Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Day of

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life, and I’m working on making it a healthier life, come hell or high water. This afternoon I used my favorite cooking utensil, the crock pot.  
I found this recipe on Facebook
Crockpot Balsamic Chicken - 

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried minced onion (I used onion powder)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the first four dry spices in a small bowl and spread over chicken on both sides. Set aside. Pour olive oil and garlic on the bottom of the crock pot. Place chicken on top. Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. .

It was delicious, and we had it with some green peas and mashed potatoes. Tomorrow’s lunch will be 4 oz of chicken, about 7 oz of salad, topped with a tablespoon of homemade Balsamic Bleu Cheese vinaigrette dressing, and a side of brown rice & quinoa. I’m DEFINITELY adding this recipe to my repertoire, since it is delicious, in addition to low fat, low sodium, and good for me! 

I’ve also made protein shakes with some fruit pureed into them for breakfasts, and stored them in baggies in the freezer, so I can take them out the night before to thaw enough to drink on the way to work.
Short term goal is 5 lbs by the 19th, and a total of 10 lbs by my birthday on October 5th. If I can meet a goal of 10 lbs a month, then by the time I take my next trip out of town, for DoTS in December, I will have exceeded my doctor’s goal for me. Maintaining that pace, by Opening Weekend of Scarborough, I will be within 25 lbs of my high school graduation weight, which would be fabulous.
My current pant size is somewhere between a 24 & a 26, depending on the pants and the maker. Shirts I’m doing a 3xl or a 22/24. By my birthday, I’d love to be down to a 24 or less in pants (because, let’s face it, my ass is a bigger problem than my upper body). By DoTS, I’d like to be down to a 2x or an 18/20 shirt as well.
Happy Jar for the day: I’m blessed with an awesome chosen family and household, even at the times that they drive me up a wall.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Meds... oh yay.

The initial report from the doctor is in, I officially have high blood pressure. It’s not terribly high, but regularly high enough to cause some concern and land me on lisinopril. I’ll have my first dose tomorrow morning (after I get to work, since it’s known to cause drowsiness, light-headedness, etc., so I’d rather be where I’m not going to be driving before I take it). I also have instructions to exercise more and lose 10% of my body weight. When I’m in the doc’s office next week for a follow up, we’re going to discuss this situation further, because, well, I’m home for somewhere between 3 & 4 hours on weeknights before I need to go to bed, and somewhere in there must be my dinner.  I’ve learned from the past, that late evening exercise and restful sleep are NOT friends in my world. Once it cools off, I can walk a lap or two around the exterior of our building at lunch, but for now, while it’s Hotter Than Satan’s AssHole out there, it is NOT an option. I’m looking into gym facility options that are either near work, or somewhere between home and work that’s easily accessible one direction or the other. There’s a facility associated with a hospital that’s open to the public, and includes an Arthritis Aqua-cise program, which should also be beneficial for the Fibromyalgia as well. My short term goal (by the time I go to the doc’s again on the 19th) is about 4 lbs, so I’ve gotten some salad mix, and will be working on eating more balanced, healthier stuff, regardless of what the rest of the house is eating.
Happy Jar for the day was making someone I adore laugh til she almost wet herself, when she’d had a bit of a rough 24 hours or so!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Great Boobie Smash 2013

So today I had the Great Boobie Smash done. Yep, I had my first mammogram. At age 45. To be completely honest, I was prepared for a horrible torture device, in a freezing room, with my girls each smashed repeatedly between icy plates, and squashed to flat as pancakes. I have to say that was totally NOT my experience. The tech was a lovely young woman, who explained to me exactly what she was doing, and took the time to explain to me that since I had no previous scan, it’s quite possible that they might need a second scan, just to verify what they saw, especially given the obvious density of my girls. Now, I have no direct history of breast cancer in my family, which is part of the reason I’ve not worried about getting a mammogram sooner. Also there was the cost… I now have AWESOME insurance that pays 100% of my mammogram, with no co-pay on my part.
At any rate, the rooms (both the changing room and the actual radiology room) were comfortable temperatures, and the fact of the matter is that the only painful part was after each one was finished, when I could back up, only to discover that my underside was stuck to the bottom plate… think peeling your leg off the leather seat in the car in the summer, only your boob. Yeah, THAT was fun. It happened the first time, and like a dork, I thought it was an anomaly so I didn’t bother to lift the other before I started pulling back the second time around.
Results should be to my doctor by Monday, and I should have my copy by sometime next week. Now I just have to wait and see what the report says…
Happy Jar for the day is the fact that I have a stable, albeit chaotic home, my own space for quiet time, and all the purrs and kitty love I can stand on any given day!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Letting Go

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, because, well, I hold on. I hold on to things, I hold on to people, I hold on to grudges. A lot has happened over the past few months, good things, and bad things. Our household is still very full, and probably a little livelier than many, but we’re making it work, I think. I’ve found a position with a stable company that values its employees, and I no longer dread getting out of bed in the morning to go to the office. I could live without the drive (about an hour each direction), but working with people I like and respect, and that like and respect me as well makes the drive worth every minute.
I’m not perfect, far from it, actually, but over the past few months, I’ve found more patience than I ever thought I might have, and I love where I am in the world these days. I am so tremendously blessed by family, both genetic and chosen/adopted. Since I’ve learned to truly let go of things that have been weighing me down for all of my adult life, and if I’m completely honest with myself, much of my youth and childhood, I’ve found a wonderful freedom, from anger, from resentment, and from sadness.
I’ve made a conscious choice to not allow negativity to rule my life, drag me down, or control me. One day at a time is all anyone can expect of me, and it’s all I’m committing to. To that end, I’ve started the school kids in the house on their own happy jars. Each day, they each get a colorful card of paper, on which they can write something happy or good that happened that day. My goal with this for them is to help keep them focused on the positive, and to give them something tangible for those rotten days we all have occasionally, that they can look at and say “sure, this has been a bad day, but look at my happy jar, I AM blessed, even today”.

Today’s Happy Jar entry for me is that we had a birthday party for a beloved part of the village, and had all but 4 of our village with us to enjoy a delicious meal, great fellowship, and some good family time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Once again Rae’s been a very bad blogger. 6 months between posts is, I suppose, both good and bad. I’ve used this blog at times as a therapeutic device, sometimes as a diary. That I’ve not felt the need for therapy or a diary over the last couple of years is probably a good thing, right?
In December I moved out to the country, a decision that I made after the Cow incident, which showed me just how isolated from my support system I had become. I’m currently sharing a house again, for the time being, but if all falls into place reasonably, by the end of the year, I’ll be out into a more private studio type of space, although still in our little village.
At the end of January, the position I was looking to leave, and as such, had reworked my resume and begun searching for a fresh, more stable opportunity; was eliminated via an “office reorganization”, after I objected to working a 9 hour Saturday in addition to my 9 hour weekdays, WITHOUT ADDITIONAL PAY. Yes, I know this was illegal, however my supervisor (who fancies herself the be all and end all of EVERYTHING), had no response available when I pointed out that under federal law, my position (Accounting Assistant), and the fact that I had no employees who reported to me, and had no decision-making authority on anything other than what I ate for lunch was classified as NON-EXEMPT salaried, and thus I was entitled to overtime pay for any and all hours worked over 40 in a week. They paid me through the end of the week (which was the end of the month), and gave me notice in writing, that they would not object to my unemployment claim.  I packed my stuff and walked out with my head held high. I didn’t shed a single tear, because, frankly, I was growing increasingly unhappy, because I was unappreciated and unnecessarily micromanaged. In the end, my supervisor tried to have criminal fraud charges filed against me because I’d had mail sent there, having ordered something WEEKS earlier that didn’t arrive until a week after I left. That little plan bit her in the ass when she called the Sheriff to do so, and when they asked her how she knew what was in the envelope, she admitted to opening my U.S. Mail, which WAS marked “To Be Opened By Addressee Only” and was from a State of TX agency.  In the end, she elected to back off, likely because she was told that I was perfectly within my rights to file FEDERAL mail tampering charges against her.   The upside is that I don’t have to deal with her EVER AGAIN.
In the months since I left there, I’ve been on a bunch of interviews, sent out hundreds of resumes,  sold a few pieces of jewelry (more on that in a later post), spent 8 weekends selling perfume oils again (God I love doing that!), and spent a lot of time with my cats.  I've cut about 8 inches off my hair, partially because it was time for a change, and partially because it was driving me a little crazy because it had decided to be kinda frizzy, despite it having had no chemical treatments on it, since I've been coloring with henna for more than 2 years
Tomorrow I have a 2nd interview for a position that’s not specifically in my field, but is in a related field, with a large, very stable company, with great benefits, and opportunity for advancement.