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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pinterest = not sympathetic

Rest in peace, Fluff Up
Last night while making dinner, my little offspring came bursting into the house with a crumpled little face and tear in his eye, crying out, "Mom!  A chicken is dead!"  I threw down my spoon and ran outside barefoot to the coop (over many small and pointed rocks, that's how much I love chickens), threw open the door, looked down...and there it was.

A strangely positioned Plymouth Rock hen laid at my feet, foot up in the food dish, head to the side, beak slightly opened.  A traumatic sight for a kid to encounter, I suppose.

I called out for a bag and the hubby and I took care to wrap this stiff bird up into two grocery bags before we had a moment of silence for the chicken formerly known as Fluff Up.  We then placed her delicately into a very large garbage bin.

She must have hit her head because she was well up until that point.  She even laid an egg yesterday, even though she was an old bird.  Poor old girl.

I sought solace in Pinterest later that night and wondered what would happen if I searched the words, "my chicken died".

Do you know what happens when you do that?

Let me tell you.

Pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of delicious chicken recipes.  What?  Is that enchiladas?

Thanks, Pinterest.  You're so understanding.

Peace, love, and baked or grilled?
Ms. Daisy

Monday, September 28, 2015

Run for your life, boys. No. Seriously.

You know those arrow diagrams where you find out the answer to whether or not you should do something?  I have one for this article.  Ready?

Are you male? ----> yes ----> Stop reading.  Abort mission.  Close browser.  Go look out the window.  Go think about something fun, like testosterone.

Are you male?  ----> no ---->Awesome.  I'm going to talk about periods.

And for all of you males who kept on reading, seriously, just get the heck out of here.  I know you kept on reading anyway (you little rebel, you!), and that was your warning flag, but I am about to open up a can of women business all up in here and you should just close up shop and wait for the next article to entertain you.  This one is not it.

Now go away.

Okay ladies, now that we got them out of here, let's behave the way that we always do when we are in the presence of many other women and no boys by waiting four to six minutes before we talk about the really juicy stuff, laughing maniacally, and ordering some ice wine (Oh.  Maybe that's just my divas?  What's up, divas!  You guys, I am crossing into the new level of crunchy granola here.  Just be warned.).

About a year ago I was lost amongst the throes of youtube (pretty much 32 videos in and teetering on the verge of "how to ride whales") when I came across this young girl in England who made her own cloth maxi pads.  I was like, "Wha?  Cloth maxis?  What the what?!"  But the pad had Wonder Woman on it, so I clicked the link and watched her (um, hello.  Did you hear me?  I said Wonder Woman.  Sold.).  I did not even know this was a thing that people do.  And then I thought about how I used cloth diapers on my child and then realized maybe it wasn't something to be necessarily terrified of.

I started the research phase of it, reading up on it and then I came across a site that said they would send you a free trial one (if you swore on your Grandmother's grave that it really was your first time ever using one, cross your heart, hope to die, stick a needle in your eye, and I'm not kidding, I think they said you would get a hex put on you if you lied or something.  These peeps are not messing around.).  Luckily for me, it really was my first time trying one and I didn't have to think about lying to get a cloth pad.  You could pay an extra dollar for organic cotton (SO I TOTALLY DID, DUH), I mean, really, do you want pesticide sprayed GMO frankencrops all up in your lady parts?  No thanks.  I'm set.  So I sent them my address and a dollar, and all I had to do was wait.

Wait I did.  My sort of cute thin pad thingy came in the mail and I was like, oh my gosh, what the heck, am I really doing this?  I had looked up some other pads in the meantime and they were like one zillion dollars per pad each to purchase, which kind of puts a damper on things (start imagining how many pads you would need per period, yeah, no.).  So what genius idea did I come up with?  I know!  I'll just use the pad thing they sent me, make a pattern out of it, and go sew a bunch of them!  I'm sure they have youtube tutorials on how to make them!  Yes, this is a great idea!

I sat myself down and figured out how to make different sizes of these baddies, got some organic cotton, some backing, some snaps, the whole nine, and made a bunch of these things.

Then I called my sister.

Me: Um, do you have ANY idea what I am doing?
Sister:  No.
Me:  This is the crunchiest granola thing you can even ever imagine.  I mean, there's the line, and there's me, twelve miles past it.
Sister:  Oh gosh, what did you do?
Me:  I am...making...cloth...pads.
(Note: My sister is the nicest person in the world.  It is her nightmare for someone to be mad at her.  She promotes peace at pretty much any cost.  She tried kombucha and was disgusted by it, but instead, when I gleefully jumped up and down in front of her and asked her what she thought of it, replied, "I don't...uh...hate it?" with a sweet smile on her adorable face.)
Sister: (LOOOONG PAUSE) That. is. so. unbelievably. gross.  I can't even.  You have crossed the line.
Me:  I know!  Are you surprised?
Sister:  No.

A month or two later...

Me: So, you remember my cloth pad idea?
Sister:  Yeah?
Me:  Uh, yeah, not so much.
Sister:  (uncontrollable laughter) Good.

So I thought that was it for me.  I kind of gave up the idea of being crunchy granola in the period department.  I still wasn't comfortable with using conventional tampons with all their GMO-eyness and their pesticides all up in my business, so I switched to million dollar organic tampons for swimming.  After wearing cloth pads for about an hour, I gave up on the idea - maybe it was because I had a horrible design, or maybe it was just because, OH MY GOSH, SO SICK, CLOTH PADS.  Probably both.  What was I thinking?  Oh yeah, I was trying to save the world.  Sigh.

And then there I was.  Standing in the health food store, buying another jillion dollar box of organic tampons when I glanced over to the left and saw the Diva Cups.  

You do know what a Diva Cup is, right?  It's basically this medical grade silicone squooshy cup thingy that you shove up your hoohah and you don't have to use pads or tampons.

Yes, I've seen them there before, and I was like, no, that is not going to happen.  But today was different.  Today I saw the Diva Cup as a chance to break free from the jillion dollar organic tampons and as another adventure in the life of crazy Ms. Daisy.  I bought it.  I made sure to go to my favorite cashier so I could ask her if she has used it before (and also because she won't judge my weirdness, she already knows).  She hadn't, and we just pretty much stood there in front of some stranger behind me (who likely wishes he could have evaporated from the face of the earth) and talked about periods and our qualms with using such alternative methods (I love my health food store, I mean, just in case I haven't told you that lately) and what happens to your cycles when you're in your 30s. 

This glorious day was a day that I could actually try the Diva Cup (Oh, thank goodness, right?  Yay.  Periods.  Not.), so I took it home and read the instructions cover to cover (well, only in English and Spanish, the rest I ignored) and then focused my determination for figuring it out.

If you have not exactly read through the directions, you may be surprised that they are rather particular.  They offer two folding methods for getting that baby up in there, and then you have to twist it to make it open up evenly so you don't have anything trying to get past to ruin your life and/or your underwear.  It states that you have to spin that puppy in a 360.  A 360?  How can you even tell?  Seriously?  Is this like the triple sow cow of the period world?  I was initially disturbed at having to get up close and personal with my lady parts under these circumstances and a little grossed out that I might end up with uterus on my hands, but it worked out well enough and I was significantly less horrified than I originally thought I would be.  (I swear - if you are male and you are reading this - you deserve to be as grossed out as you are now, I warned you.  You could have been staring out the window thinking of testosterone, completely unaffected.)

After a few hours, I wondered if it was working, so I made a trip back to the bathroom.  It seemed that everything was going well, but being the experimentally minded person that I am, I had to check what was going on in there.  Now you can keep it in there for some absurd amount of time like 12 hours, and perhaps at some point in the future I shall graduate to such bravery, but at this point, I frankly am just not there.  I decided it was time to check on things, and so I had to get it out.

Oh crap.  I have to get this thing out.  There's no handy rip cord like a tampon, and you've got to climb all back up into your uterus (no, not really, but it sounds a lot better than...well, yeah, that), find that puppy and go on a rescue mission.  Hello suction cup to the inside of your body, how are you doing today?  Oh good.  Anyway, fingers crossed, you'll be able to figure it out.  I mean, if you've gone through childbirth and you've had a resident check your level of dilation, you can do this.  (Did you ever wonder in that moment why they didn't just go down your throat since they were reaching up to your esophagus anyway?  STOP CLIMBING IN!  I AM TRYING TO GET A PERSON OUT, NOT ANOTHER ONE IN!)

Meanwhile, back at the farm.  It says that you can do anything while using it - including swimming.  I am not sure if I am experienced enough (or brave enough) yet to try that out in the pool.  Perhaps one day.  But so far, so good.  

I feel a little crunchier already.

Peace, love, and I told you not to read this article, boys,
Ms. Daisy

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The chicken came first, then the egg.

The most amazing, organical itty bitty egg ever made to date.
I don't usually post anything on Saturdays, but this day is special.  Do you even know what just happened?  (Besides the fact that I think I literally just spent an hour watching Miranda Sings and Joey Graceffa on youtube.)

I just walked into the chicken coop to feed my fourteen favorite chickens some brown bananas (because I certainly am not going to eat them and if you think I'm going to make banana bread you are dead wrong.  Have you ever even fed a chicken a banana?  It's so awesome it's kind of ridiculous.) and other kitchen scraps, when... 

What. is. that. right. there!?

Is that a tiny itty bitty baby egg?

When they were young and their lives were an open book.
Did one of my little baby chickens (not really babies anymore, but whatevs, you know) just lay me an egg?


I have only been waiting for this day since like, let's just say, May 6.  But who's counting?  Yeah.  Me.  I was.

Meet Sweetie, my favorite chicken. She's independent and talkative.
Now they are big and stuff their faces.  Aww.
Yeah, I know that this is exactly what is supposed to happen and everything with chickens, but finally the day is here and it makes me happy.

Anyway, it's going to be delitchus.  

Peace, love, and buttery toast,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Best Workout Evah

Today I completed the best swim workout in coherent memory.  Not because I was fast, but because it was so torturously awesome.  It was the workout that you muster yourself out of the pool more with your mind than with your limp body, and the total physical exhaustion is felt as an entire body calming weight.

Do you work out?  Do you know what I mean?  Do you know that feeling when you spent it all?  It's even better in the water.  You have no idea.  Your whole body is working, pushing, pulling, kicking, and you can't breathe.  It's great.  (So, I just reread that sentence sequence and I realized that you may very well think I'm crazy, and that might be true, but it is what it is.)  

When you're ready to sprint and the time is counting down, 5, 4, 3, 2... your adrenaline is flying through your body - shocking and icy hot, from your chest down your arms and into your fingers, you push off of the wall in a gloriously delicious streamline and your body is moving, smooth, slicing and cutting the water.  The pool is quiet and still in front of you.  You don't care about breathing, you just love the feel of the water on your hands and your legs flying behind you.  Finally you take a breath, and you've got more to go on for your burning muscles.  You flip turn (please don't miss the wall or go sideways).  Another streamline, but this one contracts your chest because of your lack of air.  You'll breathe in a minute, just make it out past the flags.  Now go!  Push it.

As you're coming back, you close your eyes for one second to dig deep, to talk to yourself instead of listen to your body, which is begging you to stop, to quit, to take it easy, because you're almost done.  No.  This is the difference between being good and being great.  Champions are made in practice and displayed in a race.  You see, out of the corner of your eye, people in the lanes next to you - and you need to hold your own.  If they are faster, you need to not drop back any further.  If they are your speed, you need to summon all of your physical strength to punish your muscles into touching them out at the wall.  You know they're thinking the same thing.  Dig deeper.  The temptation at the end is to glide in, but you want that wall to be yours first.  You have nothing left in your body, you can't breathe, your chest hurts, your arms and legs are burning.  Your body starts begging.  Instead of listening, you tell yourself to shut up and keep it up.  Make faces, make noise, whatever, just do it.

It was worth it.

You're sure the workout is done.  You are heaving with a contorted breath and completely physically exhausted.  

And then, oh. my. gosh.

A 200 IM all out is called.  Never mind that you just did a solid set of stroke and IM all morning and you just finished sprinting IM with a whole 4 seconds of rest in between.  You're going to dig beyond the bottom.

You close your eyes, tell yourself you are going to have to kill it and picture yourself doing it.  You concentrate and give yourself a few seconds to summon any adrenaline reserves.  This is it, you tell yourself.  Don't hold anything back.  It doesn't matter.  One stroke in front of the other.  You've got this, make it happen.  They're tired.  Don't be tired.  Be strong.  I'm in charge of this body and it's going to listen to me and do what I demand it to do.

And it starts again. 5, 4, 3, 2...and you hear some other crazy person call out encouragement for everyone - and you hang on to that and it reverberates in your head.  We're all in this together, but I've got to fight for this to the end.  Come on, let's do this.  Let's go.  The echo of someone pushing you combines with your mind to push your body past what you thought was possible.  You are involuntarily making faces (and they're not cute), as if your expression could pull you faster ahead through the intense physical pain that your body is crying out from.  You are running on reserves, but even in that you make it submit to what you need it to do for you to get you to the end.  Your body is shutting itself off - your muscles have long been burning, and you feel like you're moving in slow motion, but even in this you push - you're almost there.  Don't give up.  Go hard or go home.

And you finish.

And it's the most glorious feeling ever.  (Well, besides the fact that you cannot breathe and there is not enough air in the building for you.)  You did it.  You spent it.

If you are a swimmer, this view evokes emotion in your very soul.

You warm down, and as you do, you think to yourself, "I love this!  I can't wait to do this again tomorrow."

That is, if you can climb out of the pool.

Peace, love, and love swimming,
Ms. Daisy 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ms. Daisy's List of How To Be Healthy

What up, peeps!

Are you healthy?  Isn't it so nebulous to ask that question?  Most people have a knee jerk reaction to say yes, even though if you take a look at it, they really might not be.  It's kind of like, "How are you?" (Fine.)

Do you love lists?  Do you seek to check things off, to obliterate them from sight?  Oh my gosh, meeee toooo.  With that in mind, I thought up a nice short 37 item list of things you can do to be awesome.  You're so welcome.  You don't have to do all of them, I mean, I do all of if you don't want to, that's fine, you don't have to.  You could just be like 58% awesome, or 76% awesome, or whatever you want, it's totally up to you.

In 8th grade I was in love with Neil Patrick Harris.  GIANT POSTERS everywhere.

And now, without further ado, I present to you...

The How To Be Healthy and Awesome Checklist for Life

(I'm really sorry it doesn't come with check boxes.  I am secretly 90 years old inside and don't know how to make that on here.)

1.       Take vitamins every day.  Not crap vitamins.  Vitamins made from whole organic foods.  Take probiotics for your immune system and gut health.  Recommended brand: Garden of Life, Raw One (for women/men)

2.      Eat protein for breakfast.  Not wimpy protein.  Not stupid low-fat dairy stuff, though.  (If you want Greek yogurt, make it full fat, but don’t get yogurt with sugar in it.  Read the ingredients.)
3.      Exercise 5 days a week.
4.      Take turmeric.  Nobody wants cancer, diabetes, or other inflammatory diseases.  It cuts inflammation like crazy.  Take it with black pepper to increase uptake.
5.      Eat fermented foods.  (No, you can’t just drink a bunch of beer and pretend that was fermented food.)  Eat naturally fermented sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, ginger beer, sourdough bread, and any kind of fermented stuff you can get your hands on.  Even if it’s a little bit every day.
6.      Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary radiation.  Don’t hold your phone over your junk.  Don’t eat microwaved food.  Don’t sit on your wifi router or X-box.
7.      Go outside and put your bare feet on the grass.  It helps you sleep better at night.
8.      Drink tea.  Skip coffee.
9.      Only eat food that is actually food.  Only eat food that comes from a plant, an animal, a seed, or something naturally occurring.  Do even better, and make those foods free of pesticides (which cause ADHD, cancer, etc.).  If you can’t bear to eat all organically, eat the dirty dozen organically.  (The EWG's dirty dozen)
10.   Don’t spray Round-Up at your house.
11.    Take an Omega 3 fish oil.  Make sure it comes from a clean, reputable brand, otherwise you may as well just suck on some mercury and Fukishima.  Recommended brand: Nordic Naturals.
12.   Stop being addicted to sugar.  Use sugar as you would any other addictive drug – sparingly, if at all.
13.   Sleep well at night.  Get 8 hours.  Really try.  You don’t want your cortisol levels to flip out, it will make you feel crazy and give you adrenal fatigue.
14.   Listen to your body.  Are you tired?  Sleep.  Don’t be stupid.
15.   Learn stuff.  Read books.  Turn off your dumb TV.
16.   If you’re feeling a craving for something, wonder what your body really wants.  Salt?  You might need to use a full spectrum salt like celtic gray sea salt (please tell me you are not using crap white Morton table salt).  Sugar/sweet things?  Maybe you’re deficient in a vitamin that is present in a fruit – which one sounds good?  (Excuse me.  Did you just say "none"?  You're addicted to sugar.  Please see above.)  Eat it.  Chocolate?  Eat a square of 72% dark, no soy.  Your body wants magnesium.  Fat?  What about something with coconut oil or an avocado, or some nuts?
17.   Get lots and lots of vitamin D.  If you aren’t somewhere sunny, take a whole food based supplement.  100% of women with breast cancer tested had low or undetectable vitamin D levels.  I take 5,000 IU per day.  Sit out in the sun for 20 minutes and don’t use sunscreen.  Don’t wash yourself off after being in the sun, either.  Vitamin D is made on your skin and absorbed via your dermis.
18.   Stop using weird soaps and body products that have stuff in it that is killing you.  Throw your anti-bacterial junk in the garbage and never look back.  Go get some Dr. Bronner’s 18 in 1 soap.  Peppermint is good, but if you use it as a body wash, your nether regions might feel a little…minty cold.
19.   Eat fiber.  Chia seeds, prunes, flax seed, hemp seed, fruits and veggies.
20.  Stretch.
21.   Drink tons of water.  Make sure your water is clean.  Don’t drink fluoride, it makes you docile and numb.  Don’t use a Brita filter or a Pur filter (it adds in aluminum, hello Alzheimer’s). 
22.  Use stainless steel pots and pans and use cast iron.  Never use non-stick cookware.  You will die.
23.  Eat grass fed butter.  Enjoy it.  Smile when you eat it.
24.  Don’t use antiperspirants unless your plan is to rub toxins up your lymph nodes.
25.  Don’t work too much.
26.  When you aren’t well, seek out solutions that work with your body, not against it.  Many pharmaceuticals have a list of side effects that can destroy many systems and cause unbalance in your body.  Herbal medicine works with your body.  It is still medicine, though, so don’t be flippant about it.
27.  Live simply.  Don’t have too much stuff because it will have you.
28.  Use dryer sheets and fabric softener only if you want to destroy your endocrine system and kill your children.  (Recommended option: use wool dryer balls)
29.  Read the Bible.
30.  Look up.  Notice the stars, the clouds, the planets, the trees.  Don’t always put your face into a device.
31.   Opt for microfiber to clean with instead of chemicals.  Your home should be your protected sanctuary.  Don’t poison your well.
32.  Do physical labor.
33.  Express yourself creatively – painting, writing, building, creating, cooking, whatever.  Get a creative outlet and push on it.
34.  Don’t smoke anything.  It messes with your lung capacity and causes inflammation from particulate matter.  Tobacco is worse than marijuana.
35.  Don’t eat crappy oils.  Consume the good ones – olive oil, butter, coconut oil, and lard.  Avoid canola and vegetable oil like it is made of death.  Oh wait, it is.
36.  When you are feeling physically crunchy, go to a good chiropractor.
37.       Live passionately.

Okay, so there you have it.  It's pretty straightforward, right?  I mean, it might be a little teensy dramatic in bits, but really, I think it's just about right.

If you do all of these things, I want to know.  You can tell me how much better you're feeling and where you are on the awesome scale. I'd love to hear it.

Peace, love, and lists of pure joy,
Ms. Daisy