Pill Sandwich

Greg and I decided to do a 7-day Body Cleanse using a package of pills and powder from GNC.  It appealed to me because all the pills appear to be made from natural ingredients, it only takes a week, and it’s not one of those starvation cleanses (which I’d never be able to do because I love food too much).  All you have to do is mix a tasty fiber powder with your morning juice and take some pills with your breakfast and dinner.  Easy peasy.
When we were halfway through our dinner, I decided it was time to take my pills, and I wanted to offer them to Greg as well.  I asked him, “Do you want to sandwich your pills between your food and take them now?”
To which he blinked up at me and replied, “Is thathow you think this works?  That your pills will sit sandwiched in your stomach between your layers of food?”
“Yes,” I answered as I swallowed my pills and took a big bite of my baguette.  “I imagine this bread will make a flowery, doughy blanket to cover my pills.”
He then went on to describe to me how the stomach works, but I still like to believe that if I take my pills in the middle of a meal, that they will be churning away and dissolving inside a cloud of food, cushioned safely away from my delicate stomach lining.  Is anyone else with me?

This is all there is to it! (minus the Hydroxycut which I’m just trying out for a few weeks)    

Getting Lost in Wyoming

A few weeks after graduating college, in the summer of 2003, I was chosen to travel around the Midwest with two complete strangers to teach peace, justice, and environmental issues to youth campers.  We were called the Youth Peace Travel Team, and those two strangers became two of my dearest friends.  Mandy, Laura, and I shared and created so many fond memories together, that I could probably write a book on that summer.  I’ve been wanting to blog about my adventures as a Peace Team member for a while now, but I’ve always struggled with how to do it.  Each week was a new adventure in itself, and some of the funniest moments were just that: moments.  Not enough to be stretched out into a blog entry.
The experience is too great not to write about, so I’m going to start with a few days we spent in Wyoming.  I know, I know.  I said we traveled the Midwest, and that’s mostly true, but there was a 2-week stretch where we set out from Elgin, Illinois to spend a week in Boise, Idaho, and then drove back to Milford, Indiana.  So anyway, back to Wyoming.
Driving from Illinois to Idaho, we made a few stops with families who volunteered to host us with dinners and a place to sleep.  This was before the days of GPS or smart phones, so our only guidance between addresses was a print out of MapQuest directions and an atlas of the states.  We were unable to find our Wyoming destination due to major road construction and detours, and we weren’t able to get in touch with the host family for help.  We decided to follow the highway towards Boise and just find a motel, but the road was lacking in human settlement and dusk was quickly approaching.  We finally came across what looked to be an abandoned inn, so we decided to check it out in the hopes that someone was there. 
We were in luck.  Down the hill behind the closed up inn was the home of Dirk and Tammy, along with their kid Stephen and their two dogs.  Dirk explained to us that he owned the building and was fixing it up to use as a business someday.  He invited us to use his vast amount of land behind the inn to rest for the night, and seeing as he had a whole family, it felt safe, and we decided to stay.  A stream ran through the back of his property, and near the stream, was a campfire pit, a picnic table, and our very own port-a-potty.  We thanked him, and drove our little Toyota Echo down to the area where we would sleep under the stars.
Stephen stayed down by our campsite with his dogs milking as much attention as we would give him while his dad helped arrange our area.  I imagine the boy yearned for companionship since he was living on a piece of land in the middle of nowhere.  The poor kid looked like a mangy mountain boy, but he was sweet, if not weird, and we accepted his company. 
Before it got dark, Dirk wanted to get us a fire going to keep us warm through the night.  Instead of kindling, he doused the wood with practically a whole bottle of lighter fluid.  As we spent the next 20 minutes watching the ten foot tall fireball burn down, all us girls could think about was how the environmentally aware Peace Team just contributed a massive amount of pollution to our air.
Regardless of how the fire got started, it did keep us warm as we stayed up talking through the night.  Or maybe our warmth was mostly contributed to the alcoholic lemonade we consumed.  All I know is that we fell fast asleep warm and cozy in our sleeping bags surrounding the fire, and woke up at the butt crack of dawn freezing our asses off!  When my attempts of holding in warmth by remaining in the fetal position began to fail me, and I couldn’t force myself to sleep through the cold any longer, I peeked my head outside of my sleeping bag to discover a fine layer of frost covering our sleeping bags and pillows. 
With numb fingers, we scribbled a thank you note, haphazardly threw our damp, frozen belongings into the car and drove off with the heater on full force.  Miles down the road, and still shivering, we saw this posh looking hotel ahead of us.  We decided we would pull in and beg them to let us have a cup of coffee to warm up.  The receptionist heard our story, and let us in to the dining area free of charge and without hesitation. 
We filled our cups with steaming hot coffee, thanked the receptionist, and continued on our drive.  As we rounded the mountain away from the hotel, we could see the Grand Tetons ahead of us, with the first rays of sun shining just right upon them.  It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen, and one I will never forget.  If not for getting lost and sleeping on some random piece of land in the mountains of Wyoming, we never would have been able to experience that exact moment. 
Gotta love how life works out sometimes. 
From the back of Dirk’s property looking up at his inn that sits off the highway.

Mandy and me playing with Stephen and the dogs.

Laura-warm and naive to the cold that will attack her later.

This picture (taken by a disposable camera) will never do the sight justice, but it gives you an idea of what we saw      

Drink Water At Your Own Risk

“For someone with no sense of taste, you have a lot of opinions on water.”

Kevin told me that a while back, and he’s absolutely right.  As you all know, I would rather remain parched than fill up a cup with water.  But on those rare occasions that I do partake in the liquid that gives me life, I tend to be picky.  I pretty much hate the taste of bottled water, but if I have to grab a bottle to go, I usually choose Arrowhead.  Most people that drink bottled water regularly tend to despise Arrowhead, and I think it’s because it tastes like tap water—which I personally like.  Tap water is free, as tasty as water can be to me, and is better for the environment than plastic bottles.  But don’t think I just turn on the tap and start drinking.  No.  My other demand for drinking water is that it be ice cold.  I’m talking about a minimum of four ice cubes per 8 ounces of water.  If it’s warmer than that, it burns my throat.

That said, a few months ago, as I was getting out of bed, I pinched a nerve in my back.  (I guess this is the sort of stuff that happens when you’re in your 30’s.)  In any case, it hurt tremendously, and I could barely move.  Internet research said to drink tons of water throughout the day.  Fortunately, Greg was home with me, and he gladly filled my reusable purple bottle with large amounts of ice and water.
In less than an hour’s time, I had finished 66 ounces of ice-cold water. (FYI: 64 oz is the daily recommendation, so I was feeling very proud of myself.)  While finishing my last gulps, I noticed that I was getting cold, but didn’t think much of it.  When I got up to smugly show Greg my empty bottle, I began to realize that I was extremelycold.  I decided I would quickly use the restroom to pee out the toxins this water was supposedly washing out of me, and then sit myself back down on the couch under a warm blanket.  While washing my hands, I noticed that my fingernails were so purple that it almost looked like I was wearing nail polish.  Looking up at myself in the mirror, it was clear that my lips matched my nails.  That’s when my teeth began chattering uncontrollably…something I thought was only done in cartoons and the movies.
I suddenly realized that I had given myself hypothermia by drinking water!!
But don’t worry; I survived.  Greg quickly got me wrapped up in thicker blankets and immediately made me a giant cup of hot tea, which totally defrosted me by the time I finished drinking it.  For the rest of that day, I swore off stupid water and stuck with tea–which I found to be an absolutely wonderful alternative.    
While I feel I usually have to defend my motives for not drinking water, hypothermia is no joke.  I’d say I have a valid reason now.  I mean, why would I want to risk my life over something as horrible as water?  It’s not worth it when there’s perfectly good orange juice in the fridge.