I have a serious drug habit

Now that I’ve got your attention … sorry I’ve been away.

It’s been an interesting several months.

During the spring, lots of problems were discovered in my lady section. Was I surprised? Not that there were problems, but the extent? Yes.

I won’t bore you with the details, but the storyline involved a hysterectomy.

(Another trajectory was job loss. That’s an interesting one, which I will save as a lesson for another day.)

But then autumn arrived and, as the chill it brings is wont to do, the bugs died and life became bearable once again. Teen Angel has thrived being off a drug he’s been on for many years,

Lilly_Strattera_60mg_Capsule

 

 

just as my dependence on this hormone is progressively increasing,

Twice-weekly habit

Twice-weekly habit

 

 

 

 

It became apparent last evening that my body has become dependent on my estrogen replacement patch.  Mr. X and I were being lazy watching the Royals show the Mets how baseball is supposed to be played when I suddenly became very hot. At first, I could not figure out what was going on, but then it dawned on me that I had forgotten to replace my patch the day before. When I mentioned this little factoid, Mr. X, without even moving his gaze from the television, said, “you’re having a hot flash.”

What-the-what?

“You’re having a hot flash,” he repeated.

Hello, I am a middle-aged woman and I am a drug addict.

-janet

 

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Wednesday Weirdness

Do you ever have feelings of déjà vu? Every now and then I do. This morning was one of those times. Nothing exciting was happening – just getting dressed to take Teen Angel to the bus. Every motion was too familiar. Yes, I have the same routine day after day (after day, after day, after day), but it wasn’t the routine that was familiar. It was the motion and the vision and the thoughts in my head. Each time this happens, I find it slightly disconcerting and it puts me in an odd mood for the day. I feel like I’m supposed to be somewhere else. Maybe there is another me in a parallel universe having a fabulous life wishing it was more ordinary. Hmmm…

-janet

Worse Than I Thought


FrugalFriday - Page 001It was not a great exercise week – or a great eating week for that matter. Nothing like climbing on the wagon just to immediately fall off, eh?

Last week was “that” week for me. Oh, joy. It wasn’t fun. I had a couple of days during which I alternatively dozed with a heating pad on my midsection and downed Aleve. Since no one else in my household cooks (ahem, Mr. X), eating equaled fast food. I should have sent him for canned soup from the store, but wasn’t thinking clearly. I think I need to send him to cooking school for Father’s Day. Or stock up on canned soup. The latter would probably be easier.

I shouldn’t have done it, but I stepped on the scale near the end of the week only to see that I actually have more weight to lose than I previously thought. Not much – 5 pounds – but more than I originally estimated. I can do this.

My biggest weakness is dessert. Please tell me I’m not alone in this. I did stock up (only one bar, actually) on dark chocolate, which generally does the trick for my chocolate craving. Sometimes I just want cookies, though. I dug up a long-forgotten recipe for cookies made with chickpeas and very little sweetener, which I remember as being quite good, so those are on the agenda for tonight.

I have heard that exercise actually helps cramps, but I have never felt like hopping around while my uterus feels like it’s in a vice. Never. Never in my life have I felt like exercising then. Never. I did do some yoga today. I needed to relax just a little while getting some movement in. I did another Workout Trainer routine. This is the first time I tried one of their longer yoga routines, and I must say that it wasn’t as relaxing as I had hoped. The voice overs are a little too perky and competitive sounding for my yoga taste. I prefer a more nurturing voice.

-janet

A Revelation – and a New Feature

Trim-downTuesday

The revelation occurred yesterday. Sort of. It’s not like I didn’t have a clue, but it sunk in yesterday. I put on my “fat” pants and they were a little tight. I am not one to focus on the scale so much that it rules my life, but I do check the number from time to time. It’s been creeping up slowly and surely. The bigger concern in my life right now is that I just don’t feel good great. I should feel great, apart from the tiredness that fills my very soul most days due to Teen Angel’s lifelong boycott of consistent sleep.

So, I’m on a quest to trim the fat. That’s a term I usually use in conjunction with our household budget (not that there’s much fat to be trimmed there), but the term officially has a new use in my vocabulary. I could stand to lose about 30 pounds and I will be tracking that here. There – I put it in writing so I have to do it.

I did exercise yesterday. I’ve had a handy app on my phone called Workout Trainer for several years, but I don’t open it very often. I’m trying to be realistic and not go for the intense workouts. Yesterday’s routine was a bodyweight routine called “Shed & Sculpt,” after which I did a short post-workout stretch routine – just over 30 minutes overall. Workout Trainer is a free download and most of the routines are free, but there are certain ones that are labeled “Pro,” which are cost-based. I’ve never made a purchase – just do the free ones. There is enough variety to keep it interesting.

I’m not much of a gym person, but I do have a free gym membership where I work. That fact makes my lack of physical fitness much more depressing! I have gone to the yoga classes there, but don’t particularly care for the instructor. Now that I’m finished with school, I do have more free time to look into other classes there. Years ago, I took a spinning class at a different gym and enjoyed it (just wasn’t at a time I could attend regularly) and I do like riding my bike, so I might try the cycling class (why is it called cycling some places and spinning at others?) my gym offers. I tried a Zumba class at the gym. I went twice and swore I would never go again. I have absolutely no rhythm. I was seriously near tears because I could not get the steps right. Exercise should not cause crying! My favorite exercises (oxymoron alert) are basic calisthenics, which are easily done at home.

Do you remember the 1980’s “20-Minute Workout” show? Some of my brain is still stuck in the 80’s, so, naturally, I Googled it. It’s still on YouTube! Totally awesome! That will be my workout for today. Off I go…

-janet

Frugal Friday: Good To the Last Drop

FrugalFriday - Page 001(I posted this when I first began this blog last summer, but it’s worth repeating.)

No, this is not a post about a certain name-brand coffee. It’s about getting the most out of what you pay for. Frugality is not only about saving money, it’s about using our resources wisely so as to tread as lightly as possible on this Earth. When I think about what it takes to produce things I use everyday, it makes me want to stretch them as far as possible so I don’t have to repurchase them as often. The products we purchase also use energy when they travel a long way to get to us. If I expend a little energy on my end, it might make a dent on the energy expended to make new products.

Do you have lots of tubes, bottles, pumps or other containers in your bathroom drawer or sitting on the counter? When you think you’re at the bottom of the container, do you automatically throw it away or do you wonder how much is really left in that container? I have started getting very nosy about how much is really left in a so-called empty container.

Today, we’ll look at toothpaste. I regularly squeeze my tube of toothpaste until, one would think, there is absolutely no way there could be any more to get out. Mr. X gets a little frustrated by this and will occasionally get out a new tube while I continue to use one that looks like this:

completely smooshed?

Is that tube really empty? I still see some in there. Let’s see how much is really left behind when you can’t squeeze anymore out.

there's more in there

Cut off the bottom of the tube and up one side to open it up completely. Well, would you look at this – there is still toothpaste in there; not a lot after it’s been squeezed this much, but I do like to get every last bit. 🙂

waste not want not

Just scrape the remaining toothpaste from the inside of the tube into the lid, cut off the now empty (open) tube and put the lid into something airtight so it doesn’t dry out while you use it up. A ziploc bag works well for this, or you can use any container with a tight-fitting lid that you have hanging around in your cabinet.

more toothpaste

Since no more than a pea-sized squirt of toothpaste is recommended to brush your teeth, this amount will last for several days yet.

On a related note – there are lots of nifty little products available that act as tube squeezers, but they are totally unnecessary. I generally use the flat size of a hair comb. Simply push with as much pressure you can along the tube from the bottom up toward the lid.

In a future post, I will show you how much product is left in the bottom of a pump bottle when it’s “empty.”

Frugally yours,
Janet

Patience

The Blogging 101 assignment for today is to try a new posting style. I haven’t really posted pictures that have any deep meaning on this blog, so I will do so today. I’m also combing this assignment with one I read about (can’t remember where at this point) sometime around the first of the year because that’s when resolutions are in full swing. That idea was to make one word your focus for the year. I immediately thought of the word “patience.” There’s an old joke that when you pray for patience, God gives you children. Well, I got the children, but not always the patience. Both of my children, like all children I am sure, have necessitated copious amounts of patience at times. At the moment, Teen Angel is the one who requires the most. I sometimes tell him, “Put on your patient hat,” but I probably need to say that to myself just as often as I say it to him.

Yesterday we made the annual trek to visit his neurologist. We actually only saw his nurse practitioner because the neurologist left the office early due to illness. That’s okay; I’d rather avoid those germs if possible. Anyway, I definitely needed a patient hat yesterday. Teen Angel is in the annoying habit of not wanting to exit the vehicle when we arrive at a destination at which he prefers not to be. Since he is stronger, taller and heavier than I am, it’s difficult to persuade him to GET OUT. I anticipated this behavior and had Mr. X with me to do the heavy lifting. Now, through the years Mr. X has not been the one to make these annual treks, to this doctor or any other, so he had only second-hand knowledge of the difficulties and frustration I have experienced with Teen Angel’s behavior. It was an eye opener for sure.

I am going to consider Patience to be less of a resolution than a lifestyle choice for myself this year. Here’s Teen Angel with his patient hat (one of them, anyway), which he removed as soon as the photo was taken:patient hat

-janet

Hydrogen Peroxide: Blood’s Worst Enemy

Life is messy and sometimes it involves blood. How to clean up life’s little (or big) bloody messes is not always easy. I would like to share my secret with you. Hydrogen peroxide – plain old, get-it-on-sale-for-3/$1-at-the-drugstore hydrogen peroxide. I generally begin with a rinse in cold water to get the worst of the blood out of fabric. Then I pour peroxide on the area that had blood on it. The peroxide bubbles up, but I never knew why (I am woefully deficient in scientific knowledge). Tonight my curiosity won and I Googled. Yes, I Googled.

Evidently, blood contains an enzyme called catalase. When catalase comes in contact with hydrogen peroxide, it breaks the peroxide into water and oxygen gas. The Hughes Undergraduate Biological Science Education Initiative at University of Colorado Boulder uses this handy graphic to show the breakdown:

2H2O2_Catalase

The oxygen gas is released as bubbles as a result of this reaction. I usually let the peroxide soak on the fabric for a few minutes, then rinse in cold water, and repeat as necessary. Sometimes it takes a few applications of peroxide to remove all of the blood stain, but it really does work like a charm.

What else do you use hydrogen peroxide for? It’s handy for lots of household applications.

-janet