Last night, Nathan had
his school Christmas program, so all of Grizzly Flats made the
trek (practically in caravan) down to the school in town to
join up with them for the fete. Needless to say,
Nathan's class was LAST, so we had to sit/stand (standing room
only at first) through 5 classes and one band of 2-3 songs
each. I have never particularly enjoyed school events,
except for seeing what my own kids are doing. Maybe
other people feel the same way, but wow, there were some
people there having a really, really good time. Out of a
school auditory crammed with people, elbow to elbow, there
were probably about 3 people there who didn't *look* like
Mountain Folk. (We were not of the 3)
It is so amazing to me how we start to
resemble our own "folk" so quickly. It's not just a
style of dress or degree of makeup. It's...something.
As an Air Force wife of 22 years, I have traveled all over the
world and it's my impression that people from different
regions have their own "look," people from different religions
(Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic, Mormon) have their
own "look" and people from different social classes have their
Anyway, that's just my
I was finally able to get a fire going
and wow, that wood smells amazing. I have wood on top of
the wood stove to dry out well before I toss it in and it is
making this wonderful, cedar wood smell in the house.
Yum. Eric has lucked out a few times and found wood on
the side of the road, not around any houses, which has been a
real blessing. If it's clear this weekend, he can go
scavenging again. Free heat is good.
So anyway, went to the program last night
and little Nathan was such a trooper, hopping right up on the
stage and signing his little heart out with his K-5
classmates. Seeing them up there and contrasting it to
the town school, which is still a really, really good school,
made me realize how happy and blessed I was to have our little
school up here in the mountains. Knowing that Delena is
in the best school she can be in and both of the little boys
are going to be in a great little school gives me an
incredible peace for the first time in my life on that
particular subject. I've never liked schools much, not
just the programs but how so many of the teachers really hate
being there and the jungle atmosphere among the kids.
For the most part, Delena's school isn't that way.
There's no gang activity (first school I've ever had a kid in
that didn't have it), no violence, no overcrowding. A
couple of months ago, a couple of kids at the middle school
were caught with some grass and it was a really, really,
really big deal. Of course, the enrollment is only 185
kids for grades 6-8, which isn't hard to track. The
school she would have attended in Sacramento had 965 kids for
just 7-8th grade.
I'm telling you, folks, move out of the
city. I never thought a year ago I'd say something like
that. The convenience and entertainment value of living in the
city was something I was completely unwilling to give up.
Had some guy in Las Vegas not decided to sell the house I was
renting (thereby ruining my life, I thought), I never would
have known what I really wanted.
Sure, there are downsides. Like
having to drive a half hour to get milk (or wait until the
next day when Eric gets home from work), paying too much for
gas for Eric to get to and from work, missing friends, my sons
and my grandchildren terribly and only getting to see them
once a month or so, never, ever getting to go out with Eric.
Almost never getting to see a movie. Having shitty dial
up (28.8, baby!) instead of a rapid fire cable modem.
Being nearly 3 hours from the airport, making travel a pain.
Not having real calla lillies.
Still, I know this is where I am supposed
to be. This is home.
[Sidebar: Can you
see how hard I am working to not think about the refi and the
fact that it's taking so long for the broker to get back to me
and that I've been calling and bugging her and that Eric
talked to another appraiser who works in the area and said we
shouldn't have any problem hitting our mark. Eeeep.
I hate these last minute things.]
A Christmas funny:
And it is now officially 19 minutes past
twelve and I said I was going to start cleaning at 12, so I'm
out of here. Control what you can control when other
people have control of the things you really want to control,
Still worked out this morning and have
been on all protein all day since I know I'm doing my
Christmas cooking today and tomorrow.
This afternoon, the kids and I are going
to make tree ornaments and watch "Spiderman 2" together (good
Love to you all,
Time to roll out the
Santa stuff for the year. :) I decorated my house
Thanksgiving weekend and now I'm decorating my journal.
I figure intermingling Santa with my little deer buddies (and
minus the holly garland, which my furpals sadly lack and would
likely resent, these look remarkably similar to my living
front yard menagerie) might bring Christmas to the mountains
in a literal sense. Life imitates art and follows the
energy of intense visualization.
When I got up this
morning, it was still dark (as it is every morning when I get
up). The house was still and quiet. That's one of
the things that I especially appreciate about this place is
the palpable silence. We've had a little more traffic on
our road lately since there has been a good bit of
construction going on up here, but still, it is overall very
quiet. Our other house was like living on the track of
the Indy 500. All hours of the night, there was loud,
close, traffic, baselines to bad raps songs booming,
exhaust systems altered to make loud, whistling sounds and
that was just from the vehicles. It doesn't count the
gunfire from across the street (this was a nice neighborhood,
too), the sirens many times a day or night, the "screaming
man" who used to walk up and down the sidewalks (we were on a
corner, so we got him for two segments since he always turned
on our corner) screaming obscenities at himself, dogs barking
all the time, helicopters (Eric called them "ghetto
hawks") overhead a few times a day... It was like a war
zone. Now, I can be inside my house and have it be so
quiet that I can hear the deer walking around in my back yard
with the doors and windows tightly closed. It's heaven.
I still can't believe
the circumstances that brought me here (kicking and
screaming). I am so grateful that sometimes, The
Universe knows what I need better than I do or better than I
could even know to imagine.
So this morning, it
was dark, inside and out. I lit some candles and said
prayers, both of thanks and reinforcing the requests I have on
the table. I still have faith. Total faith, in fact. The
miracles have never let me down before. Besides, Eric
saw the callas. I just have to trust what a friend told
me a long time ago: Everything is in its perfect place
and everything is absolutely on time.
Someone else recently
quote to me, "God loves a cliffhanger. So keep hanging
onto the cliff."
I had a really odd
thing happen about a week or so ago. We'd had a day or
two of good rain and it was about 9am. I was standing at
my kitchen sink, which looks out onto the yard and a fence
facade (because it is only the front of a fence rather than a
full circumference). As I looked out, I could see what
appeared to be a good bit of smoke rising from behind the
fence. ??!! I walked through the mountain misery
(smelled SO nice!) to where I'd seen the smoke and... nothing.
Went back, looked out the window again... smoke. Made
careful note of the location, went BACK out again
and...nothing. I was pretty perplexed. I walked
away a good piece from the fence, looked back and wow, there
was the smoke, coming right up off the fence. I finally
realized that the sun was shining very brightly on the wood of
the fence and the water inside from the rain was evaporating
so heavily that it looked like smoke when you were far away
from it. Weird.
All of the home school
materials have been returned and the last of Dylan's
assignments turned in. Even though it has only been 5
months, it felt odd to close off that chapter of our life.
It was really, really good to have him here, separate from the
other kids all day long. Since Nathan is the baby, I got
alone time with him when Dylan went to school. Since
Delena is the oldest of the second batch of my children, I had
alone time with her. With Dylan as the middle of the
little kids, he has always been around the other kids.
It was a joy to get to know him individually as his own little
person. Now, I am happy for both of us for this
opportunity to move on now. I know he'll be happy being
around friends again and it will be good for him academically.
I'll enjoy my alone time, but I am still a tiny bit melancholy
for our special time. I'm just going to mark it up as a
really, really good thing that happened, say "thank you" and
open up to what comes next.
What comes next is the
movement through the height of the Diva time of my life,
moving toward Croning. A chapter has really closed, of
my little children being at home. Nathan will be going
full days and Dylan will be with him. This morning, I
was watching the two of them, out in temperatures around 40
degrees, blowing bubbles on the porch while we waited for
Nathan's bus. I was again really taken with how much
they genuinely care about one another and how good they are to
each other. That tends to be the norm with any conflict
between the two of them very rare, even though they share a
room together. I am under no illusion about what a gift
that is. My first three sons were horrible to each other
and fought their whole childhoods. It was a horrible
thing to have them always in conflict and I am sure it wasn't
easy for them either. No doubt, their relationships
reflected conflict in my relationship with their dad and the
instability they all felt with the two of us splitting up,
getting back together and splitting up again, all that on top
of living a military life and relocating every few years.
Very little was assured or stable in their life, so it makes
sense they would rebel against the people around them who were
the most vulnerable. More fallout of a bad marriage.
I am just so grateful
for the relationships I have with my older sons now and that
they are still in my life. I love them so dearly and
between the three of them and my three little ones, I feel
inundated with MommyLove, which is a blessed and sacred way to
live. My kids are some of the most interesting, fun
people I know.
The diet and exercise
kick is going well, which is an interesting thing to say when
I got onto the cursed, lying scales yesterday morning, only to
find that in 8 days of dedication, I have lost exactly no
pounds. That damned needle refused to budge. The
difference is that I feel 100% better. The B-12 is such a
kicker. B-12 &
chromium info is below. Gooooood stuff!
The exercise helps
too. Like I said, I am doing the Body Flexing this week
and it feels really, really good. By the end of the work
out (18 minutes) I am as heated up as I am after doing 30
minutes on the treadmill. The main difference, other than 12
minutes extra, is that after the BF, my hips, my butt and my
abs are actually a little sore. I can really feel the
burn during the positions, even though they are not all that
hard. My pants feel bigger on me and I feel smaller
overall, so pfft, I'm not worried about that scale and I am
thinking about shoving it away. I am under no illusion
that I am going to be a tight size 10 and still weigh over 200
pounds, but meanwhile, I am just going to keep on eating right
and exercising and not worrying about the numbers.
Today's breakfast was two eggs fried in Pam (I'm telling you,
we need bacon flavored Pam) and lunch was a huge bunch of
fresh green beans cooked with a ham steak (that's what was
cooking in the pressure pan on Sunday when it exploded, but
yayyyy! The beans lived). Dinner is cod and corn on the cob,
with the corn being my big carb investment of the week.
At least that is the
plan. My challenge really starts today when I begin my
yearly Christmas cooking. Eeep!
Maybe it was dumb to
start a diet and exercise lifestyle change right before the
holiday, but hey, when the spirit calls...
Last night (because I
always remember Scrubs at 8:30pm and I am so grateful that I
do), I again watched the end of "The Biggest Loser." I
was reminded A) of why I don't watch reality shows and B) that
there are some people who are actually disappointed by
a 3 pound a week weight loss. Weird (again).
I got most of the
cleaning done yesterday, changed the turtle tank out this
morning (Skeevy little bastards don't even care that I put
them back in the bigger tank. They are just determined
to be sullen) and started the dishes soaking a bit. Just
have to finish dishes, do some necessary laundry, think about
cleaning the kids' room some, start the Christmas cooking and
make some ornaments with the kids. For now, I think some
dozing on the couch is in order with Nathan here in an hour.
Today feels like a
gift of comfort and nurturing. I intend to take, say
thank you and let Goddess sort out the rest.
Much, much love,
Four Common Supplements
Found to Slow Weight Gain for the Middle-Aged
Contributed by Carla Sharetto | 08 September, 2004 23:00 GMT
supplements effective in slowing middle-age spread.
Like many milestones, reaching age 55 has its benefits. For
example, weight-loss research shows that American women gain
an average of 16 pounds of body weight from age 25 to age 54.
Only at about age 55 does their weight decline.
Men gain an average of 10 pounds of body weight from age
25-45. They too begin to lose weight at about age 55. Is there
anything that can be done to change the slow march of weight
gain that precedes middle age? Several researchers involved in
a study examining the effectiveness of supplements suggest
that the ingestion of four common supplements could.
This conclusion is reached in a study, Association of Ten-Year
Weight Change with Use of Supplements Marketed for Weight
Management, conducted by M.C. Nachtigal, ND, Emily White, PhD,
and Ruth Patterson PhD, all of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center in Seattle. Dr. Nachtigal will discuss the
study at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
19th Annual Convention & Exposition, being held September
8-11, 2004, at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center,
The findings from this research originated with the VITamins
And Lifestyle [VITAL] study. Using names from a commercial
mailing list, 330,000 men and women in 13 counties of western
Washington State, age 50-76, were contacted by mail between
October 2000 and September 2002, with the goal of recruiting
75,000 people to join a cohort study of supplement use and
future cancer risk.
Respondents completed a questionnaire covering detailed
information on vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplement use
over the previous 10 years and information on other cancer
risk factors including diet, physical activity, medical
history, and demographic characteristics.
The National Cancer Institute, a component of the National
Institutes of Health, sponsored this survey. The researchers
reviewed the responses of approximately 15,000 respondents
with an average age of 55, specifically looking at weight
change, energy consumption, and the use of supplements cited
in the survey responses.
Fourteen supplements were selected for review by the
researchers, as all promised the user weight loss and
increased energy, through either over-the-counter or Internet
advertising. The 14 supplements the research team reviewed
included multivitamins, fiber pills, soy, gingko, St. Johns
Wort, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, chromium, and omega-3 fatty
Respondents were assigned one of three body weight categories
at age 45: normal, overweight or obese. Using the survey data,
the researchers then correlated body weight changes from age
45 to 55 with the consumption of any of 14 supplements
respondents had indicated they had been taking during the same
10 year time period.
Using correlational and observational methodologies, an
analysis of the survey results revealed the following:
Respondents who consumed multivitamins, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin
B-12, and chromium had less weight gain than their
However, the positive effect of less weight gain was found to
be most prevalent among those individuals who had been
categorized as overweight or obese.
Gender had minimal impact on the survey results.
Racial differences were not considered due to the overwhelming
Caucasian demographic of the master survey respondents.
The researchers concluded that individuals who gained the
least weight were those who had consumed multivitamins,
Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12 and chromium and were categorized as
either overweight or obese at age 45.
The researchers suggest that chromium, found to help regulate
blood sugar for diabetics, led to less food consumption by the
study sample. They also hypothesize that individuals lacking
micronutrients such as B vitamins might eat in excess; thus
correcting B-6 and B- 12 vitamin deficiencies could lead to
lower caloric intake.
The next step in the effort to determine the impact on
supplements on weight gain is a clinical trial for a specified
age and weight group.