Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Self Care

I don't know how to do this. How do you wake up every morning wondering if today's the day that our president is going to blow up the world? How do you go to work, plan your child's future, plan next week's goddamned menu when you keep waiting for the world to end?

Everywhere I look people say that you have to take care of yourself. But how indulgent is it to take your eyes off the stage when the next act might be the last?

I'm trying. I really am. I collect recipes, I work on my Pinterest boards, I'm working on saving money to send Mollie to Japan. Maybe we'll all live. Maybe the man in orange won't destroy us. He might just destroy our democracy.

How are people doing this?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Happy Sunday

What a crazy week. It feels like everything is just so topsy turvy right now. It's hard to make sense of this world with Donald Trump destroying our country, with children becoming the new soft targets for terrorism, with racist white men becoming the new norm as they harass and murder.

I feel so isolated. I'm living with two people who are still supporting this government and I'm gobsmacked for what they're willing to overlook and lie about. And if I point out their mistaken facts (Faux News sure doesn't share unbiased news) then it's all tight faces and jacked up proof that Trump is doing the right thing.

So I tell myself I need to take care of myself. I need to concentrate on my health and well being because right now it would be too easy to sink into despair. But even that becomes unsure. My weight loss is going well. I even started jogging (badly, slowly, awkwardly). But I'm doing it. I've lost 51 pounds since last December.

But... my budget is still messed up and I'm struggling like crazy to make sense of it. And I have to buy more groceries for myself (and now for Mollie since she's on summer vacay) and that's expensive. My car needs two tires and apparently the balance is a little off. My upcoming bonus check which I was looking forward to extra money looks like it's all going into the car.

My boss is planning a lot more weekends of work which is throwing off my schedule. And it looks like some of those weekends I'll be working the entire thing. Which also gets in the way of my dancing. And that is hard.

Okay, this is my seriously whiny post.

Good things: Finally read Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold which Carolyn has been touting for years and it was wonderful. I loved every minute of it (except the brothers all drove me crazy but that's a small thing). I was emotionally hooked in the story and that was huge.

My little town had Western Week last week. There was a Portuguese Bean Soup cook off which my SIL won. She really made a kick-ass soup and she was the winner of the golden ladle as well as on a float in the parade. Walked my ass off that day which walked me out of my two week plateau and over my 50 pound loss.

Restarted my Pinterest. Trying to use it in a way that works for me. Kind of a shopping list, dream board and recipe keeper.

Okay. Got things to do and a nap demanding to be taken.

Laters loves.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sometimes You Get Dizzy

My week has been a mess of confusion. Serious highs, joys and some plummeting lows. I'm confused for the most part, feeling a little disoriented and unsure.

Sunday I discovered Ecstatic Dance and as I posted earlier, it was complete joy. I was able to rearrange my work schedule to attend the next one and my nephew and I are talking about going up to Hawi together to experience the dance up there.

Work sucked. I felt like everybody I worked with was dismissive of me this week and disrespectful.

I ran into someone I worked with at my old job who told me that the third person hired to replace me is now gone and they have basically had to hire three people now to do the job I used to do by myself. I'm not going to say I'm irreplaceable but damn...

Last night in conversation my brother said
1. There's no such thing as cultural appropriation.
2. Ariana Grande was not a victim in the attack at her concert because she once said she hates America so she deserves what she gets.

I've seen a lot of people on Twitter blaming A. Grande for that statement and for being inappropriately pretty/sexy and suggesting a crazy man with a bomb is somehow her fault.

Would someone tell me where the fuck these people lost their souls and maybe we can dig in the dark to try and find them?

My weight has been fluctuating between 203 and 204 for 2 weeks. I'm frustrated.

I'm reading The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman and it's breaking my heart.

Did I mention that my brother's compassion for humanity has disappeared? I love the man but I'm starting to wonder why.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stunned. Heartbroken. Broken.

In Manchester, someone set a nail bomb at an Ariana Grande concert. Last I read there were 22 dead and over 50 injured.

Ariana Grande is a mid-teen sweetheart, She's well known by kids because of her work on Nickelodeon. Whoever did it knew they'd be killing little girls.

Whoever did it, did it knowing and planning on killing little girls.

Call it terrorism. Call it murder. Call it inhumane. At this point I don't give a fuck.

This is humanity nowadays and it's killing us.

Monday, May 22, 2017

And I Danced

There was this thing I've been wanting to do. Ecstatic Dance. Once a month in my little town at the local theater people gather and they dance.

Two hours of moving to music. Two hours of non-judgmental, work your body however you wish to, move to the music and dance.

It was, for lack of a better word, ecstatic.

There were probably about 50 people there. 50 people on a stage with world music playing and everybody moving. People leapt, they gyrated, they bounced and they swayed. I went with my nephew and his mother in law. It was nice walking in with someone but we didn't dance together. Mostly we just.... danced.

50 people aware of each other, sharing energy and spirit. We were all barefoot and moving around each other. I could feel the floor vibrate with their steps and stomps. When I realized I was concentrating on anything or anyone outside myself, I closed my eyes and just moved.

I let the experience be about my movement and how I felt in my body.

And I felt amazing. I felt loose, energetic, sensual. I enjoyed. I swayed, I swung, I stomped. And I grinned a lot because I had so much fun.

And I danced.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Character Study: Trey

The first time Trey Montgomery fell in love, he was in kindergarten and her name was MacKenzie Bissett. MacKenzie had the same white blonde hair and startling blue eyes as Trey's own mother, Nona did, and he swore while standing on a playground swing, that he would marry MacKenzier when they were old, like eleven, and he would love her forever.

Three years later Nona Montgomery said she was going to the country club for some tennis and a massage and would be home by cocktail hour. She didn't return home by cocktail hour that night or any other night following. Trey's daddy, William Montgomery II, got notification from his lawyers that his wife was in Tennessee shacking up with an eighteen year old grocery store bag boy and she filed for divorce long distance.

William Montgomery II took great pride in claiming that no Montgomery man ever paid for cooze and none ever would. He sent his lawyers after Nona the way a hunter would send a hound after prey and he delighted in not only refusing her any settlements but in stripping away her maternal rights and keeping all her possessions left behind and destroying them during a summer lawn party in a spectacular bonfire where later fireworks exploded overhead and Zinnia Plum auditioned for the role of Mrs. Montgomery in a spectacular private show of her own which produced a different type of firework explosion at the end.

William Montgomery never did marry Zinnia or any other woman and Trey Montgomery broke MacKenzie Bissett's heart by stating (again on the playground but thankfully away from prying eyes) that his tastes ran more toward dark haired women now that he was older but he wished her the best of luck finding someone to love. 

MacKenzie did find someone to love a few more times in her life. It was at Johannsen's Drug Store in the make-up aisle where she met Paris Pols, the granddaughter of Margie Pols who had worked as a housekeeper for the Montgomery's for most of her adult life, that MacKenzie finally discovered the one great love of her life. She liked to tell the story that she found true love while trying to find Firehouse Red nail polish and Paris was seeking a pale peach lip gloss.

"I love the taste of peaches," MacKenzie would say with the satisfaction of a well loved woman and Paris would feel her wife's smile deep in her heart and quietly thank Johanssen's for carrying any make-up at all.

Trey wouldn't have remembered MacKenzie and if he had ever met Paris, she wasn't even a distant memory.

Trey found his true love on the football field. Growing up without a mother or a woman to keep his household from sinking into a masculine oblivion, William took to drinking with a quiet studiousness that he didn't devote to anything else in his life and Trey discovered that he could catch a ball. Even if he could never make his father happy he could make his coach almost giddy with his prowess and that gave him a feeling he hadn't know previously. 

Trey was a perfect high school jock. He was big without being beefy, smart without being intellectual, hard working on the field and hardly working in the classroom. He flirted with pretty girls and would take as much as any of them was willing to offer but he remained emotionally aloof.

It was at the high school assembly, where Trey and his teammates were slapping books out of each other's hands and acting like younger boys than they were, that the school jazz band played and Maria Santos stepped forward to sing an old bluesy song, Summertime. Trey was immediately smitten by the sultry tempo of the song, the quiet building emotion and the dark eyes of the young woman who sang with her heart as well as her voice.

Maria never considered herself the kind of girl to attract the attention of a high school athletic star but she was. The mean girls, the popular girls, the cheerleaders all hated the dark haired girl who stole the golden's boy gaze. 

Even William didn't approve when he heard about his son's romance. "You're like royalty in this town," he told Trey, pointing at his son with a glass of scotch. "Royalty doesn't date wetbacks."

"I won't date her forever," Trey told his father, not adding 'because one day I'll marry her.' William, of course, assumed a secret message from his son that the sex would run its course and Trey would move on to an appropriate woman.

Maria got pregnant in their sophomore year of college and William threatened to disown his son. He refused to attend their wedding which was a justice of the peace quickie or their reception at the VFW Hall in downtown Three Pines. It was just as well since Maria's younger brother drank until he passed out, face down in a piece of chocolate cake and Maria's mother cried every few minutes because her daughter was married, was pregnant and was leaving college.

William continued to pay for Trey's schooling but he refused to pay anything to help the young married couple out. Trey continued attending college but his football career became a distant dream as one baby became two and both he and his wife struggled to meet the bills and continue moving forward.

Sometimes Trey wondered about his mother. Had she ever loved his father? Had she ever loved him? Walking out would be easy but staying when the times are hard took more strength than sometimes even an athlete felt he had. But he wasn't doing it alone and no doubt Nona always had. There was no way that William had supported his wife, just as he couldn't be bothered to support his son and his young family.

Trey graduated law school two years behind the rest of his class and used his family name to secure a job that was willing to pay him more than he was worth in hopes that the high school star athlete would be an attractive figure for clients. 

Trey tried reaching out to his father with invitations to social gatherings and carefully worded holiday cards. William never responded and when he died, alone, his liver no longer functioning properly and his heart tired of beating, William Montgomery II surprised his son by showing one last act of love. At the funeral service, Trey allowed himself tears for a family that had been so lost to each other they never found a way together.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Garden Spells/Practical Magic: Sister and Spells

I was pondering a story in my head and it got me to thinking of one of my favorite books: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Which got me thinking about Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, whose book Story Sisters I'm reading right now. And it occurred to me that the books had similarities.

Both are books of magic. Both are books of sisters. Both have troubled sisters running away from abusive men. Both have a child involved, as well as female relations.

I thought they were interesting similarities. As though the common female experience is sisterhood, sister love and abuse at the hands of a man. But in these books the women rescue each other. There's love to be found but the HEA doesn't come from a man, it comes from a sister.

A novel feminist idea (that was a pun): women need to rescue each other for true happiness to be found. Sisters can't survive without their sisters.

Now I need to think of other books about sisters that have the same idea.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Inside the Fucked-Up Mind of a Fat Girl

This morning I weighed 205 pounds.

In 2 weeks (I'm betting that's all the time it will take as long as Mollie's birthday doesn't throw me too far off track) I'll leave the 200s forever and be in the 190s. I won't be staying there either but right now I'm trying to handle the idea of never weighing in the 200s again.

You'd think this would be huge and joyous. I haven't weighed that since, well, maybe since Mollie was 1 year old and it's her 16th birthday we're celebrating on Saturday. Outside of twice in my life, I've weighed over 200 since I was a teenager. I weighed 160 in high school. And I kept getting bigger.

It is huge and joyous. And scary as shit. And I'm trying to understand why the idea is so scary.

My awareness recently has led me to recognize that the primary reason I've been obese as an adult is because it was all I really knew. I was used to the habits of overeating and sneak eating and even when it did nothing for me emotionally, I kept it up.

I expected to have a hard time on Weight Watchers and I'm not. It turned out that I wasn't that hungry after all. Turns out that I'm just as happy eating an apple as I am eating cheese popcorn. Turns out I don't miss sugar.

But I've never been thin. I don't know how to do thin. I don't even know how to do weighing less than 200. And that's daunting.

I'm not looking for a reason to quit or fail. I don't plan on quitting or failing here. I'm facing this head on and dealing with the idea of living my life in a way that isn't failing. I didn't know I could do that. And it's a new situation for me.

And it's scary. And exciting.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

What Are You Hungry For?

Every Thursday on weight watchers, Oprah posts a video. Sometimes she features people on the program, sometimes she addresses issues we all face. Last week she asked the question "What are you hungry for?' and it was such a great question.

I don't know that I have the answer yet.

When I first went from being a chubby kid to a fat kid was after my mother found out my father was abusing me and he bought her a new house and she ignored the abuse in exchange. I spent a summer eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, unable to fill the emptiness inside.

I've always eaten to fill the emptiness but now I realize that I'm not empty. So what is my hunger for?

My life is pretty rocking. My family keeps me laughing and feeling accepted and a part of something. My daughter is amazing and she's my sun and moon. My job pays my bills, my best friend is steady and life is good.

I eat because I don't know how not to. So I guess that's what I'm finally learning. I have to recognize the empty spaces got filled and I don't need to try and stuff them anymore.

What are you hungry for?

Friday, May 5, 2017

We Deserve Pretty Things

Spending time recently thinking about the journey that brought me to this place currently and where I hope/plan to go. Thinking about the self-talk, the private recriminations, the punishments and also the joys.

There's always joys.

I don't tend to spend a lot of money on myself. As a parent, as one of those kind of parents, I've always put Mollie first. True story: special (expensive) ice cream, very low cal and hard to get and I bought three pints, packed them in ice for an hour and a half drive to get them home and Mollie ate 2.5 pints. I had half of one.

I don't resent it at all but I deserve more too. I deserve pretty things. I deserve yummy foods.

We all do.

We all deserve and need special care.

I'm finding ways to make sure I get things I want and need It's a slow process but I'm going to make sure that my space is calming and pretty, my clothes look good, I have the books I want to read and that I always remember that the paychecks I earn are not only to pay bills and take care of obligations but they can also be used to bring me a little joy too.

Are you doing the same?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bad Shrimp

Let's just say that's one way to lose weight and not a very pleasant one.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

So Foolish

I foolishly believed that most Americans believed in taking care of each other.

I foolishly believed that most Americans bled when a child died.

I foolishly believed that our President, despite party affiliation, would have America's best interests at heart.

I foolishly believed that most humans wanted to leave the planet in better shape than it was.

I foolishly believed that greed didn't trump humanity.

I foolishly believed that we had a great country.

I've never before been ashamed to be American. I am now.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Slay! Slay May!

Happy May Day!

Excited about this month. Mollie turns 16. 16!!!  I miss my baby but I really enjoy this young woman she is.

Things I've learned recently:

1. I can make good food choices.
2. I cannot seem to make good money choices.
3. I need a lot more motivation than I'm giving myself to write.

Anyway, today we learned that Donald Trump, the president of the United States does not know why the Civil War was fought. And he didn't know who the president was during that time.

Let that sink in.

Our president is dumber than the average fifth grader.

Yup. Yay Trump.

I won't go further with this because it gives me a headache and honestly I can't handle this. I cannot. Handle. This.

I weighed 209.8 this morning.

Concentrate on good things.

My head might explode slightly before the nukes do in North Korea.