Search it!

Monday, March 30, 2015

A change for the healthier...

Have you ever wondered what you'd do without your Pepsi (ask Jeff!)?  What do people use instead of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, anyway?  What about GMO tortilla chips?  

Practically speaking, what does it look like to reduce chemicals and crazy crapola from your life?  Does it mean you have to suffer and not eat any good food anymore?  (Nope.)  Does it mean you are relegated to a life full of crunchy chia seeds in your kombucha?  (Maybe.  But probs not.)

Do you have to change?  You tell me.  Is it hard?  Well, that depends.  Is it hard for you to not want to die?  Take that answer and go with it.  It's up to you.  I really don't know your commitment level so I'm not going to tell you that giving up Heinz ketchup and Fritos is either impossible or easy, but I am here to give you some ideas and some places to start.

1.  Removing GMOs.  

Did you say, "What is a GMO?"  Well, my dearie, that would be a genetically modified organism.  Basically, a mutated genetic code.  Why would anyone even think of doing this?  Well, for example, with 90-something % of all corn and soy in the United States, genetic modification involves splicing in some genes of a bacteria or a virus so that when you spray it with Roundup (glyphosate - the thing causing autism and obesity and cancer), it won't die, but all of the weeds around it will.  This is a great (lazy) model for farming, unfortunately, the glyphosate leeches down into your groundwater and you kind of poison yourself, but hey, at least you didn't have to hand pick the weeds.  Am I right?  Eh?  Eh?!  TOTALLY WORTH IT!

As you introduce more genetically modified ingredients into your body, you become genetically modified.  What is a cell with a mutation called?  Oh yeah, that's right, cancer.  So, besides your poisoned water, you are also eating cancer.  Perhaps you don't care about that, but if you're going to have any children, they might just turn into mutants (hello Mom of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and sterilize them.  I wish I were joking.  Read the research right here.  It's another case of "we thought this was safe and now we are just kidding, it is "probably" cancerous, whoops!"  Yeah, that's not super cool.  

If you could start anywhere, start here.  Get rid of the GMOs out of your life.  If you're eating something with corn in it, you're probably eating cancer.  The same for soy.  How will you know if something is genetically modified?  You really don't, unless it has one of two labels on it: Non-GMO verified (with a lovely butterfly picture) or something labeled as organic (things labeled organic are inherently not allowed to include genetically modified ingredients).  Even then, sadly there has been cross contamination from the prolific amounts of toxins being spread all over this crazy world, but it is better to aim at a source that is trying to protect us from these toxins.  

2.  Read up on what you clean with.  

Where?  The EWG.  The EWG stands for the Environmental Working Group.  You can check their database for what ingredients are in your cleaning products (and even your cosmetics, sunscreen, etc!) and for how safe they are.  They will rate them for allergies/respiratory issues, cancer, reproductive/developmental toxicity, skin allergies, and safety within the environment.  Your home is your personal environment.  You and your family are the ones who are most affected by your indoor air quality.  You live in what could either be a safe haven or a toxic hell (not to put too fine a point on it...).  

You could browse through their products and wonder aloud why Dreft baby detergent is rated F with a high concern for developmental and reproductive toxicity (who cares about the NEXT generation, we're just going to make sales to this one and worry about it later!).  

Or maybe you could ask Whole Foods why they have some F rated products.  Do you kind of feel betrayed?  I am disturbed, to say the least.  At least with this product, you won't get cancer, you'll just be totally infertile (and so will your children!).  Great!  Bet that works great on stains!  Take a look at the database and see how your cleaners stack up and what they're adding to your personal environment (hopefully not respiratory issues, cancer, and infertility).  

You can look up products with an A rating (so you know you're getting something safe), or you could check out Ms. Daisy's Norwex page and get yourself some amazing microfiber cloths with silver (bacteria and junk can't live on silver and the cloths kill of germs by themselves as they dry!).  I wash my counters (kitchen cloth), toilet (Sanira system), windows (a wet enviro cloth and a dry window cloth), and everything else in my house with Norwex stuff.  I avoid the toxic fabric softeners by using their wool dryer balls and I love them.  If I didn't, I would tell you to avoid it like the bubonic (you know how I roll).  

3.  Everything else.  

Yeah, kind of a broad category, right?  There are so many things that you have around your house that you can easily use to make things you thought you would always have to depend on the store for.  

Like what?  Well, deodorant and lip balm (mine is on sale - $4/tube...message me if you want some, yes, I ship.).  Or tortillas.  Bread!  Did you know you could make apple cider vinegar and kombucha and kefir and yogurt?  What about dressings?  (Check Pinterest or just google some recipes.  It's that easy.)  What about using coconut oil in very creative ways (I am not going to directly tell you except to say it turns liquid above 76 degrees F and...this blog is rated PG, I'm just going to let you look it up yourself and whisper you won't have to walk in *that* aisle anymore at the grocery store with your children.  Ahem.  Oh.  And PLEASE get a separate jar for that one, ok?)?  What about growing your own herbal medicine?  (Not to change the subject or anything...)
Waaait, what kind of organic coconut oil?

Maybe taking this all in at the same time is kind of like drowning quickly in some reverse osmosis remineralized water or something, but maaaaybe something will strike a chord in you and you will use your creative energies for good and just pick one thing.  

One do-able thing.  You can do EEEET!  

Peace, love, and make change, 
Ms. Daisy

Friday, March 27, 2015

Magical chia seeds

If you've been looking to gain some superpowers (as I'm sure you are - who isn't?!), I have the scoop.  Are you familiar with chia seeds?  If you have walked into a health food store in the last year, you probably had a hard time avoiding them.  What's the deal with these teeny things?  

Let's start out with the freakish facts, shall we?  

Just one ounce of chia seeds contains 4915 mg of omega-3's and 1620 mg of omega-6's.  As a comparison, 3 ounces of cooked wild caught king salmon has 1500 mg of omega-3's.  Why do you care about omega-3's and 6's?  (Well, maybe you don't...shall I rephrase that?  Why should you care about these omegas?)  Heart health, for one thing.  Brain health for another.  They fight inflammation in your body, too.  (Good things those aren't important or anything.)  They also work on cancer, inflammatory bowel, and autoimmune diseases!  

Check it out - the Harvard school of public health has info for you.  

An ounce of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber.  That is a crazy amount.  It's 42% of your daily value.  And you know what fiber means, don't you?  It means happy guts.  If your guts aren't happy, I can tell you, you're not going to be very happy.  Maybe you've heard people say that your health begins in the gut, and how your immune system is linked to it.  Because your intestinal walls are thin little ditties, you can pass a lot of crap (er, junk?  bacteria?  No. Pun. Intended.) through that wall, and I am pretty sure that is not going to promote great health if your stuff is sitting there too long.  Get out your specially made pom poms and cheer for the fiber.  

Do you need a boost of manganese?  It's got 30% of your daily value in an ounce.    It has an amino acid score of 115 (scores above 100 mean it is a complete protein).  They have more antioxidants than blueberries and they are grain and gluten free.  It's pretty much a boss all the way around. 

How are you going to use these little babies?  

Personally, I put them in my kombucha (I guess you could put them in water kefir, too, why not?) and my smoothies.  They act crazysauce when you put them in liquid.  They get this fantastic gooey bubble around them.  I can't explain it, except to tell you it is cool.  They come in different colors (black or white).  

Another favorite way I get my daily dose of chia is in coconut chia bars (Health Warrior makes some).  I hide them the way most people hide really good chocolate.  If my offspring find them, they think they have won the lottery.  

They are great energy bars - totally recommended for running (before a run scarf some down for a boost; after a run, rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes with coconut water). In fact, Wellness Mama even makes an energy gel with them - she uses a cup of coconut water and a few tablespoons of chia seeds.  Better than GMO artificially colored and flavored nonsense, I think.  

And duh, you can make a homemade Chia Pet.  You can just make a terra cotta head of your favorite Duck Dynasty character and grow them a beard.  Seriously, I could have just posted this and that would be enough information for some of us to have a long, productive relationship with some chia seeds. Did my Mom get Uncle Si for Christmas?  You just ask her.  

In the meantime, go get yerself some delicious ch-ch-ch-chia seeds!  

Peace, love, and superpowers, 
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My secret chemical of choice

I have a little secret.  You know that I'm all organic-y, crunchy, kombucha-ey, granola, making my own deodorant and avoiding chemicals like the bubonic plague...except for one thing.  

I have had many people ask me (and my hubby about me, since they think I am lying?) what my secret little treat is - as if I secretly make organic homemade hummus, but then secretly go scarf down Taco Bell (and Fun Dip).  (Yuck.  I don't.)  I really am not tempted by any quasi-food like substances (they actually give me a migraine and intestinal explosion if I accidentally/unknowingly eat them - yeah, wow, TMI, I know.).  No candy bars, no baked goods, no fast food - nope, none of it appeals to me.   

It's like how most people feel if there was a can of paint or a pile of electronics on your kitchen table.  You would not become hungry at the thought of eating it (well, I mean, I hope not.  If you do, dude, you're messed up.  Might be needing some vital nutrition there somewhere...).  When I see such things, I do not think of them as food, since they are mostly some kind of adulterated chemical substance.  
But it looks so yummy!

I won't even drink normal tap water because of the heavy metals and prescrption drugs that are in it.  Sorry, bro, but I don't want to drink your chemo and hepatitis drugs.  I have a reverse osmosis filter that gets remineralized so I don't strip myself of minerals (since that is what happens to you if you drink R/O plain.).  

I won't use normal cleaning products since they are pretty much guaranteed to be carcinogenic, allergenic, mutagenic nightmares.  I hang out with my awesome Norwex microfiber cloths (with silver) and use just water and clean nearly everything in my house.  

So what on earth could possibly tempt me to the dark side?  

I'll tell you.  It is nearly a lifelong addiction, so you're going to have to just understand.  People have their downfalls, you know.  I can't help it.  You didn't expect me to be perfect, I hope.  Well, good.  

Because I love...well, I love...chlorine.  

Yes, Mr. Hazmat, I know it's dangerous.  I know that the world could pretty much blow up from all the chlorine they store in the dungeons of swimming pools.  But I don't care!  I went swimming today and when I wash my hands and the pleasant and faint scent of chlorine drifts up to my nose, well, I am just going to say it, I like it.  If you have anything to tell me about the horrors of it, well, I'll thank you (very much) to just keep that information to your. self.  When I get in the shower after being in the pool, the whole shower smells of lovely chlorine.  

Swimmers are special.  (Yes, in every special way you can specially think of.)  Sometimes they even take extra crazy pills in the morning and do butterfly after a no breather.  (Seriously?)

Maybe this is slightly confounding.  But maybe you don't stare at a black tiled line on the bottom of the pool for a few hours a week, either.  If you did, you would get it.  Maybe you're the type who thinks that swimmers wear caps to keep their hair dry (um, no.).  If so, maybe you just won't feel me on this one.  

But if you swim because it's in your blood, or if you crave that feeling of all over body tired wonderfulness at the end of practice, or if you race the person in the lane next to you at all times, or if you have strong opinions on no breathers/SKIPS/IM sets/breastroke/200s, or if you've eaten an entire pizza yourself after a good practice (and were still looking for more food - and practice was at 5:30 a.m.), or if you've ever counted over and over again in your head (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3...), or if you've ever felt exuberant joy at the words, "8 x 25s" at the end of practice, and/or if you're just straight up awesome in general, there is a good chance you are a swimmer and you know what I mean.

Viva, swimmers!  And viva chlorine.  It comes with the territory and I don't want to give it up.  

Plus, I think it really brings out the green in my hair.  

Peace, love, and 100 breastroke 4eva, 
Ms. Daisy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pemmican: Add it to the list of weird things you probably haven't tried (yet)

A few years ago I came across an article on pemmican - a traditional food that originated in the Americas by the native people.  It consists of dried meat (sort of like a jerky), some fat, and a dried fruit (usually cranberries and the like).  This food was so important that there was a war over it in Canada in the times of Hudson's Bay Company and their heyday of trade.  A single ration was said to sustain a man marching for 36 hours and was kept in his pack only to be eaten by order of his commanding officer.  It was able to stay good without rotting for a decade (or more, in some cases).  Arctic explorers owed their survival (and the lives of their dogs) to it.

Have you heard of it?  Most likely, no.  Does it sound delicious?  But have you tried it?  Well, then, don't knock it (yet).  

I was quite fascinated with it because of it's history, but did not have enough bravery stored up to actively seek some out and try it.  It sounded...well, kinda gross.  I kept it preciously tucked in the back of my mind as a subject of interest, but let it fall asleep.  

And then I saw some in the health food store last week.  Oh buddy.  It's game time.  

I picked it up and said, "No way!  Pemmican!"  I had to buy it.  Would I like it?  I've never had buffalo before, so I wasn't sure, but I have eaten a jillion gallons of venison in my life, so I felt enough prepared for such a thing.  I brought it home to share with my hubby so we could have a pemmican experience together (and also if I didn't like it, I was quite sure he would pretty much eat anything).  

The results?  Dude, pemmican is awesome!  It tasted good.  It was kind of a smoky flavor with occasional pops of sweetness.  Maybe you are gagging right now, I am not sure, but I can tell you that when I read about it initially, it sounded like gag barfo.  I can tell you I would eat it as a snack willingly and frequently.  In fact, I brought one to the Detroit Institute of Arts this week just in case I needed to march for 36 hours or something (or just in case I got swept up into the Modiglianis again).  I hate beef jerky and venison jerky, so if you're worried that it will be like that, nope, I don't think so.  I mean, I guess it's sorta in the family of it, but it actually tastes good, whereas jerky tastes like chewy hard salty nitrates of death.  (And really, who wants pancreatic cancer?)  

I would show you a picture of the actual pemmican bar, but I ate it, so I can't.  Sorry.  I kept the wrapper for you? It was good.  

So, the moral of the story is that you should go check out some pemmican.  Don't be afraid.  Be brave.  Wear  your big girl (boy) panties (er, no, boys should not be wearing those, let's go with boxers, or at least boxer briefs on this one - adios whitey tighties) and man up.  

You'll be glad you did.  Anyway, it's probably on your bucket list, so double win.  And if it isn't, well...what kind of bucket list do you have, anyway (weirdo)? 

Peace, love, and buffalo meat, 
Ms. Daisy

Friday, March 20, 2015

Homemade toothpaste

This post is dedicated to my beloved dentist friends and family: Uncle Jim, Michaela, Susie, Daniel and Jen.  What you read here may horrify you, but I'm quite sure you won't be surprised.

I nearly ran out of toothpaste yesterday.  There's some in there, but it's at that stage where you are flattening it on counters and pounding the life out of it in hopes for a sudden blobbage.  I was thinking about the many uses of bentonite clay and I wondered if there were people out there who used it to brush their teeth and if there was any benefit from doing so (or if they are just plain crazy).  

The impending lack of toothpaste sped forth my immediate need for researching the topic. What I found was both illuminating and helpful.  (As you can well imagine.)  Apparently, people really do this thing of brushing their teeth with bentonite clay (among other things) and I was not imagining it (now, how many people exactly do this thing remains to be seen - I may indeed be in a club of an illustrious four people, but I am not alone).  

Bentonite clay is a detoxification agent.  It also contains a good source of minerals.  Adventurous people EAT it.  Yeah, seriously.  They eat dirt-like substances.  I haven't tried that yet, but according to Redmond Clay, native people would carry around a little pouch of bentonite clay for digestive upsets.  I personally don't eat the clay, but I do use it in my deodorant recipe, for face masks, and now in toothpaste.  

This information leads some people to suggest that there may be remineralization properties available to your teeth via the use of bentonite clay, and because of the detoxification qualities, it may also help with gum health.  I mean, it sounds good too, right?  Scrubbing your teeth with dirt?  Well, it sure beats Colgate Total's triclosan endocrine disruptor junk of death paste. 

I looked up a recipe and found one that seemed fairly straightforward (and I had all of the ingredients, minus the GoToob, which I got from REI - plus some awesome aerobars for my bike, but that is a different story and is my Mother's Day present - thank you, honey!  But I digress.).  I found the recipe at Overthrow Martha.  

Don't you want to try it?  I know.  I can hear Michaela even now wholeheartedly agreeing with this idea.   

Here is the recipe:  

1.5 Tbsp. bentonite clay (I get Redmond.)  
2 Tbsp. filtered water (I use R/O remineralized with Vitev REMIN)
Step 1: mix them together.  
Step 2: add the other ingredients, which are: 2 teaspoons of baking soda, a tablespoon of coconut oil and 10+ drops of essential oil.  She adds fine sea salt, but I don't want to scratch up my awesome chompers.  And as far as the essential oil goes, I did not listen.  My peppermint essential oil has a totally open bottle top lid and I think I dumped a teaspoon of essential oil in the mix.  EXTRA MINTY, people.  She also points out that you should not use metal anywhere with this recipe, as bentonite clay sucks toxins out like nobody's beeswax, and maybe you like to brush your teeth with aluminum, I don't know, but probs we should just stick with non-reactive things like glass or the GoToob.

It looks SO DISGUSTING, which I think adds to the whole positive experience of it all.  It's non-foamy grey toothpaste for crying out loud.  It is like drinking kombucha.  You just inhale like a boss and nod smirkily while you do it and I'm pretty sure it makes you tougher on some level.  I mean, hello?  "I brush my teeth with clay.  You probably don't want to mess with me."  It goes without saying!  Are you worried about not having fluoride in there?  (As a side note, I have not had any cavities since I switched over to using non-fluoride toothpaste and before that I was a 4 cavity a time kind of dental patient.)

Here, read up a little bit on poisoning your brain with fluoride:  
Wreck your brain - and fast!
It's way funner to be dumber!
Let's do it anyway, even though we know it's totally horrid for you!

So, are you wondering what the response is to using it?  I told my hubby I made toothpaste yesterday and so when he got ready for bed, he opted to try it (very brave soul - just think of all the things I subject him to on a daily basis).  I was already laying in bed, cringing quietly and waiting to hear what he would say.  

It went like this:  
Him: I'm going to try that toothpaste you made, I guess.
Me:  (Oh boy, here we go.)  Kay.  Let me know what you think.  
Him:  (squirting grey toothpaste onto his toothbrush...putting it in his mouth...brushing for one second) Weird! (muffled)  It's...salty!  
Me:  Well, yeah.  Of course it is!  (?  I think it sounds better if you respond that way.)  Him:  Oh, it's very minty.  
Me:  Yeah, I know.  
Him:  It's getting...minty-er.  
Me:  (ahem) Yeah, uh, that's um,  So, do you like it?  
Him:  Yeah, it's okay I guess.  
Me:  WIN!  

And that is the story of an obviously very positive personal account.  I think I brushed my teeth like five times yesterday to keep testing it (along with randomly asking family members, "Do I have stink mouth or am I good?").  It still works.

The kids have not tried it yet because they watched me make it and they keep saying that their mother is brushing her teeth with dirt.  Well, suck it up buttercups!  (Can't you make it white, Mom?  No.  Stop being a baby.)  

So, if you ever run out...hey...join the club!  

Peace, love, and minty fresh, 
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New post over in the book side...

Hey peeps!  I figured I'd let you know directly that if you're interested, there is a new post on a book I am reading over in the book section of things.  It is on the crazy tsars of Russia, if you're into that kind of thing...  

You can find it in this yonder place.

You like books, right?  Riiiight?  Okay, good.  

Peace, love, and reading is good,
Ms. Daisy

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Facebook: The evil tool of modern society

As most of you (except for my mother) know, I do not have a facebook account.  (She has a tendency to ask me every other week, "Did you see xyz on facebook?"  No, Mom, still no.  I still don't have facebook.  I am still available to you via text, email, phone, and in person, but not on facebook.  And no, I cannot get on there magically and see what so-and-so said...that would entail me having a facebook account...which.  I.  don't.  have.)  

I will be three years clean this summer.  

I am an advocate for unplugging from it, at least even for a while to live your life fully on earth and out of cyberlandia.  When I broke up with facebook, I got crazy productive.  (It may have been because I was addicted to it and it sucked my time away like the vacuum I should have been using.)  I was baking bread, making homemade 24 hour bone broth, the kombucha was FLYING off of the shelves, the house was perfecto clean, and I even had a few conversations with my offspring.  
a picture of productivity

I did miss it (for about three weeks).  I know a lot less of the scoop on peeps now, which I suppose could be a bonus or a negative, depending on who it is (and actually, I did like reading what you had for breakfast...except I am so gonna comment on the nutritional value).  It is also sad to not to be able to randomly stalk people (like the friend of a friend that your friend was telling you about, or to check to see if your high school boyfriend is fat, bald, both, or neither - and if you haven't done that and you have facebook, you are totally lying or you had no high school boyfriends.).  I also felt a bit sad that people I would never talk to otherwise probably thought I deleted them from my friends list or something, creating a strange awkward question mark.  I also missed competing with how far and fast people ran when they would post such ditties (how am I supposed to win when I don't know we're racing?!).

I have had people (even lately) tell me they wish I were on facebook again (not my mother, who already thinks I'm still on there).  When they say that, I ponder getting back on for a few minutes.  I think about making a page for my future author self or my future health coaching business.  I see benefit in that, except that it still feels like playing with crazy facebook fire cyberlandia and I am not super into facebook claiming my cyberself as their property or weird people spying on me.  Call me crae crae, right?  I also have flashbacks of getting my blood boiling whilst reading the most idiotic things evER, so I don't know if I would look fondly on that aspect very much.  And what if I can't make enough bread and broth?  I have quotas, people!

What do you think?  If you have facebook now, would you ever give it up?  Have you done it for a time?  Would you try to convince me to join you in your evil cyberparty?  If you don't have facebook, why do you stay away?  

Peace, love, and don't even try to suggest I do it in moderation - are you kidding me?  Have you met me?
Ms. Daisy

Monday, March 16, 2015

Convictions and race car driving

I value speed.  Being able to do things quickly is important to me, whether it is running, swimming (I won), reading, thinking, or eating dinner, it doesn't matter - I love fast.  When I see people do things quickly (and right and well), I have a burst of joy and pride that aims in their direction.  

See how quickly my little genius is advancing through algebra?  Yay!  

Wow, look at how fast that guy is running.  Impressive!  

Did that guy just calculate a crazy multiplication problem in his head in like five seconds?  Yessss.  Awesome.  Oooh!
green stripe in hair is real
Conversely, the opposite of fast makes me feel...frustrated, impatient, and bonkers.  Is this lady purposely walking this slow in front of me to annoy me?  (And by walking, I mean waddling slowly like a drunk penguin.)  I am so glad she is taking up the entire aisle, too.  Wow.  I think she is!  I think she literally is thinking, "I am going to drive this girl nuts right now.  This is so funny.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha (evil sounding laughs, of course)!"  God, help me with patience - right now!  (Free irony.)

But no where else does it come down to rubber meets road in the speedy department like it does with driving (um, literally?).  I LOVE driving fast.  When I was in high school, I determined with my Dad that after I graduated, we would go down to Indiana and take a weekend course on how to become race car drivers (that was before Danica Patrick was on the scene).  My Dad was all over this, but unfortunately, after the cost of the insurance and other expenses, we decided it was a bit too pricey.  No problem!  I decided to drive my awesome 1994 red Ford Tempo as if it were a racecar anyway.  Awesome.  (I only got in one accident, in case you are currently tsk-tsking me.  Yes, I totaled a car, but that was because of flooded lanes and hydroplaning into walls, which obviously was not my fault.)  
fast and cute = win

Since everything in life is a race (clearly...I hope you haven't glossed over this in your own life), I have always enjoyed passing people on the expressway and getting new low times for getting to places (I reset a timer in my car to check if I can beat my old times) since it means I am winning.  (Do not ask, "Winning what?"  That is besides the point.  I am winning life.)  

Until about a week ago.  What a stupid day it was!  I was reading an article from someone I respect a great deal about obeying the law and not speeding and how if you are going to be obedient to God in everything that it also includes subjecting yourself to the (horrible) speed limit.  


It was like, well, maybe if you obey God in even these menial bits of life, perhaps there will be other little blessings as a result - like perhaps maybe you will have less red lights, or have a shorter wait in line at Meijer.   Now I don't know about that, and I really don't want to obey God for the benefit of a possibly shorter line at the grocery store, but the whole driving the speed limit as a way to being obedient to God stuck in my head like an arrow to the heart.  

I have been trying to do so.  Let me tell you, it is SO HORRIBLE.  People are speeding past me on the expressway!  I feel like a dufis lame-o nooney head!  Oh, why can't the speed limit be 80 mph?!  Actually, no.  That's not even it.  I don't care what the speed limit is - I just want to be faster than EVERYONE ELSE.  And it is really hard to do that when I have this internal regulator switched on.  Listening to loud music isn't the same when you're driving slow, either.  So much trauma!  

Last week, my little was in the backseat and said,  "Mom.  Why are you driving so slow?!"  I explained my situation.  "Ugh," he said, "I wish I were driving with Dad now!  He even drives faster than this!"  (Up until this time the hubby was somewhat famous in the fam for driving like, let's say, an old grandpa - words of child, not my words.)  Double arrow to the heart.

I suppose that this too shall bring out a more disciplined aspect, even though going through it is pure torture.  

So if you see me on the road, honk and wave as you fly past.  

Peace, love, and granny driving, 
Ms. Daisy

Friday, March 13, 2015

Let them have comments!

Hi.  Really quick (I know, two in one day, kinda crae crae.).  

I know that the original setup for being able to comment on my site included something like you had to be able to write code, translate Latin, do geometry, cartwheels and the splits all at the same time, so I have updated it to what I hope will be friendly and easy for all-a-y'all.  

If I get no comments from this point on, I will either know that 1) you don't really love me, 2) you have nothing to say, or 3) the stupid thing is still not working.  So, if you are feeling inclined, please drop a comment.  If you are not feeling inclined, well you better GET inclined.  As a theme to get you started, you can tell me how awesome (and humble) I am, how nice my sink must look since I cleaned it today, that your pits still smell like maple syrup, or you can ask me questions like how do I fold my socks now that Konmari englightenment has fallen upon me.  

It will be really embarassing for me if you don't comment.  And then I guess I really will feel humbled.  And sad.  And cry in the corner.  With fake tears that will just make me strive to run faster and get a 7 minute mile pace.  So, either way, whatever you want.

But it would be kind of nice.  But you don't have to.  But you could.  If you wanted.  Just know, that if you do, every single time I see a comment, I will probably jump up and down and scream with joy.  But whatev.

I mean, you could just tell me your favorite color and what you would buy me for a present if it were my birthday.  That would be a good one too.  

Okay, yeah.  That's it.  



p.s. You can get to the comments when you're within an individual post, not on the whole lineup of posts.  Do you know what I mean?  Oh, you're smart, you'll figure it out.

Don't touch my locker.

If you've been hanging out here for any amount of time, you may have picked up on the fact that I swim at a gym several times a week.  It is great exercise, a good stress release, and it comes with plenty of entertainment.  What could be better, really?  I have been doing this regularly for the last four years (minus a few stints from being pregnant or sick, of course) and I have developed what you may call certain patterns (ruts? routines?).  If any of these patterns are disrupted, it is somewhat bewildering.  

I know.  I have issues.  I'm not particular about where I park (although Barb is) or what lane I swim in - within reason - I am not going to swim in lane 8 or something, I mean, that would be totally ridiculous (get real here, dudes).  I'm not going to change how I warm up  (backstroke starts at 5:40, give or take 30 seconds).  But most of all, what is most normalizing in a day is "my" locker.  

I mean, I say "my" in sort of a relative way since they don't permit you to keep your own locker (which they TOTALLY should then mine would be safe always and forever), but come on - it's the same locker I've used for four years.  Sometimes, when the Resolutionists come, I have to be on guard because they don't know how things go around the gym and they think they can just bust in and take my shower, dry their hair with my hairdryer (that would be the short one that probably is supposed to be used for drying your hands) and stand at the sink next to Susan.  Give me a break.  Puh-leeze.  I can tolerate them because (apparently NOT from my deep patience for such things) I know that they will only be there from January 1-February 14.  That is how long most Resolutionists last, of course.  

totally not my locker room, but you get the idea

This last week was none of that, which is why it was so concerning to me.  Out of the blue, some lady had the audacity to show up however many minutes before me and take MY locker.  She had all this crap just barfing out of it in every direction in some sort of hot mess.  

I stopped.  What do I do?  Where will I go now?  Try to look nonchalant, Ms. Daisy.  Hold it together.  Do not tap her on the shoulder and tell her she took your locker.  She will not understand (and plus that might be a little teensy bit nuts).  Do not loudly proclaim that you are discombobulated from some new person taking your locker and laughing in a way that sounds forced or maniacal.  Just smile and go get a different locker.  It's just one day.  

I have a spot on the end near the mirrors (and hair/hand dryers) so I just took the one opposite her in the same cove.  This was not optimal nor was it cutting it for me.  The locker door was going the wrong way and totally not how it is supposed to be and was also limiting my ablity to do my highly specialized routine.  Very disturbing, very disturbing.  

I swim with a psychologist, who I felt I needed to immediately confess my deep issue to in order to see if I needed to be seriously reprimanded, drugged, or given the "really?!" face.  She told me I was fine, and that we are creatures of habit, unless I punched the lady in the face, then at that point it would not be fine.  Okay, cool.  So far, so good.  I can handle this.  I am bigger than this.  No bigs!  Ha ha!  I can be flexible!  It is only one day.

Until it wasn't.  

I came back the next time and Locker Taker Lady was back and IN MY SPOT again.  I repressed my shock as best as I could (which might not have been so repressed).  I remarked to the girl who is usually a few lockers down from me that, "Sorry, I'm not sure if I am using your locker, I had to slide down a few since, um, yeah, can see why."  as I glanced in a forlorn manner at my locker, taken over by Locker Taker Lady (who, for the record, was not standing there when I said that, in case you were getting too horrified at me).  

Last night, I decided that this kind of crap was not going to happen again.  No way, babe.  This crap was going to get fixed once and for all.  I was going to get my locker back, dang it.  So, how to do it?  Wait to see if she is there and ask her to move?  No.  Just give it up and roll with it, be flexible?  No.  Find another locker?  HECK no!

Obviously, do the crazy thing.  Do what must be done.  Wake up ten minutes earlier to secure the position, of course!  My alarm went off this morning and I was so deep in dreamland I was instructing a multi-age classroom of children how to do push-ups and shaking hands with the ones who were doing it successfully while discountenancing and frowning upon the others.  (Drill sergeant?  Whatever do you mean?)  

This only jarred me momentarily as the locker came to mind and I flew up out of bed and nearly ran to the bathroom to get ready.  I was in the car at least ten minutes earlier than usual and off to the races.  I practically jogged to the entrance and around the corner to get to that locker room to check to see if I was going to be successful.  

GLORY!  Mine, all mine!  VICTORY!  (Try to contain yourself.  Remember, be poised.  Smile.  No, not like a crazed clown.)  

The rest of the workout was splendid.  On top of gaining locker victory, it was like the wishes I had for doing IM had fallen down out of the sky and into the pool and my reality.  A perfect way to start a Friday.  

Now for a nap because after doing push-ups and teaching in my sleep and waking up ten minutes earlier, I am pretty tired.  

Peace, love, and guard the fort, 
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Get Cultured - Ms. Daisy style

Have you been just laaaaaanguishing wondering about how you could become more "cultured"?  I know.  I totally knew you were, and I am here to help.  You've probably just been sitting around your house, sighing, wishing someone (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD) would just tell you the lifelong and nagging question: What is Ms. Daisy's jam?  

Now, I can only answer you for my current jam, which by current, I mean, it could change by next week, but for the last (at least) two weeks, it has pretty much been on nonstop repeat.  This is the song I drive to, run to, and dance around the house to, so you pretty much want to go right now over to your itunes or amazon account and download it and do the same thing.  You're welcome.  It's called Insomniac by Trip Lee (featuring Andy Mineo).  Listen here:  

Okay, so was I right, OR WHAT?!  Isn't that the best song, like everrr?  Now, I can not recommend the spelling and lexicon of the person who wrote up the lyrics on there, but who cares, the song is still just that awesome.  

Now, you've got the music side of your brain taken care of, but you're missing art!  I love art.  I love going to the Detroit Institute of Arts and walking around the galleries.  If I didn't have littles with me and the need to run out every two hours to feed the parking meter all of the quarters I've ever owned in my life, I could stay in there all day.  I am drawn to European art, especially Impressionism (but I do have a special place in my heart for art of the Renaissance and Baroque eras - oh, and cubism.).  Mary Cassatt, Picasso, Monet, Manet, van Gogh, Renoir - I could spend half of a day just in that section.  Outside of European art, my favorite thing in the whole DIA is Diego Rivera's gallery room of murals - top to bottom, telling crazy stories about this world with so overwhelmingly much stuff to look at, your brain and heart go crazy at the same time.  And if you are there when the sun is shining, it's like a trifecta of joy.  

There is one, however, who stands out to me strongly and has some strange emotional pull behind his work.  When I was walking up and down the galleries one day, I happened upon his work and it was like something inside the painting pulled me over to it.  It was okay to stare, which is good, because I couldn't stop doing so.  I was like a gawker in a five car wreck on the expressway.  I thought, "I should go look around at what else is here now since I am staring like a dazed weirdo..." and then I didn't.  I kept staring.  She was staring back at me, though, and I'm sure she was trying to tell me something (I don't know what it was), so I just kept staring.  I tore myself away (finally) and looked around the room, but before I left it, I had to go back over again and stare some more.  Who on earth is that artist, anyway?  I had to know.  

It was Modigliani.  If you've seen a Modigliani, you will know instantly when you see another one.  His art has strong characteristics that he repeats in all of his portraits.  The heads are elongated ovals, they are almost always a bit cocked to the side.  The necks are long, shoulders sloping.  The faces carry subtle expressions.  But they are haunting, in a lovely way, if that can ever be said.  They are simple and strange and wonderful.  (He had a unique set of eyeballs in that head of his, if you ever see a picture of his girlfriend you'll know what I mean.  She looks like she was straight out of The Munster's.)  

I am not an artist, but I pretend to be one on tv, so I painted my own painting in the style of Modigliani just for all a-ya'll.  I know, try not to ask for my autograph all at the same time.  Okay, okay, you can.  Go ahead.  I mean, maybe you've already seen my awesome drawings in previous posts?  I just got this new paint app on my tablet and I've been playing with it.  So, here is my awesome (toddleresque) rendition of my own sort of Modigliani for your viewing pleasure to round out your culture lesson for the day.  

Wow.  See.  Did I tell you or what?  Amazing?  Huh?  Huh?  Yeah, I know, thanks.  Try not to cheer aloud at your desk while you're supposed to be working, people will get suspicious.  

Until next time, my dears.  

Peace, love, and dance around the kitchen, 
Ms. Daisy  

p.s.  If you want to read up on Modigliani (here: part 1 and part 2) I wrote a post on a biography of him over on my reading club page.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The worst sick ever.

I am slowly wading out of the worst sickness I've ever had in my entire life.  I would say it felt like a cross between the plague and ebola.  But worse.  But probably not actually, but for me it sure did.  

I would describe it as what most people call the "flu", but I have a friend who is an infectious disease specialist and she said that the flu really is lethargy, sore throat, and fever.  Um, no.  Those - and I can be VERY clear on this - were NOT even remotely my symptoms.  

I would describe my symptoms as what happens when you periodically and involuntarily fall asleep on your cold, hard, bathroom floor and crawl around putting hand towels on your bare skin because you just broke into a sweat five minutes ago, ripped off your sweating clothes and now are freezing, but can't put your clothes back on 1) because of the effort it would entail, 2) because you probably puked on them somewhere, and 3) because they are waaaaaay over there (definition: anything farther than directly in front of you).  

But then you get a great idea to fill up the hot water bottle that is (luckily) there in the bathroom so you could get warm, unfortunately getting up onto your knees to reach your arm into the sink and see if the water is hot also makes you puke, and you have to abort mission and go back to your faithful position sitting dejectedly in front of your toilet.  When you get enough determination to fill that stupid water bottle up again, you get too tired holding it up, so you yank it away and put the top on it, realizing too late it has only about 3 oz. of tepid water in it.  BUT WHO CARES, because you are freezing your butt off now and clinging to it like a delirious mother gripping an infant in the middle of a nuclear war zone in a distorted, twitching fetal position.  You wish blankets would magically appear, but then you consider that that would mean doing so much laundry (a blanket touching the TOILET??!) that you realize it is far better to suffer and convulse on the tile floor.  (Yet you have - ironically? - no problem at all using your luxurious blankie [hand towel] as a quasi-pillow directly on top of the toilet seat lid.)  

What could be worse?  

Oh, but then you find out.  Don't ever even wonder that question in the throes of such things, my dears!  

Your guts decide that they have had enough of doing just one thing at a time, so they want to multitask that puppy of a germ out of you.  Yes, that's right!  Gastro-intestinal multitasking.  That picture is really cute and it looks like you, now seated on the toilet, gripping a bucket in your lap, closing your eyes and praying for Jesus to come back and take you to heaven right now.  You get to repeat this exact same multitasking project every five to fifteen minutes for 3 hours, as if the first 2 hours of the toilet hugging were not fun enough for you, because DANG IT, your guts want you to know that they are hard-working and efficient!!  

At 2:00 a.m., you imagine that you literally could not possibly have a single ounce of anything left inside your whole body, so you crawl in droopy sluglike fashion to your bed, whereupon you realize that you are still freezing cold and just lay there shaking while your legs have their own mini-seizures independent of you, which mostly just irritates you because you are SO. DANG. TIRED.  

Finally, you fall asleep, mostly in order that you can wake up every single hour for no reason, except to think of how thirsty you are, and start dreaming about drinking the amount of water that is in one of those Gatorade coolers that they dump on coaches when they win the Rose Bowl.  After the fourth time waking up for this reason, you realize you really ought to get a drink because JUST MAYBE you MIGHT be dehydrated or something.  But it's all the waaaay over theeere and how can you drink without lifting your head up?  Can you pour a cup sideways into your mouth?  Let's try it.  Not super successful, but good enough, and who cares, this drool of water isn't anything compared to the tornado of chaos that you left the night before in messes.  

The next day comes.  You're supposed to do stuff.  

Yeah.  Right.  Bite me, stuff.  

Whatever those children were doing for that entire day, you are not sure, but they sounded like they were probably fine (the coma-like state you were in prevented you from deciphering reality and dream world, anyway, so it's anybody's guess).  I mean, they can make sandwiches and everything, so they can totes survive a day!  There was no getting out of bed that day.  No lifting of the head.  Just the lovely alteration between being drenched in your own puddle of sweat and freezing your guts off to pass the time.  The night came again, and so hey, why not sleep some more.  Sleeping for 30 hours is always the pinnacle of success for winners, that's what I've always heard, so blam - go for it!  

do not drown, lifeguard cannot hold breath long enough to save you

Alas, what a winner I am.  (I'm like the kind of winner who tries to win warm up at a practice.)

But hey, on a positive note, I found a great way to get that BMI down to 17.9 and it's all natural and organic!  It does have some bad side-effects (as described previously) but I mean, come on, think of the benefits.  Obvs.  

Now, coming out of it, my house seems to have creatively rearranged itself (Question: how is it that the people who have lived here for their entire lives don't know where things go?  Does this seem weird to anyone else?  And I'm totally not bashing my hubby, because he held up the fort.  I meant the offsprings.  Baffling.).  

Anyway, I'm going to go wash some door knobs and take another nap.  

Peace, love, and someone should totally invent a cozy bathroom bed (bet it would just sell like hotcakes!),
Ms. Daisy