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Home in the Trees

I’m a homebody for sure. I don’t do well around lots of people especially if it is noisy. If I go out, I prefer a nice quiet coffee shop or cafe to going to a popular hang out.

I have big windows in my home with views of woods all around. There is moss covered paths that lead to a pond that is home to fish, salamanders, frogs, and ducks. Occasionally, a coyote or deer will visit. I can hear the birds at the bird feeders and in their nests. Our resident chipmunks will drop their chewed up cones from high up in the douglas firs. They like to bury hazelnuts they harvest from our hazelnut trees in my garden. Rabbits come to nibble on the greenery. I have to check my crocs on the back steps before sliding them on so I don’t squish a frog. Of course, I do have to protect my garden from the monsterously big NW slugs.

This spring, I have many Quaking Aspens, Cedars, and Birches to plant around the pond to provide more diversity of trees. I have several brush piles I have left for wildlife. I try to maintain my home not just for myself but for the wildlife in the area too.

I love my place in the trees.

I Don’t Write the Prettiest

One thing I try to do with my writing is just tell it like you were sitting across the table from me at Applebees. Just a casual conversation without any fancy words or florishes. Unfortunately, I don’t have you participating. Ain’t that a shame? But anyway, we’re just having a talk. And having a good lunch!

What’s hard about that is the editor in my head thinks she knows so damn much from the college English classes. If I sit and try to remember anything from those classes, all I remember is writing a description of a black trash can in my Technical Writing class and one English professor reading a short story with “voices” and hilariously doing a shrill woman’s voice. That’s it but somehow it sneaks in from my subconcious and makes writing painful. Is that structured right with correct grammar? Remember diagramming sentences? I hated that. Who diagrams their sentences?

I started blogging to get over the smarty-pants editor and just get some thoughts out. I want to share my crafty stuff and what’s going on here in the trees. I got the BlogHer.com email about the March NaBloPoMo and I signed up. I tried to do it in November but sputtered out real quick. My health sucked all my energy out of me. After a change in diet, I feel so much better. And I just finished my fourth blog post. [Pat on back]

Five interesting things about me

I was thinking about what 5 interesting things I could tell you while I was at work.

I deliver products to grocery stores so I drive a truck with my dog along for the ride. I get up at 1:00 am for this.

I hate beets. Always have. Can’t stand looking at them. Blech!

I want to retire to Ecuador where it’s warm year round. The cost of living will allow me to live better than in the US. And it will be an adventure.

I like to knit and quilt.

I have been bitten in the boob by a Clydesdale/Throughbred horse.

Giving up SUGAR!

Like everyone else, I was addicted. Sugar is so addicting. The only way to kick the addiction is to go cold turkey. It took a few days and it was a struggle. After that, I didn’t miss it. I still don’t.

canolli photoI was shown a beautiful cannolli today but it didn’t look appetizing. I drank straight tea with no sugar and it tasted great. I lived in Texas for 27 years so I have drank a ton of sweet tea. But I’ll take my tea straight up with no sugar. I walked past the Girl Scouts and their cookies and said “No, Thank You.” I felt bad later for the poor girls so next time I see them, I’ll just donate some money.

Sugar bag photoSugar was the next step after giving up wheat. I’m weaning myself off all the junk food I have been nourishing my soul with over decades and taking control over my life. I realized the junk food was controlling me. Now I can nourish my body with good food.

brocolli kale photo

I’m loving all the ways to incorporate vegetables into my meals, even breakfast. I chop up broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots and add to my scrambled eggs. Kale and spinach get slipped into so many dishes just to get all the great nutrients. I made flax seed muffins so I have a quick breakfast when I’m up at 1-2 am to go to work.

I have more energy so I’m getting more of what I want to get done. My aches and pains are almost gone. I’m moving faster so I don’t appear to have Parkinson’s anymore. That’s a real relief. I’m ready to go on some hikes this summer. I’m ready to move forward and enjoy my life without sugar.

Photos by Fifth World Art   Geoff Peters 604    Evil Julia    Geoff Peters 604

What I learned from 23andMe

Over a year ago, I submitted my saliva spit to 23andMe.com to be informed of my health risks. It was a long wait for the results since I took advantage of the price drop to $99. When I got my results, I was not surprised really. I have a chance for Parkinson’s Disease which is understandable since my mother has Parkinson’s and so did a great grandfather. I also have a risk for heart disease. Really? Well, I guess that means my extra weight needs to go and now. I feel good about knowing my genetics in regards to my health. The FDA thinks we are too stupid to deal with knowing our genetics so the health portion of 23andMe has been suspended. Sorry FDA, I’m not stupid. I am using my information to improve my life.

Now the big surprise from my spit came from the ancestry report. I am 0% Italian but my father’s family is 100% Italian. I have looked at the genealogy back several generations and they are all Italian. So I think it is safe to conclude that my father is not my biological father, he’s a step-father. It has been a hard thing for me to get a handle on. I was abused by this man so I have no love for him. But my grandparents were the world to me when I was young. I loved my Aunt Jean, who was also my godmother. I grew up as an Italian-American. That is what a identified with. Now who am I?

My mother’s family is German pretty much 100%. I blogged about discovering my mother’s side of my family here. So I should be able to deduce what my biological father is. Here is the breakdown of my ancestory composition from 23andMe.com.

European 92.3%

Northern European
British/Irish 12.8%
French/German 4.0%
Scandinavian 0.5%
Finnish 0.0%
Nonspecific Northern European 52.3%

Southern European
Iberian 0.5%
Balkan 0.0%
Sardinian 0.0%
Italian 0.0%
Nonspecific Southern European 0.6%

East European
Ashkenazi 0.0%
Nonspecific European 21.6%

East Asian & Native American 3.3%
Native American 2.4%
Nonspecific East Asian & Native American 0.9%

Sub-Saharan African 0.4%
West African 0.3%
Nonspecific Sub-Saharan African 0.1%

South Asian 0.1%
Middle Eastern & North African 0.1%
Nonspecific Middle Eastern & North African 0.1%

Unassigned 3.9%

The connections through sharing on 23andMe.com make me believe that my father is part Northern European and part Puerto Rican (I have lots of cousins there!). My father would have been in Kingsville, Texas possibly stationed at NAS Kingsville in early 1958.

Last week I submitted some more spit to Ancestory.com and hopefully (fingers crossed) I’ll get a little surprise with some information on my paternal side. That would be great. I’ll let you know when I get the results.

This is my first blog of the month for BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for March 2014. I appreciate anyone that reads this.

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