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5 Sep

Religiously, if I’m being honest, I don’t know where I stand.  I am not sure I stand concretely in any one religion, and I don’t think I should have to.  I believe in something greater than myself, but have trouble believing it is a an actual form with gender and physical features.  I don’t believe in heaven or hell as actual places.  I don’t believe in Satan.  I do believe that loving all people is our purpose.  All people.  Regardless of who they love, how they love, or whether or not I like them.  My calling is to love them.  I believe in karma and reincarnation, but I’m not sure I think it’s fair for past lives to bring ruin on present ones.  I’m also not sure that they don’t.  I also don’t think we change so much physically from one life to the next.  Our essence has a purpose and our form is the vehicle.  Too much change inhibits purpose.  Our form may evolve to better serve our purpose.

I believe that we meet some people again and again for various reasons.  I believe in soul mates, but not that one’s soul is incomplete without them.  Somewhere in our journey, we meet them and they are the people that bring us awareness and help us stretch beyond where we can stretch alone.  We’re not less without them, we are simply more with them.  And when they appear, something inside sighs and becomes calm in their familiarity.  The world seems less chaotic.  We are less afraid to reach beyond our routines and be uncomfortable.  Whether this familiarity pulls us together or pushes us apart is up to us.  Depending where we are in our self-development, we either accept this person and trust ourselves or we  reject them via doubt and disbelief.  Either way, we will meet them over and over because eventually our awareness will be heightened enough that we would be more afraid to lose them than to be wrong.

I don’t believe in ghosts.  I do believe in people between physical forms.  I don’t believe they are trying to hurt anyone.

I believe in free will.  That while things may fall in place as energies push them to, we are not fixed to one path.

I believe we all have ‘God’ or whatever the greater energy is within us.  That we are not pawns, we are part of a web of higher consciousness.  That what we put out does matter and can change things.  That what we focus on can be altered by our energy.  That we are responsible for our own energies and being aware of how we may affect the world.  We have a responsibility to think of others.  We have a responsibility to be positive.  ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are subjective, but we must strive to be kind and compassionate and unselfish.

I believe that bringing someone to religion isn’t at all important.  I believe living by example is extremely important.  Things like pay it forward absolutely matter.  Giving of one’s self absolutely matters.  Materialism is neither good nor bad unless it becomes one’s focus and they stop setting a positive example or trying to connect to others.

I believe whatever ritual brings you a deeper sense of connection to the universe is right.  Unless it is through harm or ill intent.  Then it is wrong.  An eye for an eye does nothing for the world.  Forgiveness does everything for our souls.

I believe we are meant to be happy.  That happiness is like a gate opening, and allows us to serve the world much better.  Humanity challenges happiness.

I believe a lot of things and can’t find one true place to be.  And I think that’s OK.  To better connect to people, I should know more about other beliefs.  And not challenge them.  My challenge is to love, to set an example, and to become more my true self.  Letting go of the idea of one right religion, one true God is difficult.  But no more difficult than trying to fit four puzzles together.  Which is a waste of energy I could be directing to much less selfish purposes.

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Valley of the Dolls

3 Sep

It is so intricate, this dance we do for

love.

Questing for utopia found

in another person.

Our match; our other half.

Our fathers chased our mothers,

wooing them.  Pursuing their queen with

voracity, intent, and purpose.

Now

courting is dead.  If the queen

doesn’t run, another queen will catch

her beloved’s eye.

She must be fascinating; she must be

mysterious; she must feign disinterest

and walk the tightrope between apathy

and inquiry, wondering if her bait is effective.

Plastic crowns require no investment, no effort.

He is satiated for minutes and wonders why.

Without intimacy, without choice, we make each other

bleed.  We burn in this dance.

It’s bullshit.

I am my own match.  I am king and queen

of my kingdom.  I am not a prize to be won, nor

a peacock spreading her feathers to entice

her mate.

Walk beside me, unpainted, no cloak

to distort my essence.

Harmony cannot be found

without focus, dissonance only

fixed with practice.

My song still plays

alone.

Clowns

27 Apr

There are things,

in love

worse than loss.

Worse than endings.

There are things that scrape

Things that wound

Things that leave

scars and spin webs

that hang for the innocent

to stumble through.

Things that send you

wandering.  Blinded.

Hands outstretched, reaching

towards any glimmer of

something

other than cold, damp tunnels.

The darkness consumes

anything

left alive

Eats it slowly

Bit by bit

twisting joyful memories

into doubts

Into lies.

Whispers they were

never real.

Leaving the victim

to navigate

to stumble

Clinging to any hope that this

maddness, this

nauseating carousel

will stop.

But it doesn’t.

It won’t.  After all,

it was never love.

If it was, I

wouldn’t be here.

Tossed into a labyrinth without

heat, without feeling.

Without end.

There are things

so much more malicious

more destructive

than mere endings.

I’m learning that

from you.

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18 Apr

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Fitful

16 Apr

“I have come here not to find answers, but to find a way to live in a world without any.”
Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair

I used to know what I was moving towards.  I had a magnetic north that was a constant.  It was a given.  Every step took me closer and it made sense.  I don’t know what to do now that it’s gone.  I feel like I’ve lost my compass entirely and I’m just spinning.  There is no direction because I have nothing to move towards. It’s nauseating and the tranquil silence of inevitability I marveled in has dissolved.  Now silence has taken on another meaning.  There is no peace.  I used to know that whatever happened, this was a map dot.  It was absolute if it was worked for and reached for. Reality is a bitch and it shatters like a bubble made of glass that’s been dropped on the pavement.

I don’t know how to pick up the pieces.  I don’t WANT to pick up the pieces.  I want to wake up and find out that I’m just having a nightmare.  That the past four nights of nightmares are just within one greater bad dream.  Tonight my body rejected sleep entirely.  I can’t say I blame it.  What comes when I sleep steals my breath.  It siphons what little sense of self I had right out of me.

At times when I walk this earth, I don’t feel human.  Humans are violent.  They are content to rip each other to shreds for such trivial things.  They destroy each other and drown each other for no reason other than it was easier for them that way.  Forgiveness in humans is conditional.  Love…more of the same.  In truth, I wish I wasn’t human.  I can’t seem to bar up my heart.  I feel everything and in such magnitude that I wish I felt nothing.  I can’t turn it off.  I love too big and too openly for someone who’s never been loved unconditionally.  The knowledge of who I am at my core allows for self-love but always reaches beyond for something external.  It wants more, it wants different.  I suppose that makes sense.  The tragic piece of always searching for what is so desperately wanted is that when one thinks they’ve found it…well it’s everything.

I was born out of a lack of love and adopted into conditional love and expectation.  I was grown in a womb that was a rented space.  I wonder if she ran her fingers over me, contemplated my movements, my future.  Probably not.  She couldn’t abort me because she was catholic.  I must have been like a parasite, distorting her body and to be walked away from as soon as possible.  And she did.  As soon as I was out of her body.  I was alone in a hospital for two weeks after that.  I’m not sure what happens to a baby who, at birth, has never been loved even a single moment after their conception, who is left alone in that emptiness before a home finds them, but my adoptive father has suggested before that children like me are only left with abandonment issues.  I fought against his opinion, knowing in my bones he was wrong but perhaps not.  Perhaps that is why I cling to anything that feels like acceptance.  Why the rejection from my adoptive parents doesn’t send me reeling away even though it’s obvious that genetics do play a part in fitting in a family.  I’m that one puzzle piece that seems to have the right picture but there is no space I fit in.  And if something feels like love…oh the stupidity I trudge myself through.  And every time it turns out that I’m not loveable after all.

I wonder if something shines out of me that is at first magnetic, then blinding and then terrifying.  If I emanate some sort of pheromone that says “she seems amazing but you should still drown her, just in case.”  I’m so tired of it.  This time I was so unprepared.  I was so sure.  I thought I was safe.  I fell once for him, twice for pieces of him.  Stupid girl.  Safe is not having a heart.  Safe is cold steel.  If only I’d been born a tin man.  I’d happily rust and freeze right now if it meant not feeling these waves of reality that keep pulling me into riptides of anguish.  They pull me under over and over and swimming to the surface only works if you know where the surface is.  I know nothing right now.

What I thought I knew…what was so woven through me….these fibers that have warmed my skin and comforted me through so much…it is turning out to be maybe no more than a chimera.  The strands I thought were mine are being pulled out like lengths of razor wire.  I keep waiting to bleed out and that finality remains just out of grasp.  I have raked all of my matches against the wall and sit waiting for absolution and it doesn’t come.  I’m not found frozen, gone to somewhere bucolic.  I’m not sea foam rising out of the cage that was my body.  It seems I’m in purgatory, imprisoned in my own raw, stinging flesh.

It seems so unnatural that life doesn’t stop for moments like these.  That in the morning, I’ll get up, I’ll get dressed, I’ll go about my routine and nothing comes crashing to a halt or comes to hold me when I start to drown in what is left unfinished.  I have mouths to feed.  I have work to do.  Life doesn’t care.  And hope…hope is a fucking bitch that I would give anything to smother.  But she’s all I’m left with.  And so I’ll cling to her unless she too proves to be made of smoke and mirrors and shatters with a rock of truth.  I’m waiting for it, here in the vast expanse of oblivion that’s claimed me.  I can’t move.  The abandoned fairy circle I sit in is all that keeps out the tornado of broken glass that is waiting to further perforate me and bury jagged shards in my skin.  Maybe when all of this is over I’ll be so gutted that I’ll be unrecognizable.  Enough of me will have torn away that I’ll be numb.  Just the though is relief.  It is temporary though, because I also know that odds are I’ll pick up my remains, mold them into something acceptable, and be left to continue my walk through the dark; to find some semblance of healing.   At least I still have my scintillation of hope, waiting for her moment to blast all of this away.  That’s all it would take.  Just a tiny spark.  At least whatever is waiting can’t be worse.   Ah fate, fickle demon, with those words I’ve tempted you again.

Grandparent Week-Like Shark Week, but with more blood in the water

3 Apr

I’ve spent the last week researching how to handle undermining grandparents, how to have a conversation with grandparents about parenting, roles of grandparents, when to cut off grandparents…you name it, I’ve read it.  I’ve probably read the whole site of grandparents.com and half of the rest of the interwebs.  None of it gives me any advice on what to do when your parents still think that they’re the boss of you at 33 and that their parenting trumps yours.

I should preface this with the announcement that I’m a single mom.  If you’re my age (33…in case you missed that above, or if you’re just me and thought you were 34 until a few weeks ago when you realized you’ve lost track of birthdays) that’s a pretty common thing.  If you’re my parents age, that’s a horrific thing and it means you are a second class citizen and your status is the cause of embarassment, shame, and shunning.  I’ve debated wearing a big red “SM” on my shirt at all times to show that I submit to my lesser status and I’m sorry for doing this to the world, but I’m not sure anyone would get it and I’d get really tired of explaining it means Single Mom.

I have two awesome kids.  One the product of a divorce and his idiot dad signed away rights.  One the product of some very very failed birth control and some intervention from God.  Neither was a mistake in any way.  Both of them are the loves of my life and my purpose.  I have no idea what I’d do without them and they are by far the best things that I’ve ever gotten to experience in my life.  Raising them is a privelige and one I take very seriously.  I’m well aware that they are not a part of my life; I am a part of theirs.  When I’m gone, they’ll go on with whatever I’ve left them.  So that means I’m “that” mom.  I go momma bear and get uber protective and I don’t compromise on what my children need and deserve if it really matters.

So that’s where I am now.  I am stuck in a feud with my own parents over parenting.  I feel my parenting is being undermined and disrespected.  When I try to address this, I’m told “no it’s not.”  Heels dig in, I’m put in my naughty corner, and expected to apologize.  Except…these are MY kids and I’m raising them.  If you want to have a giant grandpa hissy fit and stomp your feet and yell in my face that I (yes me, the mother of these two kids) is undermining your parenting by daring to stick up for myself, something is seriously wrong with you.  If you cannot hear your adult child or minimally humor her when she tries to have an adult converstation multiple times about how your grandparenting is hurting her parenting and subsequently her children, then when she ultimately explodes the next time it comes up and she tries (again) to talk to you about it stop acting so damn surprised and shocked at her “horrible” behavior.  At some point, you give up your role as parent and realize that while your child will always want you around…they do reach an age where they either see you as a helper or a hinderance.  They may need help with certain things, like I have with money, but it shouldn’t equate to them owing you more than gratitude and eventual repayment.

I am the perpetual black sheep of the family.  I have been since the tender age of 11 when I first told my parents that I hated them and stopped being that “cute little girl” they loved so much.   I’ve never lived it down.  I also can’t seem to live down the fact that my opinions are often very different from that of my parents.  I’ve been therapied to death.  I’ve been “you’re the problem” ‘d to death.   Thankfully, it didn’t drown my apparently incredibly stubborn and resilient spirit.  I’m very well aware that a child should not be blamed for such things, grudges held towards them are completely inappropriate, and rarely, if ever, is one person always the whole problem.  It would be lovely to be able to point the finger and cast of all the blame on someone who can do nothing but shoulder it but it is simply not realistic.    And so…I continue my black sheep ways because really, at this point, there’s not much I can do .  Certainly not at the age of 33 when my role as an adult is still non-existant in the eyes of my parents.  Given the fact that I have never been a drinker, a smoker, an alcoholic, or ever used recreational drugs, and I managed to complete LPN school with one child, and now parent two kids full time while being a nurse, I don’t think my ways are so bad.  My kids are the kind who make other people hold their hands while they say grace and hug their friends and tell them they love them when they say goodbye at play dates.  Scary stuff, right?  If never having enough money, having a perpetually messy and cluttered house, and being addicted to pinterest/my sewing machine/craft stores are crimes, I’m certainly guilty.  And obviously kids who say grace and hand out love are being raised wrong.  Baaaaaaaaaaaaa baaaaaaaaaaa, man.  And I’m not married.  The horror!

Anywho…tonight was the big fall out.  I’ve had a horrifically stressfull week, which I did not make a secret.  It was one big poop storm (literally, since my upstairs toilet had been broken for two weeks and I’d been splashed multiple times with human excrement while plunging) that was showing no sign of letting up.  Despite that, I attempted a few times to bring up parenting with my mom, especially since my son was suspended last week.  I had enlisted my mom to stay with him for his two suspension days.  I thought “suspended for fighting” and “not allowed on school grounds or charges will be pressed against him” were clear enough but somehow on day two he had a really flipping fantastic day.  Ask him.  I did.  He played with bubbles outside, he played with lego, had mac n cheese for lunch, and to top off all the fun he had an ice cream cone.  And he knows darn well had he been home with me he would have scrubbed the dirt off the patio all day, eaten vegetables, and that had I known what was going on, I would have been angry.  I WAS angry.  And when I called my mom to politely ask if he had really been given ice cream on a suspension day, I was told that I “should have been more specific if I didn’t want him to have ice cream.”  She then explained that they’d had a talk and he was very sorry and knew what he did was wrong.

First of all, my 9 year old is a great kid.  He has a big heart, he is generous with love, has good manners, and is super creative and inventive.  He’s also a master manipulator.  He knows darn well if he bats his piercing blue eyes, shakes his shimmering ginger locks,  and says “I’m so sorry, I know I was wrong.  Mom is just so mean and she doesn’t listen to me.” Grandma will cave like a card pyramid in the wind.  He knows she won’t pick up the phone and call me.  And he knows that once he gets his way, I can’t change it because by the time I find out it’ll be too late.  The manipulator is starting to outweigh the well-mannered, loving kid and really become a problem.  I mean…he just got suspended for fanamana sake (replacement words!).  For kicking a kid in the balls and instigating a fight that involved him, the kid with the now-sore balls, and another kid who got punched while trying to break them up.  And my kid was the one burping and farting all the way to the principal’s office.  *High five to my face*

Right now, I fully believe that if we are a unified front, and if there are clear rules and consequences and expectations, that this is going to be a one-time, maaaaybe two time thing.  However, I am not naieve.  I know that it will take work to undo his sense of entitlement, to earn back my role as the authoritarian, and to gain his respect.  It takes very little right now to do more damage, and a lot to gain a bit of ground.  So when my mom says “I’m not undermining your parenting!  I’d never do that!”  I wanna say “for realz?” and whip my head around with my eyes popping out of my head.  But that would be inappropriate.  So I researched.  And reasearched.  And attempted.  And failed.  And tonight totally blew up and lost my temper.

While we were supposed to be enjoying a relaxing glass of wine, my dad asked how Luke was doing after his suspension.  I said great, but he didn’t really realize he was being punished.  Mom immediately repeated her stance made clear earlier in the week.   I tried to talk, and when shut down again…lost it.  I stormed off the porch and told my kids we were leaving.  I got Ella in the car, and while getting Luke my dad jumped in.  As usual.   I am, after all, the horrible daughter who needs to be put in her place and shut down.  I’m sorry, no; not at the expense of my kids.  I’ll apologize for a lot of things.  I do, all the fluffing time, even when I disagree with it and it curls my toes to do so.  I am not above sucking it up and saying sorry.  But if it shows my child that, once again, mommy is wrong and grandma and grandpa are the boss of mommy and that mommy has to say sorry but they don’t…no.  I will not.  I don’t care if it makes our relationship worse.  At some point, this is going to be how my kids learn to parent.  And if, when they are 33 with small children,  I’m jumping at them like a rabid monkey, yelling that THEY are undermining MY parenting, ….uhhhh please kick me in my lady balls.  Hard.  Because if I’m THAT parent…I need both the ball smack and a spanking for putting my kids in that submissive, horrible position, and for not properly learning to say I’m sorry.

Here is what I want my kids to know: there are rules and expectations in my home.  These rules and expectations don’t dissapate as soon as I’m out of the room or even out of the house.  They will be upheld by whoever is caring for them.  There are consequences for actions.  They apply to them wherever they are and will be enforced.  These are my kids, this is how I’m raising them.  They aren’t puppies, their people.  The only people that I’ve been entrusted with growing.  If my child suddenly crosses his arms and goes “hu-rump” and turns his back on me when I ask him to do something in a certain person’s presence, this is indicative to me that he knows he doesn’t have to because of said presence.  That is a problem.  I will have to work harder to fix said behavior, but I will.  What happens now lays the foundation for what happens later.   Having to sit at home and not bail him out when he gets arrested, because he learned that consequences were only a threat, is not something I want to face.  If my daughter loses her job later on because she just doesn’t feel like listening to her boss….well it won’t be me who reinforced that kind behavior.

And so, here I am.  Venting on my old blog because being seen as an adult deserving of a respect in my parent’s eyes remains an impossible feat.  Praying that I don’t have to figure out life without them, because when we are on the same page they are really great for my kids.  And realizing that if I do have to minimize contact with them, that my children deserve a mom who doesn’t back down from what she believes in and will go to any lengths to protect them and give them a good future.

Carrot Cake Protein Bars

13 Dec

Given that this was the inspiration for my blog originally, this just had to be posted.  It’s such an amazing and versatile recipe, and you will not believe how amazing it tastes.  I couldn’t wait to make this for AB, and he raved about it 🙂  Except I should make it double, ’cause this one also serves a purpose:  It can be dessert, or serve it’s original purpose which is protein bar.  And a darn good one too!  You’ll feel like you’re cheating, but trust me you’re not.

Carrot Cake Protein Bars (thank you Jamie Eason!)

1 cup oat flour (Oatmeal put in a blender til fine…then measure out one cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (I use a little more…I like cinnamon)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
20 Stevia in the raw packets
2- 4 oz containers of carrot baby food
3 egg whites

1/2 cup low fat low sodium cottage cheese or ricotta

Optional:

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

Sprinkle of chopped walnuts

2 dates chopped, sprinkled on top

1 or 2 shredded carrots, folded in

Drizzle honey

I used all the above options when serving this as a dessert as opposed to a bar.  I add shredded carrots no matter what.  Seriously yum.

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 8×8 pyrex glass baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 mins. Cut into 16 pieces. Serving size=2 squares. 94 calories (132 cal with oats folded in), 1.25 g fat (2 g fat with oats folded in), 10 g carbs (17 g carbs with oats folded in), 10 g protein (11 g protein with oats folded in)

You can add more protein or egg with discretion…more egg makes it gummy. I haven’t tried more protein powder, but I’d imagine an extra 1/2 scoop wouldn’t alter it in any way.

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It looks and tastes like cake. It’s miraculous. It’s amazing. And the dates and walnuts add a teeny bit of crunch and richness but with an equally tiny bit of added guilt. Shredded carrot is strictly for show…but it’s a darn carrot. If you’re gonna eat carrot cake…there should be carrot shreds.  I put up a pic of when I made it in a round cake pan, and added a little cream cheese icing (neufchatel cheese, 8 packets stevia, 1 table spoon powdered sugar, a little light smart balance…I didn’t measure here, I just blended until it tasted good and then spooned it over top.) , and split a sugar cookie my son sent AB that night and used it as a garnish.  It looks like a beautiful, not so healthy dessert.  Not so!  I’m going to make this for holiday dinners from now on 🙂  Oh, and AB agrees this one is just out of this world.  Love it when he’s that happy about a recipe 🙂
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