Archive for November, 2007

I’m Getting Sick

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Wah. I am the worst sick person – I turn into such a whiny baby and I’m just generally miserable and I act 3 years old. I can feel a head cold or something coming on. I’ve got the post-nasal drip, headache and body aches and just general malaise. I get so indignant, too, reasoning that I eat so healthy and take care of myself so I should never succumb to any type of sickness. I should be immune, damn it.

Tomorrow morning we’re having a new couch delivered. I think I may just stay home sick to be here for the delivery and then just take it easy for the day. Wait until you see this couch – it’s so gorgeous! Chocolate brown sectional with microfiber on top and leather on bottom, four recliners, two storage areas and two cup holders = never getting off the couch again.

And tonight, a miracle was performed in our house. You see, the old sectional needed to go downstairs, but it is a very large, unwieldy piece – even though it’s in three sections. Rob and Aric swore they wouldn’t be able to get it downstairs because the staircase is narrow. I knew it would be a pain in the ass, but also had faith that they’d find a way to make it work. I kept saying, “Positive thinking!” And they kept thinking, “Shut the hell up before we fit this couch where the sun don’t shine.” That’s okay, though. You know why? You already know, don’t you? Of course you know that our old sectional is the proud centerpiece of our basement rec area now. It wasn’t easy, and there is spackling to be done – but hey, the couch is down there and we’re all ready for our new piece to take its rightful place in my family room.

This weekend we also have to finish painting the basement. It’s going to be all bright and shiny down there! Time to throw a party. Want to come?

Now maybe I can use my positive thinking powers to will this cold out of my system.

Counting My Blessings

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I know it’s almost a week after Thanksgiving, but I was reminded yesterday of all the things I have to be grateful for and I don’t want to forget them. The company I work for is not doing well financially. Business is way down and people’s jobs are now being affected. We came in yesterday to the news of more layoffs for some, forced part time hours for most everyone else. What a thing to happen right before the holidays. Thankfully, Rob and I were not affected in this round and our jobs are still intact. I went through so much fear yesterday, and it was pointed out to me that I still had my job, exactly as it has been and that I should be grateful. It’s true. And that helped to shift my thinking dramatically.

I realized last night as I was trying to drift off to sleep that I do have so much to be grateful for in my life. I need to focus on those things, and not give such life to all the fear and negativity. I’ve got a roof over my head, food – good, healthy and sometimes expensive food at that – in my kitchen, a family that loves me to pieces, friends that adore me, a job that pays well, a car that gives me joy to drive, a relationship with a Higher Power that provides me intense comfort, a closet full of totally cute clothes, and all the creature comforts I could ask for. I could sit here and list things for hours, I’m sure. The point is, my life is good – damn good. And no matter what happens at my current place of employment, I’m going to be just fine. Better than fine, even. I’m going to be spectacular!

Hi, I’m an Ovo Vegetarian

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Last week, I made the decision to take dairy out of my diet. It was an unexpected thing – I never would have thought that I’d take even more out of my food plan considering I already don’t eat sugar, flour, wheat, caffeine, cheese, cherries, grapes, gum, and I’m sure a few other things I’m forgetting at the moment. My Greek yogurts were something I looked forward to with much delight every night. I loved getting a dollop of skim foam in my Americanos at Starbucks. I drank a full 8 oz. of 2% milk every morning with breakfast. Things between dairy and me seemed to be going just fine.

But then I started coming across random articles that spoke about the benefits of a dairy-free existence. At first I paid little attention, I felt secure in my dietary habits and I wasn’t looking for a change of any sort. The articles, though, they kept appearing. I finally decided to take heed and I read one. Then another. And another… which led me to hours of searching to find out all I could about the awful side effects of dairy and what I could expect if I stopped consuming it. Visions of increased energy, no PMS, the departure of adult acne, regular (& neat) bowel movements, and losing those last 10 pounds began to dance across my mind. After some time I decided I had nothing to lose by trying the Go Dairy Free 10-Day Challenge, and so I embarked on the latest journey of my ever-evolving food plan.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent my spare time researching. Once I was open to the idea of no more dairy, my brain became insatiable – I had to learn all I could. What I discovered led to my destination for today: I could no longer eat animal products without feeling squeamish about the things I was putting into my body. I’ve been saying for years that I eat for nourishment only, and now I’ve got too much knowledge to eat the things I held dear for so long without feeling like a complete hypocrite.

What started out as hapless blog surfing has somehow turned into a complete lifestyle change. Funny how that works. And now I’ve got a brand new label: Ovo Vegetarian, which means I will eat eggs (for the moment!) but no meat or dairy products.

Although I took dairy out over a week ago, I’m pretty sure there was butter in the meals I had in restaurants on Saturday. I also had meat (tilapia and chicken) and I was feeling the effects of not having a clean meal all day. I’ve been a vegetarian for 3 days now and my stomach is starting to rebel a bit. I think I’m officially in the detox stage. Hopefully since my diet was so clean prior to this change, I won’t suffer too many ill effects before I start reaping some of the rewards. I’ve already noticed an increased amount of energy in the form of not needing as much sleep each night. You can be assured I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I embark on this new adventure in my quest for better health.

And no, I won’t be having Tofurky on Thursday! Gross.

Do You Grind?

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I went to the dentist today for my regular 6 month checkup. I was anxious to get in because of the teeth sensitivity problem I’ve been having. Unfortunately, neither the dental hygienist nor the dentist saw much of anything that could be the cause. One thing the hygienist noticed was my teeth being flat. She asked if I was a tooth grinder or clencher.

Now, I didn’t say anything to her because I was kind of embarrassed, but I’ll tell the Internet. Makes sense, no?

I have this thing that I do when I pet and love on any animals, and sometimes even my kids. I clench my mouth shut and grind my teeth together the whole time I’m petting these little loved ones of mine. I thought that everyone did this, like it was just a thing all humans did… but when I mentioned it to Aric, he looked at me like I was kind of crazy. What say you? Do you grind your teeth down when you’re petting animals? I can’t figure out why I do it, but I apparently pet Grace all.the.freaking time because I am constantly catching myself grinding these days – and it hurts! I’ve got to find a way to stop. Help!

Our Anniversary Trip

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

I haven’t felt like writing here lately, but I wanted to have a record of our anniversary trip. It’s always nice to read this kind of stuff months and years later, ya know?

Friday afternoon, Rob and I left work early and headed home to pack and get the kids and the dog all packed and ready to go to Grandma’s. (It still sort of blows me away that my parents are grandparents.) We dropped Connor off at a friend’s house because they were doing an all night thing with a youth group at a bowling alley and the Brunswick Zone. By the time we got to my parents’, it was dinner time – so we all headed out to eat together before Rob and I took off on our own.

The ride up to the place was nice – we chattered excitedly about various things and just generally enjoyed each others company. I had to pee on the way there, so we got off at an exit and I ran into an UNO to use their restroom. I felt like I was stealing or something – walking in purposely as if I was meeting my party at their table… and then walking out, avoiding eye contact with the hostesses. No one stopped me and told me to give back their toilet water and paper, though, so it was all good.

As we got closer to our destination, we ended up on some dark, somewhat spooky roads. Both of us fell silent as we braced ourselves. Would the place be totally scary and unsafe? Would we have to turn back around? Even worse – would we be abducted, never to be seen again after this night? Okay, so my imagination gets a little carried away at times. I’m sure Rob wasn’t thinking that dramatically. Or maybe he was. ;-)

I was really anxious to see if the place I found online lived up to the pictures and descriptions from its website. My worries were for naught, as it turned out. We stayed at the Furnace Hills Bed & Breakfast in Denver, PA and I can’t say enough good things about it. The house is a log cabin built by the proprietor and his loving touches were apparent everywhere. The entire place was gorgeous, clean, well-kept and peaceful. The owners weren’t there this weekend, though, so we were greeted by the owner’s sister, Heather.

Shortly after we arrived, we hit the hot tub on the back deck, even though it was raining/snowing softly and the hot tub had no shelter. It actually felt great! That night we stayed in our room, enjoying the time to ourselves. We watched Desperate Housewives online sitting next to each other on the bed with Rob’s laptop. That was fun. Since we got there somewhat late, our first night was pretty short, but it was the perfect precursor to our relaxing, alone weekend.

On Saturday we ate breakfast with the other lodgers – a female couple who roomed next door to us. I swear they said they were sisters, but Rob disagrees. ;-) They were nice enough, but really kept to themselves. Our hostess cooked a breakfast of oven baked caramel French toast, and sausage links with a beautiful fruit platter served on the side. Due to my food issues, I just packed my own breakfast loaf, though, and ate it with the others. Surprisingly enough, the other guests didn’t ask why I wasn’t eating the same food as them.

After breakfast, we decided to begin our adventure by driving towards Lancaster. Neither of us were sure what to expect. I think I had visions of Amish people out in groves, walking on sides of roads or riding their buggies all over the place. Since we just put Lancaster into the GPS, our directions took us to downtown Lancaster where we promptly entered the ghetto. I was quite surprised – where were the Amish people? The horse and buggies? I got on the phone with my parents who told us another address to plug into the GPS system and we were on our way towards the rolling countryside I had imagined. We drove around for a bit, trying to decide what to do first when he happened upon the Strasburg Railroad. Rob immediately pulled over and as we walked up to the museum area, we looked across the street and saw the locomotive there for rides. We agreed that it looked like fun and bought our tickets.

The ride was entertaining and educational as the conductor told us bits of trivia about all the areas we were passing there and back. It was also nice to sit for a while because I wasn’t feeling so great. My legs were achy and I felt run-down. I was grateful for something local to do that didn’t require a lot of energy on my part. I took some pictures with my cell phone because we both forgot to bring our digital camera. Thankfully, my cell phone takes somewhat decent pics. Here’s Rob sitting on the train before all the other passengers boarded. Doesn’t he look thrilled? Ha!

Rob on the train

By the time the train ride was over, it was close to 1 PM and we were both ravenous, so finding a place to eat lunch was the priority. My parents mentioned Millers Smorgasboard as a place they liked, and it was only minutes away from the train, so that’s where we landed. I just read a review that says this place is a slightly overpriced tourist trap, and I would have to agree. We paid $50 for lunch! The food was just okay, but the atmosphere was inviting and comforting. We were just glad to be away from home, alone together, and decided we didn’t really care about the price. In general, all-you-can-eat places end up being a big waste of money for me, anyway since I eat my controlled portion sizes no matter where I am.

Once lunch was over, I was feeling a bit better, so we hit the outlets hard. There is definitely plenty of shopping to be had in Lancaster! Usually, I get to the outlets in Rehoboth all by myself; shopping outlet-style with Rob was cool, I felt like he got to take a peek into my world. I am a big time bargain hunter and know my prices pretty well – I loved being able to tell Rob what was worth it and what wasn’t based on my experiences. We ended up getting a bit of our Christmas shopping completed and Rob scored some new clothes for himself, too. I didn’t get anything for me except makeup, since none of the prices were good enough.

The outlets weren’t the only stores we went to – we also checked out a few of the smaller Amish-style places as we drove all around the area. We visited Intercourse, Bird in Hand, Ronks, Paradise, Ephrata, and Akron among other towns in the area. We got a few new decorations for our house that I just love. You can see one of them here:

House 009

Isn’t it pretty? It also gave me the opportunity to change around the walls since I have never liked the positioning of my “Love, Faith, Hope” photo frame things. I arranged them differently and put them on a smaller wall. See?

House 012

Anyway, back to the trip. This is turning into the world’s longest blog entry. Saturday night we went out to eat at a Chinese buffet place (again with the buffet!) that I really didn’t enjoy at all. Then we bought License to Wed to watch on the laptop back in the room. We did much the same thing on Saturday night as we did the night before – hot tub soaking and watching our entertainment on the laptop while lying in bed. Bliss.

Sunday was check out day and it came too fast, of course. I was glad I wouldn’t have another night sleeping in the bed there, though. The bed in our room was just horrid. I’m not sure what was wrong with it exactly, because it felt fine just sitting or lying on it. But sleeping in it all night was another story. Neither one of us got a good night’s rest there because we kept waking up in pain from the bed. Not good. I want to go back, though, and try out the other beds because I just loved this place so much.

Look how gorgeous it is!

View from the landing outside our room

Before heading back home, we went back into the tourist areas to buy some vacation gifts for my parents. Afterwards, we were on our way.

All in all, it was a great weekend. It was good to reconnect with Rob away from work, the kids, and all of the every day life stressors we deal with on a regular basis. I loved being able to just cuddle up to him and focus all of my attention on him and him alone. We need to do it more often!

And here’s to at least another 15 years with my honey!