Sunday, 29 May 2011

A little Q & A inspired by my last post.

A couple of observations regarding the last piece that I wrote...

So, here's what I've noticed about blogging. Folks really seem to dig the down and dirty, real stuff rather than the mundane every day stuff. Wonder why that is? What fuels our desire to know the ugly truth about the world around us? Are we perhaps looking for truths uglier than our own, or do we just need to know that we're not alone in hiding our ugly realities from the rest of mankind? Yeah, show me yours and I'll show you mine....

I think I'd really like some feedback for those questions.

Now, for questions you were probably asking as you read it....

Why did I write it in the third person? Honestly, I hadn't really intended for it to be taken as truth.  I was still trying to hide what used to be my reality. But, I don't think you can write that the way I wrote it without having experienced it. If you ain't been there you ain't ever really gonna get it. The best I can do is give you a glimpse. The reality is much more gut wrenching than the words I wrote. Besides, written in the third person it allowed me to detach myself from it, get past the emotional aspect and actually make it to the computer screen.

Does the kiddo know that I wrote it, and how does he feel about me putting it out there? Yeah, he knows. I'd never expose his truths without knowing that it's ok with him. I read it to him the other night as, again, he laid stretched out across the end of my bed sharing his day. His reply? "Mama, I love you so much I ever saw." I think I broke a little in that moment.

Aren't  you concerned about the stigma that comes with throwing bipolar out there? Not really. The way I figure it any stigma attached after you read it is attached by you and therefore your problem. Now, I'm not trying to be offensive. But, the stigma comes  with just not knowing any better. Bipolar isn't the end of the world. Bipolar people can lead normal  productive lives and leave the rest of the world never having a clue that it's part of the equation. Negative judgments are completely unfounded and given to lack of information. Bipolar doesn't always mean Lindsay Lohan Lifestyle.

The kid is gonna be OK. The kid I have now is the kid I haven't seen since the pre-teen years. Sometimes, I wonder if he's actually bipolar and if it wasn't just "angry kid with a single mom syndrome". He's un-medicated and seems perfectly normal to me.

Any other questions you'd like answered? Post a comment and I'll add your question to this post along with an answer to your question.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Hope -- A Red Writing Hood meme

This weeks Red Writing Hood Prompt:
This week we asked you to write a post beginning with the words, "This was absolutely the last time" and ending with "She was wrong." (I sort of ended with she was wrong. Hope this works)

We asked you to be creative, to think outside the box, and we can't wait to see what you came up with!

This was absolutely the last time. It was what she always told herself in the moments when she felt weakened and too tired to fight any more. Moments when she wept and begged God to deliver her little family of the endless tumult that commanded their existence -- moments when she couldn’t take any more and screamed at her now adult son to get out of her house and not come back.
And, always again, she would tell herself it was absolutely the last time when she would allow him to come back home.
Raising this child had always been a battle. He was headstrong, intelligent and self destructive. He was a stereotype, a sign of the times; the needy boy born to a too young mother and an absentee father. He was born screaming and continued screaming and shaking his fist at the world as if held fast in a ceaseless tantrum.
Bipolar they had told her when he was sixteen. As if that would provide some reasonable explanation to why he stole her prescriptions and her car, why he, both emotionally and physically, lashed out at her whenever he didn’t get his way.
It didn’t explain anything that mattered. It didn’t explain where she’d gone wrong with her beautiful angel faced boy. It didn’t tell her which of her choices were responsible for destroying him. It didn’t tell her that one day things could possibly be OK.
This was the hurt that always followed the anger; the honest truth that she didn’t want to hear.
She craved nothing more than for someone to give her back her boy. She wanted back those times when he would look at her as if she had all the answers and would bare his little soul to her – when he would climb in to bed and snuggle up to her to tell her all about his day.
She wanted back the little boy who would tell her, “Mommy, I love you so much I ever saw.”
She couldn’t keep doing this. At what point did she finally decide that it was enough, that she couldn’t keep living in this vicious cycle, vacillating between bliss and misery?
But now, here he was, home again. Something was different now. This was a more humbled child. This was a child who was having honest and real conversations with her. This was a child who was actually developing a realistic plan for his life, a child who had matured in the six months she left him to fend for himself, a child who was working and taking care of his own needs.
She had told herself that it would never change, that things would never be OK, that there would never be an end to the cycle. And now, as she sat looking at her angel faced boy, she dared to hope what she had never previously had hope for.  As he stretched out across the foot of her bed, looking at her as if she had all the answers and telling her about his day, telling her how much he loved her and acknowledging how hard she'd tried, she dared to hope that she was wrong and it was finally OK.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lemon Chicken Pasta with Artichokes and Mushrooms...yum

Since I haven’t done a recipe in a while I thought I would share one today. To be honest, I haven’t been inspired enough to try anything new in the kitchen lately; that and the fact that I never measure anything when I cook, so guessing at amounts makes my brain hurt. But, that’s neither here nor there so let’s get on with the recipe.
You will need:
1 lb. of Angel Hair Pasta                                                
1 ½ c. chicken broth (or mix 50/50 with dry white wine)
½ sm onion, diced                                                           
2-3 small bonless skinless chicken breasts cubed
1 ½ cups  heavy cream                                                  
2 cloves garlic, minced                                                  
¼ cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese                               
1 sm. Jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained    
1 large lemon and the zest of the same lemon  
Sm container mushrooms sliced                                               
salt and pepper to taste                                               
2 tablespoons of cornstarch in COLD water         
1 tablespoon butter                                                       
Olive oil

Cook your pasta according to package directions and set aside. For me, timing is everything. I like it all to come together at once so, I put the pasta water on and start chopping and slicing. By the time I’m done the water is boiling and I can place the pasta in and start on the sauce.

You want your pasta al dente. (That means NOT BOILED TO MUSH for you non-cooks out there) When it’s done and drained, drizzle a little olive oil over the top and toss it so it doesn’t stick while you’re finishing up the sauce.

In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, melt the butter with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the cubed chicken and sauté until lightly browned. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, artichokes, lemon zest, and mushrooms and sauté another 2-3 minutes. You may, or may not, need to add a little more olive oil or butter periodically during this process. Not too much though. You want a good browning going on.

Add the broth and the juice of the lemon. Be sure to scrape any yummy bits off the bottom of the pan. When the mixture begins to bubble, slowly stir in the cream and reduce to a simmer. This is the part where you salt and pepper to taste. This means add salt and pepper, TASTE IT, if it ain’t right add some more! I will never understand people who don’t taste their food as they cook and then wonder why it doesn’t taste right. Continue to cook for about 4 minutes.

Mix your cornstarch with just enough COLD water that it dissolves and set it aside. If you feel like you need the cold water and cornstarch lecture again I’ve linked it for you ---à here

Add the parmesan cheese and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes. There should be lot’s of stirring going on in this sauce process. If you don’t have something else you’re trying to pull together, you should be stirring, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan so nothing sticks.

Now, IF at the end of the process you find yourself feeling impatient (like me) and don’t feel like standing any longer to reduce the sauce and allow it to thicken, grab that cornstarch and COLD water mixture we set aside a minute ago. Very slowly add it to the sauce, stirring constantly and vigorously. Get a whisk if you think you need one. At any rate, keep it moving so you don’t have lumpy sauce.

Serve that sauce spooned over pasta. Or, if you’d rather, go ahead and toss it with the pasta and sprinkle a little parsley over the top to make it look pretty. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me.

Finally, after you’ve tried this, let me know how you like it. J

Monday, 23 May 2011

A guest post by Princess Lola McFluffy

My name is Princess Lola McFluffy. But, you can call me “Her most amazing, cute, and smart Highness, Princess Lola McFluffy”.

You WISH you were as cute as I am. But, you’re not, and you can’t be. Please don’t hurt yourself trying.
Honestly, my name should be Queen Lola McFluffy, but I let Mommy have the Queen moniker. It makes her feel better about herself. When Mommy feels good about herself it makes her pamper me a little extra. But, (whispers) don’t tell her that. We don’t want to hurt her feelings.
There’s another dog that lives in our house. She’s Daddy’s dog. No one calls her “queen” or “princess” of anything though. In fact, Mommy and I call Sky an old hag. This is Sky.

She’s alright, I guess. She’s old and grumpy though, and not NEAR as cute as I am. And, since I don’t roll on dead animals, Mommy lets me on the bed and tells Sky to go away because she stinks.
REALLY Sky should try a little harder to impress Mommy. She isn’t really that bright, so it’s not much trouble to impress her.
For instance, when Mommy wasn’t looking, I decided to play in some of her extra special and extra expensive yarn. I picked a really good one so she would be extra impressed. I knit myself a sweater, see?

At first, I wasn’t sure Mommy WAS impressed. She made a REALLY scary face and she screamed. But then, she decided it was so funny that she had to show the neighbors how amazing I am.
Really, how many princess dogs do YOU know that can knit a sweater?
Hmph, that’s what I thought.
After that, Mommy put me down in the neighbor’s yard so I could play with their Great Pyrenees puppy. Her name is Yaffa. Mommy doesn’t have a picture of her though. I REALLY should teach Yaffa how to pose for the camera.
Have you ever SEEN a Great Pyrenees puppy? This crazy dog is only 3 months old and she’s already the size of a beagle. Without a second thought to how gorgeous my silky white fur is, or the fact that I only weigh 2 ½ pounds, do you know what that crazy dog did? She pushed me down in the mud!
And Mommy, well, she had the nerve to laugh. I thought, “Well, I’ll show her not to laugh at me.” Then, I rolled, and rolled, and rolled in the mud.  
Just between you and me, it was SO much fun! I think though, if Mommy knew I thought that she would never let me down in the yard again. So, let’s just keep that one quiet so I can store it in my arsenal for later use.
But, I’m so cute that even covered in mud I was STILL the cutest dog ever! See? This is right before Mommy gave me a bath.

It’s all in the eyes you know. See how I did that? Those sad little black orbs – hold them just right, give a little quiver and a whine, and you’ll have Mommy in the palm of your paw.
Hmm, I see it’s almost time for my pedicure. I believe I heard Mommy say she was going to use pink polish to match my bow. I’ve almost got her talked into buying me this gorgeous sundress I spotted at the doggie boutique. But every time we mention it Daddy rolls his eyes and says it’s ridiculous to spend $9.99 on a dress for a dog.
I’ll have to groom his beard again tonight and remind him of how cute and deserving The Princess is.

Things that make me feel old…

Note: I guess some of you have noticed I’ve been a little quiet on here. Thing is that I was having trouble with blogger ever since they tried to update it. When they restored it, and the mistakenly deleted posts, it left me with a bad cookie. Took me forever to figure that out. Anywho, cookies deleted, blogger back to normal.
I don’t know why I’m giving any thought to feeling old. I don’t know what inspired me to make this post. But, here it is.
1.       My baby turned nineteen last month. How did that happen? Was it really that long ago that I held that screaming little bundle tight against my chest and rocked him?
I, myself, was only nineteen then. He screamed. I rocked, and whined between sobs, “Why, won’t you stop crying?”
Then, my mother would come in the room and, the way only a labor and delivery nurse (and grandma) can, she would wrap him tightly in a receiving blanket. He would immediately stop crying and drift off to sleep. Burrito blanket is what I called it…
I miss those days.
2.       I look at pictures of myself and my oldest friend, Sara, taken when we were kids. I remember the day we met. I was seven.

Now we have teenage children, and husbands, and mortgages. We’re pushing 40.

3.       Seeing a child I used to babysit on facebook. Except she isn’t a child anymore. She’s twenty-three. She has a husband, and a child of her own.

4.       Walking into the grocery store in the town where I live and meeting the new store manager. Then, realizing that when he was six I used to babysit him too. That was 23 years ago.

He and his two brothers were the most frightening children I ever cared for. Their parents paid amazingly well. I think they were afraid I wouldn’t come back if they didn’t.

One day, when I couldn’t find them after sending them outside to play, I was near tears and about to give up and call their parents. Then, I heard giggling…..

From the roof….

There are so many more things I could add to this list; every day things that make me feel old. I walk a little slower, I’d rather stay in than go out, if it happens after 9 p.m. and it’s not broke, bleeding, or dying, I simply don’t care, etc. etc. etc. …
What makes you feel old?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

My Obvious vs. His Oblivious/I’m a Brat

I really didn’t want to go fishing.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to fish. I just didn’t want to go yesterday. Which is why I also suggested a walk or going to the park, all while secretly hoping he’d ignore the fact that I said fishing. But, he’s oblivious to what I think should be obvious.

Besides, I was moody.

And irritable.

And tired.

But, I wanted to get out of the house, and I wanted to get out of the house with my husband. How do you do that? You say the magic word.


For once, in all the time I’ve known this man, he was the first one ready to walk out the door. Probably because he didn’t have to fix his hair.

And me? Well, I was still moody. And irritable. And tired.

On the way to the truck one of those annoying child people that live in my house informed me that I would have to use the crappie pole – the fourteen foot long monstrosity with the reel that won’t lock.

So, I pouted.

“Why are you such a grumpy pants?” he said.

“You’re clueless,” I said.

“I’m doing what you wanted me to do. I’m out of the house.”

“Can we just go, please?”

He rolled his eyes at me. I folded my arms and stared out the window. I sighed…. Loudly.

Fishing spot number one was too crowded.

Fishing spot number two was too windy. Never mind the freak show out on the dock. Some twenty something couple who were half making out, half doing some weird sensual couple yoga in front of my nine year old.


Fishing spot number three was deserted, shady, and totally non windy. I had nothing to complain about. So, I kept my mouth shut and let him fish.

That’s when I saw this:

Isn’t that awesome? Unfortunately, all I had was my camera phone. I sooo wanted a quality picture of this little guy.

Suddenly, because I could chase dragonflies, fishing wasn’t such a bad idea. So, I took the crappy crappie pole back to the truck.

Then, he assumed I was done and he packed up and came back to the truck while I was posting my dragonfly find to my facebook page.

Then he just drove around. Going nowhere. You know, one of those let’s see where this road ends up kind of things?

And, I was happy.

And not tired.

Or moody.

Or even irritable.

It was a good day.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Mind Your Own Business/It's Mine, Not Yours

Someone please help me understand how it is that people who have never dealt with a specific ailment suddenly feel as though they are experts on what is ailing you?
I encounter this so often with my diabetes. If it were being done out of concern for my well being, that might be one thing. But, these people just want to comment so they look like they might know something important, or might know more than I do about diabetes.
Well, on behalf of diabetics everywhere, here’s an update for you people…. Pay close attention.
1.       Diabetes does not mean that you cannot have carbohydrates. Eliminating carbs from my diet is equally disastrous to eating too many carbs. Maybe sometime I’ll go without and let you figure out how to get me out of a coma since you seem to know so much.
2.       Diabetes does not mean that I can’t have a piece of that birthday cake. It means I can’t have a big piece and that I’ll probably have to skip the ice cream.
3.       My diabetes is closely controlled. By my physician. When you have an MD behind your name, then you can tell me what you think about my diabetes.
4.       I am in the VERY small percentage of diabetics who is considered compliant with their diabetes management plan. Compliant – that means I do what my doc says and let her know when it’s not working.
5.       I really can eat whatever I want. The difference is, I have to plan for it and practice portion control. It’s more like what I want but not necessarily when I want.
6.       Speaking of portion control – looks like you could use a little of that yourself there, Tubby. How many pieces of cake did YOU have to eat to get that gut? Has your doc told you lately you’re next in line to hop on the diabetes band wagon?
7.       Most importantly, MY diabetes is none of YOUR business. You are not my family, my friend, or my healthcare provider. Your unsolicited advice is not helpful. It only makes me want to punch you in the face. Besides, you’re wearing out my list of handy one liners that make my point without being offensive. We all know what happens when I move on to offensive.
So, stop asking me if I’m supposed to eat this or that, or telling me that I’m not supposed to eat this or that, or even noticing that I’m eating this or that. Your false concern is not wanted, needed, or even accurate for that matter.
And finally….Listen to old Hank for a minute…

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It's a conspiracy I tell ya'....

I’ve not really enjoyed this week. I almost feel as if there’s some cosmic alliance that has developed a nefarious plot to take over my life.
Does that make me paranoid? Am I now one of those depraved people always shouting about conspiracy theories?
Nah, not me.
Except, well, there was that little thing yesterday when I found myself stuck on an elevator at work. There are trolls that live in the elevator shafts, you know.
They heard me talking to that guy about accidentally pushing the call button when you’re going for the door open button. They decided to give me a reason to hit the call button. I heard them laughing at me as I sat in the floor and shouted at Jerry, my favorite maintenance man and now hero, to get me the hell off of that elevator.
I contemplated crying, but didn’t want to give them the satisfaction.
However, I did allow Jerry to scrape me off the ceiling of the elevator once he got the door open.
“You gonna be alright?” he said.
“Yeah, um I’m uh, yeah. Umm…I’m gonna go take the stairs now. Thanks.”
Then he laughed at me. Funny thing how he sounded just like those little trolls that live in the elevator shafts.
I better keep my eye on him. He might be up to something….

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

This should sum it up nicely...

This is all I've got.

Except I don't have it. The guy singing has it....

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Oh my Goodness!!!

Do you see the awesome banner my sweet friend Dafeena designed for me? She's amazing. That is absolutely the best gift I could have received today! Check out her link to the left over there and enjoy her stuff.

Anyone have any tips on how I can make the banner fit? I can't seem to adjust the width any further.


I just love you. You are such a blessing to me in so many ways. You've listened to me whine, moan and groan and never once left me to chase dragonflies alone. I know that today is a tough day for you and I hope you will come out of the rabbit hole and into the sunshine with me. I'll be looking for dragonflies today and thinking of you.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Why I don’t sleep at night – Part II

Sorry, no pictures for this one. If you want pictures you'll just have to go read Part I.
Vampires --that’s what I was dreaming about. I was trying to navigate my way through a huge vampire castle while those silly fang bearing tricksters tried to thwart me at every turn. They kept moving the doors and the stairs didn’t go where they said they would. Hogwarts and vampires? How cool is that?
I startled awake, realizing that I really heard that. It wasn’t a dream.
“OH MY GOODNESS!” Don shouted again.
Panicked, I bolted upright and yelled back, “WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?”
“Is, is, is, is, is, is, is…..” he kept repeating.
“Is, is, is, is, is, is, is….”
“DON! Wake up and shut up!”
“Aye, aye, aye, yi, yi, yi, yeeeee,” he screeched, sounding like he’d been possessed by one of his Native American ancestors.
“What the heck were you dreaming about?”
“If, if, if, if, if….” He said.
“Good grief. Move over.” I said.
And then, irritated that he’d interrupted a perfectly good vampire dream, I lay down and pouted until I went back to sleep.
And he wonders why I'm cranky.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Honesty isn't always the best policy....

I’m not sure how to deal with this writer’s block thing I have going on. ON a typical day, I have been known to w rite down 3 or 4 possible entry ideas. But, these past two weeks, I’ve probably only come up with three or four – period.
Sometimes I wonder if I don’t feel hindered by my own set of rules. There are tons of things I ‘d like to say at times; but, I know that the folks I want to rant about either read my blog, or are close to someone else who does.
It’s this little thing that is my reminder that if I can’t say it to your face, then it doesn’t need to be said. Overall, there’s no good reason to tell someone that you believe they have serious mental health issues (unless, of course, you were trying to be helpful and that honestly wouldn’t be the case here).
Some things I often want to say to people and don’t because I’m trying to be polite like my momma taught me:
1.       You are the most incredibly stupid person I’ve ever met.
2.       Someone you love is the most incredibly stupid person I’ve ever met.
3.       I seriously can’t stand you. I tolerate you because I have to.
4.       You talk too much.
5.       The fact that you talk too much wouldn’t bother me as bad if you at least had something interesting to say.
6.       You behave like an internet stalker.
7.       You make too much noise when you eat and it makes me want to punch you in the face.
8.       You’re seriously the most incredibly stupid person I’ve ever met.
9.       You’re a crappy parent.
10.   You’re just plain weird and it’s no surprise to me that you don’t have any friends.
11.   Really, you’re the most incredibly stupid person I’ve ever met.
12.   You say you’re in your thirties but, honestly, I think you’re only twelve.
13.   I think you’re a nutcase. But, it’s okay. They make meds for that. Here’s the number of a good shrink.
14.   Scratch that. I’ll call and make the appointment for you and then I’ll take you myself so I can be sure to tell the doc what a nutcase you are.
15.   Honestly, I can’t see a single good reason that God put you on this earth. But, He’s the boss so I guess I’ll just roll with it.
16.   I really can’t stand you.
17.   Once again, you’re the most incredibly stupid person I’ve ever met.
18.   I don’t understand why you were allowed to procreate.
19.   When are you going to stop drawing a government check and get your able bodied, but lazy, self a J-O-B?
20.   Seriously, I’d rather throw up than deal with you. Because you’re stupid. And crazy. Really.