Thursday, February 26, 2009

You 'Could' Call it Procrastinating....

so i'm at my favourite coffee shop, having enjoyed a yummy latte (just want to say that the US makes it better, as they use vanilla soy) and am 'trying' to write. i thought of a brilliant idea. what if, i said to myself as i looked around the coffee shop being slightly irritated by men stretching over and over again, what if i RESEARCHED the top hit songs of 1988. that's the year i'm beginning with. 1988. and then i had to find all the songs from the library and you'd be surprised at what isn't available from the library! am i going to have to borrow an 'i-tunes for dummies' book and buy the songs just so i can hear them? how annoying! maybe i should look up the youtube videos and write down what i remember...ooh! what a great idea! i think i'll do that right now....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And I'm back...

I've been 'meditating' on the whole trip to Cameron, LA. I've been trying to make heads or tales of it: what did I learn? how have I grown? what bothered me? etc.

The whole trip was hard work.
I think I worked from 8:10-7 at night, every day (with the exception of needing to go to Lake Charles to get groceries and provisions for my weird eating). And it was exhausting. I slept on the floor, on an air mattress, in a sleeping bag, in temperatures that were so cold, I wore longjohns, pj's, t-shirt, sweater and toque. I slept in a room filled with boxes and drywall dust and I slept like a rock. By Saturday, I was pooped and seriously needing some r&r in Humble, TX. (which we did go to and grab a fab hotel room with M&D, then headed to the mall where I dropped 100$ on clothing items that I couldn't pass up). I had to be organized. I had to do my job. I didn't think much. Just worked. I barely spoke to rockstar hubby. We had maybe 10 minutes a day to talk, just to ourselves...

the people on the team that were there with us were amazing. it's like, God blessed each and everyone of us with a good attitude and laughter. no one's bad qualities came out and no one became annoyed with one another. and you'd think with 22 people living in the same small quarters, eating three meals a day with nighttime 'hanging out' we'd make each other crazy. but we didn't. i didn't even mind all the cleaning i did. it was just my job and i didnt' think twice.

when i look back on the week, i realize that it wasn't fun. it wasn't enjoyable. it was really hard work.

but i miss it desperately.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

feb 18

February 18, 2009

I slept hard last night. M began snoring immediately, but after filling both ears with squishy yellow earplugs, I was good. Woke up to a weird dream of Jason Bateman flirting with me while I was trying to renovate a bathroom in an all girls’ school. Had yummy cereal again with blackberries, trying not to drool as everyone had biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs and hot coffee.
This morning I went out to the site to work. I worked with Rockstar Hubby, D, H and a kid named Zach. Who, I found out later, is actually 30 years old, has two kids and is a pastor in Alberta. Oops. He looks 17. As I talked to him throughout the day, he still reminded me of a 17 year old.
We worked on a couple’s house. I hammered nails into the studs that were sticking out so they could hang new drywall. This house had been destroyed twice. Everyone’s had. There were two black marks in the duct work in the ‘living’ room. At my eye level, about 5’1” was where the water level had risen from the second hurricane, Ike. Above my head at 6’ was a mark from the first hurricane, Rita. Wow.
There’s a woman here whose birthday is today. A is 34. She has three kids, her oldest being 18. She’s single. I’m guessing she married her husband at a young age, but he shunned God. And it got so ugly that he was ‘hating’ her Christianity and her church and her family. So they’re divorced. She’s raising those three kids, by herself. Her youngest is 6. Which is so heartbreaking. But the funny thing is, there’s this guy, Ira, who is 22 and keeps coming around and flirts with her. She keeps saying things like, ‘my kids back home’ but he keeps asking her for her cell phone number. He’s so cute. Super short hair, tall and lanky, fishes for a living. He deep fried some fresh caught oysters and served them up to everyone. Dan said they were amazing. I didn’t try any, as I was not there, and I probably would have regurgitated everything onto his white wife beater.
The reason I wasn’t there, was because I was given 45 minutes to drive back, have a shower and then come pick them up to bring them back. It took me 20 minutes to get to our ‘home’. I threw water on my armpits and drove back in the torrential downpour. To discover that one of the workers, B, had split his head open when he fell. He was at the hospital getting stitches. Apparently, B is always the first to draw blood on mission trips. When he came back they had shaved part of his head and the rest of his hair was a dyed maroon from the blood. And he wasn’t able to wash it because he had to keep the wound clean. Ew.
Tomorrow is back to cooking, which I’m looking forward to. It’s nice doing some manual labour, but it was pretty boring and my arms were hurting pretty badly after all that hammering. I’m going to offer to do everyone’s laundry while they are working tomorrow. They’d probably enjoy some clean undies and nice-smelling dry towels for their showers afterwards.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

feb 17

February 17, 2009

Today was a different day. It was hard falling asleep because M was snoring so loudly. I tried listening to my ‘nap’ tune on my ipod and it worked for the half hour but the bell at the end woke me up. So I repeated it, and then after the second time I turned it off as I was too exhausted to care about the snoring. It was cold too. I wore my pj bottoms, socks, long sleeve shirt, t-shirt, sweater and toque, sleeping bag and blanket. It was cold. Rockstar Hubby woke me at 6am and told me to keep sleeping as he would make breakfast. But I couldn’t go back to sleep. I had been having a dream about wearing a pink 80’s prom dress that I had ripped the sleeves off of with a pair of hot pink socks and combat boots. I was modeling for ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and was trying to prove that a 35 year old, over 110 pound woman had what it took. Jay (blond one, not other one) was impressed and then he started flirting with me as he worked behind the Starbucks counter as a barista (on the brain or what? Starbucks I mean, not Jay) And we discussed that if we ever divorced our spouses, we’d hook up...I was glad to be woken up.
After breakfast of cereal and grapefruit juice (French toast, bacon, biscuits and hot coffee for them) D and I tidied, then headed back into Lake Charles. The drive was still long, still boring, but we saw more as we knew where we were going this time. More houses destroyed. More homes built.
And then we got to Lake Charles and we went to Starbucks to check email and have a latte. I enjoyed it. Felt terrible afterwards, but I didn’t care. I really didn’t. I’ll probably care when I get back home and find myself covered in more parasites. I don’t know. Then we went to Kroger’s which is kind of a cool grocery store. When you sign up for their ‘card’, you get money off. My groceries were 5$ off, at 30$ total. D’s groceries for everyone else were 30$ off. Wow. Then a quick trip to Walmart to buy some pants as I’m working on-site tomorrow and I only brought one pair of pants (read yesterday’s blog on waking up late). This was an experience in itself. The Walmart is bigger than the biggest one I’ve ever been in. Regardless, they did not have pants for me. I had a choice between cheesy jeans with butt bling, capri pants (cute, but non-functional) and bright orange super thin ‘Danskin’ pants. I was tempted. But I went to men’s wear and scored a pair of camo, cargo pants for 11$. But the fitting rooms were locked. And there was no key to get in (no, I don’t get it either), so I tried them on over my stretchy pants. And they look pretty nice.
We got back at 2pm to a clean dining hall. And then we started cooking. We finished at 6pm. I made myself chicken salad. And I feel ok.

Introspective points: This team is amazing. They work hard all day and come back smiling and cheerful and not complaining at all. What a change from the grouchy people at home. I’m seriously tempted to move to the bible belt for a year. Tempting. Apparently Cameron just hired two full-time firefighters...

I’m going to bed.

I miss my boy.

feb 16

February 16, 2009

We decided Saturday night to just go to bed at 10 and set the alarm for 4:30am to finish packing. I tossed and turned a bit and then crashed. Rockstar hubby was in the spare room finishing off his coughing cold. I woke up in the middle of the night and then rolled over to check the time. 5:23. We had to be at our rendez-vous point at 6:30 and it was a 45 minute drive. I flew.
We got to the airport and checked in, then waited. We boarded a teeny tiny little plane with about 50 seats on it. I managed to keep my eyes closed for the hour flight. I think a rookie 12 year old was landing the plane though. It was insane. I’m so glad I took gravol because my breakfast of a green protein shake would have been all over baldy sitting in front of me. We flew up, down, side to side, sped up, slowed down. It was brutal. He didn’t get the ‘landing clap’. We collected our wits and shuttled ourselves to the right place in Philadelphia. Yes, the airport is huge, but not as huge as I thought it would be. There were stores (Gap?!) and a dunkin donuts but not Starbucks. There was a wannabe spot but I decided to forgo the caffeine fix (yes, I know I’m not allowed any but at that point I didn’t care). As we waited to be called, the ‘boarding agent’ announced that there were not enough seats on the flight and she would be calling us by zones, and if we were last in line, we would not be getting on the plane. Which freaked the four of us out by the way as we were in Philadephia, waiting to get to Houston so we could drive for 4 hours to our destination. But we boarded and I managed to sleep the entire time and we landed well. We found our group of Disaster Relief people, snagged a rental and at 6:30pm, left the airport. But first we needed food. We stopped at Wendy’s. I ate a salad. I drooled watching everyone else scarf burgers and frostees.
We couldn’t see much. There weren’t a lot of lights and not a lot of traffic. We stopped briefly at Walmart to get essentials such as sleeping bags and pillows that wouldn’t fit in our suitcases. We drove around the coast and were mesmerized by the beautiful building with lights all over them, looking like a magical fairy land of castles and turrets. Upon closer inspection we discovered that they were actually all oil rigs set up with lights all over in pretty ways. It was so weird.
We arrived in Cameron at 11pm, found our jammies and crashed on the floor.

We woke up at 6am and found that the power was out. Breakfast was cereal and juice. As we finished eating, the power came on. We loaded up and headed out to the site.

I can’t tell you the devastation we saw. You wouldn’t believe me. Every single house was destroyed. I mean, you see pictures of it on tv and they try to show the worst ones, but it’s so different when you see it in person. A bungalow would be tilted backwards, with the bottom half of the walls ripped off, the top of the siding still on. Mud was everywhere. Cars had been pushed/thrown/blows onto large cement blocks and couldn’t be removed. Every house that was destroyed had spray paint on it of the person’s name and address. One house had a large ‘Help’ sign on it. The houses being rebuilt were all on very high stilts, like starting at the third story of a house. They look like homes you’d find on the ocean, except they aren’t beach houses. They are just tall, lonely looking houses looking over the dead grass and dark muddy lakes that can’t be bothered to disappear. Everything is gray, brown,’s bland. The main road has deep ditches of water on each side. The ocean is a good 10 km away, but you can’t see it for all of the dead reeds, grass and trees. The hardware store is just stilts and a roof. Under the roof are tables with boxes of supplies and bright lights shining on them.
Myself and D dropped off the men at the work site. The church.
In Cameron, they were ravished by two hurricanes. Practically everyone had their house built again when the second one came through. The people are so polite. So kind, so friendly. But so tired. So...hopeless. RSH and M got to talk to a family across from the house they were rebuilding. The father was a fisherman. Well, he fished for oysters, then for shrimp. RSH said he was so friendly and polite ‘yes sir, no sir’. Puts all of us Canadians to shame I think.
But today, I felt useless. I tidied and organized the kitchen. Then we drove to the nearest town, Lake Charles, which was an hour drive, including a drive over an insane bridge. Spent 20 minutes trying to find the health food store to find out it was out of business. Ran to Walmart and didn’t buy everything because we were running so behind. We had to rush back to make dinner.

Friday, February 13, 2009

grumble grumble

So I went to see my dr today. Dr. steve. He's awesome. He's a jolly 40 year old (maybe older, I can't tell) who races motorcycles all over the world. He's never been harsh or mean or not listened. So I talked to him today about all of this naturopathy stuff.
He is thankfully sending me for an insane amount of bloodwork (ie diabetes, thyroid, liver, kidneys blah blah) to see what's going on. He doesn't think the naturopath saw parasites, neither did his college, who just finished her degree in microbiology, but he wants to know what she saw. He was very patient and explained that there probably are some trigger foods out there causing me grief, but I shouldn't be using the vega-matic to find out what they are. I got the 'eat healthier' talk and I guess I can agree with him there. Stick to foods you can pronounce, stay out of the middle aisles in the grocery store...more water in your diet.
Verdict? I'm going to finish the parasite drugs because hubby already bought them and they seem to be helping me out. It's all natural and it's basically garlic which is good for you anyway.
I'm going to make my own bread today, healthy of course, no preservatives and I'm going to try a piece this afternoon. See what happens.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

let the doubting begin...

I've been on this crazy diet for 6 days now. I have 7 weeks and 2 days to go. I don't think I'll make it. And do you know why?
Because I don't know how anyone can live like this.

I'm doubting what the naturopath saw in my blood sample. But when I look for info on line, they tell me the same thing. But the 'parapurge' I'm taking tells me to eat whole grains. But she tells me not to eat wheat. So I don't understand. I don't understand, I don't understand.

I bought two more recipe books and they seem a bit better. It is so hard to find anything on line. It's a lot of researching and chasing down leads and I'm not getting paid to do it, so it's exhausting. I'm trying a cinnamon-raisin-nut bread made with bean flour, tapioca and cornstarch. I'm not 'supposed' to have corn, but I figured it took me about 20 minutes just to make the thing and it was only to need an hour to rise, but it hasn't risen so I turned the light on in my oven and hopefully it'll rise...if I eat it and get sick, I won't eat any more. Rice bread is just so disgusting.

And I'm angry. And I'm tired. And grouchy. And irritable. And sad. This blows.

Monday, February 9, 2009

trip to naturopath

Ok, for the record, I was totally skeptical. But hopeful. And excited.

The first thing that threw me off was how freakin' cold it was in the office, which was actually a health food shop. A small one. And we had to pay for parking. Not impressed. I filled out the elaborate questionnaire, which seemed to keep asking the same questions over and over again (maybe to trip me up?) and then the 'receptionist' spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to work the coffee machine so rockstar hubby could have some of their 'free organic coffee'. But the coffee machine kept leaking water so I made him stop so we could go upstairs and see the naturopath.
First thoughts? She was fat. I don't use that word lightly, because it's mean, but she was (according to rsh) 320lbs. And she was treating me? Hm...warning signs went up.
So then my feet get put into a foot bath (I can't remember why) and then she had me hold an electode and then check my food/environmental sensitivity issues. And everytime it groaned at me, I was not to have that food for the next 8 weeks. I am currently off of:
turkey, all dairy (including yogurt and sour cream), corn oil, currants, cherry, grapes, plums, cranberries, kiwi, all crustaceans (ocean cockroaches), peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, flax, chocolate, cocoa, carob, pine nuts, pecans, cabbage, endive, corn, mold, msg, coffee, black and green tea, tobacco (don't smoke), wine, beer, glucose, sugar, molasses, dextrose, artificial sweetener, all wheat, spelt, kamut, quinoa, tofu, basil, pepper, chili, clove, cury, juniper, nutmeg, rosemary, sage and a whole crap load of preservatives.
Then I had blood work done. We had an arguement over which blood type I was, as I think I'm on AB but she swore I was on O, because my blot wouldn't clot. My blood very rarely clots, it's annoying. Anyways, then we looked at my blood under an insanely strong microscope and I got to see all my red blood cells swimming around and my super round white blood cells. And the parasites/worms feeding on my red blood cells. Oof.
So now I have parasites.
So for the next 8 weeks (7 weeks and 4 days to go) I'm on parasite purging drugs and insane vitamins and off all those foods.
I seem to be doing okay. As soon as the appointment was over, I made rsh stop at Starbucks for my last latte. I enjoyed it. And then I had the insane stomachache that has been plaguing me for two weeks.
So I've been going crazy trying to figure out what I can eat. Answer? Not much. Nothing I 'want' anyways. And yes, there is still chocolate in the house. And yes I salivate when rsh comes home with coffee breath. But after the first day of headaches, I'm ok. I can eat without keeling over in pain. But for some reason, my legs hurt. A lot. So I went to the gym to work out, thinking I was just stiff, but I couldn't run. I couldn't use the weight machines. The weights I was 'pumping' was like, 30% of the usual amount. I'm so sore. And my hips hurt. It hurts to lie in bed. What's up with that? Nothing else better be a side effect.

And this Sunday we fly to LA for a mission trip to rebuild houses. Should be interesting....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's about time....

why did I wait so long?
Maybe I didn't think it would really work?
But after so many years of pain and ick, I'm ready to do it.

Going to the naturopath.

I don't know if I believe it. I know I get uncomfortable around all those aromatherapy, coloured stones, reiki crap...but this is different. I'm going to be tested for a ton of food and environmental products, and figure out which ones are causing so much grief to my poor belly.

I can't wait.
I don't care if I have to give up chocolate.
I don't care if I have to give up caffeine.
I don't care if I have to give up, dare I say it out loud? Venti, soy, no water, no foam tazo chais....forever

if I never have to feel pain again.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Secrets our Husbands Keep from Us.

Everyone has secrets. I'm not big on secrets, because then you're not telling the truth, but then there's the line between not telling the truth and it being none of your business.

I don't think I have any secrets from RockStar Hubby. I tell him everything. The only thing I think I keep secret are my thoughts about clothes. Yes, sadly, I will meditate on clothes. Clothes, make-up, shoes, new haircuts...I don't divulge that information. When he asks me, 'What are you thinking about?', I just answer, 'girly-stuff' and leave it at that. I think he would think I was crazy if I answered one day, "Oh, I was thinking about that yellow shirt I saw in the Vogue magazine at the gym? Well, I was thinking about how the yellow was good, but not for me, maybe it would suit someone else, but the ruffle around the neckline was kind of nice, but maybe if the whole thing were in pink and then you'd have a biased cut around the waist so you could hide your muffin top, but then if you had gold earrings, they'd have to be a cool gold so it could match and I think I have the perfect earrings upstairs, but I don't have the shirt. And I was thinking about my feet. How much I like them when they are hairless (don't ask, I wrote about it earlier) and all painted up and now that they're tan from our trip, they look so cute in my new shoes...."
He'd run for the hills. Or mock me for being vain and self-centered.

But today.
Today as I folded laundry...
I folded his underwear as usual, and put them away.
I tucked in his socks and put them away. But then I saw something in his sock drawer. My heart skipped a beat. It was a baggie. Thoughts ran through my head. Was he a secret junkie? It would explain his calm demeanor which I always stacked up to being a God-lover. Could it be present for me? No, he always keeps those in the attic (no, I never look!). My cold fingers reached in and slowly pulled it out. It was heavy. There was something heavy and silver in it. Could it be that gorgeous expensive silver necklace I was jonesing for in Mexico? Should I put it back? Nah, I'll just take a peek. I held the baggie in my hand and felt its weight. It was really heavy. I moved into the sunlight to get a better look. I slowly opened my hand...

it was a baggie of nuts and bolts.