The Looking Glass
It’s 2:50 a.m.
Chance is going nuts, ripping and running around the living room. I just gave him a bath.
Brian Bob is chilling in his room- Brianna- the same. I should be sleeping, or doing homework, but I’ve just downloaded Tex Murphey: Overseer. Gaming is one of my coping mechanisms, much like millions of other people. Until my heart heals, I’ll trudge along the motions of my life- school, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, etc. and slip away into my game as often as possible. I just can’t process any more raw emotion at this time. Tex Murphy is a welcome escape.
I’m torn between another pistachio and almond ice cream cone and Guinness Extra Stout. I have a 6 pack in the fridge and it whispers to me. I keep forgetting to drink one. I decide on lemon and ginger tea with honey instead. I’ve had a migraine for two days now. (Imagine that.) I can’t do this again tomorrow. After two days, my mind starts fracturing into tiny bits of livewire pain- sizzling every nerve until it’s raw and jittery. It does little good to complain other than to serve as a reminder that I’m still suffering. It too is a welcome escape from the pain in my heart.
There’s nothing one can do but ride the wave of heartache after a breakup. One of my x’s is all over me like white on rice- I’m disgusted. He thinks it might be a good time to squeeze back in. I think it’s highly disrespectful and pretty insulting to me. I know people do that- the rebound thing- but if you’re crawling away from the battlefield of one relationship, why would you hop into the trenches of another? That doesn’t make any sense to me, and it’s the furthest thing from my mind. (And heart.) I think I’ll be alone for a very long time. I’m a one man woman, and I think it’s necessary to experience the pain after a breakup. It tells me that the love I knew was real and that’s why it hurts so much. My friends don’t know what to say to comfort me, and that’s ok. There’s only so much another human being can offer in the way of companionship and support. If it weren’t for my love, relationship, and friendship with Jesus- I would absolutely crumble and die. I have no doubt. I’m not enough to keep myself going- I think of Sylvia Plath- and can understand how a broken heart could make her stick her head in an oven and forget to live. She couldn’t bear to lose her man to another woman. But Sylvia Plath said when she was just a child, “I’ll never talk to God again.” And I suppose she didn’t. So, she killed herself. I think she should have talked to God.
That’s where she and I differ. I love life, and as painful as it is to feel your heart being ripped from your chest, I do have a very close relationship with Jesus. We talk, commune, and just have a good time together. When I think about His love, and how He’s able to reach into every tiny place in my heart- I can’t be angry or sad for long. I smile, and know I’m loved. He washes away every awful feeling, and the bitter tears become bittersweet. They eventually become joyful, and I become like a child again, marveling at the beauty of God’s creation: I rise above the pain.
I’ve gone and talked myself right out of my misery again, and feel a half-smile creeping across my face.
Oh heart, you’re going to make it…
50 MM/manual/ISO 3200/natural lighting/Squire Boone Caverns/3.28.13
50 MM/manual/shot in monochrome/natural lighting
A man told me today that my goat belongs in a magazine.
I’ll take that as a compliment. :0)
Trying to focus manually while your target is moving constantly isn’t an easy task. But I love the way manual shooting paints dreamy bohek (heavy blurring) into the frame, such as the fence seen in the foreground. All-manual focussing and exposure (shutter speed/aperture/ISO/WB, etc.) has a certain quality and look to it that’s not easily replicated. I mean, it can be, but then it has the shopped look to it. (Photoshopped.) I’m hopelessly in love still with monochromatic images and especially with shooting IN monochrome.
Colour’s alright too. But nothing makes me as happy as shooting in black and white- all manual- using only natural lighting. My itch has been scratched.
Back to schoolwork…
Squire Boone Caverns
My neice, camouflaged against the background/study in mood.
Squire Boone Caverns
50 MM/manual/shot in monochrome
Chance sits by the window every day, waiting and watching. He doesn’t know that Daddy isn’t coming back. It’s heartbreaking to see. I have to push myself to be bouncy and happy around him because animals are even more sensitive than people sometimes. I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest, and I also remind myself to be aware of diaphragmatic breathing so my heart doesn’t collapse. But isn’t this how breakups go?
I would have given “Doggy Daddy” total visitation rights! Even overnight. But Doggy Daddy hasn’t asked about his baby.
Apart from the $2,500 that Doggy Daddy owes me, I suppose the thing that pisses me off the most is the damage that man has done to my skin. There’s nothing worse for the complexion than a bad man.
SP/manual/50 MM/natural lighting/taken today
I study my face: I see the wound in my eyes. It won’t last forever.
On the brighter side of things, I’ve been contacted by a reporter (editor) of the newspaper (yes, actual paper paper- those things are still around!) to be interviewed next week. He wants to set me up with one of his reporters to run a featured story on me. I took two days to think it over, and then agreed. Really, what makes me the happiest is knowing that I’m to be featured not because I’m an “artist” or “photographer”- but because they find it interesting that I have been homeless so many times and yet I devote my life and time to others, especially in the area of charity. And I don’t mean “writing a check, dahhhling”. I mean going out and finding homeless people, buying them groceries, and giving what little money I have away. I wish I could do more, but my monetary resources are shy. That doesn’t limit me in the slightest though. Just sets me back.
School is absolutely draining me, and I keep telling myself to just make it through this semester (in-between tragedies) and I’ll be able to take the summer off. Push push push! I can hardly believe I got a perfect score on my Health Psychology assignment several days ago: 50 out of possible 50 points. And that particular professor is not easy to please! She is a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact instructor, but honestly, that’s my favourite kind. I learn from them the most. Regardless, the assignment took days to finish (many hours) and was 12 pages long, perhaps? That was after filling out a 45-50 page questionnaire and summarizing the results.
I’m off to drag myself to the couch. All I want in this world right now is cheesecake, an episode of the Golden Girls (go Dorothy!) , and my dog.
Slave to the Master
“I am not origami,” he said.
But when the shadow danced before him, he folded himself noisily and quickly went to work.
self port. Winter of ’09
Barefooted/evening gown/Gestapo jacket
Abandoned industrial park
(After a bitter breakup)
“Don’t ever be afraid to look inside of yourself and see who you are.”
“You have to walk through your past; through the wreckage, and survey the damage.”
-Candy Finnigan, Interventionist (quoted from the tv show: “Intervention”)
“Don’t ever be too proud to cry and say you’re sorry.”
-Mormon preacher who married me years ago.
(God forbid I should marry a Mormon and share myself with 10 other women, um…NO. I mean, the Mormon preacher who married myself and my x husband. I’m no Mormon, but I’m not prejudiced either. I was down with it.)
“You have to hug the monster. Embrace the pain that rips you up. Hug it. Befriend it. Thank it. It’s only a “bad situation” if you believe it is. Turn it around.”
“You have to take the bad and make it good. Shape it, remold it, take the old and make it new.”
-my Pastor (and dear friend, told to me once in a dream)
“Tears keep the heart soft.”
Bad Photography 101
There are literally hundreds of tutorials out there that instruct future photogs on “good photography”; how to improve your photographic techniques, how to take slamming pics, process them successfully, etc. but there are few, if any, “bad photography” lessons out there for the masses who actually like the trout pout and the Myspace arm. (Go on, Google it. I’ll wait!) If you are inclined to take pics of yourself late into the night, twisting your mouth to and fro into hundreds of positions (but still, strikingly the same) as if you are truly surprised –we believe you (it’s cute!) – then this post is for you, and I am here to help.
Notice the processing. My skin is like- all yellow and cool looking. It’s called “cross processing”, and really, it’s a fad that’s here to stay. Very popular with Instagram and other quickie programs. (And who doesn’t love Instagram?) If you haven’t done cross processing, well, you haven’t really lived yet.
Also, notice my skin. It’s like melted cheese. This is what you want! There’s a nifty little tool called the “skin smoothener”. If you use it just a little bit, it makes it look “real” (we don’t want that) so hit it up a few more times. Like, 4 more. Ok. You’ll know when you have it right because it starts looking glisteny- like Vaseline. (That’s what you’re after.) If it looks like a slice of cheese- not good! If it looks like a slice of cheese that’s been in the sun after three hours? Bingo. You are doing it!
K. Let’s move on.
See the expression in my eyes? Believe it or not, that took like…forty shots to get it right. The look you’ll want to try and capture should be something like this:
(That’s Naidu. My deer friend who lives in the park.)
Just the face. (And especially the eyes.) Try to look surprised, but kind of like, “Oh. I didn’t know that camera was at the end of my hand. Are you serious?!!”
Let’s keep moving.
Notice the mouth. This suggests that you are in fact, surprised that you’re on camera, but yet mega- in charge of everything in your life. Like you’re saying, “I got this- oh I got this.” It’s alright if you give a little head pop when you click the shutter (or snap the button). It actually helps to emphasize the trout pout, which is extremely important. You do not want to be out-trouted by your Facebook friends…no no no. No no.
Lastly, we have what I have coined the “Myspace Arm”, years ago. The Myspace Arm was a pioneer in its own right. Anybody and everybody who had Myspace (back in the day) absolutely lived by it. Although Facebook has quietly taken the crown of Myspace, the Myspace arm is practically mandatory for all social networking platforms. (Let’s give credit where credit is due, huh?) Well done, Myspace!
There are hundreds of bad photography tips I could impart unto you, but this pretty much sums up the most important ones that you’ll need to learn, if you want to be “up to snuff” in the “bad photo-selfie genre”. (And let’s face it, we all have bad selfies. We just don’t all post them.)
If you’re going to do it, do it up right.
She said, “Yes.”
Based on a true story.
Van Gogh inspired.
Sheltered by These Stones
From the dark and stormy seas
That try to keep
From fighting the good fight
The good fight
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 timothy 6:12
Taking Back One’s Life
No doubt this post will be peppered with semi-cliche and trite diatribe (but maybe not).
I’ll spare the other party further humiliation (and anger) who I’m no longer with. Seven years is a long time to love somebody with your whole heart, especially if it’s a one-way street. Alas, at some point or another, I have to wake myself up and say, “Save yourself.”
So today is the second day of a new life for me.
I could look at this picture as if it were broken and shattered. But I choose to look at it like life is suddenly brand new, and full of possibilities!
Broken? A bit.
But always forgiving and open to change.
I will always believe life is what you make it; not “what is thrown at you”.
In a weird way, I’m ecstatic. I’m sure there will be more tears. I’m not invincible.
But, I’m content, and still in love with life.
Fettered and Tied
Angel Above You
It’s time for some church up in here! [Spoken in my native southern Texas accent.]
Josh and I took Brianna and Brian down to the river last night. There are three distinct areas we like to hang out at. 1) The creek bed, which runs along the flood wall. 2) The fossil beds- a perfect place to study brachiopods, trilobites, and other fossils which are embedded in the rock layers. 3) The “beach”. This is a part of the river that mimics an actual beach; complete with rolling tides, tons of driftwood, and plenty of sand. We love it there, and that’s the region we chose to frequent last night.
I’ll add another post later this with more family/river pics (including Brianna’s “sand bath”- hair included) but for now, I want to add a few inspirational pics.
I found this particular pic to be very interesting and curious. I shoot in manual- always- so when it’s getting dark, you really have to know your stuff (ISO/shutter speed/aperture/exposure compensation/white balance, etc.) because when shooting in manual, your lighting is always changing from second to second, continuously, even in broad daylight. Shooting at and after dusk is especially tricky because the focus takes longer to “catch”. This is what happened last night when I captured Josh blowing on the fire. Just as I clicked on the shutter, a stray ember popped up from the fire, shooting up and behind his shoulder (you can still see its trail) and formed a perfect cross above him. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the pic in the LCD immediately afterwards. (This pic hasn’t been “shopped”, or Photoshopped.)
I’m sure the specifics of the fire could be explained away scientifically, but I prefer to know and believe that God works in strange and beautiful ways. Even with fire. He lets us know His eyes are always on His Children, and those who love and believe in Him.
From a photographical standpoint, I shot this with a slowed shutter. (1/8 of a sec.) To non-photographers, that means that “time” was slowed down, and the camera picks up what the human eye cannot. In the blink of an eye, this cross was there and gone, but the camera’s “pause” allowed it to be captured. (It’s a good self reminder to pause more in life; we’ll see more crosses.)
S A L T O F T H E E A R T H
My daughter, Brianna/50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
-Matthew 5: 13-16
Gay Track Pants
I have no idea how somebody found my blog by searching for “gay track pants”.
But, on that note, I did a query for you and stumbled upon this helpful site, simply titled:
Would it look gay if I wore Adidas track pants with Puma sneakers? <<<< click on that
There are several useful comments that might help you to find the proper pair of gay track pants, not that track pants are at all gay to begin with. But, at least now when somebody searches for “gay track pants”, he or she will be quickly directed to my blog and not have to sift through pages of unspeakable filth beforehand.
Glad I could help. 🙂
p.s. I’ve added gay track pants to the tags so you can bring it up at lightning speed in the future. (You’re welcome.)
Sour Cream Doughnut Holes with Sunshine Glaze
I really have no idea what to call these things. They’re doughnut holes made with cake flour and sour cream, pan-fried in olive oil, covered in my homemade “sunshine glaze”.
You won’t find any grass growing under my feet. When I awoke this morning- migraine free- I realized that I was going to be spending some quality time in the kitchen. (In between homework, shopping, and a million other things.) I spend much of my time in the kitchen, as I love to cook, but Josh and I just whipped up a new must-have glaze to use on cakes, cookies, or whatever else you like. I call it “sunshine glaze”. I saw somebody on the Food Network Channel making glaze by using powdered sugar and milk only. That seemed a little boring to me, so I dressed it up a bit. Regarding the doughnut holes, Josh and I tweaked the recipe. It’s a basic recipe for doughnuts, but we substituted flour with cake flour- it’s 27 times finer than actual flour, and it’s so much more delicious than basic flour. If you’re going to substitute flour with cake flour- and I highly recommend it- be sure to add an extra 1/2 cup or so extra to any recipe that calls for flour. Also, we’re positive olive oil isn’t part of the original recipe. Once again, we’ve tweaked it and made it our own. You would think pan-fried doughnut holes using olive oil would be heavy, but they’re not at all. Also, olive oil is super healthy.
Here’s the recipe for my (citrus) sunshine glaze, if anyone ever wants to use it:
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of milk (or enough so that it’s nice and thick)
the zest of a tangerine (a liberal amount- it makes it pretty)
a healthy squeeze of tangerine juice
a healthy squeeze of lemon juice
a fat pat of melted real butter
(Mix ingredients together and place it in a shallow bowl)
Here’s the recipe for the doughnut holes:
Sour Cream Doughnut Holes
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 tsp. salt
olive oil (2 inches in the pan)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 pkg. of fast rising dry yeast
7 1/2 cups of cake flour
1 1/3 cups of milk
3 tsps. of vanilla
dash of cinnamon
Cream the butter and sugar together. Mix the cake flour and yeast together. Mix the liquid ingredients together-except for the olive oil (that’s for frying). Incorporate the liquid ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Finally, slowly stir in the dry ingredients (cake flour & yeast) into the already mixed ingredients. Blend everything together. Cover it and allow it to rise for 30 minutes or so. Even if it doesn’t rise, you can still go forth with the doughnut holes. (Even after immediately mixing the ingredients if you like.)
Pour two inches or so of extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a cast iron skillet (or whatever skillet you prefer). Form the dough into round doughnut holes the size of golf balls while the pan heats up. You need the oil to be piping hot. Cook them over medium heat. These doughnut holes cook quickly- flip them over once after signs of browning. After both sides are lightly browned, remove from the oil and allow them to de-grease on paper towels.
Place them immediately into the shallow bowl of sunshine glaze, rolling them around. It’s alright to leave them in the bowl for a few minutes to soak up the yumminess. Pour a generous amount of powdered sugar on the doughnut holes (covered in glaze) and stir them up. They’ll get a thicker coating on them, as seen in the photo above. Sprinkle them with a light shake of cinnamon. Voila. They’re done. 🙂
And believe me, they are absolutely delicious, and very easy to make.
Josh and I made these for desert tonight, after making homemade spaghetti (with fresh spinach and garlic in the sauce) accompanied by an artisan salad (with fresh parmesan, feta, and gorgonzola, of course).
The total time it takes to make these sunshine glazed doughnut holes are about 20 minutes (excluding the time it takes for the yeast to rise, which could be anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on personal preference).
Be forewarned, you will have to fight others off with a very big stick. (I recommend hiding some for later.)
Black Storm Rising
[Skip to bottom of post for specifics on PST/poppy seed tea.]
I can’t believe my migraine is still raging. There’s nothing the doctors can do when I have a massive attack like this, short of shoving a needle in my arm and jacking me up on morphine. The last time that happened, I forgot to breathe. Everything was numb from the waist up and contrary to how many people feel, it was not fun!
I know that if I went to the doctor’s, he would only be able to write out a script of Lortab, which would do the same thing as morphine, and because it would make me sick, I would then need to take Phenergan, which would completely knock me out. I can’t get anything done in that condition. Since I’ve vowed to never take pharmaceutical pain medication again, my options are limited. I could always take a couple of puffs of weed- it’s an effective form of pain relief- but I simply can’t stand to get high! (Yes, I really did just say that.) I don’t like the semi-paranoid feeling that accompanies weed, and I just can’t stand the feeling of being stoned. There’s really no such thing as smoking it and not getting high, and for me, being the non-weed smoker that I am, one puff and I’m higher than a kite. But for somebody such as myself who actually doesn’t like to get high- weed isn’t an option. I have a lot to do all of the time; being down for two and three days at a stretch with my head smashing in pain is a real problem.
I rarely get these migraines anymore, because I control my pain holistically, homeopathically, and all naturally- without smoking weed- but it’s still controversial as no doctor will ever sanction homeopathic, all natural pain management (where drugs are concerned) – they don’t make money that way. And because they’re sleeping with the pharmaceutical companies, they must promote the new drugs that are giving people cancer- but hey- they need a paycheck too, right? (Note the sarcasm.)
So…I’ll stick to my own pain management (naturally). This is why I must aggressively confront my migraines and take a preventative, proactive approach rather than reactive. I have a very small window of time to manage my pain, and I have to do it in a time-sensitive manner, or it will be too late, which is what just happened to me.
The past two days have been brutal. I’ve taken about ten 200 mg. Ibuprofins (over a 48 hour period), 1/2 of a Phenergan to counteract the nausea (which allowed me to sleep) but when I awoke, the migraine had spread over to both eye sockets. it’s like being smacked into a world of pain immediately upon awakening.
It’s exhausting to hurt for this long of a duration. The blood vessels around my head and right eye socket are taxed, completely. This is what living with an arachnoid cyst in your head is like, that is, until I began managing my pain myself, rather than choosing to be jacked up on pain meds which is what the doctors are doing to so many people in this town. The doctors have added on an entire new building next to the old one, doubling its capacity for new patients. It’s a pain management center and it’s jammed packed when I go in for Ambien refills. I decline any form of pain meds, but you better believe I’m going to take my Ambien- a girl needs her beauty sleep.
This is part of the reason why I study Substance Abuse. I live with chronic pain, or at least I did until I took matters in my own hands, and so many people are becoming addicted to prescription pain meds. It’s not a mild problem across the country, it’s an epidemic. I’ve seen people that I grew up with die from overdoses; the methadone and suboxone clinics are overflowing, and people are getting addicted to that crap too.
I was told about a guy recently who went to the pill mill down the street, and received 150 Lortabs. He was trying to get rid of them at $5 a pop. That’s $750 that guy is hoping to make on one doctor visit and this is happening to hundreds of people in this town. Grandmas, bankers, teenagers- the doctors are giving them pain meds and instead of the patients getting out and walking, cutting down on fatty foods, quitting smoking, drinking more juices, etc. they’re becoming overweight (from lack of exercise) but also because the pain meds are giving them the munchies- just like weed- and they’re staying high and eating themselves into an early grave.
I’ve spent the past few years researching pill mills and alcohol and drug addiction in school: I’m passionate about it. Our “system” is broken.
Although my head feels like ground meat, I’m not able to go and lie down and simply rest. My mom is house-sitting and her battery is dead, she’s run out of her medicine, milk, etc. and although I have four siblings (FOUR) -not a one has gone over and seen her, or taken her food, or helped her out in any way- in weeks- so that leaves me and Josh- in this condition. Yes, I’m frustrated.
My mom has told me that her bladder is practically falling out- she needs surgery soon. It really perturbs me that my sister has only been to see my mother once in 6 months- once! This means that I will naturally pick up her slack where my mom is concerned. My mom is one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving women I’ve ever known.
She deserves to have all 5 of her kids taking care of her and helping her in her older years- sadly, that’s not the case. Josh and I are going to go and pick up her meds, take jumper cables over there to recharge her battery, cook a delicious, healthy dinner for her, and stay the night with her. And sadly, I can get more done with a migraine- and a cyst on my brain stem- than my siblings (combined) do without one.
I think I’ll be back to my sunny ole self by tomorrow, according to my pain cycles. It usually doesn’t last more than three days. What works for other peoples’ migraines don’t work for me, because this isn’t a “stress migraine” or too much sugar (or anything along those lines). This is due to the arachnoid membrane in my head becoming inflamed, and the pocket of fluid (cyst) on and around my brain stem swells, pushing down on my actual brain stem, which is the area that controls nausea. It causes my head to feel like it’s being squeezed in a terrible vice, while sending acute, needle-like pain through the entire region, as well as causing unilateral pain in the frontal and temporal lobes.
My main reason for documenting this pain isn’t to “complain”. I want to provide information and support for others who suffer with an arachnoid cyst. That said, I don’t want my whole life to be about my cyst, or migraines, so I don’t write about it so much. Poppy seed tea is extremely effective when using it as a preventative measure to stave off migraines, but it’s not effective where trying to eliminate a migraine is concerned- not one of these monster migraines, anyway. I want to write a post about poppy seed tea (another day) because it’s an all natural form of pain medication that works. There are a good number of idiots who use it to get high, however. There’s no difference between that and shoving a needle in your arm. Misinformed people are dangerous, because ignorance breeds fear, and when a person is operating through fear, bad choices will be made. I would highly recommend that if a person is going to manage his or her own chronic pain (using poppy seed tea or any other form of natural pain relief), to research everything thoroughly and use what is known in psychology as contingency contracting; that’s a fancy way of saying “tell somebody about your plans”. Don’t try and manage your pain alone or you may find yourself with a new addiction. And remember, anything can become an addiction. (Ever seen the show My Strange Addiction? Point made.)
I’m determined to have a good evening despite my present condition. There’s no way I can read 120 pages of what I need to read in Earth Science, Health Psychology, and Public Speaking, but I can read some. Ever try to do schoolwork with a blinding migraine? I’ve written numerous essays (MLA format, of course) with my head splitting open, even working throughout the night on occasion. I met my deadlines too. It’s going to be a long weekend…
**************************************POPPY SEED TEA INFO****************************************
For those of you researching PST, you can read the comments related to this particular post for more useful info. And here is an update one year later from the date of this initial post and I will update my status annually here in this particular post:
It is February 4, 2014. I have graduated from my University with a degree in Behavioral Sciences and CPC/certification in Substance Abuse last month (Sum Laude/Dean’s List), and am now working on my 2nd degree which is Social Work. I will transfer this summer to begin work on my BA in Sociology. I have taken PST for pain management for two years now. I haven’t had a roaring migraine in months, and I am no longer a chronic pain sufferer. Because of my poppy seed tea regimen, I’m able to not have to return to the doctor. I don’t have to take pharmaceutical pain meds or any pharmaceutical pills of any kind. If I were still taking doctor-prescribed pain meds, I have no doubt I’d still be suffering tremendously, as I used to, even after two years of following the doctor’s recommendations. In the end, I was worse off than when I initially went in to see him, and it was due to the many (many) experimental medications that were prescribed to me. Pain meds (Lortab, Vicodin, etc.) absolutely kill the body, especially the liver, over time. PST is all natural. It’s absolutely the way to go. I have taken my life back.
- Be very careful with PST
- Use it in small doses [200 to 300 grams per dose. No more!] That’s an effective dose that works every time. It not only modifies your intended pain, it kills all pain in the body for the duration of the dose. Do not exceed two doses in a single day: if your pain is moderate, take one dose in the morning. If your pain is severe, take one dose (200-300 mg. of poppy seeds, shaken with water and lemon) in the morning, and another in the evening. Each dose lasts for 6 to 8 hours. Your goal shouldn’t be to “get high”. Your goal should be to manage your pain effectively and safely, without having to be chained to a doctor. You save heaps of money in the long run too.
Sidenote: It’s very important to take periodic breaks from any form of pain medication, whether it’s doctor prescribed or self-medicated. The reason for this is that you need to regularly cleanse the body from any impurities. So, choose one day per week, and drink only fruit juices, herbal teas (no poppy seed tea allowed on this day!) – chamomile, green tea, lemon-ginger, etc. and do a colon cleanser too. Flush the toxins from your body. Exercise and “hydration therapy” (lots of water, juices) helps to flush poisons from your liver too. Milk Thistle is a natural liver cleanser. I take it regularly. Do this once per week, faithfully: It will keep your blood clean and your heart and organs healthy.
- Be sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day: the result of any form of opiate use is constipation. I highly recommend taking a laxative every 2 to 3 days as it helps tremendously.
- Take vitamins and get plenty of exercise daily.
- Eat properly! Don’t be lazy and pork out on junk food all day in front of the TV. Take CARE of your body. A poor diet contributes greatly to pain in the body, poor heart health, obesity, lethargy, depression, the list goes on. You are what you eat. Eat fresh foods (fruits. veggies, whole grains, etc.).
- Take one capsule of Valerian root at night- this doubles as both a sedative to help you sleep and also keeps your nerves calm throughout the next day. Excessive pain over time causes nerve damage: this stuff works, and it’s all natural. The combination of poppy seed tea in the day, and one valerian root (capsule) at night, creates an environment that is calm, restful, and pain free, thereby allowing you to be productive. (I was able to completely replace my Ambien with Valerian root successfully.) Take one capsule of Valerian root per night if you weigh between 100-180 lbs. If you weigh 185-300 lbs. take two per night, but no more.
- Educate yourself on drug use! There’s a difference between drug use and abuse.
- It doesn’t mean you’re a “druggie” if you use drugs. It does if you abuse drugs.
- Keep your threshold and drug tolerance LOW. This is so very important. I’ve taken the same amount of PST for two years now, having never increased my amount. I purposefully keep my thresholds very low. If you do this, always, you can continue taking a low dose of PST, and it will continue to be effective. Once you trade in that tried and true dose for a bigger one because you want to “feel more”, you’re increasing your addiction chances. Be mindful of this, always! Keep your motives in check and use PST for pain management rather than recreationally. If you want to get high, smoke a joint. Don’t use PST to get high.
- You can never have too much education about drug use, the brain, the effects of various drugs and substances and the brain, behaviors, drug-related behaviors, tolerance levels, the digestive system, the list goes on and on. Educate yourself!
- Be safe!
And for the record, GFS (Gordon Food Service) has the most effective seeds I’ve ever used: Trade East brand- spice section. They’re a little more costly, but worth it and consistent in quality. Use 1/3 of the container’s seeds (again, found specifically at GFS in most any state) with two or so cups of water in a 1 liter bottle. Your goal is to add enough water to cover the seeds by 1 to 2 inches. (Two fingers worth, horizontally.) Add a good squirt or splash of lemon juice- this helps extract the medicinal properties from the outside of the seeds. Now here’s the unfun part: shake that mixture like there’s no tomorrow- for a good 10 minutes, but no longer. Don’t let it soak, don’t deviate from these instructions and you’ll get solid results every time. Use the bottle cap as a filter, and strain out the liquid through the cap into a glass. Drink up. Usually, you can feel a significant reduction in pain within 20 minutes.
Be careful reading stuff online! There are a lot of junkies out there with bad information whose goal is to get high. This is not one of those posts. If you have a substance abuse addiction already, and your drug tolerance is already abnormally high, this amount of PST is not going to help you in any way, you won’t even feel it. If you’re reading this, and this is the case with you, I encourage you to get help through a recovery or drug rehab treatment program.
This PST information is for people who are actual moderate to severe pain sufferers who do not want to go the traditional medicine route. Doctors write prescriptions all day, every day, and so many patients become addicted to the pain meds without a whisper of a warning! I’m telling you to educate yourself in these areas.
You have a responsibility to yourself- and others- to educate yourself on substance use and abuse if you’re going to put substances in your body, no matter what they are.
Here is a list of natural things that I take which may help you too:
- PST pain management/therapy
- Valerian Root- natural sleep aid, promotes good nerve health, creates calming effect
- ground ginger (spice aisle) It promotes healthy digestion and quells nausea.
- cayenne capsules/Health Food aisle (Kroger, Walmart, etc.) Cayenne kicks up the metabolism and is a natural fat burner. It’s good for the heart too and gives you a boost of natural energy.
- green tea- no creamer. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight cancer-causing radical cells. Adding creamer neutralizes these necessary and powerful antioxidants, so, don’t use creamer! Add honey instead.
- Colon cleanser/psyllium husk- taken daily, psyllium husk keeps your colon clean and healthy. The colon is where many cancers begin. Keeping it clean and healthy reduces your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other things.
- Milk Thistle- cleanses the toxins from the liver and kidneys. This is the best all natural liver cleanser in the world.
- 1/2 of an antihistamine per day (such as generic Benadryl). Opiates cause your body’s histamines to become fairly active. This causes itching and scratchiness. Taking a whole antihistamine can be cause drowsiness (you don’t want that) so keep the antihistamine amount to 1/2 per day. This not only kills any opiate-related itching, but doubles as a potentiator, which actually makes the poppy seed tea even stronger. This means that you will get the maximum benefits from a small dose of PST/poppy seed tea, without having to increase the dosage. This is a great help! Your goal is to receive effective pain management therapy without raising your dosage over time. Keep your doses low- always.
- lemon juice- (taken with PST)- acts as a natural anti-parasitic cleanser.
- Filtered water- 8 to 10 glasses per day. Proper hydration lowers blood pressure and even cholesterol. It helps flush toxins from the body and eliminates unhealthy waste and poisons from the blood. Proper hydration is important for every organ in the body, especially the brain, and also helps regulate the body’s thermostat. It also aids in the secretion of proper hormones into the blood: many health problems would be remedied if people simply drank more water.
Hope this information is helpful! No matter what, choose health and life, and take care of yourself, physiologically, and psychologically/emotionally. Never use any type of substances for emotional pain. Seek treatment and therapy for that.
Be well. x
Stress Level: Blowing Gaskets
Today has been an unusually stressful day. I’ve been working on my new art site, which I won’t reveal until it’s completely finished. It’s definitely in its embryonic stages. I have so much school work to catch up on and we’re financially strapped, as usual. Some of my photography art acquaintances have Donate to PayPal tabs up on their sites and many are actually receiving donations. I can’t bring myself to do that. I will work hard to sell my art work instead; that means pounding the virtual pavement and hobnobbing with the elite in the art world. Nothing to complain about, I assure you. But work is work, and I’m so limited on time these days. To put it simply, school is eating me up alive. Research, essays, and reports: my head feels like it’s in a pressure cooker, or an olive that is being slowly squeezed of its precious substances. The arachnoid cyst on my brain stem is acting up again and the pain is relentless and intense, but it doesn’t slow me down- it should.
It’s snowing outside- March snow. I should be taking a Psychology exam but I’m going to pop an Ambien and call it a night. It’s 1:00 a.m.
I just needed to write something.
I should cry.
Kitchen Battle (Part I)
J and I have been trying to one up each other in the kitchen lately. I’ve been watching Chopped, Iron Chef, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray (yes- I admit it!), Top Chef, and other food shows on Food Network for years now. I’ve never entertained the idea that I am a “chef”, but I do love to cook with fresh ingredients only and my food tastes amaaazing. I’ve replaced cans of shortening with imported olive oil from Italy- a large jug of it- and rarely buy sliced bread anymore: whole and multi-grain baguettes only. Canned tomatoes have been replaced with fresh vine ripened and the ever-so-handy grape tomatoes (which are great for halving and fire roasting) and bricks of sharp cheddar have been replaced with Brie, goat cheese, gorgonzola and bleu, along with fresh balls of mozzarella (still soaking in the brine), and, I suppose my favourite replacements are the fresh mixed greens that I simply can’t live without: turnip, collards, and kale. (I always keep a moderate supply of spring mix on hand also.)
I’ve long forgotten what it’s like to buy frozen foods (God forbid) and canned and boxed “processed foods” are an absolute no no. Ever since I studied the molecular make-up of foods and their organic compounds last semester (Nutrition class) – I’ve accidentally become a bit of a health nut and a foodie! I didn’t see it coming.
I just want freshness, and I’m a stickler for it.
My food battle with Josh started out simple enough: I wanted to surprise him with a healthy breakfast of cantaloupe, ruby red grapefruit, green grapes, and small, fresh mozzarella balls.
Josh was naturally delighted, and so when he decided that he would make dinner for us later that evening, he whipped up something that could have been straight from the Food Network Channel: roasted chicken with fresh green beans (as in, fresh from the produce section) with red, caramelized onions, and sautéed kale with kosher salt and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
Well I certainly couldn’t be outdone by him, although I later learned my son had made the chicken, (because my son prefers to be called by an alias, I’ll call him “Bob”- Bob is a fantastic cook- he gets that from me) I decided to muster up some grub that Josh could never, ever compete with. It’s so fantastic, there’s not even a name for it. But it looks like this:
It consists of: Curried, cumin sunny side up eggs over brioche (ok, who am I kidding- this is not brioche! Shamefully, I admit that I was reduced to using sliced wheat bread, but believe me, it would have so been brioche had I been able to change it at the moment) with vine ripened tomatoes- fire roasted- sprinkled with rosemary, thyme, basil and parsley, topped with fresh, gorgonzola and feta cheeses- underneath a healthy drizzle of Imported extra virgin olive oil, finished with a garnish of fresh arugula and frisee.
YEAH. Top that, J!
Somehow, Carl ended up in my food folder, but he was just too cute to leave out. (Carl is the perpetually pissed off cat that my daughter rescued from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d been in a fight and had just had a bath.)
Is it really possible that Josh and I could actually squeeze in a year of Culinology and become private chefs on weekends? We’re entertaining the idea of compiling our first CD, as we’re both musicians, singers, and songwriters (and play a host of instruments between us). Then there’s the children’s book thing. And college. And work… We have a lot of irons in the fire, but we really wouldn’t want it any other way.
After I gave Josh his “egg/curry/frisee/almost-brioche thing”, I could hear loud, audible moans coming from the bedroom. Josh clearly enjoyed it. 🙂 I’m used to feeding the men around here and doing it up right and I’m quite sure that I’m not the only woman in the world who is used to eating last and taking the scraps.
My plate looked something like this:
But that’s pretty standard around here.
Until next time, bon appétit.
Top Drawers: The Men who Accidentally Changed my Life
Josh and I have picked up a new ambition over the weekend: we want to be private chefs! We’re considering getting a one year technical certificate in Culinology, after finishing up our degrees in Behavioral Sciences, Substance Abuse, and General Studies. We love being students together and working together in general. Cooking is something we’re good at as well (and we only cook with fresh ingredients- it’s our one cardinal rule that we never break) and clearly have a passion for. We’ll see how that works out. (J and I have a combined 92 credit hours thus far.)
I’ve had many ambitions in my life, and I’m learning that the older I get, the easier it is for my dreams to become realities. I suppose it’s because I’m gleaning wisdom from the fields of life to balance out my (wild and willy) experiences.
Apart from Van Gogh, my Dad, Jesus, Andy Warholand several other trailblazers who have made a profound difference in my life, there have been two very distinct men that will never know just how much they mean to me, or how they have helped to shape and mold me into the strong woman that I am today: Randy Pausch and a wise old man in a wheelchair.
Several years ago, I was a student at Ivy tech community college, studying Human Services. I saw a school ad for the Student Leadership Academy (SLA) and immediately signed up. I didn’t let the facts that I was a new student or that the application was actually expired stop me. I made suggestions as to how students could improve their overall learning and comprehensive strategies by posting motivational posters at eye level in the hallways. (I made other suggestions as well.) I received an offer several days later to join the Student Leadership Academy and I was ecstatic: I was now in the 1% bracket of students who achieved that goal annually.
I went around telling everybody what a big shot I was (and wasted no time in making an utter ass out of myself-good and proper like). Apart from my studies, I was also cleaning the house of an elderly man in a wheelchair who lived with his daughter. My mother had mentioned that they needed help, and I had 20 + years as a “toilet scrubber extraordinaire” under my belt, so decided to help them. I usually worked for no less than $20 per hour, but was willing to work for them for around $15 (per hour). The man’s first name was Roy, and I quickly got into the habit of calling him “Mr. Roy”. He was 86 or so years old, and as sharp as a tack. His daughter was an educator, and held an impressive position of training other educators in her community. To put it simply, they were both well educated people, and quite possibly, the sweetest father and daughter duo I’d ever met.
At my first Student Leadership Academy meeting, my cohorts and I “speed dated”, getting to know each other. There were a total of 15 of us selected from everyone in our college. It was a prestigious position for sure, and would look pretty darn good on my resume. We were shown an hour long documentary called “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. It was an incredible story of a brilliant professor of computer science and computer science interaction (aka: glorified game designer) who accented the fact that academia should never take precedence over your passion or joy for it. In other words, don’t be a stuffy shirt! Have a heart and a laugh or two along the way. I could hardly believe that the charismatic man I was watching on film that day was dying of pancreatic cancer. He was so full of life, and zest! He apologized to his audience for not seeming like the typical dying man- he had a life to live and he was going to live it.
I fought back tears throughout his courageous presentation and wanted nothing more at that moment than to be like Randy Pausch. It was one of those weird life moments, where you knew that your life was being changed at that very second. Randy talked about the big “fake-out”. He talked about thinking that a specific thing was happening in your life for a certain reason, but really, a beautiful lesson or principle was being learned, and that is what the big “fake-out” was all about. Thinking that it’s all about one thing, when in fact, it had nothing at all to do with that thing.
I was told that our next Student Leadership Academy meeting would take place the following weekend; we would be riding a bus to Indianapolis to meet with other SLA members, and we would be taking turns addressing a large audience discussing important student issues, etc. I was scheduled to clean Mr. Roy’s house and it conflicted with my SLA schedule. I just didn’t have time to juggle all of the things in my life at that time that I needed to do. I thought of Mr. Roy, and his wisdom that he’d shared with me over the previous months. He was a major source of inspiration and why I wanted to return to school at all. I began to think I had better things to do academically than to scrub Mr. Roy’s toilets. So, I decided to stop cleaning for him. After all, I had important places to be and an important seat to fill with the SLA!
I went about preparing for my weekend retreat- shopping, organizing- but I couldn’t get Mr. Roy out of my head. I pictured him there at his table with the morning paper in his lap- kitchen t.v. playing the news- drinking his coffee. I looked up to him as I did my own father. He shared so many of his own life experiences with me. I had even taken a few pictures of him and printed them out as gifts for his daughter. They had been so very kind to me.
I started feeling so ashamed that I had been so proud to think I was above cleaning for him. I cried. I thought of all of the things that Randy Pausch had said in his last lecture, especially about the big fake-out, and then I knew what I had to do.
I had to leave the Student Leadership Academy and go back to Mr. Roy’s house. I had grown too big for my britches (in record time) and thankfully, had come to my senses. Joining the Student Leadership Academy had been the big fake-out! I had needed to learn a very valuable lesson in priority and humility. I called Mr. Roy, apologized, and shared my learning experience with him. I told him what he meant to me and thanked him for being such a great inspiration to me in my life, and I also told him that I would be happy to clean for him again. That was several years ago, and both Randy Pausch and Mr. Roy have moved on to other planes of existence and a better place than here.
I’m not sure the SLA ever understood why I decided to leave after only one meeting, but it’s a decision that I don’t regret to this day. I’ll never forget what I learned from Randy Pausch and his video, “The Last Lecture”. And I know I’ll never forget Mr. Roy. My mom told me the other day that Mr. Roy often called people who were the best of the best “top drawer”.
Mr. Roy, you are indeed top drawer, and I will never forget you.
Randy Pausch’s life-changing video: The Last Lecture
If you haven’t seen this video, I promise you- it will change your life– if you let it.