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Monthly Archives: February 2013

An Addiction and Fighting Back!

Yeah, well, if you’re like me, you’ve probably got a few, and most of them not good ones.

The one that distresses me most is the one to food.

I was in recovery for well over a month, nearly two, when I fell off the wagon. I don’t even remember why, now, but I’m guessing I succumbed to something I knew better than to put in my mouth, and it’s been a bit of a downward spiral. Not too bad. Only a couple of pounds worth before catching it, but distressing none the less.

There’s not a lot that I don’t know about eating right. I’ve read so much I could probably write a book, but I recently read an article that came as a surprise. Did you know that the food industry is engineering food specifically so we will eat more? The bottom line is sugar, salt and fat. Sometimes the sugars come in the form of two to four DIFFERENT kinds of sugar in one product. Not only are they making food that is unhealthy in more ways than I want to think about, but they are intentionally and with malice of forethought, doing it WANTING us to eat too much of it, using both science and psychology to do it. And we wonder why obesity is becoming a national crisis.

I don’t know why the subject isn’t getting more attention. We squawk every time the government does anything that can be REMOTELY construed as controlling us…why do we allow food companies to do it – especially in such an insidious way?

The full article is so worth the read.

So, as long as I’m rebelling against being controlled (who me?) I’m investigating raw food.

Long time readers know I’m a vegetarian and trying hard to be vegan. It’s a struggle. So I know going completely raw would be all but impossible, but I’m going to add more raw food to my diet.

Yesterday Andra and I took the kids to a raw food restaurant. No way would the guys go for it, and the kiddles aren’t thrilled, but at least they are willing to try!

Just walking in the door makes me happy…LOVE the attitude!

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The menu is small, but it’s still hard to choose. LIVING food. It even SOUNDS healthy!

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The kids had a raw pb&j, made with a dense, almost pave of bananas, honey and nuts for the bread, honey, bananas and strawberries. They expected it to be sweeter (thanks food companies!)

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The daughter and I had the same thing off the “special” menu (last time she liked my selection better, so she went with my choice this time!) It was called “rawvioli” rather than ravioli. Hahahaha! They used thin slices of turnips in place of pasta and a yummy filling, topped with a pesto, then a side salad of fresh greens, raw beets and a nice dressing.

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Can I honestly say it was the best meal I’ve ever had? No it wasn’t. But, I am confident it was good for me and had no crap in it. It was filling, didn’t make me want to eat two tons of it, and I didn’t feel like I needed six glasses of water to wash the salt out of my system. It was just a good, satisfying meal that I ate with no guilt and no regrets. It may not have hit all the pleasure zones that “engineered” food does, but that’s okay. No animals had to die, I know I didn’t eat any chemicals, it tasted good enough that I would order it again, and THAT felt good enough.

I have a feeling that if I ate like this all the time, and didn’t even let the crap food into my mouth EVER, eventually the crap food would stop tasting so good, and this would be even better.

NOW, to make it happen. That is waaaaaay easier said than done, but I am going to try to keep heading in that direction.

Obsess much?

Okay, this is going to be short and silly, but it’s what’s on my mind tonight. And it’s another confession (or two) although some of you know this about me already. I mean it’s not a secret. And it’s not new.

I obsess. That’s what I do.

I try to just dabble. Really, I do. But I seem to be fundamentally unable to do that. And as I get older, I seem to obsess more and more.

If it catches my interest at all, I obsess. Downton Abbey, bananagrams, facebook, reading, art, pinterest…. doesn’t seem to matter what it is. I can’t just enjoy it a bit and move on. I have to do it over and over and over and over until I burn out on it and move on to my next obsession.

And I collect. If I have one, I need 10. Or 20. Or every variety and color I can get my hands on. Or every one in the series.

Are they related conditions? Sounds kind like a couple of mild varieties of OCD to me!

How about you? Do you obsess? Do you “over” collect? Or are you one of those “normal” people who know how to balance their lives?

Dreams Are Just Dreams, Right?

I slept in an hour later than usual this morning. I had gotten into a 4-5 day habit of waking up at the same time (within a minute or two) and I was liking it. Then WHAM! A whole hour later this morning, thus effectively robbing my day of an hour.

The most concerning part though was WHY I slept in. I was having an alarmingly pleasant dream and I didn’t want it to end. Or, I guess more appropriately, I wanted to see how it ended. But. I woke up just as I agreed to do “the thing.” Which is probably just as well, because the dreaded THING I had agreed to was (cue the scary music!) participating in an arts and crafts show.

Lord have mercy.

I thought I was over that. I mean REALLY over it.

It was a rather vague dream. Kinda foggy, in fact. The friend who was “doing” the show I was visiting didn’t have a face, but the Texas drawl makes me think it was Lori, an on-line art friend who is pursuing a creative art business on top of working full time and having two teenagers, and is coming to the realization that she may need to start doing shows.

I’ve never been to a show like the one I dreamed of, but it was sorta like the setting in the show the Junk Gypsies do in Round Top – out in a field, the booths under giant old trees and kinda randomly scattered rather than in straight rows like all the shows I’ve been to. There was a lovely mix of actual “from the ground up” art, re-purposed treasures and traditional crafts. I was having so much fun, and when I approached my friend’s booth, she was busy, busy.

It was a monthly show from April thru September, and they had JUST had a vacancy for a booth space near her, and I needed to grab it if I wanted it. Vacancies didn’t happen very often… I immediately needed to run to the bathroom. My guts were churning and I thought I was going to have have a seriously disturbing accident. (I know – too much information, but it was while sitting on the throne I decided to go for it.)

A month to prepare for a major show. And it wasn’t cheap – over a thousand dollars. That meant tons of merchandise, and lots of display pieces if I had any hope at all of even breaking even.

My mind was whirling.

I ran through the limited merchandise I had at home. Not much. And even less of the style that I have come to love. I did have ideas for some things I could get together quickly. I could do some prints and make cards of my favorite canvases. Maybe even do prints on muslin and whip up a few pillows. I had lots of “found” stuff I could quickly make into necklaces, and about a dozen old door knobs that could be transformed into photo holders in an hour or two. Could I bring it together in a cohesive way and get enough support stuff together to make a proper showing?

I was gloriously scared and deliciously excited. I was going to go for it.

Then I woke up. And I had to pee like a race horse – guess that’s where the bathroom scene came from!

ANYWAY.

It was just a dream, right? Just a dream.

The Create/Happy Connection

Yesterday I made the absolute connection between being useful and being happy, and in the process brought to the forefront of my thoughts my connection between being creative and being happy.

The problem is, I don’t ALWAYS have the ability to be creative, in the more traditional sense of the word, every day. By that I mean life often gets in the way of making art, doing crafts… There are times when I have obligations that use up my “creative time” or, I am in a place where my “supplies” are not available.

So, I can either do without creativity in my life every day, or I can expand my definition of creativity.

I am choosing to re-define creativity.

Sometimes it will have to mean creating a healthy body, as in shopping for healthy food, or exercising, or getting enough sleep. Or even just chilling. That’s a concept – relaxing!

Other times it may mean creating an organized environment, like cleaning the house (oh, no!) or putting things away in a home away from home, or doing dreaded paperwork.

And it may mean simply creating memories, whether or not they are recorded by camera.

So that means I need to be willing to accept that I may go through a day or two or more with nothing to really “show” that I have been creative. I think I will be okay with that.

A Breakthrough!

Most of you know that my “word” for 2013 is HAPPY, meaning that my focus for this year (building on my 2012 word – create) is discovering the “happy” in my life and creating more of it.

Today I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that although there are many things in my life that make me happy, the one that is a constant, woven through all the aspects of my life, is “being useful.”

I AM AT MY HAPPIEST WHEN I AM BEING OF USE TO SOMEONE.

I haven’t felt very useful lately. With all my physical limitations I find myself on the sidelines a lot, watching instead of participating, being waited on instead of doing the waiting on. I am incredibly grateful for the help, but I don’t like being dependent. And I know I deserve it. I know I have given a lot. But it is not easy for me.

I was thinking about my sister-in-law this morning. Her husband has macular degeneration and is nearly blind. But he wants to be of help, so he’s figured out how to make coffee by feel. This results in coffee grounds in the coffee from time to time, but she just drinks around it, because she knows he needs to feel useful. Isn’t that darling? I just love it!

And, although my limitations aren’t nearly in the same league, I know how he feels. I am accustomed to being a workhorse. I am used to being the energizer bunny, running circles around people much younger. I am used to working through to do lists a mile long that make other people’s heads spin.

Not so much anymore.

But I need to be able to do what I can do. I may not be able to carry all the luggage, or carry the kids long distances, or put together a whole dinner party alone (at least not for now!)  but I can help. Hopefully my limitations will not be too long-lived, and I’ll get back most of my energy and physical abilities. But if they are permanent (God forbid!) I’ll just have to find less strenuous ways of being useful. Because, as I’ve just figured out, my happiness depends on it!

Interestingly enough, I had recently decided that I need to channel my creativity back to my scrapbooking, which I have gotten woefully behind on. Not only does it play into “create,” from last year, but it is a useful endeavor, because it documents my family’s history, which is of benefit to them. AND I don’t have to be able to stand for hours or run up and down stairs to do it. AND it makes me “happy.”

I love it when things work out like that!

A New Toy!

Have you ever used one of those underwater cameras? The old fashioned kind that’s a single use throw away kinda thing?

I’ve used them for years, with less than wonderful results. Lots of fuzzy pictures, expensive, and you don’t know at the time if any of the pictures are good, so you just shoot away hoping you have something good, only you rarely do.

Well, I decided to treat myself to a little digital underwater camera. It’s a cool pix (like my every day point and shoot.) I think it’s going to be easy to use, or at least I hope it will. I’m up to my ears in camera gear these days, and not a lot of time to spend learning.

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Woohoo! I can hardly wait to play!

A Little ATC Love

February is the month of love, so of course, Love was the theme for our Fly Girl ATC swap.

Every month I try to have the girls do a technique that is just a little different. This month they tried punching out their focal point instead of painting or drawing one.

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Usually we work at the big table, but it was full of stuff being sorted, so we used their little table…what a mess we made!

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I just love doing inchies, and so do the girls! These little one inch square treasures are SO much fun!

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Note to self: next time use the table cloth, even if we’re working at the small table. The paint dried before I wiped it up, and it might as well be permanent ink. I’ll be lucky to EVER get the table clean!

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YUCK!

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