Friday, September 26, 2014

A New Adventure, New Chapter...

Here it is, 3 a.m. in Alaska. I have not been able to sleep for the many thoughts running rampant in my busy head. So much to do. So little time. Does any of it matter?

 Since we have enrolled in Advanced Training Institute, a part of Institute of Basic Life Principles family, I have been watching IBLP's Basic Seminar. A little bit here and there. It has been an adventure into figuring out what I can change about my self and life that is not pleasing to my Heavenly Father. Or rather what He can change about me. There sure seems to be a lot of it. One revolving thought is: "What would _________ think of it?" Of course, the proper question is "What does God think of it?" You know that saying that goes around social media "It is none of my business what others think of me." or some such. It is only correct for me if it is tempered through the Holy Spirit.
"What about a good name that is spoken of in the Bible?" you say. "What about being on the righteous path that shows others the way to Christ?" That is the key. Is my life lined up with Jesus' example? Is my good name in line with God's standard? or man's?
What others think about me doing God's will is none of my business, because His thoughts on my conduct are my standard, my regulation, my law. Surely it is nice when others see my efforts and are willing to lend positive encouragement. I love being praised. It is my downfall when it comes to the way others see my efforts.
Herein lies my defeat. I put too much importance on what others think of me. I have for as long as I can recall. It is time for a change. I can only control what I think of what I am doing. I cannot control you, nor would I like to control you. Free will has its upside and downside. The greatest upside is that when someone loves you or shows affection, you (usually, and barring abusive circumstances) are being shown their desire to love. That is the greatest gift we can give. Our love. Which equates to our time, energy, desire for them to succeed...

I have been having a tough few years with a family member. No matter how much I love them, they turn away from me every chance they can, except when they need me to do something for them. It is very discouraging. Lately, the relationship has gone even further downhill as that family member has found a substitute for me. It hurts. Badly. There is no replacement in my life for that one. There never can be, nor do I want there to be. Their exodus has left a great hole in my heart. The kind of hole that feels like what is explained as Broken Heart Syndrome.
God has been using this heartbreak as fuel to draw close to Him. I had thought that I was devastated until I heard those tiny whispers of comfort. My children telling me that they need me, my husband telling me that he loves me, the call to arms in God's beautiful Kingdom. He is giving me beauty for ashes. I came through the fire of my baby dying. I came through rejection by family members, those whom I thought I could trust. I came through huge waves of destruction to find His ever present hand on my life. He reigns. He cares. He is here with me. He feels my pain. He knows what it is like to grieve. He knows that my great weakness as a mother, daughter, wife, sister is the pain of rejection.
Rejection feels like someone close to me has died. And I know that feeling firsthand. I went through an agonizing few years after my son died. No one wants to talk about a child dying, or anyone dying. Maybe they don't know what to say. Maybe they don't want to interrupt the grieving. Maybe they are uncomfortable with the pain associated with death. I cannot tell what makes others stay silent when others need comfort. I can only say what makes me stay silent when I see the pain of others.

But, I digress. A new chapter, new adventure is what you are here for. My dear husband is back in med school in Dominica!! I am very excited about this, because this means that our life will have great change. Already, we have been preparing for the day of our (mine and children's) departure to parts around the 15th parallel north. We do not have tickets yet, but will be scheduling this coming week.
Travis will spend a varying time there, as clinical rotations are opened or denied him in the local hospital there. All Saints University School of Medicine is trying to procure the missing clinical rotations there so that they can offer all the required programs on island. This keeps the costs for doctors down as well as providing a place for students to finish all their required classes.
Travis has finished an ICU rotation and is currently in the E.R. rotation assisting with patients. Next he is looking at Surgery and then possibly Family Medicine.
If all goes well and he does not have to take any breaks in between rotations, he will be done mid- to late-June. The children and I will be there by the end of October. Our tentative plans include flying back to Alaska for the yearly school testing in April.

So, recap of our new chapter: Dominica, West Indies until Travis finishes his medical school requirements.
Thank you Heavenly Father for your graciousness in our goals and dreams.

This opens up another dialog of planning, preparing, fulfilling and executing our desires.
Stay tuned to keep posted. This will be my sounding board.

Sasha Jean

Friday, June 27, 2014

Get Fit 40 Day 2

We left out a few days for the count. Most of the family was sick with a really nasty virus. So we basically stayed in bed all day. And it rained. I tried to wash dishes, but I felt weak and tired the whole day. All I had time to do while I was up was to make a meal that could be eaten as leftovers for the whole day. Pretty dismal day.

So today I am counting as day 2. Here is what I am doing for today:

Breakfast: eggs and fruit
Lunch: lettuce wraps for me, leftover spaghetti for them
Dinner: Stir fry (with rice for them)

1. Wash two huge loads of dishes. My dishwashing is a unique experience. We live in a dry cabin in Alaska. We haul water to a 550-gallon cistern in a room back of our kitchen. No pipes to the rest of the house. We carry pots, buckets, dishpans of water from the backroom to the kitchen to wash dishes. We heat water on the stovetop and then the water goes down the drain into 5-gallon buckets beneath the sinks. These buckets are carried to the toilet (hooked to a septic system) and flushed in the unfrozen months. In winter, the dirty dish buckets are taken outside across the driveway near our dumpster and poured on the ground.
2. Clear off counters and cabinets.
3. Clear off the dining room table. And institute a new rule with the children. Eat only at the table, breakfast counter and kitchen.
4. Clean the floor in my room.
5. Look at my FLYlady daily routines

Body Cleansing:
1. Drink cardio health drink
2. Take supplements
3. Drink water
4. Vinegar bath

1. Find a home for Raja, my mom's bear dog
2. Add more to the chore chart/house rules

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get Fit 40 Day 1

Here it is 5:30 pm on my first day and I feel like I can finally get started!
This morning, I had a health drink then went on an hour long walk. Then I came home and climbed back into bed for a short nap. The short nap turned into waking up at noon. I have had a constant headache lately and feeling so tired. Sunday I had a brief time in the sun working hard. Immediately afterward I felt lightheaded, dizzy, tired, and couldn't cool down. I sat for 2 hours in a breeze and it felt good but my face was so red even then. Since then, just holding my baby, which I do many times a day, will make me heat up very quickly. My husband says I just have hormonal problems from having a baby, but it is weird that it started right after working hard in the sun.
Back to today... After waking, I made eggs and hash with fresh fruit. My husband fixed the transmission line on our truck and made it run. I ran some errands and came back home and took another nap after reading a chapter in a Jack Blank adventure to the children.
Now the older children are at a science function and I am sitting here with the littles, feeding a baby and overheating.

This evening/night I plan to do these things:

1. Make stir fry Whole 30 style
2. Shine my sink FLYbaby style
3. Do some dishes
4. Read my book and Bible Study You are Loved
5. Follow my flight plan with FLYlady for today (zone 4, master bedroom)
6. Clean the path through the school room that leads to my bedroom
7. Gather 1 bag, box, or container of stuff that needs to leave my house

I have a bunch to do! And I feel excited about doing it! Last night I was thinking about the 40 days before me and was beginning to feel overwhelmed. Then I realized that this 40 days before me is MY deal. I am making this happen! I am the one deciding what to do and when. I am not my messy, overfilled house. I CAN and WILL conquer this mess! And I said it allowed. At first I thought it sounded crazy telling myself that I could do this, but when I heard myself say it, I could feel the "overwhelming" slough off my resolve. I CAN DO THIS!! Here's to the last half of my first day on the declutter diet. I hope someone sees this and it helps them.

Off we go!

Monday, June 23, 2014

My crazy week

I seem to blog when I have things that overload my emotions. I just don't feel like I have a proper outlet for these emotions (other than crying), so I hold it in and blog about other stuff. I am sure I won't explode here. It is too painful. It would feel good to share it all and punish those who have hurt me, but vengeance is not mine.

The past few weeks we have been preparing for our annual church convention. It is somewhat like Bible camp. We all come together for 4 days and listen to the Word of God and visit friends we have not seen for at least a year. It is all very fun and very exhausting, especially with a new baby and tent camping. There are dorms to sleep in, but I chose to sleep in the tent to have help with said new baby. It worked, but now I am exhausted and slept for 10 hours once home. We had a renewal of spirit, soul and mind.

It was a very trying week with several twists, turns and a few roller coaster rides. To top off our crazy week, coming home we ran out of gas (we have two tanks) and switched to the other tank too late. This made us sitting beside the road. When my husband tried to pump and crank, we ended up with a dead battery too. We tried to jump it to no avail. Thankfully, a neighbor pulled (towed?) our big old truck with his Taurus to a pull off where another neighbor happened upon us (with a truck) and towed us the rest of the way home.
Last night and today, another neighbor helped us figure out what is wrong. The fuel reservoir was empty, making starting the truck hard if not impossible without filling the reservoir. Somewhere along the line, the auto trans line came off. It will be fixed hopefully later tonight or tomorrow.

Also through the last week, I have decided to revisit the Healthy Paleo diet, Whole 30. I am planning on doing it with a twist. I am adding 10 days and a whole bunch of other things to the list. I will be starting tomorrow, June 24, 2014. Here is a basic rundown of my Get Fit 40:

40 days of Body Decluttering: Whole 30 Healthy Paleo Diet, exercise, detox
40 days of House Decluttering: 40 bags in 40 days
40 days of Mind Decluttering: You Are Loved Bible Study from

Hope you will stick around and encourage me to finish. See you then!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Whole30 Day2: lower blood sugar and more walkway

Background: Whole30, 7 mos. pregnant, ulcerative colitis, gestational diabetes

Last night we decided to make taco salad instead of spaghetti. As of this posting, I haven't put the recipe on Taleah's blog. Soon.
Last night, I stuffed myself with the taco-seasoning-laden chicken and all the many toppings. I still felt hungry. but knew this was pangs for starches. I was able to get through a whole day without even so much as a bite of food on the no-no list. The chia seed and diatomaceous earth certainly helped. I also had a snack plate of fresh cut veggies between lunch and dinner. I need to make Michelle Tam's nomnompaleo mayo so I can make my own ranch dressing. I really like my fats with my veggies.
At dinner, I told all the children that if they wanted something I couldn't eat, that they would have to bring it to the table, serve it to whomever wanted some and then put it away. Taco salad really isn't taco salad without chips or a tortilla to wrap it up, so a small package of chips and a 10-count of Taco Loco brand tortillas were on the table. Travis was very gracious in keeping to my diet so I could excel in my goals. His support is making such a difference. I feel like I am not suffering alone! He will benefit too. This morning, I was happy to see a fasting blood sugar of 79!!! Yesterday's fasting blood sugar was 107! One day to make a difference, and YES! I am hooked. These 30 days will go by quickly, although not without trials.

Also, yesterday I cleared the dining room table, washed the piled dishes, and began on the dining room area. Today I plan to put away clothing that came from the laundromat to free up the couch and living room walkway, clean the rest of the dining room including the breakfast bar, finish up the dishes, wash out the "new" fridge and get it running, stock the "new" fridge and clean more in the kitchen.

Tonight we have agreed upon stir fry for dinner. I am already thawing out some Alaskan moose roasts and a big bag of freezer stir fry veggies to go in it. I would buy the veggies fresh, but Alaskan winters can be harsh and the freezer bag from Costco makes my life a lot easier: prep time and fresh veggies not freezing and going bad in the mean time. We live several hours away from Costco and only travel once a month to shop there. otherwise, we can go to the overly expensive local IGA and buy our produce there. I save that for emergencies.
I like stir fry without rice anyway, so it shouldn't be too hard on me. Now to find a good Whole30-friendly  stir fry sauce. I have the conforming soy and ginger, so off we go....

As always, Sasha

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Whole 30 Day 1: Body and House purging.

Background: Healthy paleo diet, 30 days, 7 months pregnant, gestational diabetes, ulcerative colitis.
The resolve to eat only healthy food for 30 days must have a mental effect. I slept so well last night that i did not get up to check the fire between 11pm and 5am. Makes for a cooler than normal house, but overall, a good night.
 Last night while trying to get to sleep, I thought about my house that needs to be rid of the garbage, just like the body that needs to rid of the garbage. I am making this a house purge too!
The rules for the body are: No grains, no sugars, no dairy, minimal nuts, only minimally processed foods (like frozen veggies and fruits), high quality meats, lots of veggies and fruits, good fats and lots of water.
The rules for the house are:
Toss/recycle/give away: garbage, old clothing, old papers that are not important, old schoolwork from the children, anything that i hate to keep.
Relocate/find a home/fit it in/file: things we use all the time, important papers, clothing that fits (in good repair), important items and sentimental things(like pics).

On this note, we begin our journey! Tonight I am planning on making "Spaghetti" and salad. We have had this before, paleo-style. We use shredded, steamed cabbage for the noodles. I will take pics and have Taleah enter it on her blog tonight.

Today for house purging, we are cleaning the kitchen. I think Melinda and Trevin will be having some "new" dishes and food at their house within the next few days. We are also cleaning off the dining room table. It is loaded from the Costco trip. And bringing in the new-to-me fridge. My old one conked out about 2 months ago. Thank goodness it is winter in Alaska. But the cats can get into my other "fridge" and ate my chicken a couple different times!

Off to it. Dishwater is calling...

Today was the last day of dietary freedom. Hopefully tomorrow and the other 29 days of my Whole 30 will be freedom from ulcerative colitis and high blood sugars. It is amazing what I will do, or not do, to keep from having to inject poisons into my body.
If you want to learn more about the paleo Whole30 diet, check out their website and facebook.
This baby is showing itself to be bigger than any of my other babies at this point in the pregnancy. Could this be because of my incrementally high blood sugars in the morning? I don't know. Could it be because I was healthier at the beginning of this pregnancy, despite being overweight, than most of my other pregnancies? I don't know that either. But, what I do know is that something has to change. My fasting blood sugars have to change, the nasty symptoms of ulcerative colitis have to change, my excessive body weight has to change. The baby is healthy, hearty and hale. S/he will be my biggest baby yet, if s/he continues on the track we are on now. I don't mind that. An increase from 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 pounds would be a good change. I don't know if 8 pounds would be a good change though.
My health problems:
     1. ulcerative colitis- For those of you who don't know, ulcerative colitis means the large intestine (colon) has ulcers that bleed and disallow food absorption. this can be accompanied by bleeding, pain ranging from mild to severe, massive gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and embarrassment.
     2. high fasting blood sugar- This is only mildly high and treated by diet alone. If it were to get really bad, obviously, I would seek other help for it.
     3. calcium absorption problems- This comes from having the whole ulcerative colitis absorption problem among not eating the right foods. It has presented as nasty leg cramps and weak teeth.
     4. problems with fertility- Yes, I know, I am pregnant. I have several wonderful children. However, my last baby was a full-term stillborn baby. He never lived in my arms. I want to do everything within my power to make this baby alive and healthy when s/he is born.
     5. fat deposits where I don't like them- :) yes, I did include this!

Today is Day 0 and, in the usual fashion, I am writing this post at a late hour. I thought I would look upon tomorrow with chagrin, but due to a recent trip to a nearby city and the resulting junk food, I am looking forward to tomorrow with joy!
I have been cleared by my several health consultants for a month of Whole30 as long as I keep taking fasting and 2-hour blood sugars each day. Drat. I hate pokies!

Sasha, signing off for bed and sweet dreams of painless days of eating healthy.

Oh, and my husband and 5 children will be eating the same as I will for the next month.
Follow us here and here to read our trials and tribulations of a road less traveled.