The Creative Struggle

By Jenna

I live a good life. I have a wonderful husband and two fantastic children. We live in a one bedroom apartment with our dog and cat. My husband has a good job and I am a full time student. That last part is what makes our lives a little more difficult. Being a full time student and a mom has put me in a position where I need to be a stay home mom instead of working mom. Though the trials that led me to this position were less than friendly, I am almost done with school and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The hardest part of being a stay home mom isn’t taking care of the children constantly, it’s the struggle to keep our head above water.

 

In 2014, my daughter was born. I had a good job working in hospice as a team coordinator. Right as I was asking to go back to work from a set maternity leave, not paid for by the company since they only would allow me to work per diem, the company advised me they were looking to downsize. Guess what that meant. The person who worked nearly 40 hours a week on per diem and had just had a baby was now the most expendable person in the company. My boss had refused to give me a termination notice for fear that I would take legal measures. I had begged her at least to write a letter for my apartment so I could get out of my lease. Without a job, we couldn’t afford my previous apartment. My boss refused and instead wrote a letter saying it was my decision to be a stay home mother instead of work. I cried because her lies and fears were controlling her actions to make my life harder than it was already.

 

I did not sue the company for wronging me. I did not have enough funds to hire a lawyer and I knew my heart couldn’t handle a new baby, searching for a job that would pay me enough, and a lawsuit. It simply wasn’t worth the misery I would have experienced. Instead, I went back to school. It was a long term goal of mine to have my BA in History. I chose history because I am passionate about history. I have one more year of school and I want to share how my little family of four survived this far on a single income in Orange County California.

 

When I started school, about 2 years ago, I was working a part time job making calls for a company, but wasn’t even making grocery money. This, plus my husband’s $20 an hour income was just enough to get us through my first year with our first newborn. Part way through the first year, we had to get creative with our finances because there was another baby on the way. We already had school debt from both my previous semester out of state, my husband’s education, and credit card debt from a vacation or two. Coupled with paying for my both of my children’s home water birth, we have been strapped tight with debt.

 

The first thing my husband started doing to help us is begin consolidating our debt. We were able to take out a bit extra in the student loans to cover some of our credit card debt and our children’s births. The student loans were at lower interest rates, and it allows me to postpone paying of that debt until I’m more financially stable. We have decided to stay in a one bedroom since we have that flexibility. We are in a downstairs unit with a backyard so we are as comfortable as we can afford for the short run.

 

As the years ticked by (I say that, but only 3 have passed), I was able to find cheaper groceries at stores like Aldi, how to make meals, where to find cheap and used baby clothes, and my husband was able to secure a bit of a raise. Even through all of this, he still had to get a second job. That is what being an adult is about though, I guess. Doing what you need to do, even though it isn’t fun or easy.

 

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A Elevated Way to Lose Weight

Jenna’s Story

I am on a journey, a weight loss journey. After my first baby, my body started to rebound and I was actually thinner than when I first got pregnant. Then, life threw a curveball and surprised me with my second baby. The old adage that says it is way harder to regain your post baby body after baby #2 than it was after baby #1 is depressingly true, well, at least for me. My littlest is now 1 year old. I haven’t lost all the weight that I want to lose, but this is still a journey. I looked back on my life and realized the time I gained the most weight was when I wasn’t smoking cannabis. I began to wonder why this was the case. I ran into a wealth of information about how your body works with THC and CBD to regulate and heal itself. So, with that in mind, I began using cannabis to heal myself. Part of the healing process is losing the extra weight.

At 39 weeks with my Little #2 I weighed 210! I am currently 174. Pre-pregnancy for Little #2 I weighed 166. I am near my pre-pregnancy goal and I am out to encourage other women that it is possible. I am documenting my journey because every post I had read was when the final documentation of the woman’s journey. To me, life itself isn’t the destination that encourages other people, it’s seeing someone like you in their life journey as well.

 

Leigh’s Story

I too, am on a weight loss journey. My story went a little bit different. I found out that I was pregnant really late (27 weeks) so I didn’t have the time to prepare like I wanted. In total, I gained 50 lbs while pregnant. Of that 50 lbs, I have been able to lose 10. I’ve heard of people using cannabis to support weight loss but I had never considered it myself. I medicate daily but I can’t say that weight change is from ingesting cannabis.

I’m really interested in seeing what this could do for my body, in addition to regular exercise and a change in diet. My goal is to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight (140lbs) but if I can get to 135, I’d be very very happy. It’s not so much a body image issue, I’m just not comfortable with the mom body. On top of the weight gain, my breast got HUGE. I went from a high C/low D cup to w DDD. I hoped that they would go back to normal, and they have not. I want to get a breast reduction but I want to see what improving my fitness can do for my body first.

Jenna’s Regimen

I had to change my diet and exercise first. I started SLOW! I use MyFitnessPal App to get me focused on diet in regards to calorie intake vs necessity for my goals. By documenting what I ate and taking a quick lap around the apartment complex I started feeling better and losing weight. I soon became satiated with the weight I had loss and felt ok eating a burger on cheat days. At that time I had stopped recording my food and I lost focus. Using cannabis has helped renew my focus and energy on to cooking and transforming my body. I cook at home about 80% of the time, but I know where I can go to get healthy options so I don’t run into a fast food location. I bought a gym membership with a Kids Club so I have no excuse not to go. Figure out when you can go to the gym each week, and put it in your calendar! Find people to hold you accountable to getting your butt in the shape you feel happiest.

Leigh’s Regimen

I’m one of those people that has the hardest time starting a “diet”. I have a stomach that will not be tamed! That’s my biggest problem. When the munchies creep around, I reach for the nearest candy, burger, pizza; ANYTHING I can get my hands on…as long as there are NO VEGGIES. Mistake much! Instead of taking the easy way out, I’ve become dedicated to strictly eating food that I make at home. Then I know what I’m consuming and I can more accurately monitor nutrient intake. In the coming weeks I would like to start meal planning.

 

We will be posting more information and pictures for the encouragement of other women, like us, in the process of our journey. 

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Clean Glass is the Best Glass by Leigh

So, I woke up one morning, feeling a little buzzed from my late night smoke sesh. When I went to the bathroom I felt a crazy urge to cough. This was all too familiar. It was when I spit, I got concerned. I kid you not, floating in the toilet was something between mucus and a BP oil spill; it was  weird brown…not red…brown. Seriously.

Before panic set in, I started thinking about all the things that I did before I went to bed; What did I eat for dinner? Was it something I drank? A munchie food? Nothing pointed to the culprit, unfortunately, so, of course, in set panic.. I was now the owner of a brand new throat tumor with all the bells and whistles. How could this happen to me?! I don’t smoke cigarettes! I smoke strictly that dank green which is of the earth, and I try to smoke it in the purest of forms. I went to the doctor, and was prescribed antibiotics, which didn’t do anything to fix my cough and mucus issue. I soon found the culprit as I sat down to smoke one. RESIN!

 

Disclaimer: We do not encourage our followers to self diagnose themselves EVER! We are not medical professionals. If you are experiencing respiratory issues, please consult your medical professional. I had to experiment and fix my actual problem, which was resin build up. This post is a record of my experience.

 

I loyally smoke from glass pipes, both for efficiency and lack of chemicals. For the most part, I treat every glass piece that I buy like it’s my child. Yet, like all smokers…well most of the smokers that I know…we don’t clean our glass unless the resin starts to clog the bowl and it becomes necessary. That’s our backup should we run out of weed. We’ve all done it before…don’t act like you haven’t! In reality, it’s so so bad for you. It’s such a myth that resin has all this THC, blah, blah blah. IT’S TAR with small amounts of THC.

 

I started cleaning my bowl at least once a day. It seems like a lot but if you clean your glass before it turns black, it takes less effort. I found that as soon as I started smoking with a clean bowl, all that nasty tar that was building up in my system quickly disappeared. I now am able to get the full effects of my medicated green without the buildup of tar. I developed 2 main methods to make my bowl sparkly clean and ready for each day!

 

Regular cleaning method: Hot Water

I find it most efficient to just run my bowl under the hot water in the kitchen. This is good for daily, or every other day, cleaning. As long as it isn’t too build up, 90-100% of the resin will wash away. WARNING! Resin sticks like a BITCH to porcelain. DO NOT try to remove it with your finger…it WILL leave a streak from hell! You will need bleach to get it off!

 

Method for built up resin: Isopropyl Alcohol and Hot Water

The secondary method comes from someone who cleans her bowl a little less often than myself, so she has more resin build-up. Pour about 1/4 cup isopropyl alcohol (91% works best) with equal parts hot water and soak your pipe in the water for about a minute. Using Q-Tips or pipe cleaners (from the dollar store craft section) wipe away the resin from the pipe. This method is better for resin that has been built up. For a pipe that has never been cleaned, you can add about 1 Tbs of salt to agitate the resin free. It is best to used a cup to contain the alcohol, water, and pipe. This does make the cup smell like a mixture of resin and alcohol. Pick a cup that will be solely dedicated to cleaning and label it. I have mine stashed away with my stash!

 

Now, viola! You have a clean pipe, tastier weed, and a healthier smoking experience. Do you have any tried and true methods for getting your pipe clean? Let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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