day at home. We've been going by my summer home school plan. So far, it seems to be working ok. The boys are having a good day and I've kept them busy enough that they're not causing trouble. The walk this morning did all of us some good and we incorporated a bit of science time into it by looking for birds.

If it were just Cuddle Bear and I, it would be time to do music stuff after lunch. Because Snuggle Bug is home and he needs to nap, we are going to do some painting with the Color Wonder paints that I have here. I think we're going to make birds. Just because it feels like a good theme to focus on today. Honestly, I'm not sure if Snuggle Bug is going to nap.

In other news, Cuddle Bear's Spring Hat for school is finished.

Friday, March 08, 2013


I have a fantasy manuscript that I am totally stalled on. I'm very frustrated with this. I am struggling to write in several different projects. I'm trying to find comfort in my writing but I look at it and feel like it is just busy work. This business with my grandparents and their illnesses has been preying on my mind. I know that there really is nothing I can do to help them but I find myself running in mental circles going there has to be *something* I can do.

In the light of this struggle, it's amusing in it's own way that I am having some progress writing adult fiction. I am not complaining about this. But it does bewilder me. I am struggling with a mixture of self consciousness and the almost obsessive urge to edit this stuff into oblivion. I am doing my best to stick with the spirit of the project and just write that which comes to me (pun not intended).

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

2013 blanket project update

So, I realized that making a square every day was going to make an incredibly large blanket. At which point I decided that I'm just going to make 12 blankets. Above are January and February's throws, respectively. I am finally getting low on pink yarn. So, I'm going to use earth tones for this month's colors. I am considering adding flowers to the mix as well.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Summer Home Schooling Plans

  1. Household skills - housework & cooking lessons
  2. Gross Motor activities - park, walking, etc.
  3. Science activities - garden, park, internet
  1. Fine arts activities - music, artwork, crafts
  2. Reading activities
  3. Mathematics activities
  4. Gross Motor activities
  1. Household skills
  2. Free Play

A very rough plan of what the summer home schooling stuff is going to look like.

Now to start gathering workbooks and such.

Friday, March 01, 2013

19 days...

Nineteen days until the Equinox and the official start of Spring. I suppose I should sit down and draft out my plans for my plantings and such. The weather's been so rotten of late that it's been hard to remember that we're so close to Spring. I ache to be out in the warm sunshine puttering around my plants. I can't wait to smell the green scent of the sap running through the trees.

And I am all about taking the kids to the park to see the goslings and ducklings when they hatch. I'm tired of Winter. I hope that with all the snow, we've gotten what we needed for the water table to be where it should be. I hope that the people who've been suffering with droughts got some good out of the heavy weather this past month. Most of all, I hope that the coming season brings lots of good with it.