little known fact – sad has a taste

I’m going to whine, about food, so if that ain’t your thing you might want to leave now.

My mom is helping me with this diet thing and she’s really amazing, she is. The most amazing mom ever. She’s just beyond amazing.

(you read that in the Donald’s voice, I know you did)

But I’m kind of a picky little thing and I’m not really enjoying this. For example, my morning snack today was 10 macadamia nuts. TEN. If you’re wondering whether I picked through the container to find the 10 biggest, you’re damn right I did. But before the Great Nuts Fiasco of ’17 we had to deal with the Sad Smoothie Situation of ’17.

I’ve never been one to put unusual things in my smoothies. They generally consist of fruit, yogurt, and either milk or fruit juice. Some of those yummy things are verboten right now though, so I got a little bit of fruit and some Plain Greek yogurt and Almond Milk. I really kind of despise almond milk. The only thing worse than almond milk is protein powder, and I got some of that, too.

It wasn’t quite the nastiest thing I’ve ever drank and I did actually finish it, but it left me with a serious craving for powdered milk cut with whiskey.

However…

I know that this diet stuff is good for me. I’m easily 100lbs over weight (or 4ft under tall) and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I don’t have hypertension, diabetes, or any number of other weight related health concerns. The skin issue is what got this started, but this morning the universe sent me another message and I’m too smart to ignore it.

So I’ll whine a little and use my dark sense of humor to get through this. I’m in the process of writing a version of “Sound of Silence” that’s an ode to granola.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go lick a paper plate.

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weekly goals

I’m a firm believer in goals and that setting goals helps me achieve things. Unfortunately I’ve let my practice slip recently. (earlier this year is still “recently” right?) So I’m going to push myself to get back into that practice. In previous iterations I set myself weekly goals that followed several themes. I’m not sure that really serves me now like it once did, so I’m going to change this up a little. (my house, my rules)

One of the primary reasons I’ve always shared my goals is the whole accountability thing. They say that if you tell someone you intend to do something, you’re more likely to actually do it. I have no idea who “they” are but they seem to be right quite a lot. So here goes…

By the end of September, I will:

  • Finish the triangle shawl I’m knitting
  • Finish the peacock feather shawl I’m knitting
  • Spend at least one hour per week writing
  • Formulate a plan to implement the dietary changes my psych doc suggested

Interestingly enough, the diet thing has little to nothing to do with my mental health. I have a skin condition that I’ve had surgery for but it’s moved. Where it’s now located isn’t really fit for a successful surgical intervention but there’s some indications that a lower carb diet is helpful. The diet should at the very least help me lose weight and there’s some indications that skinny people don’t deal with this nonsense near as much as us chubby chickies.

On the plus side, I can eat my body weight in real whipped cream on this diet, so I’ve got that going for me.

 

let me recap for you

I’ve been meaning to do this for, well, about a week now. These are some of the photo highlights from my vacation.

“helping”
finished project
Garth, aka “white toes”
crazy yummy
Eric the Red
I don’t do “normal”
Peacock jewelry for Wendy
Pretty new necklace for me

It was great to have time to just hang out. I finished 3 wash cloths, a shawl, a pot holder, the jewelry you see here plus some other stuff, whipped up a fresh batch of facial scrub, and a bunch of other creative bits. I needed that to recharge.

It’s been good being back at work this week though. I do miss my routines when I’m gone from the office for too long. Plus I have a ton of friends at work. Maybe next time I won’t go so long between breaks.

so far so fabulous

I’m sitting here trying to think of all the wonderful things I’ve done in the last few days. I’m not sure I’m going to remember all of them.

  • farmer’s market
  • took my grandmother to lunch
  • changed out the boring hardware on my dresser with kick-ass butterfly knobs
  • ran a METRIC TON of errands
  • made salsa again
  • made some beautiful jewelry
  • made a funky wreath for my door
  • got my hair done
  • found a really cool new second-hand clothing boutique that carries my size
  • signed up for a limited edition modeling gig that pays off with a store discount
  • rolled around on the floor with the kittens like an idiot
  • signed up to take an art class
  • ate fresh figs for the first time and then made a killer little dessert with them
  • did a bunch of other random stuff around the house

I’ve been off work since Saturday. At this rate I’m going to take over the world sometime around lunch tomorrow. But truly, this is my kind of vacation. And I’m feeling amazing.

staring down the barrel of a week off work

You can ask anyone who knows me that I don’t often take time off work. It’s not that my work means that much to me, more that I know I do better with the structure that going to work for 9 hours every day brings. And I do actually love what I do, so that helps. But anyway, more often than not the little HR system sends me a nastygram every few months telling me I’ve got so much vacation time waiting to use that I’m going to stop earning any more.

Well hell.

Part of my dilemma is that I mostly hate to travel. Flying is The Suck and driving Takes Forever. I will say that I prefer to drive because then I’m on my own schedule and I can take as much of my stuff with as I want and I can use a real restroom. I am 41 years old and have yet to use the loo in an airplane. Rather proud of that, actually.

Anyway, traveling with people is much more interesting but it still involves packing and the actual travel and then sleeping in a strange bed and the whole Being Away From Home nonsense.

It’s just not often my thing, ya dig?

So I’ve taken the entirety of next week off work but I don’t really plan to go anywhere. I much prefer to Staycation. I fully intend to be lazy, do some things around the house, maybe do a little shopping, and mostly just breathe. Oh, and knit.

I do think it’s super important to take time away from the daily grind and to recharge the ol’ batteries. If we don’t do that, and put ourselves first now and then, we end up with nothing left to give anyone else.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that even though my brain is fully capable to running for days on end with next to no food or sleep when I’m not taking my meds and that kind of feels like flying and being on top of the world, it’s really the worst thing ever.

Anyone who tells you that they miss being manic is delusional. Mania is a liar, worse than any cheating lover. For as high as you go you come crashing, hurtling, down twice as fast and far. The end is awful. And it’s not worth a single minute of it.

That’s why next week I will be going to bed at normal hours, eating healthy and wholesome food, and taking care of myself. I need to punch my own damn reset button every now and again.

living large on a government salary

I’m a state university employee which means I’m not making the same kind of cheddar that my peers in the corporate world are. It’s a conscious decision that I made 16 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I have amazing benefits, I get to be a part of educating the future, and my colleagues at work are like family. Plus that whole week off between Christmas and New Year’s off work every year, seriously can’t beat it.

But there are some “life hacks” that I use to help stretch my monthly pay. For one thing, I satisfy my daily coffee cravings by making my own fancy stuff at home. I also have a tendency to take my own breakfast and lunch to work so I don’t have to eat out. It’s a hell of a lot healthier, too.

When it comes to buying food we shop the sales. And since I like to make my own smoothies, no kale or spinach please, I stock up on fruit when it’s on sale and in season and then freeze it myself. I’ve also started buying the really ugly bananas that are super cheap and running then through my tiny little blender and then freezing the puree in 1/2C containers. It’s great to throw in with my smoothies. It works great with peaches or strawberries that get a little too squishy. No sense tossing perfectly good food.

I have a tendency to make my “convenience” foods a lot. You like that whole yogurt / granola parfait thing? Make your own. I take a 2C container, dump in a container of yogurt, add in 1/3C of dried fruit, and then take a separate little 1/2C container of granola. (I almost always eat breakfast at work, don’t ask why.) It’s cheap and it’s super yummy and I can customize the daylights out of it.

What kinds of “hacks” do y’all use to save some green?

this is not the droid you seek

I’m in what one of my colleagues aptly referred to as a “reinvention period.” And he’s right. Every so often I completely turn myself into a vastly different version of myself. In the past this has been brought on by failed relationships, wanting to keep relationships from failing, or wanting to keep the next relationship from failing.

No more.

It’s a well documented fact that I’m not very good in relationships. I’ve been married and divorced three separate times and been in too many other relationships to remember. But they don’t last and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. So here’s the list of reasons I’m not “that” droid.

  • I’m too old
  • I’m too young
  • I’m too short
  • I’m too fat
  • I’m too smart
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m too passionate
  • My taste in music is too weird
  • I’m not a musician
  • I work in education
  • I can support myself
  • I don’t make enough money
  • I have tattoos
  • I don’t have kids
  • I do have cats
  • I don’t like to drink wine
  • I have weird hair
  • I have short hair
  • I have bipolar disorder
  • I’m opinionated
  • I will speak my mind
  • I’m not great at singing
  • I’m not politically active
  • I don’t like Trump

Lastly, but I’m finding now is most important, I don’t give a good goddamn about any of those things and whether or not a man puts stock in them or not. This is me, this is the skin I wear, and if you don’t like it…

The door is over there. I’ll be busy enjoying my bellydancing class, grilling myself a steak, and rubbing my kitties’ tummies.