Fire in the pie hole, that is. Initially, I stopped blogging for a while because I have a crazy sibling who stalks my every move here at my blog, and after discovering her footprints all over the place here (such as, seeing her key word searches that she used- which were disturbing, to say the least) – I just really grew disgusted at the notion that she poured over my every word, and it really just creeped me out, altogether. I began feeling like my posts were going directly to her, rather than feeling liberated and being able to express myself freely. (She has a long history as a stalker, and I’m betting she’s changed very little in the past 5 years.)
Alas, I can’t live my life based on other people.- especially her. So I’ll pick up where I left off and simply do what I’ve always done: document my life in words and pictures so that my children and others will have a digital “life album” that they can access, both now and in the future. Apart from that, blogging is really healthy, and sometimes, getting those feelings out through writing is the only way to move past them. So, I’m going to try and blog every day again, and the purpose is not to entertain others; if I wanted to do that I’d just be a You Tuber instead. I don’t really care if I’m blogging about peas, just as long as I keep writing. I’ll only be able to free up emotional space if I’ve made room for new things. So, if you’re here and reading this, be warned- you may eventually be reading about peas.
Since switching to a plant-based diet, Josh and I have considered our options where “meat” is concerned. We’ve been researching meat alternatives, and came across a protein-rich, wheat-based, gluten-heavy protein called tempeh. Basically, tempeh is fermented soy beans that have been fried into small “cakes”. It’s packed with gluten, because gluten is the part of wheat that’s thick and sticky and keeps the bread together. Tempeh is a concentration of the sticky parts, so if you’re eating Tofurkey– which is a vegan meat substitute- you’re eating a gluten-bomb.
I thought I’d be o.k. eating it, because I’ve never had signs of being gluten-sensitive before and have eaten wheat all of my life. But almost immediately after making spaghetti with Tofurkey, my tongue began to burn on its underside. At first, it felt like I’d been burned, and then it progressed into a full-scale attack in which the top of the bottom (of my tongue) felt and looked like it was split open. It clearly had swollen and split apart and appeared to be growing in both size and intensity. Before long, my right ear felt pressurized and my right eye began to burn as well. Within 12 hours, I couldn’t talk and it hurt so badly it took my breath away. When I woke up this morning, I was in excruciating pain and could barely chew my food.
It’s been almost 24 hours now and the pain hasn’t let up at all. I’m guessing I’m gluten-sensitive! Josh got some Orajel for me and it’s helped relieve some of the pain. So, I’ll be adding that to the list as well:
Thank God for Almond milk ice cream! Adopting a (mostly) vegan diet doesn’t mean food has to be boring. I’ve been making my own cashew milk too. It’s amazing! Josh discovered that almond milk has the nutrition of only 28 almonds, so we found a great cashew milk recipe that’s simple as well as wholesome and delicious. None of the pulp is thrown out, so nothing goes to waste. It’s actually tastier than cow’s milk. Lately, cow’s milk had begun to taste like water, so it’s nice to have a creamy milk that is rich in flavour and nutrients.
I’m taking the day off and resting in bed. I can’t believe January is almost gone! One month left of the cold and then the spring will be here again. ❤
Lewis and Clark’s cabin- overlooking the Ohio River
-Click on print to purchase-
I spoke with my adviser today who confirmed that I have 25 credit hours to go before I receive my B.S. in Psychology. I need 120 total, and I have over 100 already, but my problem is that I need 36 hours of upper level courses in my major. So, I’m buckling down and preparing to finish up my final year. I have two finals to go (which I’ll take on Saturday) and then I get to take the summer off. I always feel so haggard by this point, as if I’m clawing my way through the finish line- one bloody fistful after the next. We worked out my schedule for the fall; it looks like it’s going to be:
The Psychology of Learning
Statistics for Health Professionals
That’s a barrel of wild fun if I’ve ever seen one.
Time to veg out on some cooking shows with my culinary masterpiece: a baked pork chop with a can of cream of chicken dumped on top. Gourmet! Strangely, I get a sadistic thrill eating my lukewarm slop while watching those prissy chefs grate truffles over imported foie gras.
Yesterday was such an awful day for me:everything was so dark. Ever the optimist, I know that these times are cyclic. They’re bound to happen and they’re inescapable but they won’t last forever. I hadn’t felt so depressed in a such long time. Since Chance (my dog) ripped my ring finger open, I’ve had to hand-write all of my notes in my classes. Today, I took 33 pages of notes (33!) on dissociative disorders, fugue, and the predispositions of unipolar and bipolar disorders for monozygotic and dizygotic twins. (33 pages!)
Last week it was 30+ pages on schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and that’s just one class; there are three others. So, life has been a blur of mania and depression and lots of it (note-wise). It’s really no wonder that I’ve been a bit depressed, seeing how I haven’t seen the outside of my bedroom in days and I’m consuming 30+ pages of hardcore psychiatric disorders daily. The bright side is that I’m retaining 90% of what I’m studying and don’t have to look twice at my notes. Once they’re written down, the info. is locked in, pretty much. But still, yesterday was horribly black.
Until, that is, I received a knock at the door.
There was a special delivery and he brought me these!
And then my bitter scowl turned into this! (That Proactiv is good stuff, man.)
I figure that’s the least I owe you, Y. 🙂 (And yes, those are your flowers in the background.)
Nobody’s ever sent me flowers before. (I know!) Thank you a million times over. You’ve been there for me over the years more than anybody else. You’re a GEM and I love you dearly. My icky clouds have passed over and I’m feeling right as rain again. (I had no idea I could be bought with flowers. I’m so cheap!)
Thanks again so much for showing that you care. Love you. xo
I’m thinking about setting my camera to monochrome and not shooting in colour (or allowing myself to) for one whole year. I know it sounds crazy but that’s the kind of thing I like to do. When I look out into the world, I see in black and white. I see lighting mostly- shadows and ranges of exposure- tonal ranges. I can stare off in a room full of people and be in my own little world (I’m sure it looks like I’m deep in thought) but really, I’m converting a branch, a table, a moving mouth into monochrome and watching the shadows and lighting change places in my mind.
This is what my creative eye is doing no matter where I go or who I’m with and I rarely deviate. When I went to Southern Illinois with Josh, he wanted to fish, so he fished; but I wanted nothing more than to run up into the hills with my camera. Blossoms were opening up everywhere and colour was shooting to life all around me but the most beautiful thing I saw was a stark branch, unadorned and unassuming.
I painted it black and white in my mind and it was so very beautiful. I gave it a pretty pink coat in Photoshop, but I shot it in monochrome in natural lighting- all manual, naturally.
I call it simply:
Specs: 50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting
Shot in monochrome/Canon Rebel T3i/Sh. sp.: 1/800th sec
F/ 1.8/ISO 100
I was inspired by the cranberry hue after seeing my friend, Ingz, from Redbubble (THE most amazing fine art site in the world- don’t waste your time at Fine Art America/FAA) do the same in one of her pieces. She’s an amazing artist- so clean and elegant. I’m expecting some new equiptment soon- particularly another Lensbaby and this time, it’s coming with the pinhole/zone plate. I could just cry. :0) (Thanks again for all of your prayers in that department, Soul Walker. XO)
Maybe I’ll accept my own monochrome challenge.
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.
Lately, life seems to be flying by. This is what things look like to me right now: Museum of Modern Art/man studying exhibit/New York, New York
Canon Rebel XSI/Sigma 17-70/Handheld/manual focus/manual exposure
I’ve recently discovered that I’ve been grossly misplaced and put in the wrong class at my school, Vincennes University. I was signed up for Public Speaking (via advisor) and added to a course whose professor is now retired, and has been for some time. When I went to submit my assignment, I was told that one of the professor’s cohorts had taken over. When I shared this with the staff that misplaced me, I was told that the replacement class was full.
(Here we go.)
Needless to say, I straightened out the mess, and although I am now officially eight weeks behind in the new class (again, erroneously on the school’s part and at no fault of my own), I am somehow the first in my class to submit my 13 question and answer discussion on various parts of the speech and communication process. I’m not sure if that’s pretty darn impressive on my part or pretty pathetic where my classmates are concerned. Eight weeks in and not one assignment submitted to the discussion board? (I’m hoping I’ve screwed something up somewhere, but that’s not likely.)
Either way, I’m excited to be assigned a professor who is not only proficient at his job, but he’s a little tougher than most, and I love that. High-pressured, extensive assignments are what drive me. I actually asked to be moved out of a class once because the professor stated in his syllabus that a “book” wasn’t necessary in his course, and instead of using any academic references, he chopped his syllabus into six sections and asked that we use that as our “material” for the duration of the class. I reported him immediately and was told that several other students had done the same thing. I wasted no time in being moved into a more challenging class.
I’m also going to be scheduling three book readings for my children’s book, Peanut Butter Soup, in the local tri-city area: all cities that I went to school in. Tomorrow is the actual Read Across America Day, which coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and while I would love to do the book readings then, I’m so crunched for time I’m going to have to set back the dates to the following week. I ordered three paperback copies today that are being overnighted to me. I’ll be able to sign them and contribute one book per school library. School readings aren’t the time or place to promote your book. (That’s what book signings and media taps are for.) School readings are all about connecting with the kids, planting some very important seeds, and shining the spotlight on the kids and listening to them. It’s also the time to remind yourself (if you’re an author, such as me) that you are not a rock star and it is not about you. It’s all about the kids.
I was told by one of the school’s staff at the last book reading, that she had never seen her class respond to anyone before in such a way. She said it was like therapy for the kids. 🙂 That’s the best compliment that a children’s book author can possibly receive- it was for me, anyway. They also gave me a round of free tickets to the school’s play, and a bouquet of fresh wildflowers. It was the school I went to as a child, and I was incredibly honoured to be able to go back 34 years later and share my life with those kids.
“Are you rich?” One of the kids asked me. (I laughed.)
“Are you?” I asked him.
“No, but you wrote a book. You’re not rich?”
“No,” I said to him, smiling. “In fact, I’ve never been rich, and barely had any money at all when I wrote this book.” I said. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to do things you want to do in life. You just have to have the desire and willpower,” I said.
By the time I left one classroom and made my way to the next one, the class had already heard that I sing too, and yes, they made me sing a song, A capella, which I did, gladly.
“Why aren’t you on American Idol?! Dang! You can sing!” One of the girls said.
“Because then I would be all rich and famous and I wouldn’t be here with you. And I’d rather be here with you.” I answered.
It wasn’t a “book reading”, it was an event. I’ve never had a better time in my life.
Tonight Josh and I are headed out of town for some much needed R&R. My mom is under the weather and I’ll be fixing her a delicious meal, finishing up a Behavioral health (model) project, enjoying some ginger & lemon tea with an unhealthy dose of pre-calculus, and cramming in some Jeopardy. (Yes, that’s how I relax…)