Wednesday, March 21, 2018

at 18

so now i am free writing
but thinking about publishing
I swore to write in my journal
so that it would be saved for
posterity but I type better than i
write cursive
the things i keep thinking about today
are the young boys of 19 sent
home from the mtc like the ones
in my hometown who had
sex with their girlfriend
and the pressure of the confession
culture and then they find out
30 years later the leader was grooming
girls, younger much younger
when are we going to learn
not to put people on pedastals
when are men gonna stop
the old boys club
when is feminism going
to save us mormon girls
i am 18 I will always be 18
until we get this solved

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lupus and Me

Some of my best thinking these days is done while sweating around the gym floor to a latin beat (aka zumba class).  Today I was semi-compiling my thoughts as I danced around, about the last year and my health.

About 2 weeks ago I had some blood coming out of my ear, not much, but it is what set the whole cascade of memories concerning my Lupus since moving to Wyoming.  That move is a landmark in the timeline of the disease because I stopped all of my medications right before that move.  I was on a dangerous injectable dose of a chemotherapy drug that ironically has the side affect of causing tumors or cancer.  I was on several other drugs with life changing side effects and I was feeling an inner drum beat that I was tunneling toward death either way.

Basically moving here I chose to claim my life.  Whatever life is left I wanted to live it.  Everyone has their reasons for taking the drugs they are supposed to or not, and this was my time.  I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to dispose of my injection needles and my dangerous prescriptions.  The pills were pretty straightforward but finding a place in this small town to accept used needles was a nightmare.    So many phone calls, pointless drives, and shocked looking clerks...

So.  I had my reset.  I was medication free for a few months.  And actually I felt better than I had since the diagnosis.  I was walking daily down a paved path by my apartment and felt like I was reclaiming my body.  But slow, slow, slowly my health started to struggle and by 9 months here I had developed some kind of infection.  I can't remember where and when the pain started but it felt like strep in my throat.  After enough days of fighting that the ear pain began and so I began going to the doctor.  This was an upsetting time because I was started with a normal antibiotic, got worse and ended up on a new antibiotic.  I was panicky by the third time going in because ear pain as an adult is the literal worst.  Or one of the worst?  And it didn't help that when discussing the second antibiotic and steroid the doctor seemed to indicate she wouldn't do much more to treat.  I felt like she was dooming me to death by earache.

The third attempt at medical help ended with a steroid prescription, an asthma prescription and a plan for increasingly aggressive allergy treatment.  The good news is that appeased the pain.  The bad news is I was so dang anxious that this wasn't the end of it.  It was a weird couple  of months.  It really changed my social behavior, I retreated within myself, I closed my social media accounts, and just kind of retreated to my cave.  It reminded me of how I feel in labor, like in a world unto myself.  It is a dark and interesting memory, kind of shut away, but brought into the forefront by my draining ear even a year later.

I'm still lupus treatment free.  I dedicate more time and resources to preventive health than I ever have in my life.  I follow pretty much any Dr. Rhonda Patrick advice on slowing aging.  I think the thing that strikes me about that health scare is that I didn't feel influenced to go back into aggressive lupus treating again.  I don't know if the escalation of the infections was because of lupus but I still feel more comfortable with my preventative natural way of health for now.  I am thankful to be outside, around my kids and out of bed.  My last year in Omaha and the last year my baby was home with me before school I have very foggy memories and I know I was mostly in bed managing medication effects.  I'm glad I am living here.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Time to Grow

Do you pick a yearly word?  It took some meditation and days of reflection but I decided in 2018 what I need to do is


I spent the end of last year learning about a personality tendency of mine that questions everything, and must have a reason for each type of action.  This keeps me studying, and reflecting, and weighing pros and cons sometimes long after other people have chosen a path and progressed along it.

I would be happier at home any day, reading about life than taking risks in the messy painful living of it.  Reading, learning, changing, and forming views has its place, I just know that in order to grow more risks are what I need.  So this year I will show up.  Show up here to write, and scarier still, show up to church. 

Why is church so scary for me?  It's kind of the opposite of my safe space.  I got PTSD from community shunning as an 18 year old.  I got best friend shunning as a 38 year old when I started to face my traumas and question the all-powerfulness of the group's belief system.

I still face frustration and sorrow and fear every. single. week. as I sit in those pews and face that what *I* believe in my heart is so very far from all of the other people.  I feel like a foreigner in belief systems and vulnerable to shame and shunning at any step were my mouth to open.

This is part of why I keep going, and keep MAKING myself go (it really isn't easy).  When I pray in frustration after services on Sunday I realize what is keeping me frustrated is that I don't share.  I never answer a question in a class, I am not given a forum to ever share my weird differentness.  I just sit there stewing in my "otherness."  But then I think about what it would sound like if I did say what I believe (or don't) and I realize how vulnerable I would be to all of the traumas I've already been through.  It is difficult because sometimes I think I should let myself off that hook.  People quit churches all the time.

But for now, I grow.  I search for the way I could be more christian or be a light in someone's life and I find those things at church.  So I will TRY.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Artificial tree supplier

Museum Trees is a website that supplies really high end artificial plants.  I'm so thrilled with the one they sent me for reviewing.  It makes a great table centerpiece for our rustic handmade table.  Even my 7 year old keeps exclaiming how he thinks its real.

What I found interesting when I first heard about their site is that they also supply *outdoor* artificial plants, that don't get ruined in the weather.  They are so realistic I could see that being a smart desert landscaping solution -- water free. 

Museum Trees provided the product and they were very open about just wanting an honest review, but honestly I'm pretty impressed with their quality.

Check them out!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Return Prosperity

I'm on hold with amazon customer service right now, so what better time to write a post about the benefits of what I'm working on?

In an a fit of impulsive curiosity I went straight from watching YouTube videos on amazon 3rd party selling to opening my own account to do so.  One video is not thorough research, I need to say.  The next day I had $40 out of my bank account and enough more reading to realize this wasn't the side job I was looking for.  So I went through all the button pushing it took to close that seller account and moved on.

That was a month ago, I am still without the $40 and of course have used the account....not at all.  So after two or three attempts to still CLOSE the freaking mistake account I looked up a number I could get a human on the phone to plead my case.  I simply wanted it to close, but the lady (real person!) I spoke to offered a refund.  I am so glad I called.  It fixed the mistake with my personal information but it also rewound the financial mistake.

As mistakes in the money realm go, there are bigger ones, to be sure.  But every little bit of money back in our family's pockets gives us opportunities -- like EATING :) and healthcare, gas, etc.  And I may be preaching to the choir of my readers, here, but I hate to see anyone lose their simple daily assets over simple failure to act.

I do a lot of returning.  Well, I don't think a huge amount, but I take the time to recognize when a purchase we have won't end up getting used and going through with the transaction of relieving myself of a "thing" and restoring its place in our finances.  The simplicity of this concept is what has made me too embarrassed to write about it even though it's come to mind as a money saving hack a number of times.

I sometimes have been embarrassed to ask for a refund or complain about a problem, but the influence of friends more confident than myself, reminded me that the worst thing that can happen is they will say no.  And it's worth a few rejections to see.  Almost never do I get told no.  I don't try to return anything used or not in its package, and I obey all policies to a T.  I'm not out to get something for nothing.  So I think that helps keep the rejections low.

And to be honest, bracing myself for and handling rejection has gotten better the longer I've lived and the more jobs and church volunteer opportunities I've tried.  I just wanted to stick this reminder here, because I've seen closets and storage rooms and garages with brand new packages of things that are never getting used.  If this is you, and you feel like finances are a struggle, it's a place you can start!  Notice what you've purchased you haven't opened yet, or didn't work right.  Getting $10 or $20 back that you misspent is worth the (usually less than) hour to get yourself to the store, or get online to customer service.  It's just as noble as an hour spent working for the same amount, and a way to bless your family if misspending or overspending has been a problem.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Recipe Development

As a mom, who needs to constantly cook I kind of fell into developing recipes.  I'm always trying to tweak something to get it even tastier, or healthier, or more convenient for my family.  Maybe that is why moms and grandmas have the reputation of best cook EVAH when their adult children reminisce: years and years of practice and trial and error.

I'm currently conflicted by two worlds when it comes to what a recipe needs to be for our family.  I have tried keto style eating myself, really liked it, and slowly started making it into a dinnertime staple for the family.  I have one child with celiac disease, whom I've already been planning our dinners to accommodate and thankfully the two diets are quite in sync.  The more grains I eliminate the easier for us both.

Which brings me to today's challenge.  I had a craving for dark chocolate cupcakes.  This has been going on for three days as a result of messed up attempts to meet it with recipe development.  What I'm trying to say is that so far I have been unsuccessful in making this treat low carb as well as edible!  Today I decided to go back to a more scientific method and change just ONE thing in a tried and true recipe.

It's baking in the oven right now and I subbed almond flour for the all purpose.  I withheld the urge to also change the sweetener.  I went ahead and gave in to the impulse to throw a few sugar free chocolate chips on top in order to skip frosting and call them a muffin, rather than cake.  So I was feeling quite accomplished with restraint until I saw this:

It's the story of all creativity.  Lots of fails to achieve the crowning glory.  And obviously, yet to be achieved at our house :).