Monday, February 6, 2012

Day in Review - Mother/Daughter Bonding with "Sarah"

What started out as a group outing on Friday night turned into a fun and exciting mother/daughter bonding weekend with "Sarah". I know what you are could I possibly top the fun I have on a normal weekend when I sit on my ass doing nothing but working and talking to Chloe. (For the record, my weekends have gotten much more enjoyable now that I have stopped writing the Plantar Fasciitis articles I worked on for six months...on a side note, if anyone has a problem with Plantar Fasciitis I have 400 articles that may be of assistance)

"Sarah" and I, along with my sister and cousin Niki had planned to go see a tarot card reader named Reverend Elizabeth. Yes, she is a real reverend and yes, she was freakin' awesome. I know there are certainly varied opinions when it comes to tarot cards and "seers" in general, but since I am a liberal and don't tell people what is "right" or "wrong" when it comes to belief's, if you don't want to read about it, I won't be offended. I also understand that some people will say it is "pish posh" and simply a waste of time and you just don't believe it. That is fine too. I certainly understand your side as well. What I will say is I have done this before with amazing results that actually happened and I was willing to do it again. Long story short, my sister bailed and Niki had a sick kid, so it ended up being my mom and I.

She had never done one of these things before and though she was nervous, she did it anyway. I made her go first so she couldn't run away, in fact. I tried to listen in on the conversation, but I could only hear certain things. We were at a coffee shop and there were people machines making foam and I was momentarily distracted by a few text messages and the latest issue of In Style.

I did hear her talking about my mom's work a lot.  I also heard her say something about Florida. My ears really perked up when Rev. Elizabeth started talking about my mom's Scorpio daughter. (You may know her as me) I heard some phrases like "really successful" "good things happening", "a lot of good things". Before I knew it, my mom was done and it was my turn.

Making it as short as possible, this tarot card reading started with me shuffling the cards. She laid them out and started talking. There were several times I had to catch my breath and one time where my hand went to my mouth in an "OMG" experience. Some of the highlights were I need more focus on my creative writing, I am going through a bit of a crap period but things will lighten up at the end of February. I will have a relationship with another Scorpio, but it is not true love, I will make a move, travel a lot and that the news and news journalism will be very significant to the future. This came up several times, in fact, throughout the entire reading. She also talked a lot about my personality and how I have so much Scorpio in me that other people just don't understand me very well. I know what I want (I do), I do what I want to do (I do) and there is someone out there for me, but it will be very surprising that we get together. There was more, of course, but it's private. :)  After the reading, we went to dinner, had a margarita, then went home and drank a bottle of wine.

Saturday was Amish country. For those of you who have never been, it is a fascinating thing. Driving around the area, you almost feel out of place. You really need to pay attention when driving so you don't get too close to the horse and buggy that is probably on the side of the road and walking around, you need to make sure not to step in a pile of horse shit...literally. It really is kind of like stepping back in time and it is difficult not to stare and take it all in.

"Sarah" and her new friend

There are two things that the Amish do really well...they make good cheese and make great bread. I ate a lot of cheese, drank more wine, almost stepped in horse poop a few times and bought a lot of tea. One of my favorite things about Amish country is all of the natural remedies they have for whatever ails you.  I am one of those people who is much more likely to choose eastern medicine or home remedies over medications. We are an over medicated society I have found that I can heal just as fast using natural remedies when sick, if not faster, than those who take antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle. This weekend I was on a tea kick...I bought 4 different kinds. I have tried one of them, the sassafras tea...there are actual twigs in the tea. It was SO good. It has 0.8 calories per cup and was absolutely delicious.

I am starting a high protein, low carb diet tomorrow morning, so this could be the perfect thing. I also bought some Chinese diet tea made out of things I cannot pronounce nor spell here since they are Chinese characters. I also got some rooibos and chamomile.

Wish me luck.  No more wine for awhile...sad days...I don't know how I am possibly going to write creatively without being half drunk...just kidding! Who wants to be my muse? I am accepting applications as of right now.

By the way, new Absolutely Fabulous tonight! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day in Review - Celebrations All Around

 Before I even start this post, my sweet (or bad...depending on your view point) dog Chloe is featured on a very special post written by my dear friend and confidant Cletis Stump. Check it out if you like dogs: Dogs of Twitter #1

This is the story of two celebrations...

It seems like it is a time of celebration in my life...hopefully you have something to celebrate as well.  One of these celebrations I have been counting down the days for...another was sprung upon me via a surprise text message.

Let's be real though...just because something should be celebrated, doesn't mean I want to hear about it.

Let's start with that first....ever since my parents "Sarah" and "Todd" have learned to text, I have enjoyed a new way to communicate with them.  It is great that I can just text Todd and say "I need new windshield wipers"....3 months later, like magic....they appear.  (Of course I have to drive an hour to get them, but I am not complaining...just stating a fact) Texting with them is great...really...

I know a lot of people make fun of their parents texting, but I will not be one of them. (They have had their moments, don't get me wrong!)

I enjoy texts. I feel like it is the easiest way to say what you need to say when you need to say it.  I think I am probably pretty no-nonsense and just want to get to the point in most situations.  I don't like a lot of dribble, drama or drawn out stories.  Get to the point. (This reminds me of my friend Cher...who never gets to the point. Don't be a Cher...get to the point and lets go get a drink)

So back to my parents texting..."Todd" sent me a text on January 26th...just a few days said this...

"happy birthday today is the day you were conceived" read that DAD...sent me a TEXT...telling me that it was the anniversary of my CONCEPTION.  Let me just walk you through the thoughts that went through my head...

"What does that say?"


"Is that really what is says?"


"Conception?  No...."

"Oh shit...."

At that point I started laughing uncontrollably. It took everything I had to pick up my phone and hit "Send".

Of course, he picked up with a chuckle...and I could hear "Sarah" cackling in the background.  They thought it was hilarious.

Through my extreme laughter I told them to NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER mention this to me again. I believe I said something like "I did NOT need to know about that nastinest"

They brought it up a few days later when I went to do laundry...still chuckling...still bringing the awkwardness upon me...still insuring embarrassing and awkward moments after all these years...

So yes...the first thing we are celebrating is my conception.  Hurrah for the Blizzard of 78....Let's just move on to the real celebration...

Today, February 1st, is my 1 year anniversary....of no smoking.  No cigarettes.  The last cigarette I had was the morning of February 1st, 2011.  I can't believe it has been that long.  Let's rewind for a bit...

I won't get into a long, inspirational either believe it, or you don't.  You think I am crazy or you don't. I could care less.

I had a dream and my dream became a prophetic dream. There was a stranger in my dream that my departed grandmother (who was in my dream) introduced me my dream. My grandmother told me this stranger would be significant to me. The stranger in my dream became the stranger in front of my very real eyes that said "Don't smoke". I listened to a stranger. The stranger inspired me and inspires me to this day.  I thank God for the stranger every day...I pray for the stranger every day. I consider the stranger a sort of hero or dare I say friend, though it's certainly not mutual.

Every time I feel weak and feel like I want to smoke, I think of the stranger. I love the stranger for this. That inspiration is amazing. The stranger has no idea what they did for me.  Perhaps someday I can say thank you in person. If nothing else, we will share a love of music, politics, news and damn...we both have the most amazing eyes you have ever seen...

Like I said...believe the story or don't...judge if you like.  I don't care.  I don't smoke anymore and it shouldn't matter why or how I quit.

What matters is I don't smoke...and I gained 20 pounds because I don't smoke.

I think I blocked those first weeks out.  They were a swirl of sleeping pills, Dum Dums and Peanut Butter M and Ms. When you sleep, you don't have cravings and when you are awake and have cravings, candy makes it dandy...not only makes it a bit less like you are standing in the fires of hell, but you have candy, so it's better.Make sense?
Semi-Sustainable Food

Candy...especially M and Ms...are not fat free.  when you are sustained and living on chocolate, fake peanut butter and a candy shell that melts in your mouth and not your hands, you gain weight.

I would say I probably put on 20 pounds....I have, over the year, lost about 5, but I am still 15 pounds heavier than I was before and it sucks the big one.

As I told "Sarah" the other night, I could probably lose more if I laid off the wine a bit, but hey, a girl has to have some vices in life, right? I cannot live without some substance running through my veins. Luckily my hours at the gym each week burns the same amount of calories that I consume from wine.

I eat very well (healthy), I fry nothing, I don't eat fast food...

I drink wine and I love every drop. I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, I don't have addictions (music doesn't count).  None of that helps me lose these 15-20 pounds though. Sometimes I honestly consider picking up the cigarettes again.  I know what you are going to say...don't do it.  I know the stranger would haunt me, but I know the weight would come off.

Why can't I just go on the 1990's Gwyneth Paltrow diet of a bottle of gin and 2 packs a day? (For the record, I didn't smoke 2 packs a day...EVER). It seems very easy...

It is just my's playing tricks on me.  It has played tricks on me every day since February 1st, 2011. It tells me that I should smoke...

Every day I tell it "No".

It may be a fleeting thought, but it is always there.

I can pick out smokers easily...I track them like a bloodhound.

I breathe a little bit deeper around them..I want to just smell the smoke.  Some ex-smokers can't stomach the  I love it...but only the fresh smoke smell...not the stale smell. There is a difference. Think I'm gross?  Maybe...

If you have never smoked and think I am gross, I honestly don't care for your opinion. If you are someone Kellie Jones, who was a HUGE help during this process, and for the record gone through the same thing, I may be more inclined to hear you talk about my grossness or my fatness.

For anyone reading this who smokes.  No, I will never, ever judge you. I will never hound you to quit. I won't think anything different about you. I will love you, cigarette and all. (I may ask to just smell your hair) I know how sucky it is to be constantly hounded and reminded that cigarettes are bad. Do people think we don't know that? Do people think we don't know what they do?  Do people honestly think propping up a diseased lung is going to stop the cravings? Hell, I used to smoke and look at diseased lungs at the same time.

The addiction is is holds on with an iron grip. I don't know how I pulled it away. I don't know how I stopped.

I don't think I did it alone.

Think? No, I know I didn't do it alone. I had something I can't explain. Something more powerful than me.

It has been a year.