Saturday, February 25, 2006
You appear to be a Knitting Apprentice.
You've got the basics down pat and you might just
be falling in love with this hobby. Big
needles, funky yarns and simple shapes are
the name of the game, but it doesn't mean you
don't experiment a bit, here and there. As an
apprentice, you probably fall back on other
people to get you through those rough spots,
and if you don't know anyone who knits, you
probably have a few books or online sources
What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Monday, February 20, 2006
Female confessional Lutheran baseball fan wanted for small but expanding fantasy league to balance the male/female and clergy/laity ratios (right now we have 4 females, 5 males....4 clergy, 5 laity)if interested, please submit an essay regarding your opinion on "astroturf and the designated hitter" or "open communion between Dodger and Giants fans or Cardinals and Cubs fans" to the comments section..... Sense of humor heartily recommended.
(okay...just joking about the essay)
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Introversion and the Pastor's Wife
I just heard the chimes ring from church. Obviously, I am not there.
I have never been a "good pastor's wife." It is probably the only aspect of my marriage that causes me anxiety. Some people think that I am anti-social. I'm not. I like people. I'm just shy.
More accurately, I'm introverted.
Let me define my terms:
Extrovert: Someone who derives energy from being with people. They feel depleted after extended periods of being alone. Enjoys being in groups of people. Have lots of casual acquaintances, friends
Introvert: Someone who feels depleted after being with people. Usually needs time to be alone in order to re-energize. Feels more lonely in a crowd than when alone. Usually has a few close friends.
In our country, extroversion is valued, and over 70% of people are more extroverted than introverted.
It is different from being anti-social. introverts usually just do better with social interactions when they are on comfortable ground, with a purpose. But even with that, they still need a break afterward. I have no problem with being a La Leche League Leader, going to a class, being a part of a knitting circle, working, etc. but I need down time afterward. The social occasion has a purpose. Parties, picnics, and even casual phone calls are another story. Most people who know me from online are surprised that I describe myself as an introvert. But the communication usually has a purpose, and I can communicate at a time where it is on my terms, and I can repeatedly edit what I say before I "say it."
Church most definitely has a purpose. I go to be fed with the Word and Sacrament. I go to be one in the Body of Christ with fellow believers. And that is usually where my attention is as well.
There are days, like today, though, where I lose that focus, and church becomes about everything else: taking with people whom I don't know very well; realizing that the whole church sees when my 3 y.o. daughter decides to use the kneeler as a balance beam or announce loudly that something "tastes like chicken (her favorite joke)"; that before and after church I have to walk through a sea of people who for some reason take a greater interest in my kids, my work, my fertility, my hair, my weight, and whether I keep rabbits in my basement...than they do about the person sitting next to them or in front of them or who lives next door to them.
And then there are days where it simply is that I am just not up to contending with a tired two year old who can't handle social interaction before noon, or an active three year old who thinks that a kneeler SHOULD be a balance beam, despite several months of reprimands, time outs, and even a few swats that should let her know that it simply is not the case...at least during the service. And what is worse, I face all of that alone. I know my husband prays for me, that his heart is with me, but it still is tangibly different than having him in the pew with me. These are the days when the whole idea of facing another day like that leaves me feeling completely drained and on the verge of tears. These are the days that I stay home.
There are days when I truly believe that when in Heaven, we will partake of the Glorious Feast, and Hell is going to be one giant, overheated potluck. If Purgatory existed, it would be one very long narthex full of people. I simply do not know what to do with myself there, and I do not know what to say. However, put me in a quiet room with two or three of these people at a time, and we'd get along famously.
Today is one of those days. I trust in God's grace to forgive me for my sinfulness, and hopefully relax and enjoy the peace for a short couple of hours, knowing next week is a new Sunday.
weight loss: gained two pounds...dang PMS (total lost 13...still feels dang good)
measurements: -4 chest, -5.5 waist, -4 inches hips
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Round and Round and Round
Okay, I've had a lot of fun actually knitting, but I don't know about this! I seem to be doomed to never be able to finish a pair of socks.
I knit my first sock this fall...the one that was for me my drug pusher, I mean my good friend Cynthia had given me a ball of sock yarn called "Vegas Lights" and believe me, as a Vegas girl, the colors are appropriate. See, doesn't it look like the colors in a casino carpet????
But then Sock got set aside so that I could work on my sweetie's pair of socks. Since I only had one...he only got one...the next one was due Valentines Day. And I DID finish it. Its just that something happened and a hole resulted (I blame the cat, personally.) So the Valentines Day sock is now sock #1 (and I'd show you a picture, but we are having technical difficulties).
Now I MUST be a true knitter, because a few days before Christmas, I figured I could get baby socks done for my little goddaughter for Christmas, and that would be easier than actually going shopping during those chaotic weeks.....only problem is.....she has a sister, and I can't make Morgan socks without making a pair for Ashley (godmother guilt)...besides, it would be cute. They'd match. So here we are in February. In all fairness, I did get the baby socks done before Epiphany, which was the goal....but Ashley's weren't done. Then I looked at Morgan's feet and realized they were too small, so I had to unstitch the toes and add a few rows (still don't know if they fit, and at this rate, I should just go for preschool size). Then when I cast on the 2nd sock of Ashley's...I miscounted the stitches in the 1st one and it came out smaller, though probably more appropriate...so two days ago...I just finished sock #2 (really, #3). Wouldn't it have been a great idea if I'd written all that stuff down???? Well, knowing me, I probably wouldn't be able to find that either!
"Great!" you say. "Now you're done." NOW I CAN'T FIND ONE OF THE BABY SOCKS!!!
(at least I remember that I cast on 24 for that one)
So, as a fledgling participant in the 1st Knitting Olympics, my goal is not a noble vest, like Cynthia....I am participating in a personal sockathon (like marathon...not like telethon, though if you want to call me to offer to knit my socks for me, I will be appreciative).....and I am sure that by the time I finish that baby sock, my husband's pair of socks, and Good Lord willing, my own blessed sock.....I will be ready for something done in rows for a while.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
I have to admit, despite my depraved cynicism that pervaded last year, I am getting really pumped about the baseball season. The Dodgers have made a multitude of changes this offseason. They fired Paul DePodesta, the "moneyball" general manager who was a curse to our team. They hired the assistant GM from the Giants (blech, Giants).....Ned Coletti, and he has done an excellent job bringing in some really exciting veterans on short term contracts to be here while our own guys mature in Las Vegas(boy, there's two concepts you don't put together very often...."mature" and "Las Vegas". Of course, I matured in Las Vegas....)They hired Grady Little, who despite one BIG mistake, is well-known as a good manager. I'm stoked!!!
We even just got a DVR.....mainly because since Indiana was so wimpy as to give in to pressure and submit to the evils of Daylight Savings Time.....I realized that starting this summer, my Dodger games will start at 10 p.m. all Summer! So if the game was promising, we can go back and watch it again. It will also help my kids stay in touch with their "heritage," because raising our kids as Dodger fans is only 2nd in importance to raising them as good Lutherans! (ok, joking....kind of).
But now they will get to see Gagne.....
It will always break my heart to see the clips of Paul Lo Duca and the Goon walking out to the mound together, knowing the relationship they had...and knowing that trade will live in infamy forever amongst the True Blue.....It was my first real heartbreak as a Dodger fan (my son had one earlier...when the Dodgers traded Gary Sheffield. I suppose it didn't help any that I was jumping up and down about it when my son came in the room to ask what I was happy about....)
I don't know if it made it better or worse that I am so far away....but then again, maybe it was better to be away from the press.....but it might have been nicer to have people to commiserate with, who knew my pain.
But its a new start...the owners seem to be vindicating themselves, the GM, the manager, and most of the team are all fresh and new, and Gagne once again takes the mound in the 9th.....I suppose that is the beauty of Spring, of Opening Day. Play Ball!!!! Go Blue!
weight loss: 15 lbs!
inches lost: 3.5 chest, 6.5 waist, 2.5 hips
Thursday, February 09, 2006
weight loss: 12 1/2 lbs.
inches: 2" chest, 4 .5" waist, 2" hips
What I'm Doing Differently:
"Anonymous" asked, "But wait, aren't you going to tell us what you are doing differently?"
This is rather a complicated answer. I have known for four years that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Basically, this is caused by a condition known as insulin resistance. When I eat sugars (this includes from any simple carbohydrates such as fruits, grains, starchy vegetables), my body has a hard time getting the cells to accept the sugars. So my pancreas kicks in and makes a whole bunch of insulin so that it gets more into the cells...thus, continuous cycle of sugar cravings, sugar highs, and hypoglycemia. Still, most of the sugar doesn't get used, so the body just takes it and stores it as fat. Rapid weight gain, often uncorrelated to what I've been eating. Now, fat produces hormones, including estrogen. This throws off my cycles and fertility, and my ovaries take the extra estrogen and convert it to testosterone, which causes the weight gain to be geared around my gut, also can cause male pattern hair growth, and further hormone imbalances. I've had 3 miscarriages inbetween my son and my daughter, and then 3 years of infertility.
There are other symptoms that can go along with this...fuzzy headedness, temper, acanthosis negricans (darker coloring in the folds of the body, such as under the breasts, armpits, and thighs)...and it also sets me up for diabetes, stroke, heart disease, etc.
It took years to get a diagnosis, and that was right before 9/11. Even though my hormones were way off, I didn't have the ovarian cysts, which actually are a symptom, not a rule. With a syndrome, you don't have to have all the symptoms...some are adequate. It had been found that PCOS responds to Atkins, and with one month on Atkins, I was pregnant with Maggie. I spent the rest of the pregnancy on metformin, a diabetic drug that PCOS has responded to, and has also been found to severely limit miscarriage in PCOS. But the side-effects of the metformin were too much to deal with after the pregnancy.
The last 3 years, I've watched my weight shoot up to greater heights, I've dealt with terribly fuzzy thinking, and as my symptoms worsened, I also wondered about my thyroid. I'd tried to do it on my own, but usually resorted back to the fast food, and my love, Pepsi/diet Pepsi...which also only exacerbated my symptoms.
Finally, after reading Mary Shomon's book on thyroid disorders, one doctor that kept coming up was Dr. Mercola of www.mercola.com and the Health and Wellness Center in Schaumburg, IL (also the home of the closest IKEA!!!). I couldn't pass up the shopping opportunity, um, I mean the proximity of a doctor who seemed to subscribe to the same philosophies as the doctor that I went to in California who helped me so much....and so I went. While I am even still skeptical of a couple of things they do, it has worked, and even though we are probably not in theological agreement, it is a Christian practice, and I can't find anything particularly WRONG with any of their practices, it often just is more holistic and goes beyond the realm of recognized science, and I think that the body is much more than the machine that Science portrays.
I didn't find out much that I didn't know, although the applied kinesiology helped (it said that my hypothalmus, my endocrine glands, and my pancreas were being blocked by my having reactions to sugar, soy, wheat, and rye. I knew that I was having a problem with sugar and wheat, and my son had strong reactions to soy when he was a baby, so he probably got it from somewhere)....I knew I was killing myself with my diet.
For me, the process, the drive to Chicago, the support...everything about it that labels this as "different" has made all the difference. They did a metabolic typing, and then prescribed a diet that severely limits my intake, but has worked well....mostly meat and certain vegetables that are low in acid. They have a method called EFT (emotional freedom technique) which helps me deal with my emotions and therefore not go running to my comfort foods, and also helps me with keeping my goals before me (more information: www.emo-free.com) and overall, the EFT counselor has been the biggest asset.
Mostly I associated the phrase "life change" with diet...or worse, prison (but then I'll NEVER get to eat a donut again). When it is a diet...you are supposed to stick to it. When it is a life change, just like a marathon runner can choose to have cake on his birthday, I can choose what I do for THIS MEAL. The next meal, I can choose differently. If I choose to eat at McDonalds, for this meal, or have the bun with my brat and that cheesecake pudding during the Superbowl, I didn't blow it all...I chose to do something differently for lunch (but I could feel more clearly how those foods effect me). I also had the freedom to not take ALL the recommendations they made (like grass fed beef, raw milk, certain supplements, organic veggies, etc.), because my life situation and financial situation make that very difficult at this moment, though they are the eventual goal. I took the month of January to switch from regular water to filtered water, I also took the month to wean off of Pepsi One. This month, I'm working on how to incorporate exercise and improve my sleep patterns. The freedom allowed me more creativity in coming up with solutions. So when I'm famished after a long evening at work, I pick up either a double meat salad with lots of spinach from Subway, or I grab a leg and thigh meal with double green beans from KFC and peel off the breading.
But I have the nutritionist and the EFT counselor calling every two weeks...its part of the program until I'm completely set up...and then they are available.
Its not Atkins. You can eat junk on Atkins and still get away with things. It also is not like Atkins in that the goal is not ketosis. When I incorporate the meat and the veggies (7-8 servings a day)how they tell me, it ends up being more naturally like what The Zone is supposed to be, without having to think about it.
It's also not for everyone. They did a metabolic typing, and I am a protein type. My body responds better to it....and the PCOS proves that. I also tend to digest my food too quickly, they found, and so I'm not getting the nutrients, so the foods picked tend to work better with that. As I get better (and smaller) I should be able to handle more foods, though I probably will not be able to handle wheat and other glucose containing grains on a regular basis. Other metabolic types wouldn't do as well. That's why some people do better on carb based diets, and many others don't (I GAINED weight while devotedly following Weight Watchers...and I never felt worse). And the goal is life long health and a continued lifestyle of eating the most natural foods as possible for the rest of my life.
So, that is what I am doing, and thus far it is working. My jeans feel loose, I'm not really having any cravings, and I found that the pizza I ate last week felt awful to me. Now, that felt good.