6 Week Follow Up

Tomorrow marks 6 weeks since surgery!  I had my follow up with the doc yesterday and all is looking good!  I am now officially cleared to begin using the elliptical, swimming (mostly pull with a tiny bit of flutter kick on the board), and then to start running on grass and football turf once I can comfortably master the elliptical.  I started cycling on the trainer with my doctors permission last week and I am up to 25 minutes with no pain! Hallelujah!  Sweating feels so right.

I am experiencing very little pain but some days my hip tends to flare up a little.  I’m trying to stay on top of it with Traumameel (arnica tablets and gel).  I’m also walking nearly every day for at least an hour with Sochi and Leif.  No pain with walking!  Hallelujah (again).

I’m continuing with acupuncture and loving it.  I’m down to once per week.  I know it is helping with the healing process.  It is also good for my mind.  Not only does acupuncture stimulate blood flow and return balance to my body, the hour I get to spend relaxing and talking to Dr. Krause each week is like a little retreat (what?  I get to lay down and be cared for for a whole hour???!–Awesome).


Seriously, every time I do plant he goes for it.

Other great news–I’m finally menstruating again.  Seriously, the last cycle I had was May 28, 2012.    I thought I wouldn’t start until I completely weaned Leif but it appears cutting down on mama’s milk has done the trick and we are still able to enjoy a couple nursing sessions a day.  I love the closeness and I know he still needs the connection so I am thrilled that my body is beginning to get back on a cycle while keeping a little bit of my milk supply!  That’s fabulous news for our family.

Leif and I will also be taking care of a few other kids.  We’ve started a few mornings a week and will build up to more over the next couple of months.  I’m tutoring 1-2 evenings a week.  It appears that all is going great–healing, body returning to a cycle, and I’ve found some work I can do with Leif at my side!  We’ve also been hosting a second exchange student–Kazuto from Japan.  He is on a short exchange and will be heading home on November 1st.  He is great to have around.

Shopping for Japanese food! YUM!

Shopping for Japanese food! YUM!

We are in full immune boosting mode in our house.  I’ve juicing, smoothie-ing, souping, and washing hands like mad.  Its fall, the rain has been heavy and the temps cooler.  Winter is not far away.  We are starting our vitamin D regimine this week (probably should have a few weeks ago) as no matter how much time we spend outside in the fall and winter, our PNW sun just can’t give us what we need.


To new seasons!



How about that moon…

unnamed-3Did you see it tonight? The full moon was out in all its splendor this evening.  Maybe you were one of the chosen that was able to see the “blood moon” dancing in the sky?  This past year, I have had a new fascination with the moon.  I remember my co-teachers commenting on how the moon affected our students behavior and thinking they were a little crazy way back when.  I didn’t think that these moon moods were compatible with what I believed about God. I thought they were mutually exclusive.  You could either believe in the moon or God. Okay, you could believe in the moon, but don’t even think about believing that it effected anything but the tides.  That would be blasphemy, right?

Wrong.  I have come to understand that you can believe in a Creator AND believe that said Creator uses his creation in ways that are not fully understood by humans.  The moon, its cycles and how it effects other parts of creation (including us) is a perfect example of this.  I won’t pretend to be some kind of moon expert, but I will say, that I I believe it has power–both scientifically provable and spiritual powers over all living beings.

Before realizing that tonight was the full moon, a total lunar eclipse no less, I noticed Sochi was behaving VERY strangely.  She seemed extremely anxious and almost ravenous.  Although she often tries (successfully) to steal food from Leif, tonight she was at it with some serious commitment.  She would not listen to me and it felt as though it was getting a little out of hand.  I decided I would try putting her in her crate while we ate to cool her off and allow us to eat without her jumping on the table.  I sat back down at the table and then heard Sochi screaming.  It was horrible. At first I thought she was anxious about me putting her in the crate but when I turned around I could see that part of the lock on crate was seriously lodged in her mouth.  Son and I both ran to her rescue and it took the both of us to dislodge her.  She has never done anything like this.  After dinner, we had an errand to run for Son and I thought it would be best to take Sochi in the car.  Instead of laying in the back like normal, she climbed over the seat and panted like a mad lady the entire time.

When we returned home, she seemed to calm down until I went upstairs to make the guest bed.  She started this huffy bark and her ears perked up as she stood in the hallway.  It left me uneasy.  The bed was left unmade as I just felt like she was calling me downstairs.  This is after Leif acted like a wild man until 10:30 PM.

The full moon usually gives me a since of peace.  I enjoy it.  I marvel in it.  I love when Leif points it out–its science and spiritualism all in one gorgeous glowing orb in the sky.  Its the same exact moon that our brothers and sisters across the globe gaze at.  Its the same moon that our ancestors studied. Its the same moon that will glow in the sky long after I’m gone. It brings me so much comfort to know this.

Tonight, I will spend much of the evening cuddled with Sochi on the couch–as I’m worried about her full moon behavior and the thought of putting her in the crate (who new sleeping quarters to reduce the amount of bodily fluids I have to clean up each morning).  How does the full moon effect you?

Chocolate Zucchini Protein Power Muffins

unnamed-1Yesterday we pulled out the last of our summer veggies.  The garden beds look bare but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling a little relieved that the of processing massive zucchinis has finally come to an end.  I must have shredded 100 cups of zucchini this summer.  Much of which is frozen in 2 cup servings in the basement.  The rest was turned into bread/muffins and frozen or eaten or was prepared for dinner.  This past week, I decided to change my muffin recipe up a bit for some added spunk (and protein and goodness).  I had some leftover chocolate hemp protein in the fridge my friend had given me last spring as she wasn’t a huge fan.  However, it was dynamite in a muffin!

Chocolate Zucchini Power Muffins

Oil Free, low sugar, vegan


  • 6 TBLS ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup apple sauce (I used homemade with chunks)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup chocolate hemp protein
  • 1 TBLS baking soda
  • 1 TBLS baking powder
  • A few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini


  • Preheat oven to 350 and prepare muffin tin (I have been using parchment paper muffin cups and I love them)
  • Wisk flaxseed and water and then stir in sugar and applesauce
  • In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredeints
  • Combine dry and wet ingredients well and then stir in chocolate chips and zuchini
  • Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Store half the batch in the freezer for some yummy breakfast treats this winter!
  • Enjoy!

Happy Eating!

Spiders and Mice

Garden spider hanging above our front door

Garden spider hanging above our front door

“There’s a mouse in the kitchen”, Josh proclaimed one evening last week.  I turned to see a tiny gray rodent scamper under my beloved oven.  I shrieked, curses and jumped up (on my good leg).  In a frenzy, I headed for the car, forgetting my crutches, to go purchase some mouse traps.  Upon returning,  I set the mouse traps in various places around the kitchen and went to bed with the creeps.

I pondered, while I was laying there jumping every time one of Leif’s limbs brushed me, why it is that a tiny little mouse in my kitchen freaks me out so much.  I went through the same self talk I’ve gone through many times before when I have discovered critters in my home (cockroaches in South Africa, spiders and rats in Asia/India, and of course mice in Tacoma)–“Many people live with critters in their home and are just fine…The likely hood of it biting you or Leif is very slim…It is more afraid of you that you are of it…and on and on.  I checked the traps several times a day for the next couple of days–empty each time.

On Friday, Leif, Sochi, and I headed to the beach house with my parents.  It was a very relaxing and rodent free weekend. We returned Sunday to find a dead mouse in one of the traps.  I yelped, “I’ve murdered a mouse!!!” I truly felt horrible.  I imagined the tiny little mouse sniffing out the delicious peanut butter I had placed on the trap and thinking it was in for a wonderful treat…and then SNAP!  Broken spine. I realize I set the trap and that a dead mouse was the outcome I was seeking with such a trap.  But I still felt wretched.  I do not want mice in my home–mainly because I do not want them to destroy our home, cause an electrical fire, or poop in our food.  I think I would never sleep again if I ever found one in our bed.  But I also do not feel okay with killing them.  Do I expect everyone to feel the same?  No.  But for me, it seems hypocritical (for myself) to pick and choose which animals I’m okay with killing.  Yes, it is true that mice can cause damage and present some health risks, but I want to give this catch and release thing a try before I go about breaking any more spines.

This is the same for spiders.  I admit, I have smashed some spiders in my day.  In India, Josh and I spent a good amount of time battling a spider that might as well have been a small child.  Just a couple weeks ago, I smashed a spider in our basement that looked particularly menacing and I was in a pretty dark mood–and yet I cried after because I knew that I had killed the spider mostly out of my own grumpy spirit.

It is the time of year in the Pacific Northwest that the weather begins to cool and small rodents and bugs come into the house seeking warmth.  Last week I found a rather large dead spider on the mat that is intended for Leif to sleep on next to our bed (notice I said ‘intended’ because he is usually doing acrobatics in his sleep on our bed).  This evening I removed two spiders from our kitchen floor and let another remain in its web above our kitchen window.  There are two large webs on our front porch with juicy garden spiders devouring a midnight snack as we speak.  Its October.  Its spider time.

My catch and release trap is set in the kitchen and I’m doing my best to let go of my fear of these little critters while still remaining vigilant about keeping our home rodent free.  I will take each mouse to the forest and let it live out its days there (if I even catch any).  I will continue to allow a few spiders to make their home in the corners of our house (they remind me of my kitchen spider, Charlotte in South Africa) and to catch and release their friends that I find crawling across my kitchen floor.

I’m not some super brave girl.  I just don’t feel comfortable with killing.  I remember walking through the Grand Canyon several years ago and being overwhelmed with the amount of life around me–frogs, crickets, beetles, spiders, deer, goats, fish, squirrels… and that was just what I could see or hear.  Our world is full of living things–big and small.  I get that there is a natural order of things–lions must kill to live and sometimes humans must too. But is it necessary for me to kill a spider that will do me no harm just because it was unfortunate enough to end up in my home?   What makes the life of a creature I consider “creepy” less valuable than mine? And where do we draw the line of what is appropriate or inappropriate to kill?  Its something I’m still working out.  How do you deal with critters in the home?