Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tic Tac Hack...Hack

As another holiday is behind us, it's time to turn my attention to THE holiday.  The one I've been looking forward to since last Christmas.  One of the things I pinned was how to reuse Tic Tac containers as travel spice containers.  (Google it...50,000 posts will come up.)  That was genius but I needed a little something extra for mine when we travel for yuletide merriment.  I use garlic powder in pretty much anything.  While I could gently shake and hope for no "half the box dumped out onto the chicken" situation or dump it in my hand and pinch it into the dish...smelling like Dracula's worst nightmare wasn't topping my to do list.  I remembered I kept the old plastic colander I had forever when I got a good stainless steel one for a gift.  Eureka!

Here's what you'll need:

Garlic powder (or other powdery spice like ground ginger, cloves, etc)
Plastic strainer (Dollar store if you don't have one)
NON-MINTY Tic Tac container  (Get orange, strawberry, fruit mix, etc.  No spearmint and the like unless you like minty freshness infused into your spices!)
Glue (optional)

Empty your Tic Tac box any way you deem appropriate.  I won't judge.

Remove the wrapper, which peels off very easily.

Pop off the lid.

Put the lid on the strainer and cut a little wider than the lid size.

Like so.

Depending on the stiffness of your strainer, you may be able to pop it inside the lid and be done!

Funnel in your spice.

I was able to get 20g in or I think about 20 servings according to the bag.  (10 servings according to me!)

If you aren't having luck with the mesh staying on it's own, you can cut some way wider than the opening and try to place the lid back in place.  Mine was too thick so it was a no go for me.

You could also put a dab of glue on the inside front and back of the lid.  It will never touch the spices.

Clamp one side down whilst it dries and be more patient with the other side because there will be nothing to clamp to so it's you bonding with your lid...hopefully not literally.

If the thought of glue skeeves you out, just run some clear tape around the edges.  Because you'll be popping it back in the container, it'll hold just fine.

Worked like a charm!

See?  But if you're a little irritated at the look of the tape and want to cover that up, no worries.

Nothing a little washi tape can't cover.  ;-)

If you're an uber nerd like me, you can head over to and make a fun little label to tape to the top so you can easily see at a glance what you're looking at.

Just trim the tape along the side of the pop up lid so it doesn't keep lifting off with every use.

Oh yeah babe...many a good meals will be made with this and a few other spices I'm bringing along!

Make sure you keep the lid free of caked on spices as you use them (especially over steam as it can cake easily).  These lids aren't necessarily air tight and you want them to close properly.  For the car ride, I'm rubber banding the lids and sticking them all in a sandwich bag as a precaution.

I don't want a spice blowout!  Then I suppose I could call it a "rub" and all would be good anyway.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Saying Goodbye

As I mentioned a little while ago, it looked like this holiday season was going to be our last with Grandma.  Since we're giving ourselves some peace for Christmas, I knew Thanksgiving was going to be the last time I saw her this holiday season.  I knew it could likely be the last time I saw her for good.

As I went into the day, baking my pies and getting things ready.  I thought back to how many times she lovingly prepared meals for her family on big holidays like this.  I am my grandma's granddaughter and I stress out as much as she did.  She was known to break out the tude while trying to get it all done in time.  As a kid, you don't understand it much but as an adult you totally empathize and appreciate what all those that came before you did to make the holiday special.

This was the first time we were seeing the set up with the bed in the living room.  It wasn't quite as intrusive as I'd pictured.  Some of the furniture was rearranged and she was in the bed and awake for once.  (Every holiday the past 2 years that I've seen her, she's been comatose from drugs)  I went over and kissed her head and said hello and rubbed her arm.  She didn't really look at me but I couldn't help but notice the extreme tremors she was having.  Her hands shook pretty violently the whole time and sometimes her legs would shake.  It was like watching a Parkinson's patient and I immediately wondered if it was Lewy Body like Robin Williams had.  I sure as heck wasn't going to bring it up.  I know my place on that front now.  Say nothing because no one wants to hear it.  I was a little alarmed to hear that she'd been basically taken off of all meds except one pill and occasionally an anxiety med.  I gave it to God.

When I went back a few minutes later, sat beside her and said hi again.  She looked my way and tried to show me this stuffed animal her sister made for her.  I touched it and told her how pretty it was and how nice it was that she made that for her.  As I sat beside her, very low under her breath I could hear her say "mmm hmm."  This is something she has said her whole life and I say it too.  It's more the way it's said, kind of like the period on the end of a sentence.  (Not like Sling Blade or something, more like the mom in Edward Scissorhands.)  Like when she was teaching me how to make noodles, she would say "just use the drippings for the gravy...mmm hmm."  To hear her saying it even low enough for only me to hear was very comforting.  There were times she would lean forward or would shake very violently like she wanted to move and I would rub her back or her arm and she would calm down and lean back in her chair.  A few times I was rubbing her back, she would scratch her ear or in that direction and I would stop in case she was trying to tell me to stop but couldn't.

Mom took a few pics of us and when she was holding up her animal a little, my mom laughed and said it's like she wants her animals picture taken and she slowly lifted it in front of her face, like "take the picture."  It was so cute.  Then it was picture time.  Since her diagnosis, none of us have taken pictures at the holidays anymore.  No one wants to remember what she was like at that time of decline.  But this year, everyone brought their camera and we all knew why.  Each family posed with her in her wheelchair and all of the girls both daughters and granddaughters posed with her.  We all knew it could be the last pictures we took with her.  It was bittersweet and honestly, I won't likely look at them often because the real story is being told in glaring detail.  All of the women putting on brave smiles as Grandma looks elsewhere, unaware of what we are doing and why the flashes keep going off.

As we were all leaving, we each took turns saying goodbye.  One of my aunts broke down when she walked away from her bed and I held her while she cried.  We said we loved each other as she told me how it killed her to see her that way and she doesn't want her to see her cry.  I said goodbye to her twice.  The second time I went over, she looked up at me and I said "me again!  I just wanted to say I love you and Merry Christmas."  She looked over at the tree and I said "see your pretty tree!  It was decorated with love just for you so you can enjoy it this year.  I love you grandma, you will never know how much I love you" and kissed her goodbye.

I thought about it being the last time I may see her and because I have mourned her loss for years (2 1/2 years since she last knew who I was), I am relatively drained emotionally due to the circumstances involving not just her disease but the other issues that have come with it.  I have come to terms with the fact that the way they chose to care for her is not how I would have done it but it has allowed the Mr and I some good talks when it comes to our own futures should we ever be faced with that.  I love my grandma with all of my heart but I want her to have peace.  Each moment is a struggle for her now with that violent shaking and when God decides to take her, I am spiritually at peace with that.  As much as I will miss the arms that held me, the smile she so rarely showed (she never liked showing her teeth for some reason- I thought they were fine!) and the voice that comforted me, there will be some relief in knowing that every minute of her life is not faced with not just what we can see outside but the things she can't tell us that are going on inside.  I saved her some of the Christmas cookies I made in a tin along with the snowball cookies she loved, I made them straight from her recipe.  I brought the platter because I wanted to make sure that she got some Christmas cookies this year even if she didn't make it to Christmas.  If it's one small way to bring her some pleasure, I'm glad I did it.

When I look at the pictures from that night, my heart breaks.  It very much reminds me of the final picture we have of our dog the day we had to put her to sleep.  She looked like a shell of herself and in pain with a blanket covering her.  Grandma looked the same...frail, sad and a shell of her former shelf.  They are pictures I'm glad to have but will not likely look at them again.  I have several very good pictures of us together of the woman she wanted me to remember and out of love and respect, that is how I will remember her forever.

I pray our family can find a way to recover because it's not just the person that suffers, it's the whole family.  I am scared of what's to come when she is gone because I see the impending self destruction of our family in many ways.  I hope I'm wrong but signs are pointing to a very trying battle that will have only begun once she's gone.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

I want YOU... share your Christmas tree/holiday decorations!

I had so much fun seeing your trees and decorations last year and several people mentioned they hoped I'd do it again this year.  Well I am!

Since I didn't have time to read much this week, I want you to take a picture of your holiday tree or decorations and send it to me either on Facebook or my contact info is in the FAQ's.  I will post them Christmas week so we can all bask in the holiday cheer together!

So take a picture of your tree all decked out or that menorah that's been passed down generations or maybe you want to show off your home all lit up at night.

Send one picture and the first name you want used with it.  Deadline is Friday, December 9th

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and if you're out doing Black Friday shopping, God speed.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat lotsa turkey, load up on your faves you truly only get once or twice a year and leave the stuff you can get any time.  If someone says something stupid, smile and say "bless your heart"  (the South's equivalent to saying "eff you" with class).

When you look around the table, be thankful for the people there because it's not guaranteed you'll have another holiday with them.  Soak them in, love them, forgive them in your heart if need be and give them a warm hug before you're on your way.

Remember Thanksgiving is every day...count your blessings every day you're alive to do so.

I count you among mine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

They go deeper???

I had a late appointment at the physical therapists office yesterday and it was like the seventh circle of hell on many levels.  I do not deal well with traffic on the freeway.  That abrupt stopping just freaks me the heck out but more to the point, I don't trust the people behind me to stop in time.  Freeways were getting shut down and when I was sitting in traffic not moving, I texted the Mr to call the PT and tell them I was in traffic but on my way.  I got there 20 minutes late.  But I guess all of her patients had called to say they would be late so luckily I didn't screw anyone else up.

I told her about my legs locking up after the addition of the new exercise but I knew this would be an adjustment period so I had to skip those the night before but did all the other ones.  She said she was fine with that and to lay down so she could take a look.  Thankfully they did feel better than the day before but I attributed that to skipping that exercise the night before.  I did do that particular exercise before I left so if I did lock up, she could unlock me.  She's feeling around and says how it feels better and I said "mmm hmm."  She laughed and said she was able to feel more and put in the first 4 needles or so.  Then she's like "so, I think I'm able to go deeper now so we can really clean out some junk in there."

*record scratch*

Uh, what I was getting was not "deeper?"  There's another level of "deep??"  She politely informed me they were not only longer but wider so I would feel them go in and they would likely be "uncomfortable" because they would be going very deep into the muscle.  She got a few good ones in there and I just breathed out my mouth before she'd stick them in.  Two of them I gasped on and she asked if I was okay and I just whimpered a bit.

I asked how long they were, in a casual manner.  She said the ones she usually uses are 2" but these are 3" and I tried not to pass out.  They are thankfully the longest I'll ever have to deal with.  About 3 minutes in, I could already feel that familiar ache...the ache I usually get about 3-4 HOURS after a treatment.  She came over to check on me and asked if they were loosening up and I told her no that they were actually feeling achy already.  She asked if I would like to hold her puppy to which I eeked out a pathetic "yes, please."

Puppies make everything better.  Fact.  Actually playing with him made the 15 minutes fly by.  I flipped over so she could needle the front as well.  Thankfully no three inch stabs there so I continued to play with the pup and tell him stories about how mommy was turning me into a shish-kebab until he had to go wee.  When she took those out, she instructed me to stretch and when I stood up, I was kind of frozen for a second.  It was not fun.  It was instant hobble for me over to the stretch board where it did at least take the edge off.

Then she put me on the anti gravity treadmill and took off 25% of my body weight.  Man that felt amazing!  She had me walk and there was a camera on my feet to show me how I was walking.  About 5 minutes in, she pointed out how I was shuffling and I needed to learn how to walk properly with a heel to toe motion and to walk so that I saw more of the bottom of my shoes.  She said it was likely a protection mechanism from the injury but I might not need it anymore.  The day before with the lock up, it wouldn't have been possible.  But I took advantage of it while I was able to and did 15 minutes on it.  It got some good blood pumping through the muscles so it didn't hurt quite as bad at the time.  Then I got my calves grastoned and there were a few adhesions I could feel.  I told her that and the DPT said that was actually a good sign because instead of the entire area being one big adhesion, it was breaking down.  I also attribute that to the ultrasound I had done so I will pass that along to the chiro next week so he keeps that up.

Then it was back into traffic in the dark...without my glasses.  Derp.  I got home and made dinner since I was so late and made it in my CLEAN kitchen which the Mr took care of without asking while I was gone.  (Poor man is still up editing.  Now he's freaking out about how close Christmas is!)  After we ate dinner, we caught up on a few work things and then went down to exercise at 9:10pm even though I'd already done about 25 minutes between the bike and treadmill.  I wasn't going to skip strength.  Then I did PT while he came up and worked some more.  He wants a Lamborghini for his efforts.  :-)  I was proud of us for not skipping.  I'm also so thankful for that vibration board.  Sometimes it's the only thing that shakes enough crap off for me to walk a bit.  We're down to crunch time now with 3 1/2 weeks left before we leave.  It will be interesting to see how this goes!

Have you ever had an unpleasant medical treatment?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Put a fork in me

Wait, Funkytown just came on.

~*~*~DANCE BREAK!~*~*~

Okay, back to the chaos that was yesterday.  I was so busy from dawn to well past dusk, I can't even remember everything I did.  Oh yeah, I wrote copy, did voiceovers (thanks so much to all the people who keep complimenting my voice!  LOL)  then I filmed grandma's butter ball recipe.  It will be the first on a playlist I will dedicate to her and all of the recipes on that playlist will have all ad revenue donated to charity at the end of every year.  I'm excited to be able to focus more on that as weeks pass.  Oh funny side note...I sent Day 7's treats into the Mr's work and one of his co-workers just raved on and on about how everything I make is so good and I should open a bakery.  He then said he just had one but had a "tingling" to get another and we both cracked up at that phrasing.  My treats make people tingle?  Sounds like a personal issue.

In between making/filming that stuff, I also baked a big arse turkey.  It always turns out so perfect.  I think I may even Food Save mom some of it.  

Topless pic

I mean does that look like the perfect bird or what?  I stuffed it with cut clementines and thyme as well.  Today I'll Food Save it and it'll be one of our Christmas week dinners and some leftovers on Sunday.  I also have to make turkey gravy today.  I worked on copy and the Mr was upstairs editing all night after our 2 mile lap around the hood.  Bless his soul.

My voodoo appointment had been moved to late afternoon which means I'll get to drive home in heinous rush hour traffic at dusk.  Aces.  Since adding the side squat thingy's, my legs have locked up every single time.  I've even used the softball for trigger point release and my shiatsu thingy but relief doesn't last long.  I know this is an adjustment period.  On the upside, my next 3 appointments were approved by insurance so that's good.  I'll be saving $30 from their cash rate.  I cringe thinking of that rolling in.  Before we leave for the holidays, I want to settle all of that if possible so we don't come back and be like "here's your $600 bill!  Happy New Year!"  (That's actually being low because it's out of network so yeah but if it goes into the new year, I get 6 covered automatically so who knows.)

If this is riddled with typos, my apologies.  No way was I going to stop the Mr's roll upstairs to proof the post and I'm in an exhaustive haze so I'm surprised I remembered to hit publish.

Do you have all of your Thanksgiving items bought?  Turkey thawed?  What do you bring/make?

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Taking a time out to make merry

(via Pinterest)
Y' has been a weekend.

Last Thursday I went to the chiro and he was happy with the progress I've made.  I told him that I would trade him baked goodies for an ultrasound since they were going to graston me the next day.  He smiled and said he'd feel around to determine if that was a good idea but I didn't need to bring goodies for treatment.  He did ultrasound me and gasped in delight when he saw I brought the goodies with me.  He declared "I'm not sharing!"  HA!

Friday I went to my PT appointment and it was pretty good.  I had her feel the legs and determine what she thought.  She said it's feeling much looser up top.  I don't know that the chiro would agree with that and I know he wants full release before he'll consider me over this and I agree.  But obviously she feels something I don't.  She did say the bottom was tight as heck though so she got to needling..,including one right where Gage cut Jud in that horrible scene from Pet Sematary .  That felt delightful.  Then I flipped over and she needled the front and then it was time to get grastoned and just as I'd told the chiro the day before that she doesn't go that deep, she really went for it.  My shins looked like I'd been whacked by that skater.  Then I got a new PT exercise to add to the mix.  A hip exercise!  (Been waiting for that)  So I squat a little then pretend I have a bowl of water on my head and move without tilting to the side.  I did that Saturday morning and by mid-day I was locked so bad nothing would really help.  It's going to suck getting through the soreness of this one.  I had to use my massagey thingy on my legs for 45 minutes before I could walk Sunday.  That was a treat.  It might have to be the norm until my legs can take it on a regular basis.  What I looked up said to expect it for 1-2 weeks.  Yay.

Despite the pain, I had work to do.  I was in the throes of the last of the treats I'm doing for the channel.  So if you remember the Twelve Days of Sweets from years past here and you're looking to get some recipes for holiday baking, make sure you head on over and subscribe.  A new treat recipe for the first 12 days of December so you can spend the second half deciding which to add to your repertoire.  I finished the last recipe yesterday but I'm far from done.  Lots of editing to do.  Thank God I don't drink or I'd be hitting the sauce for sure. The Mr and I are both burnt out.  We don't even know what we're referring to anymore and get stuff mixed up as to what's ready to go and what's still in limbo.  But I really wanted to do this push for the first holiday season and have a good variety for people.  I'm really proud of it and I've been getting some great feedback.  It's all to honor Grandma and the fun we had when I was a kid at cookie baking time.  I only wish I could get her reaction to it.  Sigh.

So in the midst of both of us on the mental edge, I declared that we would splurge by having a serving of what I made with our usual Sunday hot chocolate and watch our first Christmas movie of the season.  (We are WAY late on that, we've usually got 2-3 under our belts by this time.)  I told him due to all of his hard work, it was his choice and he chose Home Alone.  I didn't know he chose it because he had a little gift for me up his sleeve...

You bet your sweet bippy I'm going to color in it too.  I may just color in it on Christmas Day too!

We needed that time to relax and reconnect instead of continue to drive ourselves crazy.  Today I will be Mach 5 with my hair on fire (points if you got the reference) but last night we needed to breathe and not be so militant.

We got our grocery shopping done and now it's time to move on with the hectic week feeling a little more refreshed and ready to roll.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, November 18, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #46

Happy Friday all!

T minus 6 days until turkey day!  Are y'all ready?

Let's get right to...

Aldi to Go Full Organic, Bans Pesticides and Rivals Whole Foods as Healthiest Grocery Store  (Might have to check it out in the new year.  FYI- Aldi's is sister store to Trader Joe's)

9 Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets    (Hey Mr, you'll recognize one in there!)

Company Recreates Doors Of Dementia Patients’ Houses To Help Them Find Rooms And Feel At Home  (OMG, my heart.  This is a BRILLIANT idea!)

How to Clean the Grossest Spots in Your Kitchen  (I'm currently considering hiring someone to do it since it looks like a Christmas cookie bomb went off in there!)

Genius Meal Planning Ideas for a Healthy Week  (Gotta love prep day!)

The 19 Funniest Fitness Fads of All Time  (Sorry but the ThighMaster was kind of awesome)

How to Ditch Your Negative Attitude Once and for All  (Oh piss off.  Oops!  I mean...starting now.)

DIY Renovation Uses 13,000 Pennies to Create Stunning Patterned Floor  (WANT!!!- (Someone else to do it for me but still...WANT!))

20 Things To Do Instead of Wasting the Day at the Mall on Black Friday  (Mall?  Black Friday?  Does not compute.  #BeenDoneFor3Weeks)

Best Money Tips: How to Host a Thanksgiving Dinner on the Cheap  (Where is the "hide in your home with the blinds closed, eating a McRib while watching the Macy's parade" option?)

40 awesomely bad Thanksgiving food FAILS you can't help but laugh at  (Thanks SB!  I was oddly impressed by the sweet potato casserole "brulee!")

Like many of you, I'll be heading to the grocery store to grab Turkey Day schtuff.  I have a very full work weekend ahead of me with a few breaks to watch a little ball when I can.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Home for the Holiday

I think I told you all that the plan was to have Thanksgiving at Grandma's.  As of last Easter, her traveling for any kind of get together was out of the question.  Now, there is a big hospital bed in the middle of the living room and that's where she is 24/7.  I still shudder to think if any part of her is able to see and comprehend what is going on but not vocalize it, that the thought of her being in that situation would just destroy what is left of her pride.  I've tried not to think about it but now we're a week away so it's right there for me to face.

When I checked to confirm the menu and time, I was told that we would be decorating the house for Christmas after dinner.  They haven't decorated for about 10 years as it is so my suspicion is they assume this will be her last holiday season.  I don't know if it will be her last holiday at home or the last one period but given they were adamant to her husband that the decorating would be happening and to basically shut it and go with the flow tells me we're near the next stage.  Whatever that may be.

I was asked if there were any special requests and I told them they needed to make sure her special ornament she treasured was on the tree or if they didn't think she would want it out to possibly be damaged to at least show it to her.  They said I would get the honor of showing it to her and hanging it just as we'd hung it together so many times when I was a child and she'd tell me the story behind it.  If no one claims it, I want it to hang on my tree front and center when she's gone.  I used to love helping her decorate her tree and she showed me how to meticulously lay the tinsel and it's because of her that I still do tinsel on my tree.  I know it's gone out of style but I don't care, I feel connected to her when I do that and always smile when I'm draping it.

I am very aware that due to our being out of town for Christmas this year that this could potentially be the last holiday I get to spend with her.  I am heartbroken of course but I also want her to be at peace.  I felt like Christmas 2013 was the last Christmas I got any small sense of her and I knew that was going to be it.  So next Thursday, I will say goodbye to her not in spoken words of course but in my soul.  If she allows me to hug and kiss her when I leave, I know it could be for the last time.  I don't expect to make it to the car without becoming a puddle.  I have these wonderful holiday memories of the past that are like little gifts to me now when faced with the potential of the last holiday with her.  If she could understand me and I was able to tell her my final goodbye, it would go something like this...

Grandma, I cannot even begin to tell you what you have meant to me.  When someone told me over the summer that I looked like a younger version of you, it was one of the greatest compliments I've received.  You have always been beautiful, poised, had high expectations and believe in me in a way I never dared believe in myself.  You accepted things about me that I didn't share with others and supported me in a way I've never gotten before.  Even if we differed in opinion, you were always respectful of my view and never made me feel wrong.  I have regrets of time I didn't spend with you because I was spoiled with having you my whole life so I took for granted you'd always be there.  We get so wound up in our own lives and don't make enough time for those we love the most.   Time we wish we could get back if we only knew what lay ahead.  But please know, you were always in my heart.  You have always been the best parts of my childhood and my most trusted friend as an adult.  Some of my best qualities are because of things you taught me or traits you passed on.  I might look in the mirror a little more often now but not out of vanity but because when I miss your eyes looking at me, I will see them staring back at me and I will know that you are always with me.  Thank you for being my grandma, my friend and my inspiration.  I love you.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

He said, she said

Another Tuesday, another chance to feel like a voodoo doll from Spencer's Gifts.  (Remember that place?)

Don't you love how your fat balloons your legs when lying against something flat?  Jerk.

Last Friday's session left me feeling crippled for 3 days with very little relief.  My legs locked back up on me and then it was time to get poked all over again.  I did tell her I got no release and how badly my ankle was yanking upward.  I told her about how the legs do NOT like the eversion exercise.  She explained that this will be growing pain time because right now, the outside of my leg takes ALL of the brunt of my weight and strengthening the inner muscles will help me eventually balance the load.  I asked if this was wise to do when I thought the goal was to try to get them to relax.  She assured me this was part of the plan.  So I guess I'll continue with the half rotation ones but I'm straight up not going to do the seated calf raises she gave me Friday.  I can do those when the other muscles are balanced and I feel comfortable adding them in but right now those are the muscles that get overloaded and I just want some damn relief first before overwhelming that area of concern.

I haven't even told the chiro she gave me those yet.  He was a little on the horrified side to hear she gave me the eversion  and toe scrunchy exercises.  He was delicately trying to say he understands she has goals but he doesn't quite understand what they'd be since she's wanting me to work the muscles that are already overloaded.  He was quite protective over me and I am appreciative of that.  He was very adamant that I tell her if I really don't want her using the deep needles.  When I questioned that she said that was what warrants the fastest results even if it hurts like a mother.  Okay, fine.  But my insurance company is being a carton of flaming @ssholes and I've already blown through the approved number and now she has to try to get me more sessions.  I can't wait for those bills to come rolling in.  *face palm*

But poking isn't my only fun, I also get graston done and while I think it feels slightly heavenly on the back of my calves, the shins do not agree.

I thought it would break up a little more but holy God the shins are hanging on like they're paid to.  I know that process takes time and it will likely be my responsibility to continue it into the future to further break down adhesions.  Yay?

I thought it was interesting at the last chiro session when he was questioning her choice in exercises that he started rambling off exercises he thought would help.  I kind of wanted to smack him a bit and say "HOW MANY times did I ask you what I could do in between visits and got wishy washy Charlie Brown answers from you!?!"  Maybe because I'm working with a PT now that he feels like he can do that but crap man if he'd given me exercises to do in the beginning I have to wonder if I could be cured by now instead of 5 months in with more ahead of me.  I love the guy and am glad he has my best interest at heart but yeah, sometimes the vagueness (from both of them) makes me want to ram my head through a wall.

Have you ever been caught between two doctors?  Have you ever been given vague instructions by a doctor?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thanksgiving This or That

Can you believe we are officially halfway through the month??  I'm panicking y'all!  It is almost midnight and I have been buried in work so I don't have anything super exciting to report.

So how about we do a Thanksgiving fun "this or that" poll instead?

White or dark meat?

Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes?

Stuffing or dressing in your neck of the woods?

Pumpkin or apple pie?

Make your dish from scratch or buy from the store?

Football or Christmas movies on the tube?

Family- Love spending time with them, tolerate them or I purposely ask to work so I can skip it altogether.

Blow off Thanksgiving evening to shop, shop on Black Friday or Pssht, I'm done!

Looking forward to your answers and if your choice isn't listed, be sure to list it in your comment!

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Monday, November 14, 2016 rat bastard

How on Earth is it Monday again?  Oy.

Poor Monday

I had a long working weekend with no end in sight so I'm afraid that time off is going to be a luxury.  I just have to keep telling myself next month I will be in a different state ringing in my Christmas in peace.  I actually got so overwhelmed Saturday night I had a panic attack of spinning room variety.  There is no relief whether the eyes are shut or open but open is worse.  So I sat there trying to calm down and it wasn't helping.  Then I remembered something I saw on the tv show Bull about how if you count out of sequence, it confuses the brain.  You can see the star of the show Michael Weatherly talk about it here to explain it a little better.  But yeah, it totally saved me and I'm keeping that in my back pocket for the future!

I have to also give the Mr props because he is totally editing like a champ at every video I throw at him.  Right now I have a backlog of videos I have to write copy for, do voiceovers and then go through editing with him for the final cut.  I wish I could pay him a salary commiserate to the work he's been doing to make the baking channel a success for me.  Each video logs in a combined amount of 7-8 hours from me prepping, filming and then him editing, me doing copy and voice work and then editing and rendering and prepping for print and blog posts to go with it.  So basically a whole work day involved in each video.  He only complained early on when I kind of threw it at him but now he says it's almost like a relaxation video for him as he edits.  I hope he means that.  I hope to have him show me how to edit sometime but he does it so well and I feel like it puts both things we went to school for into play so it truly is a team effort.  So, thank you Mr.  You're the best!

I will say though that we had a really great moment Friday.  I needed to skip my at home PT because that woman totally killed my muscles and I was a hobbling mess.  I started up the heating pad and laid in bed and the Mr came in and I flipped on the TV real quick so the last time I turned it on wasn't the juju stuck on it.  I flipped channels and we found some blooper show on TruTV and before we knew it, two hours had passed and we were laughing and getting sucked into the next half hour show of bloopers.  It was much needed.  You know how just being in bed with your honey watching mindless tv at a time that isn't bedtime is just sometimes exactly what you need?

We had Sunday brunch and then I made another recipe and we had to take back something at Walmart.  I bought dishes for Christmas and of course they were defective.  So I had to re-order them and hope for the best.  So I get to find out Wednesday if they're going to work for us or not.  I will keep re-ordering until they get it right because I'm not giving up on them!  They carried them in store for the past 3 years and of course don't this year.  >:-(

We got in our upper body strength and PT exercises/stretches.  I got a little work done and now I'm checking in with y'all.  Can you believe next Thursday is Thanksgiving???  WTH man!?  It's going too fast!  I thought it was just Halloween?  Seems like just yesterday I was standing in the freezing rain waiting to meet George Daniel and locking up my legs!  At this rate, I'll be worm food soon.

What did you do this weekend?  I hope SOMEONE got to relax and enjoy it!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #45

Good Friday mornin' to y'all!

Let's get right to...

Exercises for a Tight, Toned, and Lifted Butt  (Can't wait to be able to do these!)

7 Overnight Oats That'll Make You Love Breakfast  (For you, Mr)

Scientists Found the Number of Extra Calories You Eat When You Don't Get Enough Sleep  (Hmm, interesting)

6 Cheap Winter Superfoods To Buy Now  (Yum!)

4 Smart Retirement Moves Couples in Their 40s Should Make Now  (Good to know)

5 Smart Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter  (It's about that time!)

Oprah Just Released Her Biggest Gift Guide Ever (There’s a $395 Dog Blanket)  (Um yeah because I'm going to let a dog lay on a $400 blanket...nope.)

Watch: The 1975 perform 'Somebody Else’ and 'A Change Of Heart' live for Seth Meyers  (My favorite performance yet because Somebody Else is VERY George (drummer) laden so I can drool properly)

23 Super Helpful Charts To Make Thanksgiving Dinner Less Stressful  (Because we could all use a little less stress come holiday time!)

No real plans for the weekend.  If my legs unlock, I will bake/film.  If not, I might have to wave the white flag on my 12 Days of Treats plan.  Sigh.  Apparently they did not care for my filming taters yesterday even though it felt okay at the time.  At least I had two good days without excessive rolling involved.

What are you guys into this weekend?

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Christmas music and southern comfort

Well, I couldn't hold out...I've got Christmas music on.  I like to ease into it with HO: A Dan Band Xmas album because it's just so ridiculous and raunchy.  (Any Christmas song that uses the word punani is going to become a Christmas classic in our home.)  Actually I put that on as our PT music last night and we giggled and laughed through the whole thing so it made it go quicker.

I will try to go in small doses though because I don't want to burn out by the time the holiday actually rolls around.  I had plans to film a recipe yesterday but I had no natural light due to the black clouds that hung low all day despite calling for sun.  So now I get to try today but with a chiro appointment at the time of optimum light.  *grumble*  I will be interested to see if the muscles stay looser today because they did a pretty good job of it yesterday.  There were times I got tight but then I would sit with my legs on the vibration board and it seemed to be enough to shake things loose a bit.  I think I found the trick to making the booty work more efficiently for me on the clam shell.  After I lift the knee, I make sure to relax it on the hold and tense the butt cheek and that seems to help.  I guess it's all trial and error.

I also did my first full day of PT with all 4 exercises.  Luckily I can do the two new stabilization exercises while sitting and working so it won't have to be added onto what already feels like that tipping point on the other two exercises.  I pray she doesn't give me more exercises tomorrow.  I don't want to overload things.  But when we walked around the neighborhood last night, I did feel like the right muscles were firing after figuring out that when I pronated outward is when my outer muscle wanted to lock out.  So I corrected and made sure I walked in the middle of my feet until I can work up to it on my new insoles that arrived yesterday.  Before I would just put them in and walk in them like normal and if things hurt, they hurt.  She told me to wear them for 20 minutes the first day to see how I do, which I did last night while making dinner.  Then today I can increase to 40 minutes to see how I do and so on.  She said don't get to the point where things hurt and to always keep the old insoles with me to be able to trade out if need be until I'm used to them.  She said "I can tell I'm going to have to watch you because you're one of those people that will be tempted to do extra sets/reps thinking it'll speed up the process."  I laughed because that's totally how I think, especially after all this time.

Then I finally got to satisfy my craving for some southern comfort...

Some shrimp and pepper jack cheese grits make everything better.  The rare times we do have it, I always feel like I'm back at Vic's on the River in Savannah.  That was the first time I ever had Shrimp and Grits and the Mr says mine taste just like theirs.  I'd say I'm pretty close!  Man I miss that place.

When do you usually start listening to Christmas music?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My at home PT schedule

Well I'm about 4 days into my at home therapy exercises.  To recap, I have no ass muscles.  Oh don't get me wrong, I do Sir Mix A Lot proud but as far as anything resembling strength there...zilch.  Oh and my inner leg muscles and the front of my legs...basically dead inside as well.  *kicks pebble*

Last Friday I got my first two at home PT exercises to do.


This is the only pic I could find that shows the way my PT told me to do it.  She emphasized that my elbow needs to remain flat on the ground and if I roll back or lift it off the ground, the positioning takes away from the effectiveness of it.  I am supposed to try to isolate the butt cheek I'm lifting at the time without using my leg muscles to try to cheat me.  Believe me when I tell you that is WAY harder than it sounds.  So I lift the knee, hold it for 3 seconds then lower and that's one rep.  I have to do 15 reps per side, three rounds, twice a day.  For those keeping count, that's 90 clamshells on each leg per day.

Gastrocnemius Stretch (aka Calf Stretch)
I used to do these every morning and evening as I brushed my teeth and I haven't been able to do them for 4 months.  I cannot tell you how bad I miss them because I know the relief I would get being able to do that.  When she assigned this stretch to me, I was terrified.  I can stretch the right foot this way but the left foot has like half dorsi-flexion meaning when I try to pull my toes upward, whatever the heck is going on in my ankle yanks like this scene (seriously, don't watch this if you are squeamish) from Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors.  The thought of doing this 6x a day at a minute each made me so nervous.  So I have to gently put my left foot on the board and lightly put the heel down until I feel the "yank" and back off slightly.  3x per side at a one minute hold twice per day.  If When I'm able to do this the way I can do my right side, I will absolutely break down and cry.

Yesterday, she gave me two new ones to add to the mix.

Arch Raises

This is a stability exercise.  I am to sit in a chair and slightly scrunch my toes to raise the arch but making sure to keep the ball of my feet on the ground.  I have to hold it for 10 seconds.  So I do 15 of these per leg in each set, hold for 10 seconds and do 3 rounds.  So yeah, that's 90 of those as well per day.  I have to watch it though because my arch has been cramping on me and I've had to graston my arch to try to dig out the adhesion and it does feel better after I do that.  She mentioned she could dry needle it for me but it's like "woman, I need to be able to walk, yo!"  So I might go that route if digging at it warrants me nothing.  But in the meantime this should strengthen my arch to help provide stability as I walk.

Ankle Eversion

I have to do this sitting with either a towel, a sock on or I used a paper plate so the surface would slide easier.  The ankle is turning outward as far as possible while keeping the foot on the floor.  I think I do this one 15x for 3 sets twice a day.  She said it will engage my inner leg muscles which are seriously lacking and these too will help build stability as I walk.  I can already feel both of these in the front of my ankle and that is an area that has always needed strengthening despite the fact my left ankle can lock out mobility wise.

I won't lie, this process is tedious and the Mr (who is doing PT with me voluntarily) and I already groan when it's time to do it.  We do it in the morning and then again after our workouts when the muscles are warmed up.  I also make sure I use the vibration board before I do it to loosen stuff up and again when I'm done to help aid lactic acid removal, heal the injury and recover quicker from workouts.  I do feel like that helps to a degree so I'm glad we got it.  I'm hoping that like regular muscles that we will eventually be able to drop back to maybe 3-4x per week once the butt and legs are strong.  I mean if I have to do this for life, I guess I will but like anything, you know how it is when you feel better, you feel "normal" and stop doing those exercises that got you to "better" in the first place.  I know that isn't an option if I want to get and stay well.

It's the beginning of a new path in my healing and despite feeling like a voodoo doll after every session and the hard work I'm going to have to put in, I have to believe this is going to be better in the long run.  I just have to be patient despite not having much left after the long journey I've already been on.

What physical therapy exercise have you ever done?  Do you continue to do them?

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"Thanks past self!"

We hear that so often in weight loss circles, don't we?  It typically refers to drinking more water (crap, I need to grab my bottle) or changing your portion size or the type of food you're eating.  Maybe it refers to just getting off the couch and getting a walk in today and maybe you'll be motivated to do it again tomorrow.  All of these are great points and one that we should remember going forward in our own journeys to whatever our goals are.

But this saying also applies in pretty much every aspect of life.  It's a motto I've been trying to apply more in the past few weeks.

For example, Sunday mornings, the Mr loves this banana coconut smoothie I make with brunch.  I like it too but it's a pain in the butt to throw together when you just want to get cooking.  I have to pre-measure the PB2, the protein powder, the unsweetened cocoa, weigh the banana and chop it up, measure the coconut water...blah blah blah.  It's just tedious to do when all I want to do is just blend and go.  So last Sunday when I was making it for us that morning, I went ahead and pre-measured the powder ingredients and cut and bagged the frozen bananas so all I really have to do is dump, weigh the coconut water, slap in the yogurt and blend.  I smiled and said "next Sunday's self is gonna love today's self!"  Maybe next Saturday, I'll get ambitious and make it Saturday night and have it waiting for us Sunday morning.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves!  ;-)

Sunday night I also went ahead and ironed my outfits for physical therapy.  There's nothing worse than having to iron on the spot when you're already feeling rushed so I wanted to give myself that one up for those 3 days this week so I don't have to worry about it.

Even this post is being typed up at 9:45am Monday morning instead of being rushed after dinner when I'm frantic and wondering what the heck to talk about.  Now I can go forward into my Monday knowing I have one more thing crossed off the list for the day!  This week is going to be incredibly busy and anything I can do to make it easier on my future self is going to make things run that much smoother.  Given I'm the ultimate procrastinator, this is a big step.  I hope to keep it up and reap the benefits going forward!

What things do you do (or want to start doing) that your future self thanks you for?

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend recap

Happy Monday all!

The weekend was pretty low key for us.  After the adventure of the previous weekend, I was in need of some down time where long term standing was concerned.  We went out to lunch Saturday and I said it was probably time to just hunker down and get ALL of the grocery shopping done in one day so we could have Sunday to do what we wanted to do and not what we needed to do.  We hit up Trader Joe's midday which is always a treat.  {dripping with sarcasm}  Because I don't like to do a yogurt refuel from them every weekend, we just bought what looks like an obscene amount of yogurt that only a yogurt commercial compares in quantity.  I hate that they redid the flow of the place again.  Now all the veggies are as soon as you walk in and because that's what a lot of people are there for, people just stand there and looky loo like they're never seen cauliflower before.  Outta the way doofs!

We ran a few errands and then headed back home and watched some DVR'd football the rest of the night before I conked out on the couch.

The next morning we woke up and I did some food prep while the Mr got the laundry going.  He was anxiously awaiting brunch.

French Toast (made with 35 cal bread), 2 eggs and 40% less fat/nitrate free bacon

We headed to Kohl's because they had a good $10 off coupon and you can earn Kohl's cash too so we picked up a mattress topper for the Christmas rental because without fail, rentals always kill my back.  I want a little cush and my blow up one just doesn't seem to be doing the job lately since it's noisy when I roll over.  Even if we only use it for the week because we can't cram it back in the bag, I think it'll be worth it.  We got a good price on it with the $10 off so I'll take it.

We, of course, ended up needing to run back to the grocery for a few items we forgot but nothing major.  Then it was time to head home and get in our strength workout.  When it was over, we were good and hungry and needed some protein.

Bacon wrapped BBQ pork chop and butternut squash risotto

Then we just got a few things done around the house before chillin' the rest of the night.  We did watch Scream Friday and I might want to watch another Halloween type flick soon since I feel somehow we missed out on doing that this year.  I'm not quite ready for Christmas specials yet.  I know...take my temperature!

What did you guys do this weekend?

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