Sunday, April 26, 2015

1,000 to 1 On Me

There is always a chance that it will all fall apart. That everything you worked hard for, that everything you desired, that everything you believe in will crumble before your eyes and disintegrate flying into the cruel winds scattering the remants of all your hopes and dreams far, far from you.

There's also a chance that it WILL work out. But you will not know the outcome until you take a chance, that risk, that gamble with your life.

We only get one shot at this rodeo.

While we are here on this earth we will notice the yearning and desire spark in our souls. We will feel it attempt to grow, attempt to guide us to what and who will make us happy. It is up to us whether we we fan the flames and allow it to warm us from the inside out or if we choose to smother and extinguish the hope of following our dreams.

In life, there are going to be moments we are wildly, ridiculously unhappy. That simple weak spark is going to whisper to us that we need to make a choice. It is going to nudge our hearts with ideas that have been marinating in our souls for years. The reel will replay with the highlights of what has rejuvenated and recharged us and kept us going even in the roughest of times.

It is up to us to place that bet.

It is simply terrifying to think of everything you can lose but that is only one side of the coin. The fear that holds us back from taking chances focuses on the negative of what changes can bring instead of focusing on what we can gain.

We are in an unique and beautiful situation where we are both the dealer and the player in this game. There will be times where we are dealt a bad hand. A hand so damn bad we are going to want to fold into ourselves and never want to play again. Those are our redefining moments. Moments where we will need time to recalculate before making a move. When it gets so bad that we can find no hope, it would be reasonable to surmise that there would also be nothing to lose.

So why not reshuffle?

Put in the meager chips you are still holding onto and deal yourself a new hand.

Yes. It is going to be scary.
Yes. You can lose again.
Yes. It might break you.

But you will not know until you put that bet on yourself.

Be brave enough to talk to that person who gives you butterflies. Be brave enough to quit your soul sucking job. Be brave enough to go back to school. Be brave enough to speak your mind.  Be brave enough to leave that prick. Be brave enough to be you and do what you want to do.

It can blow up in your face.

But then again, there is a chance you're going to hit the jackpot. A jackpot that you could have never imagine. An overflowing jackpot full of love, fulfillment and adventure. A jackpot that stalls your fear and opens your heart to new opportunities and experiences you could never imagined.

Opportunities you might never have if you don't take the chance and take a gamble on yourself.

This has been a Sunday Confession with the one and only amazing More Than Cheese And Beer. Please stop on by her page and see what the cheesy hostess with the mostess had to say about the prompt Gamble as well as the other brave bloggers who joined in today.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's A Good Day

It is too nice of a day to have the house all shut up. The windows and front door are open, welcoming the whipping winds inside to help us air out the winter blahs that held us captive for too long. My mom is in the kitchen peeling, cutting, creating a dinner I am sure I will eat too much of. I would offer to help but she would just kick me out, again.

Today is a good day.

I am the ever annoying optimist. I wish I was not at times as it seems to annoy my friends and family. When I am nice to a frazzled and distracted waitress, when I lend the benefit of the doubt to someone who was supposed to have their work done two days ago, when I do not call people on their bullshit-at least not publicly-I can visibly see and hear my loved ones take the deepest of disgusted sighs.

In the past, I have been accused of being a dream pusher. I gladly accept that title and that I am a cheerleader.  I sincerely believe you can do what you want to do. I believe if you put your energy, time and hard work into your goal you most likely can meet it. I will help you. I will tutor you, assist you, donate, help you raise funds, raise awareness, be your sounding board-whatever you need, whatever I can do, I will.

There are enough naysayers, bad days, dream crushers, negative attitudes and rough realities in this world that I refuse to be part of the ugly cycle. I need to offer hope and support where and when I can.

Silver linings exist. They may be hard to find, they may not expose themselves in a timely manner, they may not make sense, but they exist.

Over a month ago I was sitting at work when my husband called. He went with my mom to her appointment at the memory clinic. He was so nonchalant when he said the memory team (neurologist, social worker, neuropsychologist, my mom and hubby) had decided the best course of action to treat her dementia was to start her on Aricept.

My mouth went dry. There were too many thoughts and not enough words that were silently choking me. My eyes began to sting as the built up tears burned as I blinked them back. My husband was saying something but I had no clue what.


I had not expected that.

I really thought it was going to be her thyroid again. Over the past year she has been having issues where she was forgetting things-what she came in the room for, what we were talking about, incorrectly balancing her checkbook, retaking her medicine or forgetting it all together, forgetting that she already ate or asking the same question over and over, unable to break out of a creepy cruel trance.

A few years back, she had an issue where her thyroid levels were off-so off that they mimicked early onset Alzheimer's. She was put on medication with no resolution. Eventually, it was revealed her thyroid levels were ridiculously low, she was put on levothyroxine and BAM she was back to herself.

I had thought this time we would come to the same conclusion. She had an MRI, EEG, did multiple cognitive and spatial tests, tons of labs including her thyroid and B-12 levels checked and after meeting with her Memory clinic team they have concluded she has mild to moderate dementia. A hideous umbrella of a term that just meant that these symptoms were not going away.

My husband was still talking, I had questions but did not know what to ask or who to ask. So I asked the most pressing bothersome one that was screaming through my head, How is mom? How did she take hearing that?

I could hear his half-smile, wryly forming on his face, You know her, she said it could be much worse.

And I realized exactly where I got my annoying optimism from and why I could not let it go.

I may not be able to find the silver lining in this situation especially when this week has been a little rough, a little emotionally taxing, but it does not mean I will not find it.

Not all days are bad days. Most days are in fact wonderful. The Aricept we learned cannot reverse or stop memory loss-nothing can-but it can slow the progression. My mother is still funny and inappropriate, sassy and sweet, a wealth of knowledge and a goofball all in one.

Just some days, it's hard to find her.

Some days she will forget that she already exercised or that the mail came. Some days she will refuse to take her medicine swearing she already had. Some days she will become upset and emotional and we cannot soothe her. Some days she will ask the same question over and over until it wears on your nerves and your soul like only a grater can.

But today, today is a good day.

The wind has stopped ruffling our curtains, instead I hear the distinct slapping against the concrete and grass outside that could only mean rain.

Just as I was about to complain about the newly falling rain, my mom wondered aloud excitedly if there would be a rainbow.

Silver linings, there is no wonder who could have taught me to believe in them.

Today was a Sunday Confession with the one and only More Than Cheese And Beer. I want to say thank you everyone who has shown love and given support during this time. To my sweet readers and followers on my Facebook page-I appreciate the love and positive vibes you showered me with when I asked for it without explaining why.

Friday, April 17, 2015

National Poetry Month: Day 17

Determined soul.
Furiously needing to fly.
Pumping quickly.

Launching forward.
Flying fearlessly through the playground.
Proudly soaring.

Floating downwards.
Sticking the landing, brave arms outstretched.
Greeting the day.

I combined the prompts from the NaPoWriMo website which was to create a modified haiku with a 4-9-4 rhythm instead of 5-7-5 and the Writer's Digest prompt which was to write a poem about a 'swing'.

National Poetry Month: Day 16

Manipulation was satiation.
Your insecurity fed my wounded soul.
I knew I could control you, with the easiest words.

And I did.

Entertaining our feelings, 
yours more so than mine
was just another game.

Another winner-less game.

Sorry does no justification.

You were earnest, 

with your love,
with your heart, 
with your inexperience, 
with your shortcomings.

I allowed you in, 
and you loved me for my flaws.
My hatred.
My deceitfulness.
My misinterpretation of love.

You accepted, loved, and
tried to overcome the demons
that lingered in my head.

You accepted me as the broken vessel I was. 

Never questioning it, 
never probing into the past that made me the 
passive aggressive over compensating witch that I was.

You always told me I was worth more than 

I could give myself credit for.
I wasn’t. 

So easily I broke, you time and time again. 

Used you like a tool. 

Not for your money. Not for your means. Not even for sex.

I was worse. 

I took your emotions and substituted them into my life.
It felt like I was loved.
And the love felt beautiful. 

It enveloped my senses and I allowed myself to become addicted to your words.

I felt your eyes take in my sighs, 

pre-empting my tears with tissues.
Your melodic voice soothed my worries.
Your hands always found the way to the small of my back never straying too low, 

or never guiding forcefully up high. 
Just in the middle. 
Your hand sat perfectly….

And I pushed you away. 

I allowed you to think I was available. 
That I was an option. 
That I was worth a damn.  
I knew better from day one, but I allowed you to become ensnared.

I convinced myself that I stood a chance that 
I would not do what I was taught. 
I wanted to buck my education and look at 
men not as a my enemy or even my prey. 

I wanted a partner.

I know now, you could have been that.

But I pushed you too far. 

Barging in your life after one too many painful escapades. 
I drug you in, you always came to pick up the pieces that the others left. 
Never once chiding, never once lecturing, 
just reminding that I could be better, that I was better.

I know better now. 

You were too good for me. 
You trusted me too easily. 
You listened to my dreams and even worse you listened when I was silent. 

I was not worth you because I was not me yet.

I saved you. 

I stayed away,
regretting not seeing your smile ever again, 
but understanding it was better for you.

So by breaking you, I saved you.

I promise.

This ridiculous mesh up of words was a poem I found that I wrote ages ago. I never finished it, it was a time when I jaded from bad relationships and had that one friend who wanted more, who wanted to show me that I worth love and he was certain he could prove that to me. I never gave him the chance. I never gave myself the chance. I found this and finished this as best as I could. We do not talk anymore. At that time, to say my life was chaotic is an understatement, but if he did somehow ever run across this, I want him to know, I am loved, I am happy, I am fine, and most importantly I love myself and I take no shit from anyone. Thank you for loving me when I was lost.

National Poetry Month: Day 15

Contempt, is the river moon.

Hiding behind the shadows of the gods,
although not deliberate, still they
obscure his love.

Whilst not being allowed to play,
the banjos produce a cacophony with the cicadas.

He waits
and hides.
His time is precious,
he does not get to spend every night immersed
in the natural seduction of these southern surroundings.

He peeks and stretches
through the clouds,
trying to hear his friends.

Nature calls out to him
the hoots of the owls,
alert and searching for their prey.

The river rustling gently,
never stopping,
constantly rushing against the stones,
caressing the soft silhouette of the embankments.

Branches swaying in the warm, slightly windy summer nights.

Usually the ground is aglow with the moons' blessing,
shadowing the small ones and  illuminating the proud
tenacity of the night.

However the moon has lost its battle tonight.

He does not get to come and play with his earth.

The clouds have decided he has spent his time stipend
with the earth, and he will wait for another
night where he can bathe all of nature in his love.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

National Poetry Month: Day 14

Clothed in the warmth of the sun, lying on the couch, you rest from playing so hard.

You roll, with no prompting, your goofy tongue barely jutting beyond your teeth.

Brown smiling eyes watching me, betting that I will reach over and scratch your belly. Or ears. Or head.

I wonder what you think of, while relaxed, while reclined, I wonder if you wonder about me.

If you wonder where I go all day?

Do you wonder why we wear clothes, why we beg you to stop licking your balls, why we yell and fight over dumb things?

When you have the blissful air of outside supporting your little legs urging us forward on a long walk, are you telling us to find joy on our journey?

When you dance and yip for your snack are you telling us to enjoy our treats?

When you find sick pleasure in smelling and rolling in any and every dead carcass you find, are you trying to tell us to enjoy life because it is too short?

Or are you just living life with  bipedal slaves enjoying the way we cater to your every whim?

I guess it doesn't matter if you miss me in my absence.

It matters that you greet me with sweet sloppy kisses and make me forget that I was even away from you at all.

This was based off a prompt on the NaPoWriMo Facebook site that urged us to write a love poem about what we saw when we looked up from our screen. I saw my pup Rufus, who has brought me extreme joy, love, comfort and always greeted me with acceptance. I never knew my heart would grow so big from loving something so little.

Blog With Friends: The Earth Day Brigade

On this lovely Tuesday in April, I have decided to be brave and join some talented, creative, crafty bloggers and take up a wonderful cause and join The Earth Day Brigade!
This month's Blog With Friends Theme is Earth Day and I daresay you are in for a treat when you see what my fellow bloggers and I whipped up for you to read, try and taste!
When deciding to jump in this month, the only thing that jumped to the forefront of this goofy little brain of mine was food. We all need it, we all have our love/hate relationships with it, and we all spend too much money on it and perhaps do not utilize it the way we should. Growing up, we had to make our food streeeetch as much as we could due to limited income. For a while in my older but not wiser years, I abandoned my common sense and logical upbringing and started to become wasteful by buying a water bottle every time I was thirsty, by throwing away leftovers, going out to eat too much, and being too picky or too lazy to find creative ways to make the left overs work in a new dish. Luckily, the common sense has kicked back in and I am utilizing what got me through my youth and not only do I feel better about my choices but my budget is thanking me.
I included this neat little infographic that has these wonderful simple tips to help reduce waste.  (Thanks Pinterest!)

Wouldn't it be great if we all committed to at least trying one or two waste reducing tips?
The most important thing I needed to do-besides you know, making the meals, was to sit down and make a meal plan. Meal plans eliminate wasting time and helps save money. You will know what is for dinner and be able to tell those whiny family members every time they bug you and ask 'whats for dinner tonight?' When you make a meal plan, you sit down and consciously decide what you are going to put in your mouth and how you can use all the ingredients you have on hand. It saves you from running around last minute, annoyed, and trying to throw something together. I personally could have easily every night had baked chicken thighs with lemon on it; however, my family would have thrown a revolt and kicked me out of the kitchen.
On second thought, I should have made baked chicken with lemon on it every night.
Anywho, I wanted to prepare different dishes with different textures and taste so they would not be burned out on chicken in the end. I picked up a pack of chicken thighs, not only because they were fairly inexpensive (4.5 pound pack of thighs for a little over 7 dollars) but because that was the meat I knew I could stretch.
My goal was to use the chicken solely for 5 meals but in the end I did have to add in some chicken from left over drumsticks in our freezer for the chili. I ALMOST made it.  But the whole point is not trying to only use one ingredient all week but to make the most of it and learn how to pair it with other dishes and make it last.

I included the recipes under each picture of what I did with my chicken thighs. The most popular one was chicken chili, my family is a big fan of that, I think it is because they can personalize it-they can add in jalepenos  for spice or fritos if they want crunch. The least favorite was definitely the broccoli chicken rice casserole. It was far too dry and I had to tweak with cream of chicken soup and cheese to make it work.

        Butter Lime Rice

My family is not a fan of cilantro so I just omitted it, you have to tweak the recipe and find what works for you. This meal was quite filling.

I am not sharing the orginal recipe I used for the chicken broccoli casserole. It was a 'healthier' version but the taste was off. I ended up adding in some cream of chicken soup and adding cheese much to my familys' delight. So a recipe that I am substituting this tasty one I found: Alternative Recipe.

I cut the recipe in half and incorporated black beans and used the lime rice (above) as a filler in this burrito. It was simple and delicious and my family loved it.

 I have been trying to avoid bread as much as possible, so I used lettuce leaves and made a little wrap out of the chicken salad.

This was a great project for me to try. It took me a while to think of  the menu becuase I did not want to be too repetitive with texture and taste for my family's sake. I know I used all my chicken and for the first time in a long time I watched exactly what I was doing in the kitchen, I asked myself how I could make it stretch further and what I could do with left overs. For instance, with the rice, I only planned on using it for one dish, so when I had a decent amount left, putting it in the burritos worked out perfectly.

 What do you feel is the meal that you get the most out of? Is there something from the infographics that you can implement into your home to reduce waste-would you try it?

Thank you so much for stopping by-please stop by my fellow Earth Day Brigade members' blogs and see how they got creative and crafty and honored our Mother Earth.