Friday, October 25, 2013

Catch up on the past 4 months

Wow, it's been 4 months exactly since I posted anything here. Things that have happened since I last posted:

-Participated in a sleep study, they said there's nothing wrong, just get enough of it regularly (I need 9-10 hours usually)

-Tried 4 different stimulant-class adhd meds, none of them worked and had bad side effects

-Saw a nutritionist for a few weeks in July at the recommendation of a doctor for my diverticulitis

-Lost my job at the end of July and was depressed for a while

-Let my sleep schedule fall into night owl mode, more time to see Carlo since he works evenings 3-11!

-Applied for a few jobs

-Got a part-time job at a new fried chicken restaurant that only lasted 3 weeks in September cause they hired too much staff when they opened

-Decided that I should go back to school

-Found a free six month career counselling program to help me decide what to go to school in

-Discovered that I have to be approved by Emploi Quebec (provincial government employment agency) before I can take part in free career counselling services, but there are advantages in the form of refunds for travel and other stuff

-Took an appointment with an Emploi Quebec agent for the 29th for them to evaluate me

-Started attending group cognitive behavioral therapy for adhd on the 2nd of this month (it's helping)

-Started trying to work out and bike regularly and restart my food journal with the help of My Fitness Pal

-Decided that I want to try a ketogenic diet eventually if I can manage to reduce my carbs to 60g/day and maintain that for a while like the nutritionist advised me

-Didn't sleep one day and decided to take the opportunity to flip my sleep schedule back to normal since I missed the sun, haven't been to church in too long and it's just easier to get daytime-only stuff done this way. Although I will miss seeing Carlo as much, but it still isn't as bad as when I was working full time day shift.

-Saw the doctor again finally for the first time in 4 months to get a prescription for a new adhd med to try (Strattera, will try it starting next week cause this week I'm still stabilizing my sleep schedule)

-Made a daily schedule to follow in an attempt to get things done, so far it's working somewhat

And... um that's about all I can think of. Yesterday was my first day of trying to stick to a daily schedule using my agenda, I was mostly successful. So far today I'm not really on track, I got my morning routine done but I procrastinated and did it really late so it went into my pre-lunch "work" period, and then I procrastinated some more and decided to write a blog post :P

I was initially resistant to the idea of having such a tighly regimented schedule but the psychologist supervising the CBT group said that although it might be overwhelming to contemplate and difficult to get used to, people with adhd thrive on rigid schedules once they actually get the hang of it and create a new routine. So I figured I'd try and see, I have nothing to lose.

Although every hour of my day is accounted for, half of that is for sleep, and another quarter is set aside for meals, snacks, break times, morning and evening routines, etc., and I decided to leave myself a lot of free time on weekends also, so I'm definitely not driving myself to exhaustion. Especially after this week, they talked about the concept of concentration "batteries", that we have to find out how long our attention span is for unpleasant tasks and then stick to doing it for periods of that amount of time with breaks to do other things to recharge our "attention batteries" in between.

So in my schedule I set aside two blocks of two hours each per day, Mon-Fri, to do "work" in 10-minute intervals with little breaks in between so I don't get too fed up and stop working altogether. "Work" consists of anything important on my to-do list, like looking for a job, or housework, or other necessary things to do that aren't fun.

I'm really hoping that I'll find a medication that can help me soon so that I can be even more productive when it's combined with the tools learned in CBT. It's been 8 months since I got my diagnosis and I STILL haven't found a medication that works, although 2 months of that was not seeing the doctor due to procrastination on my part, and another month of waiting to find a doctor who was somewhat familiar with the meds and could prescribe them for me. I have over 50 things on my to do list, only 14 or so of which need to be done soon though, and maybe 5 of those today. So it's still doable. If I start. *sigh* I'm gonna go make lunch...

Here is a picture of some blooming cabbages I saw on my walk this morning, click to full view:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More on bras

Here's a great blog, and a video (one of many) every woman should see.

Things I didn't know about bras.

I learned these things recently after discovering a forum called A Bra That Fits on Reddit. If I didn't know these things at the age of 29, then how many other women are wearing uncomfortable, ill-fitted bras??? I HAD to post this here to spread the word.

-80% of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra. Usually a too-large band and a too small cup size.

-Cup size is relative to bra size

-A D-cup is NOT HUGE!

How to put a bra on properly

-Hard-to-find sizes don't have to be expensive! Ebay is good for that I'm told, as well as other online lingerie retailers.

-Some girls with back problems have even seen these problems go away by wearing a properly-fitted bra!

Anyone who wears a bra and sees this I beg you to measure yourself and read this for lots more interesting info about bras, bra myths, etc. All these links are in the sidebar on A Bra That Fits. Please go read!

I didn't believe it when the measurements said I had to go down two band sizes and UP FIVE WHOLE CUP SIZES!!! Until I tried one on... and my jaw dropped! It fit perfectly! My female family members didn't believe me till I showed them pictures and then I got nothing but amazement and compliments out of them! Even the fitting-lady at the store didn't believe I was that size! Unfortunately a lot of people who work in lingerie stores are misinformed about proper bra sizing as well :( So always measure yourself and don't rely on a fitting in a store.

And any man who wants to pass this info on to have a wife or girlfriend that is more comfortable and feeling awesome about herself, please do so!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ginger beer plant, Volga mushroom and kombucha

I recently came across this article, a really interesting writing on how in the old days people used to use and share something called ginger beer plant (aka "bees"), a weird gelatinous lumpy thing, to make ginger beer. That reminded me of something my mom told me about when I was younger. In the old days in Sweden when she used to live there people could buy at the pharmacy a living flat round disk that you kept in a jar with water and drank the broth of. My memory was bad so I sent her the link to the article saying I wondered if it was the same thing and what her "thing" was called. She replied:

No the thing that I had was called a "Volga mushroom" after the river Volga in Russia. Also, it was not a mushroom but more like a round very firm substance that was thicker in the middle than on the edges and cutting it was like cutting meat although much firmer. The color was white/slightly pink and it grew so you had to divide it now and then because it became the size of a dinner plate. They were sold at the old fashioned pharmacies we had in Sweden when I lived there. You made a black tea solution with sugar in it and let the whole thing stand for five to seven days and then you drank the product and it was considered beneficial to your health.
Love Mama xox
 So I googled "volga mushroom" and discovered that it's basically a SCOBY used to make kombucha. I've made ginger beer before but only with yeast, I'd like to try making this as well as kombucha sometime though.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fr. Stephen on beauty

Here. Read the comments.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Church and Chinatown

Here's the outside of the Anglican church where our parish is renting a chapel in the basement.

And some pics taken in Chinatown where I went with my dad and Carlo this afternoon. It's only about a 7 minute walk to get there from church.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

More renovation pics

Here's the livingroom mostly painted, and Carlo and my sister, and a view from the balcony the other evening:

Pascha and breakfast

Last night was exhausting but beautiful and joyful :) (see previous post for pics). It was my first time going to St-Benoit for Pascha, in the past I'd always made the trip to Rawdon to attend at St-Seraphim. It was nice to be able to understand the singing, which was in French, at St-Seraphim it's all done in Russian (or is it called Slavonic? I'm not sure...). Bishop Irénée was there, and the liturgy lasted till 1am or so, then Carlo joined us for the meal afterwards. I invited him to come watch the end of the liturgy, but things progressed faster than I expected so when I told him to come after the Our Father they were already serving communion 5 minutes later! Oh well, another time :)

We all piled into the back room at around 1:30 and a small buffet table of delicious cold food was set up and we all stuffed our faces on cold cuts, salads, rice, bread, salmon, ham, sausage, lamb and several cheeses, then the usual pascha and cake for dessert :)

Carlo and I left and biked home slowly at around 2:30am, then I showered and collapsed into bed around 4am. I woke up around 11am and had a breakfast of toast, boiled carrots and double-smoked bacon, with the company of a few pigeons on our balcony :D

Christ is Risen!

Friday, April 26, 2013

New tile

So the new tiles are in, the grout is a bit cracked cause it wasn't quite set when we arrived home yesterday so he's gonna come and re-do it today.

Tonight and this weekend more moving furniture out of the livingroom and painting, then they're coming to rip up the carpet and lay vinyl planks in the livingroom on Monday, then move everything back into the livingroom and start all over on the bedroom. We should be done by Wednesday of next week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Another good article on self-esteem

Self-Esteem | John Rosemond

Too much self-esteem?

I'd noticed lately that people are complaining a lot about entitlement of kids nowadays. Today I discovered that there is a movement away from the "praise kids for everything to raise their self-esteem" school of thought. Honestly I didn't even know the two extremes existed but I'm glad that people are pushing for more balance in that area. "regard others higher than yourself" and all that :) I read the first few articles of this google search, it was really interesting. Although I don't agree with the "making kids feel bad about themselves occasionally" part, I think a balance can be reached without that. Or at the very least, making a distinction between the child and their actions.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Renovations and some pics

Been a while since I posted much here. We're repainting and removing the two layers of very old carpet to install vinyl flooring. We started moving stuff on Sunday and painting yesterday, we have one coat on the entrance hallway and one wall of the living room so far and it's already so much brighter! I'm so looking forward to having a brighter apartment and a floor that I can easily clean! Especially the carpets being gone, seeing as I have allergies and cats that are prone to making messes. Clicky to see fullscreen:

The guy laying the tile in the hall and kitchen is at our place now ripping up the carpet and prepping the floor, we'll have to vacate the place for a night after it's laid for the tile to set. Our friend Tiffany came over yesterday with a paint gun and we borrowed an air compressor from the janitor, but it was only after half an hour of fiddling with both that we got it to work, and even then not properly, so we finally decided to use rollers instead. 

Carlo's dad requested this picture, he saw a picture of me and Carlo together and asked for one of us doing "happy family" with the pets. "happy family" is when he grabs all 4 of his cats and holds them in his arms until one of them moves and they all explode out of his arms in every direction lol. So we decided to do a more pet-friendly version for him. Here's Tiff on the left with our corn snake Steve, then Carlo with Oliver and me with Licorice:

As you can tell Oliver is NOT happy about this (he rarely is about being picked up) and the other two are just wondering how soon they can leave :P

A friend came to pick the cats up yesterday to keep them for two weeks and apparently upon arriving at his place Oliver bit right through his fingernail o.O Good thing his claws were clipped!

I FINALLY got to see another doctor to try new ADD meds, the two I tried weren't working for me at all. Trying Adderall 5mg today, so far feel normal, if a bit more awake than usual. I'm praying I find something soon that helps! I don't wanna lose my job...

I also went for a sleep study last week to see if that might be the cause of my attention-related problems. Will get the results in a month or so...

Here's a pic I took at presanctified two weeks ago:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Improvised icon corner for renovations :)

We're renovating our apartment and have our mattress on the floor in front of the dresser and nowhere to put the icons in the bedroom so I improvised :P

Friday, April 5, 2013

Random late night thought.

Just something with personal meaning/a personal realization that I wanted to remember for myself and share with others yet didn't seem appropriate for facebook.

People can be both beautiful and ill (spiritually). We all are. The illness does not negate the original beauty of the creation, regardless how great the illness.

This will probably seem silly and stupidly obvious to me tomorrow in the light of day and I might want to take it down, but for now I wanted to put this thought somewhere to remember it cause my brain isn't always good at that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kenji's vegan month

It's a bit early for Lent but along with the usual ressources I now have Kenji's vegan month to use for when I run out of the usual stuff.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Go ride a bus.

This post gave me a good laugh when I read suggestion #9.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jian Bing

For good measure here's another food post. Last week another new Asian restaurant opened nearby in our our already-packed-with-asian-restaurants neighborhood (I'm in foodie heaven) called Fortune Dumpling & Bubble Tea. I happened to walk by on opening night and saw a man making a sort of crepe on a round flat metal thing and then painting it with sauce and wrapping it around some sort of crunchy dough. I decided I had to have one, and thus discovered jian bing.

It's currently my favourite Chinese food. I went back there again with my sister and a friend the day after and tried their dumplings, which are also super delicious. If you ever get a chance to try this or fresh handmade dumplings grab it! Here's my full review on Chowhound, if you click the link in the first comment you'll get a more detailed description and history of the dish. Again I don't have pictures (I've been getting lazy I know lol) but here's a video of how jian bing is made:


It's been quite a while since I posted something food-related on here. Bobotie is a dish I made once a few years ago and liked it, but then lost the recipe. I was recently trying to remember the name of the dish to make it again and a food blog I read happened to post about it! And to boot, the recipe they posted was better than the original I had made! So I made it again last Saturday for guests and it was so good that I told myself that I can't forget this recipe again.

Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures of my own but please enjoy the beautiful ones over at Ang Sarap. There is also info on the dish itself. The only modifications I made was that I added maybe half a tablespoon more curry powder than the recipe said to as well as a teaspoon or so of salt during the initial cooking of the meat since it isn't mentioned when or how much salt to add.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A good post on pride vs. dignity

I was reading this when I came across the phrase:

"This vision of a God who has respect for human dignity, who stands for it, who will not accept any debased relationship with man, filled me with admiration and with respect and with incipient love for him."

I got curious about the definition of dignity vs pride so I googled it and came up with this post, which explains it very well I find.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A little bit late but...

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

I'm kind of bored this evening for once, there's nothing to do on the internet and I've watched my fill of Mythbusters over the last two weeks and I don't feel like doing anything on my long to-do list. And then I remembered "hey! I have a blog! why don't I post there.."

Last night I was thinking for the first time I wanna take stock of what important events happened in the past year. So here's my list for 2012:

  • Lived with Carlo's family and friends Braeden & Kinny for a few months between apartments
  • Successfully made turkey-stuffed-turkey
  • Celebrated my one year anniversary with the love of my life
  • Moved to downtown Montreal
  • Made sausage
  • Bought a bike & started biking to work in the spring, summer and fall
  • Got a pet snake
  • Watched my sister move out
  • Realized I have ADHD
  • Witnessed a father-son reunion
  • Acquired an Italian family
  • Went to an Italian family Christmas dinner