The Sharp Pointy Things in Life

Whether you live with a mental illness or not, there are all sorts of events, large and small, that happen in life, that can sometimes come along and poke at the protective bubble you hold around your mind, your heart, your spirit…and sometimes, the bubble can burst.

I have been experiencing quite stable mental health for a briefly extended period, but the sharp pointy things in life today have me feeling quite down.  I have been furiously patching holes and strengthening weak spots and doing the time-honored “keep as busy as possible” routine.  Some days, that is just not enough.

I have been without one of my medications for two doses, without another for one dose.  This might not seem like a big deal, but, to me, it is HUGE.  A few missed doses can send me in a tailspin.  A few missed doses can mean the difference between a productive and upcoming Christmas-ing weekend, and a weekend spent hiding out in my couch bunker.

Still, I’m trying and pushing through.  I had the piss-poor idea to get on Facebook about an hour ago, wherein I learned of the sudden death of a former co-worker, made all the more sad because linked to that page, was the page of the obituary two years ago of her fiance, who I was also friends with at my last job.  He was killed in the line of duty on the police force.  I’m not sure what happened to her.  I know they both had very small children, and I know they both seemed like really nice and special people.

Of course, that also got me thinking about my former life working in the women’s prison, and working in mental health in general…and there was a pang in my chest and a tear in my eye and I clicked all of that mess shut and shoved it under the figurative bed.

Sadness, angst, horrific things on Facebook.  Sometimes I wonder why I belong.  Sometimes I wonder why every sad animal abuse story is on my feed, or why I pay any attention to the news.  It is distressing often, upsetting frequently.  And then there are the people, and the things they post, and the fact that I am often just shaking my head, thinking, “Hmmm, why do I even ASSOCIATE with these people?  People that could say these things, do these things, are interested in these things.”

I really think sometimes that Facebook brings out the worst in people.  I do find great inspirational sayings and funny things often, but the negative…wow, sometimes I think it really outweighs the good.

People often say, you must be careful what goes into your head.  This is why I don’t read certain books, don’t read certain magazines, listen to certain types of music, speak with certain people (at least very often).  I am, in general, very vigilant about what I feed my brain.

Except Facebook.  I let it in, every time, even when it punishes me for doing so.

Today has not been the best day.  I have fought all day to get a few prescriptions filled, and have had just ridiculous anxiety about the fact that I can’t seem to get them all taken care of.  The sharp pointy things of the day have deflated my balloon.

I’m not getting ready to go burrow my head in the covers and cry for my mama.  Instead, I’m sitting (as prescribed) in front of my sun lamp, and then I’m going to go to my aqua exercise class.  After that, who knows.  We baked a ham today, and the house smells good.  I am going to focus on that.

I am going to say:  Rosa, how can you possibly be in a bad mood when your house smells of finely roasted pig and you have family that loves you and a boyfriend that would do next to anything to make you feel better?

How, indeed?

Ten Things of Thankful, Sixth Edition

You know when you’re feeling bad, it’s kinda hard to identify the positives in your life?  I always enjoy TToT, but I’m having difficulty pinpointing what exactly it is I am thankful for right at the moment.  Sure, there’s things I’m thankful for.  I know there are.  It’s just that this part of my brain is fuzzy at the moment.  I’m gonna give ‘er a go, though.  You should, too.  Just write the damn list already, and then link up over at Considerings.  You’ll be glad  you did, once you get it all out on paper.  I know I always feel better.

1) I am thankful for my new-found brother, Rock.  My family has adopted all 21 years of him and he has truly been a lifesaver during this hard time.  I blogged more about him yesterday, but I think he needs to be numero uno on this week’s TToT, because having him around has made things just a little easier.



2)  Of course, the next shout out goes to my parents, QoB and the Big Dawg.  I am thankful for them every week, but they have been especially kind and gentle and loving with me over the past several days.  I have seen a wealth of understanding and compassion, especially in the Big Dawg, that I didn’t know ran so deeply.  I don’t know what I expected, but they are coming through just like they always have.  I don’t know why I expected any less, possibly because I feel like the most foolish, biggest pile of dog poo, and that I would possibly to be blamed for stuff that has happened, but that’s not how it is.



3) I am thankful I have four people by my side who are helping  me take care of the practical details that have come up in this whole mess.  The Big Dawg especially is taking charge, getting my lawnmower fixed and when that failed, bringing his own mower over to mow.  Getting rid of the boat.  Dad helping me take all of DSB’s medical supplies to the hospital to be donated so I’m not swimming in cardboard boxes.  Mom feeding me and raking and burning leaves.  Rock helping out with yardwork.  Mom’s promise to help me get my house in order and revamp a couple of rooms.  Without them, it is all so overwhelming.  With help though, it can be done and I believe that.



4) I am exceptionally grateful to all the wonderful blogs I read for keeping me entertained over the past couple of days.  I love them all, but find two especially inspiring, positive, and full of light.  Cynthia Reyes fills her blog with beautiful  homes, renovation projects she is following, lovely pictures of her garden, and just a little bit of magic.  I thank her for inspiring me to keep going when the world is getting to me, and I know I can always take refuge in one of her posts.  The other blog, written by my friend Marilyn Armstrong, can always be counted on to have several posts a day, containing anything from historical anecdotes to amazing photos to funny insights to rants about important things, like the lack of plug-ins in her home to the trend of not including user manuals in electronics purchases.  I hold Marilyn’s blog in high esteem, not only because her written word and photos are lovely, but because she remains so positive in the face of so many difficult challenges.  Marilyn and Cynthia are both beautiful people, wonderful bloggers, and if you haven’t already, you should go check them out.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.


Cynthia’s memoir. It has received amazing reviews and I just downloaded it to my Kindle. I have no doubt that it will be fabulous.


marilyns book

Marilyn’s memoir that I HAVE read and loved, loved, loved. It changed the way I was currently looking at spirituality dramatically. Definitely worth a read.


5)  I am grateful for rededicating myself to taking better care of the Kizz.  I have always shown her a a lot of attention, but Rascal (Mr. Neurotic) always wound up taking center stage.  Mom bought her a honking armadillo toy and hooked her up with some new treats (that DSB would not allow…didn’t believe in bones or rawhide) and also a new leash and collar.  She is looking snazzy and seems to be very content to be the only dog again.  I am getting her groomed next Friday (which DSB always discouraged for some reason) and have her up to date on shots as of yesterday.  Kizz has been with me through thick and thin and deserves to be first, instead of playing second fiddle to another pup.  She doesn’t even really seem to miss DSB or Rascal, but seems rather happy to be ruling the roost again.  Oh, and without Rascal here, there is none of the constant barking from her.  She peeks through the fence at the neighbor with interest, but no barking.  Hmmph!  What a good dog, and DSB always said how she wasn’t very well behaved or smart.  Wrong!



6) I am grateful that I am going to be able to change my eating habits dramatically.  When you live with someone who likes fatty, rich food and mostly refuses to eat vegetables, you become limited in what you cook.  When you live with someone who eats everything in sight as soon as it is purchased, you stop buying certain things because it’s like throwing money down the toilet.  I am looking forward to more fish, more soup, occasional ice cream, 2% milk, soy and almond milk, cereal, fresh fruit and veggies, and being able to keep my pantry and fridge stocked.  If I ever have to eat biscuits and gravy again in the near future, I may puke.  Actually, no more gravy period for quite some time.

healthy food


7) I am thankful there will be no more whining or complaining about how much time I spend blogging or looking at other blogs or emailing.  Talk about jealousy.  I can do as I please, in my own home again.  I can have soup for dinner and ramen noodles for breakfast, if I feel like it.  I can keep my house cleaner.  I don’t have to ask for permission to do things.  I could go on and on with the things I am grateful for that I will be able to do now, and just can’t  help but kicking myself that I didn’t figure all this out sooner.



8) I am thankful that the anxiety monster seems to have passed with the leaving of DSB.  So much stress and anxiety tied up into that relationship — totally unreal.  It has been two days since I have taken a Klonopin, and in those two days, I didn’t even really think about needing one.  There is so much less tension, so much more laughter, and almost nothing to worry about.  I attribute that to my awesome Team ‘o Four (Big Dawg, QoB, Rock, and Dad) for helping me to simplify, solve problems, and make life easier.  I know I already listed being thankful for them above, but they are all a post in and of themselves.  Love you guys!



9) I am thankful for having a good, great, awesome therapist.  I sent her a list, a four-page list at that, last night about all the things that were better  now that DSB and I aren’t together.  Not only did she read it on her day off, she responded.  And told me she’d always want to read anything I sent.  She reads my blog.  I feel like she is very invested in my mental health and, most importantly, like she genuinely cares about how I am doing and feeling.  I don’t think it’s often that you find a therapist that gets you like that, but we’ve had a lot of practice together.  I’ve seen her for the past nine years pretty much solid (other than a year spent fiddling with mental health center therapists) and then she was also my therapist for a couple of years when I was 16.  She is amazing, totally deserving of her Goddess of Mindfulness status, and I hope she  knows how much she helps me.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and guidance.



10) I am thankful for the outpouring of support over the last week.  It is amazing to me how many people commented, wishing me well, offering advice, sharing their story, saying a prayer for me.  A lot of people came out of the woodwork, because I was having a rough time, and I can’t say thank you enough for that.  It has meant the world to me to know I have so much support out here on the Interwebs.  I appreciate the reading, the liking, the commenting, the emails.  Everything.  You have all touched me deeply and I am immensely grateful.








The Key to My Contentment

I don’t want to brag, but my nephew is just over seven weeks old, and my sister just sent me some photos of him on  his tummy, and, I swear to you, the boy looks ready to scoot around, if not crawl.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’m telling you, that’s the look on  his face.

I had a very productive day yesterday in which I completely cleaned my kitchen, including scrubbing down cabinets and baseboards, bleaching my counters, cleaning out my coffee pot, reorganizing tupperware, finding all of the missing kitchen towels and potholders and putting  them in their correct places, unloading and reloading my dishwasher twice, and watering all of the plants in my window garden.  I am pumped and ready to take on another day.

I also started and completed quite a bit of laundry, including putting away a mess of clothes that were clean and heaped up on my folding table.  My goal today is to get all of the laundry done, and to be able to see the floor.  My big motivation is that I keep finding quarters everywhere and it just may add up to enough to go buy a bunch of Lifesavers.  Wild cherry, preferably.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that we take for granted, or the people in our life we take for granted.  DSB has ceased the invalid routine, and so I am rewarding him in many ways.  Mostly, by bribing him with fresh-brewed sweet tea and making excellent meals.  They do say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I think there’s a bit of truth in that.  If I can keep him happy, it’s a happier household.  Similarly, if I can keep myself busy and happy, then I’m less apt to be bitchy and unhelpful to the process.

The time changed on Sunday, as you all may know.  Or at least those living in the USA, other than Arizona, who does not participate.  Do other countries around the world do DST?  I must know, could Google it, but it would be so much more fun to hear about it in the comments section, along with how you adapt.

I was very concerned that DST was going to make me be late to everything, as I had overslept Sunday morning by a long shot.  I think it turns out that I was just overly tired, because I have been up since 5:30am (which is early for me) and feel completely refreshed.

Something new and wonderful is happening in my life.  DSB has decided that he wants to try and sleep in the same bed again.  Woot woot!  This may sound strange, but, with the exception of his first couple of weeks here, I have slept in bed and he has slept on the couch or the recliner, citing pain and waking me up incessantly.

Since that time, my sleep routine has stabilized quite a bit and he thought we could give it another go.  It has been absolutely wonderful to fall asleep with my elbow and hand resting on  his side (whereas, I generally propped myself up with Rascal, our dog), and I have been getting great sleep.  He has not, but he wants to keep trying.  He says the reason he is not sleeping has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the chronic pain he deals with.

Even on the couch or the recliner, he has a lot of pain, so we were hoping it would be eased a bit by being in bed.  No such luck, but as I said, we’re going to keep trying.  Ideally, we could get one of those adjustable beds, but they are ridiculously expensive, so I guess we’ll just have to win the lottery first.  What is it they say?  You have to play to win?  Right, right.

To make the day simpler, and allow me to hopefully get out and get the car washed amongst all the laundry madness, I just put a nice pork roast in with a bunch of sauerkraut into the slow cooker.  We’ll have it over either baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and it will be delicious.  And easy!  So easy!

Maybe I’m a simple person, but getting things done and making a good meal and treating other people well makes me happy.  Simple or not, I will continue on, and, in keeping with my homework, will find a stranger today that I can give a random kindness to.  These things all add up.

I Cooked. You Clean.

I picked it up at a junk shop (or thrift store, if you want to be more PC), and I would so love to show you an image but my technology is currently limited.  It is a yellow, rectangular magnet, about three inches by two inches, and on it is standing a happy looking woman with a plate of food in her hands, and beyond her is a big fat mess of a kitchen.

The caption says:

“I cooked.”

“You clean.”

I bought that magnet when I was just getting out on my own.  When I thought that saying would be the ideal way to share responsibility with a partner.  I bought that magnet before I had ever lived with another person (other than growing up with my immediate family).

I don’t know why I felt so strongly, thinking that this would apply to all my future domestic bliss.  When I was growing up, QoB certainly didn’t cook and then the Big Dawg cleaned.  She cooked and us kids cleaned.  When we graduated high school, I was pretty sure that Mom still did all the cooking, and at least 90% of the cleaning.  Fast forward fourteen years later, and Mom is still doing all the cooking, I clean a great once in awhile, and the Big Dawg might unload the dishwasher an even greater once in awhile.

So I didn’t have models for this behavior.  This, “I cook, you clean” behavior.  But it has always felt so right, so just, so key.  I have been in four relationships over the past 10 years, in which I lived with my partner.  Invariably, it has been, “I cook, I clean.”  And sometimes it really pisses me off, and a lot of times I don’t even think about it.  Because it’

It has become a lot less important to me over the years, and with DSB I have completely accepted that he is probably not going to clean the kitchen, even if I do make him country fried steak and mashed potatoes with gravy.  Who am I kidding?  He doesn’t even put his own plate in the sink!

And the 32-year-old Rose is okay with that, for the most part.  The 22-year-old Rose, the Rose who had never been through it for  herself, the Rose that was full of naive ideas about what relationships should look like, would definitely be at least mildly annoyed, if not downright indignant.  The 22-year-old Rose would pick a fight.

And that’s what Rose did, at 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, and so on.  Until recently, actually.  For many years, asking that the dishes be done, the partner not doing the dishes, and Rose doing the dishes herself caused a great many argument.  Until somewhere along the way, it just became terribly unimportant.

What became more important was that I was putting a hot plate of food down, of good food, delicious, nutritious food every night.  That I occasionally made a special breakfast, for no reason at all.  That I made chicken and rice when he was sick and made sure we always ate a vegetable.  That I made his favorite when he had a bad day, and that I knew enough to never, ever put sour cream in anything.

All of this for DSB, all because of how much I love him and want to do anything I can to create a corner of comfort in his world, even if it’s a 30 minute dinner during which  he can relax and forget about everything that went wrong that day.

I learned, I think, about taking care of DSB and our relationship, from my Mom and the Big Dawg.  I see her cook special meals for him, run to the grocery store randomly, sometimes every day, to pick up something that will be just right.  I see myself putting a hot dinner on the table every night, running to the store a gazillion times a week for milk, picking him up something special to drink when I’m out and I know he’s working.  Just, really, little things.

I have dropped the “you clean” philosophy part of my little magnet, even though it holds a place of prominence on my refrigerator.  My mom has always advised me to pick my battles wisely, and I decided at some point in time over the past two years that this wouldn’t be one of them.  I cook, I clean.  It’s ok, really, and for the most part I don’t even think about it anymore.  Until today, when that magnet fell off the refrigerator door.

Making it Click

I must admit, blogging is addictive.  Especially when you have some free time.  I spent the morning changing the appearance of the blog, using a new thing-a-ma-jigger that I found.  I think they’re called templates, but I could be wrong.  I left up the header picture that was on there, because it’s pretty, but not really “me.”  I have this fabulous little digital camera now and I am pretty sure I can get some great fall pics taken in my own backyard.  The trees are starting to turn and it’s gorgeous.

The new house is technically “in-town;” however, just across the street is considered outside the city limits.  There is a big patch of forested area very close to my house, and I have a humongous back yard with lots of trees and other prettiness.  I even have a huge asparagus patch that looks very mature and a stand of concord grapes.  Unfortunately, it seems that my neighbors’ have picked all of the grapes, so I will be putting up a sign because I am SO not sharing my asparagus. 

It has been a rather painful weekend for me.  I had to have a cyst removed on my lower back and have been back to the urgent care clinic three times since Saturday mid-day to have it drained and re-packed.  My fingers are crossed that I don’t have MRSA, but they sent in a sample to be cultured and I should know for sure by Tuesday.  Wonder what work would say if I did have MRSA?  Questions to be answered on Tuesday.

I am really rediscovering blogging here in the past couple of days.  It is something that I have missed doing regularly and never make time for.  I think it is high time that I start again.  Many thanks go out to Pasha for prompting and reminding me what a joy it is.  WordPress has really changed their site, so there may be a few little glitches here and there.  There is now a place where you can “like” a post on FB.  I am not sure I really want that up there, because I don’t want my work friends reading this.  Thinking I will just leave that one alone.

Speaking of FB, I have really been getting out of that scene lately.  I still read it, but find myself posting less frequently.  I get annoyed by people who complain on FB, and I don’t want everyone to know my business, so I generally just end up saying something goofy or replying to others’ goofy posts.  I have put a few pictures of my dogkids up and they seem to be well received.  It seems like that is a lot of what FB is about — showing off your kids/grandkids/etc.

So, as I said in my last post, I am looking for winter projects, doing much better when I have “missions.”  I have a little list going on my home computer and am adding a few more things.  I recently started reading again a blog that a friend of mine puts out.  She blogs religiously and seems to really love it.  She is always doing crafty things with her kids and she reminds me a lot of my mom in that respect.  Much love to you Adriana!

Adriana is another reason I am blogging.  I am interested in keeping up with what old friends are doing, and I would like for some old friends to know what is going on with me.  I am not a hugely social person, don’t go to bars or parties, but like to keep in touch with a few people.  I have a friend who is getting ready to have a baby and I am really excited to be back in touch with her.  We were Rocky and Bullwinkle back in the day, and even now when we get together we’re chatting nonstop, finishing each other’s sentences.

In other news, I started Weight Watchers a little over a month ago.  Prior to that, I was using SparkPeople and tracking what I ate.  Since the beginning of SparkPeople and into Weight Watchers, I have lost almost 25 pounds.  It is amazing how that small amount of weight off can make you feel so wonderful.  I have more energy, my clothes are getting baggy, and I am fitting into things I haven’t work in over a year.  I am more active and feel happier, not guilty all the time and feeling physically ill from eating crap and laying around.  For me, Weight Watchers is easy because you can eat anything you want and you have weekly support and pep-talks.  The website has what is called “E-Tools” and you can do all of your point tracking there, read success stories, build a recipe, search recipes, and read all kinds of interesting articles.  I am really loving it and what it has done for me so far.  I have not set a final goal, but am working on my first five percent.  After that I’ll go for another five percent, and then another and another, and so on.  I have a huge tupperware container and three large boxes of very cute clothes that will be fitting within the next 25 to 50 pounds I lose.  So very exciting!!

I found a great-looking recipe on The Sphors Are Multiplying called Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Verde.  I am making that in the crock-pot tomorrow with a few changes.  I am really loving fall and the idea of having dinner made at the end of the day by dumping a few things in a crock-pot in the morning.  Next up is pork chops in sauerkraut.  Served with a baked potato, it just doesn’t get any better. 

Not really about food, but cute nonetheless…

Kate Nash, Pumpkin Soup

Consider it Googled

First day back to work since the plague struck last Thursday.  I thought I would feel kind of crappy by the end of the day, and did to a certain extent.  For one thing, I was not really hungry all day.  I had a few Triscuits for breakfast and then some almonds around noon.  Oh, and I guess Dr. Love was really generous and gave me a whole corner of his chicken sandwich.  Other than that, nothing.  Strange for me, because usually I eat regular meals.  Maybe I should get sick more often.

The hand sanitizer and bleach spray are coming out in full force at work.  I had our porter deep-clean my office today and even talked her into leaving me with my own little bottle of bleach spray.  Inmates use my phone sometimes, and it is in style in prison to wear a lot of Vaseline on your hair.  Um, yeah.

I knew that flu season was coming because there is a gallon size bottle of pump hand sanitizer at the access points to the facility.  And it’s gone done about a quarter since they put it up new this morning.  Prisons are disgustingly full of germs.  Almost more MRSA than in a hospital.

So, I need to get my flu shots.  I am going to check and see if they give them at the clinic at work, because they do a lot of times.  My co-workers scoff at that and tell me they wouldn’t go in there if they were dying, but that’s who did my shots last year and it worked out just fine.  I think it really depends who is on duty, and if that nurse on duty actually knows and likes you or thinks you are just that uppity DOC bitch.

After getting off work, I went to the grocery store.  And started to feel hungry.  You know that’s never a good thing.  I stayed to my list, but also bought some soy cheese that I am hoping isn’t as revolting as soy yogurt is.  I actually had to throw that stuff out.  And, yes, Dr. Love, I did throw away an entire half-gallon of Walmart brand chocolate soy milk.  Wasn’t even edible.  Here, I owe you $2.50.  We’ll just put it in your brownie points account.

I am now having the perfect evening.  I am blogging with a Chelada at hand, an amazing dinner bubbling away.  I accepted (at least for today) that I still have a lot to do at work, but I don’t need to give it a second’s thought after I clock out.  I petted my dog, chatted with my birds, and planned out some dinners for later this week.  It’s all very luverly.

And before ya know it, Dr. Love will be home and I can regale him with stories about taking 25 items through the self-checkout line at Dillons, incurring the wrath of that young mother buying store-bought cookies last minute for some Halloween event.

Speaking of Halloween, my dental hygienist asked me today if I have decorated for Halloween.  When I said, “Ahhhh no” she asked me, in the most serious of voices, if I was going to put up any fall decorations.  I think Megan has a little Martha in her.

My step-mom has decorated for fall.  It is very pretty, but at this point I am just thankful to be not living in chaos.  We still have tons of boxes out in the garage!  And a downstairs bedroom that hasn’t been put together yet.

But I do admit, I’m jealous of those people that decorate for fall/winter/spring.  I wish I had those kind of Martha moments in me, and sometimes I think I do, but my Martha energy almost always gets diverted into cooking.  Or coming up with a new way to organize something.  Or sitting at QoB’s table drinking Cheladas, stirrin’ up shit.  You SO know that Martha does that.  She totally does.

May I just mention how disappointed I am that Pandora has flipped it’s white belly to the corporate blady-blah and, well it just sucks now.  Commercials and all.  Time listening limits.  And when you create a station, it will start to suck after about a month.  This issue may be why the music I have been sharing is less than stellar, or it may be because this post makes #232 and I’m running out of songs I like.  Any suggestions are appreciated.

Kate Nash, Im Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance”

Discovering My Path

The last few weeks have been fairly difficult.  There has been the moving, the relationship stress, the work stress.  Blah blah blah and so on and so on.  The good news is that I finally feel like that dark cloud is lifting, or at least the sun is shining on my face a little bit.

I had two big meetings yesterday at work with Administration about two different new curriculums I am taking part in.  The first meeting was about the parenting curriculum I was trained in a few weeks ago.  It is going to take up about 12 hours a week and I had thought (and was told by my direct supervisor after the fact) that I would not have to be a part of it because I didn’t have enough free time.  Well, that’s all out of the water now, because Administration has decided that I do have to teach the class.  It is a three month program, but I will only have to teach it once a year.  Two other staff members were trained at the same time and we will each do one session of it a year, so it will be offered three times a year, which is what they wanted.  The first session will be taught by all three of us together, so we can get the hang of it, and then we’re on our own.  It starts in October.  I think I am just glad to get a final decision on it so I can anticipate what is coming.

The second meeting was about the trauma groups I am developing.  In the last few weeks, I have been putting together a curriculum and writing up a proposal.  My direct supervisor warned me not to get too attached to it or to put too much work into it because, bottom-line, it is all up to what the warden wants to happen.  It turns out we didn’t even look at my proposal yesterday and the conclusion was come to that we needed to form a committee to do further research.  As QoB says, that’s state government at work.  So, it will be turning into a big, huge, multi-level project instead of the small groups I had planned on leading.  I suppose I’m ok with that, just not what I had expected.

So, overall, the work stress is on hold.  I have a plan, I know what I need to do, and am not being rushed into putting together the trauma curriculum.  I am fairly happy that I will be able to do the parenting curriculum because it really IS interesting.  It will just be odd to do a class on parenting when I am not a parent.  Oh well, I’ve led groups on substance abuse and am not a drug addict, so I’m sure I can figure it out!

I have invited Sara, Dusty, and Austin to dinner tonight and hoping they can come.  Plans are for spaghetti with fresh mushrooms, garlic bread, and something green.  I have found that I really like entertaining in the new house, what with the huge kitchen.  I have known for awhile now that I like to cook and it is even more the case now that I have this awesome kitchen.  The kitchen was the first area that I made totally my own when we moved in.  It has always been the center of things in the hub-bub of home life, since I was a kid.  Love it!

I am hopeful for a good day at work today.  After all, it is hump-day and I have a schedule full of people to see today, which always makes the day go by faster.  Wednesdays are actually my favorite day of the week (not counting thhe weekend).  Something about being half-way done with the work-week just appeals to me.

Jack Johnson, Bubble Toes

Weekend Run-Down

All things considered, it was a pretty good weekend.  Productive, if nothing else.  For once, Dr. Love and I had no place to be, no commitments, no plans.  It doesn’t happen often, really no time in recent memory, and it was actually pretty nice, which was surprising, as I’m a girl who loves a good plan and to follow a predetermined schedule.

Friday night was the end to a rough week and to be honest, I laid on the couch and watched TV all evening.  Dr. Love made dinner for me and it was really just lovely.  It’s nice to be taken care of so well.  I fell asleep on the couch around 9:00 p.m. while watching Battlestar Galactica, Season 2.0.  There was really nothing better that could have happened.

Saturday was pretty productive.  Dr. Love and I didn’t even sleep in too much.  He has been doing really great at getting up early, and it’s so nice to have him in the present all weekend instead of me tinkering around and him asleep on the couch.  We took Kizz to the Bark Park first thing, which was muddy but fun.  Making the grocery list was really hard, because I was trying to do minimal but still have a week of good recipes to use. I ended up pretty stressed out, but Dr. Love was able to calm me down, as always.

After going to the grocery store, we came home and cleaned (our new favorite thing to do, it seems) and I cooked broccoli chicken cheese casserole with rice, a tried and true family recipe.  Something I don’t even have directions to make, but know by heart from QoB cooking it from way back.

Sunday was pretty good, too, although we slept in quite a bit.  We managed to clean out the garage, Dr. Love changed the oil and oil filter in my car and added antifreeze.  I cleaned out my car thoroughly, including vacuuming and scrubbing all surfaces.  Between all the change I found in my car and Dr. Love counting $45 worth of quarters from our change jar, we decided we could spare a few bucks and go wash the cars at the self-wash.  Now I have a lovely clean car to start my new journey with and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while.

To add to building mastery, I also cooked a new recipe that is simply sinful —  S’mores Pie from Eat at Home.  Divine, really, and also quick and easy.  We had the whole pie gone by the end of the weekend.  Also revised my resume so I can start sending it out.  Talk about a stressful process.  I think I have it down pretty well, though, and QoB is looking at it right now.  We’ll see what she suggests.

A fairly skillful weekend altogether, using building mastery (cooking new recipes, making meal plan for week, writing resume), distract/self-soothe (cleaning, cooking, blogging), effectiveness (cleaning out car, grocery shopping on weekend), wise mind (choosing to be productive but doing things I wanted to do).  My PLEASE skills were also taken care of pretty well, too.

Can’t ask for much more than that.

The Postal Service, Sleeping In

I Got Skillz

I have really been treasuring “sleeping in” lately.  Work has been super-busy, with a lot of late nights, not getting home until almost 7:00 p.m. most nights.  That’s not terrible, considering I usually go in at 9:00 a.m., but there are days when I have to go in early and then stay late.  And then I’m exhausted.

So, with the “sleeping in” comes the “not-blogging.”  I was on a bit of a streak there last week, but it seems like life is so BUSY now.  The beauty in that is that staying busy and doing things keeps me happy, keeps me feeling good.  The downside is that I don’t have as much time to blog or sit in front of my sun lamp in the mornings.

Having been in that pattern where I do nothing but work minimal hours and sleep, I’ll take the current pattern any day.  I don’t do well when I have too much time to ruminate and dwell on every.little.thing.

I have been using a lot of self-soothe techniques lately, mostly music.  I find that if I am feeling overwhelmed or emotionally dysregulated, about ten or fifteen minutes of good music can leave me feeling really rejuvenated.  This weekend, I sat in front of Dr. Love’s computer (with the huge speakers and sub-woofer) and rocked out to Queen, trying to get it together for a trip to the grocery store.  I ended up being in really good spirits and was able to manage the anxiety that always comes with a trip to the store.

I have also been working on building mastery.  I’ve been cooking a lot, using recipes from Eat at Home, my new favorite website.  The writer’s focus is on low-cost, easy meals that can be made in bulk and then there are leftovers.  This helps immensely with nights where I don’t want to cook, just being able to pull something from the freezer that’s homemade, and also with packing lunches with leftovers.  I don’t have to think so much about what to take to work the next day, which is nice.

I’ve been rather domestic lately, using cleaning, cooking, and other little “chores” to build structure and distract myself when times are rough.  I really enjoy cooking for Dr. Love and I know he really appreciates eating something other than a piece of meat, a starch, and a veggie, which had always been my “go-to” meal.  And that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with that, but you really can’t beat smothered steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions on a bed of homemade mashed potatoes or homemade pizza (the attempt at stromboli gone wrong) or chicken pot pie.  I know for a long time it seemed like the only really decent meal I could get was at QoB’s, but now it seems like I am turning out to be a pretty good cook.  Who would’ve thought?  🙂

I have DBT today and need to get my diary card filled out with all the skillfulness and effectiveness I have churned out in the past week.  I am really feeling pretty good and, even when I’m not feeling great, have been able to pull myself out of it by using my skills.  Yay for DBT!

I have found a new favorite artist using the “recommended for you” off YouTube.  Love it!

Stacie Orrico, So Simple

Kicking it Into High Gear

Time to start the work-week.  Whoo-hoo.  After being gone all last week, I’m just trying not to think of the absolutely ridiculous amount of tasks that have piled up in my absence.  I do like being the only person responsible for my job (note — does not play well with others 🙂 ), but when I am gone, I find myself truly wishing that there was someone to pick up the slack.  I have three MH pod people leaving this week and another the following.  I just hope that I can get all my stuff together to make that all a success.  Of course I will, because I am 100% MHDP and I don’t take no quack from no one.  😀

The weekend ended up being pretty good, even though I still felt kind of sicky-poo.  On Saturday, I pretty much just laid around, feeling pretty stir-crazy.  On Sunday, I woke up feeling better.  I got up at my normal time (aka, with the roosters) and managed to stay up until 8:00 a.m.  I did end up taking a nap, because my morning activities of doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and intense web-surfing left me totally wiped.  I woke up around 11:00 a.m. ready to take on the day, though.

I simply had to get out of the house at this point.  I had been cooped up pretty much since the previous Sunday, other than a miserable and pathetic (and unsuccessful) attempt to drag myself to work middle of last week.  I had been doing nothing but sleeping, eating soup, and watching bits and pieces of TV (where I would undoubtedly fall asleep on the couch after 15 minutes). 

I rousted Dr. Love out of his computer geek reverie (he just picked up a bunch of new toys) and we headed out on the town.  I was itching to spend some money get out and do something, so we hit a local thrift store.  I was in the market for some kick-around-in sweatshirts and maybe some new shoes, but we didn’t find anything worthwhile, other than a new briefcase for Dr. Love’s new-found techie tools and some hedge trimmers.  It was fun though — I do love to poke around thrift stores and junk shops.  This trip really made me yearn for a trip to visit Dr. Love’s parents — middle-of-nowhere Missouri really does have some of the best junk/thrift/antique shops to go through.

From the thrift store, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things.  We managed to find some parts that may or may not fix our ancient (mauve-ish pink-ish) toilet that won’t flush properly and some more techie stuff for Dr. Love.  I have also been craving some homemade chicken tortilla soup, so we bought the stuff for that, along with some miscellaneous goodies.  Really had to steer Dr. Love away from the Halloween candy!!

I was really pooped by the time we were loading everything into the car, feeling also somewhat in foul humor due to the rising costs of frozen treats ($5 for my favorite Skinny Cow mint ice cream sandwiches — what the quack, mate?).  When we got out to the car, Dr. Love was trying to cheer me up and I thought he was kidding around when he said that my car was listing to one side.  Upon closer inspection, however, we found that a rather large nail had gone through my tire. 

The genius spirit within us, however, led us to the Walmart tire and lube shop, where they told us in no uncertain terms that it would be “dangerous” and “against policy” for them to repair our tire.  This really makes no sense, as it was in the middle of the tread, but they threw the donut on for us, which is still what’s on right now.  I am going to have to make a trip to the local tire place where I originally bought them to see if they can fix it, and, if not, they can replace it because they’re still under warranty.  Sometimes the beauty of living in a place where you can go to an independent local business really has it’s perks, although it’s a pain in the bootie because they’re only open 8-5 during the week.  At least the donut is on for now and that will at least get me through my Monday.

On the way home, I felt totally exhausted and icky.  I have pulled a muscle in my chest area due to ridiculous coughing spells, and every bump on the way home was torture.  When we pulled up, I immediately ran into the house and took some ibuprofen.  I realize it sounds silly to take a pain-killer for what sounds like such a minor thing, but when you’re coughing every five minutes, it just doesn’t do to have killer pain all over your upper torso. 

I felt better within about thirty minutes and, as much as I enjoyed our venture into the outside world, it felt good to come home, too.  I find that a bit strange, considering how much time I’d spent at home in the past week, but I pass it off to still feeling a bit sickly.

I love nothing more than cooking up a bunch of stuff on Sundays to last the week, so I whipped up a double recipe of mini cheddar meatloaves (a Weight Watchers recipe that’s really oh-so-sinfully good, yet healthy), a big batch of chicken tortilla soup (another Weight Watcher’s recipe, still sinfully good, yet healthy), and made up a bunch of celery with PB for the work week.  I had about 3/4 of a package of Velveeta left over from making my soup, and, of course, Dr. Love kind of whined about maybe wanting some cheese dip, so I also whipped up some queso and put it in the crock pot.  That man does love his cheese dip — totally reminds me of the Big Dog. 

The soup turned out fabulous and it felt really good to have a bunch of healthy stuff cooked up for the week, especially since I know this week may be trying at work, what with all of my time out of the office.  That and Dr. Love was very appreciative, mentioning how he survived off jail food and sandwiches for his brief period of bachelor-dom between living at home and meeting me.  So appreciative, in fact, that he helped do all of the clean-up from the kitchen mess I made with all the cooking. 

I have really been grooving on some good music lately, and can’t help but mention my favorite radio station, KKJO 105.5.   They play the best music, especially on the weekends when they do “all 80’s.”  I rocked out to it all yesterday while cooking and it really puts me in good spirits.  In addition to the fabulous weekend 80’s music, they play “no-repeat work-days” Monday thru Friday, where, duh, they dont’ repeat any songs from 9-5 during the work day.  Simply amazing and it makes me sad that I can’t listen to it at work, because the station is out of St. Joe, MO, and the reception doesn’t reach into the cinderblock prison walls. 

P.S. — if anyone wants the recipe to the mini meatloaves or the chicken tortilla soup, feel free to email me @

Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Come On Eileen