Monthly Archives: June 2006

Finally, An Update

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I actually wrote a scene for my novel today.  Yay!  It’s actually three mini-scenes, which may require more flesh at some later date, but the point here, my friends, is I wrote something on my freaking story for the first time in months!

My youngest child is running around with a sandwich baggie on her foot.  She is giggling like Daffy Duck when his tail feathers catch on fire.  She’s crazy, but you gotta love a kid who can entertain herself with a baggie, you know?

Earlier, we could hear Matthew yelling at Michaela, “It’s not funny, Michaela!  It’s not funnyyyy!!” She giggled maniacally the whole time he was screaming.  Sometimes you can’t interrupt the fighting because you’re laughing too hard.  You see, it really is funny, no matter what Matthew thinks!

Yesterday, I found Shaya’s little grooming purse I got for her to put her hair brush and hair bands [the kind to make ponytails, not heavy metal musicians from the 80s] in.  It was full of something, so I picked it up, unzipped it, and found that it had been stuffed with vanilla wafers.

Now Micheala’s eating green jello with her fingers, [giggling again], and saying, “Oooh, cold!  Heehehehehee!  Oooh cold!  That my jello?  It cold.  Heehehehehehe.  Ooh cold!”

I would try to reproduce the dialect here, and may some time in honor of the Book I Couldn’t Read Because Of All the Freaking Dialect [Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn] but not right now.  Dialect has it’s place:  Usually in the trash.

Remember my mad tirade about the supplement I wanted to try but couldn’t because I couldn’t stomach the business practices of the person who was a distributor? Well, in my search to get some cheaper on eBay, I stumbled upon another product that people have similar [often better] results with, but the company doesn’t suck.

The coolest thing is, they’ll give you a free bottle to try [gasp!]  So I got my free bottle, and have been taking this stuff every day for the past two weeks.

This is insane, but my eczema is getting better.  I’ve had a mild case for years, but it’s gotten significantly worse since we moved away from Mid-Mo to Northwestern-MO. By the time I finally went to the doctor about it, it was bad enough that she put me on oral steroids to get it under control.

I’ve been using steroid cream ever since to keep it from taking over both of my hands.  Just about everything under the sun would cause painful, itchy blisters to pop out all over my hands, then the blisters pop and the skin gets dry and flaky and peels off, and it starts all over again if I get into anything I’m allergic to.

I haven’t been able to use anything with sodium-lauryl/laureth sulfate in several years without instant breakouts.  Touching raw vegetables did it, too, for some reason.  Dish soap, laundry soap, Windex, bleach, almost anything would cause a breakout [some worse than others].

Since I’ve been on this supplement, the eczema on my feet is completely cleared up, I had started to have breakouts on my legs, too, and they are mostly gone, and my hands.

Lordy, my hands!  After I noticed that I seemed to be getting better, I started doing some experiments by touching raw veggies [peeled sweet potatoes.  Instead of the instant horrid breakout I used to get, I was a little itchy for a couple of hours and it went away].

I’ve also had my hands in dishwater.  My skin dried out a little more, so it increased the flaking a little, but I didn’t break out and itch like a maniac at all!  I haven’t used my steroid cream in three weeks, I’ve been taking this supplement for two weeks, I haven’t used any creams, lotions, oils, etc. on my hands, feet, or body, at all, and yet I’m still improving.

I don’t understand it, and I don’t see how eczema going away can be a placebo effect, so there must be something to this stuff.

I’ve also noticed an increase in my energy.  It’s been pretty dramatic, too, since I’ve been chronically exhausted for about nine years now.  I’ve found energy to do something productive a couple of times, and didn’t feel like I was gonna die afterward [also, I didn’t need three days to recuperate.  The next day, I felt fine].

I don’t know how this is possible, although I’ve done a lot of research on the ingredients of the product [it’s made out of aloe vera and sea vegetables (aka seaweed)] and found that there are some health benefits associated with them, although most of the evidence is preliminary, and no one seems to have an interest in doing more thorough studies on the benefits of eating seaweed.

I wasn’t expecting to see any results this fast, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to see an improvement in my eczema, of all things [I had hoped for a little more energy, and maybe increased resistance to infection since that’s one of the possible health benefits listed for aloe and several of the sea vegetables in the product].

So that’s part of the reason I haven’t been updating much.  When I feel better, I have other things to do besides live beside my computer.  I think I spent so much time here and on the ‘net because I felt like I was doing something, without having to move around much.

Now I’m moving around more, so less time is spent here at the computer.

You know, I’ve wondered for years if I’m really just lazy and trying to rationalize my un-productivity away by saying I was too tired to do anything.  Remembering what it’s like to actually have energy after years of running on empty is damn near miraculous.

I’ll keep you updated on any other results I get.  I’ve gotta go cut Steve and Matt’s hair now.

See ya later.

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My Most Favorite-est Word In the World

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This may give you more insight to my personal character than you want, but it's 'shit.'

It used to be fuck, but I can't really get by with saying that one anymore [and I'm pretty bummed, lemme tell ya!]

I rather suspect that means I'm almost a neanderthal, but there you have it, folks. I blame it on growing up on a dairy farm [lots of shit there].  You have to watch for cow shit when you're walking in the woods at my parents' house. I'm really good at avoiding shit.  Shit is my favorite word, but not my favorite substance [although I've seen and dealt with more than my fair share]. 

When my mom was a kid, someone told her that putting cow shit on her face would take the freckles off.  She tried it with some really fresh, really gooey, shitty shit.  It burned her face.

Even though it didn't remove the freckles, her bright red, chemical burned face did  succeed in distracting people from her excess melanin spots.

In her defense, she was little [like maybe eight or so].  Who ever told her that was pretty mean, don't you think?

The other day, Michaela was yelling from her crib, "Momm-ay!  Ine POOP-AY!"  And she was.  Unfortunately, her new favorite thing is taking all of her clothes off, including her diaper.

I went into her room and found a piece of shit on the sheet [a 'shitty-sheet'] her diaper was off [obviously] and she had peed in the bed as well.

Steve happened to be in the shower [we were getting ready to go to Wednesday night church, of course]. So I carried her [at arm's length] into the bathroom and threw her in the shower with him [threw=placed gently].

As I handed her off to my beloved, I said, "Your daughter shit.  She's a shitter."

I had a friend once whose dad called little kids 'yard shitters.'  Well, my youngest is a bed shitter.  I think I'd prefer it if she shit in the yard.  That way I wouldn't have to clean it up. 

Frustrated

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I re-read some old false-starts on different stories that I wrote a while back, and I realized something. 

I don't suck. 

The contest story I entered didn't suck either, but it wasn't perfect.  I could see why it didn't get picked, but the premise and even some of the scenes worked, it just wasn't quite finished in terms of editing.

Editing is a booger for me, because I really have no clue how to do it.  I read the story, and change a few words, but when I read any story, it's for reading purposes, not editing.

I think I'm gonna have to re-join Forward Motion [can't remember my username and password… maybe I have it saved somewhere] and read and submit some actual critiques. 

So anyway, I actually thought about Thea's story today and where to go next.  I'm still mulling it over.  I need to just sit down and write the damn thing.  Once I get into the groove, I do okay, it's just starting that's hard.

I haven't given up.

Yesterday, though, I discovered digitally rendered art, and damn!  It's cool!  I want to get a tablet and pen thingy that hooks up to the computer so I can paint.  I played with a free program yesterday, but the mouse isn't conducive to detail.

I did one painting, and I liked it.  I'd post it for you, but I can't remember how, and wordpress is different than blogger.  It's not anything, just some star-burst looking things, but it makes me feel good when I look at it.  Soothing, you know?

Anyway, I have a lot of things I want to try and experiment with, and every damn one of 'em costs money.  We're exceptionally poor these days, so it's all gonna have to wait.

I wish there was a way for me to earn a little money from home.  Steve's thought about second employment, but I'd rather he didn't get a second job if he doesn't have to.  We'd never get to see him, and we did that for the six months of the academy, and I'm not willing to do it again if I don't have to.

I'd like to be able to take some pressure off, and also to be able to afford some extras [like the tablet thing for me, and some kind of attachment for his guitar or something… wah pedal?  I think it's called?  It's completely silly, but he's wanted one ever since before we got married, and I'd love to be able to get him one.

So I'm feeling financially dissatisfied with my life.  And health-wise, I'm not worth anything either [I doubt I could handle a job outside the home even if I didn't have any kids at this point].  I'm praying hard about both things. 

I've got to find a way to feel better.  I just seem to be getting worse, and it sucks big time.  My memory is gone, and I hurt all the time.  I know my illness isn't as bad as many who suck it up and do whatever's necessary regardless, but I'm not that strong.  Never have been.

I often wonder why some people face adversity and rise above it, and others just kind of sit down and give up.  I don't know what the difference is, if it's genetic, or if it's all about mind control.  I don't want to be a quitter, but historically, that's what I've been.

I'm working on it, but damn, it's hard to change your behavior when you don't have a clue where to start.

Okay, I have a headache now, so I'm gonna go. 

Update on Diet and Other Stuff

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Okay, I don't think I mentioned it here, but about the time I realized that my blood pressure was high, I also got a bad case of diarrhea. I'd eat and about ten minutes later, I'd have a bad stomach cramp and have to run to the bathroom.

I called my doctor about it, and she was more concerned with my intestines than my blood pressure, so she put me on some antibiotics, thinking maybe I'd picked up a bacterial infection somewhere. She also switched my diet to clear liquids/bland food, with no dairy products.

Within a day of switching my diet, I was having to go to the bathroom fewer times in the day [down from 8-10 to 3-5]. It was still loose, though, so we tried a medicine used to lower cholesterol that causes constipation. It worked, but I started having horrible fibromyalgia-type pain, and I wondered if the new med could have caused it [I don't know how it's possible, but that was the theory].

After my antibiotic was done, and I had improved quite a bit, I stopped taking the cholesterol medicine and resumed my regular diet. The stupid diarrhea came back, although not as severe as before, it's still very annoying.

Plus, it's been four weeks since I went off the pill, and my blood pressure is still high. I'd rather try to fix this crap without medicine if I can, and the other day, I dropped by Holly Lisle's place and found this entry.

Which is how I found out all the stuff about how animals are treated in the big farms, and how a lot of cows are injected with Bovine Growth Hormone in the US and how that causes an increase in Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 [IGF1] which is linked to cancer.

So I've mentioned this stuff to Steve, and he's okay with not buying meat from the store since we rarely buy it anyway [and have wild game available to eat] but he's not willing to give up dairy products, too.

So today, I'm in the throes of trying to find information about the real dangers of milk and milk products without having to use articles that use emotionally manipulative language [the PETA site is a perfect example of this kind of language, also stuff written by people who oppose abortion is another good example. In my view, simply stating the facts is enough. Don't insult my intelligence and capacity for compassion by trying to manipulate me with overly emotional descriptions. That kind of crap annoys the hell out of me.]

Steve's not likely to believe anything that uses overly emotional language so it's up to me to find articles that don't flaunt a certain bias.

Also, his perception of animals is different from mine. He doesn't think of them as beings with feelings and emotions, whereas I do.

He sees them as more ruled by instinct, and I think some [maybe earthworms and such are ruled by instinct] animals definitely interact with their surroundings and have an awareness of whether they are treated well and even loved, also that they are capable of loving others. I could be wrong on that, but that's how I feel.

As I've been writing this, I've been searching for stuff I can show him. I think he just doesn't want to believe that we can have a healthy diet without dairy, and more that it's even possible that we could become healthier without it.

In my search, I found one such article here. Woo hoo, there's one. Now to see if I can find more.

I'll keep you updated.

Damn, Damn, Damn

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I hate multilevel marketing. I think many good products have earned the right to be boycotted simply because of shit like, “I’ve just been working this business, and I make six figures now, and every one I know is making six figures, and we’re all rich and you can be too if you just spend lots of money on this wonderful product… blah blah fucking blah.”

Steve wanted to join Amway when we first got married, so we did. I hated it. I don’t sell stuff, and I can’t justify selling products to my friends and family for retail if I can get a discount. Seems wrong to me [which is why I’ll never own my own store, either].

So I hear about this supplement company from an acquaintance [who I actually like] and it’s MLM, but the supplements sound like they might actually help with some of my health issues, so I want to try them.

One month’s worth [two cans] of the basic stuff is $65 a month per person. I can’t [no, I won’t] pay $45 for a can of anything unless it’s freaking gold plated.

So I go to eBay thinking I can get the stuff cheaper, try the products, and see if it helps my health stuff. I accidentally let it slip today when I was talking to my acquaintance [who might have become a friend at some point, but now I think she won’t speak to me again, and I feel like an asshole and a bigmouth].

She was shocked that they sell the stuff on eBay, and called her upline person and we had a three-way call about it. During that call, the upline person informed me that selling the stuff on eBay was illegal, and that the product was probably fake, and that people who sell the product for cheaper than you can buy it from a distributor are unethical, and that I should be loyal to the person who introduced the product to me and buy from her even though I would have to pay over $20 more per can.

Oh yeah, this business is all about helping people get their proper nutrition so they can feel better.

During the call, I mentioned that the real average earnings of a distributor is about $1200 per year, and not the six figures everybody is always talking about [and I found that info on the company’s website. The lady tried to tell me that wasn’t true, but there it was, so, um, who’s lying?]

Yeah, so I think I pissed upline girl off. And I may have pissed off my acquaintance, which makes me sad, but the thing about MLM is that the ‘company’ brainwashes its distributors.

I kept hearing the same crap over and over that we used to hear at the freaking Amway meetings. “This business has been such a blessing to us, our friends and family, and we just love helping people. That’s our main concern, helping others to build their business and change their lives.”

Well, after upline girl leaves the call, my friend says that her main concern was that I might not get the real product, and that when it comes, we’d get together and figure out dosages and whatnot, because she still wanted to help me, and once I saw what the products could do, I’d be a convert for life, etc. Very friendly and helpful, although she did share that she doesn’t give her family a discount [after I’d said I wouldn’t be able to charge retail to my family because they’re poor, too].

She gave me the rationalization that [I’m sure] her upline gave her, which is, “Well, if you give the product away, they won’t appreciate what they’re getting.”
Huh?

How is that even close to being a valid argument for overcharging someone for a product?

We hung up, and I sent her an e-mail with the link to the truth about what distributors earn, and I also mentioned that upline girl kind of hurt my feelings because she basically said that I have no ethics [word of advice, if you’re trying to sell something, don’t try this tactic. It generally pisses off potential customers].

I also told her that I had a really hard time with people justifying a really high price for a good product when it could be helping so many more people if the prices were cheaper. I also said that it wasn’t true that getting something free or cheap means that they won’t appreciate what they’ve got, and that I would appreciate anything that helped me feel better whether I’d paid money for it or not.

Looking back, I’m thinking that might have been what upset her [if indeed she’s mad… the written word is hard to inflect properly, but you tell me what you think].

So later, I get an e-mail from my friend saying, “We are part of a company with great integrity and ethics. One of the guidelines of the business is whoever sold the products does follow up. Because of your choice to buy our products off eBay, I will not be able to do follow up with you.”

Does that sound, um, pissed off to you? Steve says I over-reacted and that she probably didn’t mean anything by it, but I was hurt by the cold tone. I imagine upline girl told her to do it, and not everyone can write in a way that ‘sounds’ kind.

So anyway, I wrote back saying that the e-mail ‘sounded’ like she was upset, and I apologized [and I was being honest, I don’t bullshit about stuff like that] for offending her, if indeed I did.

I don’t want to have hard feelings with this person because I genuinely like her. Multilevel marketing, [and that ‘company’] however, is a completely different story. I can’t believe that the exact script I heard ten years ago from Amway is still the same bullshit they try to pull, and the ‘company’ and product they’re selling doesn’t matter, it’s all the same spiel.

They all use “God talk” [Oh, this business was such a blessing, answer to prayer, way to do God’s work and help others.] Yeah, they’ll help you only as long as you’re padding their paychecks.

I understand the reasoning/rationalization, but I still think it’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Dammit, this whole episode has made me sick. Blech. And I’m disappointed because I let myself start to believe that there might be something to help my fibromyalgia and all the bullshit pain, fatigue, foggy brain, and other crap that goes along with it.

That’s what hurts me most, because I really do want desperately to feel better, and yet every time I think I’ve made some headway, I get kicked in the face.

Damn stupid assholes.

Things That Drive Me Nuts!

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You know what drives me nuts?

People who don't return their carts to the little cart parking things in parking lots.

Yesterday, I put two carts in the holder that were pushed up against the outside of the thing.  WTF?  You got it that far, why not go the extra two feet to get it inside?

We have a store here called Aldi, which is cheap food [which is why we shop there] and they have coin operated carts.  You put a quarter in the slot and the thing that connects your cart to all the others pops out and you can take your cart in.

When you're done shopping, you take the cart back, put the connector thing into the slot, and your quarter pops back out.

I have never seen a loose cart in Aldi parking lot.

I read some stuff online that made me sad today.  It was about how the meat we buy is treated before it becomes meat [you know, when it's still an animal?]  Ugh.

I knew it was bad.  Steve used to work in a pork processing plant and he told me how they stunned the pigs and 'stuck' them to make them bleed out.  He assured me that they were unconscious when they got stuck, and dead by the time they reached the hot water bath to help remove their hair, but he didn't work in that part of the plant.

Okay, I know I'm a bleeding heart, but I have issues with inhumane treatment of animals, and the thought that pigs, chickens, and cows [I love cows, by the way, they are my favorite cloven hoofed animals] are even sometimes conscious when their necks are slit, or they go into the hot water bath, makes me physically ill.

I grew up on a dairy farm.  My grandma had chickens, so we had all the eggs, milk, chicken, and beef we could eat.  It was a very small family farm, and the animals were never mistreated or injected with hormones.  I guess they were 'organic.'  

Grandma was always big on humane treatment of the animals, and she was also always leery of anything purchased at a store.  She always had a garden, and wouldn't let my dad and uncle spray the plants with chemicals, and she always griped at them for spraying bug killer on their fields.

I used to laugh at Grandma, but she was a pretty wise old bird.  Today, I read that in the U.S. we inject milk cows with Bovine Growth Hormone [BGH] to make them produce more milk.  The problem is, it causes pretty serious health problems in the cow, and it causes an increase of a different hormone in their milk that is linked to cancer in humans.

I also found that chickens are given growth hormones that make them get bigger and fatter faster, which lowers their vital organs' abilities to function.  Sometimes they get so big so fast that their legs become crippled and they can't walk.

My mom and dad found a baby chick on the side of the road and took it home to raise a while back.  It had probably fallen out of a transport truck [more than likely Tyson since that's the main company around here]. 

Within a week, the chick was half the size of a full grown chicken.  That's way faster than Grandma's chicks grew.  

The whole thing sucks, because cruelty to animals, even animals that are destined to be dinner, is just wrong.  I still eat meat, but mostly it's wild game because store-bought meat is too expensive.  Now I have another reason not to buy meat.

I'm not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism.  I doubt I'll become one any time soon, but I just know that I can't live with knowing how the animals are treated and still eat them.

If I still lived on a farm, I'd probably eat all of it because I'd know that the animal had a good life before it became dinner.  I admit that's weird logic, [or maybe no logic] but that's how I feel.

So, I'm not buying any more meat from the supermarket.  Maybe I'll hit the Powerball so I can grow my own.