Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

In keeping with the current theme of changing up the ole blog, I'm trying out the completely unoriginal idea of Friday Favorites, just a smattering of things that have caught my interest on the Web lately...

• From Plan to Eat: a good reminder that not everything that's in the refrigerator has to be in there...just wish that when I buy produce, I can trust that it hasn't been off the vine 3 weeks already. I'm planting something this weekend. Anything.

• Wonderful chunks of info from the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs last weekend:
   —Home Dairy
   —A little bit of everything

Habit, because it's such a relaxing and voyeuristic escape.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie. Nuf said.

• Before there was Wendell Berry, there was Viktor Schauberger.

• The author of Girl Hunter...reminds me of how I used to think the Joy of Cooking was weird, because it had chapters dedicated to dressing game...

This is a planning weekend. I'm making lists, digging into boxes, and looking ahead to the trips we'll take north over the next 2 months. Also stocking up on printer ink and paper, because I know I'll want to create a binder for Heather's Whole Food Kitchen. I know I should just buy a thumb drive, but I'm old-fashioned.

Might be blog shopping...I'm terribly bored with the limitations of Google's Blogger. There's only a handful of decent blog platforms out there that are available for the low, low price of FREE, but if I do change addys, I promise to give enough direction to you, my lovely 6½ readers.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So I made a coupla changes...

First off, I hacked apart yesterday's post and stuck most of it in my personal, not-for-public-consumption blog. Why bore you guys with that stuff? My posts are too damn long sometimes.

I've treated this blog like a diary for years. It's finally starting to bore me. Blogs are supposed to be informative, a person's way of giving something to strangers...that something could be a warm fuzzy through imagery or words, but it shouldn't be a place for therapy necessarily. I'm over it.

Ironically, I'm over it because of that last post. The "ah-ha" moments I gleaned from my talking about Dad's situation have me thinking hard about how I want to live my life. Yup, you guessed it...epiphany time again.

One of the little voices in my head has this number on auto-repeat: "are you living life, or are you letting life live you?"

It's been the latter for the last 10 years. More than that, really, but let's say 10 years. I'm depressed enough.

I read an article in Taproot this morning about a 23-year-old who's working on an organic farm in Ontario. She's learning the ropes and hopes to have her own farm someday. As co-manager of this farm's CSA, she's in the thick of it from early morning to late night, tending animals and gardens and creating food and life. (Another really good example of this is longest acres. And of course, Jenna and Ashley.)

I don't know that I want to run a large farm. I do know that I want to grow things, and keep chickens and bees at least. I also know that living in a crappy apartment in the city, I could still have at least started composting on my porch and planting in containers, but something was always stopping me. And I'm really, REALLY over my excuses.

Schirin is 20 years younger than me. She doesn't have youth on her side; she has courage. I chuckled to myself on the drive to work this morning as I thought about brain answered back, "well, you're just gonna have to live to be 120 now..." It's not about how realistic or unrealistic your goals are; it's about turning them from dreams into reality.

I can't fault my blinders the last 10+ years where unanswered dreams are concerned, because I have brought home the bacon and established myself as a career editor. That's important for our family, keeps the wolves at bay. But it is SO time to get my hands in the dirt!

More later...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taking Stock

Wednesday already. And almost October.

October's my favorite month and I intend to make the most of it. We're nearing deadline time, the point where decisions need to be made, and I have a feeling we're going to be making a rather large leap of faith to get our asses up to Asheville. We have the move money (or will, provided NASDAQ doesn't crash), I pray we can convince some landlord that we're worth the housing risk, but the job sitch...holding pattern. While I learn patience, I'm also looking into temp-to-perm work agencies. I feel confident I can find a crap job to get us started, and I should be able to work remotely in some fashion for the .com to supplement our income, but my goodness, it's gonna take some faith. Like, close your eyes and step off this cliff here...

I think I'm getting excited for what that means. There's several tangents to that thought. I'll grant you, it's infinitely easier to take a leap of faith when you don't have children. While I still ache for that, it's a blessing right now to only have me, Hubs, and Fig to worry over. We've scraped by plenty before and survived.

It's been another off week. The silly nerve pain is going away s...l...o...w...l...y...and the accompanying fatigue has me ornery, because I want to be doing more.

Image from here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Autumnal equinox. AKA Mabon. Never been a fan of that name for it, for some's too short or something. MAY-BON or MAY-BIN, depending on how Irish you choose to be about it. But it stands for so much more...Autumn has turned into quite something to look forward to. Yea, yea...wood smoke and falling leaves and pumpkin everything...I used to think I enjoyed the idea of it so much because I haven't had much of it here in Florida the past 25 years or so, but you only have to troll on Tumblr or Pinterest for 5 minutes to know I'm not alone in my sentiment. I'm definitely not the only one bat-shit cray-cray over Autumn.

Sidebar: Dear Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice VIA? Really? Was that necessary? I'm trying hard to not litter the planet with packaging and you come out with that delicious nonsense? You're all evil sonsabitches.

This week has been hard. I didn't realize how hard until my body started telling me so. Wednesday night, I had real trouble getting to sleep because the inflammation around my mid-section increased significantly. This was caused by 3 straight days of eating mainly fast food without care about what it was costing me. I wasn't overly thirsty, but my sodium must have been through the roof. I don't learn lessons easily, so the level of discomfort it caused throughout my upper torso would have been scary, except this has happened before...when I was a chronic overeater.

Thursday, I felt out of sorts, like my chi needed a recharge, and as the day progressed, I realized I was enjoying nerve pain again. I had shingles earlier this year, and while it was a remarkably mild case, the fact is that I've managed to procure some postherpetic neuralgia, they call it. This happened once before, only lasted for 1 day. This time, it's lasting longer and has me wondering about how the inflammation could have triggered it. Which has me reaching for my OA books, Crazy Sexy Diet, and very proud of myself for enrolling in Heather's Whole Food Kitchen course, even though I did so with "move" money.

I want to get back to the Y, but I feel drawn to turtle today, let myself be quiet. That's hard to do, there's so much to accomplish in the next 3 months...but I was reminded of Amanda's posts this summer (and the latest issue of Taproot, aptly titled "Retreat") about slowing down, letting life chill a bit. The autumnal equinox is all about slowing down, as the wheel turns toward a time of dormancy and rest. Sure, I need to workout, it's been a couple of days...but I also need to work in the kitchen, make waffles, do laundry, be domestic, and hilariously, the latter is a lot easier to reconcile yourself to when you have an imaginary knife sticking in your right shoulder blade. It's centering, quiet, and exactly what I need right now.

Happy Mabon, y'all!

Images from my Tumblr.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Mental Musings

Wonder if there even is such a thing as a healthy apple cider doughnut recipe.....

I need to learn to make pumpkin scones too...def can't be visiting Starbucks daily for the next 2 months...evil yummies...seriously...with that calorie count, I should be skipping lunch.

Had an epiphany last night. Unfortunately it was caused by overeating and the significant discomfort that followed it. Unable-to-go-to-sleep discomfort, couldn't lie flat. Still not 100%. Tired and sore today. Swearing off McDonald's yet again. Drinking water to flush system. Wishing I could swear off food. Thinking it was a candidiasis attack. Going to Y later. Enrolled in Heather's Whole Food Kitchen this morning. Quite possibly the easiest, smartest purchase I've made in ages.

At least I can swear off processed food as much as possible. Right after this scone, that is. Can't imagine why I'm having problems with candida...yes, that's sarcasm.

Right there is why I need to embrace OA again. I could have had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast this morning, but I was still reeling from last night's discomfort and couldn't get my head around it. But I'm out of coffee too, so it gave me an excuse to go to Starbucks, grab a freebie (i have leftover bags that get me a free Tall), and the damn bakery case with that seasonal delight beckoned. Nursing it throughout the morning, cuz I do not want any heaviness in my belly today, but it's still a symptom of a much larger problem that requires further attention.

Autumnal equinox this Saturday...think it may be time to have a ritual. It's been ages since I've sat with purpose, meditated, called the quarters. Though The Craft has been on lately, making that level of ritual feel silly, especially when you're doing it solitary...mostly I want to meditate, trance into myself, see what comes to the surface.

Scone image from here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taking Stock

Still summer here in Florida. It's getting old.

Definitely gotta start paying attention to what I eat again...I'm letting a few too many "bad" things make it into my belly. Makes me run-down so quickly.

No rhyme or reason to this week's Taking Stock.....just observations from last weekend.

Brought the camera and didn't take a single picture. Between the impromptu meeting I had and the busyness of traveling, I just knew I didn't want to experience this trip through a camera lens. I have all the pictures I need right now in my head. Walking through the town. Traveling up and down the mountain. People-watching while eating al fresco. Making choices at French Broad Chocolate and knowing it would be worth the wait.

Driving into town, we noticed a man in a wheelchair, scooting along rather slowly on the sidewalk, who was missing at least 1 leg. One of those situations where you're not sure, because you don't want to look too closely and be caught staring, even if you're just driving past. Manners to a end up not really seeing the person at all.

He appeared homeless, he had the rumpled and dirty look going on, but he was just cruising along at his own pace, not sitting still with his hand out, which you'd almost expect on a Saturday night, when so many folks were performing something or another and had their instrument cases or cardboard boxes out for tips. Saturday night in Asheville oughta be called Buskers Holiday, because there were jugglers, burlesque queens spreading the word about a ball in town, several musical acts, the odd singer or harmonica player, and a bunch of Jesus freaks standing with their crosses near the Obelisk. Such a comfortable place though, for walking around; it felt normal and I realized I could find comfort in a place like this.

We wandered a couple of blocks to find dinner at a restaurant with outdoor seating and watched the sky warily...the rain almost held off, only sprinkled a bit during dinner. We're chatting, enjoying some damn good pizza and local beer, when we notice a college-age woman wheeling said homeless guy up the sidewalk at a good clip. They're both talking, clearly pals, at least for the moment. They stop about 3 restaurants up from us and the girl hands the guy a menu. He takes a quick look at it, shakes his head in disgust, and they head back in our direction, cross the street at the corner, and continue on, in search of a different restaurant. She was buying him dinner.

It was both surprising and delightful. You can't do that shit in Jacksonville; you go up to some homeless guy and offer to buy him dinner, you'll be lucky to escape with your life. There, it felt normal; there was a party atmosphere and camaraderie that permeated the place. I'm sure the 2 beers I enjoyed contributed to this feeling, but all I know is I could feel myself filling up with spirit as we explored.

It's taken til today for my head to get back to Jacksonville, I think. Work's been crazy-busy, which helps and hinders me, since there are new projects related to the move that I must attend to soon...

Image from here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting Back in the Groove

Just snippets today...this week is crazy busy.

There are 4 Granny Smiths on my counter from Skytop, courtesy of Mom and Lil Sis, waiting to be made into what? Dumplings or a pie, I think.

There's a jar of Skytop apple butter too, which Hubs wants for his addiction (Paula Deen's Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie), but which I think would go nicely in oatmeal, on my homemade waffles, or maybe cookies...yup, gonna have to make some myself, just as soon as I can get to Whole Foods or Native Sun...thank goodness it's becoming fall!

Also need to scour the web for an apple cider doughnut recipe, as Lil Sis brought those too from Skytop, still warm, and I fell in love!

The French Broad Chocolates have vanished, but the box remains for the memory.

The latest issue of Taproot graced my mailbox, but I haven't even cracked into it yet in my busyness of getting back to work and organizing my many thoughts about what transpired on our weekend trip. Besides, Taproot is like French Broad be savored, nibbled, in small bites, slowly while curled up in a favorite chair.

The trip to Asheville went so well, I'm scared to divulge much until some things iron themselves out. Not that I'm superstitious or anything. Suffice it to say, Hubs came away intrigued and enamored by the city, I'm not quite as intimidated by the town or the mountains now, and an opportunity may have presented itself that already has me too excited in anticipation. And things may fall into place right when we need them to. Hence my fear of jinxing things...

It didn't get as cool, weather-wise, as I'd hoped, but it was pleasant. We walked quite a bit Saturday evening, when we went into town to grab dinner and chocolate, and marveled at the different types of people, the friendliness and party atmosphere that spilled over as we explored.

I bought a pair of boots with heels while I was up there, that actually come up to mid-calf, which is a small miracle. Jeans still fit, also a small miracle, given how much our eating habits cave to the unhealthy when we're traveling. The ride home, all 7 hours of it, was remarkably OK...we were both expecting it to hit grueling at some point. It never did.

I've been waking up in a good mood. There's this lightness. Back to the Y tonight.

Image from here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taking Stock

A is for Aiken, where we're heading early tomorrow morning to visit family.

S is for sweating, which we're still doing here in Florida.

H is for happy to be getting out of town for a few days.

E is for Earth Fare, a healthy food store that will hopefully be calling me to set up an interview...

V is for my vigor and vivacity, which will increase the minute I'm able to breathe cooler air.

I is for the itinerary I'll create for the side trip to Asheville.

L is for the leaves just starting to turn up in western NC.

L is also for the lure of a more progressive town, where recycling, composting, and organics are the norm instead of the exception.

E is for excited to be showing Hubs our soon-to-be-adopted new town!

We're visiting his folks til Saturday, then heading up to Asheville. The side trip was Hubs' idea; he saw how eager I was to get another look around, so he suggested it a coupla weeks back. We're not even making contacts yet, though that will come soon. This is just to show him the city, take a drive around the area. I'm thinking of checking out a neighborhood or two where there are current homes for rent, and he saw a thing on TV recently about one of their amazing farmers' markets, so I'll look that up. We're meeting my Mom and Lil Sis and sharing a hotel room for the night; they're scoping the area for a family reunion next year.

I've been filling out apps almost every night, but I'm starting to think I need to cave and put my resume in at several employment temp-to-perm agencies and get cracking on a remote contract with the .com, so that food and shelter are never a concern. Man, this process gets scary if you let it!

Offline for a bit, have a great weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

43 is.....

...chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast made by my love...

...a meditative walk in the woods in just a little while...

...relaxing about the move, just for a day...

...thinking about ordering Hunger Games on On Demand...

...making my wish for the year...pretty sure it's inspired by that photo...

...looking at what we might be able to squeeze in at Asheville next weekend...

...buttermilk fried chicken for dinner, also courtesy of the wonderful husband...

...NOT introspection...being kind to myself today... thanks that I made it to 43 (because my superstitious nature did wonder if I'd make it to 43 without an aortic dissection...Dad turned 43 in the hospital at Yale-New Haven)...

...already looking forward to the Y after work tomorrow, after today's food indulgences...

...casting something on today...won a book on hats from Wendy Knits this week, and I haven't touched yarn in's time...

...touching up the pedicure later, pampering myself just a bit...

Happy September 9th, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Taking Stock

New Taking Stock format brought to you by boredom...

M is for my meandering mind, which isn't at work today, even if my body is.

E is for excited, because I think I've decided to start job hunting in NC and if we have to move early, so frickin' be it!

L is for lethargic and lazy, because I've been letting bad foods sneak back into my diet. No more! Because L is also for the love I'm feeling for my 8-pounds-lighter body...such a good start!

A is for active, because at the very least, I'm still working out every other day, thank goodness. Feels so amazing!

N is for my negative attitude and my hopes that this week will rally a bit. The extra Paxil is helping, thank the gods!

I is for the interesting ways my brain is perking up about my writing and how it relates to my dreams.

E is for the eagerness that I will put toward my tasks in the coming weeks.

Image from here. I'd like this in my future yard please.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Potential (and Autumn)

September. I've lived in Florida too long. Doesn't feel like autumn yet, because down here it isn't and won't be for quite some time yet. While I am starting to ache for it, the fact is that when I read blogs of folks who live in the north and are starting to enjoy cooler temps in the mornings and evenings, I have trouble believing them. It feels so damn far away. Straight 90s forecast for every day this week. I live in fucking paradise.

Far away and yet so close. Dealt with some more fear issues about the move, when I put in my first application for a job in Asheville yesterday. I won't get it, not if it's a choice between me and some recent college grad with a computer science degree, but I'm glad I applied nonetheless....because it cracked open that fear and forced me to look at it. That's also what I mean when I say I've lived in Florida too long, because no matter how much I loathe it, there's a familiarity to it that's comforting. We've lived in Jacksonville for 15 years, and I've been in Florida for 26! I hate this state with every fiber of my being, and I'm getting scared to leave it. That's fucked up!

I'll get over that nonsense fast, believe me, but it's important I recognize it for what it is, because we're definitely coming into the home stretch here and I WILL NOT be signing another lease in Florida come December.

Was reiterating to my cutie pie on the couch, how I "can't" look for work up there yet, because if we leave Florida early, we have to pay 2 months' rent to break the lease...and Hubs pointed out that if I were to start a new job, say, Halloweenish, there would only be 2 months left on the lease anyway, so it's kind of a wash. Prayers welcome that we'll be in a financial position to make that gamble if the opportunity presents itself...

The subject header is something that's percolating in my head. I've spent the last 10 years or so treading water (we're talking dreams here, what I want to do with my life, the big furry questions, blahblah...), because it was my only choice given the Hubs' condition. I don't resent that in the least; we're so soul-linked...people used to question my sanity, I think, but I just chalked it up to them not understanding our love.

But I had not 1, but 2 dreams with Ashley in them this past weekend, where I was admiring her garden or learning something new in her kitchen, and seeing what she's accomplished (5 books, the drive and ability to work from home), and I woke with this voice in my head saying, "you're not living up to your full potential."

Now that's something I've heard from about grade 5 on, that I felt bad about but pretty much ignored, as I goofed off out of boredom in middle and high school making mediocre grades, only to then go to college without enough study and coping skills to pull off decent grades there either. I've studied enough post-college to understand how little grades mean in the face of actual learning, but it still sticks in my craw, or something, as I look at the last 20 years and reflect on how much time I've pissed away.

Yea, I've got a birthday coming up...what of it? Oh, you think there's a correlation there....?

That same voice, the little Jiminy Cricket motherfucker, also says stuff like, "what happened to getting published before you were 30?" And my answer today is something even more distressing: "well, I don't know what I want to write about!" For all my skills as a writer, I've never been much of a storyteller, and I'm not quite enough of a people person to normally want to expand on that issue. But I recently increased my Paxil to the max (under my doctor's direction), and I think it's giving me some much-needed clarity. Distressing, as I said, but also illuminating, and worthy of further study. Stay tuned...

Image from here.