Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bubblewrap on the windows

Like anyone who goes online I've seen a LOT of tips for this or that around the home.  One that I've been interested in trying is putting bubblewrap on the windows for extra insulation.  Our house does not have the best windows.  We rent so I have zero interest in replacing them.  I also don't have any interest in higher bills.  Every year I put plastic over the widows for some added insulation but it's a pain.  This year I decided to try the bubble wrap thing.

How Stuff works has breakdown of the R value of adding bublewrap

Build It Solar also has a breakdown of the cost savings.  Plus many other wonderful tips that are worth trying.

I bought a small amount of bubblewrap and used up what I had on hand from packages I have received.  This project cost me about $16 total.  I'm sure if you ask around you can do it for zero dollars just by finding stores willing to give you left over bubble wrap.

All you need are bubble wrap, some scissors, a ruler and a spray bottle of water.

*important note - water - NOT FREBREEZE.  I didn't have an empty spray bottle and I figured, why not, the Frebreeze is right here.  I had to redo that window because it didnt' stick as well.  Water is cheaper anyway, but I'm impatient and didn't want to wait.  The kid had an empty spray bottle so I was back in business in a couple of hours.  Didn't have to use extra wrap, that was still fine - it just came loose as the frebreeze dried.

Measure the window and then cut the bubble wrap to size.

Spray the window with water

press the bubble wrap to the glass, bubble side down.

easy peasy - you're done.

On my North facing windows I added a second layer.  Same method, just put it on top of the first layer.

Lots of great looking photos on line  - but I'll use the ones I took of my actual windows.  Got a nice blurred effect from the diffused light coming through the wrap.

In the second photo I played around with the expose just to show the bubbles in the bubblewrap.

This was about a million times easier than putting up plastic.

One drawback is that I can't look out and see the birds, but I'll trade that for lower bills this winter.

A HUGE plus is my dog.  One of my dogs is terrified of bubblewrap.  He's also the one most likely to jump up on the door.  Now the can't stay far enough away.  My door frame might stay clean this winter!

So there you have it - an easy, fast way to insulate the windows.  One of those things from Pinterest that actually does work the way people say it does.  (Sometimes I think people on Pinterest just make things up so I'll look stupid when I try them)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Handpresso - one day review

Whole Latte Love is giving a new deal every day before Thanksgiving.  One of them is the Handpresso in Silver

comes in a nice gift/storage box.  

The Handpresso is a manual espresso maker.  No electricity needed, just a way to heat the water.  You pump the handle until 16 bars (there is a gauge), add coffee and water - then you're ready for espresso, even when you're away from your machine.  Add a handheld milk frother and you can have a latte no matter where you go.

I like this one because you can use fresh ground coffee in it.  From what I've read you had to use pods in the previous version.  I've not dealt with pods in the past and don't really want to start now.  I like the way fresh ground beans smell.  It's addicting.

I'm still playing with it.  Trying to get a good cup of espresso with decent crema.  My first shot was too thin.  I didn't realize my grinder wasn't on the finest setting so it went too fast.  The second shot was better, but still not a good head of crema. 

I'll keep playing with it until I get it down.  Even if I never get the perfect shot - it's still great for traveling, which is why I wanted it.  

I've decided to rate products by my own scale.  I'm a balloon artist, so I'll use balloon dogs.  This one gets a 4.5 out of 5 balloon dogs.  Only took off the half star because of the difficulty getting crema.  I'll revisit the rating after I give it a few weeks of experimentation.

Pro -

Price - it's affordable

Quality of device - after 1 day I'm impressed.  I'll revisit & update this after a couple of months

Quality of espresso - Not the equivalent of an expensive machine but far better than what many restaurants serve or what you get from some of the home espresso  machines.

Portable - no need to miss out on good coffee just because you're not near a machine.

Can use fresh ground beans or pods if you wish.

I like the gift/storage box.

Con -

Difficult to get a good layer of crema.  I like the feel and taste of crema so that's a drawback for me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Be Your Own Superhero Nov 5

I saw today's quote posted by an Instagram friend.  @jenny.gordon566  She posts lots of cool things.  Check her out next time you're scrolling through Instagram.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Be Your Own Superhero - Oct 31

One of my favorite lines from any song is from King Of Anything by Sara Bareilles

I hate to break it to you, babe
But I'm not drowning
There's no one here to save

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning, but I'm not.  I always have the option to stand up and walk myself out of the situation I am in.  Getting in shape can be overwhelming.  It's huge and daunting to go from super morbidly obese to morbidly obese, then just regular obese.  My goal at the moment is just to make it into overweight.  I have to do it for myself and by myself.  Sure it's good to have a support team and friends - but they can't do it for me.  Every choice is mine.  I choose what to eat and what not to eat.  I choose to workout or to sit.  

Today's superhero thought is

Today I'll focus on the choices that give me the life I want, not the one I currently have.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recovery & a hard picture to look at, just warning you

yesterday's walk was so much harder than it should have been.  The good news is that my recovery was faster.  I got up this morning to only a little soreness and was able to get a mile done.  Not striving for more than a mile a day this week.  My ankle still feels fragile.

I have made a collage of rather icky photos to remind myself of what CAN happen if I don't keep my gout in check.  I have a tendency to forget the pain when the pain is gone.  Sometimes the bacon wins the battle - stomach overwhelms brain.

I keep a copy of this on my phone and am printing out one on for my fridge.

Those are tophi.  I consequence to having high uric acid levels for an extended period of time.  They don't just form where the gout attacks are.  You can get them on your ear, elbow...all sorts of places.

I work with my hands, so these are the most terrifying photos I could find.  no hands = no work.

I'm working hard to keep my diet in check and my exercise up.  This attack lasted so much longer than any in the past.  Gout isn't fatal.  I got it much younger than most women do.  I am only 47 and my grandparents all lived into their late 80s.  I do not want 40 years of attacks, actually I want ZERO years of further attacks, so it's something I have to get a handle on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cola Rain -

Sugar Buildings - that's a LOT of wasted calories!

Yummy Coffee

The walk to pick my kid up from school was unfun to say the least.  The first quarter mile was like having my ankle sawed in half from the inside.  Then it loosened up and I was all 'this isn't so bad"  But by half a mile it was bad again.  Had time to relax while I waited for the kiddo and then things were back to "I can do this"  by the last quarter mile home I was back to the glass inside my joint cutting it's way out feeling.


I did it.

I survived and in a few days I'll be able to go even longer.

The ick of the walk was quickly forgotten when I got home.  My coffee from Red-Headed Philosopher was waiting for me!  Home all day except for that 30 min and I manage to miss them.

They put stickers on the bags.  It was a nice surprise when I unrolled them to smell the joy.

Today's latte was served in this

Not my new coffee - but I did just make a nice carafe of some.  No flavoring or creamer.  It's nice to enjoy the actual coffee flavor first.  The latte this morning was pumpkin spice.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coffee a Day

I collect

Corningware with a corn flower blue pattern

ways to make coffee

cups to drink coffee

I've started showing off my coffee mug collection on Instagram.  my profile is @shouldntsaythat - follow me there!

In the mean time - here's what I've posted so far!

Much more interesting on Instagram since I tell you about what I'm drinking too.  :-)  

My all time favorite is the bottom one with the leaf imprints.  I bought it at Irish Fest 2013.  I recently tracked down the artist so I can get another one in blue.

I also love the beaker.  It makes my coffee taste like science.  :-)  This one is a replacement.  My husband broke the first one.


I had my worst gout attack EVER and have been pretty much useless for nearly 3 weeks.  This one was in my right ankle - where it started and I hate ankle flare ups so much.  When it's the toe I can put on a slipper and still get around.  No way to avoid putting pressure on the ankle when walking, so like I said - useless.

I admire people who live with daily pain and manage to get through it and still have a life.  I don't know if I can be that tough!

This attack was brought on by the change in the weather. That's a common trigger for me and I didn't help by eating a couple of food triggers around the same time.

My workouts were not a bust though.  While I did have a day where I only walked 550 steps, I did do some upper body workouts and a few one legged squats.  If that's what you call them.  My left leg got quite a workout since it was supporting my weight.  The workout felt good and helped loosen it up.

Tomorrow I think I will be recovered enough to get a mile in.  I started wearing shoes yesterday, so that's a good sign!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Visual organizer

I don't always respond well to structured lists - telling me that I have to do this or that at a certain time.

I made this planner for that side of me.  It's divided into 4 6-hour sections.  I just list the things I need to do during that block of the day.  If I say that I MUST exercise at 7am and then do housework at 8am, I will do nothing until 10 and my day is shot.  

I figure I'm not the only person with this type of thinking, so I'm sharing this for anyone else who might need it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3rd Annual My Sorta Birthday 5k!

I'm closing in on 48 and that means it's time to starting thinking about my annual birthday 5k!

This year I've changed things up a bit.  You can run your race 48 days before or 48 days after my birthday, so you have all sorts of time.  From Nov. 3 to February 7.

I've also added some options.  There is the traditional trophy.  I like trophies.

Like always the trophies are personalized.

This year we are adding two other options.
A medal

I wanted to still be a little different, so I went with a military style pin on medal.  The back will be personalized and it comes with a presentation case.

Don't want a trophy or medal?  How about a couple of cool pins?

What's with the reading theme?  This year my birthday 5k will be raising money for Balloon Hats for Literacy  so I gave everything a reading theme.  

Also new this year will be teams!  A fun 5k is a great way to get together and have some fun. Walk it with your friends & family.  Challenge your running group to a mini race.  Team members save $5 per registration.  

As always there is a free option.  Just click on the tab at the top of the page and you can sign up for either the paid race of the free one!  

Thursday, August 28, 2014


We're deep into the fundraising part of our project and selling t-shirts.  Check them out!  Show your love of reading while helping us raise money for literacy at the same time!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Race Tutus

I have a friend who makes the best tutus.  They don't poke or stick out and they hold up for race after race.  She sews them securely so they can be just tossed in the washer with the rest of your race gear.

Halloween costume races are you have your tutu yet?

Motivation - or maybe the lack of it

It's been a month of struggles.  I have a lot going on and maybe too much because it's impacting the way I take care of myself.  

So just for today I will find discipline and motivation.  I'll worry about tomorrow when it gets here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Balloon Hats for Literacy

I have an amazing new project.

It's been taking up what little time I have left over during the busy season, but it's something that really brings satisfaction from the work.  Next summer we will be attempting to set a world record while supporting and spotlighting literacy.  4500 people in balloon hats!  Over 30,000 balloons and at least 100 people making hats.  It's going to be a blast!!

Check it out at 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sharing a post

From the Balloon Hats for Literacy page on facebook

Friday, July 11, 2014

2 days in a row

I have managed to drag myself out of bed and hit the road two mornings in a row.  Tomorrow won't make 3 because I have to drag myself out of bed and go to work.

Some pics from my mornings - just flowers, but there isn't that much to photo in my neighborhood.  Oh and I wasn't take walk breaks ..... I was "documenting my experience"  LOL

even the morning glories were not up yet!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Balloon Hats for Literacy

I have a new project I am working on

Balloon Hats for Literacy

Attempting to set a world record for the largest number of people in connected balloon has.  It will be a fundraiser for Literacy in Kansas City.

check it out and join in - it's going to be a lot of fun and you don't want to miss out!!

Weekend Wrap Up

Every muscle from my waist up is sore sore sore.  I feel like I did a lot of heavy lifting, but I really only worked.

Unlike the rest of the world, I love Mondays.  I need the rest!  This is the second weekend in a row too - so I'm really feeling it.  Really, it's not a bad thing.  Just lets me know that I got my workout in when I was too busy to workout!  My apron weighs 10lbs so I'm starting out with the equivalent of a weight vest.  Then I have a pump to carry around and my scrapbooking case with extra balloons that I drag with me.  We walked about 3 miles with all of this - but that gets my legs which were not tired.  It's the moving the pump up and down and the constant having my arms in motion.  It's low impact, but it's steady.  I always equate it to fishing while standing or sitting - depending on what I do.  Between that and the walking I burned about 3000 calories Friday evening.  Saturday & Sunday were slower, but I still worked some, so today is my rest day.

We worked Riverfest on Friday.  6 hours of balloon twisting and then fireworks.

I even got a few photos  Taken with the camera on my phone, so not too bad.

I don't think I posted photos of what we did last week!  I have been a bad bad blogger for almost 2 weeks!  Finished my milk fast and then vanished.  Shame on me.

Last week was Maker Faire - an amazing event.  Good for the calorie burning too.  Almost 7000 calories out from work during the weekend.  Bragging about my calorie output isn't why I'm a bad blogger.  I didn't share this with you.

The Marshmallow man is mine (ghostbuster was a happy happenstance) The whole sculpture stands about 10ft tall.  Something we should have thought about since we are all very short people!  LOL  It was a blast seeing everyone reactions.

Only downside to the past two weekend has been being too tired to cook.  I need to get better at planning ahead.  I ate badly - not over my calories, but not goo healthy food.  I feel the consequences!  Started getting back on track yesterday and will continue.  I don't' want to tempt the gout fairy!!  That's a visit I do not need in my life!!

Best part is I have several more super busy, high calorie burning, fun weekends coming up!  As long as I eat right I'll be feeling great by the end of the summer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yay! Just Yay!

Just looks like a pipe in the grass, right?  Well it is, but the direction it's pointing is why I am so happy this morning.  The last time I went this path they had it pointed to the sidewalk.  The jerks who own the home put the exhaust pipe for their sump pump to the side of the house and aimed it towards the sidewalk.  Nothing like getting an ankle sprayed with someone's basement water when you go for a run.  It wasn't always like that.  At some point a year or so ago, they made this choice.  The sidewalk there was disintegrating and walking or running past was not pleasant.  Especially in the winter when everything would be ice.  That part may still be a problem since as you can see, it' still close to the road and still causing water to cover the sidewalk.  

For today it was nice to be able to run past and not have water spraying at me, but at the grass instead.

Did a couple of miles.  My first run since the milk fast.  Felt good and the weather was PERFECT.  It was also nice that my whole family, well at least those that live with me, were out of the house and on the road by 5:30am.  Kid did 1 mile, I did 2 and hubbie did 5.  Big kids all slept in at their respective apartment.s  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Superhero Mike

I love this picture.  Mike ran in the 2nd ever Hospital Hill half marathon and he did it again this year - the 41st.    His time this year was under 2.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Raw Milk Fast - Days 13 & 14

13 was the easiest day.  Forgot to take my b/p though.  Just got sidetracked.

energy - good.  It was a work day, but I didn't have any issues at all.  even being a Saturday!  Saturdays can be rough.  My drinking schedule was off by a bit because I forgot to freeze my ice packs so I didn't take milk with me in the morning.  Still got my 3 quarts, just not spread out as much as I would have liked.

exercise - stood and made balloons for about 6 hours

allergies - great.  Even after I loaded the aprons.  the dust from inside balloons always makes me sniffly when  have to load aprons, but I was ok for the whole day.

Day 14
Last day!

b/p 116/73
energy - very good
allergies - breathing clear
exercise - same as Saturday, only I did balloons for about 4 hours instead.

It's been an interesting two weeks.  Not food wise of course.  I'm pretty bored with milk.  I'll still be drinking a lot for the next week though.  I am going to start by adding one meal a day for a couple of days and then go up to normal gradually.  No need to shock my system.

I was happy to see my b/p go down and the way my allergies feel.

I was VERY happy to see that one of my tophi has is totally invisible.  Might still be there under the skin, but you can't see it and the 2nd one is noticeably smaller.  No sign of a gout flare up pending, but I don't have them that often, so I won't credit the milk fast with that.  Hopefully if I keep eating clean I'll see the 2nd tophi go away and I won't have a occurrence.

overall this was a very good experience and I will do it again at some point in the future.  Might do a mini one of 3 days or so more often - but a big one maybe once a year.

Oh, and I lost 12lbs.  I usually gain when I consume 1900 calories a day, but I did lose.  I wasn't trying to, need to, but that wasn't my goal for this.   Just a happy side effect.

Related posts

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Raw Milk Fast - Day 12

Down to the home stretch

b/p 117/73
allergies - congested, but I had to load balloon aprons and the dust always gets to me
energy - good, a bit tired in the morning, but not bad otherwise
exercise - making balloons for hours

the heat killed me yesterday.  It was brutal with a heat index of way over 100.  At least today is not supposed to be that bad.  Got down to 71 last night, which helps cool things off a bit.  No more hunger.  Not like the day before.  Overall this has been a very easy fast.

related posts:

Raw Milk Fast - Day 10/11

Got too busy to post yesterday about Day 10, so two for one

Day 10

b/p  120/74
allergies - very mild
energy  - Very good.
exercise - 20 min on the bike and lots of lifting around the house

nothing really different to report.  b/p is still high because son still won't let me have some peace.  Not sure what he's looking for, but I don't think it's what he thinks he's looking for.  I gave him what he wanted - I have no problem stepping back and letting him enjoy his life with a woman too lazy to apply for welfare (not making that up)  I think he's looking for my approval and that he won't get.  The end result is that he calls and I get stressed.  I don't get stressed about a lot of things, but kid stuff hits you in a different place.  It's hard not to feel pain when you know something is hurting one of your children, even when that thing is the kid in question.

my daughter's cat in a tutu being forced to dance by her boyfriend.  Just because it made me smile.  Don't think it did much for the cat's mood though.  LOL

Day 11

b/p 118/74
allergies - very mild
energy - good
exercise - some time on the bike.  Not enough probably, spent too much time running around with the oldest kid.

First day in awhile where I was hungry for something besides milk.  I had a very hard time resisting the urge to eat, but I didn't crave bad foods.  A very big step forward for me!  I know I go on and on about that, but it's so huge for me to NOT want the bad stuff.

related posts:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Raw Milk Fast - Day 9

9 down, 5 to go.

Today's check in
b/p  120/78.  Higher than normal, but only because it skyrocketed last night.  The back story is that I have a son who is an addict.  Currently he's traded drugs for a toxic relationship. (she is pregnant with her drug dealer's baby and he gave up an excellent job and his sobriety to work in a chicken house and take care of her while she stays home.  Baby daddy doesn't plan to contribute)    Said son called to complain to and about us, and though I didn't actually talk to him I could hear him over the phone and it was upsetting to say the least.  b/p was 163/95 last night.  I'm happy it has dropped.  I think the clean eating helped as did meditation and reminding myself
  • I Didn't Cause It
  • I Can't Control It
  • I Can't Cure It
For a long time I didn't say much publicly about his problem, but I don't feel the need to be ashamed anymore.  I have 4 children and did my best to raise them all.  One chose drugs, stealing and lying at an early (13) age and I tried for years to stop it.  I did what I could.  It's time for him to heal himself. He's 21 and I can't fix him.
energy - pretty good all day.  Got quite a bit done.  Even dyed my hair, which it sorely needed.  Normally I go for a darkish violet.  This time I added some aqua bangs.
exercise - Got up early and went for what was supposed to be a 3 mile walk/run.  I probably should NOT have had the milk right before going out.  The sloshing in my tummy threw me off and I felt awful, so it was a 1 mile outing with some yoga afterwards.

I'm having zero cravings lately.  I know I've mentioned that before, but it's just so exciting.  I've always been one who has a hard time to resisting certain foods and I'm not feeling that at all right now!  I've actually been thinking about what I am going to without so much milk every day.  I'll still be drinking raw milk, but obviously not every meal.  when I first started I wondered how people managed to do 30 day milk fasts.  I have never found it easy, even with juice.  Now I can see how easy it would be to do.   I'm trying to pick out my first meal when I eat again.  Leaning towards my fermented eggplant with tomato sauce and a salad.  None of my tomatoes will be ready but I can get some from the Liberty Market this weekend.  Or maybe I'll have black lentils and some fresh salsa.  mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm  All I can say for sure right now is that it will be clean and not pesticide infused.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Raw Milk Fast - Day 8

Less than a week remaining!

b/p: 118/73
allergies:  as always some congestion when I woke up, but I'm not sure sleeping next to the fan doesn't contribute to that.  Pretty good all day otherwise.
energy: good.  got lots of housework done
exercise:  20 min on the bike

Most common question this week?  Don't you have to spend your entire day in the bathroom?

ummm, no.  I do pee more than normal, but I'm drinking 3 quarts of milk a day and adding water to that.

My best friend lives in NW Arkansas and she is trying to find raw milk where she lives, but it's hard.  It's only been a year since sales were legal.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she's able to locate some and that it becomes more common.  It's a rough area for natual though.  Lots of hippie types so you might think otherwise, but also a LOT of big AG and the Walmart hq, so money money money to keep the little farmer/merchant down.

Related posts:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Managing something similar to productive. :-)

I have not gotten what I planned to get done, but I managed to have a productive day none the less.  Even got a happy picture where you can still see my eyes.  Usually when I smile for photos my eyes just vanish into slits.  That alone makes this photo my happy for #100happydays

Raw Milk Fast - Day 7

It's been a week, and I don't think the 2nd week will be too rough.  Kind of in a groove now.

b/p 118/78
allergies- not too bad.  again, some congestion when I wake up, but the rest of the day was pretty clear
energy - good, didn't need a nap at all
exercise - another work day for me.

resisting the smell of chinese food was harder than the pizza.

I'm drinking more water.  At first I was drinking it, then a couple of days in it was mostly milk.  Now I'm back to water.  I think at first I was having a harder time telling the difference between hunger and thirst.   Cravings continue to be fairly non-existent.  I don't want sweet, I don't want salty, I don't feel the need to devour cheese.  I'm good.

I do have a tiny amount of sweet in my water.  I infuse the water with lemon, mint and a few stevia leaves.  Most people would not say it tastes sweet, but I can taste it.

stevia leaves

Related posts

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Raw Milk Fast - Day 6

Last of a long work weekend.  Mostly long because I wasn't prepared for working my normal weekend while fasting.  Will be ready by next weekend.

Busked outside of Scooters today.  It's my preferred place on the Plaza.  I like the people, not so many I get overwhelmed, but enough to keep me busy.  It's nice to have time to interact with all the folks.

b/p  117/74
energy - good most of the day, but I kind of faded a bit in the evening.
allergies - much  much less.  Some minor congestion when I woke up and followed by a couple of bouts of congestion, but very few actual sinus problems
exercise - balloons, balloons and more balloons  I did mention that my job can be physically demanding, right?

After work we met up with the oldest boy. He works at a pizza joint and got us a nice gluten free pizza for my husband and daughter.  I thought it would be harder to resist a good pizza, but it really wasn't a problem at all.  I'm finding my cravings are very reduced.  

Another very happy side effect is that I am seeing a more dramatic reduction in the size of the tophi on my finger.  It's noticeable and changing size more rapidly than I expected.

Some weight loss too.  I always lose/gain weight in my face first, so you can see the change in these two photos.  

The front camera on my phone is kinda crap, so the quality is grainy.  Guess that's what happens when you drop it a zillion times.  Still I think you can see what I'm talking about.

Related posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Raw Milk Fast - Day 5

Yesterday was my first work day while doing this fast.  It went well up until about 8pm.  Started to feel tired and draggy.  Likely it was a combination of not bringing enough milk with me for 6 hours of work and the fact that the work was in the sun.  Today I am going to plan better.  Especially since today I will be working for about 12 hours.  If I count what I do as fishing while sitting (I use a stool sometimes) I will burn a couple of thousand calories at work today.  Fishing while sitting or standing is as close as I could come up with for the motions of balloon making.

Got to listen to Marvin play while I worked.  That was nice.

Dan was out too.  He's heading off to CO soon.  Going to miss him for the rest of the summer.

b/p:  117/73
allergies:  bouts of being totally clear followed by bouts of being very congested
energy - pretty good all day.  Was exhausted when I got home, but that's normal for a work day
exercise - see above.  I worked at my job and that is my workout for the day.

I have noticed a decrease in at least one of my tophi.  The one on my finger is still about the same, but there is a very clear size reduction in the one on my thumb.  Not sure if I can credit the milk fast though.  Whatever the reason, I am happy.