Josh and I have been making some serious changes to our lifestyles. We watched the Netflix documentary What the Health two weeks ago, and were absolutely livid at how the animals are treated as they’re “super-raised”. Most all meat manufacturers (and “growers”) admitted that they pack their animals in so tightly that they can barely move around, and it’s not uncommon at all for many of them to be inundated in their own waste. In fact, many of them stand in several feet of their waste, and many of their neighboring animals were sick and diseased; those who weren’t sick and dying were already dead.
Watching that document opened a dialogue in which we discussed not only animal cruelty and our desire to omit all meats from our diets, but our desires to take better care of our bodies. I saw videos of people who were fighting cancer who decided to switch to a plant-based diet. After consuming a plant-based diet consistently for a year or so, one particular woman was able to eradicate cancer altogether. Today, she is healthy, happy, strong, and cancer free. Also, we learned that when a person eats meats- especially the unhealthy kinds- there are lipids and certain compounds that actually attack the arterial walls; not unlike a dart which sticks in the side of something. Over time, that dart changes the molecular structure of the artery so that it thickens up, ultimately causing it to harden.
Josh and I decided together that we would cut out all meats from our diet. Also though, we learned that milk manufacturers, and paid dairies, add hormones and other awful things to cow’s milk so that it contains puss and hormone-packed mucus that also contributes to unhealthy fats attacking our arteries. (Not to mention, milk does a number on both of our internal systems.) So, we tossed out milk as well. But then we learned that 1 egg yolk is equal to 5 cigarettes in the bad cholesterol department. So, bye bye eggs! As long as we’re cleaning house, we wanted to cover all of our bases.
That pretty much puts us level with vegans. Except, vegans don’t eat honey- seeing how honey is considered “animal-based”. But honey is where I draw the line. I consider raw honey somewhat of a super food, seeing how our it’s fantastic for boosting and protecting the immune system. Nope. Honey and I will never part. Besides, I don’t like to be labeled, and as far as I’m concerned, Josh and I are “plant-based” in our diet choices. We can eat anything we want, at any time. We just choose not to. And for me, having that allowance open at all times, but choosing not to will only continue to fortify our resolve.
We both feel so much better and far more energetic! It makes perfect sense, really. Eating meats (with all of its unhealthy fats) attack not only the arterial walls, but the brain itself. It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience a “clearing of the mind” when going Veganish, and that clearly happened to us as well. We’re alert, and focused and have even noticed that looking at lights and their auras seem so much brighter too. Everything is brighter! Josh has lost 10 lbs. in only two weeks and I’ve lost 7. We’re not even exercising yet, apart from the occasional mile walk at the park with our dogs, or the trip down to the river on the rocks. We’ve decided to join a gym, however, and are looking forward to starting that.
School is going terrific. I’m halfway through my 2nd semester. My two classes for now are: Addiction Counseling Theory and Practice, and Psychology of Addiction. Grad. studies are much different than I thought they would be! This stuff is not easy. I’m seriously giving some thought to obtaining my R.N. license in Nursing, after receiving my Master”s in Addiction Counseling, simply because I’m thinking about having a dual-license. I could work in Rehab as a nurse or an addictions counselor, but that’s so far down the road. And, as it goes with other things, that may not pan out at all. It’s all part of tossing ideas around until it gels and feels right. For now though, I’m focusing on Addiction Counseling.
I would have written here again sooner, but it was the holidays and Josh and I had to endure yet one more year of my sister inviting the entire family unit to her house for Christmas and purposely leaving us out. This has been going on every year for many years now. I’ve told her on more than one occasion that what she’s doing is extremely hurtful. It’s simply neither fair nor “right” to host the most family-focused event of the year at your house if you and another sibling are not speaking. What hurts the most, however, is that my mother knows that it cuts our hearts out, yet she continues to go over there- year after year- knowing that Josh and I are not welcome. It would have helped, tremendously, if my Mom chose to have the family gather at her house instead. That way nobody would feel left out and all would feel welcome, but that didn’t happen, so, we’ll forge ahead, Josh and I, alone.
Close the door and move on.
Meyer-Optik Görlitz Diaplan 80/2.8
Five Months Later…
I can hardly believe it’s been five months since I’ve been away. Where has the time gone?!
I’d like to say that I’ve been off doing great and honourable things since graduating from college back in May, alas; I’ve merely caught up on 300 crime shows and have picked up a nasty sugar addiction. I’m talking- waxing 3 bags of bubble gum in 4 hours- no kidding. SHAMEFUL.
But let’s not focus on that. 😉
Today is Christmas, and Josh and I are pulling another all-nighter. He’s at his computer station, and I at mine. He’s gaming, and I’m working on editing some pics for my new Etsy shop. I’ve wanted to open an Etsy shop for almost ten years now. At first, I didn’t have enough inventory, and quite frankly, I wasn’t up to the standard of photography that I was utterly pleased with- not enough to sell my work. (But that was 10 years ago.) And then “school happened”. Now, more than 20,000 pics are held hostage on more than 5 disk drives. I could dig through the heap and salvage years of work, or, I could start all over and create a whole new body of work: I’ve chosen to do the latter.
It might seem crazy to want to start all over- especially having spent the last decade developing my personal style and techniques, but for me, my art does more than mark a time in my life. My pics/images tell stories. (You artists and photogs out there know what I mean.) I want the stories to reflect who I am at that time. I’m not the same person I was even five years ago. So, I want to start over. I feel like I’ve grown as a person and an artist, and so I want my pics to reflect that.
I’ve added a new TAB at the top of my page ^up there^- it’s my ETSY tab. Clicking on the pic there will go directly to my ETSY site where I’m offering my prints for sale. In the past, I wanted to sell prints for the generalized reason of “simply wanting to”. Now it’s a matter of being able to return to school or not. My school is withholding my transcript until I pay down the current balance, which is just under $1,300. I don’t have many options, and so I’ve decided to finally open my ETSY shop so that I can sell my work and pay down my school balance. I’m hoping to be able to do this by May of 2017 (4 months from now). That’s a pretty tall order, and once again, I’m racing against the clock. If I don’t do this now, I’ll have to take another 6 months to do it (which means I’d have to wait until January 2018 to return to school), but I really can’t afford to do that.
Once my transcript is released, I’ll be able to apply to Fort Hays University, where I’ll be working on my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. A lot is riding on this! So, I have a heck of a motivator to get out and get some fresh shots 3 times per week. I’m aiming to add 300 pics or so to my ETSY collection over the next few months. In short, I’m going to be pretty busy. 😉
I’m looking forward to popping in to everyone’s place and seeing what you all have been up to. Sure have missed everyone and I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS! ♥
Second Etsy shop: Early Perfection
Josh and I popped into our favourite Mexican restaurant last night- a little place called La Loma on Eastern Blvd. which sells authentic Mexican tacos (and ice cold Coronas). Afterwards, we went to see Alice: Through the Looking Glass in 3D at the theater. It was pretty phenomenal. 🙂
Critics are panning it but I’m wagering that many of them are curmudgeony old farts who’ve long forgotten how to connect with their inner child. Josh and I were laughing and crying and fascinated by all of the pretty colours and CGI. (We clearly need to get out more.)
I’ve been out of school for just over 3 weeks now, and I’m happy to say that I haven’t done a darn thing. At all. I’ve downloaded around 7 different games and have a large stack of library books on the table that I’m positive I won’t read. I’ve discovered that I have a thing for acquisition as opposed to actually reading. That said, I think I’m still decompressing because I’m really quite the bookworm. Normally, I don’t like to go more than two days without accomplishing something or checking off goals on a list, so the fact that I’ve done nothing at all (and don’t care whatsoever) is a good sign! I’m learning to relax.
I did pick up this really awesome graduation present for myself though:
I absolutely love it. It’s a heavy duty copper and bronze homemade poppy necklace from an online shop called Mama Peacock. I think it’s a steal for $26. It sits heavy around the neck and is supported by a steel ball chain necklace. I especially love the stacked nickel and bronze ringlets wrapped around a solid steel pole that connects the ball chain to the pendant. This thing is just badass.
Josh and I have been up all night. After coming home from our date, I finished up some work for a client and he’s been gaming for most of the night. I could get used to this pace of life. No rushing, no demands, no deadlines- well…no serious ones.
Alas, as much as I love loafing around being a beach bum (sans the beach), I’m already working on a business model for a shop of my own. I won’t reveal it until it’s close to being finished, but I’m so excited with the direction I’m going in. I’ll be able to work from home and enjoy doing what I love to do. (And that’s all I’ll say about that.)
I’m off to heat up our leftovers. Tacos for breakfast!
Let’s Talk About School
I walked out onto our back patio deck yesterday and Josh had set up a beautiful Mexican dinner for us. We’d just ordered new wicker bistro patio furniture (table w/ textured glass and two accompanying chairs) and he’d assembled them on the sly. When I went out back to see my surprise, he had a spread of steak quesadillas (loaded with white cheese- Heaven!) and steak tacos + tongue tacos; extra sweet tea, lots of red and green sauces + flowers in vases and even a boombox hidden under the table playing classical music. Pretty fantastic.
I’ve been torturing myself daily on my career paths. I’m sad to say that Forensic Science is out. That (and CSI in general) is my dream job, but it’s just not possible to get a Forensic Science degree online, and in my current situation, distance ed. is my only option. I’m going to have to go with my 2nd career choice- clinical psychology. But hey, it’s not like I’m upset about it! I’ve found a reputable college with a PhD program (all online). Of course, when it’s time to do the internship, I’ll have to obtain dual residency in both states (Indiana and Kentucky) because the school is in Kentucky- 4 hours away, but I’m in Indiana. When it’s time for all of that, I’ll think about picking up a small efficiency apartment for $500 per month or so, and keep the home Josh and I own in Indiana.
My next move will be to begin working on my B.S. in Psychology at IU East, but there’s one more tiny setback: I won’t qualify for the Frank O’Bannon award there because I didn’t add their school code to my FAFSA between January-March of last year. it may not seem like much of a setback to some people, but that’s an additional $1,300 per semester that I desperately need that doesn’t require paying back.
Therefore, it looks like I’ll be doing Vincennes for two more semesters (working on my 2nd Associates in criminal justice) so that I can add IU’s school code between Jan-March of next year. Afterwards, I’ll attend IU East for my B.S. in Psychology and then transfer over to work on my M.A. in either Forensic Psychology at NDU or Educational Psychology (aka “school psychology”) at Ball State and then transfer yet again to University of the Cumberlands (in Kentucky) to work on my PhD in Clinical Psychology. Unless I’m completely settled in my ultimate career path, I’m just no good. I’ve pretty much mapped out my entire next decade so now I can chill. 🙂
It’s going to be a long road but I’m in it for the long haul. Suffice to say, I’ll be in school for the next 7-9 years, minimally. My classes for this fall semester are:
Intro to Forensic Science
Procedural Criminal Law
My kind of stuff. I still have 6 full weeks of vacation/relaxation before my fall term begins. Josh will be hanging up our rope hammock swing out back (for good summer reading under the ole shade tree) and assembling our new patio hammock too. I don’t have much to complain about; life is pretty good to me/us. ♥