Last day of health and fitness week 2011

The last day I decided I wanted to participate in at least one of the activities. The whole week I’ve been milling around, but I haven’t been doing the classes. I participated the first day, but then didn’t after that and I wasn’t sure why. I figured that out…I have a shoulder injury from a bike wreck that happened in May. It is a partially torn rotator cuff. It is hard to do a lot of things and when I do group work outs I tend to forget and move it in certain ways that hurt it. I want it to heal as soon as possible so I can get on with my life, so I don’t like when I hurt it. It’s just better for me to do my physical therapy exercises and play it safe.
So…anyway…back to the last day. There was a treasure hunt in the afternoon and I wanted to make sure I go all my work done so I could go. I woke up at 5:25, did my first wake up calls, started some laundry. Hung out in the sanctuary talking to people. When the morning work out started at 6 I decided to participate. About 15 min. into it my shoulder started aching. So I stepped out. I went into the lobby and was doing some things on my computer when Chris Kendall came running down the stairs. It was then that I realized I had forgotten to give him his wake up call. Ahhhhh! I started groveling, apologizing profusely. Chris was saying it was no big deal…he just hoped he could join class late. Usually if you miss the warm up, you can’t join. I hoped he could as well and thankfully he was able to.
For breakfast I had watermelon. There was great breakfast conversation, though I don’t remember what it was, I remember how it felt. It was a very happy, warm cozy feeling. The same feeling I had been basking in all week.  Since I had been taking it easy almost all week and napping everyday. I renamed health and fitness week for myself and called it rest and recovery week. That being said, I went a took a 2 hour nap.
For lunch I had blended banana’s. After lunch we had our closing ceremony. During closing ceremony we all sit in a circle. Each of us takes a turn lying down in the middle of the circle, then each person says one word that they feel represents the person in the middle. Last year I cried through my circle time. I was so happy that these people loved and accepted me. This year I didn’t cry, but it was very meaningful once again. I will get sent my list by e-mail sometime soon, but I remember a few of the words people said. Harley said “hard-core athlete”, which I thought was great fun coming from hard-core Harley. Doug said, “see ya later”, which I loved, since I will be seeing him later to work at his retreat this winter in Costa Rica…though I didn’t know it at the time 🙂 There was a young 19 year old there named Kevin just starting out on 80/10/10, his word for me was “yum”, I was very surprised he said that about me. I’m 20 years older than him and I guess I must look pretty good for my age 🙂 So those are all the words said about me that I remember off the top of my head. I remember Doug’s word for me last year was “perfect”. I really took that one to heart.
After closing circle we had a treasure hunt. That was a total blast even though I didn’t get to finish it. There was one clue we could not figure out, we had been from one end of the property and back. We even found the prize through our searching, but couldn’t get the prize until we found that clue because we didn’t want to cheat. After looking for a long time, I ended up having to go into town with Grant, which was good. I was feeling low on carbs and that gave me a chance to re-fuel with some banana’s.
Dinner was a huge party and celebration. The theme was “Alice in Wonderland” and the kitchen crew went all out! We started out having a picnic on the floor in the dinning hall drinking orange/nectarine juice. Then the white rabbit let us out through the rabbit hole to drink our elixir and eat our biscuit. The biscuit was a dehydrated something or other. I took one bite and my stomach was upset. My body was still wanting me to stick with mono meals so I didn’t eat anymore the rest of the night and let my body just digest the juice. After our visit down the rabbit hole we were lead into the sanctuary where a huge feast was set up. We all had a great time acting out the movie, switching seats and having un-birthday parties.
After our crazy, fun dinner party we had a talent show. Grant and I sang Brad and Janet’s song from “The Rocky Horror Show”, I am going to be in the play here in Boise and so conveniently had the music for it on CD. We had been practicing in the car on our trips to town, but we never did get a chance to practice acting it out. We both slaughtered it, forgot lines and such…lol…but nobody cared. I did another talent and that was jumping rope. There is a story behind this that I wrote about in my first entry of health and fitness week 2011. My record so far if I remembered right was 70 in a row, so I told everyone that and even though I hadn’t jumped in a while, I was going to try to make it that far. I started jumping and only made it to 38. Oh well! Not a big deal…and I started to walk away, but I was cheered on the try again. So already feeling a little winded, I started again. Made it to 72, the whole room was in an uproar, cheering. I felt so incredibly loved and happy.
At some point throughout the day I was sitting in the lobby and Doug walked by. He asked when I was leaving. I told him tomorrow, but I wasn’t going home I was going to walk around Seattle for a few days before heading back. He suggested I stay there for a few extra days instead. Great deal, I would get more time with my fruitarian family 🙂
I’m not sure what I learned from health and fitness week yet this year. I will probably be able to figure it out by next year 🙂

Last day of health and fitness week 2011

The last day I decided I wanted to participate in at least one of the activities. The whole week I’ve been milling around, but I haven’t been doing the classes. I participated the first day, but then didn’t after that and I wasn’t sure why. I figured that out…I have a shoulder injury from a bike wreck that happened in May. It is a partially torn rotator cuff. It is hard to do a lot of things and when I do group work outs I tend to forget and move it in certain ways that hurt it. I want it to heal as soon as possible so I can get on with my life, so I don’t like when I hurt it. It’s just better for me to do my physical therapy exercises and play it safe.
So…anyway…back to the last day. There was a treasure hunt in the afternoon and I wanted to make sure I go all my work done so I could go. I woke up at 5:25, did my first wake up calls, started some laundry. Hung out in the sanctuary talking to people. When the morning work out started at 6 I decided to participate. About 15 min. into it my shoulder started aching. So I stepped out. I went into the lobby and was doing some things on my computer when Chris Kendall came running down the stairs. It was then that I realized I had forgotten to give him his wake up call. Ahhhhh! I started groveling, apologizing profusely. Chris was saying it was no big deal…he just hoped he could join class late. Usually if you miss the warm up, you can’t join. I hoped he could as well and thankfully he was able to.
For breakfast I had watermelon. There was great breakfast conversation, though I don’t remember what it was, I remember how it felt. It was a very happy, warm cozy feeling. The same feeling I had been basking in all week.  Since I had been taking it easy almost all week and napping everyday. I renamed health and fitness week for myself and called it rest and recovery week. That being said, I went a took a 2 hour nap.
For lunch I had blended banana’s. After lunch we had our closing ceremony. During closing ceremony we all sit in a circle. Each of us takes a turn lying down in the middle of the circle, then each person says one word that they feel represents the person in the middle. Last year I cried through my circle time. I was so happy that these people loved and accepted me. This year I didn’t cry, but it was very meaningful once again. I will get sent my list by e-mail sometime soon, but I remember a few of the words people said. Harley said “hard-core athlete”, which I thought was great fun coming from hard-core Harley. Doug said, “see ya later”, which I loved, since I will be seeing him later to work at his retreat this winter in Costa Rica…though I didn’t know it at the time 🙂 There was a young 19 year old there named Kevin just starting out on 80/10/10, his word for me was “yum”, I was very surprised he said that about me. I’m 20 years older than him and I guess I must look pretty good for my age 🙂 So those are all the words said about me that I remember off the top of my head. I remember Doug’s word for me last year was “perfect”. I really took that one to heart.
After closing circle we had a treasure hunt. That was a total blast even though I didn’t get to finish it. There was one clue we could not figure out, we had been from one end of the property and back. We even found the prize through our searching, but couldn’t get the prize until we found that clue because we didn’t want to cheat. After looking for a long time, I ended up having to go into town with Grant, which was good. I was feeling low on carbs and that gave me a chance to re-fuel with some banana’s.
Dinner was a huge party and celebration. The theme was “Alice in Wonderland” and the kitchen crew went all out! We started out having a picnic on the floor in the dinning hall drinking orange/nectarine juice. Then the white rabbit let us out through the rabbit hole to drink our elixir and eat our biscuit. The biscuit was a dehydrated something or other. I took one bite and my stomach was upset. My body was still wanting me to stick with mono meals so I didn’t eat anymore the rest of the night and let my body just digest the juice. After our visit down the rabbit hole we were lead into the sanctuary where a huge feast was set up. We all had a great time acting out the movie, switching seats and having un-birthday parties.
After our crazy, fun dinner party we had a talent show. Grant and I sang Brad and Janet’s song from “The Rocky Horror Show”, I am going to be in the play here in Boise and so conveniently had the music for it on CD. We had been practicing in the car on our trips to town, but we never did get a chance to practice acting it out. We both slaughtered it, forgot lines and such…lol…but nobody cared. I did another talent and that was jumping rope. There is a story behind this that I wrote about in my first entry of health and fitness week 2011. My record so far if I remembered right was 70 in a row, so I told everyone that and even though I hadn’t jumped in a while, I was going to try to make it that far. I started jumping and only made it to 38. Oh well! Not a big deal…and I started to walk away, but I was cheered on the try again. So already feeling a little winded, I started again. Made it to 72, the whole room was in an uproar, cheering. I felt so incredibly loved and happy. 
At some point throughout the day I was sitting in the lobby and Doug walked by. He asked when I was leaving. I told him tomorrow, but I wasn’t going home I was going to walk around Seattle for a few days before heading back. He suggested I stay there for a few extra days instead. Great deal, I would get more time with my fruitarian family 🙂
I’m not sure what I learned from health and fitness week yet this year. I will probably be able to figure it out by next year 🙂

Day five of health and fitness week

Day five! I woke up to my alarm at 5:25 a.m.. Did all my wake up calls, washed some laundry, wrote my blog and helped out with breakfast in the kitchen. Right before breakfast I received a call from a good friend of mine in Boise. She has been a real support to me in my life back in Boise and was the person who introduced me to the 80/10/10 book. It was not a good conversation, she had so much anger and bitterness about some things she has been questioning. I offered to get together with her when I got home to talk about things that I had discovered in connection to the issues she was having a hard time with and was basically told that our friendship is not happening anymore. It was a hard blow and I was feeling really sad about it. I didn’t eat much at breakfast. I wasn’t that hungry. I had a little bit of watermelon and was thinking I should eat more so I wouldn’t crash before lunch, but I just couldn’t get it down.
After breakfast Grant offered to listen if I wanted to talk about things. I took him up on it and shared the hurt, cried briefly. I felt lighter and better after that. Spent the rest of the morning doing more laundry, cleaning, laughing and talking to people. Did a video interview with Kevin Rogers.
Lunch I had blended banana’s. I was feeling so tired that as soon as lunch was over I went straight to my room to take a nap. It was a good nap. I woke up and talked to Ron for a little bit on the internet. I met Ron at the Woodstock fruit festival. He was one of the people that worked at the retreat. I had no idea he was interested in me. He is so gorgeous and there were lots of very beautiful women there. I figured I wasn’t even in his league…so to speak. After I got home, he contacted me on facebook and told me what he was really thinking and feeling about me. Anyway, we have been staying in contact…seeing what happens…you never know 🙂 So, after talking with Ron I got together with Harley (Durianrider) so he could do a video of me. The day was dreary, rainy and drizzling. We decided to wait until tomorrow and hope for sunlight…which is pretty rare in this part of the world. In the mean time, he showed me how to do video on my mac and how to play around with imovie. It was great information and I look forward to having some fun making video’s in the future.
A half hour before dinner I went back to my room. I opened the window and sat staring out at the clouds hanging down on the mountains. It was so beautiful and the air was so crisp and clean. I just stayed in that place meditating for a while, breathing deep.
Dinner was great as usual. The theme was “The lion, witch and the wardrobe”. The decorations and set up were amazing. I had orange nectarine juice, a bunch of oranges and later on a whole lot of tomatoes. Before dinner every night we share our gratitude’s. I just love hearing everyone share about how much they appreciate each other. There was a fire going in the wood stove and the room was very warm and cozy, filled with great conversation and laughter. It a very happy, comfortable, fun evening.
Back in my room at bedtime, my roommates and I had a good pow wow session. Sharing our “dirty little secrets”, encouraging and supporting each other. Yay, for Danielle and Katie.
Only one more day left. I really really am not ready for this week to be over 🙁

Day four of health and fitness week 2011

Yesterday I was feeling a lot better. I woke up on my own at 5 a.m. Was able to have some great time before wake up calls to write in my blog and just enjoy the quite of the morning. At 5:30 I did my wake up calls and some laundry.
For breakfast I had 11 peaches. They were sooo good. I could have eaten one or two more. After lunch I went to town with Grant again. We worked on our skit and had a great time. We first stopped at a store called Fred Meyers. Once I was inside, I had a strange reaction. I immediately was hit with all these old feelings and cravings. We passed by the beer and I wanted a beer really bad…I’ve never even liked beer! We passed by the canned food and I wanted spaghettio’s…(really? spaghettio’s? ewww). It was like that through the whole store. Not sure where all of that came from, but eventually it passed.  One of the next stops we had to make was at Walmart. That was a big challenge for me. I haven’t stepped inside a Walmart for years and at first I told Grant he was on his own, that I would wait in the car. Once we got there though I changed my mind and decided to be brave. Amazingly enough we got in the door without being seen by the greeter. We moved very fast through the store. Grant kept me under his spell of protection. Luckily, we found exactly what we needed, which we could not find at any of the other stores we had been to. We made it through check out and since we didn’t want a plastic sack to put our stuff in, I was sure we would be stopped at the door to have our receipt examined (which irritates me to no end). It was a miracle though, the greeter was once again busy with someone else and we breezed right on by. Grants protective spell worked! After that we went to the Skagit county co-op. What a fantastic place, full of great energy and happy people.
We made it back just in time for lunch. Banana ice cream! sooo yummy. I ate my ice cream and blended banana’s for lunch. I felt very full and satisfied. After lunch I did more laundry and decided to take a nap. I had a wonderful sleep and when I woke up my roommate Danielle was there. We had a great time talking and laughing. I stayed in my room until dinner time, relaxing, taking a long bath and reading.
Dinner’s theme was “Harry Potter”. The dining room looked amazing. We all had to sit and have “Dumbledore” or (Darrell) put the deciding hat on us while we picked a piece of paper telling which house we were in. I was a griffondore. It was very fun. For dinner I had orange nectarine juice. In the middle of my meal I started feeling emotional again. I just wanted to cry for reasons unknown. I couldn’t even sit at the the table. I got up and my friend Ron called right about that time. I vented everything I was feeling to him, all my fears and frustrations. I’m sure he appreciated that…lol. I felt better and I went back to the table. I started talking to one of the chef’s sitting next too me, Alicia. She is so beautiful and always smiling. We were talking about food and how I’ve been eating mono meals the past few days to get my digestion back on track (which is working fabulously, btw). It then hit me that I have not been eating any overt fats. I remembered how my emotions always “detox” when I take a break from the fats. We were at the same table as Doug and brought this up as a discussion. Basically it’s all about energy. Fats take a lot of energy to digest and digestion comes first. When we are not eating fats our bodies move on to the next need, which is processing emotions. It seems that everyone…not just me…has the same reaction when they take breaks from eating fats. It is a good process though and is important to go through.
There is a 16 year old here named Drew, an incredible young man! He came over and talked to me after dinner. He has spent a lot of time studying emotions and gave me some wonderful insight. It is amazing how much wisdom that 16 year old has….just astounding! Drew gave me some great tools to work with and just made my night! Thank you Drew!
That was day number 4 🙂 I’m hoping that I get at least one work out in on day number 5.

Days Three of Health and Fitness week 2011

Yesterday was a down day for me at health and fitness week. I’m not really sure why. I was still really sore from my work out on Sunday. I felt extremely tired to the point of exhaustion, I felt like crying and my stomach was a little upset all day.
I started off the day with my alarm not going off and my roommates alarm waking me up late. I was 15 minutes late doing my wake up calls. I jumped out of bed, threw on clothes and ran out the door. I don’t like to be late for things, especially when others are relying on me. I managed to get everyone up and they made it to their 6 a.m. morning work out…phew!
I also had told Janie that I would mop the kitchen and dining room floors in the morning. So I hurried to get that done before Simon, the head chef showed up. Barely got that done in time. I wanted to go back to bed right then and skip breakfast, but decided to stay up long enough to eat. I ate a bunch of watermelon and this time I did get melon belly. It only lasted about a half hour, but it was a very uncomfortable half hour. Once that was over I went back to my room, took a bath in the big jacuzzi bathtub and went straight to bed. I slept very fitfully for a couple of hours, it was almost like a feverish sleep, even though I am sure I wasn’t running a fever.
I got up and came to lunch. Which had in incredible set up. Every day the meals are a theme of some sort. Last year they did different cultures. This year is magical movies. The first day was Lord of the Rings. The second day was Wizard of Oz. We are not told the theme until supper time, so throughout the day we are trying to figure it out. So yesterday at lunch, it was pretty much a give away. We had Wonka chocolate bars sitting in front of us at the tables. It was so fun. You open them up and you have a bar of partially dehydrated dates and carob and I’m not sure what else was in them. Mine had a gold bar inside, I was one of the chosen! woo hoo! I actually didn’t eat my bar since I wanted to continue on with doing mono meals. So I feasted on blended banana’s. We had a new person here and I knew her from the internet. Her name was Bunny and I was so glad to see her, I had been wanting to talk to her about some events that had happened in her life this past year. After lunch I was able to get some alone time with her and we had a wonderful talk. Once our talk was over, I did some more laundry for an hour or so and went back to bed. I just wasn’t feeling good. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what it was, I just felt down. I wasn’t able to sleep anymore. I just stayed in bed, read and tried to get on the internet..which wasn’t working very well at all yesterday. I got up a few times and did more laundry, vacuumed and cleaned where I saw it needed done. Mingled with people a little and took pictures, but mostly I stayed in my room, cried off and on…just little spurts, not even sure what I was crying about, I was just in a funk.
Dinner time came…and I was greeted by an Oompaloompa. It was a very fun and creative dinner. I stuck to drinking blended Nectarines and oranges. I was very restless. I wanted to talk to my friend Ron that I met when I was at the fruit festival. I couldn’t get a hold of him, I wanted to get on the internet and it wasn’t working. It was getting late and dinner wasn’t finished and I was irritated about that. I had taken a couple of bites of the soup they were serving, it tasted great, but my stomach immediately started cramping up. I didn’t know what my problem was, usually I don’t get upset about ridiculous things. Usually I just flow and am happy. I kept telling myself that I was allowed a bad day once in a while. So I left dinner early. Started crying hard while walking to my room….it felt really good. I wanted to keep crying…whatever was in there needed to come out. I don’t even know what it was, but I wanted it out. My cry only lasted a couple of minutes though…then it was gone and it wouldn’t come back. I read a little and went to sleep. Slept great!
Let’s see what day 4 has in store for me:) I am feeling better this morning. Not as vibrant as usual, but much better than yesterday.

Day two of Health and Fitness week 2011

Today I didn’t make it to any of the classes or work outs. That is ok though, my body is really really sore from yesterday and I am happy to give it a rest.
I started my day at 5 a.m. Since I am work exchange here I am in charge of housekeeping and wake up calls. I did my wake up calls, which I love doing. I try to make waking people up as pleasant for them as possible. Gently rubbing their backs and telling them something positive to start their day out. Chris Kendall was very pleased with his wake up call. It consisted of a gentle rub and then telling him what big muscles he has. Lol, that wasn’t planned, but just came out. Who knows what will come out of my mouth at times.
I continued on to do some laundry, greet people and get ready for the day.
For breakfast we had watermelon…so good. Many people suffered from melon belly after this, luckily I wasn’t one of them…and I ate a lot! Probably a good full melon’s worth.
I then cleaned all the bathrooms in the main house, while everyone else was attending the lecture and then exercise class. There are 5 bathrooms in the main house and they needed a good cleaning. That took up about 2 hours. I  was feeling a little tired, so I can back to my room and fell asleep for a half hour until lunch.
Lunch was a delicious banana, date and apple concoction and banana smoothies. Soo yummy! I was sticking to simple meals today, so I at a little bit of the medley, but mostly just had smoothie. The reason I am eating simple is that I am having digestion and bowel problems from mixing too many different fruits and vegetables together. At home I usually just eat mono or bi-meals and my system isn’t used to so much chaos. Already tonight after keeping things simple I am feeling things starting to move like they are supposed to 🙂
After lunch I went into town with Grant. We had a lot of fun. On the drive we worked on our skit for the talent show Friday night. It’s going to be a great time. On the way out we stopped at a neighboring farm to pick up some twine. We spend quite a while standing and talking with the farming couple. They were just wonderful to talk with. I love watching the way Grant interacts with people. He is just fantastic. Once we got to town we were great at shopping for things together..both of us are very fast and efficient. Of course on the way out of town we had to stop at a fruit stand and grab more food. I bought 7 heavenly nectarines and shared a little with Grant, but mostly just ate them all myself on the drive home. I so love nectarines and peaches, their season is just too short for me. I have to get as many in me as possible before they are gone for another year.
Grant and I got back to the retreat with just enough time to unload and get ready for dinner. While waiting for the dinner bell…we were all getting very hungry. Being the frugivores that we are several of us were drawn to the mass amounts of blackberry bushes growing around here. We had quite the blackberry feast. Chris and I were the last ones out there and we didn’t even hear the dinner bell. Personally I came to dinner quite full and satisfied 🙂 Despite that I was able to drink about a gallon of nectarine strawberry smoothie.
Now I am off to bed. New adventures happening tomorrow. Lots of love to give and receive around here.
I think I forgot to mention yesterdays skinny dipping adventure. Hmm…maybe that shouldn’t be talked about…

First Day of Health and Fitness week 2011

 Last year I showed up to health and fitness week in really bad shape, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I had been gorging on french fries the weeks before I came, mentally I was a wreck and I started menstruating within hours of arriving (which was heavy and painful due to eating all those cooked fats).
This year I arrived in great shape. Twenty pounds lighter than last year, fresh and excited from attending the fruit festival 2 weeks before, my body clean from eating all fresh fruits and veggies. We did our fitness evaluation this morning. I have a partially torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder from wrecking my bike in May. Despite my injury, my fitness evaluation score doubled that from last year. First thing we did was run for 12 minutes. Last year I walked the whole time. This year I did an easy slow jog and made it the whole time without even feeling winded or tired. Since I do not run on a regular basis, to me this was amazing. I didn’t know I had it in me.
After health and fitness week last year I went home and made three major changes in my life. First thing I did was join recreational soccer. Doug taught me that it’s much easier to get an intense workout while playing and having fun, rather than at the gym or doing a workout routine. Even though I was still eating some cooked carbs, 160lbs and not feeling so good, I absolutely loved soccer and I played up until I had my shoulder injury. I attribute much of my running and fitness progress to playing soccer.
The second thing I did was create a supportive 80/10/10 community for myself at home. I knew of two other people eating 80/10/10 in Boise. We hardly ever talked or did anything together. Health and fitness week showed me how important it is to be around supportive, loving people. So upon arriving back home I called the two other 80/10/10 women that I knew. I told them that we would be communicating with each other and supporting each other on a regular basis from now on. I didn’t want to seem pushy, but I explained how much this meant to me and it worked! I have stayed very
close to those women and we talk at least two or three times a month if not more. I know I can call them up at any time and they will be there and I know they feel the same about me 🙂
The third thing I did was start doing the thing I hated doing the most at health and fitness week. I learned that I was only as strong as my weakest link. Physically I hated jumping rope. I became very frustrated and angry during our work out times when Stephanie made us jump rope for what seemed like forever. At the end of the session I remember throwing my jump rope on the ground and stomping off. When I got back to Boise, I bought myself a really good jump rope. To keep me warm in the winter I would jump at the bus stops while waiting. All the bus drivers started calling me the jump rope lady. I jumped and jumped and jumped and then…I started to love it. My daughter and I would have contests to see who could jump the longest. Within just a couple of months I went from being able to jump 10 times to 70. To this day I carry my jump rope everywhere with me.
That is what I learned from health and fitness week last year. So excited to see what I learn this year 🙂

ant traps, bad energy and kids

Since going vegan, I have converted my house into a place that is full of good positive energy. I have no toxic chemicals in my house, no pills and try not to consciously kill any living creatures. If a fly gets in, I take out the window screen and let it out. For me, that is much easier than chasing it down with a fly swatter, smashing it’s body and then having to clean up the murder scene of it’s mutilated body. Spiders are picked up and carried outside, same with any other little critters I find wandering around….you get the idea.
Living mostly on fruit and in a house that is not sealed tightly, sugar ants like to visit on a regular basis. If I miss one little speck of juice from fruit on the counter, 5 minutes later it is covered in ants. This has been an ongoing problem and with spring here the ants are in mass quantities. I also noticed outside the ants are climbing all over my fruit trees and my garden. I haven’t been doing much about this ant problem for the past few years other than making sure to clean up after myself very thoroughly to give them less reasons to visit my kitchen counters. I didn’t want to get ant traps because I felt like they would bring bad energy into my house and yard. There seems to be a balance and order to the insect life around my house and I didn’t want to interfere.
I broke down about a week ago and bought some ant traps. I put them inside and outside. I had a gut feeling that I was doing the wrong thing, I even asked Lindsay at the North End Organic Nursery when I was buying the traps if this was going to bring bad karma my way. She assured me that no such thing would happen. So I purchased my ant traps and set them up as soon as I got home. Well…I know better than to ignore my gut feelings.
The ants went crazy over the traps and I watched them eagerly drink their poison and take it back to their families. The next morning there were dead ants everywhere and I cleaned them all up, thinking that the ant problem was over.  When I came home from work that night I quickly realized that I had not fixed the ant problem but had made it worse. Instead of sugar ants showing up when there was a nice fruit dripping for them to munch on and forming a nice straight line to take their finding back to their colony, the ants were everywhere… all over the floor, all over the couch, all over the bathroom. None of them were going near the ant traps anymore. They were all just wandering around aimlessly and were literally on everything. This new ant problem has been going on for the past week. The traps are still out and the ant problem is worse than ever.
I live in a bad neighborhood. It is a trailer court in the poorest part of the city. I bought my trailer 5 years ago when I was still sick and overweight. I was broke and wanted to lower my cost of living in order to save up some money. I have fixed up my little trailer and it is very nice inside and out. My house has also been a safe happy place for the neighbor kids to come. They live very hard lives and love coming to my house to get banana’s, play on the trampoline and help out in the garden. It is a place filled with good energy and kids are naturally drawn to it. They also ask me lots of questions about my life style, how I eat and they see how happy I am. I could easily afford to move, but I love my low cost of living and mostly, I stay here for the kids.
Yesterday the neighbor kids discovered the ant traps that I have outside. I was sitting on my steps checking my e-mail and listening to the kids play. They had found some ants and wanted to move one of the ant traps over by them. I said that would be fine. Instead of taking the trap and setting it near the newly discovered ants, one of the kids broke the trap open and was pouring it on top of the ants yelling “die ants die!”. The other kids grabbed another trap and joined in on the death chant. This was too much for me, I quickly put a stop to the whole thing and threw all the traps away.
These ant traps that I had brought into my home had not only made my ant problem worse, now the kids had gone berserk and were happily joining in on mass murder. My happy peaceful house was turning into a place of chaos and death…all because of few “innocent” ant traps.
Now…with the ant traps gone I am looking forward to things getting back to normal. The day that I leave a fruit dripping and see a well organized line of ants bringing their treasure back home will be one filled with celebration and joy. The natural order of things will once again be established 🙂

Letter to my dad

My dad passed away a little over 2 weeks ago. I have been going through the grieving process. My good friend Maggie suggested I write my dad a letter. So over the past week I have been writing him letters. It has helped. I thought I would share the conversation I have been having with my dad.

Dear Dad,
I miss you so much. It’s hard to believe you are really gone. I keep wanted to call you up and tell you about things going on in my life or just to chat. You were always so much fun to talk to, you would get goofy and it would crack me up. I felt so good after talking to you. For the past 2 years since you had your stroke you were never the same. I could talk to you but I was never sure if you really knew what I was saying. I kept this hope inside of me though, a hope that you would get better and be my dad again. Even though the odds weren’t likely, I just couldn’t give up on you. I know you truly loved me though, even after your stroke when I would walk in the room your eyes would light up when you would see me. I know you were proud of me. I am so glad you were my father.
Even though your time on this Earth was a short 65 years, I know you enjoyed your life. More often than not you had that silly grin on your face and would be talking about your next fishing trip. You had such a positive spirit and I learned an incredible amount from you. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your example. Despite you having a drinking problem you always went to work every day and you had a great attitude about work. You made sure you enjoyed everything you did in life, even if it wasn’t the most pleasant circumstances.
I learned how to save money from you. I remember you were so proud of your savings account and would be excited to tell me when you were able to put more into it. In my 20’s when I was struggling, trying to figure out how to survive, you helped me out the few times I needed you until I learned to be an adult on my own. The last time I saw you before you had your stroke was when you came to court to testify on my behalf when the state was trying to take Savana away. I am so grateful for that and thanks to everyone who showed up that day the state lost their case and I won. Thank you for all that you have ever done for me.
The last night I saw you alive was the night I took you to the ER at the VA. On the drive back to Mountain Home at midnight I held your had the whole time and told you over and over what a great dad you were. I wanted you to know how much I loved you. I knew it would be the last time I saw you.
I am having a hard time dealing with the whole process of grieving you. I haven’t been eating right and want to stay eternally stoned. Writing you these letters has helped a lot. I’m getting back on track and feeling my inner strength and joy coming back. I know you are not suffering anymore and that makes me happy, though my heart just aches and aches.
I have been remembering all the fun times we had when I was growing up. When I was a young child you were my whole world. I thought you were the best person alive and when I grew up I wanted to be just like you. Well I did turn out like you in many ways, my love for doing crossword puzzles and reading I definitely got from you. My success I give you some of the credit for as well, even though I did the work, you were the example.
Remember when your little dog Gremlin got ran over? You loved that dog so much and you were very sad when she died. You told me after she died that for quite a while you didn’t feel right and you were sick to your stomach. That is how I feel grieving you. I know it will take a while, but I will get through it. It is like compost, everything will get mixed up and decompose and in the end it will become fertile soil.
I am sad for myself really…that I can’t share myself with you anymore. You were a great listener. I would just talk and talk and talk to you and you were happy to listen to me. I could be honest with you about my struggles and addictions. You always understood. You had addictions of your own and knew what they were like. I never did tell you about hearing voices in my head though, I don’t know why…I guess I was afraid that was the one thing you wouldn’t understand. I wish I would have given you the chance. I bet you would have been just as supportive as you always were.
I’m out of time for now. I will write to you more later. I will always carry you with me and I will pass on the knowledge I have learned from you onto your grandchildren and they will in turn do the same. Your short time on this Earth was not wasted. You brought joy and laughter to so many people. You will be remembered.
I love you!
Your daughter, Vickee

Last Day in Kauai

So my last day in Kauai was very blissful.

I went to bed around midnight and woke up at 7a.m. I felt really good. It looked like the day was going to be sunny and I was very happy about that.
I did some things on the computer for a while, then lied down for a while to get a little more sleep before Savana woke up. I couldn’t really sleep, so I just relaxed.
Around 10 a.m. Savana got up. I did some laundry and packed. I squeezed my 64 oz. of tangelo juice and bottled it up.
Janie got out her cotton that she had picked and taught Savana and I how to spin yarn. First we learned how to spin by hand and then she showed us on her treadle spinner. It was hard to do and I couldn’t do it very good. It will take a lot of practice.
Then Savana and I caught to bus to go to the beach one last time. On the ride to the beach I got a little teary thinking about leaving but not too much and it didn’t last long. The beach was great! There were huge waves that would come crashing down on us and throw us all over. It was a lot of fun just going wherever the water sent me. Even though the waves were big, where we were at there was very little curren, so I felt pretty safe in the watert. We played in the waves for about an hour. I started getting a little tired so I got out, sat in the sun and drank my tangelo juice.
Darrel and Janie came and picked us up and we went to the market. Wed. market is my favorite. I didn’t buy much because I was leaving. A few banana’s to make a smoothie later and some broccoli which I ate right away.
After market we went back to the house. I made 2 liters of papaya/banana smoothie and drank it all up right away. I wanted to make sure I had a full stomach before getting on the plane. I also ate a few fresh jungle peanuts that Janie and Darrel had bought at the market. They were sooo yummy. After just a few I could feel my body telling me that it had enough fats. I listened to my body and stopped eating them.
I finished packing and it was time to go. Darrel had made a raw tahini dressing earlier and I put some of that on a huge bowl full of lettuce and took it with me in the truck. I ate my lettuce on the way to the airport but the dressing was too much after having ate the fats in the peanuts earlier, my body was done with fats. So I gave it to Darrel and he finished it off. We listening to music Savana wanted to listen to on the way to the airport. I was really surprised at how calm I felt about leaving. At the airport we all hugged goodbye. Janie and Darrel wanted my assurance that I would be back, which I assured them that there was no doubt about that. I didn’t even want to leave. I could easily picture myself living there happily ever after 🙂 Earlier in the day Darrel kept saying he was going to keep Savana as collateral to make sure I would come back. I felt so good to be wanted. I loved staying with Janie and Darrel. I learned so much from them. After being together 23 years they are still very much in love and it shows. The whole time I was there, they did not say one mean or angry word to each other…or to Savana and I for that matter. They communicated openly and clearly with each other and even in stressful situations they showed each other nothing but love and understanding. Simply amazing! Staying with them I felt surrounded by beautiful, joyful people all the time. People like Janie and Darrel are few and far between and I am so grateful that they are part of my life 🙂 Those are the kind of people that I want in my life!
Savana and I made it through security, got on the plane and flew out of paradise 🙁
The overnight flight was tough. We flew to LA, then Salt Lake City which is where I am at now. It is 26 degrees outside. Ridiculous! At least Boise is a whole 10 degrees warmer at a balmy 36….inside I am laughing hysterically…ahhhhh!!!!!