Monthly Archives: December 2014

On Being 50…

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I’ve been 50 for almost an entire year, and I have to tell you, that for me and for several 50+ women I’ve talked to, there is something life-changing about becoming this age.  It didn’t happen instantaneously for me at 5:22 a.m. (I think that’s what time I was born) on January 6, 2014.  But I did sense a change in my self in the months leading up to that day.

I know that our society tells us that getting older is something to be avoided at all costs.  We spend LOADS of money and time trying to appear younger and feel healthier.  I’m all for the feeling better and being healthier – and I spend a bunch of cash on organic food and time on making chemically free products for my family.  I believe while I’m here, I should honor my body and my life by putting the best I can afford and acquire into them and I want that for my Honey and our kids, also.  I think that choosing to live this way has far-reaching effects on our environment and our sense of community, in addition to our day-to-day health.  Beyond that, I think I’ll spend my money on helping others to be healthier and educated.  I’m not saying I like all of the physical changes that are happening to my body, but I understand and accept that this is the deal.  We aren’t invincible.  We are constantly moving toward death…

On that note, I thought I would make a list of the things I hate about being 50 and the things I am enjoying…

I hate that I received an AARP enrollment form in the mail.  –  Seriously?!   I thought this happened at 65?!

I’m mostly not crazy about all of the wrinkles around my eyes, on my forehead (that I’ve had since high school) and around my mouth.

Not in-love with the way my chi chi’s hang lower than ever when not racked up in an underwire bra…

Menopause is rearing it’s ugly head and I just want to eat bread and sweets all of the time, so the extra weight that is appearing around my middle is not something I’m thrilled to see in the bathroom mirror each morning.

I can’t seem to lose weight like I used to…

Men do not look at me the way they used to or nearly as often as they used to…

Things that do not suck about being 50:

I am taken much more seriously when I voice my opinion.

I don’t care as much about what I look like as I care about how most people feel around me.

My Honey loves me more than ever and he truly thinks I’m beautiful.  He sees me.

My self-worth doesn’t depend on others nearly as much as it used to.

My Honey and I don’t want new toys like we used to and because of that we actually have cash to live in the moment.

NO credit cards!

I care SO much more about being healthy and SO much less about being thinner.

I’m a Nana!

My children are becoming my friends.

Men don’t look at me the way they used to.

 

I spent SO much of my time trying to make other people hear me, see me, respect my opinions, and think I was worth something.  It took all this time for me to realize this one simple truth:  I am worth it to Him.  He sees me and loves me unconditionally.  He doesn’t care if my children are dressed beautifully or if my house is always in perfect order.  He doesn’t care if I am the head of every organization that my children join and 7 church committees.  In fact, He probably would prefer I wasn’t the head of more than one or two, if any.  He wants us to be more than we do

Doesn’t that sound simple?…  Our culture goes directly against this and we are often enslaved to this way of thinking, this way of doing.  I wish it hadn’t taken me 50 years to figure most of this out.  I’m thankful I have figured some of it out.  I think the best part about being 50 is that I feel more freedom than I ever have and self-acceptance is truly a reality.  It’s a gift to be okay in your own (wrinkly) skin…

 

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Booch, Kefir and Good Bacteria!

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Recently I started making kombucha.  My Honey loves it and it’s great for arthritis and a myriad of other ailments.  It also costs about $4.00 for each 12-16 oz. bottle in stores.  OUCH! – So, I started looking into it, bought some cool bottles and one large jar to add to my first gallon sized fermenting jar and now I’ve got 2 batches rotating about 2 days apart so that we have a constant batch going and fresh booch all of the time.  I’ve made cherry, blueberry, mixed berry, lemon-ginger, pineapple ginger, lime-ginger, orange-ginger, and plain-old ginger.  I am also going to try a cranberry-ginger later today.

I don’t especially love the taste, as it’s a bit vinegar-y for me, but I’ve already noticed my knees don’t hurt nearly as much as I climb up and down our stairs, so I’m more than willing to suck it up for health!  The ginger varieties are definitely my favorites so far, which surprised me, honestly.  I was sure I would love all of the cherry and berry varieties, but the ginger mellows the vinegar in such a natural blending kind of way that is very pleasant to the palate.  My next batch will be one I blend with some good organic juice varieties.  I think I’ll let this booch batch ferment a bit longer since it will combine with the juice and I want the full benefits, in spite of cutting the amount of booch in each serving.

Initially, we spent about $40.00 for the glass jar and glass stopper bottles.  For each batch I think we spend around $3.50 for the ingredients to make one gallon of booch.  This includes 7 organic tea bags, 1 gallon of distilled water, 1 cup of organic sugar and whatever fruit or flavoring we use.  For instance, to make a gallon of booch we used about an inch of ginger root and then about the equivalent of a half of an orange in various fruits since you only need a small bit of fruit and/or ginger in each 16 oz. bottle.

I’ve been making kefir for a couple of years now.  This past August, when I went back to school (I teach 1st grade), I was so busy that I put my kefir in the fridge because i was exhausted and kept forgetting about it.  Well, then I forgot about it for over 2 months.  I had to order new grains a few week ago and they are beauties, I tell ya!  This time I’ve decided to do the double fermenting method.  It increases the growth of all of the good stuff and makes it even healthier for us!  I used to add it to our smoothies, but I think we’re going to start drinking more kefir with a little fruit in order to get more of this amazing stuff into our bodies!  Did you know that kefir has over 60 beneficial probiotics and yeasts?  Yogurt has only 5-6!  Now, we make our own yogurt (well, my daughter does), and it is SO much more delicious than any store bought yogurt we’ve ever tasted, so, I’m not saying don’t eat yogurt, just know that kefir has much more of the good stuff in it!!  I also don’t love the taste of kefir, but with some fresh or frozen organic fruit whipped in, it is truly delicious!

Fermented food is SO VERY good for us.  We have become such a sterile society in so many ways that we’ve gotten rid of the good bacteria that fights the bad bacteria in our bodies.  I heard an interesting, yet disturbing bit of information from Jim Dooley, Executive Director at the New Angela Foundation.  He says that the average person has 10% good bacteria in his/her body and 90% bad bacteria. The great news is that if we make kefir a regular part of our diet, we can flip those numbers around so that we can have a healthier body with 90% good bacteria & 10% bad bacteria.

We are now drinking kefir every morning and booch with lunch and dinner.  I’m really excited to see how much better we are all going to feel.  We are already noticing some improvement in our general health and energy levels.

I know some people are thinking that they just don’t have the time to do this kind of stuff!  Some of you are feeling like you could never do this right.  Well, I’m here to tell you that if I can do it, anybody can!  And as far as time goes:  I think it takes about an hour a week to do both kefir (every other day) and booch (once a week, 2 batches).  For the money we are saving, the amount of waste we are not contributing (buying multiple bottles at store each week), and the satisfaction we get knowing we are doing these incredibly healthy acts of kindness for our bodies and the earth for very little financial cost, there is really no question in our minds.

This is something I am very passionate about.  I get such a high every time I make something that makes my husband and children healthier.  It isn’t about living longer or looking younger, it’s about feeling better and taking care of the body He blessed me with.  I’m so thankful to the people who have shown me pieces of their healthier lives and patiently shown me how i can do the same simple and amazing things for myself and my family.  I’m also very thankful that we have the internet.  I don’t know how my family and I could do most of these things without watching 15 videos before we have the courage to do it ourselves!

Here’s to health and saving money!!

Kefir & Kombucha

Shrinks, Insanity, and Calling in my Markers

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lucy doctor is in peanutsI’ve been seeing a counselor.  She’s a 12-step girl, so she speaks my language and she is all about keeping it real.  She doesn’t let me gloss over or avoid the uncomfortable stuff.  I feel exhausted every time I leave her office.  I also feel a little more substantial, like I’m beginning to live the life He means for me to live.  His path is a bit scary for me because it’s not what I’m used to.  What I’m used to is messed up in a lot of ways, so I’m mostly ready to leave it behind, but some of the broken parts of me prefer what they’re used to.  The unknown, even when it’s healthier, is scary.  Dysfunction is comfortable.  That’s why so many of us live in it for years.  That is also the reason others often attempt to sabotage people who try to leave the dysfunction and live a healthier life.  When people shine a light on the ugliness that has been our life, we feel cornered if we aren’t ready to take an honest look and make some changes.

I have some Bible verses that I have carried with me and they’ve helped me through some incredibly difficult moments in life.  I also have this:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome…”

These are the words that have made me move, re-examine, confess, change.  – and it hasn’t been a one-time deal, either.  These words have been my anchor on a few momentous occasions on my journey through life.

My newest epiphany is that I am allowed to not be perfect and accept, even expect, the grace that others should extend me just as I extend grace to them.  I don’t really think I’m perfect at all, but I have a tendency to try to be perfect and then beat myself up HUGE when I’m inevitably imperfect, as everyone is.  I’m trying to find that place where I can do my best in that moment and then walk away without having to do the best I ever have without anything wrong for some not-so-good reasons, like that’s where I get my sense of worth from, or because I’ll be punished if I don’t give my all and then some, or because I’m terrified that someone will see me as anything less than the hardest worker, best mom, best wife or best teacher…  It’s exhausting, y’all!

I’m going to try to find a better place to be in these areas.  I have no doubt this will be an ugly and hysterically funny journey for me.  I will probably go too far the other way, or, at times, justify not changing much, but saying I have, and I’m sure I’ll make a bunch of other mistakes along the way – all of which will drive my family absolutely crazy, I’m sure.  Some of them are already not so thrilled with the new, “improved” version of me that is emerging.  That’s okay because I haven’t been terribly thrilled with them at times, but I never quit on them, so I’m calling in my markers.  I’m worth fighting for and I’m worth extending grace to.

All of us are.  That’s why He sacrificed His son’s life for us.  He loves us unconditionally and chose to die for our sins so that we could have everlasting life, right?  And in the meantime, I’m tired of being less than He means for me to be because my life has beat me up a bit and my dysfunction keeps bringing me pain.  I want to be free while I’m here and I want to set that example for my children and grandchildren.  I want to truly live.  I know that sounds cliché, but it’s the stuff.  It scares the bejeebies out of me and excites me all at the same time.  I think that’s why He gave me moxie.  I have to find it, dust it off and learn to allow it to be a part of me again.  I want to embrace the parts of me that I have been made to feel ashamed of since I was very young.  In doing that, I hope to help others to remember who He made them to be and embrace all of themselves, because He does – completely.

Here’s to FREEDOM and change.

Here’s to Choice and Moxie.

Here’s to Persevering.

Here’s to Love…