photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “Peanut butter Soup

All-nighter

I’m quite sure that I enjoy pulling all-nighters because it’s the closest thing to getting high that I do these days. (For the record, I stopped smoking pot/getting high a decade ago. So these days, catching a natural sleep-deprived buzz is about all the “partying” that I do any more.) I do love my sleep, I really do, but there’s just something about romancing that space at the edge of dreams…walking in that head-space…that I really love. When coming upon the 28th hour or so without sleep, things start getting a little goofy and slap-happy. It’s so much easier to smile in that place. And smile I do. 🙂

It’s only been about 23 hours without sleep so far; not so bad, really. I know that if I were to come back to this post in a few years, I’d have no recollection of writing this (right now) at all. Well, now that I’ve pointed that out and have just retrieved those encoded thoughts from my episodic memory- I sort of screwed that up, haven’t I? Too late for that thought cluster. (At this point, I’m wondering just how much of this rubbish monologue that I’ll even be able to comprehend later on down the road.) My eyelids feel like they’re made of concrete, but I’m more rebellious than sleepy, so I’ll check back in a bit and see if I’m still making sense.

Things have been going SO well lately. My semester has just ended- I’ve added two more A’s to my grades- whew! I’ll be honest; I thought getting my Master’s degree was going to be a cake walk, I really did. But DANG if I don’t have to write 15 pages of APA-stuffed papers weekly. This is so writing intensive. Two more classes and I’ll have wrapped up my first year. I can hardly believe it! Time is just flying by.

My next two classes will be Substance Abuse Prevention and Neurobiology of Addiction. I’m going to absolutely devour the latter one. I’ve waited patiently for that class and am really excited about taking that one. I love most anything to do with neurobiology, but especially addiction issues.

Josh doesn’t work for Calvin any more. He’s worked for him (off and on) for 11 years. He realized that as long as he stayed with him there, he’d never advance and grow and blossom and all of that good stuff that he’s needed to do for the longest time. So he called another flooring company and it just so happened that the owner had a position on a small crew that had an immediate opening, and in fact, they needed another man. Right on the spot, Josh was offered a position with that company at $3 per hour more than what he was making with Calvin.  We couldn’t believe it! Proof that when God opens doors, He lets you know that it’s Him– without a doubt. He makes it so that all you have to do is simply walk through that open door. We complicate things, we humans- we really do. We put up fleeces and practically dare God. As if we’re challenging Him, or playing a game of some kind. But really, all we need to do is cry out to Him, seek His will in the matter, be willing to accept a “no” just as much as a “yes”, and wait patiently on Him.

God is the ultimate mathematician, and artist, and linguist, and everything else one can think of. We just need to trust Him.

So Josh and I are starting a brand, new chapter in our lives. We’re so excited! We’ll have a lot more money, and the fact that Josh is making decent money now means that I’ll be able to sock away some $$$ into my savings account without touching it. I can live with that. 😉

Well I can hear the sheep bleating over the hilltops; they’re coming for me!

I won’t fight ’em off this time…

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz…….

Lensbaby Composer- Somewhere in the woodsWoods


Sabbatical

I’m feeling strong tonight. I’ve been reflecting on my life and the directions I want to go in. Sometimes my vision gets a little blurry just like the next guy (or gal) and I find myself at a crossroad, not knowing which way to go. I guess we all do.

I have already enrolled in a prestigious New Hampshire/New England college- it’s a great school. Poor girl like me, I should be doing a tap dance, and, well I did for a little while. But as always, I put my head on the chopping block and engaged in some necessary introspective Q&A. Why am I doing this? What is my purpose? Am I changing lives for the better?  Will I be happy? 

If I can’t answer every question with a resolute, unwavering answer- then it’s probably not the right decision. I don’t do things halfway- I throw every ounce of my heart into it or I don’t do it. And well, I’ve been waiting for four long years to dive back into my fine art/writing/music and songwriting, and my children’s book that I published almost a decade ago. I’ve done one school book reading in years- one! That’s how busy I’ve been, and that hurts, because there’s nothing like school readings, especially when you’re sharing your own book (and your own life, which my book is- in poems) with a whole new generation. To know that you’re able to influence a child- for the better- and give him or her something that they can carry with them into the future (such as being kind to people, remembering to love, and especially- not bullying their classmates), and hopefully become better people- there’s just nothing that can compare to that.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to immediately work on my BA in Creative Writing: I’ll be taking a year off. I’ve already accomplished something that many people don’t, and that’s self-publishing your own book. [pat on the back] But, I want to actually do something with it. I’m going to shop it around to publishers soon. If nobody bites, I’m going to have to do some grant-writing and such, and that’s ok too. I simply don’t have the necessary funds to do a U.S. book promo and two consecutive books (and promote those too) without executive backing. Without the funding- it’ll sit on the shelf and the best I’ll do is contribute time and energy to Boys & Girls clubs, children’s cancer hospitals, and homeless shelters, personally. That’s alright too, but everything will be out of pocket, and right now, it just wouldn’t be possible.

I’m going to give it a year. If I’m still sitting here a year from now- without one grant, fellowship, or publishing deal (for my fine art and “photo therapy”, the therapeutic photo-program I’m hoping to develop, or a book deal)- I’ll go back to school and work on another degree. I have to follow my heart though, and my heart is telling me to fly…

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anron Rebel digital camera/Helios film lens/back deck.


Show this to your children. Please. So they may Never Grow up to be Bullies. Or Bullied. [Reblogged]

Show this to your children. Please. So they may never grow up to be bullies. Or bullied..

If you have been bullied, or have a child who has been, this is a must-see. I think it expresses how and what the bullied child experiences better than anything else I’ve seen. Take a moment- it’s worth it. Kudos to its creator. xo [click the link above]


Overbooked and Understaffed

Lately, life seems to be flying by. This is what things look like to me right now:Image  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.

My wildflowers given to me by the school:
Image Lensbaby Composer pro-Double Glass Optics f/4/Manual exposure/manual focus/natural lighting

“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…)

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And then the Doctor Said…

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[pics of my kids]  Lensbaby Composer Pro + Double Glass optics/4 & 2.8

“Well where is your pain?”

“In the back of my head, this time. At the top of my neck and the base of my head,” said I.
I suppose I could have just as easily said where my cerebellum and brain stem are.

“Well, that’s exactly where your cyst is,” said he.

“Cyst. Hmm. So…right. You know, I’m not a lightweight. Do I need surgery? Just…tell me what’s up with it.”

And so on and stuff.

So I’ve discovered the culprit of my raging three day migraines. And sometimes four. This arachnoid cyst. Hmm. Not a pretty sounding fella. Arachnoid means spider-like. Who knows what the heck I’m toting around up there. I do know one thing for certain: I refuse to go down without a fight.

Also, I’m not prepared to put my life in the hands of a man I don’t know. Degree notwithstanding. I’ve decided that I’ll take matters into my own hands and request an MRI every six months, measure it myself, and take the direction I think best. I’m going to call the shots.

I’ll continue my homeopathic regimen- ground cayenne and ginger, lots of water, tea, and exercise. Now I know this might seem strange because I’ve researched arachnoid cysts and many others who have them are quite inactive. If you’ve had monster migraines, you learn to not disturb the beast. But I want to unlearn this behavior. It can be a real challenge to simply “live” sometimes, without triggering a migraine. When it hits, it feels like my whole head is exploding, and somebody is stabbing me through my right eye socket with an ice pick.

I’ve had worse pain.
Ok, that’s a complete lie. I haven’t.
It makes childbirth seem like a walk in the park.
And let it be known that I have an insanely high tolerance for pain.
I have a brand on my right arm from a coat hanger- fresh off the fire.
Gangrene set in and I had to cut it out with a knife.
Yup. Ohhhhh it’s a really good thing that I quit drinking whiskey five years ago.

Anyway, back to my tragedy.

In spite of all of this cyst stuff, I’ve decided to work on some of my music over the summer. Along with compiling a few photoshop tutorials for friends, and working on a song for a young girl named Kira. She’s the daughter of a friend (photographer, naturally), and she’s in her third week of radiation treatment. That little girl is one tough cookie. I found out her favourite colour, her favourite food, and have decided that I’ll write, record and produce a track for her as a token of friendship, and as an inspiration for her to keep on fighting.

I realize that God has given me a lot of talents. A lot of them.

Singing
Songwriting
Musician (piano/guitar)
photography and various mediums of art in general
Psychotherapy- yes. Psychotherapy. And I don’t even charge people.

Let’s see…there’s cooking and wait- I’ve published a children’s book too, called: “Peanut Butter Soup”.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/peanut-butter-soup-birgitta-lindsey/1006855000?ean=9781418482831

It’s a collection of witty, thought-provoking, inspirational, and motivating poems for children. I included some of my chicken-scratch drawings with them- nothing so complicated that a child can’t mimic them. But they’re loaded with messages that raise awareness for the obese, the aging, metally challenged (hey- and mentally too!), and so on, so that kids will learn how to not bully others. Yes. I was a bedwetter until I was fourteen. (Sigh.) I’m afraid this batch of blog-tags are going to be the freakiest collection of words that might ever be listed together yet.

Perhaps I’ll actually get around to promoting that book one day, but for now, I’ll sign personal copies and ship them to friends. Like Kira. 🙂

In time, I’ll post videos. And actually sing. And play. (And stuff.)

For now, I’m soooooooo enjoying my summer break- good grief I thought this past semester was going to kill me. Seventeen credit hours (5 classes) and twenty one credit hours last semester. Not an easy thing to accomplish with blistering migraines, I will tell you. It was nothing short of miraculous that I came through so strongly, and, made mostly A’s and B’s.

Six classes to go and I’ll have my degree in Behavioral Sciences and certification in Substance Abuse.

Go me.

p.s. Mr. Chris Alia, I’ve added you to my tags, so if you ever go ego-surfing, you can find me.

xo