Monday, August 19, 2013

Creating a Comfy Cottage --(one room at a time)

So a couple of blogs back, I mentioned that the saws and drills were buzzing around me. My father has a cottage which he has had Duff build last year. It's not completely finished and haphazardly furnished when I began living here after my return from Georgetown, SC to finish a nursing program at UNC-CH.

One of my goals while living here in the next two years, is to make it cute, and comfy from inside to outside--garden/landscape included--my way of thanking my folks for being supportive of us while I'm in school. The creative spirit in me is not going to sleep. Though I have to say that my creativity is constrained by academia (limited time) and student budget.

So we're going to do this, one room at a time.

Starting with the bathroom. I'm attaching a photo of the bathroom, most of the items are finds, repurposed, etc.

I have to say, Duff has some kind of radar for finding useful items.

1.The circular shower. This shower was returned in the box by someone else at Lowes Hardware store. The box is all torn up and so it's resold at considerably reduced in price. :)

2. The matching circular towel shelf--from the Habitat store. It's $40, but the manager, who was holding our son Noah at time of purchased, informed us that everything was half off. Then at the register, he asked while winking, $10 is half of $40, right? We said, Yes :)

3. The handtowel holder is another score from the Habitat store. I think I paid $1.00 for it.

4. The medicine cabinet was purchased by my dad for $30 from someone else who was upgrading their house.

5. The wall colors, which caused a heated discussion between us is a mis-tint from Lowes for $5. I painted the wall and wanted to do an accent wall. This painting process occurred during night time. I saw this blue and it reminded me of us living by the Malibu ocean. So I wanted to paint one wall this refreshing color. The other color--white, is an antique white, and I wanted to do a wash. Duff wanted me to mix the two to create a new and original color and paint the bathroom walls just one color. (By the way, that's what I consider my expertise--color creation or coming up with just that right tint.) But well, perhaps, it was the time constraint getting to me. But I didn't want to mix the two, so we ended up doing an accent wall instead and Duff painted over my beautiful antique wash with that plain antique white color.

When we woke up the next day, I didn't like the mistinted Malibu ocean color in the daylight. Lesson learned, don't choose your colors at night! But aaaahhhh! We'll have to redo that another day, because we are now slowly working on Noah's sunroom/playroom! Photos to come soon....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lets talk about Nutrition!

This past summer I took a nutrition class and I learned some things about myself. I've got an attitude problem.

I almost made a C on this class, because I became careless with a project thinking that I know it all. But the thing is, there's sooooo much to learn! I'm just like typical Joe Bloe in that I really don't want to think about what I'm eating. Eating is so personal, private--someone telling me what to eat is like being a little kid again with mom telling me to finish the food I put on my plate. It's annoying. I'm a grown up. I mean, food is one of the basic pleasures in life and to think about it seems counterintuitive to pleasure. "I am not overweight, so I figured I eat well. I don't drink a lot of sodas or sweet desserts. My eating habit is fine," at least that's my self talk.

There's a website I recommend where you can record your eating habits. The site has a lot of good information on food intake and what your body needs. But I'm not going to tell you you should do this or that too. I just want to put that information out there just in case you're tempted to do a food diary.

Ok, so first thought that popped in my head is: every single person knows their own need. Why would I look at a label that tells me what I need based on an average 2000 kcal diet. Who is this average? I am a fairly intuitive person, I trust my intuition, I'm not some average. So what I learned regarding this attitude is that,our minds like habits. Looking at my grocery list, I can say that there is a general pattern to what I purchase. They're practically the same things everyweek/month. Most people have this general pattern that makes making purchases easy. Once we are locked in a pattern/habit, we generally lose some of that intuition--the body saying give me healthy carbs can be misunderstood into give me more sugar. SEE !!!

Something else I learned--we can tell ourselves we are eating healthy but closer examination shows otherwise! For example, being Asian, I'm a rice girl. I found this picture online and this is how I view myself regarding rice. I've been telling myself for a long time--I'm a rice eater....
until I did the food diary project. I was actually not eating enough rice! My diary showed corn, potatoes, bread as my carbohydrate main sources, not rice. Also, the nutrition journals talk about switching from white rice to brown rice. They recommend the switch to brown rice based on these things called fiber. Also switch from white bread to whole wheat. Do I really have to have 20g of fiber everyday? Who is telling me this? The government.

Geese louise! The government. I'm a political scientist by education--but generally, I'm one of those quasi hippies who as a whole mistrusts the government. Why is the government telling me I should eat 20 g of fiber? When did the government start caring? Here's something else to consider--the government has been adding things to our food--like why is flouride on our water, or why are flours enriched and why is Vitamin D added to milk by the milk manufacturers, or why is Iodine in our salt? This is kind of scary, right? Well, I did a bit of research and it looks like the efforts of some determined physicians led to the addition of these nutrients to our diet. It's not really the government, per se. Also the American Heart Association also says the same thing about fiber. (Btw, I like them. They seem trustworthy with that cute little logo of heart on cereal boxes).

Just as a side note about the government-- I think it is to the government's best interest to get Americans to be healthy. Why? Healthcare cost, especially with the new Obamacare..... But I maintain my skepticism.

Aside from the hassle of paying attention to what I eat, I have to learn the science behind them. Like eating more avocados (technically, that's easy, because I like avocados). Avocados are said to lower blood cholesterol because it has this thing called HDL that takes the fat away from cells into the liver where they can be destroyed.

Funny.... I wrote on my food diary that I'll eat more fat because I'm eating way below my 20g that's recommended by these nutritionists whom I have never met! The key is eat 20 g "OR LESS" of fat. (Anyway, my nutrition teacher allowed me to re-write my food diary, earning me an A for that project.)

But these is the general attitude and approach that I had towards food. *Mild hostility* because I'm not fat. Can you imagine the kind of feelings/unspoken thoughts people go through when someone tells them what to eat because they're fat? Or maybe some of these people are not thinking, just eating.

I encourage anyone who's reading my blogs to pay attention to what you eat, because it's so easy to alter your thoughts based on consistent intake of some chemical whether it vitamins, drug, etc.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Optimistic Juice...

So one of the things you do when you go back to school is sacrifice comfort. I wish I could write these blog when everything is picture perfect. But life isn't always that way. So I think a little honest picture of where I'm at may be in order.

I'm living with my son Noah, in a cottage which my father built for family guests last year. The cottage is one bedroom, with a kitchen and bathroom. On the side is a little family garden, where I planted heirloom tomatoes when I got back from South Carolina this past summer and started school. And ripe tomatoes are coming in, coupled with the fresh sweet grapes, and cucumber. **See, just when I am close to running out of optimistic juice to write about, then it keeps pouring. I can't stop being optimistic and finding something to be grateful for to write about, where the other part of me see only the mess of moving and re-starting.**

So, I made the decision to move from Georgetown, South Carolina after the Krazy Fish craziness. I talked to some close friends about this, but haven't completely analyzed my feelings in order to express my thoughts. All I can say is that southern crazy is crazy, and crazy is as crazy does and Kenneth Carl Terry is crazy. I saw this disaster coming a year ago and I tried to warn Duff about it, but oh well. I'm not happy about the negative publicity and Duff being associated with it. To be fair, Duff has done moves to disassociate himself from it. But as they say, "tongues would wag". Do they stop wagging?

The friend that I talked to in New York do not understand the scenario, because New York craziness is different from small town drama. So perhaps, that's part of the reason why I'm struggling to write about it because how do I bridge the gap of cultural/social disparity? It's difficult to describe social constructs that everyone "understands".

Anyway, I moved back to North Carolina to start school and all these moves happened in a space of one week!! So we sacrificed some comfort in order to live close to my folks. They are so helpful when I have last minute assignments to do.

I'm in my 3 week summer vacation, and at this time Duff is building an extra room in the cottage so that my son Noah can have a little room to call his own. Everything is in disarray and the saw is buzzing away in the background. And I hope the little room is finished before school restarts.

For now, I'll munch away at ripened grapes that we somehow managed to rescue from the theivin' squirrels.