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Saturday, November 20, 2010

All Bets Are Off

Something happened to me in 2009 that altered my concept of reality. Once upon a time, I really wanted to decorate the extra bathroom with framed vintage pictures of Cinderella in her rags and her limited-time-only white dress... Maybe one of the Pumpkin Coach, and maybe one of the mice or something...

I believed in the Prince back then, I mean, didn't we all believe in him? He was on his way.  That's what we were raised to believe.  That's why we... or I at least took sewing lessons in home-ec so seriously.  That's why I let myself believe in love when the obvious truth was that I had blond hair and big boobs and that was why it was so easy for guys to fall for me.

...I learned, the not-so-easy, piece of paper and decade plus, soul-crushing way, that the prince is just a guy who was lucky enough to get a princess to kiss his green scaly ass.  And that's the truth.  

That said, marriage actually means something to me.  I made a promise, and utilizing the words of Canadian Pop Rock band Henley "I'm not perfect, but I keep trying 'Cause that's what I said I would do from the start...." 

So, I cook dinner, I put hot rollers in my hair to create "loose sexy curls," attempt to crush my most intense issues with the occasional valium, and I.... well, I just keep trucking.  I'm not sure where life is leading, I really am not sure, but I do have ONE kid on the high honor roll, (after literally curling up in bed studying Plant Cells/fraction tricks/book plot sequencing... with her until we both fall asleep) so frankly I'm not doing too shabby... 

I've realized this strange thing; I have responsibilities to everyone in this family, but I also have them to myself. Myself... who is she?  Well, she's the chick who wants to finish college and has put it off to accommodate everyone else but herself.... So I start college at an accredited, small, private, university in February.

I want a degree that will help me pay for the degrees of my children. Have you ever filled out paperwork that asks "furthest education attained by mother" "furthest education attained by father" yeah, when my kids fill that out, I want them to put doctorate somewhere.  Just because.  

At the end of the day, if I teach my daughters anything, I hope to God they learn to look within themselves for answers and help and truth, before they go try and find it in some man. Women have got everything they need within them. But there are a number of us who just don't tap into it until after we make life altering choices we will split our souls over later. Not one of us needs a man to tell us we are great. We are great. We can figure out that we are smart and pretty and witty without having it confirmed by some guy. But so many of us don't. I didn't. All but one of the women I know didn't or don't and I am not even so sure of the one.

As of late, I realize that perhaps it is me slipping into the mid-life crisis.  Here is what Wikipedia says about MLC, and I'm going to highlight the portions that actually seem to be choking me into a near comatose but invisible to the rest of the world.... warning signs in red;

"Midlife crisis is a term coined in 1965 by Elliott Jaques and used in Western societies to describe a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some individuals in the "middle years" or middle age of life, as a result of sensing the passing of their own youth and the imminence of their old age. Sometimes, a crisis can be triggered by transitions experienced in these years, such as extramarital affairs, andropause or menopause, the death of parents or other causes of grief, unemployment or underemployment, realizing that a job or career is hated but not knowing how else to earn an equivalent living, or children leaving home. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects of day-to-day life or situation, such as in career, work-life balance, marriage, romantic relationships, big-ticket expenditures, or physical appearance."

Just when I started to feel a bit finished, as in the mini-van is nearly paid off and we're secure... my life got so carelessly turned upside down.  So, here I am, redefining the definition of me... burning my scalp with hot rollers and becoming seriously annoyed by liquid eye-liner, all while totally investing in a completely new potential career... which has been a long time coming.

OMG I need to knit something soon...with soft wooden needles... or I'm gonna kill somebody.

Yours, (unless they commit me)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lexapro "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Brain Gone"

I've posted a little bit about being on anti-depressants.... and how off the hook I felt on them. They were really good for me in a lot of ways. I actually felt like I was more myself on them from the second month till about the eighth month I was on them. All in all I took Lexapro for over a year... (believe it or not it was originally prescribed by a neurologist for post concussive disorder. Yeah, I banged my noggin, and my poor brain went flooey.) I stayed on it because marital "trouble" sent me into a depressive anti-self spiral. Well, a number of things have come together to lead me to believe it's time for me to get off the Lex.

1. I've moved around docs and it has become increasingly hard to get the script.

2. The co-pay every month is $40

3. After six months my creativity just sort of... petered out, fizzled, farkled, turded out and up and quit.

4. If I missed a pill my brain felt like it was being static shocked... having the flu meant no Lex which left my brain spasming... tres unpleasant.

5. While being over-anxious is horrid, being under-anxious means I wasn't worried about even the things I SHOULD have worried about... like remembering to pay a bill or put gas in the car...

6. My usually fantastical mind full of trivial information and ready to fact find at any moment turned into a foggy, sludgy, mud pit. Basic things like what movie I watched last night, if I took my medicine, what time an appointment was... I couldn't remember a dang thing. But don't worry, I wasn't anxious about anything so I didn't give a damn.

So, I ran across this thing about dirt being the new Prozac... I would tell you which of my dear concerned friends who missed the old Becca told me, but I'm still going through withdrawal and can't remember....! Cool Discover Magazine Article.  Essentially, there are micro-organizms in the Earth which help our brains in the same way Prozac or Lexapro would.  Pretty fascinating huh?  I guess farmers and Zen masters probably had this figured out years ago...

So, me and my "tazer brain" have been working in the garden, building new beds, transplanting greenery, eating blackberries right off the bush, picking strawberries and baking pies...  and I have to say I feel a lot better. I am starting to feel less zappy in the brain, and I actually feel pretty jubilant. Who knew a spoon full (or a wheel barrow load) of dirt a day would keep the Lexapro away?  I have kind of an idea that the guy in the sky may have planned this whole thing out for us...

I'm a little worried about what I'll do when winter returns... but I have been watching "True Blood" so I have a few ideas...

I think Anti-depressants are totally a big help when you need them, and maybe I still need them....but I also need to be able to be concerned, creative and cognizant of who I am too. I weaned for about 3 weeks and I've been Lex free for about two. Already I feel a little more witty and a little less foggy. And hey, I'm WRITING again!!!! Woot for the Flys!

Have any of you experienced this? I'm curious to see how other people handle these sort of serotonin uptake inhibitorinos.... My doc said that there were no memory issues associated with this med, and using it would help my memory...

Best wishes,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Marital Angst & Ass Shrinkage

KK, so I want to talk a bit about channeling anger and/or frustrations into exercise.  DF Garden Mama calls this "excercizing your demons."  Heading out on an anger patrol walk, it does wonders for shrinking your ass (I lost a ton last summer fury-walking.)  As does splenda (especially the fiber enriched stuff):

Green St. Patty's day nails, green shamrock & Green fiberlicious Splenda.  
(Anything that helps keep me regular has my vote.)

DH has recently come public to me with the idea that he simply cannot be happy if the house and mini-van are not in pristine shape vs. myself who is happy if she has time to write, watch the birds, and cook, even if you can't eat off of the floors, and even if the joint ain't jumpin' spotless this mama is glad to be alive and healthy.  Worrying about living in a magazine cover, not my biggest concern, and I don't feel that this attitude makes me warped, psychologically unsound, a failure or discusting...

I mean, we're not talking TLC's Hoarders here. We're talking 3 kids a house full 
of pets and 2 hrs away from clean.

In other words, I don't care if there is dust on my treadmill. Like, a LOTTA dust.  I'll get to it when I get to it...

...Which happens to be now because I'm so pissed at my own inability to turn down a Whoopie Pie, or a ho ho, or a mocha latte.  Soooo, I walked a lot yesterday. Like 10 miles total.  Too much probably, but this pre-coffee morning I weighed 3lbs less.  Soooo I have lost 3 lbs. since Wednesday. A pound a day.  Not too shabby.  And as I'm viciously striding along East Lake Rd. or ask-me-for-something-while-I'm-treadmilling-I-freakin'-dare-you'ing, I'm trying to release a little anger, and understand where my DH is coming from.

I am using this website Fit Tracker to track food and exercise.  Essentially I need to be accountable to somewhere/when, and work toward a deadline.  I also don't want to go to Weight Watchers because I just don't.  

My message to my body? "Beware fat cells in my ass and belly, for you're time has come!"  I plan on bringing some other "health foods" into my diet, to see if switching from regular oatmeal to sugar free actually makes a difference.  Who knows right?  Let's ask Jillian, oh that's right, she is a pill-hawking sell-out now.  (Still angry about that. Boycotting Biggest Loser.)
Oh and I'm also checking out this site Fly Lady to find some ways to keep the house up more, while not fueling frustration, anger, and a general feeling of "who the hell do you think you are" toward other individuals also known as my husband and children, who live with me and create mess but expect it all to be cleaned up after them.

So what are YOU going to do to feel better about yourself today?

Best wishes,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lose Weight Gain Hotness!

Yeah, weight loss.  I freakin' hate being overweight.  What's worse is yo-yo dieting, losing 40lbs, finally feeling thin, then slamming 15 lbs of french fries, Shamrock shakes, Cadbury Eggs & Pancakes back onto your ass.

Over the years my diet pills have been recalled, I've hurt my back, the fat clothes hanging out somewhere in a bin began hanging in my closet again... I know I'm not the only chubby hot girl with a pretty face who yo-yo diets, but it still sucks.

So, my plan is to eat less shitty foods, work out more, and preen myself into a thinner, lovelier version of me in a healthy, non-threatening manner.  

THE GOAL: Get down to a loose size 12 AKA 150 lbs on my 5'4' frame and fit into a wicked cute summer dress like such;

THE ULTIMATE GOAL FAT BUSTING DREAM: Get down to 140lbs where I feel dead sexy. Yeah, wicked dead sexy.

kk so how is it going to happen?  Not atkins, cuz I can't stand eating all that meat.  Not starving myself cuz I can't stand not eating. Not taking pills, supplements or powder type stuff cuz I don't like diet pills (which make me jittery and cranky) or supplements... even if Jillian from Biggest Loser is selling them now.  The traitorous biatch.  

I'm going to walk the dog.  I'm going to walk myself on the treadmill.  I'll use little 3lb barbells (I am not supposed to lift over 5 pounds due to herniated discarado, but 6 shouldn't break the law too much).  I'm going to walk down the road with those barbells and not feel stupid!!!  I am also going to eat a lot of fruits and veggies, add fiber to my diet in my splenda and maayyybe in tablet form.  

The hardest thing? I'm going to give up internet games which waste my time.  Facebook you're addictive games are sucking my day free of time to work out.  So, there it is.  I'll post pics too.

Yesterday I walked 2 miles with the dog and did a mile on the treader.  I ate healthy except for one small Shamrock Ice Cream Cone from Seneca Farms (it's a Penn Yan thing, Seneca Farms).  Today I did the same work out with little barbells and didn't eat any ice cream.  Bear with me weight loss compadres, I'm about to admit to my current weight. OUCH. 

185 lbs.

So biatches, let's try this, let's talk about looking and feeling healthier!  I figure losing the weight will be good for my back, and also make me look damn fine when I go out to O'Leary's dancing in my cutie summer toe-free heels! Ga Ga La La La!

Best wishes,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Swinging, Pork, and 70's cooking

Let us please for a moment consider the 1970's...
These men were not allowed to adopt children....
THIS family was considered "Normal,"

This man was considered "Sexy"

This woman had the most awesome hair on the planet....
And Crisco along with our friends at Good Housekeeping, published this cook book! (which I purchased at the Once Again Shoppe for the cost of 10 cents)

For the two or three of you who read the drivel I deem post-worthy, you know I am attempting to put forth a more culinary foot in life. This wild do-it-yourself, without the pizzeria, involved sort of cooking is due to my lack of employment, and my enjoyment and delight at being a stay-at-home wife and mother (no offense mom)...

...I miss working a little bit, but at the end of the day, I really want to understand the women who pissed their way along the trail ahead of me.  I want to wear a ruffled apron and understand where they were coming from when Crisco was considered a staple. I WANT to take that step forward, (or is it backward?) and I want to embrace the whole... home-maker thing.  

I was a stay-at-home mom when the kids were little. At the time, with three kids under the age of 4, I didn't wax poetic about the joys of home-making, no... keeping little faces booger free and little bottoms clean was where it was at for me!

But times they have a changed, and the kids are big enough to tie their shoes and wear B cups. So, though I want to cook, as the daughter of a Hamburger Helper mother, who occasionally made goulash, I think I need the additional leadership offered from oh, anywhere else...

Even a 10 cent cookbook published in the 1970's

Hence, The Dinner. Yes, I made a dinner for my family out of the Crisco cook book.

 I chose this recipe and this book primarily because pork has been on sale and I bought a hella lot of it, but also because, there MUST be some truth and joy in presenting a meal from a Home & Garden type do-booky, even if said recipe book more than likely mildewed unused on an actual housewife's shelf for 30+ years.

The Era & the contents of the meal had me thinking of...
Because, before the actual swinging event, I bet it was a stone soup sort of deal, and the couples sort of threw in what they had... maybe for pre-coital practice.

And so I made it, and the critics ate it....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Raising Hell & Soda Bread

I grew up being trained with cooking skills that included making hamburger helper, tuna helper, and grilled cheese. So, in my world any culinary ability I've gained, gleaned or invented is a boon, and maybe even a miracle. 

Baking has never really been my forte. My Mother-In-Law can mix flour, salt, and toaster stroodle chunks together to form an impromptu masterpiece which will pop out of the oven looking gourmet and which everyone will want as their birthday cake for the next 10 years.  

My own baking experiments ended when I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving, brought it to her house, and nobody touched it.  After that, I never tried to bake anything that Betty Crocker or Dunkin Hines didn't pre-prepare.  

But times they are a changing, and my newly adopted mindset (to do, try, and think whatever I want) has left me willing to try things because I want to try them, vs trying them to bring pleasure to others, or to make others proud of me.  (Let us not get into a co-dependency discussion here PLEASE.)

So this morning my classy farmer's-wife-friend called and asked, "remember that Irish Soda Bread we had in D.C. at that cool Irish pub?" Well, she had a recipe she'd successfully tried and tested on her family. 

SOOooooo, I grabbed the closest crayola and a big envelope and wrote down her instructions...

4 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Cups Buttermilk (keep reading to learn how to fudge this ingredient)

~Mix dry ingredients, mix in buttermilk and form a rough ball.

~Plop on floured counter and knead but don't over-knead into a ball.
~Put ball in a greased 8 inch round cake pan (I used a pie tin).
~Cut X on top about an inch deep
~Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes
~Wrap in damp towel and let cool for recommended 8 hrs. (or less if you can't stand the wait.)

And in between talk about our teens latest girlfriend/boyfriend trials and a quick lesson on how to make faux buttermilk for this recipe;

"Put two tablespoons of vinegar in your measuring cup (she used apple cider, I used white but put in a splash of rot-gut red wine) Then fill it to the two cup mark, let sit for a few minutes."

I made a healthy sized mess in my kitchen and mixed up a batch of bread.   

Cut a big X on top...

Baked at 375 degrees for 48 minutes...

and set it out to cool for 6-8 hours (placing a damp cloth on top to cool).

It smells good and it even looks like bread.  

My Jess sis is coming over for a crock pot chicken dinner tonight, my Navy Brother is visiting, and I am looking forward to seeing if everyone enjoys the Irish Soda bread, but mostly I'm just glad I broke loose, got my hands a little dirty and TRIED to bake something. (Even if nobody likes it in the end.) 

It's so easy to decide you are no good at something and to stick with what you are confident you are good at.  (It's also easy to hold a grudge over a 10 year old apple pie that nobody tried.) 

But where is the fun in that? So today it took the kindness of a good friend thinking of me, a simple recipe that tantalized me to my Irish roots, and a healthy dose of disregard for the fear of failure, to remember why RebeccaFlys. And to remind me that the journey is often a lot simpler than I thought it was.

I hope that one loaf will be enough, maybe I should throw together another one with the girls when they get home? 

Best wishes,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sea-Monkey Love

I have a confession to make regarding a certain small obsession I've harbored for six years or so.  There are only a few select visitors to my home who have noticed this, and even fewer who understand the truth behind the apparent obsession:

 I am the Queen of the Sea-Monkeys.

My Kingdom resides in the breakfast nook, on our windowsills. My briney subjects enjoy the view of the bird feeder, and they particularly like a move closer to the African Violets when the flowers are in bloom.

When I was a kid, Sea-Monkeys were advertised in my favorite comic books...

 Sea-Monkeys® are a true miracle of nature. They exist in suspended animation inside their tiny eggs for many years. The instant-life crystals, in which the eggs are enclosed, preserve their viability and help to extend still further their un-hatched life span! Sea-Monkeys are real Time-Travelers asleep in biological time capsules for their strange journey into the future!
As a science fiction fiend myself, I was desperate to bring my own adorable naked pink family of Sea-Monkey time travelers to life!  Unfortunately, the cat often knocked them over and drank them. Once they sort of boiled in the sun and never grew bigger than specks.  They were a grand disappointment.

Then, wonder of wonders, at Christmas time I found a little kit for sale at Wal-Mart ($4.95). DH was kind enough to shake his head in bewilderment (he does this quite a bit) and let me wrap the kit up for myself from Santa as I insisted the kids would LOVE it, but I would be the only one who would properly follow the instructions to grow them. (Amazing how we forget the disappointments of childhood.)

Christmas Evening I began the process. Within days I had specks, and soon little pink... well they look like a cross between brine shrimp, lobsters & spermatozoa. The females have little egg pouch things and the males have little beards.  They all have little beady eyes. They chase each other around pin one another and make a lot of love.

As a kid, I dreamed about what the Sea-Monkeys would look like and imagined the conversations we would hold. As an adult, I can appreciate the science and fun behind growing  real-live creatures from a pinch of old dust.    

Truly there are benefits to being a grown up and having the opportunity to buy what you want.  As my citizens grew and I realized the success of my Kingdom, I sent away to Sea-Monkey.com for the light up tank top and packets of Grow Quickly, Sea Crystals, Banana Treat, Sea Medic, and extra plasma. ($24.50)

Being Queen of the Sea-Monkeys does come with it's share of responsibility and tragic circumstance.  Once, my mom, in amazement at the size and voracity of my Kingdom, held it to the light and cracked the tank. She felt really bad and tried to suck the little citizens out of the carpet with my Sea-Monkey Aqua Leash, 

But it was too late.  Fortunately part of the Sea-Monkey miracle is that the green goop in the tank is full of eggs and a Good Queen can re-populate her kingdom from this Sea-Monkey Salad.  So, though tragic and now known as the Ooma's Murderous Rampage, the Kingdom rose from the carpet fibers.

This summer, my citizens began dropping like flies. Curling up into little balls they sank to the bottom and began growing shady green shrouds which quickly morphed into an inch of furry gunge, which was then fed upon by the seemingly healthy, who soon fell.  My BFF put it best when she said "Like the citizens of Paris during the plague, the continuing lack of sanitation caused the spread of death, your Sea Monkeys are like rats feeding on dead bodies you know?" 

As Queen I researched my options, and learned I should not feed the Kingdom until the green dissipated. However, the stuff was gross and after a few months I bit the bullet and used a plastic fork to peel it out. Like green jello left uncovered in the fridge, the stuff stripped out of the tank. I removed the corpses and noted just two tiny monkeys swimming in the brine.  My monarchian choice was well rewarded by a slew of hatchlings and the grown females in the photos above.   

When I was a kid, waiting for days and days to see what would come of following the instructions and losing interest when nothing ultimately filled my expectations, I never dreamed I would grow up one day to appreciate the wait, or the results.  But I did.  

I am the Queen of the Sea-Monkeys. And they are cool. 

Look, you can even order this wicked Sea-Monkey bobble head.  Some things are just worth the wait.

Best wishes,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Re-Purpose Me

The web definition of Re-purpose; To reuse for a different purpose, on a long-term basis; To alter to make more suited for a different purpose.

I have embraced this concept:

My Christmas gifts for family this year were hand made buckwheat heating pads. Each unique creation was comprised of fabric re-purposed from used clothing purchased for $5 per garbage bag full at the Once Again Shoppe.  

Due to the fact that my husband has expensive tastes, and we can't afford what he REALLY wants, my home decor is a hodge podge of found items (usually painted white), decorations I've built out of bits and pieces, and stuff I find interesting (like old school desks which seem appropriate in our little yellow school house.) 

I love to make something out of nothing. Somehow, my poor-girl style has become sort of cool, I think they call it "green," or country or shabby Becca. 

Re-purposing, once a thing of the past (think World War and Great Depression flour sack dresses) has come back around in this era of economic shlump.  

In fact, a lot of us are being forced to re-purpose our employed lives and re-investigate what we're trained in, what we're good at, and what we're capable of.  Perhaps even cobbling together part time jobs that add up to full time pay. A lot of us are considering our options along with the economic forecast.

I certainly am.

So, as my mind wanders back and forth, touching on the options available in my small town both educationally and employment wise, I'm going to spin it like this; my cobbled together shelves, well loved re-vamped school desks, crazy Christmas gifts and my own employment capabilities, are re-purposed! And re-purposing is a good thing.  It's even a little cool. 

Hey if anybody knows how to utilize dryer lint, let me know. I've been saving mine.

Best wishes,

If Then

The kinds of decisions which make themselves, begin with problems which cannot solve themselves.  And so, believe in those who tout fate, for they are the luckless few whose problems cannot be solved, and who cede defeat. ~by Rebecca