top-ten

Teresa’s Top 10 Signs You’re Tired After a Night Shift

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Time for another top ten! This time, it’s signs I might be a little bit tired from working night shifts!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my job! But, the 12-hour night shifts do occasionally get to me a little… πŸ™‚

10. I drove home all the way on the highway in 4th gear. The Pathfinder has 5 gears, I just forgot to shift that last time, and didn’t even notice how high the revs were.

9. I wrote January on something in March.

8. I have been forgetting to brush my teeth, more often than I’d like to admit.

7. I can’t listen to the radio on the drive home; it’s just too distracting. I need all my concentration to drive.

6. I get very heavy eyelids, crossed eyes, and seriously risk falling asleep if I don’t drive with anything to help me keep awake. The solution: singing along with my favourite songs on my iPhone.

5. When I get home, I just can’t seem to park in the right spot. Day after day, I end up a little too far forward, then too far left, then too far back, then too far right… (One time, I almost backed into the house!)

4. I have difficulty getting my front door open. Hand-eye co-ordination not working so well.

3. After putting PJ’s on, I just cannot bear to put my clothes away properly. They lie in a crumpled heap on the floor for a few days until I can face them.

2. The day after I did some laundry, I discover that I forgot to take a third of the pile or so. Just plain forgot. So I have to do a small load so that it’s all done.

… and the number 1 reason I know I’m waaaay too tired after a night shift:

1. Just can’t talk. Words not forming. Can’t think of the word. Can’t think. Can’t… what?

Related Posts:
All Teresa’s Top Ten’s
Fort Simpson Traffic (a post about my job)

You Know It’s Cold When…

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I’ve been saving these up for a while, so here goes! (I’ll spare you the boring stats of how cold it’s been here… I think pretty much everyone has been dealing with crappy weather of one kind or another!)

Teresa’s Top Ten: You know it’s cold when…

10. Pushing the clutch in on the Pathfinder (to start it) is like doing leg press exercises… for one leg.

(That’s not me.)

9. My front teeth have been aching a bit lately (as if I had braces), and I couldn’t figure out why until I went for a walk with friends. It was the cold making them ache! (One of my friends said he’s had this too.)

8. Donning of long johns* becomes regular practice in October, but these days, it’s double long johns and triple socks, always (two plain, one wooly).

7. I went for 4 consecutive days to work wearing wind pants over double long johns and fleece pants. Mind you, that might just say more about my work place or my sense of style than the temperature!

6. I can easily run out to prestart my vehicle in just the long-sleeved thin shirt, turtleneck, and wool sweater I’m wearing. As long as the wind isn’t blowing. (And yes, I am one of the poor saps who still doesn’t have remote start.)

5. Everybody knows not to touch your tongue to cold metal… but fingers on a cold doorknob, I keep forgetting about that! Ouch!

4. I can gauge how cold it is by how long I go humpin’ down the road! (i.e. vehicles have “square tires” for the first couple of km when you start driving. The colder it is, the longer it takes to round them out. :))

3. Freezers feel really WARM! I keep wondering if they are working properly… and they are.

2. The house furnace can’t keep up, resulting in… an unpleasantly cold toilet seat.

Okay, it's not THIS bad...
Okay, it’s not THIS bad…

1. When looking though the back of the vehicle for something, I caught myself sloshing the little bottle of gasline antifreeze to see if it was still liquid! Sheesh! That stuff is NEVER supposed to freeze!

Stay warm everybody! πŸ™‚

*I am a bit of a “long john connoisseur” (but not the snooty kind). I have tested several types, and have my favourites… but they all have a place in the world! πŸ™‚ Hmmm… maybe I will do a long john review in a future post.

Related posts:
Another Top Ten
Surviving Cabin Fever
Top Ten Handy Practical Tips
Top Ten Modern Products I Can Live Without

Top 10 Modern Products I Can Live Without

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Time for another top-ten!

Top 10 Modern Products I Can — and Do — Live Without!

Some of these things I consider scams, and others are just things I have left out of my life for simplicity’s sake.

10. A Coffee Maker. Yup, don’t have one. We have a one-cup-at-a-time funnel brewer thingy, and we have a bodum if we are making for more than one person at a time. Lots of people have those Keurig machines — I use the one at the fire hall and it’s great — but I can live without it! Our main reason for no coffee maker is to save on counter space.

9. Workout machines. You know, the Bowflex, the Ab Circle, Leg Magic, Vibraslim, Stairmaster, treadmills, ellipticals, etc… I’ve been doing crossfit workouts, and most of it is basic weights, using your own body weight (like in push-ups or pull-ups), or doing things from sports. Getting out and doing real things with your body is the best!

8. Fancy fabrics. I’m talking about some of these ultra-thin wool undergarments that cost $80 for a shirt. Or sweat-wicking workout clothes… an old T-shirt works just fine. Unless you are climbing Mt. Everest, I think most of these fabrics and clothes are a scam (and some don’t even look like they are made all that well).

7. Make-up. Although I own a little bit of make-up, I only use it a few times a year. Last time I wore mascara, I regretted it — I got a paint-covered eyelash in my eye and it wouldn’t come out for 3 days! And do I look ugly? No. My skin is as nice as ever, mostly due to what I eat.

6. Video Games (like Wii, Nintendo, whatever). I know, by now you think I am a total freak, but hey! I have never owned one of these, and somehow I have lived. I play games on my computer or online sometimes, but I just never got into these plugged-into-my-TV games.

5. Microwave. While we actually do own one, we only use it to warm up our wheat bags when we need a little heat on our feet (or wherever). We don’t use it to irradiate our food. Not that that’s bad exactly… we’re just keeping it real! And you can re-heat and cook everything better using other methods, like the oven, stove and barbeque.

4. Satellite dish. I don’t like TV, so I don’t have any. Don’t have cable either, so if we want to watch something, we use DVDs or stream it over the internet. So it’s not that I’m a techno-phobe, I just have no interest in TV, and especially dislike commercials.

3. iPhone. I don’t have one, and you know what? My life is not terrible! πŸ™‚ I might get one, someday, but for now, my simple cell phone does the trick just fine.

2. Orthotics. I used to have them, then I didn’t. I massaged the arches of my feet with a tennis ball and switched to Vibram 5-Fingers (basically, the opposite of orthotics) and I couldn’t be happier. NO foot pain, more foot stability, and no problems (granted, I don’t wear high heels anymore). πŸ™‚

1. Tooth paste. You can get tooth paste with baking soda, or… you could just use baking soda!! Baking soda really works every bit as well as tooth paste, and you can skip the nasty chemicals in most tooth pastes!

So, this post is not intended to make you feel guilty or make me look weird. It’s just the way I feel about some modern devices, and maybe it will make you think differently about them too! πŸ™‚

P.S. Can you believe this is my 300th post on this blog!?! And I started over 6 years ago? Crazy! If you’re new to my blog, welcome! Feel free to browse the archives or use the tag cloud at right for topics you are interested in! πŸ™‚

Top 10 Handy Practical Tips

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Hi everyone! I’ve been saving these up for a while, but it’s time to share my top 10 Handy Practical Tips Around the House!

10. To minimize clutter in the bathroom, don’t buy any new products like shampoo or soap until you are completely out of the old stuff. If you have a lot of bottles cluttering up your shower, keep one of each product out and put all the rest into a storage box under the sink — or get rid of them completely.

9. To minimize closet clutter, whenever you buy a new piece of clothing, get rid of an old one. Don’t even let yourself buy a new sweater, for example, until you’ve decided which one in the closet you’re going to give away — that lumpy green one, perhaps!

8. Keep a box or large bag somewhere to collect items you no longer use and want to give away. This way, as you come across things in your life that you don’t need, you can easily put them in the box and forget about them! Once a month, take the box to the second-hand store.

7. If you’re cooking for one, why not cook up a storm once a week and make enough for 6 or 7 meals, and freeze the leftovers. If you do this consistently, you’ll always have a variety in the freezer which you can thaw for a quick lunch or supper. Plus, if you buy the grocieries right before you cook, you avoid food going bad before you can cook it.

6. Keep all the ingredients for a favourite dish in your cupboard, so that if you run out of groceries and can’t get to a store one day, you have a fast and yummy dish to make. Whenever you use one of these staples, replace them the next time you shop.

5. Make your own laundry soap. It works every bit as good as store-bought soap and costs way less. I got the recipe here.

4. Buy bulk when it makes sense. You can certainly save some money this way, however, if what you’re buying is going to take up a pile of storage space, don’t do it! It will just add to your clutter!

3. Clip your fingernails in the bathroom sink (with the plug in, but no water). Then, the clippings don’t fly all over the place. When you’re done, “wipe” them out with a little toilet paper (dampened with water).

2. Make up a meal plan. I have found that even just a rough list of what I plan to make takes the stress off trying to figure out what to make at the last minute.

1. Pin your socks together before putting them in the laundry! Never lose a sock again in that mysterious sock-black-hole! Just pin them together with a safety pin before you put them in the laundry and they’ll stay together in the dryer or on the drying line. I even keep them together in my drawer and then just take the pin out when it’s time to wear them. This idea is thanks to my father-in-law!

and a bonus tip!

Make a system or schedule for anything important in life. When you have a system, whatever that may be, that important task is much more likely to be done quickly/efficiently and not forgotten. Figure out a system that will work for you and then implement it!

… and I just wanted to share that I’m pleased to get nearly 5,700 hits on this blog in March and over 6,300 in April! Wow! Thanks for stopping in, everybody! πŸ™‚

Surviving Cabin Fever

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It’s been a while since I did a Top Ten, so here you go! πŸ™‚ Perhaps others don’t have such a hard time with this, but I think it’s relevant for the season!

Teresa’s Top Ten ways to combat cabin fever when it’s been too cold for too long:

10. Get smashed. Go to your liquor cabinet, with a tall glass in hand, and pour one shot of each liquor — whatever you’ve got — into the glass. Add ice, if you like, and a splash of orange juice, coke, or grenadine, depending on your tastes. Drink one of these every hour until you can’t walk, talk or think. JUST KIDDING! Don’t do this! If you do, you’ll have the worst hangover ever! But I guess you wouldn’t be bored any more! πŸ™‚ Seriously, it can be fun to invent a new drink, with just one or two types of liquor and have one or two with a friend.

9. Clean something. Ya, I know, it’s not a very fun one, but it’s a productive way of spending some time at home… tackle that messy hall closet or scary corner of the basement. Keep reading, I have better, funner ideas coming up!

8. Eat something. But not just anything… Scour your cookbooks or go online and make something wild and fantastic you’ve never made before. Like this chocolate cake (it took me three days to make last year!), these brownies (so strange yet soooo yummy!), or a spicy curry dish (one of my favourite meals). Maybe you’ll have to make a trip to the grocery store, but you probably have a lot of crazy ingredients at home that you could use. Check out the “leftover wizard” at bigoven.com. Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients if you don’t have what you need and you don’t feel like leaving the house. Then savour your creation!

7. Make something. If you’ve got a project half-done, finish it! If you don’t, check out the Make webpage and see if you’ve got something around the house that you can transform into, say, a guitar!

6. Grab a book. You probably have a few books (or 20) that you’ve bought or been given, that you just haven’t quite started yet. Grab one, and a nice warm beverage, cozy up in your favourite spot and read the afternoon away.

5. Play a game. If you’re home alone, I guess it’ll be solitaire or something computer-based. But if you have family or friends over, convince them it’s time for Twister, Wii, or get out the cards. Aggravation is one of my favourites, or Blokus. No doubt you’ve got something you can play… strip poker anyone? (Not to be played with granny.)

4. Learn a new hobby. Got something you’ve thought about trying? Why not do it now? You can find videos for almost anything online, so as long as your internet (and your furnace) work, you can do anything! You could learn to knit or crochet, do yoga, do tai’chi, make fishing lures, build something out of wood, learn photography, start a blog or podcast… your imagination is the limit!

3. Play music. Get out that guitar you haven’t played in months (or the one you just made) and learn some new chords. Or, if you find your house strangely lacking in musical instruments, go through your music collection, listen to something you haven’t heard in ages (your fav’s from the 80’s!) and just enjoy the tunes! Dance your heart out. Air-drum along, or use pots. πŸ™‚

2. Get off your duff. Step away from the TV, or computer (not right now, as soon as you finish reading this), and get some exercise. Most of us have some form of exercise equipment around the house, and most of it is rarely used! Blow the dust off, get out the track pants, and burn a few calories. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you’re bored silly — do it for your sanity! (I promise it will help.)

1. Do something fun outside. This is perhaps the hardest cure for cabin fever, but it’s also the most effective. Bundle up, wear double scarves, toques, mitts, whatever it takes, and go outside. If you’ve got equipment like cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, or a ski-doo use it! If not, simply take a walk, go tobogganing (cardboard will work on a packed hill), make snow angels, or stomp out patterns in fresh snow. When you get back, you’ll be glad to be inside, cozy and warm!

The overall strategy for curing cabin fever is distraction. Distract yourself from the fact that it’s freezing and you’re stuck inside… that you’re bored or lonely… that it’s cold and only getting colder… πŸ™‚ I hope this blog will help you distract yourself with something that’s mildly productive or fun (more fun than TV)!Β  πŸ™‚

I think I’ll do my next blog on how to dress for cold weather. It’ll be practical and fun, yet serious life-saving stuff! Check back in a couple of days!

Another Top Ten

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Teresa’s Top Ten Healthy Hints*

*By no means do I live by these hints all the time, but I have found them to be helpful, so I thought I’d pass them on!! I don’t mean to sound preachy!

10. Steam your eyes once a week. I actually do this about every second day, but for the average person, putting a warm, moist, clean face cloth over your eyes for a few minutes and then gently scrubbing along the eyelashes about once a week will help keep the pores along your eyelash line clear. These pores are very, very small. If they get clogged, your eyes don’t get enough moisture. My optometrist in Sudbury (Dr. Azzola) taught me this one, and also mentioned that it is the reason that many people have dry eyes. For me, clogged pores can cause very painful stys – so I steam my eyes regularly!!

9. Everybody knows about exercise, but exercise your eyes too!! Focusing on close things too much puts quite a strain on them. Now and then, every 20 minutes or so if you’re doing a lot of reading, they need to be stretched – that is, to focus on something farther away. Thanks again to Dr. Azzola!

8. Speaking of stretching…. Stretching more gets the blood moving, removed wastes in the muscles and helps you to wake up!! Stretching the back helps the brain because it circulates your spinal cord fluid, which also extends into the bottom of the skull. I think my chiropractor in Sudbury (Dr. Kahkonen) taught me that one!!

7. Loosen the tight muscles. As some of you know, I have rather lovely ‘rocks’ of tension on my neck/shoulders. But there is a little-known muscle that sort of wraps around your pelvis somehow, and if it gets tight, it can cause all sorts of problems, including hip, lower back, abdominal problems, even constipation! My massage therapist friend in Sudbury (Christine Desbiens) told me that one! To help it out, feel for a muscle that runs across the top of the pelvis bone on the front, and apply a little pressure. Or, go see a massage therapist!

6. Don’t touch door knobs. Or hand rails, doors in general, walls, all those surfaces that hundreds of people touch every day. Unless you have to, because it is a pull door. πŸ™‚ Or imagine all the germs on this keyboard that I am using right now in the common room for computers. Uck! And also, not touching your face/eyes/mouth helps any germs you may have picked up (from pulling on the door or typing) to stay out of your system. I’m still working on this one.

5. Eat the whole apple. There is a chemical in the seeds that is very good for you and your immune system. And the core is fibre!!! It won’t kill ya! And then you don’t need to find a garbage can when you’re done. Okay, you might need to throw away the stem. πŸ™‚

4. Cut out refined sugar. Or cut back. It really really inhibits your immune system, not to mention what it can do to your moods, blood sugar, weight, etc. So I try to eat very little. There’s a bit in the yogurt, I assume, and of course I am not talking about fruit sugars… your brain does need sugar to function (case in point, my simulator run on Tuesday!) but I try to keep it in moderation.

3. You are what you eat. If this is true, why don’t we eat veggies when we ‘veg out?’ Overall, I feel better when I eat more veggies, especially the uncooked ones (but that could be just because the cooked veggies at NCTI are very mushy) and in general, when I eat lighter (less fried, less fatty, less food overall)!! And take a multi-vitamin. There is no way that you can get all that great stuff your body needs (vitamins and minerals) in your diet.

2. Think O2. This is what I call my “brain tea.” It is made by the company “Traditional Medicinals” and that’s what it’s called – “Think O2.” The major ingredient is ginko leaf, about 330 mg. Ginko is known to help memory and brain function, and I certainly think it has helped mine! Incidentally, since ChristmasI have stopped consuming caffeine – and I feel pretty good about it!! My ‘sleepy times’ in the day are no worse than before, and my nerves are better and my stomach is a bit more settled (not counting eval times) and I think I possibly even get to sleep better. Hard to say on the last one.

…and the number one thing to be healthy, according to me!!…

1. Be kind to yourself. What you say to yourself in your head is the most important thing for feeling good each day. Well, what God says to you is also important, but He’s usually harder to hear. πŸ™‚ And if you can’t hear Him in the literal sense (not many can!) then you can always read the Bible a bit, which is also his word. Not to make this religious, ’cause it’s not. Even if you don’t believe in God, or are not sure what to believe, you will still feel better if you are kind to yourself and those around you. No doubt about that! πŸ™‚

I am sure that you all have hints and things that you have learned too, to be healthy and feel better – Joyce, you do! Patricia? Mom? Anybody!? How about leaving a comment? I like comments!! You can even be anonymous if you prefer. Or you can e-mail!! A big hello to Aunty Kathy who left a comment the other day!!

As for a quick update… My sim run on Tuesday was horrible – about the worst I have had in months. I think it is partially because it was quite early in the morning and I had only protein for breakfast (and fat – gads!). I was also quite nervous. Today’s run went a lot better. I had sugar for breakfast – just kidding!! But I did make sure to have a bit of sugar… I still know I made quite a few mistakes, but I felt like I was thinking better, and it was even earlier than yesterday! (Many of you know I am not a morning person. This is quite an understatement.) The studying is done for the test tomorrow (hence the blog). I’ll keep you posted about how it goes!! πŸ™‚ Off to bed for me!

Read the Signs!

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Top 10 signs that you might be stressed:
(and I swear they have all happened to me)

10. You accidentally walk around with all the zippers of your backpack open.

9. You find commercials unbearably irritating.

8. You forget how to spell common words.

7. You find listening to music a pleasant escape, and want to do it everywhere you go.

6. When you are alone, you forget for short periods of time that other people exist.

5. Personal hygiene takes a back seat to food.

4. You feel lonely for your slippers.

3. You catch yourself wondering if you can grab a quick nap as you drive from one errand to another.

2. You realize halfway through the day that you put your legs through the wrong holes in your underwear!

… and after that last one…

1. As you leave your house (or room), you find yourself checking if you’re fully dressed.

Have a good day everybody!! πŸ™‚