The Cleanse in Review

So big news, my post yesterday was my 50th blog post. Oh, and I can eat food again. I’m not sure which one is more exciting, but if you talk to me about drinking coffee or drinking wine again, I’m pretty sure I could figure out the excitement ranking quickly.

I didn’t even go off the rails today with my food. I had eggs and veggies for breakfast, had a lettuce wrapped burger for lunch and had the most delicious steak and sweet potato in history. I am absolutely sure that I’m not exaggerating. It was amazing. One thing I did NOT have was a shake. I’m a little burned out on those. I think nine shakes in three days will do that to a girl.

So what did I learn during the three day cleanse? Well, a few things; Like, Skyler should never go on a cleanse. She gets forty shades of ugly when she’s hungry, so we should just keep food in that girl’s tummy at all times.  But besides that great little tidbit of information, I learned, once again, that my family is pretty awesome. First, Skyler wanted to join me on the cleanse, which always makes any journey more fun. Then everyone else was pretty kind about either choosing food that didn’t smell, or food that I just would never eat if they were going to eat at home, so that I wouldn’t be dying of jealousy or tempted to throw in the towel. If they were going to eat something that smelled REALLY good, they just left the house and ate out. It was probably the ONLY reason that I was able to go three days without meat.

That leads right into the next item learned, which is that I will NEVER be a vegetarian. The protein shakes that I had on the cleanse did have protein in them, in fact, they had 20 grams of protein in each one. That should have been plenty of protein to keep this girl happy, since I was eating three a day! I was initially, very excited to see that I was going to get to eat that amount of protein. However, at the end of day one, when I felt draggish and sluggish, similar to how I feel if I eat all carbs- no meat- I looked at the protein packages closer. I am NOT a scientist or a nutritionist, but I can say without any other research, after 42 years of owning this body, plant protein does not do for me what animal protein does. This was made more clear with each meal. And with the fact that I very literally wanted to eat a cow by the second day. The whole cow.

Third, I learned that either people are liars or I have a screwed up body. Every single review I read of this particular cleanse raved about how full they felt and how they had absolutely no cravings and that they had just an overabundance of energy. Like, more energy than they had ever had. Their skin was better, their digestion was better, their clothes fit better, they’d lost weight. The raving went on and on and on.

I was just having this conversation last night over a beautiful piece of grilled salmon, some grilled chicken, grilled asparagus and lovely salad (yes wine too). One of the biggest disservices that we do each other is that we pretend to the world at large, that everything is perfect all of the time. We live behind our perfection smoke screens and tsk tsk when someone else isn’t so perfect. The fact of the matter is though, that when everyone is living this way, you get dirty little secret surprises. Ladies with children, don’t tell me there weren’t things you were surprised about when you got pregnant and had a baby! WHY, in God’s green earth, does someone not at least give you a warning shot across the bow BEFORE you’ve committing to hosting an alien being? Seriously. If I taught sex-ed, there’d be some additional material added, and probably a lot less teen pregnancy. It is not all growing belly, kicking baby and cuddly new being. There’s a whole lot of other stuff that NO ONE talks about.

The other thing that happens when things are glossed over or not talked about, is something ends up happening, and I end up thinking that there is something wrong with me. I mean, I just had this strange thing happen and I have never heard about anyone else experiencing it, so I must be defective. Seriously. Then I ask and learn that other people do, in fact, also experience said oddity and then I’m pissed. Why all the secrecy? Why all the smoke and mirrors? Do I REALLY want my life to be as airbrushed as the latest cover of Cosmopolitan magazine? How dull. Plus, it’s misleading to everyone else coming behind me that are going to be trying to figure out what’s wrong with them that they have to pluck or shave the hair growing on their big toe. Am I turning into a man? God Bless America. That crap just suddenly appears one day. I was shocked!

All of this is to say that my beforeaftercleanseexperience was much different than the ones that I read about. Yes, I lost some weight, about 5 pounds, which is bound to happen when you drink a sh*t ton of water and eat a meager amount of calories. I was expecting that, so I’m really glad it happened. Yes, I’m less puffy or bloated or swollen. That’s nice too, but I don’t know that it’s really noticeable to anyone but me. I didn’t, however, feel like I had more energy, I felt  more tired. I DID have cravings. Not for Skittles, but for meat. Big pieces of meat.  Would I do this again? Well, maybe. But maybe not. I guess we’ll just have to see.

Here is a lovely before and after picture for you. It’s not really fair because they were done in different lighting and I took the ‘after’ right before I went to work, so I had makeup on. If you try to disregard the softer lense look and the makeup and finished hair, you might notice a difference in my face. You might not. FYI, I was intentionally not smiling. I promise I wasn’t ready to kill anyone!

The Cleanse, Day Three

It’s the third and final day of the cleanse. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up. Actually, that’s a lie. The first thing I think about is how badly I need to pee. Then Ernie hits me in the face with his paw, which is the universal sign for, “Get me a treat, woman!” THEN I remember that today is the last day of the cleanse. Is it too early to start day dreaming about what I am going to eat tomorrow?

I weigh myself and I’m only down .8 from yesterday. Hells.

Phil sits down to eat breakfast with me. He doesn’t usually do that. He usually sits in the living room, watching TV while he eats. He’s munching on that cereal that he showed me yesterday and drinking coffee. Amazing, delicious coffee. I am drinking my shake with a half of a banana in it, feeling jealous, but I pretend I’m fine with it. Consequences of choices made. Suck it up, Buttercup.

I am getting my hair colored today. At least that will cheer me up. First, I decide to bless everyone by taking a shower. Then, I decide I should shave my legs. After all, tomorrow morning will be my final chance to see how much weight was lost cleansing. Shaving should cut down a quarter of an ounce or so. Every little bit helps. Guys, women DO actually think like this, so figure out a way to deal with the craziness.

biggestloser

With my client, Jenny, and Alison Sweeney of Biggest Loser and Days of Our Lives fame.

This reminds me of when I went to Los Angeles for one of the Biggest Loser finales. I did personal training for a woman who’s mother was a finalist on the show and she invited me to come to the finale. Trip to LA? Okay. I got to meet a bunch of the previous winners and had my picture taken with Alison Sweeney. It was fun. What was crazy, though, was to hear the stories about what the contestants were doing in the hours leading up to the final weigh in. From eating next to nothing and wearing a ton of layers to sweat water weight out, it was something else. One guy sat and spit into a cup for the last couple of hours before getting on the scale. CRAY CRAY. I won’t be spitting in a cup in the morning. Maybe I won’t. But I will for sure shave my legs.

Next, I’m off to get my hair colored. I tell Castor about the cleanse and his straight face response is that I can eat 900 calories a day all I want. He’s going to continue to eat 900 calories per meal. I can see how that sounds more appealing. And filling. I don’t have the energy to spare with a debate about how great it is.

clotheshanger

Human Clothes Hanger

As I’m sitting with color on my head, complaining about all the water I’m drinking and how little food I’m eating, I’m scrolling through my news feed and see a story about the humanitarian crisis that’s happening in Iraq. Tens of thousands of people have fled to the hills, because the ISIS is killing whoever the hell they feel like. Families trying to save themselves and their kids, have been without shelter, food and water for a week and now, after a week of no food and no water, they are literally dying of starvation and dehydration. I now, officially feel like an ass. The three liters of water and 900 calories that I’m complaining about eating would quite literally save lives there. I am going to quit complaining immediately. Even mentally.

The rest of the day is spent in dressing rooms, watching my daughters model their back to school finds. We do a quick half-time break so I can run home and eat a salad and the girls go off to find deliciousness elsewhere, so I don’t have to smell their food. When they get back, I mix up a shake and we head back out for round two- shoe shopping. After trying on every boot in DSW, their selections are made and we can go home.

I crawl into bed and my tummy growls. Since childhood, going to be hungry is not something I do. I get really upset if I go to bed hungry, but tonight, I pray for the momma’s and daddy’s in the hills of Iraq that are watching their children starve and I feel nothing but gratitude for laying in bed with a growling stomach. There is food in my fridge, water in my tap and I have a safe place to sleep.

The Cleanse: Day Two

It’s day two of the cleanse. I have learned quickly that there is not coffee, or wine in my future, so there really is no reason to get out of bed. My dogs disagree, however, so they still start pestering me at 6am. “Get the hell up, lady, and give us a treat! You may be starving yourself, but it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to go along with it!” Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m up.

The dogs get their treat, I get my 8oz. We’re all happy. Well, those of us with four legs are happy.

Off I go to my favorite most used room of the house since starting the cleanse, the bathroom, because yes, I have to pee, again. I decide since I’m in there, I may as well step on the scale to see what a day of starvation cleansing will do for a body. Wow. Down four pounds. I realize it is just water weight, after all, I did drink 3 liters of water yesterday, but four pounds is four pounds. I will take it. Now I’m super motivated to have  a shake for breakfast! Not really, but I’m already 24 hours in, I’m not quitting.

fiber

The deliciousness (gag) that is fiber… Looks yummy, right?

I make my shake, just throwing the blueberries in the mix. I’ve given up on finding joy in chewing. Unless I can have a cheeseburger. Than I’ll retrieve the joy from the trunk of my car where I’ve locked it up. That’s the beauty about being a control freak. We just turn things that suck around in our minds. I have CHOSEN to lock that crap up in the trunk. Who needs to be excited to eat? My husband shows me a box of cereal. ‘You should try this, when you can eat again.’ Like dangling a mouse in front of a cat. I pretend it’s a box of cardboard. Who likes cardboard anyway?

Since I have to work, I spend the next 20 minutes making my lunch and snack, and getting my shakes together for the day. I have to go to work with it all prepared, otherwise I might order a pizza. ‘That’s a lot of work,’ my husband says. He’s right. I’ve just burned my breakfast calories chopping up a half of a pepper and a half of an apple.

At work, I drink my liters of water, have my fiber, (I didn’t gag this time, but I changed my strategy. No stopping to breath!) and eat my meager food provisions. I’m doing okay, but Skyler is starting to have a melt down. She is an angry, hungry person. Do not talk to her about vegetables. She wants meat. Yikes. I’m staying out of her way.

My day at work gets finished and I head home to enjoy my dinner. Skyler has gone off the rails. My husband and kids make an exit and head to Taco Bell for a Nacho Bell Grande. I make another salad and shake. I add mint to this one, hoping I will think it’s ice cream. I don’t. I decide to just give up, and go to bed without even considering the vegetable broth. I mean really, it’s just flavored water and Lord knows, I’ve had enough water for one day!

The Cleanse: Day One

Day One of my cleanse. I woke up early, like usual, today and was getting out of bed when I remembered that I couldn’t have coffee this morning. I decided I may as well sleep longer. I mean, if I’m going to say that coffee gets me out of bed in the morning, I very well can’t just jump up at the crack of dawn without it, right? Besides, I’m going to need energy to starve. I need to start conserving right away.

After another hour of sleep, I get up and weigh myself. Have I lost any weight yet? Actually, I had! I lost 1.8 lbs overnight! Hm. Maybe it wasn’t a fair start to weigh myself after eating a monster burrito, a margarita and two glasses of wine? I might need to use this new number as my baseline. Contemplating this thought, I head off to find breakfast. I start with the required 8oz of water. Yum. Almost as good as coffee, if I had never tasted coffee before. The second course of my morning meal is a shake and fruit. I can have them separately or mix them together. I decide that I might miss chewing to much if I blend them together, so I make my shake, put 12 little strawberries in a bowl and then sit down to enjoy my meal. The shake isn’t horrible. It’s vanilla and I added some cinnamon to it, so I could imagine I was eating a cinnamon roll. The strawberries took a long time to eat.  I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten 12 strawberries in one sitting before.

An hour after I ate breakfast, I got to have a cup of green tea. I actually like green tea, so I was excited about this. Would I have preferred coffee? You bet I would have. But I was not turning down the green tea caffeine.

An hour after drinking the green tea, it was time to take the some fiber. Fiber in a plastic container has never been a part of my household. When I see the commercials for Metamucil, I always think, that’s for old people that can’t ‘go’. I eat my fiber in my veggies, thank you very much, and I have no problem ‘going’. But, I guess when you are trying to starve cleanse, you aren’t eating much in the way of vegetables, so you need fiber. Well, if I can straight shot vodka, I can get this down! I am slightly less confident upon mixing up the fiber into the water, but, I’m determined, so down it goes. Well, half of it, anyway. I stop to catch my breath, which is a mistake because then you can feel the gritty texture in your mouth and you have to try to convince yourself to finish. I keep swirling it around in my glass, trying to mix it better, and it keeps getting thicker and thicker. I’m trying not to think of what the texture reminds me of because I have a texture issue.

When I was four, my dad gave me some tapioca pudding. I ate it down like it was nobody’s business, I mean it’s like vanilla pudding with bubbles.  When I was finished, my dad, being the ‘I-think-I’m-so-funny kind of guy that he is, told me that the little lumps in the pudding were frog eyes. I had just eaten frog eyes. Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling so good, and then I paid him back. I threw up the pudding, frog eyes and all. Take that. Of course, from that point on, anything that could even possibly be frog eyes, does not make it past my lips. No cottage cheese, no tapioca pudding. Ever. I’ve never tried it again. Well, the fiber was turning gelatinous and was starting to make me think about frog eyes. At the end of my glass, I actually dry heaved into the sink. It was not delicious. Don’t believe anyone who says differently. You might be able to get used to it, but you don’t need to get used to something delicious.

Then it was time to hit the road to drive back to Portland. When you are drinking a liter of water before noon, it is not a great idea to take a road trip. Unless you plan on stopping 15 miles down the road, which we did. We stopped just about once every hour on the six hour drive. Ridiculous.

Forty-five minutes before we could eat lunch, we were starving. Like, stomach growling starving. We sucked it up and waited, but no one was happy about it. Lunch was another shake, this one with no ice, since we were on the road, and a half of a red pepper with 2 tablespoons of avocado and half of an apple. Bon appetit. Seriously. Lizzie sat in the back seat eating the Lunchable that she had bought while we were buying fiber. If we don’t get to eat, we were certainly not going to sit in a car with someone who is eating something that smelled good. She likes Lunchables anyway, and I never let her buy them because they are gross. Now, the crunching of the crackers coming from the back seat sounds amazing. She better hurry and scarf those things down before I climb over the seat.

By about 2pm, I’m starting to get hungry again, but I’m doing the math. If I eat my snack now, it’ll be another four hours or so before I can eat dinner. I decide, sadly, that I will have to wait another hour to eat my five baby carrots. Instead, I drink another 8oz of water.

We pulled into The Dalles  at 3pm. I realized that I hadn’t packed enough mashed avocado for both lunch AND snack. I had an uncut avocado, but no knife. So I found a Fred Meyer and ran in and bought a package of the 4-single serve guacamole. This is NOT exactly what we are supposed to be eating. There are things in this guacamole that are delicious off limits, I’m sure of it. But my other option is to buy a knife, a fork, a spoon and a bowl so that I can cut, scoop and mash the avocado that I have. That is going to burn more calories than I ate at lunch, so it’s not going to happen. At this point, it was sounding really good to just say ‘screw it!’ and go through the drive through, but we are only on day one. I am NOT quitting. Yet. We peel open our guac and enjoyed the hell out of those forbidden ingredients. I cannot stress to you enough, the amount of willpower it took to eat just 3/4 of the container, but we did it, letting perfectly good guacamole go to waste. There are starving people in the world. Ya know?

We made it home, unloaded the car, and then had dinner, which was a spinach salad with cucumber, tomato and red pepper on it. Oh, and sprouts. I’m sure they added a butt-ton of calories. The dressing was lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. Don’t forget the shake. I had another one of those too. After eating, I was still hungry, and feeling sad about life in general. And then I remembered that with our dinner, we could have 8oz of vegetable broth if we wanted. OMG. This changes everything!

I poured my broth in a coffee mug and added a bunch of fresh basil to it and heated it up and it was SO amazing. Like, really, I almost cried. It was that good. I decided that it was my favorite part of the day.

So, day one ended with 3 liters of water consumed plus about 900 calories in the form of shakes and raw fruits and veggies and a tad bit of fat. I didn’t die. I did feel hungry. I did pee. A lot.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Here’s a sampling of what we’re eating:

cleanse2cleanse3cleanse4cleanse1

 

 

 

 

I Am Going to Be Starving

If my posts get crazy over the course of the next three days, it’s because I’m calorie deficient and my body is eating itself.

I’ve been Cleanse-Curious for a few years now. Ever since learning from Robb Wolf about food and how it impacts the body, I have wanted to try a cleanse, but I have always been too scared. If you Google ‘cleanse’, you’ll come up will all kinds of different options, from juice cleanses, broth cleanses and dandelion tea cleanses, the options are really limitless. All tout toxin elimination, weight loss, more energy, decrease in bloating and improved digestion. However, when you tell me I have to give up coffee and wine for the duration of the cleanse, well, I’d rather just have a colonic. Side note: Colonics can expel parasites. File that one away for my tapeworm idea that I still have to tell you about.

Of course the thought of not eating anything delicious for days doesn’t really appeal to me either, but that is really secondary to the coffee and wine issue.

Well, upon doing some serious research on Facebook, everyone’s source of scientifically factual information, I saw that a friend had posted some info about a cleanse. I asked her for more info and then talked a friend into suffering cleansing with me. Then Skyler said she wanted to do it. Then my niece, who just came back from Watershed (the festival, not the rehab center, although I find it ironic that they share a name since one discourages, and the other encourages alcohol consumption), said she needed to detox. I created a band wagon and people are just jumping on. Misery loves company, ya know?

So tomorrow begins the three day adventure, and my stomach is growling just thinking about it. I’m going to have a high calorie, high carb “Last Supper” to help prepare. I’m also thinking about paying for some hypnotherapy so that I can ‘forget’ what food even is.last supper

I’ve read people’s blog posts about cleanses that they’ve done and I have to tell you, I think people are big liars. “I never felt hungry” and “I had so much energy” are common repeated phrases. I cannot, for the life of me, believe these statements to be true. I am, however, expecting the best and preparing for the worst. I expect to be starving and lethargic. I plan on complaining, loudly. I will be telling you the truth about the whole thing though, not sugar coating the experience, so that you are tricked into thinking you should do it too.

I can be bluntly honest.  Ask my kids. And stay tuned, or jump on the bandwagon. In the mean time, here’s a picture of my Last Supper.

 

Grandma Betty

There’s an Instagramgrandma betty page I have followed for quite a while now, GrandmaBetty33. Grandma Betty’s family shared pictures, snipets of life and thoughts of their precious grandma. Cancer was slowly invading but it didn’t stop Grandma Betty from smiling, being silly and from sharing her wisdom. Grandma Betty’s granddaughter, Hope, was her primary caretaker, gently and lovingly making sure Grandma was comfortable and nurtured. Through Grandma Betty’s fight with cancer, she remained a big character, amassing a huge following on Instagram for her peace signs, hats, blue tongue and dancing.

Grandma Betty lost her battle with cancer on August 2nd. At the age of 80, though, some might say that cancer lost it’s battle with Betty. She lived a long life and spent the last months of her life impacting people. People who have lost their grandparents or who’s grandparents live faraway. People who knew that the light that shined from Grandma’s eyes and spirit was a rare and valuable thing to witness. People who, like her granddaughter, Hope, had spent time care taking for people that they loved.

Grandma Betty gave love to all, laughter to many and a tender, graceful understanding to all who were willing to go on the journey with her, of what it is like to walk through the final months of your life.  It is not clean or pain free. It is not all hearts and roses and Lifetime movie-ish. It is heartbreaking for those who love you and yet they would choose to be nowhere else but by your side.

To the family of Grandma Betty, thank you for sharing your precious grandma with the world, and  may you find peace and comfort in your memories of your sweet Grandma Betty.

“Love everybody and be good to everybody. That’s the main thing.”  ~Grandma Betty

Work, Work, Work, All I Do is Work

My post today can’t be 1500 words. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have only about 15 minutes until I need to get ready for work. I can’t write an epic novel every day, ya know? I should probably be getting ready now, but I was talking to a client this week about my blog and she asked how often I post. I told her that I try to post daily and she told me how happy she was to hear that because she gets so annoyed when some of the blogs that she follows don’t post regularly. This post is just for you. You’ll know who you are when you read it 🙂

I have had a career as a hairstylist for 23ish years now and have owned my salon for over 13 years. I consider myself very fortunate to have my job, because most days it doesn’t feel much like work. When you get the right group of stylists working together and you add in some awesome clients, the day just feels like a big progressive party, going from one conversation to another with people who really become an extension of your family. They are your salon family.

I have some clients that I’ve known for 18-19 years. Longer than I’ve known my daughter, Skyler! When you know people for this long, you become invested in what’s happening with their lives, and you grow up with them. I’ve been through happy occasions like the birth of a relationship, marriage, baby. Graduations, home purchases, vacations, grandchildren. And then there are the tough times like divorces, illnesses, surgeries, car accidents, deaths, addictions.  Think of every life experience that you have had, and that your friends hquotes4ave had, and I’ve likely walked through those experiences with my salon family.

Like every family, there’s bound to be a crazy cousin that shows up sometime, who’s a cutter. She promises not to do it, but she cuts her bangs EVERY. TIME. and then calls in a crisis asking forgiveness and can you please fix them. There’s the cousin that for whatever reason, just can’t seem to show up for their scheduled appointment and there’s the cousin that brings you a ziplock bag full of their pubic hair, asking you to match the head on their hair to the sample in the bag. Yes. This has actually happened to me. Fun story for another day. But I love these family members too because they add to the texture of the day, and often are the inspiration of the best stories!

I feel so fortunate that I have clients that trust me with personal- sometimes VERY personal- information, who share their hopes, dreams, worries and often wine with me. Who know that they can ask me to travel to Hawaii or San Diego to do their hair for their weddings, or can ask me to pray for them. I love that I have a job where I can talk with people all day long. About important things and about silly things. Hopefully brightening days, like mine gets brightened. Inspiring like I get inspired. Teaching something new like I learn new things.  Making people laugh, like they make me laugh.

I love the challenge of helping people be more of who they already are.

Oh, and hopefully they leave looking better than when they came in too. I guess that’s part of it too!

 

Es ist Oktober Fest, und ich habe nichts anzuziehen!

lightening

Photo by Jeff Boerio. He posted this on WeatherBug from last night. Magnificent!

We had the most magnificent lightening storm last night.  The air was crackly and the world outside my bedroom window would light up in a blinding flash or streak, followed by low, long rumbling of thunder. My little Yorkie, Edith, had no idea what was going on, but she knew it was something to bark at. She went running down the hallway several times, bravely barking, but never got up the courage to go outside to see what was making all of those noises. As the storm continued for quite awhile, I missed out on quite a bit of sleep. It’s good thing there’s coffee. Now, the air is grey and heavy, but my weather app tells me that it’ll be 90 degrees today. Hello humidity. I am thankful to have air-conditioning.

Okay, I need to talk about something serious for a minute. I’m sorry if you aren’t here for serious, but it’s something that I’ve got to do.

I was invited to an Oktober Fest party and I have nothing to wear. Don’t laugh. This is serious.  Authentic German food and drink will be consumed and I know that the hostess, Lindi, will be in authentic German attire. Me? I don’t even have a German Shepard I could bring.  Not even a stuffed animal one. And what does authentic German attire look like? Well, all I can come up with in my head is Swiss Family Robison or Sound of Music wear. Am I close? Thank you, Google for existing. Wait. I just Googled. Was Snow White German? I feel like she must have been because this looks like something Snow White would wear. I really was not far off in my Sound of Music thought process.

Searching through these photos is quite confusing though, as there are so many choices. There’s Sexy Dirndl, which I’m sure is how all of the German’s dressed, historically. I mean, after eating the substantial German fare that they ate, I’m sure that they felt like sex kittens. Besides, your cleavage is the perfect spot to put one of those German sausages. Then your hands are free for beer. I may have to pass on this option, as I would need to go and get some cleavage inducing surgeroldtimedirndly and although I am not apposed to the idea, I hadn’t really planned on spending that much money on this party.

Next is what I call, ‘Old Time Drindl’, which is an example of how people dressed for Oktober Fest celebrations BEFORE we got so crazy and commercialized everything. Back when sausages were hand made, not cut out of a plastic package and before there was a Hallmark moment for every single life event. Things were simpler then, black and white TV and four channels to choose from, if the antennae were aimed just right.

Then there is Vintage Drindl, which are REAL drindls that have survived the test of time. From the era of actually hand sewing on your buttons. Before you could purchase sauerkraut in a jar.  Far more modest, much less sex kitten.  Of course if you buy one of these, you have to sign a document that says you will wash these drindls on a scrub board, just to maintain their authenticity.  And so they don’t fall apart. They are older than your granny.

I actually have quite a large German following on my blog here (and I brag about you all the time!), so maybe you all could help a sister out. Point me in the right direction. Better yet, just let me borrow one of yours. I promise not to spill beer on it. I don’t even drink beer. You DO have a drindl, don’t you? I mean, I would think that it’s a requirement of being German. Kind of like owning pilgrim attire is a requirement of being American.

While you’re helping me out with the drindl, I’m going to be working on solving the next world crisis, which is: What kind of shoe does one wear with a drindl? So much research and so many decisions. It’s a good thing that I have until October to get this whole thing worked out. Wait. What do you mean Oktoberfest is not in October? What kind of sense does THAT make? Crazy Germans. No wonder I’ve never celebrated Oktober Fest before. I’ve always been a month behind schedule.

 

Test Anxiety

sicktummy

This photo was only partially staged.

I woke up to a dog licking my face this morning. Everyone’s favorite way to wake up, I know.  He was actually about 10 minutes behind schedule, but that didn’t derail his usual routine of kissing me and then hitting me in the face with his paw, making sure that I knew it was time to get him a cookie. Now.

I also woke up with my stomach blessedly flatter than when I went to bed. A month of remodeling projects has taken a tole on my usually healthy eating. I have been eating whatever the hell is set in front of me. Gluten, dairy and all. And don’t forget the wine- although I still consider that health food. Because I seem to have misplaced my kitchen, I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, which means that I haven’t had any Re-Runs to bring to work with me, which means that lunch is done on the fly.

When you are working a ten hour day without a scheduled lunch, like yesterday was, it is hard enough to look cute in your high heels when inside, you are dying of starvation and you have to go pee, and at the same time, make a rational, healthy food choice. It’s not like I have time to run to the store and whip something up in the kitchen at work. It’s a plea of desperation that gets someone to go get me food. I have to keep it simple for them, right? What is more simple than curly fries? Yes I did. And I ate an onion ring too. Just one. It’s not that I had this incredible self control. It’s just that they were cold when I finally got to them and cold onion rings are just a disappointment.

I have so far abstained from drinking beer or soda, so I do still have a shred of self control left, but it’s a slippery slope and my body is begging for a reprieve from all of the sodium, fried crap it’s been getting. My stomach has felt more sick than healthy and I know it’s all due to my fabulous diet. It’s a wonder that I haven’t broken out in a face full of acne. It is time to get it together, people. Drink more water. Eat some damn vegetables. And fried vegetables don’t count!

ANYwho.  The other day, I told you about the personality test that I took. It was interesting,  and you can take it for free right here. If you are honest in your answers, the test is startling accurate and gives you affirmation that all of those traits that people don’t like in you are really just in your DNA, a part of who you are, so they either need to embrace your genetic defects or move along.  I know that sounds harsh, but I am an ENTJ and we deal more in facts than fiction emotion. My sarcasm is also a genetic defect, so find a way to deal.

I challenge you to take the test and post in the comments about your results and a favorite line or two from the analysis. I had many lines in mine that made me laugh, but by far, my favorite is: “The underlying thought running through the ENTJ mind might be something like “I don’t care if you call me an insensitive b*tch, as long as I remain an efficient b*tch”.  Hysterical. And possibly true.

A friend once came to the salon to do a training session with our salon team and gave out the personality test that labels people by color, (red, blue, green, yellow). We all took the test, and before he told us what our results were, he did a skit of each color type and we guessed, by his skit, who on staff was that color. We were right 100%Personality-Test-personality-test-18848733-560-393 of the time. We were talking afterwards and joking about how Reds are just heartless and he said, “It’s not that you don’t care, Shawn, it’s that you care less.” Wow.  He did follow that up by telling me that while reds don’t get their panties all up in a wad about day-to-day stuff, when we do have a cause we care about, we care about it ferociously. See. I DO have feelings. I just don’t get all out of control about them. You can take that test here, but note that when I did it, the blue and green colors were switched. Blues were the feelers and greens were the analyzers/organizers.

I Tweeted that “b*tch’ line yesterday and woke up this morning with a comment from Socionics, encouraging me to take their test. I did, and got a result of SLE, Sensing, Locical, Extrovert. The fun with this test is that you can create a ‘Team’ and have everyone take the test and see where people sit on your team. If you are reading this, you can join the team I created. It’s called 86,400 Seconds, so you can take the test and then search for the team and join. It’ll be a fun social experiment to see where we all sit.

Here’s another fun test to take, but you have to make your loved ones take this one too. The Five Love Languages, is really,  just another personality test, (in fact you can take it here). My dominant Love Language is Acts of Service which, really, I already knew, before taking the test. Don’t buy me gifts, don’t get mushy with words. Want to win my heart? Do something for me. Well, actually gifts and mushy words are okay, they are just not my primary preference.

Being a ENTJ, Red, SLE, Acts of Service type of person, I think that it’s interesting to take tests like this, and funny when you see yourself spelled out in black or white, but the true value is not in reading about yourself. You already know yourself. The real value is in knowing what the people surrounding you are. If I know you are a sensitive Blue, for example, I might ask you how you are doing more often, because Blues like to know that they are cared about. I also might be more careful in using my sarcasm on you, but probably not!

So, put your anxiety aside, get a fresh cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and test away. Then let us know what you are!

 

 

Another Coat of Paint

Three days ago, I told you that it was on my calendar to re-do Lizzie’s room. I wasn’t excited about it because I was tired and had just spent two weeks remodeling the salon. Her room was pink though, because she and Skyler traded rooms a few years ago. Lizzie didn’t love the pink that Skyler out-grew, but the room was bigger, so she traded. Well, after spending a few minutes saying I was just going to take the weekend for myself, then doing rock-paper-scissors over the situation, then flipping a coin, I got up and just got going on it, which was exactly what I knew I was going to do. I just had to go about it this way so I could feel better about giving up my free time for my kids… AGAIN. Reason 4, 209 of why not to have kids, Castor.

So, I spent Sunday packing up all of Lizzie’s belongings into boxes. It’s been nearly five years since her room has been cleaned out by our maid and let me tell you. Kids collect stuff! I recently, knowing I had this day in the works, had Lizzie go through every nook and cranny of her room, getting rid of stuff she didn’t want anymore. It’s a hard thing, when you’ve lived the childhood she has lived, to want to part with anything. When you haven’t had security OR stuff, it becomes very important to you. I explained to her that she is nearly 15 now and that the things she loved when she was 10 probably are not the things she loves now, so it’s okay to let them go. We are designed to have our interests change. We don’t have to hang on to everything forever.

She did pretty good, getting a big box of stuff to get rid of, a small box of stuff for the attic, stuff she loves, but doesn’t want in her room anymore and clearing the broken & used up into the trash. However, kids never clean like moms clean. After loading everything into boxes, I got my hubbies help with moving out the big stuff and moving her bed the center of the room. Then I had to do all of the prep work for painting, which, honestly, takes twice as long as the painting itself. Wiping molding and walls, removing outlet covers, spackling, taping. Ugh. Taping. Finally, it was ready for paint, but now it was past my bedtime. Everyone else was in their beds.

Mon2014-07-28 08.43.24day was spent painting. Of course the trim needed done and of course everything needed two coats. Of course I have popcorn ceilings, which makes painting the top edge super fun. When I first started painting, I was scared because the new color looked horrible next to the old color. Like really bad horrible. But once I got a corner done, and the paint had dried, I knew it was going to work well with the bedding I had gotten. Yay! Now if magic painting fairies could just come finish the rest. Have you ever noticed how exciting it is to paint the first coat of paint when it’s a new color, but after the first coat, you are just kind of over painting? Yeah, me either. I seriously have to force myself to do a second coat. ‘It’s good enough’ keeps repeating over and over in my head. Sometimes I wish I could just give in and listen to that little voice, but it is getting two coats, or I am running out of paint. One way or the other.

As I was up on a step stool, carefully painting around all of the adorable little popcorn bumps, I saw evidence of the last 19 years of living in our house. When the room was dark blue and originally Brett’s, then a lighter neutral when it was turned into a play room and the kids shared a room for a while. Then the pink of Skyler’s room. All layered one on top of the other, with little spots where someone has slipped and gotten paint on the ceiling or on the window frame. It got me thinking about how, for years, I was just like these layers of paint. Always putting another layer on to try to look or feel different. Trying to make people like me, love me, want to be around me. Trying to make ME love me. But, as you know if you’ve ever just reapplied fresh makeup over the top of yesterday’s application, (not that I’m confessing!) the second layer is never a good as the first was. The third is even worse. Pretty soon, you end up looking like a Tammy Faye who should probably just take a shower and start fresh.

I’ve learned that  God wants me to be more like an onion than a coat of paint. He’d rather I peel away layer after layer and get to what’s real. What is most like Him. Let go of all of the pretense, and insecurity and protection and just be who He made me to be. I think God can handle my imperfections, I don’t have to put a coat of paint on them. He’s good l2014-07-29 21.36.34ike that. He already knows who I am, so I’m certainly not fooling Him by putting on a different front.  There’s comfort in that. In getting to be who you are. I wish I had learned that lesson sooner.

ANYwho… Finally the paint is done and I can move all the big stuff in. I picked up a new desk, dresser and mirror online, so figuring out how to arrange her room took a few minutes, but once the furniture was in place and the big stuff was moved in, it was bedtime again. Day three was spent going through every last item in the boxes that I had packed up.

The beauty about going through y our kids’ stuff when they are not there to ‘help’ is that you get to make the executive decision, which I am really really good at. I managed to weed out a big bag of recycling, a bag of garbage, a box of memorabilia that will go in the attic and a bunch of stuff that I am selling/donating. I just have to get rid of it before she gets home to protest!

The bad part of going through your kids’ stuff when they are not there to ‘help’ is that you see some things you wish you hadn’t seen. All in the form of mind-numbing notes to/from friends and crap they write in the middle of their school notebooks. Ugh. One thing that is glaringly obvious is that someone needs to teach that kid to spell. I mean, if she’s going to write ridiculous things for the world to see, she may as well spell the words correctly. Don’t try to tell me that the ‘world’ was not supposed to see what she wrote. Her room is kind of like the internet. If you put it out there (or down on paper), you have to expect it’s going to get seen.  After all, you’ve got siblings, and a mother. My favorite was a little tiny piece of paper that said, “Don’t read unless your Lizzie”. Complete with improper use of ‘your’. Of course I read it, and guess what? Lizzie loves Peeta. Again. Dry heaving commencing shortly.

Anyway, the room is done and waiting for her arrival Tuesday. I still have to post all of the discards of her room online for sale and get some stuff into the attic. I haven’t cooked a meal in three days and my house needs cleaning. I’m excited that she is going to have her own space that is all hers, and not the discards of her older sister and hope she’s excited too. Of course, I fully expect that she might question where some things are that didn’t make the cut, but I think overall, she’ll be happy with the results.