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Isn’t it Funny when…

…you’re a kid and see Freddy Mercury singing “We are the Champions” in his black and white outfit, dancing in the white smoke and think, “That’s so Cool!”

And then at like- 45- you see it again, and you’re like:

“His 1/2 black and 1/2 white suit is probably indicative of his devotion to the Illuminati and duality, in general, and MAN that’s a lot of cocaine!”

I still love you, Freddy. :)

I’ve Planned Out the Next Six Years of my Life

It’s a great time in my life.

Josh and I are still best buds; Mandy Tator Tots is making home made biscuits and gravy tonight and Josh will be joining us. (Mandy Tator Tots is my son’s girlfriend and I absolutely love her to death. She’s pure gold, that one.)

My summer classes begin in 10 days, and so I’ve plotted my course in life for the next 6 years or so. When I wrap up my Bachelor’s in Psychology, it’ll be the spring/summer of 2016. From there, I’ll move on to my Master’s in Forensic Psychology (at a school with the # 2 Forensic Psychology program in the nation). The Master’s will be 35 credit hours and will take two years. I’ll then transfer my entire Master’s degree over to Spalding University (they accept up to 30 credit hours of a Master’s) so I will have only lost out on a total of 5 credit hours. Not a bad deal. Plus, getting my Master’s first and then transferring it will save me 50% of my costs, rather than going straight into my doctorate. After transferring my Master’s to Spalding, I’ll begin my doctorate (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology/Corrections. Voila! 6 years.

Don’t know about anybody else, but I’m locking this thing down with eagle focus and an insane drive. (I have to get my GPA up from 3.5 to at least a 3.8 though, or higher.)

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will stop me.

So, that about wraps up my semi-periodic update here! Time to get into school mode again. My vacation is officially over. :)

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Topics in Criminal Justice: Serial Killers

I just found out that I’ve been given a partial Perkins loan ($750) to pay for more than half of my 2 summer courses. Woot! I’m so super stoked. I like psychology- but I’m madly passionate about criminology– it really is my thing.

This is what my textbook looks like for my (serial killers) course:sk classIn Forensic Anthropology, we’ll be studying human remains in disaster settings, as well as reconstructing crime scenes. It’s going to be an interesting semester. :)

Down to the Wire

I can hardly believe a whole month has passed by since I’ve posted anything here. I can’t say I’ve been busy, really; just enjoying my summer vacation, mostly. I’ve had a little too much time on my hands lately and have been feeling restless. Part of that restlessness is knowing that I have just over $6,000 remaining in financial aid for 2015-2016- and 13 classes to go. If I’m really careful, it can be done. (By the skin of my teeth- maybe.) But I was just thrown a serious curve ball by my school. I was assigned a new adviser- a real sweetheart- who caught an egregious oversight in my records. When I transferred my Associates Degree in Behavioral Sciences (and CPC in Substance Abuse) from Vincennes University, I was allowed 92 of those credit hours in to IU East. That was pretty generous, I thought. However, my new adviser pointed out that they’d made a terrible mistake and only 64 credit hours were allowed. And I was told this a whole year later!

That alone should have given me clemency, I thought. That’s not a light mistake, because that effected my financial aid and how many classes I chose to take per semester, etc. My adviser took the matter to the graduation committee and pleaded on my behalf, but they told her that they never make exceptions. Nice. Now I’m having to rethink my entire next 3 semesters and facing the possibility of having to graduate in the summer to fall of 2016 rather than in the spring of 2016. Frustrating! Not only that, I may not have the financial aid I need for all of my remaining classes- it’s just so tight. I’m having to work all of this out with my Isuzu Rodeo starter dying half the time and my water heater bursting open and gushing through my son’s walls. It’s…challenging, to say the least. But, as always, quitting is not an option. That’s just not in my vocabulary- not when it comes to college, anyway.

So now, despite the fact that I’ve got 111 credit hours under my belt, I now have 36-39 more to go. My heart actually sank for a moment when I got the news, but I’ve been in survival mode for so long; I can’t afford to focus on any negativity. I applied for a Federal Perkins Loan so that I can take two summer II courses to get an early start on my last batch of classes. If not, I’m going to have to bulk up my fall and spring semesters to 5 courses each term. Fingers crossed that I get that loan!

If I’m able to take the two summer classes (starting in July), they will be:

Forensic Anthropology
Topics in Criminal Justice: Serial Killers

-both upper level courses. Yes, they actually have a serial killers course! I’m so there. Forensic Anthropology is the study and analyzation of human remains at crime scenes. These classes are right up my alley! I’m so ready to get back to work.

Seed pods- taken early this morning with the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 vintage film lens
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Man Trouble

How a single girl like me (who doesn’t even have a Facebook- or a boyfriend) has man trouble is beyond me- but honey, I got ’em!

And I ain’t complaining. :)

Too much time alone isn’t good for the soul.

And on that note, today’s catch:
Is it just me, or is there an Indian’s face in those trees?

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For a Special Friend ♥ ╬ ♥

You know who you are! :)

I hope you like your little butterfly. (Or, mad rabbit, according to Mandy Tator Tots.) Made today from things collected on the back deck.  I know it’s nothing compared to the masterpieces you create without even trying- forever making art with your fingers absentmindedly- but all things considered, I hope you like it just the same. xo
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Dean’s List!

I’m in a ridiculously good mood: I just found out that I made the Dean’s List again this semester. SO stoked. In the past, I wanted to make the Dean’s List solely for bragging rights (I can admit to that), but now, I have to make the Dean’s List or there’s no going forward. When I begin working on my Master’s degree- just around the corner- there’ll be no such thing as “making a C”. If you receive a C in psychology at the Master’s level, you’re automatically expelled from the program. Yep; anything less than a B- and you’re considered a failure. So, I set the bar really high for myself every semester because I have to. But my semester’s finally over, and I have until July 7th to relax and enjoy my summer (and work on my photography & art). It’s OVER! :)

Digitally rendered watercolour on washi paper/ Bernheim Forest- Clermont, Kentucky
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The Crucified Way

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Never in a million years did I think I’d live to see the day when my Church would be divided. It happens to many churches. There are differences in opinions, feelings, ideologies, and ultimately, beliefs. So, church members branch off so that all people might feel included and have a place to go or belong. It doesn’t make the people who left “wrong” and it doesn’t make the people who stay in the original church “right”. Each person must decide for him or herself what is best in their lives.

I was born into a family of Pentecostals. My Church is Christ Gospel (Headquarters) and my Pastor is Rev. B. R. Hicks. She’s getting up there in years (in her 90’s) but she’s got plenty of fire left! :) I consider her my spiritual mother and owe her a great deal; I always will. I was raised in duality, however: when I lived with my Mom, I went to prayer meetings twice per week and church four times per week. We didn’t have a t.v.- didn’t wear make-up, pants, etc. (skirts/dresses only), and lived a pretty clean life, to say the least. (I remember once, becoming heavily convicted at 14 because I was reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Yep!)  When I lived with my Dad, however, it was AC/DC, loads of whiskey, beer, and pot, and I had free reign of my life. I was perpetually bouncing back and forth between my parents throughout my adolescence and I was the only one of my siblings who did. Both sides- the spiritual world and the carnal world- were well developed within me. I’ll always be grateful for that. Had I been raised “only in church”, I would have felt inadequate, or as if I were a perpetual sinner and could never measure up to my cohorts and peers. Had I been raised “without God/church” (only) I’m sure I’d be dead by now, as I’m rebellious by nature and like to live life on the edge. Having both sides has allowed me to “sin with the sinners and sup with the saints”, as it were. What it’s also allowed me to do is get to know people from all walks of life- judging no one.
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There’s a saying in my church that we call “the Crucified Way”. It’s choosing to focus on Jesus’ crucifixion and believing that all things go back to that: the Cross. As Christians, we pray and ask God to “crucify our flesh” so that our own carnal pride will become crucified- transformed- and cleansed so that rather than making something “about ourselves”, we make it about Jesus and His will. It’s no secret that we’re living in a self-fulfilling, hedonistic world where it’s all about “gaining followers”. I think though, we can become lost, chasing after a hollow goal if we’re not purpose-driven and sanctified- seeing the world through anointed “holy” eyes. Without that, it’s too easy to get caught up in “self” and “status” and “followers” and “likes” and on and on and on. But we all do it, no matter how clean we think we are- we all do it.
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But back to the matter at hand! Recently, my Church has become divided. Bro. Bill Hudson (whom I really like a lot) started a separate church and many people have left our home Church to join his. They call it “Return Ministries”. Keep in mind, I, myself haven’t been to an actual Church (building) in quite some time- but that has no bearing on my feelings and beliefs. I love my church- Christ Gospel- and always will. Whether I’m actually “attending the building” doesn’t add to or take away from my walk with Jesus- one bit.

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I love my Pastor very much because she’s taught me what it means to forgive and to love, truly. I’ll never forget what she said one day, “You can’t love people from a distance.” In other words, you have to “get your hands dirty”. DO something to show people you love them. Help them clean their house, give them food or a ride to the store- HELP them! Don’t merely say a hypocritical prayer that “God will help them or bless them” and leave them out in the cold…
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It’s because of my Pastor that I was able to forgive my offenders – 100%- and find healing in my life. She’s lived by example and has poured out her heart, soul, time and her very life to help other people (like myself), and I’ll always be indebted to her for that.

There are a lot of lies on the internet about her, and there are people who have set out to destroy her her whole life. But just as the Bible says, “The servant is not above his Master,” and just as they tried to twist Jesus’ words, they twist hers too and try to make her out to be all sorts of things she is not.

I’m only one person with once voice. But consider this (part of) my testimony and that I have learned from Rev. Hicks how to love, forgive, overcome, how to give to others selflessly, how to actually give thanks to God for hard times, and how to take my eyes off of myself and put them on Jesus. She’s an awesome person, in general, but she’s an incredibly awesome woman. 

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What I love most about her, though, is her refusal to “go with the flow”. She stands on what is in the Bible- 100%. In 2015- that offends a lot of people. People want conformity and change. Under pressure, Moses struck the rock (in the wilderness) so that the people would have water, but he struck it out of fear and to silence them. He didn’t strike the rock because God wanted him to. He did it because the people moved him to do it- but it wasn’t God’s will. He “went with the flow” so there wouldn’t be an uprising.

Rev. Hicks doesn’t “go with the flow to silence the masses”, and again, that’s one of the things that I love her for the most. People blame her for their own unhappiness, but if we don’t give others credit for our success, why should we blame them for our misery?

The single greatest thing I’ve ever learned from Rev. Hicks is this: “Nobody can push your buttons unless you allow them to.”

That statement literally changed my life. We each have the power and ability to choose LOVE. To choose peace. And to choose forgiveness. I’ll forever hold these precious lessons close to my heart, and I’ll forever be grateful for what Rev. Hicks has taught me. ♥

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Best Smoothie EVER

drinkNever mind the crap shot; this is the best drink I’ve ever had. I have to thank Cari for introducing me to what she and her family calls “poo juice” (because, well…”it makes you poo”) and I knew when I saw the neon green “stuff” in her blender, I’d have to try it. Cari uses kale, zuccinis, pineapples, ginger and a generous amount of water. Sounded deelish enough, but I wanted to cram as many veggies and fruits (replacing the water with 100% fruit juice) as possible and so I modified her version, creating what is definitely the healthiest and most delicious drink I’ve ever had. Some interesting things happened after drinking it! I peed about a gallon immediately afterwards, and within the hour, I was knocked out cold- sleeping the sleep of a newborn baby. For the record, I take Ambien because I’m a diehard insomniac and nothing knocks me out. (Except Ambien.) I can’t help but think that one or more of these ingredients acted as a natural diuretic but also probably kicked up the serotonin and maybe even melatonin levels. I still can’t figure out why I slept so well! I’ve been watching a lot of food documentaries on Netflix and have discovered that drinking fruit juice (without the pulp or fiber) is right up there with drinking a soda, because there’s no bulk to inhibit the juice from passing right on through the system, causing an immediate spike in sugars, culminating in fat production. But- when you include the skins/fiber- it gives the body enough time to break down the ingredients, shipping them to proteins and other “shipping and packing” areas of the body- bypassing the “sugar/fat” route. It’s so important to include fiber when taking in juice and it makes all the difference in the world.

Anyway, for those of you who want to try it, here’s the recipe and it’s absolutely delicious:

3 celery stalks
2 zuccinis (skins included)
1 cup of fresh baby spinach
2 cups of fresh kale
1 whole bunch of cilantro (acts as natural preservative, antimicrobial, and metals/lead detox)
20 red, seedless grapes
2 kiwis
1 banana
juice of 1 fresh lemon
3/4 of a fresh pineapple
2- 3 cups of (100%) apple juice (or, until everything is covered)

Blend like mad.

The results are super fresh, “zingy”, and out-of-this world delicious. Thanks again, Cari, for your inpsiration. :)

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