Monday, September 08, 2014
So first, the "excuses and explanations" part that I promised I'd blog about at some point...
It's been nearly a year since my last meaningful blog, the "me" project, which became a popular blog here on Spark. The rush of supporters was amazing and somehow intimidating at the same time. Suddenly, I was accountable to more than myself and a few of my faithful spark friends - because I had followers... me?? followers?? I guess it freaked me out or something because I distanced myself from the site for a bit. Then, as I got my own head together late spring, all heck broke loose, involving my entire family...
Lots of "stuff" just didn't go right this year... Over the terribly cold winter, the pool was over 3/4 frozen and the ice expansion caused the pool wall to separate and the liner burst. Now, fortunately, most of the water was frozen but the pool is right outside the house. Enter the basement flood, followed by fight number 1 with the insurance company...
May 5 at bedtime, my eldest son looked out our kitchen window to see a fire in the barn. When it was discovered, it was small. After calling for help, we ran up to the barn and waited for help to arrive. They came very quickly but it seemed like ages. Because we don't have a public water source being out in the country, there are no fire hydrants. All of the water had to be carried in by tanker trucks. We had over 11 volunteer fire companies at our barn that night. They were amazing. Our local fire chief said that ours was the hottest fire he'd been involved in during his 40 year career as a fireman. There was little they could do... Thankfully, the barn did not house any animals and none of the fire fighters were injured. The barn was over 100 years old and housed farm equipment and lots of stuff (including much of our lawn equipment and tools, kid toys, furniture for me to restore, etc.). Not to mention that it was just a cool area for kids to play. Aaaannnd, fight number 2 with the insurance company. We lose (again). It was a total loss...
A month or so later, my oldest wrecks his pedal bike - going head over his handle bars on the road. Before you ask, no, he wasn't wearing his helmet (although as a side note - he now does willingly...). Major ER visit - back board, neck brace, the whole nine yards. Mostly minor road rash but he left with a shoulder sling and not able to walk. The greatest concern was a concussion but after a few visits with the specialist, he was released as healthy a month later.
Shortly after all that, I had a few days in the hospital following an ER visit. I'd had chest pain for about a week and then it started creeping down the left arm and up into the jaw. Yes, I'm a nurse and yes, I know... But life was a bit crazy and until the pain started traveling, I was assuming it to be anxiety related. Well, I was not right, I can admit that... I wasn't having a heart attack. The doc said probably gastrointestinal or related to my COPD but probably the pain that saved my life - because next time, it may have been a heart attack. I guess I'm at pretty high risk and need to get my ca-ca together. So, I'm still getting all kinds of testing done... we'll see where it goes.
So, on top of those problems, we had another, ongoing problem within the home that had started shortly after Christmastime. One of my adopted sons has had a very rough year, which in turn has been very difficult for the rest of us to endure. If you know anything about kids who have been through trauma and separation as a child, you know the issues that often occur later. If you don't know, please don't judge or pretend to understand... Anyway, as I said, it's been quite a roller-coaster. We had pretty significant issues at home that had been progressively worsening. The situation became unmanageable which ultimately necessitated two separate hospitalizations and then his attending a month long stay at a facility over an hour away from home. Much of our summer was spent driving to visit our son. Now, I certainly am not complaining - it's my job and desire to spend time with my child. But, please put yourself in my shoes for a moment and think about my day... 8+ work hours, then another hour travel, visit an hour, and another hour ride home. Add in all of the duties of parenting and managing a household - plus dealing with the farm. Now, pile on the other kids' needs and frustrations about their "ruined" summer. It was quite the ordeal.
We have tried to keep our problems to ourselves but this year has been a bit more than we could handle on our own. Anyway, it seems that things have finally settled down a bit. We are all here, in our home and while we still have a huge mess in our barn-yard, we are moving along together.
We did have some fun moments this summer too. We went to the amusement park, a water park, and our annual trip to the Outer Banks - which was awesome because my best friend and family were able to join us for a few days!! We are also trying to have campfires with the kids to relax every week or two, which we will continue into the fall.
This summer was rough. My yard has been in a chronic state of needing cut (hard to mow five acres with only one push-mower and keep up with it all...). The house has been dusty and in need of a good scrubbing most of the summer. And laundry? Lets just not talk about that yet... but we are gradually catching up. The year has been quite humbling. We have much work to do to around the house and farm. But, I think I'm finally ready to re-enter my journey to health. This past weekend, I took the first step. I was able to travel to Buffalo, NY with my best friend to meet up with some spark friends (new and old) and run (walk) the Dirty Girl 5k again. So, now it's time to keep the momentum going.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
This was completely copied from my Sparkfriend, Amy. I figured, if she can put herself out there, so could I. I enjoyed learning more about her, so I'm hoping all y'all enjoy learning more about me. Before reading this, please note that I find sharing about myself to be incredibly difficult... That said:
A is for Age:
B is for Booze:
C is for Car:
Dodge Mini-van - out of necessity; sizewise the family just won't fit into a little sports number...
D is for Dad's name:
Kerry - lost to heart disease almost 19 years ago.
E is for Ego:
F is for Favorite song or music:
Almost anything but I'm a sucker for Neil Diamond
G is for Goof off thing to do:
Unfortunately, Candy Crush... need I say more??
H is for Hometown:
Born and remain in Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania
I is for IQ:
rather not say... to many critics and judges out there ;)
J is for Jam or Jelly you like:
Homemade mixed berry freezer jam - not too sweet, just right
K is for Kids:
5 boys - 13, 12, 10, 10, and 3 (the 2nd and 3rd in the line-up were adopted)
L is for Living arrangement:
Small farmhouse on some acrage
M is for Mom's name:
N is for Name of best friend:
O is for Observations:
Life is too short to get upset over the little things. Too much drama. Not enough compromise.
P is for Phobias:
stepping out of my own bubble - I'd prefer to be a fly on the wall watching but not being noticed.
Q is for Quote you like:
"Lighten up" - my dad. He meant don't sweat the small stuff but it seems to apply to so much in my life.
R is for Relationship:
Started dating in 1991 (high school sweetheart) and married 14 years
S is for Siblings:
younger brother and younger sister
T is for Talent:
besides eating?? knitting, crafts, cooking, baking (not sure I'm talented in these areas but I enjoy doing them, lol)
U is for Unique trait:
freckles in the summer
V is for vegetable you love:
W is for Worst traits:
X- is for X-rays you've had:
Lots of chest x-rays over the years... spine, foot, wrist
Y is for Yummy food you make:
Z is for Zodiac sign:
So now its YOUR turn! Post this! I want to read more and know more about you!
Monday, October 07, 2013
I was asked to share the blog that inspired me to think about food addiction. Brad's blog was posted shortly after I began dealing with a close family member and substance abuse issues. The timing of it all just got my brain thinking...
Here's the link (if I did this correctly!!)...
If it didn't work, let me apologize in advance... I've never done this before, lol!!
Monday, October 07, 2013
First, a HUGE thank you to all of you who continue to support me, despite MY lack of effort. Without it, I think I'd be throwing in the towel, as I have every other time... But I am accountable to the my Spark Friends, even if I struggle to hold myself accountable... As a result - week 4 blog... another mismatched conglomeration of babbling that hopefully makes sense to others and doesn't confuse anyone to terribly.
I'm almost too embarrassed to write today. Last week was the worst week I've had in ages. Not just because of the situations that pop up or the typical daily chaos of raising 5 boys... No, this week's flop was all me. I chose every morsel that went into my mouth. I chose to forgo the exercise. In essence, I CHOSE for things to stay just the way they are... which today, I can only describe as sluggish and sloth-like. Oh and gluttonous... That's a good description, too. But, I cannot dwell... lest I continue to be sucked into the vat of negativity that I've lived in for so long.
So, last week I shared that we were dealing with some family problems. While the issue in question is not in my household and does not directly impact our home, it remains a concern and weighs heavily on my mind. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about substance abuse this week... I cannot imagine being addicted to a chemical substance to the point that it drives every choice in every moment of my day. I have an addiction to caffeine... trust me, you don't want to talk to me without my first morning cup. However, have I gone a day without? Certainly. And did it kill me? Certainly not (although I was a bit cranky...). Drug addiction (and yes, I realize caffeine is technically a drug but in the big picture of the world... ), however, drives a person mentally and physically crazy. Hmm... connection?
A friend's blog last week got me thinking... between our family's recent interfacing with the world of addiction and my friend's blog about food addiction, I've had a lot going on in my head. I've heard others talking about food addiction. For years. Friends. TV. Continuing education articles. Clients. Spark articles. How is it that I never contemplated this with regard to myself?? Like, am I dumb? Seriously!
So, how does one quit an addiction. Cold turkey, of course. "Simply" stop using the substance in question. So, you quit smoking. Great, TONS of healthy benefits and you CAN live without nicotine. Let's say it's alcohol. You withdrawal from it and there are tons of health benefits. And you CAN live without ever taking another sip of the stuff. Pain killers - same thing. Withdrawal and done (although it does create future issues with pain management abilities...) yet you CAN live without the stuff. But then there's food. A person addicted to eating cannot simply stop eating. Or they would die. So the food addict is forced to face temptation on a daily basis and not "just say no" but rather painstakingly choose which component of their "substance" to partake for the purposes of nutrition. Dare I compare the concept of chemical addiction with food addiction?
I cannot allow myself to feel sorry for myself. I chose my activities (or lack thereof) for every day last week. Today, I must try to make better decisions. My goals remain the same. Yet I must add an additional task... as I fell backwards in my dietary choices this week, too...
Week 4 Goal: Four twenty minute workout sessions of varying intensity and activity with appropriately balanced food intake (tracked).
It's a new week Sparkies! Let's make the most of it!!
Monday, September 30, 2013
This week's blog is a tough one to write. I really want this blog project to be positive. The big picture in this is for me to be in a more positive frame of mind. I'll try but please recognize that I've just come off of a really bad weekend due to a situation which is not yet over...
Last week started off pretty well. I was able to track and balance food proportions pretty well, until Thursday at which point I decided that food was just too tempting. The sad part of it was that I did think about it before I ate those late night goodies... choices made... I didn't get the workouts in either.
Thursday afternoon, I had a doctors appointment. I was somewhat excited about it because I hadn't been doing too badly and I anticipated a much more positive report from the doc. I was rather slammed when he said some of my numbers were significantly WORSE than before I even started dieting two years ago. Umm... what the heck????? He spent over an hour with me discussing changes to make. While I was pretty ticked off about the results, I feel that he helped me create a plan.
Family crisis interrupted the latter part of the week and weekend. Without going into specific details, my cousin who has been living with our grandmother had a relapse into substance abuse and has taken advantage of Grandma and other family members. The situation was so significant that I had to remove her from the home, essentially making her homeless, as well as turn things over to the authorities. It is a terrible situation that has been time intensive. I do think that the situation, while it continues to be concerning and some time will be required of me, will not be as time consuming during the next few weeks.
Previous thought process again would have been to verbally assault myself for my inability to make things happen. But that's not who I want to be anymore. Must take a different approach. So, new thought is that this gives me yet another chance to meet my short term goal of at least four 20 minute workouts during the week... Four workouts which must include varied activity, intensity, and calorie burn. I think I have it this time. After last week, this one has to be better! I have a plan. Not too tough, right?? Third time's a charm, lol!
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