Stationary Drifting


New Blog Categories

I’m rearranging my site (again). I’ve been thinking for a while that I should move it over to wordpress.org so that I have more/all control over how this place is set up, how it looks and be able to add some plug-ins that I would be pumped about having. I just can’t decide if its worth the work and money to do that. This is not exactly a site that generates a lot of readership (hi dad), and it doesn’t really have any kind of a concise theme, plus I’m a bit off and on about it….BUT, I do want to turn it into the kind of blog that I would be proud to show off my ranting on, and I like the idea of owning the stationarydrifting url. I’m really into other peoples blogs and blogging in general so I’ve been wanting to ‘upgrade’ as it were to play with the mid-leagues. I don’t know, thinking of a pro/con list right now, and maybe need to spend some real time thinking about what I want to do with this corner of the web before investing all this time and energy. It is worth it to make me work it?

/// I realize that Missy Elliott is not even remotely talking about the same thing ///

ANYWAY, that was all a very random way of setting up the fact that I wanted to say a little thing about how I have rearranged and updated my categories (again).

SO without further ado I give you:

About – wherein you can find some basics about me, my sketchy plan for stationary drifting (for now), and how to find me on other social media sites. Minus the book of faces and twitter because I still feel pretty private about those ones.

Write/Say – which is where I post my rants (stationary drift), my project where I try and write something good every day to maintain a certain balance and gratitude in my life and try and avoid getting depressed at times (small things project), and where I post things that are exciting me mostly stuff I want enough to take off my pinterest boards and make a big deal about in the hopes that someone who might be looking for a present for me would take notice, or just to highlight for myself ({wishlist}). Occasionally I write things worth saying in public, but mostly I just write things I want to get off my chest.

Make/Do – this category is where you can see some things I do beside ranting and/or complaining on the internet. I post pictures, reviews, and recipes of food I’ve tried making lately, mostly baked goods because let’s be honest that’s what I like to eat more than anything else in the world (eating). I also have a category about my brief/failed attempt at a cleanse this spring, I’m leaving it up there partially because I want to inspire myself to try again and partially because there’s some good information in it. Also, its the one link on my blog that draws continual attention, usually from pinterest (spring cleanse). I put all my posts about the crafting I do and remember to post about, from sewing to knitting to otherwise diy’ing my house up so that it looks like I have some sort of a life (making). ANDDD, if you know me you know that I’m pretty into alternative medicines, especially herbal remedies and home make body and cleaning products. I’m starting to get more into making stuff at home so whenever I do something new or learning something new it will go up here, remember that I’m no expert though so don’t take what I say as medical advice. Its a bit skimpy at the moment but trust, it will get bigger (healing).

Look/See – I.love.photography. So expect to see more of this than anything else under this category. I have 5 cameras and my phone which I use to take pictures nearly all the time. Most of my cameras are film so whenever I develop my latest roll or have some quality polaroids I post them kind of en masse. This is a section of the site I really want to grow to encompass my real love of taking pictures (photography). I know that this is kind of sounding like a failed project theme but I took a bit of a blogging break over this summer while I got married and found a job, I really want to get back to the photography project my brother and I were doing. I have a goal this year of challenging myself to see the world through a lens differently (52 themes). Last but (kind of) not least, I’ve been feeling like my personal style could use some updating now that I’m about to finish my MA, and married and am weeks away from my 30th birthday. I’m not really a genderqueer punk-y kid anymore but unfortunately my clothes don’t really reflect that. So I’m setting myself a whole category to document clothes I like, thrift, see, outfits I try, etc. I’m not going to pretend I have the ability to have a style section or that I have really any interest in making this into a style blog but hey, if you’re interested in talking or reading about the style of an almost 30, queer, hard femme, and how to make that work this is the category to look under (reluctant style ///under construction///).

Okay, so that’s that. Check back and tell me what you think, if you’re actually there. Comment if you feel so inclined, its nice to have something other than spam comments every now and then. And please do share your thoughts about free hosting vs. self-directed blogs. I really am trying to figure out what to do.


I woke up really early. Was going to have a productive morning but was too tired

I am my own worst enemy on this. I don’t know when I started being the type of person who needed to go to bed early, which is fine and all but it hasn’t been matched with with an ability to wake up early (some people would disagree with my definition of early). I’ve been trying to wake up at a reasonable time lately and it is doing basically nothing for me except making me excessively sleepy throughout the day.

Take today for example. I had to take some brownies I made yesterday over to my friend’s house before she left said house at 8:45. I got up with just enough time to put on some wildly inappropriate clothing for interacting with the business folks on the metro at 8am, pushing my hair into what I can best approximate as a pony tail, and stalked off to her place promising myself, as I always do when I have to get up much earlier than usual, that I could crawl back into bed upon returning home. The morning got the best of me though and after leaving her place I decided to walk home and enjoy the morning light/air/feeling of being productive like those working people on the metro, and got it into my head that I would make good use of this early started day. A feeling that stuck around in all its glory for the rest of the morning while I made myself coffee and settled in to ‘read the news’ and drink coffee before ‘getting to work’. As soon as I was installed in my chair the glory faded and I ended up sleepily reading my newest blog obsession until it was way past the time I normally get my shit together. ///Sidebar: Kings & Cosmics is a hilarious blog by a stay at home mom with no intentions of crafting her way to blog fame, plus she is unendingly (not a word) witty which always gets my good graces///

This is not an isolated incident. And is not terrible in and of itself except that I’m watching my window of productivity be horribly shortened to the point that I’m worried that I have literally no productive times. I mean, I’m blogging right now aren’t I? I suppose that’s mildly productive, moreso than being catatonic on the couch, but not enough to make me feel good about myself. If I can’t get working early, I feel ready to ‘relax’ by 5/6pm and my brain checks out entirely by midnight at the latest then when the fuck am I supposed to be a useful person to myself or anyone else?

Sad state of affairs I’m complaining about sleeping and self-directed work time but whatever this is my corner of the www and I can do what I want with it.


spring cleanse: days 1-3

I’m just going to do this like my small things project because frankly I can’t think of another way to do it right now. All I want is chocolate.

Day 1:

I started the cleanse today. I was doing really good too, drinking my teas, avoiding bread and dairy. I went to the gym. I talked it out with Marseau, we made a late (late) lunch and as soon as we were done BAM I wanted sugar really really badly. I rarely crave sugar anymore, mostly because I have been baking a lot, but I  really think that this will be the hardest part.

So far I’m not feeling anything else that’s all that different or hard. I feel surprisingly pretty energized given that I haven’t had any coffee today, everything else is going pretty well. I’m hungry but I don’t know if that’s because I worked out or because I haven’t had my usual filling wheat flour. 2 weeks feels like a really really long time from here. I hope that I get some good results to keep me going.

Day 2:

I woke up feeling crappy. I don’t know if its because I’ve been sleeping badly or because of the cleanse but I feel like I have a cold coming on. I think its because of the cleanse though, I’ve heard that people generally feel shitty the first few days. If that’s true I’m definitely on schedule. Could possibly be from the fact that I quit smoking cold turkey too.

Also, I’m hungry. I gotta do some research of what I can eat because I need some good snacks that fit within these stupid restrictions.

I miss coffee and I miss sweet things. A lot. I still think about it all the time. Which is weird because I don’t think I ate really all that much sugar in my daily life but for some reason the fact that I can’t succumb to a craving is making me want it very intensely.

Nothing all that great to report today. I went to the gym and did my workout, but I didn’t feel energized like I usually do. I just feel tired, cranky, and a shitty. Things better look up soon or I’m going to go back to sugar. This is no trade.

Day 3:

I still feel shitty but definitely less shitty than yesterday. The cold symptoms are still gone and I’m not craving sugar quite so much. I’m just missing caffeine and am feeling a bit slow.

I’m starting to get angry at the cleanse though and how its blocking me from having all the delicious foods that I like eating. I considered quitting it this coming weekend when Marseau and Mood started planning a soul food night (how can I live without the cheese

smoothie for my sugar cravings, tea for my herbal stuff (I think that this is the dandelion root one)

biscuits and breaded chicken?). I’m still planning on seeing it through but I’m annoyed.

I’m less hungry though, or at least I’m starting to fill satisfied with the food I am eating and can feel decent after a big meal, not still hungry. I think that this means that usually I eat a lot of carbs to fill me up. I know that I’m not supposed to have gluten but I’ve kind of cut out most carbs (minus granola) for the moment. I’m going to look for rice crackers and maybe corn chips soon though for snacking. Must also get apples


spring cleanse

(warning: I am not a herbalist or a medical professional of any kind. I’m sharing my cleanse plan because I want to write about it, not because I know that it will be healthy for everyone. Please don’t take this as advice and if you plan on doing this or something like this make sure its okay for you.)

teas

Today is the day that I start my first ever cleanse!! Holy crap this is going to be hard. 2 weeks of a restricted diet, drinking tons of tea and being strong willed. NO CHOCOLATE! I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to drink coffee, I’m not allowed to have cow milk in it though. Deeeeeeep sigh.

I’m kind of constructing my own plan, not without advice though. I went to the see the herbalists at the health food place in the market (Alfalfa) and got a couple of teas, the Flor Essense herbal tea blend, dandelion root and ‘aubier de tilleul’ which translates to limewood (and might be the same as linden? unsure). Anyway, the herbalist recommended this in combination with eating lots of green veggies, avoiding processed foods, sugars, dairy and heavy meats (like red meat) for 2-3 weeks. Both of them said that they are doing this exact thing right now and also eating only green veggies for a week. Apparently spring is a really good time to do this kind of cleanse. I don’t know why exactly but it makes sense anyway.

I’ve also been doing some research online and am planning on having a restricted diet for the next 2 weeks. I’m not going to cut out a large amount of food, just particular types (dairy, wheat flour, junk food and sugars – but not fruits) for a while to give my body a little boost. I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately, and might be getting a cold from my crappy sleep pattern these days so I’m hoping this helps. This on top of my new workout schedule and quitting smoking, I have high hopes to be feeling good this spring.

Maybe I’ll blog about it in particular to see how it goes over time and share what’s going on. I’ve been planning this all week but didn’t start because I wanted to make sure my body wasn’t too stressed by my new workout lifestyle and lack of nicotine first, and I had to finish that pan of brownies I made for Corrie Sunday night! Can’t waste baked goods!

SO here is a bit of an outline of my plan.

– Herbal Teas (2-3 times daily)

Flor-Essence is taken in warm water 30mins before meals for 2-3 weeks

I’ve been doing a bunch of reading about this stuff before I start taking it, to make sure its safe and will do what they say it will do and also because I’m a herb nerd and like to know these things. Here’s what I know about it so far. Its a blend of a bunch of herbs that have an immuno-boosting & detoxifying effect. A lot of websites like it for a lot of reasons, including some traditional medicine ones because it is looking like it might be useful in fighting some forms of cancer, or at least treating it. Here is the information I got from a website called National Nutrition:

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) contains inulin, flavonoids (including quercetin), lignans, tannins, volatile oils, vitamins and minerals. A strong antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating, and can reduce cell mutations while cleansing and strengthening. Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral; increases lymph drainage. This burdock root is North American and certified organic.

Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is an astringent, diuretic and laxative; it also oxygenates tissues and provides immune system support. All aerial parts are used as they contain several effective antioxidants including flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Sheep sorrel is a bile stimulant with phytoestrogenic and anti-inflammatory qualities. North American-grown and certified organic.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is noted for soothing inflammatory irritation, especially of the digestive tract, due to its mucilage content. Alkalizes by balancing pH in the GI tract; also absorbs toxins from the bowel and reduces bowel transit time. Contains high concentrations of antioxidants including beta-sitosterol, beta-carotene and proanthocyanidins. Certified organic when available.

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a heavy metal detoxifier, a rich source of chlorophyll for blood cleansing, and increases the flow of bile for improved digestion. Excellent protection against xenoestrogens and many hormone-related diseases, it contains indoles (also present in cruciferous vegetables), which deactivate excess estrogen and eliminate it from the body.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is an antioxidant and blood purifier, and facilitates elimination of toxins through the skin, kidneys and colon. Shown to combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections, it has been used for lung, liver and digestive ailments. This legume contains isoflavones that help balance hormones and protect against xenoestrogens. The leaf and blossom are harvested from certified organic plants grown in North America.

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) contains a bitter-tasting compound called ‘cnicin’, which increases the flow of gastric juices, thereby relieving indigestion and headaches associated with liver congestion. Blessed thistle is an anti-inflammatory and contains lignans that have proven antimicrobial activity. The flower top is harvested from plants grown in North America. Certified organic.

Kelp (Laminaria digitata) contains alginates, which soothe and cleanse the intestines, and help to neutralize heavy metals and radiation (including electromagnetic fields from TV’s, computers etc.) in the body. Kelp stimulates the immune system and supplies minerals including iodine for healthy thyroid function and metabolism, and to help control pre-cancerous breast lumps. Harvested near Iceland and certified organic.

Turkish Rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum) helps to safely normalize bowel movements, cleanse the liver and detoxify the colon. A safe and effective laxative, Turkish rhubarb also exhibits anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and antiviral activity. Increases the flow of saliva and gastric juices for improved digestion. Certified organic when available.

kidney, liver, digestion, blood, thyroid, metabolism, colon, intestines, skin, lung, bowel, lymph nodes, immune system, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.

I can use all these things.

Dandelion root, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled in water for 5-10 mins, strained. 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre dandelion root is rich in vitamins A, B, C & D, minerals like iron, potassium and zinc, is good for the liver, kidney, swelling, skin, heartburn, stomach upset, high blood pressure and digestion. Its a diuretic.

From the above website:

Traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Linden/sapwood of lime tree, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled and strained, 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

This one was a little harder to look up because I only had the french name for it. It translates to sapwood of lime tree, which some places say is another name for linden (sapwood not flowers). From what I can figure out this is good for calming anxiety, promoting relaxation and calmness, sleep aid, liver, gallbladder, soothing an upset stomach, fighting infection, promotes blood flow, and boosting immune system.  (from WebMD & Livestrong Foundation)

I was told the I could take the dandelion root and linden together or separately but in total I should have having some combination of those teas 3 times per day. Not 2-3 times each.

– Food Plan

The herbalist told me to avoid processed foods, dairy, heavy meats, sugar and fat; and eat a lot of green veggies. Which all make sense to me. I’ve been reading up about other cleanses online though, particularly the wild rose cleanse which I’ve heard good things about and I’m going to add this.

Avoid:

  • processed foods
  • wheat flour (gluten)
  • dairy (except butter – I don’t know why butter is okay but I’ll take it)
  • tropical fruits (apparently they have a lot of allergens that the body can react to in the absence of all these other things)
  • alcohol
  • sugar

Eat:

  • lots of green veggies
  • soups and broths
  • beans, nuts and grains
  • almonds, fruit, millet, buckwheat, and brown rice
  • neutral foods like most veggies

So here it goes! Crossing my fingers that I won’t have too many side effects and am able to keep it up. If anyone has cleanse strategies they would like to share I’d love to hear them. Including how to motivate yourself to stay at it, what you ate or didn’t eat, recipes, how to deal with side effects. I’m curious to be testing this out and how my body will react!


April is for resolutions

January is not a good month for resolutions. I feel like the world is ending in January. Its so dark and cold and all I want to do is curl up under the blankets, watch a movie and eat baked goods. Basically winter is like one long pms cycle for me. The beginning of January is the last possible time I ever want to do anything active or motivate myself to do stuff I really really don’t want to do. Besides, everyone knows that the new year starts Sept 1 with the start of a new school semester. I don’t care how long you’ve been out of school, the beginning of fall is when its time to start the calendar over again.

A great time for resolutions is the beginning of spring though. When the snow finally leaves, the air starts to get warmer, hope and enjoyment of life returns, and I have all sorts of new energy. Its the time of the year that I want to clean out all my cupboards and drawers, air out the house and start planting a garden. This is the time of year that I want to make life changes, to make resolutions and really feel like I have a chance of keeping them.

So that said, here are my new season life plans:

1. Be Healthier

This one is a 3 part-er some more immediate term and some longer term, as all get healthy plans are.

– Join a gym

Marseau bought a damn scale this week and now I know how much I weigh. I hate knowing how much I weigh, it makes me so self conscious about my weight. I know that I’ve been gaining weight as I get older (I am constantly reminded of this fact whenever I go home ~ why do people insist on commenting on other people’s weight by the way?). I’m trying to learn to be okay with this fact, and okay with not being the skinny ideal in general. My height, frame, genetics, love of good foods all keep me from looking like a supermodel. I have accepted that and frankly sometimes I think that models kinda look unhealthily skinny. Trying not to comment or judge other peoples’ weight either here. The truth is that ever since I stopped biking because I was too scared/in pain after my accident I haven’t really been getting any exercise. Even if climbing the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment with a load of groceries feels that way. I found a gym that’s 3 blocks away from me that has pilates, and I like pilates (waaaaaaay more than yoga, but that’s a different story), it also has spinning and I don’t know if I like spinning but I want to like it. It has a steam room and a regular gym part (that I’m less excited about) I think that if I like some of the classes I would go frequently and start feeling like I’m getting some exercise and get energy from that. My goal is to get healthy enough to join a boxing gym, I really want to learn how to fight. In the meantime though I just want to drop some weight and feel healthier. I don’t have any particular goal weight and I’m not going to diet/deprive myself. I just want to feel better in general.

Which leads me to my second point:

– Quit smoking

I’ve been a smoker for a long time now, and I’ve been quitting smoking about as long as I have been a smoker. I’ve never been particularly successful at it, in that I don’t think I ever have truly stopped. But its my goal to not smoke anymore by the time I’m 30. This gives me 6months of quitting, possible relapses and learning to be able to see people smoke or go to parties without wanting to smoke myself. Even more difficult will be watching Marseau smoke in front of me and not want one myself too. So, as of today I have a rule that I’m not going to smoke before 6pm. No more daytime smoking. Once that becomes easier I want to go down to no more than one smoke a day. My mid-term goal is to only smoke when I’m drinking by the end of April. Long term is to stop once and for all in 6months. I’ve never felt like I was exactly addicted to smoking, I mean I can stop for days or weeks without feeling shitty or getting cranky. I never have felt like I NEED a smoke. Its just very much a habit for me. Waiting for the bus, after eating a big meal, feeling socially awkward, needing to go outside for a bit, social times with smoker friends, writing a paper or grading and needing a short break, are all reasons to smoke for me. Its been the time filler or self care or stress reliever for me for going on…..8 years now. I can’t believe its been that long! I want to have pink lungs again (or whatever colour they are supposed to be). Plus smoking weakens my immune system and I don’t need more ways to be able to get sick.

Finally:

– Do a cleanse

I’ve never done one of these before. I used to be really disdainful of cleanses (quelle surprise, me being disdainful), maybe its because the people I knew who did cleanses just stopped eating and drank a lot of chili, maple syrup and lemon juice mixes. That always seemed (and still seems) ridiculous to me, and I don’t get how that can be healthy at all. I do get how going back to basics and cleaning out my body make sense though, and I like the kinds of cleanses that people I know now do, which include cutting out a lot of food things that are rough on the system, letting my body relax a bit and slowly reintroducing more complex foods one by one. I’m all into herbs and alt health care so this seems like less of a crazy thing to do than it did year ago. Even if this is the shortest term ‘get healthy’ goal of mine, I think it might be the hardest. Particularly not drinking coffee but also I’m bad at monitoring my food. It will be a good exercise in self-discipline. Which I really need because, life plan #2 is going to require a lot of it.

2. Finish my thesis

This shit is for real. I’ve been letting this large and scary amount of work paralyze me into inaction for way too long (just ask Marseau and my mom ~ the 2 most invested in me finishing). I sit in front of my computer every day and just look at it, and then I get up and tell myself that I need to get groceries, do the dishes, make dinner, finish someone’s bday present, whatever seems more manageable and less terrifying at the moment. The problem is that even if I’m not sitting here looking at it, its looking at me, from inside my head. I wake up early in the morning thinking about it, I feel guilty as soon as I wake up, and every time a friend asks me to do something my brain says that I can’t I should be working. Most people’s reaction to this kind of thing would be to just do it. My response is to ask first if you’ve ever written an academic book that you feel totally unprepared and unqualified to write and then when you do finally finish it you must sit in front of a panel of experts while they tear it apart? Sounds like a stress nightmare to me but its actually my life. Many of you may answer yes to that question, and kudos to you but this shit terrifies me. Which is not to say that I’m not going to do it. I am. Starting today I’m going to work at this like its my job, which of course, it is.

I should probably write something about getting a job and saving money, or being better about calling my family, or sleeping but I already feel like I’ve got a lot down there. The road to self-discipline can’t all be traveled in one day right? I don’t know, probably not, maybe I’ll look into it tomorrow or something….

 


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Eating: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Bars

I have one helluva sweet tooth. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that yet. Don’t let the nice bread and humus recipes fool you. I would live off baked goods if I could manage it. Anything with chocolate, whipped cream/icing, and cupcakes is a-okay by me. I’m the person who reads the desert menu first when I get to a restaurant, meals are often means to a (desert) ends. I love eating and good food of all kinds but give me a dense, sweet baked good any day. Just ask my parents, I could put away a box of chocolates in an hour without getting sick. I can still do that now, I just try harder not to.

Case in point. I made this chipotle flourless chocolate cake twice last week (which I found over at the Kitchen Sink). Once for Felicia’s 30th birthday party. It was a hit there by the way, gone before I could take a picture. And once just for me and M, where it was also gone in about a day before I could take a picture again. It’s really really good, especially warm out of the oven. I highly suggest taking the recipe makers advice and getting good ingredients because there are so few of them. I used a block of semi-sweet calibault chocolate (again, I love living near Little Italy). I couldn’t find chipolte up here, which I found weird. So I used regular chili, which was still good. The sweetness of the cake coupled with the burn of the spices is incredible.

I also made these Peanut Butter Brownies, from Smitten Kitchen the other week around the time of the soul food night. I’ve been have a lot of late night baking urges recently and this was one of those times. I was surprised how easy making ganache is. Its the perfect top to contrast the salty peanut butter bottom. They lasted a bit longer than the cake and made excellent evening snacks for a little while.

This baked up super fast. Though I think I over cooked it a little bit (my oven runs hot) because it was a little dry-er than I hoped. Its good enough to put in rotation in the baked goods tupperwear though. I took it to my friends’ for dinner and they fought over who got the bigger piece.

Off to get more butter for more baking.