Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Green

I've never been a very consistent blogger. From the very beginning, back in January of 2010, when I made a resolution to blog (among other resolutions, a few of which I haven't kept), it has been a rhythmic pattern of surfacing and submerging that continues to this day.

It's kind of like when I tried to keep a journal consistently over the years and I'd write a couple pages in February 2000 and next thing I know it's 2003. Yeah, it's kind of like that.

So...sorry that I've been submerged for the last 6 months, but I'm going to try to surface again now.

I'm not sure what to surface with...a post about my green smoothie every morning, or about my daughter Sissa who's off backpacking in Hawaii.

Guess I'll start with the smoothie thing (Yup, it's all excitement and edge-of-your-seat thrill rides over here). I know you're thinking, oh yay. A smoothie story.

I'll keep it short.

So my last post I told you about how I fractured my back from bending over to tie my shoe right? And I was feeling a little better by late October, but not as good as I thought I should. I was eating better and taking vitamins, had lost a little weight, but I still just wasn't feeling...healthy.

I had even bought some stuff called "Go Ruby Go" from a vitamin catalog that my mom had. It's a fruit powder that you can mix with juice or water and is supposed to give you energy. The ad shows old people riding bikes and Skeedos and rock climbing and stuff. So I thought if it can give old people energy, maybe it would help me too.

Let me just give you a little warning about ordering something from old people junk mail. You will be added to all the old people junk mail mailing lists in existence. And there are a lot of them. A lot. I get vitamin catalogs, gardening catalogs, testosterone replacement ads, reverse mortgage ads, even offers to pre-buy my mortuary plot.

They could save some postage and just send the mortuary plot ads and gardening catalogs together. "Your loved ones will never have to be bothered bringing flowers to your grave again, with our new forever-blooming bulbs!" or "Sow your tomatoes and meet the reaper in one convenient location!"

The worst ones are the ones with pictures of poop in them. Yes, apparently, pooping is a hot topic among old people. I kid you not. Take a look:

Yes, those are supposed to be photos of poop. I know, right?
This was just one page of a 12 page newsletter ad whose topic was poop. So my point is...don't order from old people's junk mail unless you are prepared for a deluge of poop ads.

Your mailbox will be overflowing. (Get it?)

ANYhoo, even Go Ruby Go (and as I typed that I realized that name could very well have been a product advertised in the poop ad.) was not not giving me energy or vitality.

So I went to see a homeopathic doctor. Don't judge me. I believe in medical doctors, but I believe in alternative therapies too. If something works, then it works. Does it matter whether it's homeopathic, chiropractic, psychopathic...whatever? Well, maybe not psychopathic, but you know what I mean. I just wanted to feel better. (Defensive, much?)

The first thing she told me was to drink a green smoothie every morning. Green being...well...greens. Spinach, kale, collards, leafy lettuce, those kinds of greens. I add in a little fruit, carrot or cucumber if I like, and non pasteurized orange or tangerine juice. She gave me other nutritional advice also, but that was the biggest change for me.

And you know what? I finally started to feel better.

I've slowly made some other changes in my diet, like eating less processed foods and less animal proteins and animal fats. I cut out red meat, but I still eat fish and some chicken. I eat a whole lot more vegetables and fruits than I used to and I pay attention to food labels more than I used to. I buy organic whenever possible and try to cut down on the toxins and chemicals that I put in my body. Some we can't control, but many we can.

After about 3 months of doing this, my sister told me I look younger. I've lost 23 pounds and dropped my cholesterol by 33 points. My regular doctor was genuinely surprised that I did that by diet alone. He had been trying to get me to take cholesterol meds, but after seeing my blood test after a few months of my new eating habits, he said, "Just keep doing what you're doing."

I now realize what a powerful thing diet is. It's one of the few things in our lives that we have control over, yet it can be so hard to just take control of it. It doesn't help that processed food loaded with chemicals are cheap and easy and fast to eat while the healthy stuff takes time to wash, cut, and prepare. It's much harder to eat healthy than to eat junk. Hence, the obesity problem in our country.

But that's a whole 'nother post. I guess my point here is...we are in control of our health. And diet and nutrition are powerful, powerful things and the right changes in those areas can make a huge difference in how you feel. It did for me.

I didn't mean to get on a soapbox, really. Just sharing my experience.

This post is going longer than I intended and I didn't even get into the endearing little nicknames my hubby and brother called me while I was wearing that awful brace. Names like Borg and The Metal Menace, to name a few. Nothing like good 'old family support, right?

So that's it for now. Next post will be about Sissa's backpacking adventure in Hawaii. Leave it to my hippie daughter to find a spot in Hawaii with no cellphone service and where supplies come in by boat.

At least they don't get poop junk mail there.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fractured Fragments

It's Friday Frag time! Yaaay! Time to sum up your month week with a bunch of tidbits thrown in one post.

So here we go:

Frag #1
I've been MIA. I know. Last I wrote, I was getting ready for my Sisters Zion camping trip, then for all you knew I fell off a cliff or got eaten by a bear or something because I didn't write again until now and it's been about a month.

The thing is, the morning of the trip, I bent over to tie my shoe and felt my entire spine shift. Yeah. Freaky! Well, to make a long story short, I went on the trip and went to see the doc when I got back and after a bunch of X-rays and tests, I found out I have a compression fracture. Three, actually, but two are old.

Apparently, I have Osteopenia, a precursor to Osteoporosis. So my bones are week and can just fracture for no good reason. Perfect. Oh, and I'll probably shrink a few inches too. Getting old is a bitch.

ANYwho, to help the fractures heal, I have to wear this brace. No, that's not me in the picture. I don't smile when I wear the damn thing. It's uncomfortable and makes me feel like Robo-mom.


So, I haven't felt like blogging because sitting at my desk was just too uncomfortable. By the time I get home from work, I just want to rip the brace off and lay on a heating pad. I'm feeling better now though, so hopefully I can get back to my Friday Fragging. Unfortunately, I have to wear the brace for another 4 weeks or so.

Frag #2
My male co-workers have told me I share a bit too much of my personal life with them. A manager at my job very politely informed me that all of my doctor appointments were showing on his calendar. I realized that I had put them into my shared google work calendar instead of my personal one. Great. He now knows about my Saturday mammogram at 9AM.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I sent out an email to my co-workers letting them know I'd be in a bit late one morning so I could refit my brace. If you have your phone set to notify you when an email comes in, it will show a line or two of the email, like it does for a text...at least the iphone does. Well, one of my co-workers showed me how the email notification appeared on his phone. Here's what it said:

"Hi Guys, I'll be in a little late because I have an appointment for a refitting of my bra..."

Perfect. Another TMI about my boobs.

Frag #3
My sister and I did go on our Sisters Zion Camping Trip. Yes, that should be capitalized, because I'm going to declare it a holiday to celebrate every year! We had a great time, despite my back. I'll post about it over the weekend, complete with a pee can story or two. Yes, pee can. My sister pees in a can when she camps. Meanwhile, here are a couple of pic:

This was right behind our campsite.


This was the view on one of our scenic drives. 

Frag #4
I've spent the last couple evenings googling Fall crafts to make and found the cutest ways to decorate with pumpkins. My sister, daughter, and I are going to do some pumpkin crafts next week for Fall. Here's a couple of pics of ones I want to try:

How cute is this?? Sequins!

What's not to love about polka-dots and glitter? I want to try to do these in Fall colors.

This website has directions on how to make the polka-dot ones (they're super easy!) and links to a bunch of other easy pumpkin decorating ideas, if you want to take a gander: http://swelldesigner.blogspot.com/2012/09/ombre-polka-dot-glitter-pumpkins.html

Don't you just love Fall?

Frag #5
I haven't been doing much comic making recently due to my back problem, but here's a couple I made before we went to Zion. These are actually recycled ones I had made a few years ago on a different comic making site, but they got no recognition over there whatsoever, so I remade them on my new favorite comic site. Because I like validation.
(Remember, click on the 4-arrow thingy in the bottom right to make it bigger.)






Well, that's it for my Frags this week! Thanks for indulging me once again. If you want to read more frags, or post some of your own, be sure and link up with Half-Past Kissin' Time!


Half-Past Kissin' Time

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Keepin' Calm and Fraggin' On

Friday Fragment Time!

Oh, how I love the fraginess that is Friday!

If you want to write a post about the bits and pieces of your week, do it and link it up at Half-Past Kissin' Time so we can all see what you've been up to. Because we're a bunch of nosy mothers.

Frag #1
Menopause makes me snarky. That's all I have to say about that.

Frag #2
My daughter, Sis, who is 22, went to Portland, Oregon a couple weeks ago to visit a close friend who moved up there. Sis was so taken with the place that she's making plans to move up there too.

Apparently, it's not against the law to walk around the town naked. There's even a lady they call "Naked bike lady" who rides around town naked, then parks her bike by the local bank, puts on a dress, goes inside and is the teller.

It's quite an open, accepting town, Portland is. On the one hand, I'm excited for my daughter embarking on an adventure...on the other, I'm worried she'll be "Naked Dog Lady" or "Naked Loud Girl" or some other such thing. She's a free spirit, my daughter. It's something I admire about her. I just want her to keep her spirit clothed, that's all.

Frag #3
My other daughter, The Girl, invited me to something at her Church called Cardboard Testimony. I guess it's a thing many churches do. She wanted me to go because she was participating in it. 

I'd never been to one and it was so inspiring and moving that I cried from beginning to end. I know it's silly, but it inspired me to post a comic about it (not that the service was silly, but the wanting to make a comic about it was). The signs in the comic are a few of the real signs that I saw during the service.

Faith, no matter what it is that we have faith in, is a powerful, powerful thing.

(Click on the 4-arrow thingy in the lower right corner of the comic to make it bigger, then to scroll it up just click and drag)




Frag #4
My sister and I decided to go on a girl's camping trip to Zion, Utah. We're going in a couple weeks and I can't wait. There won't be any fishing adventures this time. Just her and me tubing down the Virgin river, tooling around the lovely Springdale town right outside of Zion and where we'll be staying, and going on a hike or two inside the park.

The only thing I dread is that my idea of a hike and my sister's idea of a hike are quite different. I want to sort of, moderately stroll, and she's like exercise Hitler. I might have to put some booze in her water bottle to slow her down. Of course then she'll get chatty. Damn. I can't win either way.

Frag #5
And speaking of camping and travelling and such things...I made another comic featuring my little trailer. Have you ever looked up "Vintage Trailer Interiors" on Pinterest? Oh, My. Gosh. I could look at those cute little decorated trailer pictures all night.

Anyway, my comic site had a contest to make a comic about your dream home, so of course, I had to feature my trailer. Here it is:



Someday.

Frag #6
My last frag is just to say that I actually wrote more than one blog post this week! I know. I can't believe it either. We visited my mom and her husband in California over Labor Day weekend and I took some lovely pictures and did a quickie post about it.

If you want to take a gander at it (because I don't think anyone has read it yet, besides my sister-in-law - Hi Trish!), you can read it here. And here's a picture of my lovely mom and her sweet and supportive hubby:




Well, that's it for my frags this week. Hope you have a fun weekend and remember, "Not all who wander are lost."  - J.R.R. Tolkien



Half-Past Kissin' Time

Monday, September 2, 2013

How to Pretend to Be Retired

I didn't do a Friday Frag post last Friday, but I have a very good reason. They hubby and I went up to Hesperia California to visit my mom and her husband for the long weekend.

We love visiting my mom because she lives in a semi-rural area in Hesperia and has a large yard filled with a garden and birds and squirrels and other wildlife. We like pretending we're old retired people with nothing too terribly important to do.

So, what do you do when you're visiting your mom for the weekend in a somewhat small town? Well, I'll tell you:

First you get mani/pedis, of course. I forgot to take toe pictures.

Then you visit a bakery called Bodacious Buns ( I know, right?) and look at the cute cakes on display and wish you knew how to do cake decorating.


It's a couple in a hot tub. Isn't that adorable??

Then you split a scrumptious lemon bar with your mom and talk about how delicious the shortbread crust is and the lemon curd filling and the cream cheese frosting. And you and mom chat with the shop owner about Garden club and organic food and religion.

Then you move on to an antique store that just opened up that your mom's been wanting to go to. And you ooh and aah over all the cute vintage-y things like these jars that have been decoupaged and embellished until they're just too cute for words:


Decoupage, beads, lace, tiny flowers and a glue gun. Couldn't you see your makeup brushes standing up prettily in this?


Love the shape of this one!

After browsing for an hour at the antique store, you go back to mom's and take pictures of her garden:


An old ladder with a few old, worn birdhouses sitting on it makes for cute garden decor, don't you think?


I love Mexican Bird of Paradise. Mom has several of these bushes in her yard.

Then you take pictures of mom drinking wine in her garden:

My beautiful, happy mom.

And you can't resist taking pictures of the sky at dusk because it's so beautiful and every single dusk looks different:


Dusk from Mom's yard

The next day you sit in mom's garden again and you and mom decide that the side of the chicken house needs some paint. You have no mural painting skills whatsoever, but decide to start painting then and there:


Planted myself in the dirt and decided to paint me some flowers on the chicken house.

Then you make your husband take pictures of you and mom painting the chicken house and you make sure and pose like an idiot.

Add caption

By then it gets hot, so you go inside and decide you want an agave margarita (of which my step-dad makes delicious ones), but he gets out the blender and you say, no, they were on the rocks last time he made them and he says no, he blends them and you say no, you're sure they were on the rocks, and he says fine, you make them.

So you do. You mix tequila, lime, agave, ice, and a little water in a cocktail mixer and shake it up real good and oh, they are delicious. Then you all laugh about how you bickered over how to make them. Then everyone takes a nap because you made them too strong.

After passing out napping, you finish painting the chicken house:


You can't see it real well, but the left side and the right side are painted tree trunks. Those green things on the top are leaves. Mom had a bunch of old birdhouses, so we nailed them up like they're hanging on the branches of the tree that you can't tell is a tree.

After another beautiful dusk, you help cook dinner and you have delicious homemade ice cream for dessert. Ice Cream made with homegrown figs and peaches:

There's fig ice cream with bourbon sauce, peach ice cream, strawberry ice cream, and carmel ice cream. 

Of course, you have to get up early the next morning to head home and you must take a picture of the pretty sunrise which you can see from your bed:

No filter on this one. Can you see the little sliver of white moon off to the right?


 On the way home you must take pictures of the cloud formations because they are so clear and white:

No filter on this one either. Doesn't it look like a swan, with the neck to the right and the body on the left?

I did put a filter on this one. The sky was just beautiful on the drive home.

And that's what you do when you visit your mom in a small-ish town over the weekend and pretend like you're a retired person.

I can't wait to retire!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hello Friday, I'm back to Fraggin' ya

Friday was a long time a comin' but it's finally here! I've missed a couple weeks of Friday Frag posting, just because I've been spending too much time making comics and neglecting my blog it's been a little busy around here, but I'm trying to get back to fraggin' again.

I heard Friday Frags are back home at Mrs. 4444. Thanks to her for hosting and thanks to Unknown Mami for being such a gracious host while the Mrs. was on vacation!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Frag #1
I went back to my Blogger profile because Google+ was making me crazy! I thought I'd be all cool and hip and new with my Google+ profile, but the darn thing kept making my email address a "no reply". You know what I'm talking about right? When you go to reply to someone's comment and instead of their email address coming up, it's a "no-reply@blogger.com" or some such thing?

It's annoying as all get out and I found out a couple months ago that I was guilty of being a no-reply person too! So I hunted around online and figured out how to fix it, but darn Google+ put me right back to no-reply after I don't know how long. All I know is I had fixed it, and I tested it and it worked, so I thought all was well, but then someone told me in a comment a few months later that I was a no-reply again.

Hells Bells. I decided that was enough of that foolishness, so I switched back to the old Blogger profile. Now my email should show up if I comment on your blog and you go to reply to me. If not, please let me know.

The other annoying thing about Google+ is you have to search a person's profile to find what their dang blog is. If you're using a Google+ profile to comment on blogs, then HEL-LOOO, you want your blog name or link to be pretty prominent on your profile. Let's face it, people (ok, me) are lazy and don't want to search around for 10 seconds to find it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Frag #2
So I think I mentioned that we have 7 dogs in our house.

I know. I'll just give you a minute and let that sink in.

Anyway, so one of them is this little bundle of energy and exasperation named Prince. He was named before we acquired him, so, yeah, it just stuck. I think I've shown him to you before, but here's a picture:

Prince, doing the Macarena

So Prince is my hubby's little pride and joy. The apple of his eye. His beautiful perfect love, as my daughter calls him.

I know. Believe me, I know. When he comes home from work, the dog gets a kiss before I do.

Back to my story. One or more of the 7 little fiends has gotten in the habit of poo-ing and pee-ing in our foyer. Now, remember not long ago they were having their poo and pee party in our living room so we put fencing up?

Well they've decided to move the party to outside the fence. And we wanted to bust their furry little arses in action. So hubby set up a sting operation involving a camera on a motion sensor aimed at the crime scene. Whenever the camera sensed motion in the area, it would record for 1 minute and all the recordings would save on hubby's computer.

Now, let me just preface this by saying that I suggested more than once that the guilty party may just be his perfect little love, Prince. On a few occasions he did not have an alibi when the defecation occurred. But I, of course, was shushed and shut-down immediately for merely mentioning the possibilty.

I would like that on record, please.

You see where this is going?

Since the majority of the poop-cidents seemed to happen at night, we left the camera on all night for two nights in a row. Of course, the next morning, there were puddles and piles, so off hubby went to his computer to review the footage.

I had to leave for work, but later I get an email from my hubby with the subject line: Very Princeappointed. And this is the picture he sent me:

The poopetrater in action!

Yup, his little pride and joy was the poopetrater. Well, he wasn't the only one, his sister (Prince's, not hubby's) was guilty too, but Prince was the worse of the two.

And now I think my blog has fallen to a new low because I just showed you a picture of my dog pooping. What's sadder is this whole little sting operation was like, the highlight of our week.

That's both sad and gross. Let's move on.

Frag #3
I'm obsessed with travel trailers and taking off in one into the wild blue yonder. A few weeks ago we went to an RV and travel trailer show here in town and now of course, I'm all spun up about A. getting one and B. living and travelling in one. And I mean, like permanently.

I don't want a big bus of a thing that's like an apartment. I just want a small, cozy little thing that me and the hubs can tool around in and live the nomad dream. Something like this:



Ok, maybe just a wee bit bigger, but you get the idea. Does anyone else have this obsession?

I'm so obsessed with it, in fact, that I made comic of a trailer so that at least my comic character can go all the places that I can't go right now. It was darn challenging to make, too! I had to put the whole thing together out of shapes, from scratch. It didn't come out to bad, if I do say so myself.

While I was at it, I made a little idyllic scene for my comic character to chill out in. Click on the little 4 arrow thingie in the lower right corner to make it bigger. Nice, eh?



Ahh, someday that will be me in that little trailer. And my dogs. And my hubby.

Yeah, you probably don't want to camp anywhere near us.

Well that's it for my Friday Frags. I hope everyone had a week as poop-ductive as mine and hope you have a great weekend too!

Ok, one last thing. The comic site I use just added animation to their site so we can make comics and throw in a little movement, which is kind of cool. I made a practice comic (it's really lame) and I just want to see if the embed feature works ok with the animation. So please indulge me while I put it here. Again, it's a little lame and I was just trying out the animation feature and I still need a lot of practice. But here it is:


Well, I see the first panel works fine, but my character looks like she's afflicted with a nervous disorder in the second panel. I guess they're still getting all the bugs out.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

If you want to check out more Friday Frags, or post some up yourself, link up with Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time!

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