Friday, June 29, 2012

TGIF, or how I learned to distract myself at work

Here I was, thinking, “On Friday, I won’t do a link post! I’ll have some original content instead,” but here I am, and it’s Friday, and I’ve got some more links to share.

  • If you’re drinking beer already, this is a cool idea for a cheap gift or first set of glasses for an apartment or home. I know I would love to receive a set, especially if they were a seasonal (preferably Autumnal) set! There’s another method for cutting the bottles, using string, nail polish remover, and fire. If I ever try either method, I’ll let you know what’s easier, but I can tell you right now, fire is appealing.
  • Young girl, old life – I love this blog! A young woman in the midwest is living off the grid, including building her own structures, keeping her own chickens, and foraging for food! Part of me thinks this kind of life would be a really wonderful thing to invest myself in, but I have many ties to urban life, and there are a lot of things that I just don’t want to give up. That doesn’t mean that I can’t blend the two a bit and spend more time learning how to survive in nature and be more resourceful with what the Earth provides.
  • ‘Health halo’ effect – A quick video, which is I believe an excerpt from The Men Who Made Us Fat, a documentary currently airing on BBC. I’ve defintely seen this effect in practice in my every day life, both from my own shopping experiences and being told something is “healthy!” because of the packaging or touted ingredients (like soy). I even heard a girl in Sally’s Beauty Supply claim that a bleach product MUST be good for her hair because it has soy protein in it! (Note: It probably actually is good, since protein helps repair/protect hair during the bleaching process, but it was funny because soy != healthy.)

 

My weekend plans, weather providing, include finishing up a side table project, doing laundry at Boyfriend’s parents’ house, and relaxing. It was great to get up to Maine last weekend, but I’m ready to just do whatever I feel like around town. The only money I know I need to spend is for more butter!Before

I could see there were some designs under this disgusting finish and was determined to reveal them. We used a gentle stripping solution and scraped it away after letting it sit for a little while.

After/during

What are those, flowers?! I had no idea there was a design in the center! The table is slightly lighter than this picture shows, but I think I’m done with it. I don’t want to risk scraping up the paint in the center by stripping it more (already have a little, in some spots), even though it’s still kind of icky. I’ll cover it with some polyurethane, let it dry, and consider stripping the legs (which also have some paint on them) later. I wonder how old it is! The painting was done by hand, not stencil, so I’m guessing it could be 1950’s or earlier.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

W(h)ippin’ Wednesday–aka. how many alliterations can I come up with for a mid-week link post

  • Adding dirt to our diets – Yeah, I’m not overly concerned about cleanliness. You won’t find me using any hand sanitizer unless I encounter someone with the flu.
  • And a paleo dude’s thoughts on dirt exposure
  • Police attempt to detain many for openly carrying a weapon (video) – This is definitely a controversial topic, but what I love about this video is how calm the man remains in the face of a (what I would describe as) confused police officer. The officer is just trying to do his job, even if he doesn’t quite get it right, and the man is being polite and calm throughout the whole encounter. I wonder what happened btwn the officer and his supervisor after. I also hope the uploader doesn’t get in trouble for taping this as I don’t think he said it was being taped.

Not much has changed in the world of me, lately. Still stressing about what to do with the little money I’ve been saving (really, it must go towards filling our oil tank for the winter!) and how I can save more. I know some people pop over here from MarksDailyApple.com, so I may do a blog post detailing how I manage Primal eating for as cheap as possible. Prices may vary depending on location of course. In the Greater Boston Area, we pay more than some for groceries, but not as much as inner-city folks do. For that, I am grateful!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quick weekend away: Maine

This past weekend, Boyfriend and I headed up to Maine to visit my sweet little Babushka. We took her around on errands (groceries and checking out recliners) and got to make her dinner (chicken with roasted potatoes, and a salad), as well as get inundated with numerous stories about anything and everything (an ember pin made into a pendant for my birthday gift).

Baba is a master at planting

I love spending the weekend at Baba’s. It reminds me of being a kid and heading up with my parents every now and then, especially over summer vacation and for holidays. I love being in that house, knowing the planning and work that went into building it as well as the work my grandparents had to put in to be able to afford to buy their own land and build their own home. I miss the post-shopping fashion shows my sister and I would put on after we picked out some back-to-school clothes. Apparently, now I make do with trying on some of my dad’s old clothes…

My dad went to science camp? Go figure

We also got to do some relaxing, by heading to Popham Beach on Sunday morning. Boyfriend and I got there early enough to beat the lunch crowd at Percy’s and took off down the beach at a leisurely pace, even slipping into the water for a little while. We walked the full length, basically, which means we ended up going a total of over 5 miles! My legs are surprisingly not sore (well, they are sore, but not as sore as they were walking barefoot for 2 miles on pavement) after all that walking, on sand. Nothing can really prepare you for that…except for frequent walking on sand. I still love the idea of retiring to Maine someday, but I think I’d have to become much less delicious first: the bugs are crazy up there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: aka. title failure

  • No charge for Texas dad who killed daughter’s rapist - As one commenter states, that man shows real strength in character. Beating his daughter’s attacker may have been intentional, but the death was not. +1 for Texan law.
  • Turtles fossilised in sex embrace – You know, I have wondered if they ever found fossils in such a state. Apparently, yes! Nature: you are cool.
  • Handling PMS as a Paleo chick – (hopefully that title is clear enough that some dudes may not be interested in the article) I love this lady’s posts anyway, but this one really hit home for me. My low-carb paleo months (February and March this year) were the BEST cycles I’ve ever had. THE BEST. Things have gone rather downhill from there and I’ve been battling with PMS just like millions of other women do. I sucks, but it’s helpful to know a) other women feel like I do b) it’s totally manageable on a mental level, even if my hormones are out of whack. How would Grokette have managed, I wonder? Hormone lie #2 struck home for me, I have been fighting off mental and literal cookies a lot this month.
  • Crossfit Shoes – I don’t need them for Crossfit, but I am struggling with the same quandry: WHAT SHOES TO BUY. You know, if I end up using b.day money for shoes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Responsibility…with gifts?

Another birthday here, nothing significant about 24 except in a metric system, I suppose. And of course, today is not any different than any other: I am struggling with money!

Getting gift cards makes receiving gifts mildly easier to manage. TJ Maxx doesn’t really have things that we could really use (because let’s face it, if we needed it, we’d have gotten it by now) for the apartment, so I will use it for clothes for myself. They will likely be practical, functional for work and play, but I will enjoy them nonetheless. Amazon is a bit trickier, since there is so much STUFF there. I am having a hard time telling myself we don’t NEED a high-sided cat litter box, though it would be nice to have, since Fae likes to fling the litter everywhere. It’s gift money and so I should use it for something nice for me…right? There are some self-improvement kind of books I’ve been looking at (and some supplements), but even that seems wrong with a birthday gift card.

But checks. Checks are the worst. “Responsibly” I could put it towards a loan, or just hang onto it in case of an emergency. But I am not bankrupt, I am not completely out of dough, and I’m paying off my loans on-time, if not faster than I hoped to. I actually do have some savings at the moment. So is it so terrible if I spend this gift money? Not at all, but I am having a hard time convincing myself of that!

Things I’d like to buy, totally for fun, with my birthday money:

I’m sure I’ll ultimately end up posting whether or not I buy anything fun, and if so, what I get, but you’ll have to wait to find out.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Don’t be afraid to feel.

Today I feel anxious and depressed. I feel more anxious than I have in quite some time, in fact. That is bothering me and getting in the way of my day worse than any depression. There are other things I’ve noticed that are “off” too: I’m not typing well (and I do a lot of that so it’s very noticeable to me when I am typing the wrong word or leaving out letters every few words), there is an involuntary twitch in my face, I’m having terrible cramps (of the womanly sort, this is also unusual for me), and I have a strong feeling of needing to escape from something.

Bravo to MPs who admit their struggles with depression: the disease is awful enough without the stigma

As much as I struggle regularly with how to manage my anxiety/depression and function in a workplace, this article reminded me that it’s okay than I’m not okay. I do not think I could go to my supervisor and tell him, without crying, “I am feeling really poorly today and I need to leave work,” making it clear that this is entirely a mental thing. There is a stigma: you are broken and that’s not acceptable. To leave work for feeling is not acceptable. I don’t think I can accurately express with any words how angry it makes me that our society (Western society, perhaps, fill in the blank here) discourages people from expressing their feelings and encourages vapid forms of entertainment instead (thinking of Lifetime original films and programs and books like Twilight, specifically).

So today, I’m not happy, I’m not feeling okay, and I want to go home. Reminding myself that I don’t have to be perfect, as silly as that sounds, helps a little. I imagine a walk out in the sunshine will help too.

Monday, June 11, 2012

On adrenaline, drowning, and pride.

I spent a fair amount of time considering how to craft this post. There are a lot of important points that I feel could be taken from the experience I’m writing about, and I wanted to make sure I (briefly) touched on them all. I hope that time is well reflected in the quality of my words!

Yesterday, I (kind of) saved a child from drowning.

Did that catch your interest?

Friday, June 08, 2012

Links for a Friday

In other news, my budgeting is super on track so far this month. Sometimes a bit of a financial crisis is all you really need to keep your money stashed away instead of splurging on a new dress or pair of shoes (my recent temptations). I tend to respond well to “kick in the pants” kind of situations, finding that my motivation has been there all along, I just needed the urgency to realize it. One of these days, I’ll manage this without the crisis.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A history of fitness

I have no idea how my experience of being physically active relates with others of my age/gender/general location, but I’ve always assumed that I was much lazier than others.

The home videos will show that I was a fairly active little girl, running around the yard with my sister and jumping into mud puddles (aka. the garden off the front porch). I took ballet for a number of years, until my sister quit. I picked up the malaise from other girls in my physical education classes and followed suit with general detachment and lack of effort. Not that I feel like those classes would have been enough to really “make me active” anyway. I tried soccer for two seasons in middle school, but by that time I was so used to being inactive, I lacked the coordination to run well or pass accurately to other players. I was very self-conscious of how behind I was in comparison to the other girls, who had been playing for at least 5 years if not longer.

I think the first time that I realized that I was not in any kind of shape was around the age of 14, when I was at Church Camp. I attended a camp for Orthodox Christian children (ranging from 9-17 years old) from the ages of 11-14, along with my older sister. We had some friends there already and made new ones easily. My sister met her first serious boyfriend there, I had my first long-lost crush. My first year there, I was convinced I would like to be a CIT when I was too old to be a camper. By the time I attended my last year there, I was regretting being there anymore as I no longer considered myself a Christian or attended church with any regularity. It was an awkward session, given my faith issues as well as budding interest in the opposite sex. I believe I began to experience depression at that time, as well, which lasted for several years throughout high school.

Every morning, we were given a list of activities and classes we could sign up for in the afternoon. Mornings were set aside for classes with our cabin and “brother cabin” (male occupied cabin of the same age), but afternoons could be with anyone from the camp. Some activities, like getting to the pool, were highly sought after. Others, like running the track, were not. One day, I signed up for track. I didn’t know anyone who had signed up, so I mostly ran alone. I recall the burning feeling in my face as I puffed my way around the track. The whole session was maybe an hour long, but I don’t think I jogged/walked for longer than 30 minutes. I felt weak, I felt uncoordinated, and I got a wicked sunburn. I did not have a sense of accomplishment for making myself suffer for those 30 minutes and was still worn out the next day.

After that, with my blossoming self-esteem issues, I never felt comfortable trying to exert myself and build the strength and coordination required for fitness. I took a couple years of dance in high school and enjoyed the practice, but without a dedicated foundation of fitness related activities or dance in particular up until that point, I felt that the class was too advanced and did not have enough individual attention to help me progress.

Since graduating from college in 2010, I’ve been determined to get into shape. My longer term goals are to be able to run/job a mile without stopping. I’d like to be able to do at least one pull-up. I want to be fit enough that I can do somewhat out of the ordinary activities, like go hiking for a weekend, and not have to quit part of the way in because I’m exhausted or winded or sore. I really just want to be functional. My efforts have been sporadic, but starting with a lifetime (albeit a short one so far) of inactivity, I think it’s pretty good.

Current fitness markers:

  • 60 kettlebell swings consecutively, 15 lbs - started at 40
  • 4 overhead presses consecutively, on each side, 15 lb kettlebell – started at 1
  • 15 seconds in plank position – started at 7
  • I don’t run hardly ever so I can’t say how long/far I can run, but I kicked the soccer ball around with Boyfriend for a good 30 min a few weekends ago before I my allergies made me stop!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Because.

Today was my 8th personal anniversary. Well, I count yesterday and today, since the overdose was late in the night. And it was the first time that I didn’t forget and/or feel pretty good on that day. It was disappointing, but I had a cathartic therapy session today and having a friendly chat with a co-worker helped.

I guess I am writing this post because I don’t really talk to people about feeling depressed and I think that should change.

I have been very stressed out for the past few months and really not managing it well. I just thought… people should know. This isn’t really a cry for help, I’ve been at this low point too many times to really bother with that anymore. I just want to take a step towards talking to people instead of just writing it out, here and in an online journal, so I can try to learn from this.

And here, because I love this band and song.