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
I love my Helios 44-2 (M42) 58 MM. Best (film) lens ever. :0)
There’s really no such thing as too much tea:
I picked up some tea this afternoon. On the list are:
Oriental White Tea
Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea
Passion Fruit and Papaya Black Tea
Acai Pomegranate Blueberry Green Tea
Rooibos Red Tea
and Chamomile, of course.
And I saw the most amazing sunset driving home:
Yeah…I think I’m going to like this “no school” thing. 🙂
Usually, I don’t celebrate before my final exams, but in the past two days, I’ve just finished up my 5 page psych. paper (APA, of course + 5 peer reviewed journal references) + Cross Cultural Communication Powerpoint prezi (with audio) along with 14 forum postings. Whew!
So yeah, it’s time to celebrate. I only have 3 final exams remaining- I’ve finished my last homework assignment tonight. The worst is over! Everything else is gravy.
I’m really excited to begin a new chapter in my life and feed the artist in me that’s been dying to get out for so long. I’m venturing into new artistic territory by converting my RAW high quality photos into digitally rendered imapstos & gauche oils as well as watercolours. Here are two examples:
Josh and I did the last one together, hence the title. Off to make green tea and feed my guy. Au Voir!
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
I used to think that Scripture was about Jesus dying on the Cross (only). Now I have a deeper understanding of it. I think now, in order to truly love one another, we have to die to ourselves- even if just a little bit. it takes strength and courage to be selfless. In the world we live in today, self promotion is a way of life: Facebook, Twitter, blogs.
I’ve been hit pretty hard lately and have had to scrape myself up off of the floor. I can’t write about it here as I want to protect the nature of the matter and the persons involved, but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with to date. My soul really felt as if it could have just perished. But yesterday, and the day before, I awoke with a whirlwind surrounding me. I could feel the Lord circling me with His strength. His breath was rushing through me- the Holy Ghost- which I’m a big believer in was rushing through me like cold water- there’s really nothing like it. It’s like having goosebumps on the inside. Two mornings ago it was so strong it actually pulled me out of sleep and yesterday it was the same thing. This morning I woke up and it’s been the same thing- so very strongly. When it’s this strong, I know that I’m feeling the prayers of others who are praying for me.
I have a sneaking suspicion I know who that person is. 🙂
When we pray for other people, we nail ourselves to the Cross, as it were. As we take on their burdens, we also take on death and die to “self”, becoming crucified with Christ. I know now that this is what that Scripture means. When we pray for others, we’re laying down our lives for them- standing in the gap.
So Y, this is a special thank you to you, because I know your prayers have broken through! I’m strengthened and feel so much stronger. My spirit is revived and I can literally feel your prayers and I’m rejoicing. Thank you my friend. ♥
I’m dedicating this pic to you! Rain on glass. (Yes, I was actually driving in the rain when I captured this shot. I know, “bad me!” But it was worth the efforts!) it was nothing special at first, but then I defocused the lens and it turned into this beautiful, impressionistic work of art of the traffic in front of me. Hope you likey! 🙂
Cross Cultural Communications test- A
Research Methods for Experimental Psychology test- A
Apart from my Ethics class (which I hate), I’m maintaining all A’s in my classes. I’m used to my little 100 and 200 level classes. These 300+ level classes are kicking my butt! Really though, it’s nothing compared to what I’ll be doing when I’m working on my Master’s/Clinical Psychology.
My favourite class so far is definitely “Research Methods”. Naturally, there’re a lot of dependent and independent variables and such, but it’s not as heavy on perspectives as I thought it would be. Really, much of it deals with the precision of APA so I’m grateful that I have a good professor who cares about her work and her students. It’s a tough course! I love it though. Although I was only supposed to get a 50% refund for dropping my Statistics course (because it was during the 3rd week), I filed an appeal with the school and attached 10 emails to back up my claims that my professor was grossly under-prepared to teach the course. I have always fought for what I believe in, especially where school is concerned. My appeal was granted, and despite the fact that it was already the 3rd week, I was granted a full refund- 100%. Triumph!
All of my school work is done for the week and I’m super excited: Josh and I are heading to the hills of Kentucky tomorrow! We still need to pack, but we’re both acting positively giddy and can’t wait to leave. We’re wanting to get out of here so bad, we’re thinking about leaving a day early and sleeping on an air mattress in the back of the Rodeo. For me, there’s something romantic about camping out in the truck and listening to the sounds of crickets in the middle of nowhere. Then on the 2nd and 3rd nights we’ll be at the cabin. I can’t believe it’s been a year since our last vacation together! This is long overdue.
I plan on taking all 3 of my film lenses: the Super Tak 135/3.5, Helios 44-2, and my Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8. I’m loving my Zeiss at the moment. It has a great film quality texture to it that I just don’t get with digital lenses and the exposure has a bit of a natural glow to it. I took a solitary walk on my birthday the other day at a place that Josh and I named Bullfrog Creek. Here are some sample pics from my walk (the train bridge was high up in the air- about 11 stories up- my dog was terrified):
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 film lens + digital camera/Canon Rebel XSI
It’s 2:21 a.m. and Josh just left to go get chocolate truffles, Jolly Ranchers and Pringles for me (after working a 14 hour day). What a man! I’m wiped out. Time to call it a day…
I’m honestly too tired to think of a clever title. I’m beginning to think I was mad to attempt 5 classes this semester! Alas, the boat has left the shore so onward I go. Here’s what my schedule’s looking like for the next few days:
Cross-cultural Communications– Read chap. 1 & do DB/Discussion Board-respond to 2 classmate’s posts/take exam
Research Methods of Experimental Psychology– Complete CITI training/DB postings/Read chap. 4- take Ethics exam
Ethics– “Think & Write” assignment/Read chap. 1/Read Plato’s Republic (various chapters), Lord of the Rings commentary and chapter excerpts & discussion along with The Rings of Tolkien & Plato, DB/Discussion Board on Chap. 1/Respond to 3 classmate’s threads
Everyday Psychology– Read chap. 1/Journal entry/Do both DBs and take exam
Statistical Techniques for Health Professionals– do 90 more Stat problems on descriptive and inferential Statistics + 2 quizzes and 1 test
That about wraps it up for week two!
My day began with me taking my Mom to her doctor’s appointment at 9:00 a.m. Her medication levels were off and she was toxic. Thankfully we caught it in time. Afterwards, my day was a flurry of activity but I managed to squeeze in a mile walk at the park with the dog- back to flurried activity- supper (Mom and brother fed- check!) 5 hours of schoolwork- milkshakes at Steak ‘n Shake with the fam-back outside for another late night walk with the dog. I’m pretty sure my punctuation is blown all to hell but I’m too tired to check.
So, at almost 2:00 a.m., I’m off to slap some Proactive on my face and brush my teeth- slam an Ambien and drift off into blissful nothingness. I’ll be back when I come up for air!
Taken today at the park- Helios 44-2/manual exposure
Downtown Jeffersonville/Louisville, KY in the background
Helios film lens 44-2/Flooded field/manual/natural lighting
Upside down reflection-taken yesterday
Mr. Bob Hedge, himself (AKA: my son) /Helios film 44-2/natural lighting
So Josh is in the living room belting out a rock-blues ballad that he’s making up as he’s going along. Today we’re rejoicing: he just got a new job and I’m changing majors from Sociology to Criminal Justice. Hoo ha! I’m pretty excited about it. I’m thinking, I need to knock back this school thing while I’m in school-mode. A few more years! Two and a half, in fact. I’ve been told that up to 90 of my credit hours could transfer over to my BS in Criminal Justice. I’m pretty happy about that. Sociology is great and all, and I’m most passionate about that, but at the end of it all I’m going to need a jobby job, as in, actual “career”. Sociology doesn’t ensure that but Criminal Justice does. My dream job would be as a criminal psychologist or a Profiler, but that requires no less than a Master’s degree. Hmmm…we’ll see. I’ve decided to move in the direction of a probation officer for starters.
My plan is never vague or blurry when I calculate one. I gather facts, research, strategize, formulate the plan clearly, and execute it precisely. So the new plan is this (which could change at any time, mind you, but for now, it’s a done deal):
Short Term Goals
- Transfer 30-60 Behavioral Sciences credit hours over to SNHU and apply them to new BS in Criminal Justice
- Receive BS in Criminal Justice
- Build up community work with PBS/Peanut Butter Soup– my children’s book- volunteer, etc. or possible school readings (This is the area that needs most attention) Ulterior motive: bulk up resume + gain experience
Long Term Goals
- Work as probation officer/secure job for $30,000 to $35,000 annually-starting pay- minimum
(The starting pay for most probation officer jobs is $35,000-$40,000)
- Continue with Master’s degree in down time/online- snails’ pace, obviously (never more than two courses at any time)
(Studying Criminal Psychology)
- Work to pay off student loans and other debt (which is minimal)
I never envisioned moving into the direction of law enforcement (gasp!) but as a probation officer, I would need to be a licensed gun carrier, and, carry a badge. Yep. A badge. I’m halfway through the semester and am miraculously holding on to my A’s (and a B), so I’ll transition over to my new University in June to begin work on my Bachelor’s. Exciting stuff!
It’s interesting to think that the same prospect only one month ago made me want to shake, shudder, and run for the hills. That’s what utter loneliness can do for the soul! Despondency and silence eat away at the core until everything looks so grey and near impossible to achieve. I had predicted that my heart would thaw out this spring: who knew? 🙂
But love indeed has taken its toll on me and I’m helplessly goofy and happy lately. Josh makes an incredibly strong impact on me. Isn’t it funny how different people will reflect different parts of us? He reflects genuine goodness and he brings that out in me. I mentioned this to him one day and his reply was this, “I only reflect back what I see.”
The kitchen is a wreck and I’m still in my PJ’s at 3:11 in the afternoon, but the sound of the electric guitar in the living room tells me to relax- take a break- smile, and let the dishes marinate a while longer.
Love has its ole hook in me once again.