Thursday, March 28, 2013

Seems like Old Times

I was scoffing at my Yankee friends on FB earlier this week, because they were whining about getting more snow. We got snow here 3 nights in a row, and it snowed steadily all day Monday. Yea, the new hasn't worn off yet for me here, so I was more excited than put-out...but point is, all I could think is, why are they whining? Because the overgrown rat (groundhog) in Pennsylvania said Spring would come early this year? Up in Warren (CT), we knew not to get our hopes up until after mid-April; there was usually one more good dump of snow at the top of that month. Folks gotta get a grip.

Heheh...see if I'm still singing the same tune after a couple of winters here. I admit I've completely forgotten what cabin fever feels like.

It's warming up today, but I still ain't putting out any plants til the middle of May. Then again, still haven't gotten around to starting's rather epic how I procrastinate on the things that actually blow my skirt up...

This week is sites, 2! freelance articles, taxes (more procrastination), and strawberry jam. Trying roasted Brussels sprouts tonight. Starting a cowl with my first Rowan yarn, a wonderfully soft alpaca/cotton mix that I found at the Black Mountain Yarn Shop, which falls under the heading of "must steer clear on payday." Gorgeous, little store, friendly folks, very well stocked. Once winter's past, may try the route over the Blue Ridge Parkway to get there one day.

Black Mountain doesn't feel like it's in a valley, but you are surrounded by mountains on all sides. Charming town, amazing scenery! Weaverville's a small town, but Black Mountain is a community.

Stuff is starting to bud here, the daffodils are blooming. When I can tear myself away from the laptop, I'm going down the road to grab some of that free mulch and work it into the front bed. Seed starting WILL occur this weekend; I'm commandeering the kitchen table, putting the electric blanket on top, and rocking the seeds!

Image from here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Under the heading of...

...things I wish I'd known before we had moved.

I'm really not sure what I would have done differently though. It's not like we could move back to Florida, even if we wanted to. That nest egg has sailed, and I'm so friggin' happy here, it's not an option. Searching for office work here, with bennies, is of course the smarter option.

So we're insurance shopping. I knew it would be tricky, but I'm such a wide-eyed optimist about certain things, that it completely blinds me to the reality of them. Thus, as we started getting answers to our questions late last week regarding health insurance, I found myself shocked at our situation.

I had no idea at all that I'd have a problem getting insurance. My mind was entirely focused on getting the Hubs insured, because he's on a specific pain management regimen and needs to see a doc on a monthly basis. I'm Superwoman, so how could I possibly have a problem getting accepted? Besides, I've been insured for years and years by major carriers, so no problem, right?

Big problem, apparently. I've been turned down flat by two outfits now, on account of my weight not meshing with my height. Thank you, Congress...could we please push the rest of Obamacare through NOW?!

After 2 weeks of back and forth, Hubs has insurance and I do not. His policy however, has riders, and doesn't cover back conditions, headaches, and prescriptions. In other words, it's useless.

I actually don't look at it that way, because I'm the wide-eyed least, if he gets hit by a train, we only have to pay 30% going in. You have to look at things that way, when the reality is so bleak. And his Rxs are generic anyway.

We'd be completely screwed if said train hit me though. That said, I'm ridiculously healthy, only catch the flu every 15 years, and the conditions I have (fibroids, polycystic ovaries, social anxiety, arthritis, and occasional nerve pain) are under control.

Note: Federal and state funding for high-risk insurance is already spent for the FY. I'm betting it gets spent somewhere around week 2 of January. I could engage in a high-risk policy, such as Blue Assurance through BCBS of NC, but the premiums are more than we can handle right now. Click the link and scroll down to Rates for a good laugh. That's monthly, folks.

I loved the safety net that insurance provided, the well-care it affords when you're insured under a good plan. It has allowed me the knowledge of my conditions and their symptoms, and I listen to my body well. I pray nothing exacerbates in the next year, because it'll take that long to lose the weight, and then some.

I'm still not going to go all Biggest Loser on the situation, just because some private company has it in their head what my proper weight should be for my height. Hell, my initial goal weight still puts me above their charts...I've always said I want to shoot for 175 lbs first, because I was happy and fit at that weight, when I thought I was heavy at the time. Then if I want to lose more, I can.

So I'm trying to get Hubs a better insurance plan and am looking at pain management docs in the area who will accept self pay. There's a headache center in Asheville that looks promising. As for me, I got an appointment with a gold mine here in town, an integrative family medicine practice that mixes Western medicine with Eastern and makes a point of keeping their rates reasonable for the underinsured and uninsured. There's a monthly program there that I will probably buy into, that will get me access to their classes, a nutritional overview, labs, and other goodies.

I haven't gotten back to exercise yet; that's the biggie that still needs to happen. I use the excuse of work or the weather these days. Today was bitter and soggy, and it's been lightly snowing all day. SFW! Like I don't enjoy being out in that weather! Gotta get back on the horse...

The juicing is still occurring, I'm studying inflammation, trying to keep my meat intake to once a day, rather than 3. This weight loss thing is still going to happen, and the blankety-blank insurance companies have nothing to do with it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Please Let This Last

Large people usually have stories about going on and off diets, losing the weight and then gaining it back and then some. I don't have those stories. I started gaining 15 years ago, hit plateaus, rose some more, hit another plateau...what I haven't done is "dieted" with any success.

I have the usual addictions to junk food, sugar, salt, thanks to emotional issues and the standard American diet. But is that an excuse? Only in part, when you know better. And I'm a believer that diets don't work, that only by making intelligent choices with food on a daily basis will health occur.

The key is making those healthy choices, and that's where my brain takes a backseat to my hormones, cravings, convenience, or just my adoration for sugar. Moving to a rural area has helped immensely, actually; I eat lunch at home, and when we go out, we bring our own drinks. We're spending smarter here too.

I'm not a fan of the OA doctrine. It's basically Alcoholics Anonymous for fatties, and I have trouble with the idea that overeating is a disease that we are not responsible for. Probably a personality quirk of mine, related to an inability to relinquish control, but we won't go there.

That said, as I was writing the sentence "...that only by making intelligent choices with food on a daily basis will health occur," it dawned on me that the "one day at a time" concept is quite viable. Yes, I am planning meals now, or trying to, but it really comes down to what I'm putting into my mouth at the present and why.

This is a long way of saying that I'm in a good place with food right now. Somewhere around Wednesday, I started researching and reacquainting myself with healthy ideas. I spent a good portion of Thursday visiting the local co-op and Whole Foods, stocking up on veggies and organics. I got back to juicing. I'm already feeling the difference in my midsection inflammation. I'm investigating supplements, dry brushing, and attempting to justify a workout station in our already well-furnished apartment.

The difference in my mood and energy is so marked, I could weep. It's also the source of the subject line, because usually I cave a couple of days into "being good," and I'm over that.

Our juicer isn't great with leafy greens, so I've just been packing the blender with them, juicing the other veggies, and then pouring it over the greens and hitting Liquify. So far, so good, even with kale, which is a relief, because I wasn't about to put one more new appliance in this house.

I've stocked up on long exercise pants and new sports bras, so naturally I pulled something in my right knee. I've created a schedule for myself that includes everyday exercise though, however short to start. 30 minutes a day to start is terrific, 20 or 10 is still better than nothing.

I watched a good portion of the Biggest Loser finale, and it brought home to me how very much I want to lose this weight slowly, rather than quickly, and I will be toning as I go, because at my age, I fear even slowly will bring arm flab I don't want. That's the one qualm I have with Biggest Loser, that they lose the weight so quickly, they end up spending their winnings on plastic surgery if they're unlucky. Thank the gods I have a husband who loves me, imperfections and all. But of course, loving myself regardless is the strength behind this, recognizing that I'm punishing myself when I graze on crap and that nothing is worth punishing myself that way. Every healthy choice I make is reinforcing self-love, and I'm finally figuring out that I'm worth that.

Friday, March 22, 2013


So anyway.....

Weird week, sites been dripping in, so I'm stuck running errands during day and working at night, which I'm hoping not to have to get used to...

Turned over new leaf where food intake is concerned. Started juicing again. Decreasing sugar, rampant crap grazing, and other bad habits. So far so good.

Cleaned out my Yahoo email this morning, which resulted in a hilariously long, but informative post over at Dark Meadow.

Been too busy to knit much this week, but Hub's hat is 2/3rds done.

Hit French Broad Co-Op and Greenlife Grocery yesterday. Need to make an actual list of foods I like to buy at those places, because their locations barely make them worth the effort. French Broad is downtown (though I'm thinking I want to join anyway, because if you can't afford $25 a year to support something that awesome, it's time to re-evaluate where your money's being spent), and Greenlife basically is downtown too, plus getting in and out of that place and parking there requires epic patience and a shot of some adult beverage's also a fool's errand to go anywhere near the place around lunchtime, because their massive deli area and cafĂ© seating bring every downtown tofu eater to the place...

Catching my interest...
  • Empowered Sustenance - I'm not crazy enough to go grain-free, but I love finding sites like this, so I can take what I need from them and leave the rest. It's also why I enjoy Homestead Revival so much, in spite of the heavy Christian theme.
  • Madesmith - oh. my! What a lovely concept!
K, gotta go be productive. Happy Friday, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

And the Wheel Turns...

Merry Equinox!

All snitched from Google.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend Wrap

Definitely have a little too much control over my life right now. It affords me such freedom, I'm in danger of squandering it.

Sites are low, so I plan to tidy and organize today, but it'll require discipline obviously, because so far that organizing has involved turning away from the laptop, examining a box, moving something from one place to another, and then going back to the laptop. Shit ain't gonna get accomplished that way.

I'll work sites in the evening, and that's another bit of discipline, because I've been tending to move to the living room and work in front of the TV, which ain't the most productive way to do things. But tabletops are soon to be even more limited, because I'm planning to take over the kitchen table this week with seed starting. Which reminds me I need to call the local nursery.

Saturday, I finished sites and needed to return library books, so I got outta the house with the intent of doing that and checking out the LYS in Candler. It was easy to find, and I purchased a little something, but I'm glad I checked it out, because it won't be a real yarn option for me unless I'm desperate for a particular's small, and the inventory was surprisingly limited, considering the good reviews I've seen online about the store. But I found a pattern there and some Cascade that's turning into a hat for my guy.

Yesterday was errands and more errands, dropping off recycling and making a few key purchases.

This week is seed starting, Spring Equinox, taxes, insurance praying.

Things are just starting to bud a bit here. The daffodils are out, but everything else wakes slowly. The weekend was crazy warm, 70s both days, but the week promises more normal temps and rain. Good weather for getting things accomplished indoors. Going to try and curb my wanderlust a bit this week.

I'm weaning just a smidge from my meds, deliberately and carefully, in preparation for hopefully weaning fully once I get in to see a doc and then examining what my next step may be in that regard. Discovered something rather wonderful on Saturday, when I was feeling a bit down. It was my normal feeling of down, doesn't have to have a reason, just a combination of hormones and brain chemistry, and I told myself to step outside a minute. That's all I needed, stepping outside my front door, feeling breeze and sun, the sounds of the brook, the mountain right in front of me still visible through the bare trees. Hearing the rooster down the street. I was struck by the juxtaposition of stepping outdoors here vs. stepping outside my apartment in Jacksonville. There, we kept the main room dark, because it doubled as Les's sleeping spot much of the time. The porch was blocked off by chairs because we didn't have room to put them elsewhere, so we rarely went out on the tiny porch. The backyard was ugly ducks and the backs of other buildings. The front after the stairs that went down and then up was driveway, cars, neighbors talking in different languages, running their car stereos too loudly while they washed their vehicles right nearby, the smell of the dumpster. Yea, I'm idealizing the living hell out of my current home and demonizing Jax, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel SO MUCH MORE MENTALLY HEALTHY HERE!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Faves (not really)

Not sure how I can expect anyone to follow me when I post infrequently. But there are just weeks like that. The dotcom is having a slow week, so I find myself working in the evenings more (because the day editors grab up all the sites). I ran errands one day, went into town to get my tax questions answered, because it would curb my wanderlust better than 15 minutes on hold with the IRS. Yesterday I drove to the boat ramps on the French Broad, just to see where they are, and decided that I like driving through farm country better. But damn, the river is really pretty! I'd like to learn to kayak in that sucker like, a year from now, when we're in better shape. And I'd like to not be thinking the same thing a year from now.

We're sitting on our hands waiting for word of insurance for Hubs. If he gets turned down, I'll be at an insurance agent's office the next day, begging for a low premium and reasonable deductible. I'm not as worried about myself, which is funny since I've already been turned down on account of my weight. But I'm looking at a reasonably priced, integrative medicine outfit here in town for me, once I'm past figuring out how to get Hubs in to see someone.

I may hit quota today, which would be nice. I've been working a bit on Sundays to get a jump on the week, which means I should make Saturday my "day off," and it doesn't always happen. But I need time this weekend to figure out quarterly taxes and get my seed starting supplies sorted, figure out what still needs to be purchased. Even with our late last frost date, we should start seeds in the next week or so.

Tax return came in, remarkably fast, and thank goodness, because a big chunk of it will go right back to the government for the quarterlies. But I did get a jump on the September trip to Mother Earth News Fair by booking our hotel; VERY glad I did that, because it looks like the area's starting to fill up. All that's left is a rental car and nitty-gritty logistics; already purchased the tickets. Hot damn!

So I haven't been trolling the web even, as much as only link I can think of to share is PDub's recipe for hot roast beef sandwiches. I'm pretty sure if I make these, I'll erase any craving Hubs gets for Arby's.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Random Thoughts

I get my political news from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

I get my Hollywood gossip from Chelsea Lately.

Pretty sure no one can accuse me of taking life too seriously.


Work is much more interesting after 1 or 2 beers.

Sure hope my quality doesn't decrease. I've found that's an important factor in editing.


Rainy weather in Florida today, could tell by the bitching and whining from my coworkers on FB.

Partly sunny and 40s here.

That evil laughter you hear is me.


How come Chelsea Handler's sarcasm gets her a $25 million contract and a house in Bel Air, and all it gets me is an inability to succeed in business?

Eh, why dwell? I'm happier where I am right now.

Still, nice to know there's others out there like me...bitingly sarcastic, that is, not suffering through $25 million contracts and homes in Bel Air.

And I don't wanna live there anyway, 10-to-1 they don't allow chickens in the backyard.


I occasionally enjoy fantasy sequences in my day-to-day life. I know Ally McBeal had these first, but I blame the TV show Scrubs for making it seem so normal.


I want to do naughty things to Josh Groban. However, if he marries my sister (which is still a goal inside my head), I'll curb my lust.


Still not sure what Twitter is useful for, but I do enjoy stalking my fave Hollywood stars with it.


If the only first-run TV I watch is The Following on Monday, NCIS on Tuesday, The Americans on Wednesday, and Vikings on Sunday, why the frick am I in front of the box so much?


If I've always been a brunette, how come so much of my personality is SIGNIFICANTLY blonde?


I love my cat, but I'd love her more if she wasn't a total shithead.


I totally enjoy the TV show Two and a Half Men, the Charlie Sheen eps. I'm pretty sure that means that I need to turn in my feminist card, and that everyone else on the planet needs to calm the fuck down about the messages that are sent on TV shows.


That said, I still think Fairly Oddparents is the spawn of Satan's children and should be off the air yesterday. Hypocrite, thy name is Melanie.


I really need to buy Mah Jong tiles and unearth one of our 500 decks of cards. The number of nights that I get off the laptop and then go immediately to the Kindle so I can wind down with Solitaire and Mah Jong is ridiculous.


I love that Whole Foods is looking at the GMO thing realistically, with a deadline of like, 2018. It only makes sense. I've been thinking of purging the ConAgra foods from the house, but I'm pretty sure that would leave us with lettuce and milk. Sonsabitches.


There's a Girl Scout office 5 minutes from the house. I'm pretty sure there will be cookies purchased this week.


I freakin' love freelancing. I know I shouldn't blame a city for squelching my creativity, but I don't have any other explanation for why I'm succeeding up here and couldn't get diddley started down there.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sleepy Sunday

Woke up a little ornery. Let myself have a bit of a lie-in, which is fine and deserved, but still left me outta sorts. Makes sense...moon cycle's coming up and I'm starting to ration my meds, which any crazy person will tell you is stupid, though at times necessary. Can't do that shit though, without it tweaking the brain's chemistry just a squooch.

So I puttered away what was left of the morning and a bit of early afternoon, before deciding to get offeth my hiney and rotate some dishes, get the week's waffles made. Those tasks centered me a bit, so I threw clothes on to go outside to our front "porch" (extremely loose term to describe the concrete slab covered with very worn indoor/outdoor carpet that we've placed our porch chairs on). Brought tea, a bit of knitting, and the latest issue of Taproot. Read an article or two, knitted a coupla stitches, but mainly just stopped, watched, and listened.

In Jenna's book, Made from Scratch, she describes the time when she was first making farming friends in Idaho. She'd go to their place for dinner and spend time afterward out on their back porch, just watching the animals. She called it Farm TV.

I have Nature TV, and it's more than adequate for now. We're having a stretch of warmer days, which is funny even to type, because when days warm up in Florida, it means back to shorts and shirt-sleeves, whereas here it means you can get away with capris until the breezes kick up, and sitting in shade too long means a sweater. I sat out there only an hour or so, as the air was starting to cool, and rather than come inside to layer up, I realized I was relaxed enough to come in a work for a piece, get a jump on the week, and justify zoning on some L&O repeats later.

Nature TV is amazing here. We're situated next door to a home or two, and a winding drive that leads to about a dozen nice-looking trailers. There's enough foliage between us where come summer, we'll forget they're there probably. But right now, you can see a mountain in the distance, and the grass is just starting to green up a pinch. You occasionally hear the noise of a car going by, and we're close enough to the nearby fire station to have our silence broken with sirens occasionally. But mainly there's this white noise of the winds and the brook in front of our apartment. The trees and shrubs shift in the breeze, and I find tears in my eyes more than once from the happiness of where I am. Then a rooster crows from somewhere down the road, and I laugh through my tears. Idyllic ridic! So damn home.

Image from here.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Seriously Quick Drop-In

I hate neglecting the blog. Even if I still only have 6½ readers, it's a dear little outlet for me and I heart you guys. That said, this week's insane. Have an article due Thursday for a local publication, in addition to my regular quota of sites, and my side of the fam is visiting later this week.

So the seed starting class rocked, will update that on Dark Meadow soon. Our wedding anniversary is Wednesday, but it may be too icey to go out. That can't be a bad thing ;)

We're supposed to get snow tomorrow, but I've learned not to get my hopes up til I actually see the flakes falling. The new Taproot came in, and I'm too flippin' slammed to read it :(

More soon! Have a great week, y'all!

Image from here.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Friday Faves

Paydays are such a blessing! To be able to look ahead a bit. I admit I let the dough slide low this last period, so that we've been scratching around a little, coming up with evening meals, but part of that is also un-dairying whatever ideas we do come up with for Hubs. Don't realize how much a particular food is a part of your life until you're trying to 86 it for a while...

I have a freelance article (!!!) that I'm stalling on, due to plain fear that I don't know what the hell I'm doing, which I'm sure will dissipate once I've made my phone call to the guy I'm getting info from, so keeping this short, with some links of stuff I've been thinking on, learning from this week...

Definitely on a foodie kick this week:

Want to try my hand at this, if I can't find anything suitable in the local organic departments.

Never thought of popcorn for breakfast before.

Which got me thinking how much I want to do this.

Wondering if this dairy option would help the Hubs (love having Ashley's Home Dairy handy for recipes!)

Want to try making pitas this weekend for a lower carb sandwich option.

And we HAVE to get more veggies into our daily meals!

Workin' weekend here with the seed starting class at Sow True kicking it off on Saturday. Have a great one, y'all!

Image from here.