Watching the breath move in and out

Soothing the organs

Caressing the spirit.

Life fueling breath.

Soul soothing breath.

Inhale

Exhale

Invisible friend

Serving this mortal coil

Until the sun sets

One last time.

This is a buzz phrase that drives me nuts.  Eating clean has a different meaning depending on the source.  If you follow a raw diet, there is an expert who will call that clean eating because your food has not been altered by cooking, pasturization, or perservatives. Having a paleo diet is considered clean eating.  Being a vegan is looked upon as eating clean.  Staying away from processed and frozen foods has also been categorized as clean eating.  

So this year I have made a vow to continue eating clean.  I will continue to wash my fruits and vegetables before I give them to my family to consume.  I will cook my meats and fish at a high temperature to burn away all harmful bacteria so their food will be clean.  If I drop something onto the floor, I will not pick it up and kiss it to God and scream, “Five second rule!”  I will make sure my decades long habit of washing my hands before I eat will stay in place. And for eating out, I will make sure the restaurant has a clean bill of health from the health department. That’s my definition of clean eating.

 

Icy, cold

Wet and sticky

Dry and scratchy

Cutting, biting.

Warming wind

Dancing through browned, curled leaves.

Wilting stem

Dropping petals

Floating like drowned feathers

Onto blue lips.

 

Downton Abbey

Breaking Bad

Mad Men

6 Feet Under

Lost

Fraiser

A Different World

Seinfield

Limitless

Growing up with the motto, “Never let them see you sweat,” sets one up for  failure.  For some reason, it’s believed to be a badge of honor to be a woman juggling the sun, moon, and stars without breaking a sweat.  Somehow it was encouraged to smile, be nice, and never let the world know you are breaking under the pressure.  As a woman, if you cry, you’re looked upon as weak.  If you rage, you’re being hormonal.  If you say you can’t do something, you’re looked upon as being inferior. If you say you can do it all, you’re taken for granted.  If you say you will try, you might as well have said you will do it for the word “try” had fallen on deaf ears.  If you get depressed, you get medicated or…ignored.

So as a woman, you are at 100% if you could cook, clean, raise children, have a career, maintain the physique of a 12 year old boy, balance the Madonna/Whore, be happy, and never complain.  The stress of it all can break you.  I wonder how many women are on medication to maintain a happy medium.  I wonder how many women self medicate to survive another day in the gilded cage society created,  I wonder how many women are silently battling stress and do not know it.  I wonder.

My Picky Eater

My youngest son is a picky eater. When I was breastfeeding him, he refused to drink my expressed milk from the bottle. He needed it from the source which made life a little challenging. My oldest son is a different story. While his brother shunned most foods, my oldest ate most things. 

Dinnertime is hellish whenever I cook which is 90% of the time. I’m a good and predictable cook, but you wouldn’t know it by my youngest reactions. He would rather eat baseline pizza (hello, Pizza Hut), hamburgers, and hot dogs. 

His pediatrician has been telling me that my son will outgrow being picky. Friends tell me to give it time. Experts say to offer a variety of foods, but don’t force him to eat. Well after 10 years I’m still in the midst of the battle with no end. 

I’m trying hard to not be resentful, but when it comes to dining, it seems like my youngest has held the family hostage to his preferences. I like seafood, but going out to a seafood restaurant is out of the question unless there is some chicken fingers on the menu. So many restaurants I enjoy come off the table for choice. Any family outing for a meal becomes a conversation on what’s on the menu the youngest would attempt to eat. It’s frustrating. 

Hide and Seek is for Children

Don’t hide.
Don’t be a person hiding behind an ideology. Don’t be a person hiding behind your religion. Don’t hide behind your friends and family who are more vocal. Don’t hide behind your attack dog while sitting on your hands. Don’t hide behind your keyboard.

Don’t hide.

Do.


I am the queen of shopping. You would not know it by looking at my faded t-shirts from the 80s and my running shoes. When I was a young woman in ger 20s, my father told me to spoil myself because no one else would. I had just gotten out of a bad situation that had me living a different life for too many years.  I had low self esteem. After freeing myself from the self imposed hell, I took my daddy’s words to heart. I treated myself like a queen. As an independent woman, there was nothing I wouldn’t  get for myself.

Fast forward 20 years, I  still live by that mantra but to a smaller scale. I no longer treat myself to fancy clothes, pointless shoes (oh how I  miss buying strappy heels), and overpriced make up. Now I splurge on luxury yarn and other quirky wants (hello teacups). The month of November is the start of the spending season and I go into a tailspin of wanting to buy gifts for myself. I do know how to take a moment to focus on others, but it plays out like that joke where you buy one for someone and get the same for yourself. Cheeky!

So now I’m fighting  the impulse to not troll Amazon, EBAY, and Etsy.

sunny-day-wallpaper

As I sit here tapping away at the keyboard, I hear my children talking to each other in their bedroom.  It’s 4:00pm and one child is dressed for the day and the other is still in his pajamas.  School work and house work are both done.  Now I hear the distinctive clank of Lincoln Logs being stacked into some structure that may cause an argument later when an errant move causes it to topple to the ground.  I have 45 minutes to come up with a meal everyone would eat.  My youngest will surely not approve of the meal, but that’s okay because he’ll eat a salad.  Soon we’ll go to soccer practice and I will walk my 3 miles and listen to podcasts.  My typical Monday.  I don’t mind because I know tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.  So I breathe it all in and count my blessings.

img_20161016_183530178

Today the world lost a good man.

Cancer.

It’s a thief.

It’s an equal opportunity thief that robs any and every one. It’s a sneaky bastard that mimics the things we’ve grown accustomed to ignoring thanks to harried doctors and/or busy schedules. When someone becomes a victim of this thief, in our hubris we belief it’s something THEY, the strickened, did. We ask if the person smoked. Did they live with a smoker? Did they work around chemicals? We try to reason why cancer chose to rob a person of their life and their family of their loved one. While offering condolences to the family, there is this small guilty kernel that lies below our breastbone that shifts as we breathe a sigh of relief because the thief chose to rob someone else’s house and left ours alone…for now.

Today a young father of 50 lost his very short battle with kidney cancer leaving behind his wife and young daughter. He was the kind of man that always had a smile and a pleasant way of making you feel comfortable. He was a musician in a punk band. He was an artisan that carved tikis out of stone. He was the sole provider for his family allowing his wife to homeschool their daughter for many years.

He was here. Now he is gone and the world is a little bit darker for a young family who loved him and a community who knew him.

RIP Mike.