Cicero For Our Time

Emphasis mine.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.“- Cicero

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Are You Up For A Challenge?

Woman Construction 2

I’ve decided to add some accountability for myself by conducting several challenges. I’m going to do the following:

  • 90-day Attracting Abundance Challenge – do some kind of work (e.g. tapping on blocks, visualization, vision board) every day
  • 90-day EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Challenge – use EFT at least twice a day
  • 90-day Daily Exercise Challenge – exercise daily
  • 90-day Blog Challenge – blog post every day
  • 90-day Play With Sweet Baby Challenge – play with Sweet Baby every day. I want to improve and keep a good relationship with my daughter while I’m working on improving myself!
  • 90-day Home(stead) Improvement Challenge – work on something on the “farm” or in the house every day to help life go more smoothly and to improve the aesthetics of our surroundings
  • 30-day Get A Routine Challenge – work on getting onto the daily routine that I have spent so much time creating and so little time following. I shortened this one because I need to be on a schedule yesterday.

WOW! Apparently, I want to be insanely busy for a while…

I plan to do a separate post for each challenge, making note of progress and setbacks in each category, and interlinking the posts within each category. I will include a calendar as soon as I figure out how to add it!

Ready? Begin!

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Exercise – My New Best Friend

I decided that I’m tired of being tired (and plump), and sick of being sick (and plump). Therefore, I have started adding exercise to my daily routine. My schedule every day includes a rebounder for 10 minutes, walking treadmill for 20 minutes, weights for different body sections for 8 minutes, and an additional exercise. I’m trying to vary the additional exercise, with the weight training six days a week. The weights I’m using are similar to these Tone weights on, but I don’t have a stand. I store mine under the edge of the rebounder.

On Mondays and Thursdays, I added 10 minutes of High Intensity Integral Training (HIIT), or in my case, jog a little, walk a little more, rinse, repeat. I’m doing it on the treadmill. This being my first week, I’m doing 5 intervals. I walk for three minutes to warm up, jog at 4-4.5 mph for 30 seconds, then walk at 3 mph for 1.5 minutes. I’m out of shape enough that I end up with some sweat. Because I also have asthma and am trying to do Buteyko (separate post on that soon!), I can only go as fast as nasal breathing will allow. I’m not yet fit enough to allow for mouth breathing. I did both Monday and Thursday this week. I’ll update every week to have some accountability. Also, as I get better and can do more reps, the daily walking treadmill time will be reduced on these days since more time will be spent on HIIT.

Tuesday’s extra exercise is 10 minutes of meditation. I’m hoping to add this to more days as I get better at having a routine.

Wednesday’s and Friday’s extra exercise is 4 minutes of squats, 4 minutes upper body weights, and 2 minutes of core exercises. These exercises will be attempting to gain strength, since I have to be able to move 50 lb feed bags by myself.

Saturday only has 10 minutes rebounder, 8 minutes weights, and a reduced walking treadmill time due to our other obligations on that day.

The daily weight exercises are for weight loss and not necessarily for strength training. Weight exercises on Monday are for chest and back: dumbbell press and dumbbell row. Tuesdays are for shoulders and abs: dumbbell lateral shoulder raises and crunches. Wednesdays are for triceps and biceps: where you lay down and raise and lower the dumbbells over and behind your head, working your triceps (I don’t know what this is called), and curls. Thursdays are for hamstrings and quads: leg lifts (lie on the floor with your feet on a chair, use your glutes and hamstrings to raise your backside off the floor) and squats. Fridays are for calves and butt: calf raises and kickbacks. Saturdays are for the inner and outer thigh: inner thigh leg raise and peeing dog lift. Sundays are off.

I got the idea for the daily weight lifting from Joanna Soh on youtube. She has a lot of videos; these were from her video entitled “8 minutes morning workout – lose 2 lbs per week.” I don’t know if it will be 2 lbs, but it should be better than nothing! (Please, let it be better than nothing!)

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My Hair – An Experiment

How much hair we have affects both our self esteem and the way people view us. It’s too easy to judge someone as being unhealthy when their hair is thinning. My hair has been thinning since I had my child 9 years ago.

I saw an endocrinologist several years ago. My thyroid tested hypo, but I was diagnosed as Hashimoto’s with no antibodies due to other symptoms. The doctor tried me on a low dose of Synthroid, but the Synthroid–even at 1/4 of a low dose pill, caused hyper symptoms. That doctor was unwilling to look at my adrenals, saying that she didn’t believe in adrenal fatigue. She said, “If I did, 95% of my patients would have it.” Um, where else would they go? Duh…But I digress.

I have increased carbs over the years without seeing any appreciable increase in hair growth. As of Saturday, November 8, I am trying a hair, skin and nails formula that I bought at Sam’s Club. It’s called Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies by Nature’s Bounty and has 2500 mcg of biotin. The woman doing the demo said that she has had people show results withing 1 bottle (1 bottle is almost a 4-month supply). I’m going to try to be faithful about taking it every day and see if I can see any results. Wish me luck!

Do you have any other ideas about regrowing hair? I’d love to hear it!

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Progress on Projects

I was off this past week to work on fencing and other projects. So far, I’ve removed the old dishwasher and installed the new one. It leaks a bit, a drop at a time, where I had to use multiple fittings to connect the standard plumbing to the mobile home plumbing. I tried attaching them twice, the second time adding more teflon tape and putting on each fitting one at a time. I think I will leave the drip-drip-drip leak for a plumber to fix; I was afraid of breaking the plastic mobile home fitting and not being able to shut off the water under the sink at all. I took the old dishwasher to the dump.

I’ve installed 8 fence posts by hand, including 2 brace beams across 4 of them. That completes the posts in the section behind the shed/barn and across the creek. I will have to wait for dryer days to actually run the field fence since I will have to block off the lean-to shelter to run the fencing. I had bought the one-man auger, but returned it without trying it. I looked at the instructions and you had to hold the throttle down with your right hand while pulling the string start with your left. I assumed that my left arm would not be strong enough to start it (and I couldn’t find the little bottle of 2-cycle engine oil I thought I had bought anyway).

I finished the end wall on the expanded coop and have put on roofing for that section. I bought the pressure treated 2×4 to make the next section of higher wall.

We are supposed to have a guy coming tomorrow before work to look at all of the pigs. He may buy the entire bunch! He’s fine with the price of $700 for all 12 piglets and I’ve priced the adults at $200/each. That would get me $1500 if he buys everything! Please, please!

This time included running errands, to buy equipment, trash things, return things. We also went to the Science Museum in Roanoke yesterday. Entrance was free because it was the last day of the VA Science Festival that had activities from Roanoke down to Blacksburg over the past week.When I look at it all typed out, I guess I did OK this week!

What are you working on?

* Pics coming as soon as the rain lets up!

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Ear Infection?

I have a mild cold going on right – some congestion, mild coughing from the drainage, and my ears feel kind of plugged. In the case of my right ear, more plugging than usual. I’m also having some discomfort/mild pain in my right ear.

My right ear has been feeling plugged for a while now, as in several years. I went to an ENT several years ago and was told that he didn’t see any sign of a tumor and my cardiologist did a carotid sonogram on both sides and didn’t see anything either.

Unfortunately, the right side gets more congested every time I have a cold. I’ve started to wonder if maybe I have a chronic ear infection or maybe a chronic sinus infection.

Last week, I had an episode on that ear of sudden deafness, followed by tinnitus, and the return of hearing in that ear. I have since found out that that can be kind of an emergency (as in trying to save your hearing, not immediately life threatening). I have gotten my medical records from the previous ENT and will be calling a local ENT this Monday.

I’m hoping that the pain in my right ear indicates nothing more serious than an ear infection and that it can be easily treated. Since the CDC says that many ear infections get better without antibiotic treatment, I’m hopeful of finding something at home that will help quickly. In the meantime, I’m going to look into home remedies for ear infections. Anyone have any tried-and-successful tips?

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I DID IT! Dishwasher Dreams…

I removed our old dishwasher and installed a new one by myself! Happy Dance!! Sweet Baby helped by holding a piece of yarn that I had tied to the power cord so we could get it out through the cabinet wall.

We currently have a double-wide and I had to first cut off some of the old water intake pipe and take that to Lowe’s to buy fittings. I had to buy two additional pieces to get the standard dishwasher intake pipe to fit the old mobile home plumbing. The first time I hooked them all together and ran water through the pipe (to flush out any particles that might clog the inlet screen on the dishwasher), it leaked. I took everything back apart, took off the teflon tape, retaped the fittings using a little more tape this time and put the fittings on one at a time. Viola! No leaks!

I put a pan under the fittings under the sink just in case and ran a load this morning. It worked great!

I got the Whirlpool model W10435040C at Home Depot. The “eco” cycle is really quiet. You could barely hear it if you left the kitchen and it really was not loud even while standing in the kitchen. I can’t speak to the other cycles yet, but I was really happy with the “eco” cycle’s volume and the cleanliness of the dishes. However, we don’t have a food disposal so I did get the food off the dishes before washing them. I may try doing that a little less just to see how well the filters work.


I’m so excited! We haven’t had a working dishwasher since we moved here. Finally, a visit from the dishes fairy! Finally, I’ll be able to catch up on dishes. I love my dishwasher!

EDIT: OK, it leaks a little, a drop at a time. I’ll wait until I have the money and then have a plumber come fix it. I was afraid that I would break the plastic mobile home fitting under the sink and then wouldn’t be able to stop water from gushing out!

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Choices and Regret

The choices we make are what define us. I have come to regret many of mine, but what does that regret offer me? Nothing but a deep well of self-pity and self-loathing. I’m tired of making the wrong choice. I’m tired of not controlling my impulse purchases. I’m tired spending both my money and my time impulsively. So, my plan is to make a plan.

For the first time in my life, I’m going to think about where I want to be in my life in 10 years, write it down, where do I want to be in 5 years, write it down, where do I want to be in 1 year, write it down, where do I want to be in 6 months, write it down, and break it down to monthly milestones, weekly check-ins, and daily steps.

I plan on posting my plan here. I’m not sure how quickly I’ll get it all down on paper/computer, but I’m determined.

As the engraving on my daughter’s ring says, “Be brave. Love life.”

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Some Quotes I Like

I had a calendar a couple of years ago called “Wild Words from Wild Women” that had some really insightful sayings. I saved three of my favorites.

My hands-down favorite:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson, creator of A Course in Miracles

My second favorite:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Sue Parton, smarty pants (I have no idea what they meant by this?!)

The third one that I saved:

“Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t hear you until you scream.” – Stefanie Powers, screen presence

Ain’t that the truth?!

I will randomly include other good quotes that I come across as I find them. Add some of your favorites below!

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