I’ve always had the urge to create stuff.  In high school I dabbled in painting (in a cheap acrylic paint on poster board sort of way), I knitted a series of scarves in college, I tried writing poetry at various stages of my life, and I’ve always enjoyed writing in general.  I would say I’ve attempted drawing before but I really haven’t given it a true effort.  My drawing attempts are rivaled by those of a kindergarten student and I wind up terribly embarrassed and hunching over my paper afraid someone will see.  Seriously, it’s that bad.  And in all of the above endeavors I haven’t really had anyone helping me out.  I wasn’t taking a class, I wasn’t consulting a professional, most of it was all done in the privacy of my own living quarters and hidden from the world.  So I guess it isn’t any wonder I missed out on some of the lessons being creative can teach a person.

Example?  Of course.

Today I started working on some cookies for my largest cookie order to date.  Six dozen cookies, pale green onesies with pink owls on them.  Sounds adorable, yes?  And the owl is your basic no frills easy enough shapes owl.  As I have no drawing ability I went to the internet to find a piece of clipart or drawing of the cute little owl to trace.  Yep, I find an image… resize it on my screen so it fits my cookie cutter and then trace it onto a piece of paper from my computer screen.  (This is where having a printer would probably come in handy, eh?)

What I failed to do before I drew out 100 of those little buggers on a sheet of paper is make sure the drawing I was using was even.  I mean, sure, he LOOKED fine.  Adorable.  Cute.  But as I was tracing one after another onto the sheet of paper I began to notice his wings didn’t seem evenly sized.  So, instead of stopping and trying to figure out a way to make this thing super precise and then start all over… I just trudged on and figured I could fix the issue when I was laying down the icing.  (For those of you confused at this point I put the sheet of paper in a sheet protector then use icing to make what’s called a royal icing transfer.  Once it dries, I can lift it up and place it on the cookie.)

So here I am this morning working on my royal icing transfers and trying to figure out the best way to go about it.  And as I’m working… I’m getting concerned.  I rarely outline anything and for some reason I outlined everything this morning first.  Then, when I put in the wings with a different color… OMG my owls started to look like crap.


These are three of my owls where you can clearly see I was trying to figure out what to do about the wings.  Starting from the left… I added MORE icing on top of the old in an attempt to make it poofier and less noticeable.  Fail.  Then skip to the far right because that’s the one I did next.  I thought maybe outlining the wing would make it look better.  Fail.  In the middle you see me wonder what would happen if I did some brush embroidery and, while it looks like crap there (wrong consistency and same color as the base) I totally saw the potential.

And in a matter of seconds my 100 owls went from beyond repair to….

owl transfers 2


…. totally adorable.  (I know they look weird without the black parts of their eyes right now but I have to wait for everything to dry properly first.)

My lesson of the day?  There are very few things in the world that are beyond repair.  I have had similar situations so many times with my cookies I can’t even begin to estimate how many.  And each time I find a solution?  I’m totally amazed at how something so small can have such a dramatic impact.

And isn’t it the same with life?  I mean… sure things are messed up… but adding a few tweaks here and there can take something I currently find unable to be salvaged and make it into something I can totally live with.  I think the creative people in my life already know this awesome secret.  They’re the ones who are always saying “Oh, I’ll make it work” when I’m freaking out and running around crying out “OMG I HAVE TO START ALL OVER.”  Maybe I don’t have to start all the way over.  Maybe all I need is a creative tweak here and there.  Maybe I am able to be salvaged after all, eh?

Dear Reader,

I haven’t posted much.  I think you guys should get used to me starting out every post with an apology for not having posted much.  However, this post is dedicated to one of my favorite readers.  The one who emails me her comments because she’s a private person and doesn’t put her stuff out there for everyone to see… and I dig that.  In fact, that’s how I am when I’m not blogging.  I’m not one of those people who wants everyone to hear their opinion or their advice.  I’m just not.

Anyway, dear reader… this one is for you.

It’s been a tough couple of years for me since my accident.  While it didn’t permanently mess me up, it made me stumble and slow down.  Slowing down made all of the bad habits in my life creep back up on me.  I let them, naturally, because they’re familiar and therefore “safe” and I know how those things work and aren’t we all tired of trying to figure out the next thing?

The issue is this: long after I could stop my slow down to recover, I lingered in my old life.  I ate too much, I avoided too many issues, I ate crap and junk food, and I stopped looking at who I want to be.

Why is it that everything in my life seems so connected?  You pull on one loose thread and the sweater of my life unravels and I run around pretending to look for my knitting needles but really just sneaking bites of chocolate in the pantry while no one is looking.

I knew my weight/exercise/personal issues were all related.  My weight loss was just as much a journey of emotional release and trekking through emotional mud and swamps as it was learning a new way to live my life, finding what works for me and trying not to be afraid.  I just didn’t expect everything to unravel so easily.  I could say I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy – and I have.  I could say I haven’t blogged because I’ve been distracted – and I have.

The truth is that I haven’t blogged because blogging, for me, is a form of self reflection and I don’t necessarily like myself right now.  

Oh sure, I mean I like myself just fine.  I’m still besties with myself.  But I know I could be better.  I know I could be dealing with issues that I have and face some demons in my life who have been patiently waiting for me to come and slay them. (Honestly, I have some very polite demons.  Maybe if I stopped seeing them as demons I could start making progress, eh?)  I know that blogging about my life means I will likely start looking at it through a magnifying glass again and I already know what I’ll see and I’m just freaking scared of everything I have to do.

So yeah, it comes down to fear.  Do we ever escape fear?  Fear of pain. Fear of challenge and adversity.  Fear of failure. Fear of loss.  Fear of being nothing to anyone.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of being lonely even if I’m not alone.  Fear of who I am and who I’m turning out to be.

I ramble a lot, don’t I?

Dear Reader whose emails I always welcome with a smile, I can’t profess to know what you’re going through.  I can’t profess to know what you’re up against or what you’ve had to face.  All I can say is you’re not alone, you’re not the only one taking a look at something and going “oh crap, that could be describing me” and feeling a punch in the gut.  Knowledge is power.  It enables you to act.  It enables you to move forward.  It enables you to take control.  It doesn’t matter how slow or fast you move forward…. just move in that direction.  I’ll be somewhere out there moving forward as well (sometimes at the pace of 1/25 of a snail’s rate… but I’ll be doing it.  And so will you.



I have no title

As I sit here beginning this post, it doesn’t have a title.  Hell, it doesn’t even have a clear direction or content.  I just know it has been absolutely forever since I’ve posted and I also know I have an urge to write something.  Let’s sum up my life:


Weight:  Climbing.  I haven’t been able to get it together.  I keep eating whatever, whenever, and not exercising more than 2-3 times a week…. which wouldn’t be so bad if I were really hitting it hard… which I’m not.  As a result I feel fat, I hate all of my clothes, and I want to cut off the fat composing my lower stomach.  I tried on a pair of jeans the other day and it was as if they were designed to accentuate the lower belly flab I have.  Like “Yooo hooo!  Don’t you think this is sexxxsay?”  Seriously, I’ve thought about taking some scissors to it but I’m pretty sure that is not the way to go.


Work: I’m busy.  I’m so incredibly busy.  I’m stupidly busy.  And January starts up Academic Bowl season where I will have even more to do.  I’m pretty sure I’m at my limit of things I can handle.  I cannot sign up for any more committees, I cannot spend any more time helping my coworkers problem solve their class issues, I cannot spend any extra time creating new stuff for the class I’ve taught before.  Everything I have second semester will be devoted to staying afloat in the classes which are new, doing work for all these freaking committees I find myself a part of, and trying not to feel overwhelmed with everything I have to do.  There is this huge part of me that just wants to resign from everything extra and enjoy a month or two of being able to go home after work and just… be at home.  No extra meetings before going home… no work to do once I get home…. no stack of papers waiting for me to grade… no last minute tweaks to activities to make them better… no endless searching for cheap supplies to do things with.


Love: My love life sucks.  I can’t even talk about it.


Extras: I’m having  a hard time connecting with my mom these days.  I’ve always been able to call her up and have a decent conversation but lately, I just haven’t been able to do it.  She’s been annoying me.  I think it has something to do with her living with my sister and all these notions about mom just needing a helping hand to get on her feet evaporating in the wake of it.  My mom will never be able to support herself living on her own.  And worse yet, she’s in such a state of denial about that.  She doesn’t make enough money to pay her bills, she doesn’t tell anyone when she’s in trouble, when she does have money she spends it immediately on crazy, inane shit…. And let’s not get into the hygiene issue.  I don’t know what to do about my mom and I don’t know how to get over the disappointment I feel that she can’t take care of herself.  Even worse, I’m more disappointed that I didn’t see that until now.  She’s always been this way, I’ve just been in denial myself.

I have also taken up cookie decorating.  I say this like I’ve been doing it for ages now but in reality, I’m two batches in to the whole endeavor.  I needed a hobby.  One that wouldn’t make me feel poorly if I didn’t do it for a week or two (like exercise), and one that forced me to slow down and spend some time in the moment… because I haven’t been present in the moment since this school year started… and I used to be pretty good at living in the now while still planning for the future… that is just gone right now and so I needed something.  Plus, someone said to me “You’re only as interesting as your hobbies.”  Now, they weren’t insulting me at the time but I really couldn’t let that statement go because I took a look at my hobbies and found myself lacking one.  I used to be really into jogging but I haven’t been able to get back into it since the accident… and aside from that… my real hobbies are reading books to escape reality and talking to my cat and I realized I am not very interesting by anyone’s standards.  So I got inspired and just dove in to the whole cookie thing.

And that, my friends, pretty much brings you up to date.  I’ll try to write more as blogging USED to be a hobby of mine.


photo (2)

Lies my TV told me

Every time I look in the mirror right now I want to go back in time and remember what commercial it was where the attractive young girl said “Acne can last into your 20s” and I want to find those people and the product they make and I want to march into their offices, find the man in charge of creating that commercial, and shake him while saying something like “I’m 34, dammit, you people lied to me!  LIED!”

I have been blessed with great skin for most of my life.  Not that I haven’t had breakouts, because I have, just like everyone else.  There was also a brief period of time in 8th grade where my forehead looked like someone had pinned me down and shot tiny bullets at it for hours.

Anyway.  I’m sure I’m not unusual when I say I normally great a breakout around my period.  Totally normal.  Stupid hormones.

I had a strange period this last time though.  And then it was followed up by like a week and a half of extreme horniness.  Were I married or even in any sort of normal relationship, the man involved would be one happy camper right about now (or hiding from me in a closet because he’s chafed from too much sex, whichever) but I’m not and so this extreme surge in hormones has been interesting to say the least.

Gentlemen, I understand why you sometimes catcall now.

With this surge in hormones?  Oh yeah, I have the worst acne since that stint in 8th grade.  It’s horrifying to me.  I don’t know how to make it stop.  OR make them go away.  I just want to choke that lying bitch on that commercial who made me believe acne would last until I was in my late 20s and then it would be miraculously over.

The TV lies to you people, it lies.


I Make Faces

Yes, I know I haven’t been around.  And yeah, I’m making the obligatory “I’m sorry I haven’t been around” statement.  And I really am sorry.  I get preoccupied with things and sometimes, when things aren’t going quite the way I want them to be, I internalize so I can figure shit out.  And then, also, when I’m very happy… sometimes I just lose touch with the other stuff in life which isn’t my focus of happiness.

I think I’m going to call myself absent minded, of singular focus, or possibly even scatterbrained when it comes to connecting with other people.  Trust me, when I’m not posting blogs, I’m also not connecting with people in my life, either.  It doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it should.

Anyway, I don’t have anything profound to say to you today, I just wanted to reach out and say “Hey there!  I remember you!  Do you remember me?”  And I also wanted to share pictures.  Since getting my iPhone, I have noticed that I seem to have a profound enjoyment of taking photos of myself making faces.  I then text these photos to my friends (mostly Beth and Sarah) just so we can chuckle at how weird I am.  In going through my photo stream today and deleting photos I don’t need to save I came across these lovely gems.


The first two probably need to be explained.  In the first one I’d been crying and I was so angry/pissed/upset at the person who had made me cry that I documented that shit so I could send it to them later.  Yeah.  I don’t know.  I never sent it because… who does that?  The second photo was when I had pneumonia.  I think I look like I have an abnormally large head in it.  It cracks me up.  Again, who finds waiting in a doctor’s office in a hospital gown a document-worth occasion?  Apparently, I do.

What became obvious to me as I looked through these photos is that the 11 pounds I lost this summer really show in my face.

Yeah.  I lost 11 lbs this summer.  🙂  I’m totally happy about it considering my goal was 5 lbs.  I’ve been logging my food on MyFitnessPal every day for 70 days now (as of today) and I have made exercise a more regular part of my life (it’s been less regular and more haphazard since school began but I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to readjust).


So yeah.  Here’s my face.  The one on the left was taken at work on Friday and the one on the right was taken… probably April/May.  All in all, I’m calling it a good deal.

I hope to write some more.  I’ve been through some ups and downs and I’ve had some interesting thoughts I’d like to share (if I ever get them written down).  But for now… gaze upon the power of 11 lbs!  Yay!


The Two Sides

I have my period.  It’s not anything necessarily noteworthy except for a couple of things:  First, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to see a loss for my weigh-in tomorrow (we all know TOM lovingly gives us some additional water bloat) and that really kind of sucks because I kicked ass this week with my exercise and my calorie counts.  All things being equal, I should lose at least a pound from last week… but I’m pretty sure I’m going to wake up tomorrow at 176.6 yet again and even though I know I’ll be down a whole bunch all at once… blah.  The second thing about my period is the hormones make me emotional and introspective and melancholy.

And with the hormones surging through my system, I’ve been sitting here all morning sort of thinking of all the things I miss.  This is when you expect some sort of message about how much I miss my grandmother, right?

Did I mention my period hormones make me shallow as well?

I woke up this morning craving breakfast.  Not an ordinary breakfast – but a meat lover’s skillet from the local diner.  YUM.  I have no idea how many calories such a thing contains.  An entire day’s worth?  Quite possibly that and then some.  And it got me to thinking about my weight loss and the things I miss.  I won’t list them all but let me spout off a few:  Obviously, eating a meat lover’s skillet without knowing how many calories it contained and not really caring.  I miss the way I had no idea eating 5 cookies was bad for you.  I mean, I knew they were sweets and thought it was mostly the sugar content that was bad.. not that eating 5 cookies meant you’d just inhaled 1500 calories or better.  I miss the solace and comfort I could find in food, coming home at the end of a stressful day and finding comfort in a bag of chips.  I miss staring at a quart of Ben & Jerry’s and not thinking that I should probably just forego the ice cream altogether.

See… stuff along that line.  Self-pity brought on my period hormones.  Seriously, I’m not this big of a whiner.

So then, as I was switching out a load of laundry and my side ached as I bent over into the washing machine, I began to think about the things I did not miss.  You know, like hating the way I looked in every photograph.  I don’t miss that.  I don’t miss feeling worried I won’t physically be able to do something.  I don’t miss feeling winded when I try to keep up walking with my friends.  I don’t miss gasping for air during a lecture.  I don’t miss feeling ashamed of my body.  I don’t miss how ugly I felt in the eyes of the public.  I don’t miss shopping at plus sized stores.  I don’t miss the lack of new experiences I had.  I don’t miss drifting through life without goals.

And really, aren’t both paragraphs up there filled with negative things?  I mean, who needs to find solace in food?  No one, that’s who.  Who needs to be ignorant of how many calories 5 cookies contain?  No one.  And I certainly don’t need to miss anything in the paragraph of things I don’t miss.

To put it simply, even though I’m whiny today and feeling sluggish because I’ve taken one day off exercise this week… I’m able to realize that my life has a lot less negativity in it these days.  I’m not perfect.  I don’t have all the answers.  I have so much more to learn… but the big deal here is… I’ve come so far from where I was.  My life is better now.  I am happier now.  I fear less.  I live more.

I hope you do too.

On Being a Mom

I don’t have children.

Sure, there was a brief period of time – about six months – when I did try to get pregnant with my husband.  It didn’t take and it was making me crazy and I decided to stop focusing on it for my own mental health.  And then things between my husband and I tanked anyway.

And at the time, after I stepped away from it all, I wasn’t all that upset.  I’ve always been on the fence about having children.  I mean, I don’t really like little kids.  I never know what to say to them.  I’ve never been the sort who gushes when I see a baby.  I don’t even want to hold them most of them time – it makes me nervous.

However, for the past six months or possibly even the past year… I’ve been feeling inordinately sad about the possibility of never having a child of my own.  It stings sometimes.  I’m about to turn 34 and my child bearing years are dwindling and I am sometimes absolutely devastated at the thought of my life coming and going and there being absolutely nothing left on this planet to show for it.

And isn’t that a messed up reason to want to have kids?  I’m desperate to pass on my DNA (and I could argue that the drive to reproduce at all is the drive to pass on your own DNA) and to know that someone is obligated to come and see me when I’m old and senile.  I find myself wondering what it would be like to drive my kid to sports practice (any athletic ability whatsoever would certainly come from said child’s father), or to sit with him/her in my lap and read a book.  It’s a yearning of the worst kind made even trickier by the fact that I”m not sure if I feel this way because I actually want a child or because I’m actually facing, for the first time ever, the idea that I may never have children.

And it’s all a mess, you know.  My love life stinks and I seem to make poor choices at every turn.  Most men my age who are single already have children and I am in no physical condition nor position of beauty to become a trophy wife and have some old, rich man’s baby.  And besides, what I want more than anything is a companion in my life; a best friend, someone to laugh with and to experience the highs and lows with… and yes, to have a bit of a family with.

But why now?  Why do I only want children right before the opportunity passes me by?  And is it even a real desire?

One thing I’m not so good at…

…is talking about craziness as it is happening.

There’s just so much going on in my life right now and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of absolutely all of it, even the good stuff.  As usual, when I don’t have a firm handle on things (my idea of a handle, anyway) I tend to withdraw until I’ve figured it all out.

I’ve sat on my blog countless times trying to will myself to write a post.

You just can’t force it though, ya know?

This short post is a sign that I’m coming out the other side, that things are dying down, and that I’m returning to something close to normal – although I’ll tell ya, not much is going to feel normal in the next few months.

Things I need to update you on and will asap:

  1. The April exercise challenge.
  2. The job hunt.
  3. My mom.

I think that’s all that is insanely crazy at the moment, but trust me, it is enough.  Until next time (which I hope will be this weekend) please know I’m still here and I’m still going to write…. It’s just that I’m facing some serious hurricanes at the moment and I need all of my emotional energy to deal with it… not much left for anything else.  I’m sure you guys get it.

Right Now, Life is Strange

My life really is sort of strange right now.  I feel as though I’m at some sort of major crossroads.

Let me sum up:

I’m angry with work.  Normally, I love my job.  I love my students, I love what I do and I accept most of the headaches of my job no problem.  However, recent events coupled with similar events which occurred a couple of years ago… well, they’ve got me in an uproar.  I’m so tired of working with a department which doesn’t care, does the bare minimum, and avoids taking responsibility at every turn.  I’m tired of doing everything for them, not getting a thank you and certainly not getting any consideration from them either.  And that is why I’m currently updating my resume.  After 11 years, I’m thinking of leaving my beloved school.  I can’t see myself continuing to work with these people.  I’ll take my chances elsewhere, with a pay cut.  I’ll start over.  I’m tired of getting screwed over and just suffering in silence.  I’m not going to do it anymore.

A relationship I put my heart and soul into has recently come to an end.  I so badly wanted it to work out.  I’ve never had such a connection with anyone.  Naturally, I had all these plans in my head involving the two of us.  It’s all gone now and I’m just left feeling sort of bereft, abandoned, and maybe even a little bit betrayed…by myself.  I’m sad the relationship has ended and I’m suddenly left looking at the other bits of my life and wondering if it’s worth trying to string them all together and piece things into a whole world again or just cut ties and start fresh…. most likely it would be something between the two.  It’s a feeling of things having ended and on top of this feeling, the work thing just adds to it.

And this possibly isn’t related, but I’ve started running again and it’s different this time.  I feel like my old self again.  I feel as though my mindset is finally correct.  I feel as though I’m back in the mentality I’ve wanted to be in for so long now.  That mentality?  It’s the one where I feel in control… control of myself and control of my life.  It’s empowering.  It’s making me feel more prepared to cut ties with my place of employment, possibly the town I live in… and maybe even sneak a peek through my eyelids at the potential for a new relationship.

Life is strange right now.  I’m the girl with a plan.  I rarely ever take my eyes off the future, planning for the future is my coping mechanism.  Right now though?  Right now I don’t know what the future holds, I cannot plan for the future and… I actually feel ok about it.