Monthly Archives: January 2012

Adventures from Unplugged Week

I’m on week four of a twelve week creativity course called “The Artist’s Way” and for this entire week the instructor has assigned reading deprivation.  No reading whatsoever.  I know… horrifying right?!  But wait there’s more… for me this also includes unplugging from the Internet and TV.  Just kill me now and put me out of my misery!   I am allowed to write however, so I thought… should I not happen to survive this week, I would write about the adventures that led to my untimely demise.  😉

Day One:

Got my hair colored and added more purple!  Just a subtle little streak on my left side-burn over my brunette color, so it doesn’t show a whole lot.  But oh goodness I love, love, love the way my stylist colors my hair!  She also fixed the hideous haircut that I got from a different stylist earlier.  Okay I’m exaggerating, it wasn’t really hideous and usually I like the way the other stylist cuts my hair, but this time she had cut my bangs too short and didn’t blend them with the rest of my hair.  I hated it and it made me crabby.  I have this obnoxious cowlick in my bangs that causes me  serious mental issues and I have slight OCD with needing my bangs to lay just right ~ which they rarely do… which explains my periodic bouts of insanity from time to time.  Well, that explains part of it.  Hah!

Then me and my gorgeous new hair went out to eat at Olive Garden (my fave restaurant) with my daughter & my mom.  Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy my spaghetti 😦 ~ should have known better and gotten my usual fettuccine alfredo.  It was still fun though and I had a coupon!

After dinner we went to a thrift store where my daughter found a few fun things.  When we went to pay we were pleasantly surprised to discover that particular thrift store offers an extra 25% off everything on Tuesdays.  Today is Tuesday… so bonus!

When we brought my mom home she showed us something very special and sentimental that she found in her basement earlier that day.  My dad’s accordion!  We thought it had been lost over the years, but there it had been all along… pushed way into the back of the far reaches of her basement like a long forgotten buried treasure!  My daughter is quite musical so we put it in her arms to see if she could figure out what to do with it.   Which ended up being not much, but she gave it a good effort.  It’s too bad my dad wasn’t able to show her how to play before he passed away.  With tears in my eyes I snapped this pic with my cell phone’s less than stellar camera…


Day Two:

Went to Como Park Zoo today!  The zoo… in January… in Minnesota…. who woulda thunk it?!  Apparently not too many people because we basically had the whole place to ourselves ~ which was wonderful!   It was around 30 degrees and the sun was shining much of the time so it was a beautiful winter day.

All of the animals were active and up close to the observation areas ~ the most exciting for my daughter were the wolves…

There is also an absolutely wonderful conservatory there and my daughter and I just wanted to go and enjoy some green and growing things ~ the perfect antidote for those winter blahs…

Their Sunken Garden area (the most flowery part) was closed off for maintenance, but we did happen upon some other blooming beauties…

And did you know that chocolate grows on trees?!  We came across a tree that was identified as a chocolate tree and this sign was posted next to it…

So interesting!  The zoo was the perfect place to nurture my inner artist child. 😀

After the zoo we went to pick up my mom and went out to eat again.  This time to Baker’s Square, where we hadn’t remembered it was “Pie Rush Wednesday” so we had the unexpected surprise of getting a free slice of pie!  So much for my diet…  But it was free 😉  And it was very yummy!

Also today… I reluctantly returned all of my library books since I’m not allowed to read for a whole week and didn’t want to be tempted.  😦


Day Three:

Ran errands with my sis today.  I had only planned on going to Costco, but as per usual when my sister is involved… sometimes you just have to “follow the force Luke” so we ended up going to several other places along the way.

And I’m glad too because one of the places we went was to the Mississippi Market Co-op near my apartment and now I am enjoying a delicious salmon burger for dinner. 🙂  I also bought some beautiful brightly colored, fresh organic fruits and veggies ~ they were simply too pretty to resist.  Plus, I gotta try and make up for that unhealthy pie I ate last night.  Although, I’m sure that’s not how it works.  😉

Another place we stopped at was the fabric store because my sis needed to pick up a few things.  While we were there I wandered off into the bead area.  I have many lovely pieces of jewelry that I’ve made over the years, but have gotten away from it with all of the other things that have been going on in my life.  It was so nice to walk among the rows of beads and dream about all of the pretty things I could make with them.  And then… I found a really cool medallion that would be perfect for making a necklace to go with my new renaissance costume!  And it was only $3.99!  Score!  I’m so excited to have a new beading project to work on!

I’m really missing my reading, my Internet and my TV right about now ~ wanting so bad to just veg and relax for the rest of the evening.  I’m also terribly missing my Facebook friends too.  😦  The adventures I’m having are fun, but it’s also hard…

Is 6 p.m. too early to go to bed?


Day Four:

After writing a bit and playing with my cats for a while, I really did try to go to bed at around 6 p.m. last night.  It didn’t work out so well.  I slept good for a few hours, but then it was all a nightmare after that.  Literally!  I tossed and turned restlessly throughout the night while having all sorts of bizarre dreams and nightmares.  Also, my night owl of a daughter kept coming into my room multiple times chattering excitedly about a new breed of dog that she wants to get.  Even after she went to bed she was waking me up by texting me about it.  My only solace was having my warm, chubby, purring kitten laying next to me.

Today was very low key.  After spending the last three days being busy and out and about, I didn’t really feel like going anywhere.  But with not being able to spend at least parts of my day relaxing with a book, being on the Internet, or watching TV ~ not gonna lie… I got a little bored.  I know I could have cleaned out a closet or organized something, but I just wanted to relax.

So to try and relax I burnt some of my favorite incense, sat listening to music and petted my cats.  I spent a significant amount of time throughout the day just talking with my daughter and to people on the phone.

I spent most of the evening writing and then I played few board games with my daughter.  That was fun ~ it’s been quite a while since we’ve done that.  ♥


Day Five:

Got together with a good friend of mine today and had a FOUR hour lunch! 😀  We always go so long in between getting together that we have lots to catch up on.  The food was yummy, but it was the company I enjoyed the most ~ so thankful for the good friends I have in my life and especially this friend in particular!  Love you Shmeb!  ♥

Oh my goodness there was a beautiful sunset this evening!  The brilliant shades of purples, pinks, oranges and blues painted a glorious backdrop behind the city’s downtown skyline.  It was the kind that you not only see with your eyes, but also feel with your heart.  I loved watching as it changed colors as dusk settled in ~ which was extra pretty against the white snow.  So different from the sunsets I enjoyed when I lived out in the country, but every bit as breathtaking.  A delicious feast for the eyes…

I fell off the wagon tonight. 😦  The TV captured my attention while I was over at my mom’s.  I tried to resist, but it was like a magnet to my eyes and sucked me in.  I blame my daughter!  The funny part of all of this is that both my daughter and my mom have also felt the repercussions of my being unplugged this week, because ever since my dad passed away last June, one of the routine things the three of us do together is watch TV at my mom’s house.  My Mom records programs on her DVR and my daughter and I go over there a couple times a week and watch them with her.  We did spend a considerable amount of time together doing other things this week, but we’ve all felt the loss of our TV time.  My daughter had had enough TV deprivation and rebelled and turned it on while we were over there doing some laundry tonight.  I was trapped and there was no way out ~ “resistance is futile.”

I also emailed someone today, but even though that is using the Internet, it’s not technically the same as being “on” the Internet.  Right?

Oh well.  Either way, I have two days left of this and am resolved to finish strong!  Or die trying…  😉


Day Six:

Went to church for the first time in ages today.  Eventually at some point I will probably write a post to share about some of the reasons for that, but not today.  Anyway… today is the 30th anniversary of the day that I became a Christian and I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate it than by going to church.  😀

There wasn’t a usual sermon, instead one of the former pastors shared about a few of the church’s missions outreaches.  He wasn’t a very good speaker, nothing about him was particularly interesting or engaging, he definitely was not charismatic in any way and even his voice was monotone and boring sounding.  But I was so moved by what he was saying and I found myself crying several times while he was talking.  I was just so aware of how truly blessed I am.  How fortunate I am simply for just being born in the United States.  Complain all you want about the corruption and injustice.  Complain about our government, our health care system, our educational system, or any other system that you think is messed up, but despite all of it’s faults… you are still extraordinarily fortunate to have the privilege of being born in this country!   But these people ~ these fellow human beings who are born in third world countries… live in such conditions that we cannot possibly imagine.  I know that nothing I have ever had to go through in my life thus far even remotely compares to their suffering.  I think we tend to become somewhat desensitized to the images of the starving children we see on TV and so the reality of the terrible suffering these precious children endure doesn’t have as big of an impact to stir us into action.  It’s when you hear a first hand and personal account of someone’s experience in relief type work that you get more of a glimpse into the gravity of the situation for these people.

I could go on and on from here, but I think I’ll save the rest of my thoughts on this for a separate post.  I know in trying to cover an entire week’s happenings this one is already getting pretty long.    Hang in there with me ~ only one more day left!  😉


Day Seven:

Very long, but fun day today.  🙂  Took off first thing this morning to go shopping with my mom for a few things for my daughter’s 20th birthday that’s coming up this weekend.  Originally we were just going out to order a cake and some balloons, but my mom had a few other ideas up her sleeve.  I should have known!  My mom is the most generous person I know and when it comes to her only granddaughter, her giving knows no bounds.  I can’t reveal what the day entailed because I don’t want to ruin the surprise in case my daughter reads this, but I think my mom’s ideas will help make her birthday feel extra special.  ♥

Kinda sorta fell off the wagon with TV again tonight.  My daughter insists on week after week in subjecting me to the sheer and utter torment of watching The Bachelor.   Try as I might to make myself otherwise occupied… there was no place to escape it in this tiny apartment.  So although I tried not to pay any attention to it ~ I  succumbed.   Oh and guess what happened on this episode?  Women cried.  Shocker!  Annoying…


So what did I learn from my week of reading deprivation and being unplugged?

I don’t really know…

In relation to the course I’m doing, this week was meant to help my creativity.   To sort of shut out all of the other voices in order to hear my own.  To be forced to get in touch with myself by cutting off all of my escape routes.  The creator of this course believes that art is born out of reality, not fantasy.  And it is in getting in touch with our reality that we are truly able to express ourselves artistically.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if any “art” was born from my week of torture…  I mean reality.  😉

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of…

So I had an interesting dream last night.  I tend to dream a lot throughout the night and usually remember them pretty well.  I always try to analyze them to figure out what they might mean (especially the weird or recurring ones), and have read a few books on the subject of dreams as well.  I may be weird, but I find it fascinating.  Anything to do with the psyche interests me.  Of course, there’s really no way to know any of it for sure ~ what our dreams may mean, but it’s interesting to contemplate and explore different ideas and possible theories.

Okay, so in this dream I had went back in time and found myself back inside my twelve year old body ~ but at the current age I am now.  I was trying desperately to explain to my family what had happened and was trying to convince them that I had somehow come from the future.  But to them I was twelve and they just weren’t buying it so as you can imagine, it was extremely frustrating for me ~ I was crying and pleading with them to no avail.

But one of the most prevalent things in my mind during the dream was that if I was going to be stuck being twelve and living my whole life over again, I would have to be very careful not to do anything that would change the future and/or who I have become.

Now, I realize that many people would simply  love for a “do over” opportunity  to come their way, but I’m not one of them.  Although I do have some regrets, I sincerely would not change a thing about my life thus far.  Each experience I have had has helped to make me who I am.  And I kinda like me.  🙂

But that in no way means I would want to have to relive some of those experiences either.  One of those being my failed 21 year marriage.  And I was thinking exactly that within my dream.  But I would need to still have my precious baby girl.  She means everything to me and I would be more than willing to endure it a second time if I had to for her sake. ♥

When I first got divorced I remember thinking: “It’s all such a waste ~ all those years… just wasted.  And now I’m old.”  But it wasn’t long before I realized that it wasn’t a waste because I have a beautiful daughter who I raised during that time and she is an exceptional young lady.  Being her Mom = one of the most fulfilling and rewarding job/career/life pursuit I could have ever had the privilege to experience so far.

Another thing I was faced with in my dream was that I didn’t want to do anything to upset or change the course of my friends or loved ones lives either.  Even though there were things I could do to help them in knowing what was going to happen in their future, I had to still let it all happen too.  But it was so hard because I didn’t want to have to watch them struggle through some of the difficult things they’ve had to go through.

I’ve seen a number of movies where the characters find themselves in a similar situation as I was in my dream, and the moral of the story is always that it’s best to leave things as they are because even the most difficult things you must endure in life have a purpose in the grand scheme.  🙂

You know… because it helps build character and such.  Blah, blah, blah…

But it really is true.  We all know it deep down.  But going through difficult stuff sucks and we make mistakes and wish we would have done things differently.  It’s sounds so cliche’ but… what we have to do is learn from it and move on.

It’s such a delicate balance ~ to take a little bit of the past with us as we move forward, so as not to forget the lessons, but not to drag it all behind us like a ball and chain filled with regret.

Heck, with all I’ve been going through recently, it’s really no mystery to me why I dreamed that ~ my subconscious is trying to tell me something…

My life is good.  I’m thankful for it all ~ the good and the bad.  And I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

Oh!  And also… I want to learn whatever lessons I’m supposed to along the way so I don’t have to relive any of it again!   😉


For the Love of Lavender ♥

Oh how I utterly and completely LOVE lavender!

It’s somewhat of an obsession actually.

And I’m addicted.  Like a drug.


Any sort of imaginings of what paradise would be like to me would have to include acres and acres of this beautiful, blissful, perfect plant.


Not only is purple my favorite color, but I can’t even describe how the wonderful, heavenly scent of lavender fixes me right up.  Doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing ~ inhaling it’s lovely fragrance instantly helps to set me at ease and puts me in a more peaceful place.  And that is hard to come by these days…

 ♥ Mmm… I wish I was sitting in this chair right now.  ♥


I could go on and on about how much I adore lavender and launch into a very lengthy and informative discussion about all of the health benefits lavender has to offer (because believe me there are many), but basically what it comes down to is… magic.  I truly believe when God created lavender He infused it with very special magical powers!  Especially in the way of rest and relaxation…


Twice now, I have had the privilege to travel to Sequim Washington which is located on the Olympic Peninsula, to visit the luscious lavender farms there.  The first time was by accident while on a Pacific Coast road trip with my sister who lived in the Seattle area at the time.  We just happened to pass through Sequim on our adventures.  Although, I have a sneaky suspicion that my sister, knowing full well of my lavender obsession, also knew about Sequim (known as the lavender capital of North America) being along our proposed route and planned for it to be a special surprise.  It was.  And I absolutely loved it!  Funny thing is, my sister hates the scent of lavender.  Or so she says…  I think she secretly likes it, but says she doesn’t just to be a punk.  No doubt though that she must love it at least for the fact that it reminds her of her little seester. ♥


♥ This is me overdosing in pure bliss ♥


A few years later while taking another Pacific Coast road trip, this time with our Mom and my Daughter along, I got to go to Sequim again.  They all indulged me and enabled me in my addiction as we visited several different farms where I went out into the fields and clipped and bundled numerous bouquets of my beloved lavender for myself.  There was also one place that had huge vats of dried bulk lavender in their storehouse where I scooped up pounds of that too.  I wanted to climb inside and roll around and revel in it!  It was like a dream!

It’s been many years since then, and I really hope to have the opportunity to go there again one day.  Or maybe to Provence!  😉


Until then I’ll just dream about it…


Here are a couple of links about Sequim lavender if you care to see more…

Weekend Window: Where the Lavender Scent Lingers


Also, do yourself a favor… sometime go and do a Google images search of the word lavender.  In writing this and looking for photos ~ it was a pretty and purpley feast for the eyes!  ♥

P.M.S. = P.robable M.entally-unstable S.ituation

Ah hormones.  Gotta love em!  I don’t know about you, but sometimes these perfectly natural/normal occurring microscopic little chemicals that are periodically released into my system make me feel as if I’m literally going insane!  A real mental case.  If there was ever a time I could actually bring myself to physically injure another human being it would be during that blissful time called P.M.S.

I’m sure there are those rare and blessed women who are lucky enough not to endure such difficulties ~ I wish I was one of them, but I’ve noticed that it’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older ~ along with everything else…

I find it’s best to avoid all human contact as much as possible during this time.  This includes trying to blog about anything even remotely productive.  Heck, my “Stinkin’ Thinkin'” post barely scratches the surface of the types of explosive thoughts/emotions that can come along during this time in a woman’s monthly cycle.  We’re talking down right terrifying!  Yes, it’s definitely a good move to avoid people at all costs.  That way you are less likely incur any serious fallout from the things you may say or do while under such tremendous duress.

I’ve also found that it’s also best not to make any major life decisions or confront any long standing problems/issues you may have with others during this time, otherwise regret is inevitable ~ I’ve learned this the hard way…

Over time, those closest to me have learned when to stay away, but that’s not always possible, so unfortunately sometimes there are a few casualties left in my wake.  😦

I wish I had some positive bit of advice or remedy beyond just merely avoiding people, but I really don’t.  Just thought I’d write about this because it’s the reason I haven’t posted anything in the past week and a half.  I’ve sort of been incognito.  You know… hiding… so as not to cause anyone bodily harm.  😉

Oh there are probably resources out there on ways to reduce the intensity of the symptoms of P.M.S., but I don’t feel like researching them for you.  However, I will say that chocolate, salty snacks and lavender can work wonders though…

Have a nice day!  And learn when to stay away.  😉

Organizing n Stuff

Ya know what makes me feel really good?  Being organized!  I don’t know about you, but the world is a much happier and more peaceful place when things are in order.

Right now however, my apartment is in quite a bit of disarray and I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t taken the Christmas tree down.  It’s January 7th for goodness sake!  I used to be much more on the ball about things like that, but I guess I’ve just been doing other things and haven’t gotten around to it yet.  It’s kinda funny too because every morning when I journal, I keep writing that I need to get the tree taken down.

I’ve never been one to procrastinate, but I’m beginning to sense that I’ve developed a tendency to do a little more of that lately and I’m not sure why.  I suppose I could try and put a more positive slant on it and could rationalize it by saying that I’m just prioritizing things differently.  And there is some truth to that ~ my life has changed so drastically from what it was before.  It has caused me to reassess and contemplate… what is immediately important, what can wait, what can I do something about, and what is out of my control?  What do I feel I can deal with, what do I have to let go, what do I really need, and what can I live without?

Well one thing I’ve realized I can live more without is… stuff.  Seriously though… we all have too much stuff.  Why do we have all this stuff anyways?!

I have way less stuff than I used to have.  It was really hard at first to give all that other stuff up, but I had no choice ~ life presented me with a certain set of uncontrollable circumstances that forced me to relinquish my grasp on many of the things I once held dear.  But ya know what?  Now… it feels so good to be rid of it all.  Truly.

While I was preparing to move from my house (with 21 years worth of accumulated stuff) into this small apartment, I was forced to take a real good look at just what it was that I really needed.  And it wasn’t much.  I joked with my daughter saying “All I really need is my computer and my bed.”  Haha!  But then I added that I also probably needed dishes to eat off of (gotta eat, right?) and some clothes to wear ~ at least my jammies.  😉   Point is… when it comes down to it, we really don’t need all of the stuff that we think we do.

There were a few things that I couldn’t bear to part with, but wouldn’t fit into my new apartment.  Treasured and/or sentimental things like my grandfather clock, my bedroom set (the only thing my bedroom here will fit is my “all-important” bed), my roll-top desk, and the rocking chair I rocked my baby girl in.  Thankfully a wonderful friend of mine had the room and offered to store those and a few other things for me indefinitely.  I also have some things stored at my Mom’s.  This is where the Christmas tree will go when I finally get around to taking it down.   😉

Have you ever heard the expression that “you don’t own your stuff, your stuff owns you”?  There really is something to that.  Having to get rid of the majority of my stuff made me really sad at first, but then set me free in so many ways.  “The less you have, the less you have to lose.”  And the less you have to dust.  😉

Somewhere along the line we are led to think that somehow the amount of stuff we have directly reflects how successful we are, what we have accomplished in life, or how much money we have.  Well what happens then when you lose your stuff?  Does that mean you’re a failure now?  Don’t even get me started on what I believe real success is.  That’s for a different blog…

I think too maybe sometimes we accumulate stuff because we’re trying to find things to make us happy and somehow think that having stuff will help make us happy.  We know this is ridiculous and not true, but it’s easy to get sucked into thinking it anyway.  I mean, just look at advertising and see what they use to appeal to us….  they try to paint the picture that this is what being happy and fulfilled looks like and if you buy this stuff ~ you will be too.

Well, I’m sincerely much happier and more content without all that stuff.  And…

Hey ~ the less stuff you have, the easier it is to organize it!  😉

I still have more stuff than I need ~ more stuff that I want to get rid of.  And as soon as I get this Christmas tree out of here I think I’ll delve into doing just that…



Loss & Freedom: The Things Divorce is Made of…

It was one year ago today that my divorce became finalized.  Lets see if I am able to formulate some cognitive thought as to how I am feeling about this…

Lets start this out with a video shall we…

I’m not a fan of country music, but I love this video!  It makes me feel really good to watching it.  However, my divorce went nothing like this.  I did the exact opposite of the woman portrayed here.  I played fair.  I did my best to behave in a reasonable, respectful, non-hateful way.  Although, I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t admit… at times my inner evil twin did entertain a few fantasies of throwing all of his personal belongings out in the snow and taking him for all he was worth.

In looking back, I find it truly remarkable that even while going through the extreme turmoil that I was in at the time, I conducted myself in a way I can sincerely feel good about.  I didn’t stoop.  I didn’t get ugly.  I wasn’t driven by anger and I didn’t try to hurt him back or punish him.  But don’t be mistaken… I didn’t just roll over either.  Yes, there were a few things I wish I would have done differently or held out for when looking at the final papers, but in the end I really feel like it all turned out as it was supposed to.

I want to live my life with as few regrets as possible, so I try really hard to always be aware of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it,  what my motives are and do they come from the right attitude.

Well just what exactly is the right attitude when going through a divorce?  It’s hard to even begin to describe the myriad of emotions that I went through ~ they were all over the board and ranged from zero to infinity in their intensity.  It was a nightmare of a roller coaster ride to be sure.  I guess to me, the right attitude would be one where you are conducting yourself and behaving in a way that is being true to who you are ~ aside from the emotions you may be feeling about the immediate set of circumstances you find yourself in.  All along the way as each thing came up during the process, I had to decide how I was going to respond/react and thought about what was truly going to help me come out of this feeling good about myself.

That’s not to say I didn’t get real good and angry and I’m sure that I still have some resentment and bitterness issues that I will have to work through eventually.  There’s no telling yet ultimately just how much this experience has affected me and my outlook on life and on how I will view romantic relationships going forward.  I was married for 21 years for crying out loud, I’m not so naive to think that there isn’t going to be some serious negative residual effects from the betrayal and loss of what I thought was to be a lifelong commitment.

But I would imagine that divorce is different for everyone.  There are so many variables.  One thing that I’m very glad that I didn’t have to deal with were any custody issues as many others have to go through.  My daughter was 18 by the time it was all coming down.  He planned it that way…   so he wouldn’t be responsible for helping provide any sort of ongoing financial support for her.  Which he hasn’t, of course.  He has also chosen not to continue any sort of relationship with her.  His loss.  She is such a beautiful and talented, delightful young lady.  And he’s a stupid fricken idiot for not realizing or appreciating that… Yeah, I’m sure you can hear some of that bitterness I mentioned earlier in those words.  Well I’m sorry, but I won’t try to hide the fact that I am extremely disappointed in him for just up and abandoning his daughter.  There is no excuse for that.  Doesn’t matter that she was 18, she’s his daughter and deserves better than that…

In the end, for myself… I have to say that I am just very relieved to be free from that relationship.  He definitely wasn’t the man I thought I married.  I’m sure that’s a common feeling after a divorce.  I wonder… do people really actually change or do they just revert back to their real selves after they can’t keep up the facade any longer?  I know that I did my best to make it work and remained true to the vows I made.

Now… I’m just profoundly glad to be free.

To be free just to be myself again.  What does that even mean?  “Free to be me.”  It sounds so sappy and cliche’ doesn’t it?  Well as you can imagine, spending 21 years focused on being a wife and mother, taking care of your home and working, you get a bit caught up in your roles.   And you don’t realize it while it’s happening, but you let those roles define who you are.

I remember times over the years when I would fly out to Seattle to visit my sis.  I’d usually spend about a week there at a time ~ without my husband or my daughter.  Just hanging out, doing whatever, whenever.  It felt so refreshing to just… be.   To not be anyone’s wife or mother or employee, just myself.  My sister is a bit of a free spirit too so of course we usually just fluttered around like leaves in the wind adventuring off to wherever that wind blew us.  Such precious, cherished times we had together.  ♥

I would always come home totally renewed and feeling positively energized ~ ready to meet life and to be all that I was meant to be.  And guess what?  My ex hated it.  He resented me for having that free time and was threatened by my new sense of purpose.  He would immediately start trying to tear me down.  To make me feel bad for being away ~ that it was selfish of me.  He didn’t realize that those times away only served to help make me an even better wife ~ because in being free to be myself, I would be happier in performing in my roles and in turn become better at them.  But he had to keep me under his thumb and make sure that I knew my place… and that he was in charge.  He was a very controlling and domineering person and it is of that I am truly grateful to be free from.

The dissolution of my marriage a year ago was a horrible ordeal.  It left me feeling lost and unsure of myself.  Even now I find that I’m still more than a just a little apprehensive ~ especially about my financial future.  But I’m also starting to feel some excitement to discover what’s next for me.  I’ve still got a lot to work through.  Heck we all do!  But I know deep down… without a doubt…  that I’m going to be okay.  ♥



A Fixation With Food

I have one.  Do you?

Omygosh I love food!  “Food glorious food.”

I have homemade baked mac and cheese in the oven right this moment ~ and the mouth watering aroma is almost too much to bear!  Pasta… cheese… absolutely amazing stuff right there!

Gosh it’s just so wonderful isn’t it?!   ♥ Food ♥

I thought this would be a good topic for me to write about today as I begin yet another attempt to try and eat healthier.  Mac and cheese = a great way to start if I do say so myself!  😉

The problem with starting any new diet or eating plan is that we have to concentrate on it so much.  It’s all we can think about because we have to plan ahead and spend so much time and energy on thinking about it.  It takes over our lives.

Over the years I have went on various diets here and there and have lost 40 pounds like 6 times.  I should be as thin as a skeleton by now.  But for some reason I always stop there, at the 40 pound mark, and then gain it all back again.

Here’s a bit of dieting wisdom for ya… all diets work.  Yep, pretty much every single one of them.  If you stick with it…

They may not all be healthy though.  Each diet plan has their own slant on what they think is the culprit or reason that people are overweight and certainly there are many, many different variables, but I’m here to say that it’s really quite simple ~ all you have to do is… eat less and move more.  That’s all there is to it!

Oh but sometimes doing that is anything but simple

A few years ago I was at a point where my “numbers” according to the medical professionals were getting into a higher range.  Not quite at the needing a prescription point just yet, but starting to be of some concern.  When I questioned them as to what I could do to avoid having to take medications they said “Nothing, you’re 40, you have a family medical history of this and that, blah blah blah, and it’s inevitable that you will have to be on medications.”  What?!  Um… no, I’m not just accepting that…

So I went out and did a little bit of investigative research for myself and after scouring through vast amounts of information, I found several natural things I could do to improve my health.  Because ya know… it’s not just all about the weight ~ you may be a normal weight, but have some seriously scary malfunctions going on inside your body that you’re not even aware of.

So I began practicing a few of these natural things and after a year or so, guess what happened?  Not only did I lose about 25 pounds (without being on a diet), but all of those “numbers” went back into the normal range.

What did I do?  Well I changed a lot of little things, and along with adding a few more supplements to my regimen, mostly I cut way back on the amount of processed foods I was eating (things in a box or a can, frozen etc.), and started eating more raw/whole foods.  Organic when I could.  And I found that I wasn’t as hungry, which is probably why the weight loss happened ~ eating less.  😉  I lived that way for a couple of years and I did not sacrifice one ounce of the tasteful pleasure of eating yummy delicious food!

Well if it was all so great then why am I back here at square one again?  Probably due to the fact that I had a major life change and an upheaval of the entire world as I knew it, wanted comfort food (which for me was stuff out of a box), had financial restraints (healthy ‘real food’ is more expensive), and basically just got off track and fell back into some old bad eating habits.  In general, I’m not a very disciplined person so it wasn’t hard to do.

So now the weight has crept back up and I can tell my body isn’t feeling as healthy anymore, so onward I go to try once again.

Because my lifestyle has changed so much from what is was before, it feels like I’m entering a foreign unknown territory and starting completely from scratch.  Hope I’m up to it!  Wish me luck!

Ding!  Perfect timing!  The timer has sounded and my mac & cheese in the oven is done!  I can’t wait to taste some of it’s cheesy deliciousness!

In a reasonable portion of course!  😉


…and just because this song has been in my head the entire time I’ve been writing this…

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

“Has this ever happened to you?” 

You’re just going along on your merry way.  You’re doing your best to live each day with meaning and joy, when all of the sudden these thoughts start coming in and begin invading your mind with all sorts of negative and depressing things. Sucking the very life and light right out of you and sending you down into that dark place that’s cold and empty and filled with despair and hopelessness.

I know that’s quite a dramatic description, but you get my meaning…

It’s actually not really an “all of the sudden,” it’s usually more of a gradual process.

Our minds, and our way of thinking, literally have the power to shape our lives.  And it not only affects our mental health, but can also have a huge impact on our physical health as well.

In general, I am a happy and positive person ~ an optimist, if you will.  Not in a sickeningly way (at least I hope not to those who have to be around me on a regular basis), but I usually seem to have a cheerful attitude and the ability to “look at the bright-side” on most occasions.

But there are times when I get that stinkin’ thinkin’ and find myself feeling quite dismal.  And somehow it seems to multiply and accumulate like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Depending on what may be going on in my life at the present moment and/or even where I’m at in my hormonal cycle, the intensity of these thoughts varies.  But oh boy it is not fun…

During those times I want to shout curses at all of positive and disillusioned dreamers out there.  I hate every love song that comes on the radio and want to bash the tv in when anything comes on that is feel-good or romantic.  It’s all such a crock!  And if you are one of the dear friends who dares to try and say anything even remotely positive to me I will eat your face off and spit out the pieces.

Scary huh?  Yep.  And that’s not the real me at all.  But this is what happens when we give ourselves over to the dark side of the force and get into that stinkin’ way of thinkin.’

Don’t get me wrong… you gotta be real.  You gotta let your emotions run their course and go through your process when you’re dealing with a particular life issue.  But… you also have to be cautious.  Those darn emotions can sometimes run a muck.

“A muck a muck a muck.”

Sorry for the distraction there, but that’s how my brain operates.  😀  Everything reminds me of a song, a movie, or a tv commercial etc.

Anyways, moving right along…

We have to be careful not to let our emotions and/or even more importantly… our thoughts, run a muck.  We can allow ourselves to go there, but must not stay there.  And that can be a very delicate balancing act…

One of which I failed on this New Year’s.  I was feeling melancholy and sat and thought about all of the horrible, hurtful things that happened to me in 2011 instead of focusing on all of the wonderful, beautiful things in my life to be thankful for.  I had little glimpses of  things I was grateful for ~ simple things like just having a reliable and completely paid for vehicle to drive as my daughter and I were heading out to have a special New Year’s dinner at our favorite restaurant.  But then I let the stinkin’ thinkin’ come in and thought “Yeah, but I wonder how long it’ll keep being reliable.  And how will I be able to afford any repairs that it might need down the road.”  Those dang negative ‘what ifs’ will steal your joy and sense of peace every time…

Oh, but I had every valid reason to think those thoughts though.  I have lost so much and it seems like I just keep having more things taken away from me, so why not have car problems next?   See… it’s like we feel we’re entitled to think that way.  Watch out!  Run!  It’s a trap!   “Danger Will Robinson!”

If you stay there too long, you’ll get stuck there and before you even realize it those negative thoughts will be what comes naturally to mind.  And it will continue to grow… like a cancer, until you find yourself a very miserable, unhappy person.  But hey you’re entitled right?

I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy.  And being happy starts with your frame of mind.  It’s a choice.  I’m reminded of a quote here…

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”                      ~ Abraham Lincoln

Here’s another…

“You don’t go to find meaning in life, you bring meaning to your life.  Meaning isn’t something out there waiting for you to discover. The meaning of your life is what you infuse it with – beauty or ugliness, happiness or sadness. It is totally your choice.”

I don’t know who said that last quote, but it’s such a good one.  Meaning of life is what we infuse it with…

So it seems fitting that as I enter a new year ~ that I try to make good choices in what I infuse my life with, and no more of that stinkin’ thinkin’.