Friday, February 26, 2010

The Attack of the Hedge Clippers (aka: Noni Naked Leg...)

When I have a chance, and Noni has the patience, I try to give her a hair cut. I've not been too adamant about giving her a haircut after what happened last year the night before I went to Chicago for the first PWC meetup. While grooming my dog, I stepped on her grooming tools and twisted my knee pretty badly. I guess you could say I've been pretty gun-shy since then.

Noni has been needing a hair cut for a long while now. I'm talking about her legs being a continuous hairball... Yeah, I know... I'm a bad mommy... Moving on...

This week, I've been giving her a haircut a little at a time. Today, I attacked one of the legs... Most of the hairball on her front leg is gone... Behold! This thing I shaved!

I found this hilarious. I'll probably leave her like this for the comic value for a while yet. Maybe we'll go for a walk tomorrow so the whole neighborhood can see her! We all need something to laugh about these days. Especially me after the week I had. So, enjoy this humiliating picture of my dog and laugh with glee! I know I will :)

(BTW, no real hedge clippers were used in the making of this picture...)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where's Jen?

This is the line I use in my subject line at work if I have to step out for a bit. It helps my coworkers know when I am not in the office. Sometimes I feel like I need to announce it to my readers as well... Maybe not all the time, but occasionally like now, when I've been absent for a while or if I expect to be...

I feel like I've been going in so many different directions. I have my responsibilities as a wife. I have my responsibilities in my career. I have my responsibilities with the Pilot Wives Club and many others. I have recently added school to my mix with the hopes of obtaining my degree. With so much on my plate, I have a hard time finding balance.

So, Where's Jen? In the mix of everything I have going on, where do I find time for me? I've been struggling with this for a while now. I feel like I've lost myself along the way. I am on a search for balance, for my identity back. Keep checking back for updates and any tips I find along my new path.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Going Vegan and Gluten-Free (maybe)...

I was sick last week with some nasty illness that was going around my office. It caused severe fatigue, mild fever, and a VERY persistent cough. So persistent that my boss (who was sick the week before me) is STILL coughing... (I don't have the persistent cough, just an occasional one...)

When I got sick, the major symptoms lasted MAYBE 2 days... I have a theory on this (and it has yet to be corroborated, although it makes sense)... I think that when I got sick, my (sometimes overactive) immune system went into overdrive to fight it. Yay! But in doing so, it jump-started my autoimmune disease that had not been active for several years now. Sucky! I'm talking about my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ever since last week, my joints have hurt a lot more than normal... Joints that haven't bothered me in the past... Before, it was really just my right knee (the one that gave me problems that resulted in my diagnosis) and sometimes my hips/low back area. Now, it's both my shoulders, both my hips, my low back, both my knees, my ankles, my elbows, and my thumbs. Don't get me wrong, I know that sounds like a lot, but I can still move around. At this point, I'm just in more overall pain than I was before. On a scale of 1-10, I'm at about a 2... But it's a constant 2...

I have been doing research on how diet affects disease, specifically autoimmune disease, for one of my classes at school. I've been researching diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and several others. In addition, I've been looking into the potential causes of autoimmune disease to see if a crappy diet can contribute to the onset of autoimmune disease. Most of my sources believe that autoimmune diseases are triggered by an outside source (such as a virus, bacteria, allergen, etc), which leads me to believe that my RA is progressing.

So far, the most beneficial diet to RA sufferers is a gluten-free vegan diet. Studies have shown that patients with RA have seen a decrease in their symptoms and overall better health and weight loss after being on a gluten-free vegan diet, as opposed to, say, a vegetarian diet or a modified diet of meat/dairy/fruits/veggies that balances your food intake.

If my arthritis is progressing (as I suspect), I would like to do more to treat it than take prescriptions for the pain, or the immuno-suppressant drugs that leave you open to a "potentially fatal infection." I refuse to take any of that poison medicine. Right now, my doctor is on vacation. When she returns, I will be discussing my suspicions with her to see if it is possible that my RA is progressing. Then, I'll look at what it would mean for me to go vegan and gluten-free... I understand the health benefits I would get from it, but I don't know if I COULD go vegan and gluten-free... I like my animal products too much... I really like bread... Maybe I'll phase myself into a gluten-free diet to try things out, like substituting a gluten-free flour (like rice flour) in some of my recipes... We'll see. I wonder what my husband would think if I needed to go vegan and gluten-free... Would he support me by doing it with me, or would support me, but continue to eat what he currently does... Only time will tell, but it would probably be the latter...

In doing some research on what it means to be vegan, I have come to the conclusion that, if I must be on a vegan diet, it is strictly for health reasons. I believe that animals are part of the food chain and we can and should eat them. I see no problem with eating eggs. If I can have eggs, then I would be an ovo-vegitarian and not a vegan. Just like I don't "go green" for the sake of being green, I won't go vegan for the sake of being vegan.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ice Pilots

I heard about a Canadian TV Show from SPW called Ice Pilots. My husband heard about it from another source and found a place online where you could see the episodes, since it doesn't play in the US. We are hooked on the show and watched it constantly while he was home the last 10 days. It very accurately depicts pilots who prefer to fly older prop equipment in the north, not that different from what my husband does, although the planes are different. They even show their own version of "As the Propellar Turns" (my name for the soap-opera type drama that happens at a "smaller" airline).

Check it out if you dare! See the other side to being a captain (you know, the side that doesn't include a uniform - unless Carharts are a uniform - and doesn't reek of jet fuel).

Click here to see Ice Pilots!



Why does he have to pick a fight the morning he leaves to go back to work? Why does he need to make me feel 3 inches tall? He pissed me off so bad this morning that I didn't even kiss him good bye... I just deposited his luggage on the curb and said "BYE!!!" (with a few choice words thrown in for good measure). I know, this makes me a really bad pilot wife, but I get so mad when he treats me that way. I should just let it roll off my back, but it is hard when the "little" screw-ups (like tilting his computer bag in such a way that the candy in the front pocket leaks out when I didn't know there was candy loose in his bag) become something for him to demean me over. 6:00 AM on my day off does not put me in the best of moods to begin with, and having to deal with his crappy attitude for having to go back to Bethel is just icing on the cake. I deserve a little more respect than what I got this morning. I am not some dumb-shit moron who doesn't know what she is doing, so please don't treat me as such.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

Do I have my husband work for a company that I feel has questionable business practices, but will have him home every night?


Do I have him continue to work for a company several hundreds of miles away, taking him away for 2-3 weeks at a time, with the possibility that in a year, they MAY open a route down here and transfer him home?

Decisions, decisions...

I am all for having him come home... But I am not sure about the company he wants to work for that is here. If it is not going to be a good company to work for, then he just gave up his seniority at the other company for nothing... I just don't know.

I know he is extremely unhappy with commuting to Bethel, and all that entails, but I don't want him to take a potentially unsafe position with a new company just to get out of Bethel... I guess I'll have to meet the owner and see how their current operation is handled. My observations are about 2 years old, so they could have changed their ways... If they have, this would be a great thing for us! But if not, it would be a lot of worry on my part, even if he would be flying locally (maybe especially because he would be flying locally).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hobbling through life...

I find it amazing that I can cause serious injury to myself and not know when I did it. At some point in time (probably around Sunday of last week) I did something to my ankle that got worse over time. I made an appointment to get it checked out, and turns out I sprained it... huh...

It reminds me of the time that I went to bed healthy and woke up with a sprained ankle... I suspect that I got my foot caught between my mattress and the wall and I rolled the wrong way while asleep. Here's the weird part... the pain didn't wake me up... Once asleep, I sleep so deep that nothing short of a major earthquake will wake me up (you can ask Aaron if you want to on that one... it takes him a while to wake me up when I am asleep). I woke up and got out of bed and tried to walk and I couldn't... It took several days before I was able to put weight on my foot...

This sprain isn't nearly as bad. I can still put weight on it, but the doctor has me taping my ankle for added support for a few days. She'll check it out again next week to see if it is getting better, then determine if I need to continue wrapping or if I need an x-ray. Until then, I'll be hobbling though life. : )

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Marmot Day!

Here in Alaska, we celebrate Marmot Day (as opposed to Groundhog Day)...
Actually, I just found out about this change today when I checked our local paper. Someone decided that since groundhogs are not indigenous to Alaska, and marmots are, we should officially change. The article did say that there is no weather predicting power that comes with the title and day, but it's not like that would actually work here... Maybe the marmot should be put in charge of something equally ridiculous...Any suggestions?