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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

a letter to my progressive friends in the wake of the election

My dear friends,

I've been up and down the newsfeed today and I've seen it all: people rejoicing, people unfriending, happy dances, profile pictures changed to all black, people thanking God, and people asking the question, "Why?!  How could this happen?"

If you really want to know and understand, I will take a stab at it.  My voice doesn't speak for everyone, so take it with a grain of salt, but I'll make an attempt to show you what's going on on the other side.

I'm caught in the juxtaposition of landing between all of these things because of my own beliefs - I'm a third party person at heart, but I run in the circles of the blue and the red and I have a glimpse of the pulse of both.

Here's the deal, my progressive friends, and it comes down to a few things - first, you have to understand that some people just really really hate Hillary and would prefer to elect Kermit the Frog and Barney the purple dinosaur over her.  When they see her, they have a visceral reaction.  Her very face causes them to roll their eyes.  You know, like how you feel when you see Trump?  Yes, like that.  They hate her for many reasons - they hate her because she is establishment, because she behaves like she is above the law, because she is entangled in murders, and in human trafficking children.  If they're really passionate in their disgust, they hate the way she laughs, they think she is not medically fit for the job, they hate it when they hear reports of how her aides are treated, being lashed by her sharp vulgar tongue (Yes, I know, your blood pressure just went up and you started listing the offenses on the other side.  You have that right.  I'm just explaining.  Don't get upset.  Or do, it's up to you.  I'm just trying to lay it out for you to understand.).  They hate her stance on late-term abortion, they hate how she would undermine freedom by seeking to remove personal protection from people's homes, they hate how she picks fights with Putin - and in doing so, in their opinion, is seeking out World War 3.

I heard an interesting poll result last night when watching the beginning of the results.  The anchor on NBC said that out of the undecided voters, when it came down to it, they chose Trump two-to-one over her.  This should speak volumes about the fact that many people didn't necessarily want Trump, but they just absolutely hated Hillary that much.

Other people who voted for Trump not only disliked Hillary, but they actually loved Trump.  I know, you don't get it.  But here is why they did: he is the real freakin deal.  Because of the way that he spoke (albeit in an unpolished, crass way), people related to him.  He was finally not someone who was going to bow to the establishment.  He said things that you're not supposed to say, but that are things that may be overheard at a backyard barbecue.  He says what he thinks without filter, so people trusted that because he didn't care if you liked him or not.  He brought himself in full form, and some people ate that up.  They liked his policy, they liked his guts.

I can hear you now - the racist, homophobic, etc. comments are not okay!  I actually think that 89% of Trump supporters agree with you.  But they also believe that he's not racist or homophobic.  (Don't stroke out, just listen.)  You point to the idea of building a wall as the very epitome of racism, but Trump supporters are looking at the other side of it: nationalism.  Protection of what is ours in these United States.  That is the methodology by which they believe we can uphold nationalism, and a viable solution.  It's the angle.  You can take it from either side.

The mainstream media expressed themselves last night in shock and horror, but many of their comments were shockingly derogatory - blanketing that the majority of his supporters must be from rural areas, must be white uneducated men, and must have showed up in droves.  They could not wrap their brain around that anyone could like him, but that is because they are not listening.  I do not live in a rural area, but I'm not in the middle of the city, either.  I'm in the burbs, and in the town in which I live boasts a very high percentage of residents with advanced degrees, with a median income of $87k annually.  I drove up and down the streets, and the majority of what I saw were gigantic Trump signs.  I saw a few Clinton ones, but far less than those for Trump.  This city is also proud of the fact that we have residents from all over the world living here.  If the pollsters would have called this town, I feel that they may have had different feedback than what they were getting elsewhere.

This is part of what it comes down to - many of the people entrenched in the media are surrounded by people who are just like them.  They did not take the time to seek out opposing viewpoints, and they didn't listen.  They were shocked when they saw states coming in for Trump.  I was not shocked at all.  I asked them, "Where were you?  Where have you been?" 

I know this seems unfathomable to you, but the feeling you had in your guts this morning was the same feeling that many people felt 4 and 8 years ago.  Just as you are ready to count down the days until he will not be President anymore, people have been counting that for Obama since he got in.

What does this mean?  I think it means we need to start listening to each other.  Yes, in anger we can say accusatory things - and I have heard plenty of those statements today.  A vote for Trump has been said to be a vote for hate. I think that is true - that people hate Hillary that much.

So that's it.  That is what I understand.  I heard a lot of you shouting in the dark and I couldn't stand it. 

Don't give up hope, dear people.  We're in this boat together.  Hug your people, do your thang.  It's going to be all right.  We're America.  Remember the Olympics?  We're on the same team.

Unless you're moving to Canada, I mean.

Peace, love, and no matter who you are, I am pretty sure nobody expected this result today,
Ms. Daisy

Saturday, October 22, 2016

me vs. waffles

I woke up this morning happy.  I saw the sun dancing through the leaves (despite the fact that it is fall and they are turning to yellows, oranges, reds, and browns); the chill outside of the blankets was not totally intolerable.  I was thinking about the blessings of the lovely people who are braided into the tapestry of my life and I decided that nothing could stop me.  Nothing could kill my happiness, not even my nemesis.  The unspeakable would not thwart me today.  I stood strong and spoke my intention firmly, you shall not succeed, you will not beat me.

I was going to make another attempt at waffles.

No, this may not sound like anything to you, but that is because you are normal.  The way that I make waffles is nothing short of being considered some sort of minor life event near worthy of marking it down in an online diary (ahem, like this).  As you can imagine, I am certainly not going to open some box of waffle mix and throw that onto some poison non-stick Teflon plug-in waffle maker.  That would be way too easy.

When I make waffles, it has to be a well-thought out, conscious decision.  The challenge that I am about to take on could quite possibly flip my switch from happy to irate in under an hour.  It is with this in mind that I summon sisu, pull up my big girl panties, throw on my Wonderwoman tank top, and get after it.

I want to eat as real as possible - it just tastes better, and you get a lot more nutrition.  This may seem slightly more complicated, but that's not where the challenge lies.  Grabbing eggs from the chicken coop and using a grain mill to make my favorite blend of flour brings a level of satisfaction that I don't consider a bother at all.  Instead, the challenge comes from the tools that I have decided to use, and the resulting mess that is nothing short of legendary.

Let me introduce you to the very impossible cast iron, stove top waffle maker.  It's small, maybe 8" in diameter.  The very useless and poorly thought out handle is about 4" long, which is just the right size for you to burn your hand even with an oven mitt on.  I bought it online, which is great for a better price, but is a bummer because it was not seasoned.  (The rest of my cast iron collection was purchased at antique stores - that is the way to go.)  This is where things get complicated.  Impossibly hot cast iron short handled waffle makers over fire combined with unseasoned insides and sticky batter makes for an interesting form of frustration.

It is with this in mind that you must use a bit of science (yay, science!) to have at least one successful waffle out of your gallon of batter.  The first waffle on this waffle maker is a bust; quite frankly I don't even pretend to hope anymore, although it has been so long since I have made waffles (due to this frustration) that a dim hope dared to spring up inside - fear not, it was quashed the moment I opened the waffle maker to check its progress.

The science is simply this: use a crap ton of coconut oil all over the inside of the waffle maker (even though the recipe has ONE FREAKING CUP of butter and you would think that perhaps just by that fact, it may not utterly fail - but you would be mistaken) - so much coconut oil that every person in the house comes up to you individually and asks you if you are also making popcorn (no). 

My family knows the history of these waffle challenges and they used to have quite a pile of negative responses when the waffles weren't working. 

Kid 1: Mom, are these burnt?  I don't want any burnt stuff on my waffle.
Kid 2: This one is kind of falling apart, Mom.
Husband: Maybe you should just get a waffle maker like your mom.

Hey, I have an idea!  Maybe you all should just shut up.

But now because I have shut down all waffle making for at least a year (no soup for you!), upon the announcement of "I am making waffles today", I received nothing short of accolades and positive reinforcement.

Kid 1: Wow, Mom, that sounds great!  I am so hungry!
Kid 2:  I bet these will taste great, even if they are falling apart!
Husband: You're making waffles?  (pause - was it in fear?  I'm not sure.) Oh, I was hoping you would!

I pulled out my mom's recipe that requires separation of eggs and the folding in of stiff-peaked just-layed-this-morning egg whites (because go big or go home, right?), milled a perfect blend of oat, spelt, and winter wheat flour, melted a cup of butter in the cast iron pan, and crossed my fingers.

First waffle:  Seriously.  What even the heck is this.  No really, what is this?  Gooey mess conformed to every freaking crack on both sides of this burning hot cast iron mess.  Separate the two sides, scrub down over the sink with a brush.  Start over.  I had a feeling you would be a fail, but this is of epic proportion.

Waffle #2: Add coconut oil to the top and bottom of the waffle maker, watch the oil ooze out onto the stove when you flip it over.  Add batter.  Set timer.  Holy crapola, man.  No.  It's bad, but not as bad.  Re-scrape.  Kid #2 enters and remarks, oh, that's okay, Mom!  I know it looks crumbly, but I'll eat it.  I bet it tastes really good.  God bless you, child.  Take this from my sight and never speak of it again.

Waffle #3:  Add even more coconut oil to the top and bottom of the waffle maker.  Scrape the waffly bits from the cracks and crevices.  Cross fingers. Pour batter, set timer, flip.  Burn hand only slightly.  Watch as the melted coconut oil mingles with the rebellious crumbles of what was supposed to be a waffle around the gas flame on the stove.  Pray that you do not burn down the kitchen.  Waffle 3 is a better success than the first two, and I am gaining hope.

Waffle #4: Add so much coconut oil that you think that just by standing here in front of this, you're absorbing it into your skin.  Imagine showering with a Brillo pad.  Watch the stream of melted coconut oil pour all over the stove when you flip the waffle and burn your hand (yes, even with the oven mitt).  Watch how the oven mitt seems to catch fire while you're wearing it, if only for a second.  Muse to yourself that cooking is an adventure.  Have the first successful looking waffle peel from the sides of the ridiculous waffle maker, start thanking Jesus aloud for this unexpected mercy.

Waffle #5: Look into the Costco-sized vat of coconut oil and be impressed with just how much you've used, and then use a lot more.  Pour batter, set timer, watch as the simmering crumbles of ex-waffle dance in the puddles of coconut oil beneath the waffle maker, surrounding the gas flame.  Make a mental note of where the fire extinguisher is.  Begin thinking through the step-by-step plan of how on earth this is ever going to be cleaned up.  Waffle #5 peels off without a challenge and children are coming up to cheer me on.  You did it, Mom!  Look at that!  I'm too happy about it to be bothered with what must be (on some level) patronizing comments. 

Waffle #6-10: Use even more coconut oil because this is the only thing making these stupid things not glue themselves to the side of the pan, give up on the thought of ever not having the kitchen looking like some weird tropical hurricane sped through here on its way directly from a waffle factory.  Amuse yourself with the steady cheers of the peanut gallery who are singing the praises of your waffle-making skills like you just simultaneously painted the Mona Lisa and won the Olympics and the lottery.  Decide that maybe this isn't so bad...

Until you finish and start cleaning it up.  Good thing I have Norwex.

 It was a heck of a fight, and it was a close one, but I'm sure I won this one (like a good kick set).

Peace, love, and pass the butter,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My letter to summer

Dear Summer,

So this is it, huh?  You're going to slide out just like that?  Don't you know how much I love you?  I know.  I get it, you have to leave.  The whole world spinning on it's axis and going around the sun thing really makes it quite inevitable, doesn't it?  If I could change it, I would.

Fall is nothing compared to you.  Fall is a big bucket of crapsauce.  All I hear is people raving about their freaking pumpkin spice lattes and their hoodies and college football and I am bewildered, wondering if they've ever even spent ten minutes on a beach in their favorite pink bathing suit.  Do they not think of the smell of the grill, of the nights you can walk outside in shorts, the sun still setting late in the evening, making it seem that all is well with the world?  Do they not know of the summer constellations that are spied in the dark, quiet, early morning before the sunrise?  Can they not feel the hot sand between their toes and smell the coconut scented wonders?  Have they so easily forgotten the runs while the sun sets, casting the spectrum of colors throughout the cloudless skies from one end to the other? 

Maybe they don't see it.  Maybe they don't understand how long a year feels to get back to those days.  Maybe they didn't go outside enough to appreciate it.  Maybe they ate too many s'mores and have brain damage now from the neurotoxic mercury in the high fructose corn syrup.  Maybe they're just weird.

As for me, I'll accept it quietly, determinedly, stately, bravely (and miserably). What else can be done?  I will squint my eyes at the ever present sights of you leaving me - the awful leaves falling from the once beautiful trees, life turning brown, numbing, and monotonous.  It's work from here.  Raking, shoveling, parka wearing, and climbing halfway into the dryer just to be able to try to take the chill out of your bones again.  And let me be perfectly clear, a clothes dryer is a pathetic substitute for the heat you feel from basking underneath the glow of the summer sun. 

I'll miss you.  I miss you already.  I suppose moving to the southern hemisphere may be a little drastic to meet you again, but if I'm being honest, I'd have to say I've contemplated it.

I can hear them now, "But without winter, you can't appreciate summer!  Think of the earth resting and all the growth in the future!"

I respond unapologetically and resolutely with an incredulous furrowed brow, "Shush up."  Inside, I say more than that, and exponentially more colorfully.  This is no time to wax hopeful.

They chime in again, "But the hoodies!  And the donuts!  And the upcoming holidays!"

You literally might as well stab me in the face with a blowtorch.  Those all sound horrible and make me want to gouge out my own eyeballs with a spork.  I hate donuts.  And bah humbug (for good measure).  Do you not know what sunshine is?  Honestly.  What is wrong with people?

(It probably has something to do with their lack of Vitamin D or something.  Perhaps they have SIBO and their gut-brain connection is wacked.  Maybe they need nootropics.  Maybe their water is so fluoridated that they have become apathetic to even the most basics of the joys in life.   Maybe they have no good flip flops or sundresses to enjoy.  Perhaps the chemtrails have finally gotten them.  The possibilities are freakinendless.)

Sigh.  It was nice, though.  I never take the sunshine for granted.  I love you, and I think of you always.

Peace, love, and muster all the sisu from the depths and the parkas from the closet,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, June 17, 2016

The time my bladder revolted: the struggle is real

I don't know how it started.  I don't know why.  Maybe I should have listen to Karen and avoided the pond?  (Karen, I LOVE THE POND.)  I'm not sure.  What I do know is that my bladder was angry.  Angry like an old man in the sea.  Or something.  It was pretty angry.  10/10 ticked off.

Initially, I paused for a moment in life and looked up like a question mark was floating in a pillowy cloud above my head.  Is my bladder hurting?  It kind of feels like it's hurting.  Meh.  I probably just need to drink more water.  Okay.  Let's do that.

Fast forward to two days later.  Okay, folks, this bladder is getting seriously ticked off.  I need to do something.  A few sprays of silver ought to do the trick.

Oh, wait!  Maybe you don't know.  Are you one of the millions of people who are responding to this fascinating path of thought with, "Why didn't you just go to the freaking doctor?"  Yeah.  About that.  So, I don't really go to the doctor unless one of my limbs is laying in a bloody pile on the ground or I can see an organ coming outside of my body.  These haven't happened (yet), so I've been doctor-free for quite a while.  The rest of the crap I take care of myself.  Strep throat?  Got it.  Sinus infection?  On it.  Cold, flu, etc.  No problem.  I love the challenge!  BRING IT ON.

I can hear you already asking me why.  Really?  Okay.  I'll tell you two reasons why:

1.  Iatrogenesis is the 3rd leading cause of death in this country.  What's iatrogenesis?  It's when you get correctly treated by a (conventional) medical professional AND DIE.  This does not include being misdiagnosed, under or overprescribed, given different pharmaceuticals accidentally, getting your liver cut out instead of your gallbladder, or any of those things.  This is death by traditional and correct Western medical treatment.  Only cancer and heart disease are in front of correct medical treatment.  No offense, but this doesn't inspire tons of confidence for me, especially when I've found a pile of herbal and crunchy ways that work without side effects.

2.  Antibiotics are pure Satan.  They kill off your entire gut system.  New stuff is coming out on the horizons of discovery finding that there are more bacterial cells in your body than there are human cells.  Nope, you didn't even hear what I just said.  Let me say that again.  There are more bacterial cells in your body than there are human cells.  Antibiotics nuke the whole thing, the good, the bad, the helpful, the ugly.  Take those billions and make them ground zero.  70-80% of your immune system is in your gut.  Nuke the crap out of that while you're there.  Your endothelial layer is compromised and destroyed by antibiotics, allowing a break in that beautiful one-cell layer thick puppy, and then you have a host of horrible going on in your entire body (think intestinal permeability, a.k.a. "leaky gut" syndrome).  You contribute to the rise of the "superbug" by joining the masses and jumping on the antibiotic bus.  There's stuff out there that has become resistant to all the antibiotic ammo we have on the shelf.  That is the death of an era, my friends.  Move on or die.

By day four, I had no energy and a fever.  I was to meet up with my friends for coffee in the evening after a kid's baseball game, and I sat there like a pathetic little blob.  It was warm in the coffee shop  and I was already sweaty and unwell and I had to duck out early.  This is tragic as I usually love to lead shenanigans and uproar, but home I sadly trudged to curl up into a little antisocial ball.

(Did I keep swimming in the morning?  Why yes, of course.  Does that make sense?  No.  I know.)

I was getting progressively worse so that by Sunday afternoon (day 7), I took a four hour heavy coma nap - the kind that you try to wake up and open your eyes, but even in your dreams you are unsuccessful at doing so.  I didn't even eat lunch that day (if you know me, you know this is alarming) and I was receiving threats to be taken in to the local Urgent Care or the ER.  I fended them off with all the strength I could muster.  I'm too tired to even stand up to walk to a vehicle to go, so let's just say this isn't going to work out.  I just need to sleep.  That night was when I hit the desperate wall.  I couldn't stand up from pain, had the chills, and was so uncomfortable I couldn't stand being in my own body.  I called the MD on call.  This was desperation and defeat all in one.

ow, my life hurts, but at least I'm an artist
I explained that I had a bladder infection and asked him what he would recommend.  He sent a prescription for an antibiotic to what was supposed to be the only open local pharmacy at that time, although when he pulled up my record, he said he was not very inclined to do so as I hadn't been to the office in about 3 years (what?!  I've been well!).  After I made dinner, I planned to walk my hunchback positioned self to the vehicle and make the sad trek to the pharmacy (but was intercepted by my husband who volunteered to go for me - usually I would insist on going, but as I could barely walk to the garage, I figured it might be a good idea).  He called me 20 minutes later to let me know that the pharmacy was closed.

Okay?  God?  Am I not supposed to take this prescription?  Is this how I get the message?  Ummm...?

I had kicked in some serious concoctions by this time (silver at a correct dose, oil of oregano, usnea uva ursi, probiotics, horrible awful pressed organic cranberry juice, double turmeric, Vitamin C, bone broth, and a non-inflammatory diet) and was getting marginally better by the next day (translation: I could stand up straight without pain).  The evenings were always quite worse, however.  It was like I used up too much energy during the day and the bad guys took over at night.  I skipped swimming (now you should be really shocked).

I didn't go to the pharmacy the next day because I figured I was getting much better.  At this, I received many loving death threats from my friends and family.  I was sweetly told , "I know it blows goats, but...take the pills, you dumba--!" by one friend, a dubsmash from another that said, "I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."  (They love me and this is how I know.)  Another said, "Just take them!  Yeesh!  You can go back to your clean life after you get rid of the infection!  Antibiotics work ya know!"  I love these people.  It was almost like they were trying to tell me something.

Did I listen?  Well, no.

I was forced to go to the pharmacy the next morning by my bossy husband who said before I did anything (I had an 8:30 meeting), I was to go and pick up that prescription OR ELSE.  Meh.  Fine.

(He didn't say I had to take the prescription, only that I had to get it.  I'm so awesome.)

I left it in packaging for a few days and then put it up in the cupboard in case I was dying at some future point, which is what it would practically take for me to ingest one of those toxic things.

Now here is the problem.  I could go on like this fighting it and being moderately sick for an indefinite amount of time, but I am up against a wall.  I have a triathlon in 5 days.  I have that large muscle fatigue that you feel after you have the flu.  I can't do a tri like this (and win anything).  This is terrifying.

I missed swimming again today because for some weird reason, I don't feel super great after I swim.  I feel the tired of a thousand years.  BUT I NEED TO PRACTICE FOR THE TRI!

This rock and a hard place is very distressing for me.

I sit here at my laptop typing this out with the toxic bottle staring at me, pulled out of the cupboard for the first time, the quandry looming over me.  It sits to the left of my laptop, beyond my pink water bottle, not so far from the probiotics, looking up at me, taunting me.  "May cause diarrhea.  If persists or becomes severe, notify DR or RPH.  Diarrhea may occur weeks to months after taking drug."  ARGH!!  That's because you'd be stripping my good happy bacteria!  UGH!  What do I do?!

So far, it's sit here and argue with myself and debate the funeral of my endothelial layer or forcing myself to sleep for the next 4 days without any running, swimming, or biking, and thus, being quite rusty for the tri (not to mention irritated and boiling mad from lack of exercise).

This is awful.

Go ahead.  Weigh in.  Tell me what you would do.  I am desperate enough that I actually may listen.  Maybe.  Probably.

Peace, love, and God help me,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Irony, a little bit wrinkly

Do you ever feel as if you're part of a Seinfeld episode?  It's like slight comedic irony, and you're in the middle of it.

Such a thing recently happened to me and I found it to be rather potently ironic.

Before I begin, I need you to set aside your firm belief that you hold dearly to your sweet little heart regarding your very (obviously) correct stance on vaccinations.  The main gist here is not to debate vaccinations; it is merely the space for me to express twinges of irony.  So, please, and thank you.

We can debate that on another post, I'm happy to do so.  Debate makes me ecstatic, actually.  Fires me up real nice like, gets my blood pumping all happy and my brain whirring madly.  Even when you adamantly disagree with me, I'll still usually be thrilled with you for participating in debate for the sheer joy of it all.  (You don't have to cringe, peacemakers, it's simply how some of us are wired.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

The state in which I live requires by law that if you are not current on the vaccinations of your offspring and want to enroll them in school, you must to go to a brainwashing session and sign statements that you are essentially a horrid person, member of society, and most importantly, parent.  You mustn't change the wording one iota, you must sign it as the almighty state declares it.  Otherwise, no school.  You may still claim non-medical exemptions (religious: I'm not cool with injecting aborted or otherwise fetal cells into my child; philosophical: vaccinations do not work except in very specific diseases, the dangers outweigh the potential benefits, I hate The Man, I think injecting aluminum or mercury - ethyl or methyl - into your bloodstream at any level is idiotic, whatever.).  You may also claim medical exemptions, as in your child was previously vaccine damaged or had a significant reaction.

When you do this, you must go and "be educated" by a nurse who is an agent of the county health department and have a waiver signed and stamped to prove that you went to his or her re-education (potentially, but not necessarily, in Room 101) session.  You wouldn't think of doing anything otherwise, would you, you Delta?  Nice khaki, btw.

I was not thrilled to be subjected to the state in such a manhandling type of tyrant and anti-freedomesque way, but after I thought about it for a little while, I realized that you will never change anything big without some form of conflict and that I ought to man up, pull up the big girl panties and dive in headfirst.  If they want to discuss vaccines, I will be ready.  I know why I believe what I do, and I know why I've chosen what I have for my littles, so their methods of potential intimidation and strong-arming me were of no consequence.

I am a firm believer in that how you are perceived on the outside is going to have some effect on how people treat you.  You may wish this were not so, but imagine with me, if you will - if you show up to an interview with a CEO of a Fortune 500 company with a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, ripped jean shorts, and dirty flip flops hoping to get hired on your wit and charm as a top level exec, you may have just taken a large dump on your chances.  I had a meeting with a client that day, so I was wearing a professional outfit, and I brought along my laptop for notes and ammo (if it was going to get down and dirty).  I was prepared inside and out.

As I approached the door of the building, I noticed that in order to be let in, you had to be buzzed in.  In I went.  The office within the building had the same setup, so I had to be buzzed in again.  Why is the county health department under such tight security?  This seems a bit odd to me.  Do they have a lot of people with communicable diseases banging down their doors and windows?  (Get out of here, you Ebola face!)  Or are they afraid that anti-vaxxers are going to protest them?  Either way (or whether for some other reason), I still found it to be slightly off putting.  Maybe it is for the psychological factor instead.  At any rate, that was the setup.

I was led into an otherwise starkly decorated and outdated waiting room filled with propaganda posters (of which I took a video so that I could gag and roll my eyes later for whenever my heart desired).  I sat down in that nice cushy, brown, upholstered chair and popped out my laptop and did some work.

After a few minutes, the re-education nurse appeared in the doorway to escort me to her office.

Please do not take this the wrong way.  Just listen to me and hear me out.  Let us reason together, shall we?

The middle-aged woman who appeared in the doorway was supposed to be my educator for wellness.  As an agent of the state in this specific jurisdiction and as a nurse, she ought to be a proponent for health, which would reflect in her own person, her habits, and in her lifestyle.  I fully expected her to be healthy and well with her vast knowledge of health, medicine, and wellness.  The woman who appeared in the doorway did not represent health.  She represented the epitome of morbidly obese.  From what I guessed her biometrics to be, her BMI would have been near 60.  She had a significant difficulty walking because of it.

Hold up, before you think I am prejudiced against the obese.  I understand that there are people out there who have conditions that affect weight.  I know that there are people with thyroid issues that mess up your weight, your metabolism, and all the rest.  I understand that your genetics play a factor in your weight.  I get it.  Perhaps all of these things were true for her.  I didn't ask.  That isn't the point.  The point is that she was not well.  She could not walk!  The underlying reason was unknown to me, but the blatant fact was clear - she was not the image of someone in good health, yet she was going to instruct me on topics of health and wellness!

I sat down at the desk in her (also starkly decorated) office and took a quick look around at my surroundings.  Her desk was very plain, but it contained a few things that sent warning signals off in my head.  There was the occasional pile of paper, but my eyes landed on the few non-paper items on her desk: an Arby's disposable cup filled with a dark brown liquid, a highly perfumed and scented lotion from a well-known lotiony store, and a Costco-sized container with a pump top of an anti-bacterial hand goo.

Dear holy God in heaven above, please help this lady!  Do you not know that your weight is likely connected to your endocrine system and you are murdering it in every direction?  I've been here for four seconds and I can tell you three things that you are doing that are torturing your hormones and screwing with your metabolism!  You're a NURSE for Pete's sake!  Do you really not know this or are you just ignoring the information that is out there that would help you to feel better, lose weight, and have more energy?  If the former, then why are you educating me on what it is to be well when you don't know it yourself?  If it is the latter, what other information are you ignoring in order to get through your life?

Your dark brown liquid (please say this isn't a diet pop, please, please, tell me it isn't) likely contains a cauldron of chemicals that affect your calcium and phosphorus balance in your body, enough sugar to make you sprint your way to Type II diabetes, ruin your immune system, and artificial flavors and colors (Caramel color?  Oh that's just ammonia burned with sugar.  That's probably really good for you.).  The smelly lotion that is sitting on your desk is a bazooka to your endocrine system and a pile of parabens just waiting to water and plant cancerous seeds into your body.  The antibac goo shines gloriously in triclosan, which fosters endocrine disruption, bacterial and compounded antibacterial resistance, not to mention how it also contaminates our water system and pollutes the world (and yes, of course it's banned in Europe, but we're always behind in what we allow because the government is too busy making out with the companies who make the chemicals to be bothered with the health of the masses to do anything).

But please, tell me how I can be healthy and make my offspring so.

I suppose we don't really have to make sense when we're working with the government, but this is mind-blowingly insane.

She sneezed.  She said that the weather was wonderful, but for allergy sufferers, it was really something else.  She reached over and pumped a large glob of goo onto her hands and slathered it all over herself.  My soul inside my body was doing that thing that you used to do as a child when you slinked down your chair at the table and onto the floor like a spineless snake.  The frustration, irony, and pathetic nature of it all could not be contained.  (She needs Norwex.  I shall help.)

She handed me a pile of lovely pastel papers listing the reasons the CDC declared it utterly and completely safe to inject infants, babies, and children with vaccines, even though they contain polysorbate-80 (infertility agent), formaldehyde (carcinogen), thimerosal (neurotoxin), aborted fetal tissue, aluminum derivatives (Alzheimer's please), MSG (excitotoxin), sorbitol/aspertame/sucrose (ohhhhhhmyyyyyyyyyyygooooooooooosh), chick embryos, monkey cells, mouse serum proteins, vesicle fluid from calf skins, and so much more.

The bottom line is this - if you are going to be a representative of good health, you ought to be generally well.  Yes, there are times of illness, obviously.  That's life.  Yes, there are times when you do something stupid that will affect your health.  There are times when you just choose that chocolate cake over carrots, and that may be your moderation.  I get it.  But if you are specifically employed to educate people on health and wellness and disease avoidance, should you not exemplify some aspects of wellness?

My dear friends who are physicians and nurses and health coaches - we've got to be the example.  How will people believe you otherwise?  Why should they?  Please take care of yourselves so you can take care of others.  Who else will lead the world in a charge toward health?  We need you.  May I encourage and implore you to fulfill your calling well.

You know I totally am going to sell that lady some Norwex and yes, I did give her my health coaching card.

She told me that if my offspring weren't updated next year and each year following on their vaccinations that I'd need to come back and do this annually.

See you next year, my dear.

Peace, love, and please be well,
Ms. Daisy

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ms. Daisy's 100 Little Things to Be Happy About

Hey lovies.  Yes, I know, it's been a while.  I have been working on getting a business started while doing school, creating a website for the business, running the usual household things and the chickens, teaching, and keeping the plates spinning, so I haven't had a lot left over to pour out in this direction.

Alas!  I am here for the moment and I wanted to give this to you.

Life is funny, isn't it?  Sometimes it's just so darn funny, it's not even funny.  In those times, you might just need to remember the good things that are out there - things that don't deplete your wallet (that much, anyway), and things that just make you smile because of what they are.  With that in mind, I wrote up a list of things that make me happy.  I've seen other people do similar things, but I am pretty sure I'm the only one whose list includes the entry "butter in general" (see #55).  I wouldn't want to deprive you of such illustrious things, and so I am here to share.

(p.s. I met up with a friend I haven't seen in a decade or more and she brought me a present!  What was it?  Why, a 3 pack of Kerrygold grass fed butter, of course!  Thank you, dear!)

Without further ado, may I present to you - Ms. Daisy's 100 Little Things to Be Happy About

  1. A hot bath right before bed.
  2. Seeing your kid swinging happily on the swing when they don’t know you’re watching.
  3. The one cup of hot black tea you have at breakfast.
  4. Laying with eyes closed in the sunshine.
  5. Having a conversation and a cup of tea with someone who makes you happy.
  6. Being in the middle of an amazing book.
  7. Speaking to someone in another language.
  8. Hitting the bullseye on the first try.
  9. When your favorite flavor of Kevita is available and on sale.
  10. Oboro incense.
  11. Smelling something that flashes you back to a moment in your life and it’s so real, you can see and feel it.
  12. When you must do the laundry and the basement is cold, but you can wrap a large hot towel around yourself and stick your head into the dryer and take a pretend nap on the warm clothes.
  13. Finally sitting down after being on your feet all day.
  14. What your kitchen/fridge/house/bathroom/vehicle looks like when it is perfectly clean.
  15. Cracking an egg into a butter-filled cast iron pan that is so fresh, it’s still warm.
  16. Jumping into the pool (or a lake) and watching the bubbles rise up around you.
  17. Staring at the sky in the middle of the summer at sunset floating on your back in the middle of a lake.
  18. Showering outside.
  19. Finishing a triathlon.
  20. The lateness of sunset in the summer.
  21. Walking barefoot in the grass when it’s warm.
  22. Hopping fences.
  23. Cartwheels.
  24. Getting paid to do what you thrive on.
  25. The feeling right when the plane lifts off of the ground.
  26. Sleeping until you wake up on your own.
  27. New York City.
  28. Having a passionate intellectual argument.
  29. Laughing until you can’t breathe.
  30. Falling asleep with the window open.
  31. Being able to fix something for someone.
  32. Saunas.
  33. The feeling of an amazing foot massage.
  34. Falling asleep when you are exhausted.
  35. Getting a package in the mail.
  36. Writing with a black Bic gel ink pen in bold 1.0.
  37. Writing (or reading) a poem that expresses exactly where you are at that moment.
  38. When herbs first sprout in tiny pots on your windowsill.
  39. Digging your toes in the sand at the beach and not having anything requiring your immediate attention.
  40. Getting a hug when you really needed one.
  41. Lying in bed and realizing you got everything done you needed to that day.
  42. Driving really fast (safely, of course).
  43. Going for a run that exhausts your body, clears your mind, and alleviates your soul.
  44. Painting your nails your favorite color.
  45. Being alone in your own space.
  46. Having a happy dream that when you wake up, it seems like it might really have happened.
  47. Getting a text that makes you burst into laughter.
  48. Re-reading a text that makes you sigh happily.
  49. Watching your itty bitties sleep.
  50. Seeing the sunrise from the woods.
  51. The memory of epic youthful shenanigans.
  52. Mission Peninsula.
  53. Being genuinely happy for someone else’s good news.
  54. Homemade bread with grass-fed butter.
  55. Butter in general.
  56. Being the person that someone wants to tell their new news to.
  57. Your favorite classical/jazz music piece.
  58. Finding the perfect gift for someone.
  59. When it’s been raining all day and then the sun peeks out brilliantly and overpoweringly.
  60. Getting to see ancient art in person (and wondering how many eyes and generations across the whole world have taken in that same painting/sculpture).
  61. Really great foodie-grade (dark, obviously) chocolate.
  62. The mountains.
  63. The first day that it feels like summer of the year.
  64. Seeing a hummingbird.
  65. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
  66. The scent of your lovies.
  67. Looking at your friend and knowing exactly what they’re thinking at that moment.
  68. PR-ing a race.
  69. The silence, the movement, and the freedom of swimming underwater.
  70. New running shoes, a new endurance suit.
  71. A good hair day.
  72. Teaching someone something and getting to watch the light bulb turn on in their head.
  73. Delicious, wonderful, amazing, hippie scented patchouli lotion.
  74. Your favorite undies.
  75. Finding someone who understands you.
  76. An exceptionally beautiful face.
  77. The vibrant green-ness of the grass in spring.
  78. Campfires, fireplaces.
  79. A hot washcloth covering your whole face.
  80. Knowing that life usually works out just fine.
  81. Learning.
  82. Daisies and tulips.
  83. Running past apple blossom trees in full bloom.
  84. Seeing good friends again from a lifetime ago.
  85. Summer + live music + outside + your favorite drink
  86. Orion in the night/early morning sky.
  87. Buffalo meat.
  88. Listening to somebody’s story.
  89. Flying down a hill on your bike.
  90. Getting a massage when you are so sore that you involuntarily cry-laugh-drool-gasp in reaction to muscle pressure.  Stop!  No, go.  Stop! Go! Ow! More!
  91. Getting in a(n outside) hot tub after skiing (or swimming/running/biking) especially while it is snowing.
  92. The first red, ripe, garden tomato of the season.
  93. Icelandic full-fat yogurt.
  94. Getting into a bed of just-washed sheets and a super fluffy down comforter.
  95. Falling asleep to your hair being played with.
  96. Night swimming.
  97. Listening to your little one laugh ridiculously at something ridiculous.
  98. The way Londoners speak.
  99. Kitchen dancing. 
  100. The thought that you can change the world for the better a little bit every day.
Yes, it may be unique to me, but perhaps some things resonate with you also.  If they don't, well then, get yourself your own piece of paper and start making your own list.  In fact, I'd love to hear it.  Wanna share?  Comment below.  I read every single comment.

Peace, love, and focus on the happy,
Ms. Daisy