Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Slacker--that's me.  I've got laundry that I shoved in the closet instead of putting away, furniture we got for free that I'm not sure where we should put.  I'm sure there is more laundry to wash, and of course there is the kitty warfare.  What is kitty warfare you might ask? It is our oldest cat deciding, when we don't feed him his wet food frequently enough (or the exact type he likes) to gorge himself on the dry food that is out for them, and then vomit.  Not vomit on the lovely hardwood that is easy to clean up, no he saved that for his hairball this morning. I found that by stepping in it.  Nope...he saves his really good staining puke for our white carpets.  I want to strangle him.  I won't, no worries but I will think about it.  Frequently.
Why am I a slacker? Well, obviously I'm a lazy schmuck but this week I have a little extra reason for my slackertude. It is a little 3 month old girl that I'm watching this week while her mom attends a conference down the road.  Yesterday...frankly sucked.  Her schedule was confused and then she would wake herself up whenever she fell asleep and scream and then just randomly fall back asleep.  Eventually she fell asleep and had a good nap.  Let me explain this 'nap' though.  She wanted to be held while she slept.  I get it, I'm warm, have boobs and am generally squishy. The thing is though, that I can't hold a baby for two hours, after not sleeping well without also wanting to take a nap, and in the position I was in, that wasn't happening.  I slowly over the period of an hour, moved her down and flipped her over until she was just laying next to me so that I didn't have to lean my head sideways and shove a towel between my head and neck as a pillow. I didn't realize that I was such a contortionist.
So this week there is laundry to do, a house to clean and chores that should be done but for now I've got a baby to make smile.
Upcoming: I'm going to Baha'i summer school and I can't wait!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Yesterday was my two year wedding anniversary.  We call it 'paper signing' day since all we ended up doing was going to the courthouse with a couple of friends (which, since I didn't invite family my mother will never let me live down). It doesn't make our wedding, or marriage any less valid, but in typical Eileen style, I had to deviate from the norm.  One day we will have a 'real' wedding, hopefully at sea, hopefully when I'm about 100lbs lighter and would look mad hot in an inappropriately white (or off-white) dress.  Since we are already 'married' we get to set all the rules.

So...onto the celebrations! Last night we got dinner at Sushi Sono, which I feel a need to review. It was recommended by one of my ladies over at Happy Housewives and since we both like sushi I thought it would be perfect.  Note about me--I hate fish...but I like sushi.  I eat the vegetarian stuff, or a California roll. I occasionally get adventurous and eat some shrimp sashimi, but even that can get too 'fishy' for me.  No need to recommend things fishy that you think I'll love, I'm pretty sure at this point in my existence, my hatred of fish is pathological.

Sushi Sono is located in Columbia, MD at 10215 Wincopin Cr overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi, which you can see from every window, making the view very nice.  We arrived around 6pm, and were immediately seated. The place was around 1/2- 3/4's full with 1/2 of the seats at the sushi bar taken, but most tables occupied.  I love the decorations.  Lots of beautiful rice paper walls and lamps, along with authentic swords above my head.  My husband commented on liking that the sushi chefs were actually older (if 50's is older) genetlemen vs. guys in their 20's.  The hostess, a Japanese woman, was hilarious.  I made a comment about wanting to sit at a table instead of the bar so we could be silly, and she commented that "we could sit at a table and be as silly as we wanted!" then she proceeded to sit us near the front door where she could hear us.  We were pretty tame though.

After we sat down a waitress brought us a hot towel to wash our...I washed my hands with it (and assumed that was what it was for).  My husband who has actually BEEN to Japan told me that they were actually for your face.  Let's just say, I was wearing masacara, and it wasn't happening.  Hubby ordered hot tea, and 6 peices of ala carte sushi and a California roll. I ordered a cucumber roll, California roll, edemame and some teriaki chicken.  So...I thought my husband had ordered a lot more food than he had.  I was wrong and it ended up looking like I ordered half the menu.  I also assumed we would share the edemame, but I only managed to get him to eat one pod's worth.  Oh well, more for me.

His assessment: The food wasn't as good as our old standby in VA (Jasmine Garden ).  The decorations however, were beautiful.

My assessment:  My rolls were good, but the rice had a little too much vinegar in it, and my cucumber roll was 'de-rolling' before I could even get it in my mouth.  My teriaki chicken was bland and basically uneventful. I didn't even take my leftovers home.  I loved the edemame, but it also wasn't anything specical.

One weird thing: until it started getting really busy the waitresses were unnaturally hovering around us attempting to give us advice (since white people don't know sushi?) and just generally staring.  I think they were flirting with my husband, since they mostly ignored me.

For $60, it was overpriced and the food wasn't that great.  It was a fun experience though, and I enjoyed the service and atmosphere. My water glass also never got more than a sip out of it before someone came rushing over to re-fill it.  I drank a lot of water.

After dinner we went to the see Green Lantern.  I'm not sure why it would get bad reviews.  My husband seemed to think that it stayed pretty true to the comic books he was raised on, it was funny and there was quite a bit of good action.  Overall, I liked it. I still have issues seeing Ryan Reynolds in something other than "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place," but I might be the only person that actually watched that show.

My anniversary was wonderful, and sharing the cherry coke at the movies was a good call on my part, since I slept like an overtired baby.

Message to my hubby: Thank you for putting up with all of my insanity, neuroses and still loving me more everyday.  I love you more than words can discribe and you have made my life so incredibly wonderful these last few years.  I will be schmucky in love with you as long as we are both still living (which means you better not die anytime soon)!  May we have a long and happy marriage with many schnugs and kitty loves. And just cause I haven't said it in awhile,  you cried first at our wedding;).  I love you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Medical Mayhem update

I've been waiting to write this, as I've been waiting for things to actual come to a conclusion.  Sadly, nothing seems to be as clear cut as I wish it could be.  

I'm not wed to the diagnoses of bipolar disorder being my issue.  While I'm not against admitting and facing my issues, the more I research the less I think it is me.  I am currently not taking any medicine and am waiting for an appointment with another psychiatrist.  What is with the good doctors not accepting insurance? I'm praying that we'll be reimbursed by our insurance to somehow offset some of the 300 plus cost of just the intake visit. This doctor comes highly recommended, which means enough to me to shell out the big bucks. So first issue not resolved! While I'm not taking any medicine, my 'moods' haven't been too bad as long as I eat every few hours and never allow myself to get super hungry.  I've been having issues getting motivated to leave the house, I haven't gone too far into a depression.  
I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), I don't have many of the classic symptoms (thank god!).  These can include hair loss, thinning, excessive facial hair, acne or patches of dark skin.  I do however have irregular periods, fatigue, weight issues and a blood test confirmed.  I was hoping, praying that I would go into the ob-gyn and they would prescribe me the metformin then and there.  No go. Instead, she told me to go to an endocrinologist. Wow, helpful to have drive all the way over here after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment to tell me I need to get an appointment with someone else.  The next appointment that I can get, is in August. I made an appointment with my primary care physician in two weeks hoping they'd start me on the meds before August.

Another treatment for the symptoms of PCOS is birth control pills. I'm sort of mad that I'm now taking birth control pills when, what I want, is to have a baby. Yes, it is counter intuitive! She really wants, however, to see how much of my depression is actually hormonal.  So, she also put me on prenatal vitamins. 

May I go on a short rant about prescription prenatals? I'm pretty sure they are giving me awful headaches.  Plus, I can't find any list of what is in these pills online. WTF--if they were sold over the counter, it would be required to list what, and how much minerals and vitamins were contained.  The only plus--the over the counter ones are a hell of a lot cheaper (with my co-pay) than they would be over the counter.  I'm going to see if the headaches continue, and if they do, switch to another pill.

I have continued with acupuncture and, at least, my back hasn't been bothering me.  Does it work?  I'm STILL not sure!  I feel pretty good, so I'm going to continue it.  I will however determine that no one will EVER be allowed to stick needles in the back of my hands.  It was really painful, to the point that I had to take a needle out after she left the room.  Most times I don't even feel the needles, but this time it hurt like hell on both sides.  The needle in the middle of my forehead didn't hurt, nor did the one on the top of my head, or my feet.  Once again--anyone have acupuncture stories? 

So days have been really bad, but so far this week has been pretty good.  I am struggling with my weight, energy levels and moods but since I started eating every couple of hours, I haven't gotten in a single fight with my husband.  Cheers!  

Tomorrow is our anniversary. While it is really the anniversary of the day we got married, two years ago, we refer to it as the "paper signing day" because we eloped.  It has been an amazing two years and I can't imagine my life (at least not happily) without my hubby.  Thank you my love.  
On 'Paper Signing Day' waiting before the ceremony

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friends and Flowers make me happy!! A day in pictures

I have met some wonderful friends, who know when I'm having a bad day and invite me over to try cake recipes.  Thanks Kristen, a day of cooking, chatting and playing with the puppy was wonderful!

mimosa tree. Sadly it doesn't give out free drinks, but it is cool looking

Lemon cake--I can post the recipe later.  Quite yummy!

wonderful wildflowers

Mr. Tucker was all tuckered out after practicing yoga with us,
and making me throw his toys all day. I love the puppy!

Pasta Salad

I love a good cold pasta salad but don't remember ever really having it while growing up except at parties.  I had some delicious salad at my friend Benita's baby shower recently and had to make it myself, so using her recipe and some experimentation, I made this delicious salad that fed me for a couple of days. This salad is delicious and the most flexible thing ever. You can add whatever you like, and change anything about it.  I think it might be my new favorite food.

1 box of the tri-colored rotini
Italian dressing (I used zesty because I had it on hand)
1/2 shallot
lots of veggies chopped up.  I used, baby tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots but you can add ANYTHING!
Cheese, if you are so inclined
Cook the pasta, drain and run some cold water over it to take it back to room temperature.  Then put it in a bowl. Squirt some dressing on it.  Even a half of a bottle was far too much, so I ended up having to use a slotted spoon to pull out the pasta and leave lots of dressing behind.  I suggest using a squirt, stir, taste and repeat until happy. Less dressing = less calories, so I wasn't complaining about only having to use a little bit.  Toss in the veggies, toss and enjoy.  It really is that easy.

Why haven't I made this before?  As a lunch, I mixed in a shredded chicken breast. It was fantastic.  Enjoy some pictures :)

So beautiful and colorful!

When that's all done, you can add some cheese. I used feta and a shake of parm.
Not as pretty with cheese, but extra yummy!

I hope you enjoy! I have lots of pictures for an entry this weekend. Tomorrow we plan on blueberry picking and I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back Porch Gardening

I always wanted a garden.  My grandmother's were wonderful gardeners, creating these beautiful oases for both beauty and consumption.  I spent many summers with my materal grandmother picking peas and beans and carrying gallons upon gallons of water to her many gardens.  Many of my childhood memories involve planting tulips with my mom everywhere we lived. One of the memories I have of my paternal grandmother is planting snow drops bulbs around the perimeter of the house that we lived in.  I know spring is in the air and her spirit is with me whenever I see those bulbs poking their little green sprouts through the barren ground, ready to burst through with their spring like optimism.  

Flowers make me happy, but the idea of growing food is an almost primal instinct.  I've always loved the idea of picking and preparing something that I helped nurture and grow.  Last year's garden in WV was a bit of a flop, so I worked a little harder this year and invested in the help of my awesome green thumbed friend Kristen.  We headed off to Lowe's to buy organic soil, top soil and organic seeds along with some plants that were already started.  I chose things I thought my husband would eat (lettuce, peppers, tomatoes) instead of the beans and peas I grew up with. Still yummy, and still the most amazing shades of green.  Since I have a porch, my ability to plant was limited by my desire to spend money on pots that weren't donated by Kristen.  I bought a couple of extra pots and we filled them all.  A couple of months later, here are some pictures of the delicious beauty that has grown on my back porch.  
My lettuce
My spinach didn't come up (too hot) so I just planted more lettuce!


My basil has the most beautiful leaves!
the little stuff on the side is cilantro!
Tomato (had first one last night!)

Second tomato plant--this type seems to grow like a tear drop which I was attempting to capture!
All the rain that we have gotten has really helped my garden, and I can't wait to see how it grows and developed through the summer.  The lettuce grew really REALLY  quickly, especially when kept in the shade with loads of water.  Last night we had our first pesto from the garden and my husband is eating it with penne and broccoli today. It was all delicious!

Do you garden?  What are you growing? 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No more fear!

A couple of weeks ago at the psychiatrist I faced my fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and doing new things alone.  In doing this I somehow I made myself conscious of what I was doing to myself and the opportunities that I was missing and did something to change it.  I realized through talking to people that I had already done a huge thing towards overcoming my fear by starting a meetup group, by meeting new people and going new places all of the time, even if I wasn't alone in doing them.  Thank you ladies--you are such a great help.  Now on to doing things on my own.
I had an amazing day today.  I had lots of energy, woke up got ready for a meetup at my house and met new people. The meetup went wonderfully.  I was social and bubbly--the depression that seemed to be looming over me since Saturday had lifted and I felt great.  I had energy and best of all..my back didn't hurt.  Oh my sweet Lord, my back didn't hurt (was it the acupuncture? I don't know).  It hasn't hurt in a couple of days, but I wasn't doing anything strenuous since I've had this sinus gunk and didn't go to water aerobics this week.  After my meetup, the hubs came home and I decided to try out my not sore back on a walk around the block.  After we got back, pain free I decided my garden needed some work. After all this stuff, I finally sat down to check out today's emails. I had an invite to this Zumba group on meetup.  It looked like fun, and there was one tonight, so instead of putting it off and never going, I went.  I went to a new place, to meet new people, to do a new activity all on my own and it WAS AWESOME.  I had a great time, got a great sweaty work out in and then came home to a very happy hubby.  I still have energy, I'm making pizza for tonight/tomorrow and I really had a wonderful day.
If I can get in a routine of doing water aerobics twice a week, yoga AND two back to back Zumba classes (each 30 minutes) I think I will feel so much better about my fitness level.  As much as I love water aerobics, it isn't that hard, and it isn't that trying compared to the amazing circuit training I used to do 3x a week.  Tonight though, I got some of that back and my muscles feel wonderful.  My back still doesn't hurt.

What helped you overcome a fear? How did it change your life?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Acupuncture--Does it work? My experience.

Does acupuncture work? I'm not sure. In a way it too similar to the metaphysical 'medicine' that I believe is more psychosomatic than anything else. However it isn't just a simple laying of hands, there is something physically happening to you.

I had two people recently recommend acupuncture to me. First, my chiropractor really thought it would help, and second my gynecologist said that it had been successful in treating infertility.  With a name in hand, I called and scheduled an appointment for Saturday.  I was a little leery, but having tiny needles stuck in me couldn't hurt more than the pain I normally experienced when my back was flaring up, so I wasn't terribly nervous.

I was welcomed into a beautiful, spacious and new building.  The entry is a store (capitalism is alive and well), filled with organic, all natural merchandise including the sheets that they use, which are actually made from recycled glass.  They are insanely soft, just for the record.

I was taken upstairs and offered some tea, or water. The tea was okay, the water, which had orange slices floating in it, was superb. I was given a couple of sheets of paperwork and introduced to my acupuncturist.  We'll call her Deena.  Deena is tall and beautiful with long curly hair and an infectious smile.  She is really open and made me feel comfortable immediately.  She showed me into her room, which is small but beautifully decorated and comfortable.  It immediately made me want to take a nap actually. I was looking forward to laying down on the table, forgetting for a moment that there would be needles stuck in me when that happened.

Something I either didn't expect, or had forgotten about was that they talk to you for 40 minutes before they even needle you. 40 minutes about...me.  Oh well, she explained what acupuncture was, and what it did as well. She discussed my past, my present, my future, my bowel movements and periods.  It was pretty...in depth.

After our conversation I was asked to take my pants off, cover my lower half with a sheet and lay on that comfy table. After a moment she came back in and the whole needling thing starts.  She first explains where she going to put each needle, having me inhale and exhale slowly before doing so.  The first goes in my breast bone, the second two near my hip bones, next my thighs and my ankles.  Then, she leaves me for two minutes after giving me a blanket.

The first question people always ask is 'does it hurt?'  The answer is yes, and no.  I didn't feel the majority of the needles going in, or coming out.  In fact, there were only two that hurt, and I use the word hurt because of the lack of a less 'painful' word in our language.  My left thigh made me jump and my wrist. I wonder still if those hurt because of 'excess energy' as she said, or because the needle went a little deeper.  After she came back after 20 minutes, she needed my wrists quickly (just in an out).  I didn't feel the right one, but the left one hurt and left this little red pin prick where the needle was.  This is why I wonder if the pain really is just the needle going a titsch deeper than it is supposed to, not 'energy.' I joked with my husband that the 'energy' that was being moved was my blood.

When she left me alone for 20 minutes I was left with the instructions to give names to all the nasty stuff that was theoretically leaving my body.  My left foot did do some tingling during all this.  I imagined all the hatred, bitterness, pain, medication, mental illness, fear and sadness leaving my body.  All the toxins of regret and jealousy gone.  Visualization can be good for you. So the visualization took about 5 minutes, followed by boredom followed by umm....snore. Yeah, I fell asleep.  I generally do if given more than 15 minutes. When she came in I was feeling sad, and wary. Just tired and wary.  I was woozy when I sat up, even after taking my time.  Apparently two bites of a muffin 4 hours before wasn't enough food.

Deena and I spoke a bit during the entire procedure, her asking how I felt and explaining what was going on. I think she did an excellent job explaining the philosophy behind 5 point acupuncture and she put me at ease through the entire process.

So will it work?  I don't know.  The onslaught of depression has once again dimmed my doorstep as I swing from the manic, angry side of things to the sad depressed side.  I had a week of normal in between, which I'm grateful for.  Now...what to do. Do I try the drugs my doctor gave me, or do I keep trying acupuncture and find a therapist?  That is a post for another day.

If you have any questions--feel free to ask below. If you've had acupuncture done, how did your experience differ from mine?  Was similar?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Strawberry Picking and Crafty Adventures

Sorry readers! I feel like since I stopped my religion series, once I regurgitated 20 years of my life I finally settled the thing in my brain that was making me write and now...I am now having problems coming up with blog ideas, or at least the motivation to write about my adventures.

My mom has been visiting for the last couple of weeks and is, sadly, leaving today. For the first time in my life I don't want her to go.  This speaks volumes on how our relationship and changed and grown over the years.  Go hug your mom...or a mom like figure.  They'll appreciate it.  oh...she says she's my mum. I'm too lazy to change where I wrote mom.  

Yesterday my husband and I hit up the community yard sale.  I've got this killer sinus infection that had me up coughing at 7am on a Saturday, which worked out perfectly since the sale started at 8am.  I didn't think I'd be able to make it, so the night before I'd given him a list of things that I was looking for.  When we get to the sale,  the first thing I see is an exercise ball--score! Then, looking more closely I see all this beautiful middle eastern art.  totally me. I pick up this ornate box and the man says "I'll give it to you for free if you can open it!"

Since it was almost identical in design to one my husband had given to me as a gag gift a couple of years ago, I sort of knew how to open it already and got it for free. I'm pretty sure he didn't think that I'd open it in less than 10 seconds (in fact, he was getting a little desperate about timing. As I'm looking over it he told me I had 30 seconds. Then I opened it).  Sorry dude, I love stuff like that.

I think my favorite purchase though, was this beautiful glider that we got for 1/3 of the retail price, in perfect condition.  It is so incredibly comfortable.  My mom has been umm...trying it out for me (we'll go with that) since I got it.  The cats seem to enjoy it too.  I picked up a couple of books, the first season of Tutors, some cookie cutters, a peg board kit (so I can put up a peg board in my workshop) and some other odds and ends.  As we drove home we saw someone in our neighborhood was having their own yard sale (since they didn't want to schlep their stuff down to the community center) and we stopped.  the first thing I saw was a salad spinner, another thing on my list! I'm was far too psyched that I finally got my salad spinner.  Now...I have to reorganize my kitchen to make better use of all these things.  Overall, it was a very successful yard sale adventure.

On Friday I had soooo much fun strawberry picking.  Something my mom and I did when I was a kid was go to u-pick fields for different fruits.  I was so excited to bring this tradition back this week. I scheduled it as a meetup event, and three of us signed up. I over packed including bringing a gallon of water, loads of sun screen, a sun hat (which I discovered doubled nicely as a bucket) and snacks.  We made the half hour drive out to the farm and, after getting out of the car sprayed the heck out of ourselves with sunscreen.  I have discovered that spray sunscreen is my friend. The field wasn't far from the car, since they kindly let us park on the side of the field.  There weren't too many people out, being a Friday morning, but every single child there had red smeared faces and big smiles. We, of course, had to taste the goods as well.  My policy became, if I squished a berry WHILE picking it, I would eat it.  It worked well, and I only ate about 5 berries at the field.  They were delicious, small and juicy berries, ripe and ready to go.  In about an hour and a half, the three of us picked more than 20 pounds of berries.  We wanted to hit 20 pounds because they give you a 50 cent a pound discount at that point, and that saved us a LOT.  The weather was gorgeous, the conversation good, and the pickings were de-licious.  I came home and washed/hulled all of the berries.  We used the vitamix (who would have thought) to mash the berries and froze them.  It was a great trip and I can't wait to go back again!
Friday night we had a friend over for dinner.  I'm pretty proud of my menu actually.  Here it is

starter: lettuce from my garden, sliced strawberries, homemade balsamic vinaigrette. (The vinaigrette was strawberry jam, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was delicious)
Entree: Chicken Havarti Sandwich
Dessert: Strawberry shortcake.  Since I was having Internet issues I couldn't get the recipe I wanted for the shortcake, but everyone seemed to LOVE them, so I think I did well.

Here are some pictures of that lovely day.

All done! On our way home.

Processing all these beautiful berries!
Another project that I've been working on is making purses out of jeans.  Years ago in college I had a friend who owned a tote made out of jeans, and I've wanted to replicate it since then.  I'm not sure mine is a great replication, BUT, I managed to make something usable, and learned a lot about sewing in the meantime.  My mother is pretty OCD about sewing needing to be exact (either that, or I suck more than  I thought) so I would stitch, pull out, stitch, pull out again and finally stitch correctly.  I'm finally done ( a clasp) with the first one, strap included. Here are some pictures I took.  What do you think?  In the future Ill line them but I like the raw jean look.  What do you think?

Tuesday I'm having another crafting meetup, so I will continue to work on these. I have an old dark blue cotton sheet that I think will make an excellent lining for the other bags that I have pinned already.  The problem is the waist band is a complete pain in the butt to go near.

So I got a new phone--if you hadn't seen that from my messages.  Please message me if you need my new number! I'm really re-thinking this whole new phone thing. More on that later, but let's just say I needed them to replace the battery within the first 48 hours.