September – Lost Time

I started this particular blog post back in September, yet here I am still trying to etch words for a timeframe I can’t remember. Ever have a moment when time just seems to have been misplaced; vanished without a trace? Have you had moments where you have no recollection of time? That is me, at this very moment, as look back into September and all that it had to offer. Maybe it had nothing to offer at all. Maybe that is why, for a few weeks now, I have not been able to discern September’s happenings.

I have sat with my Bucket List book staring back at me. What did I do to accomplish items in this book? Did I do anything? There is nothing coming to memory. How could an entire month just vanish into mind-space? My mind-space is a black hole where events are stored when they really had no true meaning or impact to my life. But why would I store an entire month in my mind-space? Was it really that uneventful?

I am sure of that! I know it started out with a Saturday Yoga event at MoMac Brewery. Other than that…there is nothing. I remember the yoga session being refreshing. I was having issues with tenderness in my Achilles tendon. The yoga session did wonders to relieve the pain I had. I remember thinking that I need to do this on a regular basis because, literally, my entire body felt more relaxed.

Anyways, maybe if I dig out my calendar it will jar my memory. Let’s see…Nope, only thing listed is Labor Day. What did I do on Labor Day? Did I do anything for Labor Day? Maybe Facebook will tell me. Small chance of that since I rarely interact with it but let’s see. There were things I wanted to do but did I do them?

Well, Facebook revealed that I enjoyed some time with my son, Brandon, while he was home on Leave. My surrogate son, Adam, joined us a few times. We enjoyed having a few brews at our local watering hole, MoMac Brewery. By happenstance, we ran into his old cross country coach, Ryan. I must add that Ryan also coached me through a series of races to include my first 50K Ultra Marathon. Under his guidance, I managed to exceed my personal record (PR) with each race I ran. It was a grueling time, a time of character testing, patience testing, and learning how to get out of my head and just run. It was hours and hours of running each Saturday and Sunday. It became a full time job; only I wasn’t getting paid for it. I questioned my sanity, clearly I was insane! That became obvious when I signed up to run the 50K Ultra Marathon followed by the Surf’n Santa 5 Miler the same day. It was a total of about 37 miles that day. Really, my first clue at insanity should have been when I ran a marathon with pneumonia. I don’t recommend it. However, the first 13.1 miles seems pretty easy. By mile 18 I felt like a brick was sitting on my chest, the coughing increased and my lungs felt on fire. Finally, mile 20 was in view but I was still asking myself if I was going to make the last 6.1 miles. I decided I would run and collapse at the finish line if I had too. I had trained way too hard to quit! Boy that last .2 was the worst because it felt like it was never going to end! Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat! My ultimate goal is to run a 50 miler; the Skydive Ultra in Florida to be exact. I just need to get mentally and physically fit before I attempt such a feat. The only there’s one problem. Every time I think I am ready to hit payment hard and start training, I mentally shut down. I have it a wall at 3 miles. It’s almost as if my body remembers what it went through to train for the 50K Ultra and it’s telling me “NO! I’m not going through this again!” It’s a mental hurdle I have to overcome so how or another. But HOW is the question.

What else did Facebook reveal? It reminded me that I started clearing 25 years of accumulation from my home. It really began because my youngest son refused to keep his room clean. He had joined the military and after boot camp was stationed in his home state, his hometown actually. Therefore, he felt he could come and go as he pleased. I would find his clothes in the middle of the kitchen where he rushed home, changed clothing, and immediately left to meet up with whatever friend was on his calendar that day. After multiple times, with multiple warnings, I decided to take matters into my own hands. While my husband and I informed him that he no longer lived at our home after he joined the military, it didn’t really take affect. I could have had his father go the extreme route but that would not have solved anything. He would have just taken it as another disciplinary attempt from his father. No! It HAD to be ME! He would never expect MOM to draw the line. So, I rented a storage facility, packed up the belongings in his room, and moved them to the storage facility. This was hard for me but it was necessary! I had to get my point across and not rely on others to do it for me. If I had not been the one to draw the line, he would never take me serious. I believe, even now, he thinks it is temporary.

I have learned that I enjoy sharing the house with just my husband and three dogs. I have learned that I can maintain a solid relationship with my children and them not live with me. I actually prefer it. I think I appreciate our time together more. The time is more about us and not constantly nagging about what they did or didn’t do. The 25-year clearance is still not complete as I am taking it one room at a time. Let’s face it! That’s a long time to hoard a bunch of crap that you thought was valuable or at the very least, sentimental, only to realize it was just that…CRAP! The attic is my proof! It will take some time to go through the attic. I may just rent a big metal trash bin and through everything away. Only problem, the attic stairs is broken. I can’t even get up there to get my Christmas decorations.

The last thing, Facebook reminded me was the Neptune Festival. I was in the middle of clearing out the CRAP when Karen asked me to join her and the boys at the festival. I was reluctant, she was insistent! She is one tough cookie and relentless! While we were there, I did not see anything that really stood out to me. Good thing! After all, I am in the middle of a home sweep! The last thing I needed to do was bring in more junk. Besides, I could save that money to spend on renovating my bathrooms. They haven’t changed since the 70s. They look it too! I cleaned them but I never get that satisfying feeling that they are clean. It’s horrible!

We did discover Young Living Essential Oils at the festival though. I had been researching the use of oils lately. Mostly out of curiosity but I really wanted to see if they would work for some of the anxiety issues I have. It all started when I was having a really bad attack at work. One of my coworkers shared a concoction of DoTerra his wife had made up. Ironically, it worked within minutes to give me a calm sensation. Since that day, I had been looking for someone to explain to me how to use them and what each oil was used for. I was looking for more information to prove that it was real and not the next fad. Since it is not FDA approved, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting caught up in another MLM company. And I certainly wasn’t interested in selling it. I was immediately impressed with the young women demonstrating the products. They were extremely knowledgeable. They immediately offered us classes, explained the reasons for each oil, answered all our questions. We each signed up for their starter kit. They contacted me later to ensure I had no other questions. They sent information regarding their upcoming classes. This was exactly what I was looking for. I most impressed with the research the company did to take each oil back to the roots of our ancestors. I am not set to just one company. I want to gain knowledge and educate myself about the various avenues of oils. My big question is, if every company says their oils are 100% pure, then what sets them apart? How do I know they are, in fact, “100% pure”! So my journey continues…

Vitamix: Natural Facial Mask

I have this extreme love for my Vitamix Professional series 750. I know that seems strange to some. I do love it more than any other appliance in my house. In fact, it is the most used (and some days the only used) appliance in my house. The recipes that can be created with the Vitamix are endless. You can make smoothies, frozen desserts, confection sugar. It can make HOT soup. Yes, that is right! HOT soup! Anyone that knows my affinity for soup will understand my excitement that comes with this feature. It can also clean itself! How many appliances do you have that can clean itself? I will get more into how that happens later on.

Before I get into the review of this recipe, you should probably have a little back story! It starts with how I have battled rosacea for many years now. This is partly my fault. I never really take good care of my skin; face or otherwise. I am always the one to go out in the sun without sunscreen. I never drink enough water…EVER! In fact, I get up just in time to throw some water on my face, brush my teeth, and run out the door for work with a cup of coffee in hand…by this time I am usually at the point where there is no way I am going to make it on time. The other half of this story is that I also battle hypothyroidism. That alone can leave your skin dry, often cracked, and flaky. I refer to this as “dandruff of the face”! Disgusting, isn’t it?

I was searching for some new recipes to try and found this recipe by Vitamix.  The website states, “with banana, plain yogurt and avocado, this all-natural facial mask will tighten pores and firm skin”. It consisted of three ingredients: 1 banana, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and 1 avocado. I broke the banana in half and put it in first. I added the plain yogurt. Finally, I cut the avocado in half. Set the seed to the side and took the avocado out of the peeling. I put this in the blender. The recipe indicates to blend for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is met. I found that I had to do this several times to get the smoothness that I wanted. I must give a warning that this recipe makes about one pint of product.

Now that all the blending is done; it is time to lather it on my face. I put a good lather on and let it set until it was completely dry. Thank goodness my husband and sons were not home. Can you imagine the comments that I would have received walking around with green goop on my face? Being comic book junkies, I would probably have been deemed the female version on the “Hulk”. Because I lathered it on thicker in some areas, it took a little while try. I recommend staring with a thin layer if you are short on time. Luckily for me the weather was not conducive to being outside so I was stuck cleaning my bedroom. Otherwise, I would not have taken this much time to let it dry. I’m just being honest! I hate being indoors. It is a waste of a perfect day to enjoy what God created for us.

Anyways, the facial has dried and it is time to removed. I must add that I could really feel the mask pull and tighten on my face. It was an odd but pleasant feeling. In the removal process, I decided to use an loofah type washcloth. I used this because my skin was extremely dry and needed to release some of the dead skin. It had an exfoliating effect. I only dampened the cloth, used the rough side to remove the mask. I felt a difference right away. My skin felt really soft. I then took the cloth side and finished removing the leftover product. I was amazed at how my skin felt on just one application. Later on, at bedtime, I felt some of the dryness return.

Now, I do not take one application as an indicator of its powers. I like to try products several times before throwing in the towel. I have used this product three times and each time my face feels better. I still have the blotchy redness created by the rosacea so I am looking for something that will help in that area. I can not put the fault of that on this product as it is designed to tighten and firm the skin. I tried this for the dryness because I felt the avocado would provide the moisturizing affect I was looking for.

A few things I think the recipe card should have provided:

1. It should indicate approximately how much the recipes makes. The amount I made out of this recipe would last me months. Unfortunately, it will not last in the refrigerator that long.

2. Speaking of refrigeration time. How long does it last in the refrigerator? I put it in a pint mason jar and used my FoodSaver to vacuum as much of the air out possible. I hope this helps it to last a little longer.

3. List other uses for the product. This is essentially food that can be used as a facial cleaner. Can I use the left overs in food products? For example, in oatmeal, adding some granola, etc. By the way, I made sure to set aside the portion I was using for my face so as not to contaminate the rest of the product with skin cells of sorts.

Let me know if you decide to try this recipe and what results you achieved from it. Share some of your favorite recipes and I will give them a try as well.

Happy blending,

D.