About Me

Hi, my name is Angela and welcome to my blog. This is a place where I write about my life in an honest and open way.

I am 34 years old, single, and a Christian. God gave me a heart to work with children and so I spend my day teaching kindergarten. It is my fourth year teaching and although it is hard I love it. I currently go to a college for my BA in Elementary Education which keeps me busy. Between work and school there is not much time left but I enjoy serving and helping others, watching netflix, or reading a good book.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feeling the difference

Tonight for dinner I had a Marie Calendars Spaghetti frozen dinner. It was delicious but I can just feel the weight of it in my stomach. In fact before I was even done eating it my stomach hurt as if I had poisoned it (I felt nauseous.) Here I am a few hours later and I still feel it like this big lump in my stomach.

I have read many times that this was true but now I really understand it. I have been eating healthy and each meal has been packed with fruits and veggies that this meal just weighed me down. I don't really like the feeling. I mean it was really good, like tasted delicious. But now I feel sick and don't think it was worth it.

Tomorrow is friday and the fruits and veggies I have left are mostly all bad. I did not order another bountiful basket but am thinking of going to the farmers market again on Sat morning. I also really want to spend some time in my local whole foods figuring out what I should and shouldn't be eating. Time always slips away when I am trying to read and compare nutritional labels.

Oh and I am down to two cans of soda today and the second can I didn't even really want it. I poured the can into my glass at work and then an hour realized I hadn't drunk any of it. Which for me is weird. At work I have found myself drinking a 44oz soda without even realizing it. Just all of a sudden it is gone. So it is pretty exciting to see myself not feeling that need for soda.

I do still need to work on better planning. For instance right now I should be preparing tomorrow mornings smoothie items or at least looking for a recipe that will work with what I have but here I am instead. Actually I think that is it for today anyways. TTFN!

New Gimmick

If you have read my blog for very long you know I am always jumping from one weight loss idea to the next. I am always looking for the next thing that is going to solve my "problem." I think that is why I have waited so long to post about this not really sure what I was actually going to do. Lets see how did this start? I remember.

First I watched a film called "Fat, sick, and nearly dead" about a rich australian who came to the us and did a 60 day juice fast. The first 30 days he was in New York (I think he had to work) and then he spent 30 days on the road driving across the country encouraging people to try a juice fast for 10 days to "reboot" their life. He lost weight did great but the movie really got good when a 400+ lb man he had met on his trip across america called him a month later desperatly asking for help, it is stated that he is on the brink of suicide. With the support (both as a friend and with financial assistance) he helps this desperate truck driver start living healthy. To say the least I was inspired and when a few days later my church mentioned their 25 day fast I thought that it was perfect timing.

Next while I was researching I was looking on Alicia Silverstons site The Kind Life and came across a detox supplement that was vegan and could be supplemented with raw vegetables. It seemed perfect to help start me on my journey. Even more weird was when I went to go find it again the article that was on the first page under food tab the next day was three pages in. There was no logical reason it should have been on the first page the day before. So under inpulse I ordered a product called Kaeng Raeng. I know that it was on inpulse because even though the site said it was shipped the next day and even though I new I wouldn't use it till Sep 1st I ordered it less than 36 hours after first seeing it.

After that I decided I should start trying out this juicing thing. I ordered fruit and veg from bountiful baskets and then after picking that up also went to the local farmers market to pick up a few other items. I can't seem to recall my first try. Something with spinach and celery it wasn't very good. I tried again this time following a recipe called garden salad this I could barely drink a few sips of. I felt at a loss for a moment but didn't want to give up. Eating healthy is important. I had planned on trying to eat as vegan as possible after the 25 days so why not just work with this.

So currently the plan is to still use the Kaeng Raeng the first 6 days of September. For the fast with my church I am giving up caffeine. Which is actually going very well. I used to drink 2 liters a day (aprox 6 cans) and am down to about 2 cans a day now. I bought some mini cans to help get me through the last week but I don't think getting all the way down will be a problem. I realize that when I go from some to none i will still get a headache but I don't think it will be as bad as going right from 2 liters to none. Anyways after the 6 days I am going to try to eat vegan with some macrobiotic meals.

I have been reading a couple books about being a vegan including The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverston and Skinny Bitch by Freedman and Barnouin. It is hard to not already start eating vegan. Reading how bad the food is for my body and how unclean the meat is that I eat it is hard to keep eating that way. Yesterday I did pretty good. I made a banana and orange smoothie for breakfast, had a chicken caeser salad from Paradise Bakery, and then headed for In-and-Out for dinner but instead went into Sprouts for a healthy sandwich instead. I did go home after church and have ice cream. But overall I did pretty great.

I am learning a little better to listen to my body. I am recognizing that in the evening when I start to get tired my instinct is to drink soda or eat, mostly eat. Really I need to learn to just go to bed. Last night I went and played on my computer in my bed instead of sitting in front of the tv.

So that is what is going on with me. I will try to update my blog with updates.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vacation Epilogue

As I sit here on the plan I thought I was going to write up my blogs about Chicago and other adventures I had gone on. But as I sit here all I can think about is how I just left my family behind. Yes I am flying toward my brothers and my dad but it is different with them. I pause before I say this because it could sound mean but it is true. I didn’t really think about and miss being in Phoenix. I thought about work a few times but I never really wished I could hang out with Teel and Mandy or Heath. And yet over the two months my sister and her family have been gone I thought about them a lot. They are all so very important to me.

When I was going out I thought, oh I should make sure that I spend time with all the kids don’t leave anyone out. But the thing is I didn’t have to think about it. I get along so well with everyone that there were plenty of times I just spent time with each person. Ok I realize this sounds a little weird so let me clarify I think it had to do with my step neice and nephew. I don’t see them very often and so I never know with them. Justice is a teenager now and I wasn’t sure how I would connect and I don’t know I just worried. But it is just so natural. My sister pointed it out as we were in the airport that first day I fit right in as much as I did the 16th day.

And so again I find myself wanting to move to Davenport with my sister. At least once while I was there I did searches for apartments in the area. But again I have to remind myself and ask is my life in davenport or am I simply trying to follow my sister through her life. Yes I love my sister so very much and flying back and forth is expensive and hard to do with figuring out time off and then having to leave again. But one of the biggest things about home that kept coming to my mind was church. I am coming home on Thursday so I can go to church on Sunday. I feel I have commitments there and I think fo right now it is where I should be.

I have said it before I am not that committed to my jobs. I think I want to start looking for full time work. Part of that is because right now I feel like I couldn’t move because of how much debt I have and a full time job would provide more pay. But I am also frustrated with my current boss and nervous about the new girl I will be working with and if we will click or not. Obviously these could be the same problems at a new job but…I don’t know we will see. I hate quitting it is so hard to do.

I sit here and think. Maybe I could sleep on her couch? It wasn’t that bad. Or Kalvin has a big room maybe will switch him with Justice and then I could share with her. She is only there every other week anyways. But I know that is not ideal. I can’t share a bed room I am nearly 30 and I need to live on my own. So if I can’t afford the cost to move and the cost of a place to live on my own then it isn’t right. She had offered me her basement before she moved. It turns out the basement is kind of creepy and the floor floods and there are wires all over the place. So not really habitable. She had been hoping she could even make it a guest room for when someone came to visit but it needs a lot of work before that can happen.

Any way I look at it I am just sad to leave. I didn’t cry because I am not a big cryer but I got through security and sat down and my heart just hurt. I just sat there thinking of pretty much nothing just feeling what I was feeling.

Tirso is 3 and his reaction explains it perfectly. April called him over to us and told him it was time for me to leave. He came right over and gave me a hug and a kiss and said goodbye and then walked away both sad and angry. Knowing there was nothing he could do to change the fact that I had to go to my home. I still remember the first night he hadn’t seen me in two months and was totally excited at the airport he couldn’t get himself out of his stroller fast enough to come hug me. It was a night flight so we went to the house, ate dinner, and watched a movie and it was time for bed. He got so upset because he was scared that I was going to leave again that night. He didn’t want to go to bed in fear that I would be gone again. We had to explain how I was going to sleep on the couch and would be there in the morning.

I am so thankful that I got to spend so much tiem with them. I got to see where my nephews will be going to school. I was able to be there for my sister as she started applying for jobs at local high schools. I loved watching Sons of Anarchy with Garrett, water fights with Kalvin, playing tiny tower with Justice, watching cartoons with Isaiah and reading books to Tirso. I even enjoyed hanging with my brother-in-law who loved to give me a hard time about the dumbest things. And yes while we were there we ate out way too much and saw all of the sites. But I think without any of that it was an amazing trip and I am so lucky to have such an amazing family.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Normalcy

I have been living in my sisters house for 9 days now and it feels so normal. I am still living out of a suitcase and go where they go but it is interesting how relaxed this feels. In fact now that I only have 1 week I feel a little sad, it is like I am on a countdown to when I leave but I also realize that is still a lot of time. I also have to realize that I am loving not working. I do almost nothing all day and normally in Phoenix I work 5 or 6 days a week I am always running around and being busy and here I just sit around watching tv and playing the computer. It is nice. Sometimes I get a little stir crazy from sitting in the house all day but then I just go for a walk and that helps.

I have been eating a lot less here because it isn't my fridge and binge eating is harder to do. I thought I would be loosing weight but I think because I am so much more sedentary that I am equalling out at the end of the day.

While I have been here it has only rained once which is funny since it has rained more in Phoenix then here. But even without the rain it is still very humid here, we are right off the Mississippi River. It definitely effects things. My skin is breaking out all over, my hair always feels greasy, and my clothes are just gross at the end of the day. The environment takes some adjusting to.

I think if the opportunity presented itself and I felt it was what God wanted for me I could live here. Ok, now I am saying that and I have not yet experiencing snow ever. So maybe I ned to wait till I visit in the winter. Though if I can handle the humidity I could probably handle the snow too.


***

I don't have any pictures from Wed. We did go out and run some errands. Josh dropped some paperwork off at Nestle Purina where he has been going through the application process for months and found out he has an official start date. Woo Hoo!! Stopped at Garrett's school for more registration and went grocery shopping. After that we all went out to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ. It was really good food. I was kind of a chicken and got a pulled pork sandwich but everyone else got ribs and wings. I totally hate anything spicy, I just can't handle it. I once got a Chick-fil-a spicy sandwich and couldn't eat more than one bite of it. But Famous Dave's had several sauces that weren't that spicy and so I actually liked several of them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday Shopping

Yesterday I headed out on my own into Davenport. I had done lots of research online and figured out where I was going and how to use the bus to get there and back. So after my sister got back from registering my eldest nephew at high school I headed out. I could tell I was nervous, a little unsure of how the day would turn out. In fact I had planned on going on Monday and ended up just sitting around the house all day instead. But I found the courage and made it out the front door.

The buses here are a little different, there are no bus stops. There are different hubs you can go to otherwise you stand on the corner of the street you know it is going to pass and just wave it down as it comes by. So headed over to where I knew it would be but somehow went too far and found myself on the wrong street. Being nice weather and wanting to look around anyways I just continued on my way on foot. From my sisters house to downtown Davenport it is about 1 1/2 miles so not too far. Along the way I saw an antique store that I stopped in. The guy had a lot of very interesting stuff to look at and the place was huge so many connecting rooms. I found some clear scrabble tiles, so you can see the points through the tile, that I thought my brother who collects scrabble games would like but then found out they were not official scrabble tiles just something one of his friends made so I passed. Further in I found some magazines with Michael Jordan on the cover. I knew my nephew would enjoy having one and one was reasonably priced so I purchased it for him.

I wondered through several other stores there in the downtown area looking at the interesting things they had. By then I was getting hungry and realized I didn't have a clue were to find a bus so I asked a woman on the street and she was very helpful pointing me toward the bus station hub. By the time I got there I realized I had missed my bus by 15 min and so I had another 45 min to wait. Instead of waiting at the bus stop I walked across the street to the visitors center. I like to collect magnets from the places I travel and still hadn't found a good one yet. Actually I hadn't found any that said Quad Cities or Davenport at all on my trip. So I walked over and this was the place. They had all kinds of things with the city names on it. I found a magnet and some stickers for when I scrapbook. I used to collect shot glasses from everywhere but since I don't drink alcohol anymore I decided to pass on getting one of those.

Back at the bus station I tried to start watching to learn about their bus system. Almost all of the busses go through the hub I was sitting at. This is also the place where the drivers seem to change busses. Almost every bus that came in the bus driver got off and a new one got on and then just rotated busses. The most interesting thing I found was when you pay your dollar to get on you can ask for a transfer. You can use your transfer all day but just not for the same bus. When you get on a second time you can have them mark which bus you are on and then you keep the pass. So you can ride all over all day as long as you use a different bus each time. I did have to pay the $2 because I was riding the same bus out and then back again but I thought that was a neat option.

When my bus arrived I rode it over to the East Village. By that point it was after 2pm and I hadn't eaten since 8am so I went right over to Lagomarcino's. When we were down there on Friday I had seen them advertise that they "had the best hot fudge in the universe" so I wanted to check them out. First I wanted lunch. Their menu listed about a dozen sandwhiches and I decided on the Reuben. The problem was it didn't list what was in the sandwiches and apparently I was too tired to think. I thought I was ordering a French Dip so when the Reuben came out I was surprised by what I ordered. I had made the mistake so I decided to eat it anyways. I have never had a Reuben, I have always been scared of the sauerkraut. It wasn't bad, actually I was so hungry at the time I would say it was really good. Though I still wouldn't call myself a fan of sauerkraut. While I ate I looked at all of the deserts they offered. These all had descriptions and many looked really good. I decided on a regular hot fudge sundae, I was there to try the hot fudge after all. They fill a tall sundae glass with vanilla ice cream with whip cream and a cherry on top and the hot fudge is in a small container on the side, like the kind they serve you syrup at Denny's in. I couldn't help but make a mess with this. I had eaten some of the ice cream to make room for the hot fudge but as I poured it on it melted the ice cream making hot fudge and ice cream pour over the sides. I would have thought they could come up with a better way to do this. And actually that explained why the table felt a little sticky when I sat down if people have no choice but to make a mess on the table. The ice cream and the hot fudge were delicious. I was sad when it was all gone but glad I had gone to try it.

Now that I had eaten I headed back out to look at the local shops. There was a cute store called Mint Green that had really cute clothes, though not my size. There was a toy store but it was closed, weird for 3 pm on a tuesday in my opinion. I stopped at the Soap Box and picked up some locally made lotion, a pumice stone for my feet, and a mini bar of oatmeal soap. A store called Almost Paris seemed a little to fancy for me and I left went to Blue Sky Gifts. There store was interesting. It had so many things to look at it was almost dizzying. Lots of knick knacks and toys for kids and odds and ends. The couple who runs the store is from AZ and I had a lovely conversation with them. I was almost hoping I would find something to buy so I could support their store but nothing really struck me so I left empty handed. That was the last store I saw to visit and my bus was coming soon so I walked to the corner to wait for it. I waived it down when I saw it and rode it back to my sisters neighborhood. Before I headed to her house I stopped at Walgreens to get a frame for the magazine I had purchased.

On the walk home it felt so hot and humid I wasn't sure if I was going to make it back. I had to walk about a half mile which is nothing compared to all the walking I had already done but it felt like it took forever. I was drenched in sweat by the time I got back to the house and only said hi to everyone before I jumped in the shower to cool and clean off. In that half mile walk home I was thinking how none of it was worth it and how stupid it was for me to go out. But today after a good nights sleep I know that I am glad I got out. I got to see things I couldn't with my 3 year old nephew running around and I met a lot of really nice people out in Davenport. Not that I have plans to go ride the bus again but it was an adventure I am glad I took.

I saw this building on my walk downtown.


This is Downtown Davenport.

This fountain right near the skybridge next to the Mississippi River.

I took this while on the bus.

The Menu "The Finest Chocolate Since 1908"

Me at Lagomarcino's.


Waiting for the bus after all long day of shopping.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Street Fairs and Birthday Parties (part 2)

This is the continuation of my previous post about my weekend. I split it between two post because with the added pictures it gets kind of long.

Every year in Davenport they have the Bix 7 race. It is like how we always have the PF Changs in Phoenix. This race is only seven miles long though. Runners come from all over the world, Nigerians won both for male and female times. They also have a bike race as well. It was interesting to see buses and trucks modified to carry six or more bikes. After the race is a street fair. So in the early evening we headed down to the street fair to look around.

Overall the street fair was pretty small. About two blocks of goods and one block of food. But that made sense being a small town of course they would have a smaller street fair. I am just used to the Phoenix ones that go on and on. I even gone to a couple in Prescott that were bigger than this one, though people from Phoenix and Tucson drove up to show stuff there.

Kalvin and Josh did find some new glasses which both of them were looking for.

Right off the street from the fair is the Davenport SkyBridge. It is a regular bridge but the walls are all glass so you can see out. Out the windows are some very beautiful sights.





After the SkyBridge went to find something to eat from the street vendors. The new thing at this years fair was the deep fried gator with cajun fries so all of the boys got some. I tried a piece and honestly their isn't any way to describe it. It's not like chicken or some other animal. It is definitly it's own unique flavor. Not bad just different. The only thing left to do was listen to the band but they were a cover band and the singer was not very good so we headed home.

On Sunday I had decided I wanted some time to myself. I woke up early, got dressed and went out for a walk. My only plan was to walk to a gas station and get a newspaper to see what they had in it. I had heard there was a church down the street so I headed that way. It was interesting because it was just in the middle of the neighborhood.

A little further down the street I came across this.

And that is when I realized I hadn't seen any fire hydrants in my sisters neighborhood. I wonder how this works, how they get the water to the house?

I continued down the street and passed a few businesses and my nephews new school.


After getting the paper at the local Kwik Shop I decided to go back to a little diner I had passed to have some breakfast. It was a small little diner and it looked like they mostly just had regulars in there.

They were extra friendly to me though also kind of nervous. I would look up from my paper and just look around and they were concerned that I was being impatient with them. I didn't know how to change that opinion of me so I just tried to be polite as possible. I ordered an sausage and cheese omelette with hash browns and silver dollar pancakes. The omelette was interesting because it had two slices of American cheese on it, which I usually don't eat. And then they had taken three sausage patties and just put them inside the folded plain egg omelette. I have always had the sausage cut up and mixed with the egg. It wasn't bad, just different. The hash browns were more like a smashed potato all smushed together. I have seen it this way at Cracker Barrel so I assume that is how the east likes it. The pancakes were a little tough but good. Overall the food wasn't bad but I wouldn't repeat my visit.

That afternoon we had a birthday party to go to. It was my brother-in-laws grandmothers birthday. It can be hard to go a family party when you don't know anyone but it wasn't too bad. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
Grandma and Kalvin

Josh (my BIL) and his step-dad

Josh, his mom, and grandmother


On the way home we were all very hungry so we stopped at a drive threw. They wanted to go somewhere I hadn't been so it was decided we would go to Steak & Shake. I didn't try a shake but the flavors looked great. I had a bacon cheeseburger and it was great. They had skinny fries and they were crispy and delicious.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Boats and grocery stores (part 1)

Dear world...well at least that is how my nephew thinks I should start my blog when I said I didn't know how to start it. Today is day seven in Iowa, it is Monday and today we were mostly lazy and sat around the house all day. I did go run some errands with my sister this evening. The first stop was to Schnuks grocery store to deposit our bottles. In Iowa when you buy a soda bottle, can, or liquor you pay five cents at the register and then you get the five cents back when you take it back to the store you bought it at.


Next we went to the Aldi grocery store. Now this place is interesting. First you have to make sure you bring a quarter because all of the grocery carts are locked up. You put in a quarter and it unlocks the cart and then when you are done shopping you lock it back up and get your quarter back. All of their stuff is still in the boxes, like fresh and easy does which is no big deal. But you get bags unless you buy them, I didn't see any for less than a dollar. You can instead use the boxes that the products are in if one is empty. They have cashier's but they are sitting. At first I thought that would be awkward for them but it isn't because they just put the cart right next to the register and just drop everything in the basket after they scan it. They then have a counter against the wall where you can then put everything in order after the mess they have made. I don't think I could work for a company like that, i couldn't just throw people grocery's around. Ok, the eggs did come home all whole so they didn't really throw them but they were pretty ruff. Overall a weird experience. I kind of which I had taken pics but it was all so weird plus how rude would that have been, taking pics as if I had never been to a grocery store.

This weekend we were pretty busy. There is not much to do in this small town but my sister was able to find plenty to do. :) On Friday night we all rode what they call the Channel Cat.

It is a boat on the water. It is run by the company that does the buses but I wonder how many people use it like a bus? The Channel Cat has four stops two on each side of the river (or two in each state as it happens to be.) We got on near several little shops and bars, port two (which was closed when we rode it) stopped at the John Deere Pavillion (all the tourist sites say this is the place to visit though I have decided tractors aren't that exciting for me.) The third stop had what we had heard was a large gift shop, which there was but really it was full of weird odds and ends, looked like a consignment shop, I am not sure.


It was 30 min till the next boat came and we were done in the gift shop in less than 10 min and the bad part is there is nothing else around to see there so we just kind of hung around outside waiting for the boat.



The fourth stop we didn't get off at because there wasn't time but it appeared to just be a bar and casino so not much their either. The kids got whiny on the long boat ride (30 min each way) but that is what kids do. Seeing the Quad Cities from the water was a unique experience and so pretty.




After we got back to where we started we went to get some dinner at Rudy's Tacos. This place is the place to go for mexican food in the Quad Cities. In fact the family I was sitting near on the plane were already planning what they were going to get there before the flight even took off.

Most of us got the Taco Salad Supreme, which was delicious. Some of the nephews went with the enchiladas and then we also got a tamale because my niece hadn't tried one yet. The food was great and was a great price.



After dinner we were all stuffed and walked around to look at the shops. Unfortunately at 7pm on a saturday they were all closed but it was nice to walk around.




Before I go onto Saturday I am going to cut this post off as I see it is getting long with all the pics. I will make a part 2 to go with it.