Changing my world, one step at a time

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still here

No, I haven't forgotten you and yes, I'm still here. The pain that I have been dealing with has gotten significantly worse and is making it impossible to function. The neurologist had taken me off one of my pain meds because of the side effects that I was experiencing and I had to stop my other pain meds because of some tests that had to be done. Now my doctor is reinstating them all (plus a different one as well) but one at a time in an effort to get the right combination of pills and dosages. The project is put on hold due to this. Hopefully, within the next few days, my pain control will be better and I can continue the project where I left off.

Thank for your patience! And I'll try to get my superstar (aka: Maddie) to post in the meantime.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maddie: Getting Involved

Hey dudes.

As you know, my mom is getting back on track for the next 21 days. Since I'm already on track, I'm going to try to achieve the goals I want, and get involved in and outside of the school.

Last week there was a club showcase at my school. I decided to look around and join what I was interested. Though I'm dropping band, (and potentially music if I can get into a grade 10 art course...VOCAL MUSIC??!?!...hopefulllyyyyy) I've joined a million things in return.
SOOO, I auditioned for the school production of The King and I, and I'm in the chorus as a royal child and even though the chorus isn't good enough and I don't feel like accomplished anything I still have to stick with it. And I auditioned for Seussical at a local theatre, and call backs are Sunday. And I tried out for the improv team except I didn't make it which is just retarded because the people who just sat there and did nothing got callbacks and its stupid and I hate it and gah.

And I joined roleplaying club which is fun, and also very amusing because it's a bunch of guys, some girls (like 2 or 3), mostly geeky kids and then theres me, like this little preppy ninth grade girl (though I really am a dork at heart. Why else would I hve joined RPing? xD) .

Anddddd I'm trying out for Cappies Critics tomorrow. Which is where you like watch school plays and review them, and I'm hoping I make it because it's theatre and writing, two things that I really love.

And I joined creative writing though I haven't been going because the club days are always on wednesdays and theres usually girls singing rehearsals for The King and I.

To be honest, I'm feeling really lame and dissapointed with myself, because I suck at everything.

I'm in a bad mood.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day Three...back on track

I left the house this morning at 10:00 and didn't get back until 2 or so this afternoon. Between being out and dealing with phone calls I didn't get much else done. Other than wash sheets and make dinner. No time for yoga or anything else today :(

I made some homemade artisan bread when I got home. I love, love, love this bread. There are only 4 ingredients: water, yeast, salt and flour. Unfortunately, it's made with white flour...which I try to avoid. I think I'll try playing around with it and see what I can do with different flours and maybe the addition of flax.

Along with the bread I served a leek and potato soup for dinner, carrot sticks and cheddar slices. I usually make dessert on soup nights and I made oatmeal, chocolate chip and raisin cookies while the bread dough was rising. I also made a chocolate "mousse" (made with silken tofu) to have with raspberries but I forgot to serve it. Ooops! I guess that'll be for tomorrow.

Well, that's it for today. I'm taking my tea upstairs so that I can stretch out with my book and hopefully drop off to sleep early!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day two...back on track

Despite being out until almost eleven last night and having a heck of a time sleeping due to pain and a stuffy nose, I managed 20 minutes of yoga this morning. Quite pleased about that. I didn't think I'd be able to do it all (gentle or not!). I also dragged my way through the rest of my morning routine and my weekly chores. It's tough today because I'm tired and it's extremely cold and dreary outside.

After a veggie burger and a nap I tackled one of my bookcases. I only managed to cull a few books from it but that's okay at least it's something. Then I cleaned the bookcase out before returning the books, wiped down the walls and entry window and washed the rug. The entry suddenly looks better. And it took me less than 1/2 hour (plus the drying of the rug). We build these chores up in our minds until they are these huge gigantic jobs that we don't want to tackle but they usually aren't that big at all. Tomorrow is a pretty busy day so I don't know that I'll have time to do anything outside of my usual stuff. Thank goodness housework doesn't go anywhere. Lol.

On another note, I spent 10 minutes in front of my meditation altar this morning after the yoga. I felt such a wonderful sense of peace after sitting with the silence and just "being". It isn't always like that. Sometimes your mind won't co-operate or the grocery list plays in an endless loop in your head. But then other times, it really does live up to what it's sold as and you can feel it...Peace.

For dinner tonight I made a pepper and mushroom fritatta, then steamed some chard and seasonned it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I also made roasted rosemary new potatoes, a perennial favourite around here.

There are three of us sick with a cold here. Amazingly, I am not one (so far!). I'm going to go and make sure everyone is on track to get to bed early tonight and get some extra sleep. Bliss!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day one...back on track

So I managed to follow my new daily routine this morning and have done my Monday chores. Given that this is such a heavy run around kind of day there was no extra de-cluttering happening but there's always tomorrow. I have tweaked my daily/weekly rhythms to better reflect the new school year. If you are interested, you can see it posted on my other blog:

I've got some general guidelines to try and follow in regards to diet. I've done some serious backsliding in the healthy diet department and have really got to smarten up. I need to get well and feel better and following a healthy diet can only help. I'll be eating mostly vegetarian with some fish and meat once a week at the most. I'd like to get to the point where I can eliminate it entirely but I unfortunately like it too much, at this point in my life anyway. Who knows what the future will bring? The same with dairy. But what I can do is consciously choose to eat a lot less of these things and eat a lot more of the things that are good for me.

Every day I'll try to include:

~ 2-3 L of filtered water and 1-3 cups of herbal tea. Start the day with lemon/aloe vera and water again.

~ 2-3 pieces of fruit

~ a fresh salad or big plate of crudites

~ 2 cups of cooked vegetables

~ 1 cup of cooked legumes or a serving of tofu, tempeh or fish. Once a week a small serving of meat (if I want it, if not even better!)

~ 2 Tbs. of flax seeds

~ 1/8-1/4 cup of raw nuts/seeds or 2 Tbs nut/seed butter (I want to try sunflower seed butter next)

~ a square or two of dark chocolate

I've adapted these guidelines from the book "Get it Ripe" by Jae Steele, which is an EXCELLENT primer on vegan cooking and living. And she's a Canadian girl :)

I started off this morning with a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt with some grated apple mixed in and some wild blueberries and walnuts on top. It's been awhile since I ate such a healthy breakfast and it felt good. I wish that I could find a soy yogurt that I like but I've tried two so far and they're not been very pleasant. So for the moment greek yogurt it is!

I planned this week's menu with the sales in mind. I also checked what we already had in the freezer/pantry and based some meals around these things. I'm trying really hard to keep our food costs down. By the time we had made our three stops we had spent a grand total of $160.00. Not bad considering that this includes a ten pack of CFL bulbs for $20.00 and a 6 pack of recycled paper towels. We are feeding 7 people for that.

For dinner tonight I made a vegan chili and vegan corn muffins. I have posted about them before during the vegan cleanse. I served these with a quick and dirty tossed salad. I'm having a cup of blueberry white tea and then I'm off to an Al-Anon meeting. I'm in pain and I don't feel well but I really need this, so I'm going to go.

Sleep well everyone. More tomorrow...


Sunday, September 19, 2010

New project: Back on track

Our new project is all about getting back on track. This is more for me than Maddie. She's got it together pretty good! But we'll talk about areas she wants to improve on and she can go from there.

As for me...well, my house is a mess, I haven't been exercising in any way, meditating, eating right...For the most part I am like an alcoholic who has gone on a binge of depression and lack of motivation! Well, enough already! This is starting to make me crazy.

The most difficult part of all this is that I have no money. And we really need to cut the grocery budget for awhile. So this is going to be difficult. That's okay. A challenge can be a good thing. I'm working on the details today and we'll get started tomorrow. I'm tired of being so unhappy with myself. The details behind it don't even matter.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

going, going, gone

Well, I wouldn't call this last project a total success. But neither would I call it a total failure either. Despite not doing as much as we wanted to do, we were pretty successful at the things we did attempt.

1. I stopped buying paper napkins and we have been using our cloth ones.

2. Still not 100% with using cloth bags all the time but getting better.

3. We have been composting so much more and also recycling more. We've become a lot more aware of what is going into the garbage. Well, at least I have!

4. Nothing to say here, the shower curtain is still gone :)

5. Using the cloths for cleaning and wiping up, even using the lint free ones for window and mirror cleaning.

6. I posted a couple of days ago on my no 'poo results.

7. I'm still reminding the kids to use the timer for showers.

8. Continuing to replace our burnt out incandescents with CFLs. This is going to be a long term, on going project. I will tell you though, the bulb in our laundry room used to burn out every 3-4 weeks because it's on so much. It's left on all night because the boys sleeping in the basement use it to see the stairs and not break their necks going up and down! We switched over to a CFL bulb about 4 months ago and haven't had to change it as of nice!

9. I've switched to recycled toilet paper

10. I made some surface cleaner

11. We made our own laundry soap!

It was so very, very easy... I had Steve finely grate a bar of Ivory soap (he used the attachment for the Kitchen Aid to do it) and then I added 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax. We use 1-2 Tablespoon per wash. It even worked on the basket of clothes that a certain cat peed in...twice. I did use the 2 Tbs on that load though :)

It works wonderfully well. When your clothes are done they just smell clean. There's no soapy smell but no sweaty or stinky smell either! We are so used to synthetic fragrance saying "clean" when it's actually the absence of the stink that should say clean. Anyway that one batch lasted two weeks and cost almost nothing to make, so this is not only green but it's also going to be a huge saving for us!

Which leads me into our next project...stay tuned!

And I promise we'll be much, much better at sickness and in health :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

No 'poo update

Time for a quick "no 'poo" update. The picture at the top is after my first no 'poo wash (august 24) and the one on the bottom is after my last (september 7). It looks the same doesn't it? Unfortunately it didn't feel the same. I found that it was much, much greasier but also coarser, at the same time. If that makes any sense. I'm sure my hair appreciated the break from products but the colour was fading. Anyway, I had an appointment with a specialist on the 7th and when I looked at my hair after no 'pooing, I decided that there was no way that I was going to her office like that. So I washed it. With shampoo. And used conditioner.
I know that some people have had fabulous results with this. But I wasn't one of them. Not that it was in any way horrible. Just not great, for me that is.
So for any of you that are curious give it a try. And let me know how it goes...I figure that I made it two weeks and didn't want to shave my hair off. So it can't be THAT bad!!
Even though my health problems have not resolved and some days are better than others, I promise to try and update more regularly.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 12: Summer's Over! :D

Hey dudes, it's Maddie! Most of you probably think "Oh no! Summer is over!" but I for one, get sick of the hot weather and boring days pretty fast. Plus, I'm pretty excited to go back to school. Of course, two weeks into school, I'll want summer again, but oh well :)

Today I:
  • Slept in until like 12:30 pm (totally by accident! I set the alarm for 9:30!)
  • Biked to the library and got myself some books :)
  • Stopped at a friends house on the way home
  • Wrote an introduction to another story
  • Organized the last few things for school
  • read

I didn't really do much, but I didn't do nothing either, and I got some stuff done which I'm glad about. Sometimes I sit around and do nothing, which makes me feel disgusting and so bored that I could run a mile!

School is starting on Tuesday, and as part of the eco-friendlyness of this project, my mom picked up some recycled notebooks and paper which they sell at the grocery store, but not Staples. Where's the logic in that?

I'm still 100% vegetarian, which is all good. I plan on bringing my own lunch to school for the most part, but when I don't have time to make one, I think I'll see what I can dig up at the salad bar in the cafeteria or hopefully theres a lot of other veggie options.

At the barbecue I went to one wednesday for the grade nine orientation, we got our homerooms, but not our full schedule. I think that's just ridiculous, because now instead of only bringing the binders and stuff I need, I'll have to bring it all. Anyway, I have gym for homeroom and first period every day first semester which I also think is ridiculous. I won't even be awake! Gym should not be aloud first period. What're they trying to do, torture the poor students? And what kind of homeroom is gym anyway? Other than that, I hope I have atleast drama first semester. I love drama class 8)

Like I said before...there isn't really much to talk about. We're just doing all the little things we can to be as eco-friendly as possible for this 21 days, and it is making a difference. It's funny because people think that it's so much work to do this, when really it isn't. And if it's hard to find eco-friendly products of anykind, make your own!

Speaking of making my own, I'd really like to learn how to sew. I think it'd be really cool to make a lot of my own clothes.

Well that's it for now! If you're doing anything exceptionally to help the environment, leave a comment about it! We need all the ideas we can get!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 8: Apologies, Plans, and Hairdye.

Hey readers! Maddie here.

It's been too long since I last has been feeling really sick lately, and I know that we're supposed to post every day, but with this project, it's hard to because there may not be a significant change each day. So since mom isn't her best, I'm going to post as often as I can, which may not be everyday, with school starting and whatnot, but I'll post the most I possibly can. I'm really sorry that we've gone 5 days with out a post, and I apologize to all you readers who weren't actually reading anything :)

Anyway, since then I've done as many green things as I can. Things as little as walking to a friend's house instead of getting a drive, taking public transportation, and picking up garbage as I see it, as well as not littering myself. I plan to carry out these little things, as well as finding new ways to be environmentally friendly. I'm pretty sure mom made some cleaning products or something so look for future posts about things like that. Also, even though it's doesn't necessarily have to do with going green, I will continue to post pictures and recipes of vegetarian meals (not so much vegan), and mom will continue to do so.

Since the green project is a little dull to write about, I think I might just babble about life and whatnot. Today I went to this barbecue that my highschool had for all of us little minor niners :) Fortunately, there were veggie-dogs, that were exceptionally tasty. For the most part, veggie dogs are gross, but the one I had was really good! My friends and I chose our lockers and then just hung out. Also, since it was my older brother Josh's birthday, my mom made chinese food, and carrot cake. Unfortunately, no pictures were taken :(

Something a little more green though; I dyed my hair. Doesn't sound exceptionally eco-friendly (though it isn't not eco friendly lol), and it's not really, but instead of destroying my hair, I used Garnier Herba-Shine, a hair dye made from all natural ingredients, including bamboo extract to take the place of the ammonia. It turned out really well! I was going to post a picture of the out come, but I don't have one that I like yet...haha. I had a better angle of the box, but my camera card decided to destroy it :(
Well thats all for today! I'll post as much as I can, and once again my mom and I are sorry about not posting for a while.