Sunday, January 22, 2012

X marks the spot...

You know what I love about our relationship? There are no expectations. I didn't promise you that I would be here daily. I don't think. Did I promise that? There has been no particular reason why I haven't posted in a few. I don't want to short-change you. If I'm not feeling it, you won't feel it either so why force something, right? So, maybe that should be the expectation. I'll write when the writing is right.

Actually, that's not entirely correct. There have been a few reasons why I haven't posted. Princess turned 7 this past Friday. So on Thursday I made cupcakes. And probably the best butter cream icing of all time. And I tried this super cool technique of striping the frosting as it was coming out but it was a total bust. The first one was a thing of beauty but then the butter started breaking down and getting all gloopy and it looked a bit like unicorn rainbow poop. So, I had to switch gears. I made the rest of the frosting pink. And I was using the coloring gels that “won't make your icing runny”. Liars. Such lying liars. It was super runny. And then I put it in the fridge to give it a chance to get it together. Then it was too hard and all separated butter fat looking. I wasn't going to be able to use it. Unfortunately, it was still ridiculously delicious so I started eating it. I knew I would eat the whole bowl of it so I had to throw it away. But by throwing it away, I had to use an idea I got from a friend of mine and had to mush it into the nastiness of the rest of the garbage so that my sicko mind would understand that it was a totally closed door. Shamefully, I have to admit that that was the only way the message could be sent. I'm not saying I would have dug it out of the trash. I'm just saying there is a part of my brain that would have entertained the thought for a moment. So, I had all these cupcakes that had to be ready for the butt-crack of dawn (which is an actual time – like noon- only this time happens with an incredibly loud and extremely close (how catchy is that phrase? What? I didn't make that up? A book AND a movie? Hmmm.) alarm that Hubs sets to go off at 6:30 am. But that's not butt-crack of dawn. Butt-crack of dawn is 6:47 am when I actually get out of bed to do my half of the morning duties). I had to make more frosting. This time I made a cream cheese frosting. It held up beautifully and was a much better color of pink. Except that it was pretty much the same color pink as this atrocity.

I have also been in a funk. This isn't the good funk – the kind that Prince, George Clinton and the Black Eyed Peas do so right. This is the blah bluesy funk that makes you want to listen to funeral dirge-like jams from The Smiths or Coldplay. I'm just kidding. I wouldn't listen to that music during any kind of mood at all. But my point is that gray weather gives me a gray mood – not black and angry, not white and light. Just this hovering waiting for some sort of shift, some sort of direction towards the promise of spring. I really just tolerate winter so much less as time goes on. It's bleak. I know that it's necessary. I know that all that ice packs down deep in the ground and eventually melts to become a life giving force to blossoms to come but I hate that wait. I'm a soul who needs sunshine. Probably I need a light therapy box and some vitamin D supplements. In the mean time I eat like I'm going into hibernation and sleep about the same way. Anywho, that's what I have been doing with our away time.

Let's catch up on how I'm doing with my resolutions. I still want stuff. But I have been doing splendidly with the spending fast. This was truly tested when I went into a consignment store and they were having a 75% off clearance sale and there was a GORGEOUS purple Coach purse. I have a bit of an addiction to Coach purses. I don't know why but I'm inexplicably drawn to them. Especially when they are $69.99 consignment store price and then take an additional 75% off. A GORGEOUS purple Coach purse for $17.50. If that didn't test my resolve, I don't know what would. Of course, I did text Hubs to talk me down. Which he found extremely easy to do (in the form of bossing me...) because he missed the part where it was 75% off and thought it was still $69.99. I didn't buy it. I'm still pining for it. And a little bitter. But also slightly proud that I could accept Hub's wishes and continue to adhere to my spending fast. Except for, well, here's the deal. If you recall, my spending fast was that I couldn't/wouldn't buy things that I couldn't eat or clean with. And that has been the case. On the other hand, my budget is already all gone. I know. It's because there was considerable increase in stuff that I could eat and clean with. Eating cleaner has a tremendous learning curve. I have realized that I have to make more frequent, smaller trips to get fresh food. I'm over stocking and stuff is getting wilty. I need to use it up before getting more. Previously, I was a stockpiler and for some things I still will be. But you can't stockpile chard. I know, probably you wouldn't stock chard at all much less stockpile chard. Give it a try! Also, I have decided to start making a few cleaners and soaps for the house and I put out some initial supply cost to accomplish that end. I have made my first batch of hand-soap. It's pretty cool. Next up is laundry soap. I'll keep you posted. But that is where my money went. Quickly. So, I have more of a spending problem than I recognized and need to fine tune the spending fast rules. Which at this point are moot because I don't have money which means a spending freeze. So, to recap, current spending fast rules: don't spend any money at all because I don't have any money at all. But that is going to be a massive fail because we are down to our last half-gallon of organic milk and it's still 10 days out to payday. I guess we simply explain to the energy company that we are short with the payment this month because milk has all kinds of ooky extra stuff that makes puberty come faster and younger and I don't want my children to sprout stuff prematurely so we are drinking cleaner milk to preserve their childhood for as long as possible. I'm pretty sure that the companies are totally customer oriented and care about our needs and will accept these reasons as important and probably will even take up the cause and persuade all farms to make organic milk so the price can drop to like $2 a gallon and allow all people to be healthy AND warm during the winter. Stranger things have happened. Not often and certainly mostly at the will of the Great I Am. But still...

I have something totally cool to share. Just after I posted about the resolution of telling my story, a friend asked to hang out with me. We were going to play some board games but when I got there we just talked. And she got all vulnerable about some struggles that she had been having. I was immediately gifted with the opportunity to use my experience to listen and give some additional perspective to what she was going through. And you know what? She hadn't even read that post to know that some of the same things I had revealed in that post were some of the same things she was talking to me about. I just LOVE when God uses me and any of my junk and/or triumph to reach out to someone else. It's just affirmation that I'm doing what He wants for me and that resolution was definitely born of His heart for us to have community.

I haven't been as creative as I have wanted to be. I guess that's a good reason to be posting more frequently. Plus, we are pretty much friends and it's nice to keep in touch. I have been crocheting but I only really know how to do lines and there are only so many scarves that I can make before, uh, I have so many scarves. So, I need to either learn how to do some different stitches or consider learning how to knit. Although, now that I think about it, I don't know what else I would want to do with yarn. I don't really desire to make sweaters or shawls. I would be up for doing a blanket but the kids' grandmother has made them all beautiful afghans so they don't really need another. I'm not going to knit or darn my own socks. I don't really care for Kleenex box covers or tea cozies. Mostly I just like the fact that I'm making scarves all by myself and in the colors I want and keeping my hands busy. One scarf that I made turned out all funky but then I redeemed it by making it into a cowly neck situation with a ginormous button that looks all intentional and groovy. I LOVE it.  I did that my own self. I have a scrapbooking retreat on the books so that's a whole creative weekend to look forward to. I've been drooling over Pinterest and have a boatload of ideas about being creative but haven't actually taken action on many of those ideas.

Okay, you want to talk Pinterest? Let's just go ahead and address it. It's yet another addiction. It's eye candy. It's the wedding you hope to have some day or the one you wished you had thrown together but never even knew you wanted. It's clothing you can't afford. It's bodies that may or may not be attainable. It's how I found out that I am a dork and not a geek or a nerd. It's how your house could look if you had a landscape architect, the right floor plans, an interior designer and roughly 3.5 million dollars. It's food you want to eat. It's tattoos you will hopefully never have enough skin to duplicate. It's vacation spots you didn't know existed but can't wait to get to. It's picture after picture of smack your head you can't believe you never thought of it. It's stuff you want to re-purpose and up-cycle but will likely never find the supplies for. It's an introduction to steam punk which I can't describe but I know it when I see it and I dig it. It's inspiration. It's expression. It's a world-opener. It's proof positive that beauty is subjective. As is art. As is taste, for sure. And that I have good taste. And lots and lots of people do not. I could spend – and for that matter have...- hours on Pinterest. And it's not just me – it grabs hold of most anyone who logs on and it won't let go. Mostly all I ever post on facebook anymore is what I have discovered on Pinterest because I have rededicated all my online time-suck to this entire site of possibility and probably will never execute. And that, my friends, is Pinterest.

And speaking of addiction, let's move on to the next resolution.

9. Exorcise the sugar demon. I reckon that people from both sides of the believing in Christ camp might question the use of the word demon. So, let's unpack that word for a minute. Webster-Merriam's website's second definition of the word is: “a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin” (footnote and appropriate legal usage expressly implied). I simply cannot think of much else that is so readily available to the general public that fully embodies this definition. wrote an article recently about sugar and summed it up beautifully. “It’s whiter than heroin, sweeter than your fiancĂ©e, more soluble than the National Debt, and more pernicious than nicotine because, like a true demon, this little beauty comes in a million disguises and always dresses like a friend”. Yeah. My go to when I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Mental – it's food. And by food I mean sweet. My sweet of choice is chocolate but if it's not around, I'll try to make something else work. Or go get chocolate. This article wasn't the catalyst for this resolution or my beliefs about what sugar is or has become. I've written before about sugar. Not for you. But I don't want you to feel left out so I'll sum it up.

I believe (and as this is a belief, it is not based on scientific evidence nor is it endorsed by doctors or politicians or anything) that sugar is a self-feeding organism. I believe that some makes you crave more and becomes this destructive cycle that feels like a rut. And you know what they say about a rut? It's just a grave with both ends kicked out. It takes something monumental to change any rut – but a rut that becomes an addiction and really, embeds itself into pretty much the fiber of your actual being, it sort of seems like something miraculous has to happen. If something feeds on itself, you have to starve it. If you have to depend on something to be your companion when you are in MHALT mode, you gotta find a true companion to see you through. God is the logical first choice but there is a reason that 12 step groups have sponsors. God didn't give Adam a piece of sugar cane and say “feel better (happy, whole, fulfilled) soon”. He gave Adam Eve to share life with. And really, I don't think that the Bible ever specified that it was an apple. What if the forbidden fruit was, in fact, sugar cane and God said – don't touch that – it's going to bring about evil, harm, distress and ruin if you touch it. And then Satan came along and got all tempty and told Eve how awesome it was and God was holding out on the goodness and the supremacy and she should taste of the sweetness of that fruit. I tell ya. If that's how it really played out, so many things would make sense. It would make sense out of having to mash garbage into buttercream frosting to make sure it was inedible. It would make sense out of realizing that you have gained a whole bunch of weight and comforting yourself with the rest of the incredibly fattening cream cheese frosting that you had to make to replace the buttercream frosting. It would make sense out of a system that supports enables the poor who rely on food subsidies to buy Kool-Aid, Doritos, Little Debbie snack cakes, “chicken” patties and other cheap foods that degrade health and promote diabetes and force a reliance on health care that other people have to pay for. I don't mean to sound like a paranoid conspiracist but I take a look at a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated issues and see an entire system of overlapping and interwoven problems that point to what food has turned into. And the more cans and boxes that our food comes in, the more sugar is added to make you forget that it barely resembles actual food. Look at labels on nearly anything in your kitchen – sugar, in all it's aliases is likely in just about everything.

Here's the last thing that I want to say about this. Artificial sugar – it's worse. And here's why. First – it's not natural. Even stevia and fructose – those come from natural sources but go through a process to become what they add to any food. And sugar is natural too but that doesn't change all that stuff I just said about it. And the second reason – it perpetuates the sweet. Really, what is it about us that needs sweet so much that even if we are overweight or get diabetes we will still drink sweet sodas and sweet tea and eat sweet foods and all of it is okay because it's not sugar? It's a lie that we tell ourselves – that it's healthier because it's zero calorie and we can't get fat from it. As if that's all that food should accomplish. We hold the sweet so dear that we would rather take a potentially cancer forming substitute than give it up all together. That's flipping mental. You know what that is? That's demonic and evil. Oh. That's right. I said it.

So. It's all gotta go. I feel like crap. I look like crap. My face is all squishy and I'm all floppy.  I'm hoping this is the last great hurdle. I kicked the smoking. I kicked the drinking. I know that this is going to be even harder territory to maneuver. And I'm terrified of not wanting sugar anymore. Truly. I think about birthday parties and actually fear not wanting to eat ice cream rather than look forward to being free. I can think of no better reason to do this. I have to have faith that the reward will be sweet enough.

And so it seems only natural that the next resolution would be:

10. Exercise.  I feel like crap. I look like crap. My face is all squishy and I'm all floppy.  The crap is just sitting around on my face and thighs and guts.   Apparently, it won't just fall off or be willed off while I indulge myself. I hate exercise slightly less than cleaning. At least with exercise I can watch Burn Notice. *Sigh* With cleaning there's the whole leaving the vicinity of the lone TV in our home. Also, I have an endorphin deficiency. I think that science should study me. Probably that would help my mood – endorphins. But when I'm exercising I never, and I do mean never, get that endorphin release that makes all those exercise freaks ENJOY exercising. It's like most unenjoyable things in my life – I just get all resentful and bitchy and power through – or quit. But I've got to stop quitting the quitting of the exercise. As of today, I weigh 132.6 pounds. I don't want to spoil any surprises but none of my resolutions will be to lose weight. I'm trusting that doing the other stuff that I pledge to do will get me to a place of health and along the way, the health will include a body that I own and not one that owns me. Part of that is to be a weight that is compatible with my frame. That weight is not compatible with my 5 foot 3.5 inch frame. This has got to be about long term change instead of short-term fixation on numbers. But I'll keep you posted on the numbers. There's that whole community and accountability and share my story thing.

Okay. That's all for today. I have been at this for like 4 hours. I'm a giver I tell ya. I have a healthy lunch to eat and an elliptical to ellip. Or a nap to take.


Post a Comment