An ode to See’s Candy

Happy birthday Mrs. See! ūüôā

You can't argue with crazy

I am officially proclaiming my love for See’s Candy, right here on the information superhighway, the world wide web.

I love See’s Candy.

A lot.

I like all but the chocolate covered cherry one, and the pineapple one is not my favorite either (although I have been known to pick off the chocolate and eat that part if it is the only one left).  I am even happy when at the end of a box of Nuts and Chews, all I have left is the chocolate covered peanuts.

See‚Äôs Candy to me represents holidays. ¬†As a kid, it was exciting when when people visited and brought See‚Äôs (usually older uncles and aunts). ¬†It was like ‚Äėoh look, they brought See‚Äôs!‚Äė ¬†Not that See‚Äôs equaled that they were rich, but it was more like a statement. ¬†A statement of I‚Äôm bringing a quality food item that can be doubled as‚Ķ

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I am one step up from jammie bottoms.

I was so excited tonight that I’m cold enough to wear warm jammies! Jammies are one of my favorite things! Made me think of this post from a while back…
ūüôā

You can't argue with crazy

About a year ago, I was walking my kids into school and I heard shuffling/scraping of feet. ¬†One of my least favorite sounds in the world. ¬†I must tell my middle child to ‚Äėpick up your feet‚Äô at least 4 times a week. ¬†As I looked to see who the culprit was, my eyes discovered it was a parent, shuffling her slippers across the sidewalk, her slippers accompanied by her jammies and jacket. ¬†OH COME ON!!!!!!

I love jammies.  My family knows that, friends know that.  If I have nowhere to be, I’m wearing jammies, into the home office to do work, around the house to cook, clean and do laundry.  I loved when the kids were little and they didn’t have schedules yet, we would have jammie days all the time!  The warmer the jammies, the better.  Over the years, my kids have gotten me Spongebob jammies, Eeyore jammies…

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I am winning my migraine battle. No, for real, I am!

I have had one migraine in the past year.

Let me repeat that.

I have had ONE migraine in the past year.

If I would have written this yesterday, the number would have been two.  So, I was patiently waiting out yesterday, so I could say those awesome words of one migraine in the past year.

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I had one on September 7, 2015, following a fun, partying weekend which I believe the migraine was the payment for the fun.  See here.

And I had one on Cinco de Mayo of this year.  See here.

I have no special secret sauce, no explanation for this.

In terms of typical migraine triggers, I’ve had above my fair share. ¬†My stress level for a large portion of 2016 reached levels that I don’t believe I’ve seen before. ¬†That resulted in lack of sleep, lots of wine, chocolate, and definitely not eating as healthy as I have in past years, yet a decrease in migraines.

So, what’s working for me? ¬†The constant continues to be my daily anti-migraine smoothies, Butterbur with feverfew, and B-2. ¬†Same as the year prior where I had 9, and the year before that was my most migraines logged at 23. ¬†The year of 23 resulted in having multiple migraines¬†per week. ¬†Each of my migraines last from start to finish: three days. ¬†So, you can see why having one in the past year, that’s pretty freaking awesome.

Maybe I’ve grown out of them. ¬†Maybe the lovely hormones that have come with me in my mid 40’s have assisted with keeping my migraines at bay. ¬†If so, I’m hoping those same hormones aren’t resting me up for some huge whopper of new crap in the future. Trying not to let myself get too anxious with that¬†though.

My second birthday of my little blog here just passed yesterday. ¬†It’s definitely become somewhere that when I’m not writing about migraines, I’m expressing everything from my love of my cat litter box, to challenges with my kids, Pokemon GO, and a plethora of other stuff that no longer takes space up in my head once I write about it and click “post.”

Thanks for all the support I’ve been given over these past years! ¬†I’ve loved it, and I really appreciate when some of my words strike a chord and relate with others! ¬†Hope I’ve even gotten you to laugh a time or two! ūüôā

Over the past two years, I’ve written 127 posts, and as a combination, those posts have been viewed 7,764 times. ¬†That’s wild man.

Here are the top five posts viewed over the past two years:

  1. Thoughts on my 17th wedding anniversary…
  2. My husband is my best friend…NOT
  3. 3 tough questions my kids asked me over the weekend.
  4. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.
  5. Atta-Boy Migraine!!!

And the one that started it all:

‚ÄėWinning‚Äô (Charlie Sheen reference of course) the endless game of migraines (for this quarter at least)

One migraine in the past year.  I am definitely winning!

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Pokemon GO, you are exactly what I need!

Hi, my name is Jenni, and I’m a 45 year old adult who is pretty heavily addicted to Pokemon GO.

Now before you dismiss me for that, read on, because I feel my reasons for loving this game are pretty solid.

First of all, let me put it out there, that my new “hobby” of Pokemon GO may be the nerdiest thing I’ve even been involved in. And this is coming from someone who used to be thoroughly excited to clip coupons from the newspaper ads on Sunday mornings and organize them into my Dollar Store accordion coupon pouch.

A couple of weeks ago I was volunteering at my 5th graders school, putting together first day packets. ¬†There were 4 moms there including me, and a couple of students. ¬†I nonchalantly, and rather fishingly asked, “So, do any of your kids play Pokemon GO?” ¬†And the response from two moms was “Yes, and so do I!” We talked Pokemon for the rest of the packet assembling with our Pokemon GO apps open on the tables.

Shut the front door. ¬†I’ve found my tribe.

When the game first came out and my son began explaining it to me, I told him, “Wow, that is an absolute brilliant app.”

He showed me this a day later, and it was hilarious (truly no political agenda here, just funny), and oh so true to what my friends were posting on Facebook about their kids walking their dogs and getting out of the house for walks and bike rides daily:

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Then I started seeing seeing stories of the game’s therapeutic benefits, which as a Recreation Therapist, really spoke to me. ¬†Getting kids in hospitals out of their rooms, getting high anxiety, or isolative kids and adults out walking in their community…amazing.

My son told me I should download the app, I did, then I got hooked. ¬†Not sure why. ¬†I’ve never been into any game other than my tried and true Words With Friends. ¬†Our family does like to Geocache when camping, so maybe it’s because Pokemon GO is a bit similar to geocaching, in that you need to find things, and Pokemon GO has constant findings and rewards.

I have to admit there was a bit of nostalgia seeing all of the Pokemon names. ¬†My son loved Pokemon cards when he was young. ¬†I still vividly remember the time that he exclaimed, “Mom! I have coughing and wheezing!” ¬†To which I of course replied “What? ¬†Are you ok? ¬†When did that start?” Turns out he had Koffing and Weezing Pokemon cards that he just got out of his new deck.

Back to present day, I don’t know about your house, but in mine, having two teenagers and one preteen, conversations can be sparse at times. ¬†I have awesome kids, but sometimes, the dialogue can have¬†constant splashes of attitude. ¬†For now though, it’s not uncommon while¬†playing Pokemon GO, to hear¬†one sibling say to another “I just evolved my Caterpie into a Metapod, look at how cute and funny he is!” ¬†A whole new non confrontational language and conversation piece.

This has been a new activity that I can share with my kids. ¬†We all enjoy it, and are all super interested in it. ¬†Most days after I pick them up from their schools (an hour event to get all 3 from 3 separate schools), we head somewhere for about 1/2 hour to an hour to play Pokemon GO together, usually enjoying a smoothie along the way rather than just heading home eventually ending up in our separate activities or interests after recapping our days. ¬†Recently, when we go somewhere new, or out of town, we talk about being excited for what Pokemon may be there. ¬†(I know, nerdy, but hey, I’m good with nerdiness.) ¬†Being able to have fun doing something together with my 16 year old son, my 13 year old daughter, and my 10 year old daughter is truly awesome. ¬†I don’t know how long the thrill of this game is going to last for all of us, but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s here.

I posted the following on my Facebook page a few weeks back:

I totally thought this was funny when I read it. Then I started thinking about it, running around finding ‚Ä™#Pokemon‚Ĩ is a break from the crazy that is needed for a moment.”

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Honestly, life gets hard. ¬†Scary stuff happens, and things get stressful and hard to handle. ¬†A check out from reality is needed and welcome sometimes. ¬†This app allows me to decompress, to mindlessly look for cartoon characters to pop up, and get excited about new ones I haven’t caught before. ¬†In all honesty,¬†it combats my stress and anxiety at times by being able to go on auto pilot for a bit.

Last night, my husband was out of town, and I took my 3 kids out to dinner downtown, where we were all excited to go because there’s a lot of Pokemon GO action! ¬†As we were leaving the restaurant, a couple who was sitting outside watched us as we walked by and judgmentally said, “they are all looking at their phones.” ¬†These are the times where I believe I need a shirt made with¬†the motto that I tell my kids sometimes when they get concerned about others, “You Do You.” ¬†Basically, mind your own business, worry about yourself, you don’t know what other people are going through.

Frankly, if catching¬†a Squirtle, Leveling Up, or having three of the four of us in a frenzy while in the car taking turns to try and catch an Arcanine that has ??? as the CP value brings me or my family joy, I’m all in.

The glory of being 45 and having this hobby, I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks. ¬†Although, let’s be truthful, I’m not going to put a Poke ball on my purse or anything, it’s just that I can’t¬†care about what people don’t understand.

Poke on friends!!

For my tribe, you get me:

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The day I called our chickens A-Holes

Last Tuesday I called two of our four chickens A-Holes. ¬†I’m certain I said the real word, but I’m keeping this family friendly.

A-Hole #1, Goldilocks

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A-Hole #2, Blackjack

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Now, this isn’t normal behavior, me calling my chickens names, so let me explain…

The prior Sunday, I went to let the chickens out of their Taj Mahal chicken coop, and my white one, Foggy (Full name Foghorn, because she’s a Leghorn type chicken. ¬†How could we not name her that?)

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Anyhow, when I opened up the coop door, Foghorn, who is white, had blood covering her head and parts of her body. ¬†Scared me to death. ¬†When I tried to clean her up, the only thing I could determine is that I had thought the blood was coming from her comb (the red thing on top of her head.) ¬†I left her in the coop alone because it’s possible that she was picked on by the others and they did the damage. ¬†About an hour later, she was not doing well. ¬†I picked her up and brought her inside of the office and put her in the sink and gave her a cool bath. ¬†I have never given a chicken a bath. ¬†I have no chicken medical experience, but it was over 100 degrees out, and she didn’t seem good.

My husband came home to a pretty much non responsive chicken inside a cat carrier, in our office with the A/C on. ¬†He’s usually pretty grossed out by animals inside, but I think he knew, this being our most friendly and sweet chicken, who “talks” to us each time we talk to her, she needed to be taken care of the best way possible. ¬†I wasn’t sure if she was going to make it. ¬†The only way we described her was to say she was “beak down.” ¬†Couldn’t lift her head, and couldn’t stand. ¬†I gave her water out of my hand repeatedly through that evening. ¬†The next morning, as I was apprehensive to check on her, she was standing, and then eating, and talking to us. ¬†Crazy! ¬†I put her in with our goats so that she wasn’t with the other chickens in case they were the culprits in this whole injury to start with.

There’s the backstory, on to the A-Holes…

On Tuesday, I was rushing to get all animals situated so I could leave for 2 nights to go away with my husband, with no kids. ¬†(Sidenote: ¬†it’s been 8 years since we have been gone without kids for 2 nights.)

As I was rounding up the chickens to put them inside their coop so I could leave, A-Hole #1 began hanging around the goat pen checking out Foggy through the fence posts with WAY too much interest. ¬†So, as I picked her up and carried her to the coop, I told her (out loud) “Stop being an A-Hole, leave Foggy alone.”

When I went to close the chicken coop door, I realized only 2 of the 3 that should be in there were standing there looking at me.

The 3rd?

Over this fence in a neighbors yard.

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Did I mention I was trying to get on the road to get away for 2 nights?  I was already 1/2 hour later than I had wanted to leave, with no leaving in quick sight.

So, there I was, trying to call this chicken, entice it with treats, everything I could think of, and I reluctantly realized, there was no other option than to hop that damn fence.

When one of the chickens has gotten into this neighbors yard in the past, I have gotten one of the kids to climb the ladder, get over the fence, pick up the chicken, and climb back up the cross boards up and over the fence to put this chicken back on the right side of the fence. ¬†We have no idea how these chickens pull their Houdini moves to get to the other side of the fence, so we don’t know any other way of getting them back.

No kids were here last Tuesday though. ¬†My 45 year old self¬†had to hop the fence, get in the other people’s yard, pick up the chicken, and climb the fence back over. ¬†As I was straddling the top of the fence with the chicken in my arms, one leg on each side of the fence, I told Blackjack (out loud), “You’re an A-Hole.” ¬†Then brought her to the safety of her coop.

This below is the reason why the chickens are no longer free to roam the yard whenever they want and have to be put in the coop sometimes:

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This guy. ¬†Cooper. ¬†Our 4 month old pup. ¬†He’s fond of chasing the chickens and then giving their feathers “kisses,” for lack of a better description.

These two savage beasts that we have could care less about the chickens:

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Mara and Zoe, looking as fierce as ever.  You can read more about them here:  For the love of dogs.

Anyhow, happy ending, Foggy is doing great. ¬†Still hanging out with the goats for a while longer while she completely heals. ¬†And the others aren’t acting like A-Holes for now.

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And that, my friends, is definitely an example of “other tidbits of my life,” as explained in my blog’s title:

You can’t argue with crazy

Migraines suck, and other tidbits of my life!

In a pinch…

Traveling with the fam last week, hours a day in the car, making my green smoothie, or even bringing it frozen just wasn’t in the cards.

I picked up the Naked green machine boosted smoothie, and that with my supplement arsenal, seemed to work out just fine. ¬†I wasn’t about to totally chance it and fully skip out on green smoothies, as on vacation I tend to not eat or drink according to my regular lifestyle! ¬†ūüôā ¬†While I don’t think it has nearly the same benefits of my homemade¬†anti-migraine¬†smoothie, it seemed to work in a pinch.

And by the way, it was delicious! ¬†It tasted like apple juice. ¬†Even my youngest braved trying it. ¬†I kept telling her it tasted just like apple juice, and when she tried a sip, her response was “Um, no mom, it does not.” ¬†Oh well, it worked for me!

73 days migraine free and counting!

Wanderlust

Wanderlust:  a strong desire to travel.

What about when you leave where you traveled and are sad to go home?  What is that called?

Almost like being homesick for somewhere that’s not your home.

Each time we leave a vacation in South Lake Tahoe to go home, I feel sad.

South Lake Tahoe’s community ranges from hippy, to addictively active, and I can find myself within all areas of that spectrum.

I think both my husband and I secretly regret not moving there when our kids were young enough to have not made the awesome community that we have in our home town. ¬†Each year we go there for a family reunion camping trip, and he and I end up talking about how we could actually live there. ¬†There is no other location we’ve ever said that about.

This trip though, the day before we packed up our campsite to head back home, while sitting on my paddle board floating on the lake, I got sad to the point of tears.  As I looked back towards the shore with the mountains in the background, I got that homesick feeling.

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Why was this trip so much harder to come back from?  Just to list a few possibilities:

  • An escape from our reality that lately has more challenges than in past years.
  • Bike riding to have Rum Runners at the Beacon in Camp Richardson where the leader of the live band introduced himself before playing during our lunch and letting us know that they were about to “fill up our funk cup.”
  • Spending each day on the beach watching my kids play, as well as myself playing in the water for hours.
  • Mountain bike trails everywhere you look.
  • Hiking trails everywhere you look.
  • My son’s favorite disc golf course.
  • The endless possibilities of opportunities to fill our time.
  • Finding even the scene looking out the window from the coffee shop relaxing and not want to leave:

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Not sure which one it was, or a combination of all.

I do know it’s the only place my husband and I have talked about wanting to live other than where we do. ¬†I think I felt more sad because as the years go by, my age goes up. ¬†That whole YOLO, well, when you have 3 kids, a husband, and what has become a small petting zoo of a farm in addition to work and friends and family, you don’t just get to pick up and go.

I get worried that the older we get, if we ever get a chance to live there, we may not be able to do all of the wonderful active things that we could at our age now.

Tahoe is a special place. ¬†I’d love to be a part of it daily. ¬†I know as I was sad driving home I should have had the outlook that I am lucky to get to go there at all. ¬†But that little bit of individuality in me that is still left, which has a bit of selfishness in it, wants more.

As I turned up the beginning drum riff of ‘”Hot for Teacher” to the max volume on the drive home, a thought came to my head. ¬† (I got to ride home in my car by myself due to having to drive extra hours to pick up our new puppy. ¬†It was a slice of heaven.) ¬†The thought was,¬†‘Well, if I have to wait 10 years until even entertaining the possibility of living in Tahoe, I better work on¬†staying in shape in order to still be able to do the things I love about Tahoe in 10 years.’

And, that right there was enough to get me out of my funk. ¬†It didn’t fill my funk cup up. ¬†No, that requires Rum Runners and a cool Motown/60’s/70’s live band while sitting outside with the lake as the backdrop. ¬†Or at the very least, Rum Runners. ¬†But, my funk was lifted.

Then, on to home, where I was happy and grateful for all that I have. ¬†Yet, the thought of Tahoe living still danced through my head often. ¬†And, come to find out, obviously in my husbands head as well, as he told me about how expensive homes are in South Tahoe on Realtor.com. ¬†Oh, I’m sure in 10 years it will be more affordable right? ¬†Ha!

Who knows what life will bring.  Wanderlust may bring me to a day where being homesick for South Lake Tahoe may actually mean being homesick for my actual home.

And here is a moment that was definitely not the reason I was sad to leave Tahoe:

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My husband had stitches in his hand and could not empty the trailer.  My one and only time ever.  

There are not enough Clorox Wipes, nor hand sanitizer for the aftermath of this task.

 

Day 40

Well, here I am on day 40 of no migraines.  Good stuff, this 40 days.

Not as good as it would have been if my streak didn’t end on Day 240, but still, 40 is very good.

This time of year, this is a normal sight in my freezer:

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It’s how I go on vacation. ¬†Freezing my Anti-Migraine smoothies and taking them with me wherever I go help me stay on track and not to have to prepare them while on a trip.

I have to keep my arsenal of daily supplements and smoothies on track even on vacation. Especially on vacation, because that is where fun foods and drinks happen, which may be enough at times to throw my body into the train of thought of “Oh, things are different, she’s having way too much fun, let’s give her a migraine!”

Wishing you and myself a migraine free summer.

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I have at times considered adding vodka to my green anti-migraine smoothie!

 

Problem Solver vs. Fighter

A few weeks back I wrote about having Too many emotional layers… and being at my limit.

As I was thinking today about one of those¬†layers a little voice inside my head said “you are a fighter,” and I thought, I am a fighter. ¬†And then that little voice inside my head said “you are a problem solver,” and I thought, I am a problem solver.

Just this last weekend I was laughing with my almost 16 year old son about a computer game we used to play together called Pajama Sam. ¬†Worst game ever, because even with a college degree, I could not solve the problem of finding the last vegetable person (what the heck was that game anyhow?) and we never beat the game. ¬†I can picture this game in my head with 100% accuracy as I write this, and there’s a part of me that may go look for the CD ROM and see if I can solve it today.

Worst game ever.

When that little voice inside my head decided to talk and say that I’m a fighter, and then, that I’m a problem solver, the lightbulb went on, the sky opened up a bit, and things made sense to me. ¬†I AM a problem solver. ¬†I can’t handle things just dangling, hanging unsolved. ¬†I’ve¬†always been a ‘why’ person. ¬†Call it needing to know, or even suspicious until I know the reason behind some things. ¬†I’m a thinker. ¬†I can get lost in spinning on a thought or a problem. ¬†It’s not always a good thing. ¬†Over the years I have learned to not waste valuable brain space for things that aren’t important to solve or to get to the bottom of.

But, some things in life right now, they need a solution. ¬†And unlike Pajama Sam, I will stick with it until I come up with the right fit solution. ¬†That’s the fighter. ¬†When things matter, you don’t give up until they are right. ¬†I think¬†that in order to be a good problem solver in life, you also have to be a fighter, so you never give up.

 

Oh, and sorry in advance if you aren’t able to get ahold of me for a while, look what I found…

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Pop tarts to the rescue again.

Went to Target this morning, and while checking out, started explaining my purchases to the cashier.

“I never would have thought I’d be buying Pop tarts for my kids’ before school breakfasts! ¬†But if it helps them to get up for these last three weeks¬†of school, I’m in.”

The cashier went on to tell me she gets up early to make eggs and home made stuff for her kids each morning. ¬†That’s nice. ¬†It really is. ¬†Thankfully, she told me her kids are 5 and under. ¬†I made a mental note to check in with her in 10 years and see if the egg thing was still working out for her. ¬†If it is, I’ll allow myself to feel like a loser mom then, not now. ¬†I’m in survival mode.

No one wants to get up for school anymore. ¬†They’ve been doing it for just. too. long. ¬†I’ve heard so many arguments such as “They (teachers) want us to get our sleep, so why do we have to get up so early?” ¬†We even get to the point of “Why do we even need school,” as they walk past me in zombie like fashion.

So, in comes Pop tarts. ¬†If these morsels of sugar can assist in my lovely children getting out of bed without me putting on a one person circus, I’m in.

Deal is, out of bed by specified time, you get Pop tarts for breakfast before school.

I wrote about this epic parenting technique last year, you can find it here:

Pop tarts for the win!

Hoping for a peaceful last three weeks of school, and minimal health damage!

Don’t judge. Whatever works man. ‚Ä™#‚Äépoptarts‚Ĩ