J and I left late for my parents' on Saturday and had to go back for my medication 20 minutes into the trip. *sigh* We did eventually get there, and then we decided to go to the 9.30 p.m. service at the church next door instead of going to all of the services Dad had to lead that day (he has a three-point parish and started at 5.30 p.m.). Church was lovely.
Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast and opened our stockings. Then we went to church. We came home and got the turkey in the oven and Dad and J went out to get lunch from A&W but it was closed so they wound up at Burger King instead. That was okay, though BK onion rings aren't as good as A&W.
After lunch, we opened presents.
J gave me a nice zipped pencil case with a line drawing of a feather on it and a book of fair isle knitting that I've heard great things about. Kudos to him for doing his research and finding the book!
Mom and Dad gave us a nice National Geographic telescope. No individual presents, which is perfectly okay. That is a really nice telescope!
My brother gave me a rain stick! I have been wanting one for years. Of course, I don't have anywhere to play it right now, but still... a real rain stick, from South America (I think Peru).
We're going to do the rest of our presents when my youngest brother is here next week. He and his wife are living in Edinburgh (Scotland) so he can do his PhD, but they're going to be in Canada next week for a wedding and are coming to Saskatchewan to visit us.
Then there was chatting and stuff while Dad went to do a home communion for a woman who is dying of cancer and Mom had a nap. And then once Dad got home, we had dinner! It was very nom.
I made the cranberry-orange relish. I'll put the instructions for it below.
The turkey was amazing. When I basted it, the drippings were practically thick enough to be gravy all by themselves! And of course the stuffing is my favourite part of turkey dinner, and that was lovely as well.
The potatoes cooked for so long that they turned into mush all on their own, no mashing required. I thought that was pretty funny. The carrots were good, but a bit watery, which I thought was kind of weird.
So then the men cleaned up and Mom and I hung out in her room. The guys wanted to play Carcassonne and were up until 3.00 a.m. playing that and Settlers of Canaan. I went to bed at 1.00 a.m.
Yesterday was a nice lazy day. In the evening we went to see TinTin. J and I paid for Mom & Dad's tickets, and my brother paid for their snacks. It was like a combined extra Christmas present. The movie was very fun. I never really liked the comics, but I did like this movie. And the 3D worked for me, which was nice - Digital 3D is so great! Only this and the method they used for Captain America ever work for me; regular 3D (like they used for Alice and for Avatar and stuff) just looks flat to me. I think it's because my astigmatism is so bad.
It is the easiest thing ever, and I am writing it down here for future reference.
We halved the recipe because it is too much otherwise. You need a meat grinder, the kind you attach to the table, and a bowl for under it. This is a picture of the kind we have: t0.gstatic.com/images?q=
. You hand-crank it.
So you get a 340g bag of cranberries, and you only use half of that. (Just eyeball it, exact amounts aren't needed.)
And then you take an orange - a nice navel that's about 3" diameter is a good size - and cut it in half. I like to use the "belly-button" half, so I cut out the belly-button part. Then cut the half an orange into small chunks. Do not peel the orange, you need the peel in the relish! I did it into sixths this time.
So then you put some cranberries into the grinder and put a couple pieces of orange on top, and you crank it to grind it all up, adding cranberries and orange pieces alternately until it's all been through the grinder. You don't need to press as the grinder automatically pulls everything through - it's pretty miraculous that way.
Then you put it into a larger bowl, since you need to use a pretty shallow one to grind into, and you add half a cup of sugar and stir it all up.
When I was eating my dinner, I had an "open-face turkey-cranberry-orange sandwich," which is a slice of turkey breast with the relish slathered all over the top of it. Then you just eat it with your knife and fork. It is soooo good.
DECEMBER GOALS REVIEW
1. Get caught up on birthday cards for the year. - Well, they haven't been sent yet, but they're all written and ready to go in the mail.
2. Sort out Christmas presents and send them (i.e., for siblings and parents). - Again, not sent, but ready to go when we're back home and the post office is open!
1. Send Christmas cards in time for them to arrive before Christmas! - Sadly, I did not get this done. But the cards are ready to go out when the post office is open!
2. Start planning a Twelfth Night dinner party - would love to establish this as a Christmas tradition. - Facing facts, this is not going to happen this year. Instead of feeling badly about it, though, I'm going to look at planning it out over the next little while, so that I can start doing it for next year!
1. Get and stay on top of the dishes and the laundry. - So far, so good; I got all of the dishes and all of the laundry done before we left on Saturday (well, there are a few dishes left, but I'll get them tomorrow).
2. Get my sewing room finished so that I can move my work stuff in there and the living room can be for reading and socializing instead of what it is now... which is a disaster. - I don't think my sewing room is going to be there by the end of the week. I MIGHT get my desk together and in there, though, and I will consider that a bit of a victory!
1. Finally finish reading at least one of the novels that I've been "reading" since last year. - I don't know if I'm going to make it or not, but I'm hoping I will!
2. Start a winter running program, complete the next few phases of the REVOLUTION - 100 Days Challenge, and get back to drinking plain old water most of the time. (My hope is that these things will lead to me getting below 220 lbs by New Year's.) - I did run once, but I really need some more gear before I try again. I've been working the Challenge, though, and trying to drink water. Not sure that it's kick-started my weight loss the way I'd hoped it would. I think the running is kind of necessary for that.
1. Finish the first drafts of a few shorter pieces that have been languishing for ages. - I finished the first draft of a short film and should be done the first draft of a play sometime this week!
2. Complete all client projects on time or early, and remember to send invoices on time! - Well on my way to getting the projects done that need to be finished for the beginning of January, so I call this one met.
I'll do one more evaluation of these goals, either on Saturday or early next week, to see how I did at meeting the ones with clocks in front.
REVOLUTION - 100 Days Challenge
Instincts: Your new, healthy habits are becoming second nature by now. You are changing, inside and out. Open up to the team about what you have learned so far.
Day 71 Weigh in/Decide what you can improve from Phase 7 (Thursday, December 22, 2011)
225.5 lbs today - I am so confident that I am not going to get above 230 lbs ever again!
I did really well last phase with avoiding candy. I'm going to keep focusing on that (cold turkey is really the only thing that works for me with this sort of thing) and make sure I take my Adderall every morning, since that helps curb the carb craving. I eat lots of carbs to self-medicate since the brain relies on sugar to function; the problem is that too many carbs increase my risk for diabetes, and the sugar I get from them doesn't last long enough to really benefit my ability to function. I try to eat a higher-protein diet (and, hence, higher-fat... but we don't get fat from eating fat, so that doesn't matter so much) because proteins and fats are what really help with brain function.
I DIDN'T get out for any runs (maybe one?) and I wasn't very active during the last phase. I'm going to do my best to find those wind pants and an insulated windbreaker (and a balaclava and a neck warmer) so I can get out for a run at least twice a week. Hopefully I can get those necessary items during this phase!
So... I am going to focus on my activity level this phase. I need to increase it. I need to do my physio every day (it really helps me keep from being in constant pain). And I'm going to see what kinds of dance tutorials I can find on YouTube so I can start learning to dance and get active that way! (Now I just need to find a way to make strength training more fun and interesting - any ideas?)
Finally, I am going to try to make sure I get AT LEAST seven hours of sleep every night. I need at least seven to feel truly rested (eight is better). This means I need to go to bed by 11.00 p.m. It's one of my goals for Health Month, but I only have to do it one night per week over there, and that's easy. I'm going to aim for eight nights out of ten for this phase.
Okay, in summary, my three focuses (foci?) this phase are:
1. DON'T eat candy and DO take Adderall every day!
2. DO learn to dance and DO get hold of the rest of the outdoor running stuff I need!
3. DO be in bed before 11.000 p.m. for at least eight nights!
Day 72 Share what has changed about your state of mind since starting the challenge (Friday, December 23, 2011)
My state of mind...? I'm not sure how much is attributable to the challenge itself and how much is attributable to finding things that work for me, but I feel more in control of my life in general, and somewhat calmer.
Day 73 Identify and release old anger (Saturday, December 24, 2011)
Old anger, huh? I still get upset about not being diagnosed as a kid. How different would my life be if I'd had help learning to manage my ADHD back then? I can't change that, and this is the life I have, but I still wonder and sometimes it does make me kind of angry. I'm not mad at anyone in particular, since I know that it's not something that's easy to notice in girls (especially not back then, especially not with people who have high IQs, and especially not the type I have). I'm just upset about the circumstances, I guess. I think it's one of those things that I'm always going to cycle through. I'll be fine for a while, and then something will happen and I'll get mad about it (and discouraged and so on), and then I'll be okay again. Whenever I get mad, I write about it, though. I think that's a more productive way of dealing with this type of anger than anything else I could do.
(This question = hard because, due to my ADHD, I tend to express my anger in the moment and then it's all gone. I don't really hold grudges.)
Day 74 Perform a random act of kindness (Sunday, December 25, 2011)
On Christmas...? I'm trying to think if I did perform any RAK, but I don't think I did. Nothing out of the ordinary, at least.
Day 75 Post something inspirational (Quote, photo, song lyrics) (Monday, December 26, 2011)
I posted a photo! It's of me the night of J's work Christmas party. I love my outfit and how I look in that picture. I actually made it the first picture on my SparkPage, so you can go look over there. It's inspirational to me because of how I look all dolled up for the party, and how the outfit emphasizes my curves (which I really do love), and how you can tell that I have a waist. I think it also shows that my belly is not huge and makes me look a bit slimmer through my middle, which is also inspiring to me.
Day 76 Drink an extra 16 ounces of water (Tuesday, December 27, 2011)
I will try and I will report back on this next time I post about this Challenge.
Day 77 Try a new fitness activity (Wednesday, December 28, 2011)
Day 78 Identify something you like about your personality (Thursday, December 29, 2011)
Day 79 Review food and fitness logs to be sure you're logging accurately (Friday, December 30, 2011)
Day 80 Examine phase 8 victories (Saturday, December 31, 2011)