Thursday, December 27, 2012


Some mornings, too many mornings, I wake up warm and cozy with my fleece sheets pulled up to my chin. And I feel petrified - emotionally and physically. I feel I can't possibly get myself out of bed for yet another day. My body feels made of stone.The simple acts of shower, make-up, hair, and finding something to wear seem like too much. I curl into a ball thinking about another day behind a computer, wearing headphones to help limit the noise that sets off my anxiety, forcing myself to interact with people for 8 hours, trying not to be irritated by everything around me. The argument with myself begins. Of course I can do this. I can get out of my bed and get the day going. I have a good life. Friends who care, people who love me, a good paying job for a great family friendly company. And yet moving - getting out of my bed - takes so much out of me I wonder what I'll have left for the rest of the day. If it's a good day, there's no pain anywhere. My joints don't hurt. My shoulder doesn't ache. If it's a really good day, once I get myself moving the day doesn't take quite as much energy and I can have a "normal" day.

I suffer from bipolar disorder. For me, the manias are rare but do happen. The depression is frequent. I've tried most medications and had various issues with the majority of them. I can't "snap out of it", as much as I'd like to do just that. I'd love to wake up and say, "Today I won't be depressed or anxious. Today I won't be so tired and achy that a day at work takes everything out of me." In fact I do wake up and say those things. But sometimes it's really not about "mind over matter".

This is my life. Some people can't handle it: the ups and downs and never being quite sure where I'll be at next, the overreactions, the irritability. I can't say I blame them. For those who have managed to stick around, I say thank you. It is because of you I'm still here and making it through another day.

6/2/14 Update:
Turns out I'm not bipolar. I suffer from depression. Although apparently note severe enough for my insurance to pay 50% of my medical bills. It's considered mild, so they pay 30%. Whatever, right? Anyhow, the last two psychiatrists decided I have some anxiety and depression, at times impulse control, but not bipolar disorder. I'm also what's called a Highly Sensitive Person. It explains a lot, actually. But so far knowing that isn't making the fact that I've spent most of the last two days hiding in my room wishing the world would just BE QUIET any easier to deal with. At least now I know I'm not crazy or just a bitch...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood meets Pretty in Blue

I think I’ve shared with you all before that my best ideas come to me when I’m driving or lying in bed at night. And I know by now that if I don’t do something right then to capture the words, they’ll be gone before I know it. Yet I never do.

So here’s yet another of my catch-up posts – probably not that entertaining and if you follow me on Twitter or FB none of this is new and you’ve already seen the pictures.

Remember that cute little Woodland Fairy costume I was hoping to wear for Halloween? Well it didn’t happen. First, I wore an awful pin-striped costume I picked up last year that I’d worn once before and somehow managed to forget that I hated. But then I got a brainstorm and for the Sinners & Saints party at Thunder Valley Casino, I became Little Red Sluttyhood. Or something like that. It was a truly fun night – to my surprise. I was sure it would be too crowded and I’d be too anxious which would lead to drinking too much and being sick or some such nonsense. But it was just a fun-filled night of dancing with a great friend. And it was the last time I went dancing, so maybe that explains some of my recent funk.
Icky pinstripe costume! But my fabulous fellow burlesque pals look fantastic!
Little Red Sluttyhood.

After that came my first job shadow night volunteering at Origin Coffee and Tea, which I covered in my post on Coffee, Tea and SexTrafficking. It did get better from there, by the way, until my first actual night on my own. I didn’t leave until 11:45 (the shift should have ended at 11) and I literally fell into my bad aching everywhere, on the verge of tears, and not sure if I could possibly make myself go back. But tonight I’ll go back again and I’ve been promised it will be better – plus hopefully my body will adjust.

The week of Thanksgiving was a roller coaster. I had a slight meltdown and cried and cried. That is a story for another day, unfortunately. Or for an anonymous blog. Which I am still really considering… But then I drove 9 hours to visit my mom in Idaho and we didn’t leave the house for 3 entire days and it was heaven.  She says I can quit my job and move back home with her. Some days it’s so very tempting.

I dragged my two girls out of the house to take photos for our Christmas cards, and didn’t realize that the tree was much too tall and the lights made the photos blurry, but we got some pictures anyway. I downloaded pictures of my son and daughter from Facebook since I rarely see them and didn’t have any decent pictures of my own.

Last weekend was my work Christmas party. That was a hard decision, since the fabulous Sizzling Sirens were having an invitation only show and I had a few other invites, and since I’m not dating for a bit I had to go to my party solo. But I went. I got my hair done, settled on one of the three dresses I’d bought (I spent a whopping $36 total for all three) put on my fab new blue heels, and off I went. I was excited because several of us were supposed to go dancing afterwards. The food was great, the conversation hysterical, we got an awesome gift and I felt pretty. Then everyone bailed on dancing. And I went home and took off my pretty dress, washed off my pretty make-up, and went to bed.  To wake up sick and spend most of the next three days home in bed. 

Pretty, and sad, in blue. Since everyone bailed on dancing. 

And that pretty much brings us current. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lasik, a boob job, and Hawaii - My Wish List

If you follow me on Twitter or are a FB friend or fan, you probably already know that Christmas is my least favorite holiday. And maybe you know how that came to be. I had a post on it once, but I think I got guilted into deleting it. I think I'll write another for Parent Society. I'll let you know. Anyway, that's not what THIS post is about.

For the past 16 years or so, every year has involved Christmas wish lists. Some years the kids wrote their own letters before I could even broach the subject; other years we all sat around the table doing Christmas crafts (hey now, don't laugh! I did actually used to be quite the crafting parent), coloring in a picture I'd printed from somewhere and writing in our lists. Sometimes we'd make a crazy, fun list first - all the things we wanted. But then we'd make more realistic lists. I would join in and try to set a good example by asking for inexpensive items, most of which were practical but also a few fun things. I'd also be sure to not ask for TOO many things.
We'd use a printable like this one from
Color it in and write out our lists.
But I really like this one from

This year I'm not doing the wish list with the kids. I'm on such a tight budget that reading Hellion's list will just depress me further. She's 10 going on 17. She wants everything and none of it cheap.  She'll probably get some duct tape, a cutting board, and other craft type stuff. Pajamas, cuz that's a tradition! Phone case, iTunes gift card, stuff like that.  The other kids are 17, 19 and 19 (no, not twins). I guarantee I probably can't afford even one item on their wish lists. So it comes to down to that wonderful saying, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." It won't be much, that's for sure.

So, no list making with the kids. It's my turn to make a list of what I really want. Why? Because the fun is in the imagining!
Oh Hawaii, how I've always longed to visit...

  1. An all expense paid week in Hawaii. This would include paying for my time off work, because I don't have enough vacation time to actually take a week off from work and still be able to pay my bills. All food, drink, air travel, lodging, and recreational activities would be included. Although I don't know that I'd want to do much recreation - sitting on beach drinking and eating for a week would be good enough!
  2. A new stereo for my car, including installation (because it's not like I could figure that out on my own). It doesn't have to be too fancy - I just want to plug my phone in and play my music through it. 
  3. A bigger TV. Mine is 32in. So, pretty much anything bigger than that. LED, 1080p.  Of course then I'd also need a stand for the TV or a wall mounting kit.
  4. A new bed. Queen sleigh bed would be awesome. Maybe tempurpedic - but really anything good quality. 
  5. Home theater system so I can listen to music on something other than my laptop and for good quality sound while watching movies. 
  6. Lasik surgery. For reals. I hate waking up and not being able to see anything. Or being in the shower squinting at my leg. Plus if I were to actually go to Hawaii I'd like to be able to buy and wear sunglasses without having to worry about contacts or prescriptions.
  7. A boob job. This is MY list. Let me dream. Yes, I'd like a boob job. My tube sock/deflated balloon looking boobs could really use some help. This would also be good to have before the Hawaii trip.
  8. Wardrobe overhaul! Tossing out everything I own and starting from scratch. Good quality clothing that fits well.
  9. Wine, wine and more wine. Red. Cuz, duh!
A bed like this one - the headboard slants back, the footboard isn't too tall.
This one is from City Liquidators.
I think that pretty much sums up this year's wish list. What's on your list? And please don't give me any of that "I just want my kids to have a good Christmas" or "It's not about gifts" crap. This is a time for daydreaming - for the fun, outrageous, ridiculous.

By the way, I was attempting to put together a Gift Ideas board on Pinterest with fun and unusual gift ideas for those special people in your life. But life got busy, work got busy, so it's not quite as developed as I'd like. You can check it out anyway...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Coffee, Tea, and... Sex Trafficking?

So, one thing I know is this: a sure way to feel better about yourself and your life is to actually stop thinking so much about both and to do something for someone else. But I haven’t been putting that into practice lately. I’d occasionally search volunteer opportunities, but some required one or two full weeks of all day training. That was out. I couldn’t afford to miss that much of my paid job in order to volunteer! Many opportunities were for during my working hours. I’d offer to babysit for friends, have sleepovers for my daughter, leave Starbucks gift cards randomly around my office building, and figured I was at least doing small things for others, right? Yah, I know, not quite the same.

One night I walked past a coffee shop on my way to the bar next door. “...volunteer…” jumped out at me and I stopped to read the sign. Why would a coffee shop need volunteers? 

My interest was piqued, I did some research the next day and learned that this was not just another coffee shop hoping to make it against the odds. In their own words:
 “Like you, we hold the belief that people have priceless worth.  The fact that the average slave in the world today is sold for the equivalent of $90 is among our world’s greatest atrocities.  In the summer of 2009, Mark South approached Chad Salstrom with an idea.  A vision for once disconnected individuals in a fragmented city collaborating together, sacrificing from their freedom, to give the gift of freedom. Two years later, a growing community had rallied to open Origin Coffee, a place where everyone works for free to set victims free.”
 Please visit their webpage and read more about why they chose a coffee shop and how they’re empowering a movement of the people.

It still took me awhile to make the commitment. I’d forget about it for awhile, then go to Boneshakers or Little Ceasers and see the sign.  I’d look up the website and read again about the reason behind opening this business.  And in October I finally stopped reading and thinking and acted. I filled out my volunteer application! Last week I went to an orientation and watched a video on sex trafficking. I was sick to my stomach. All I could think of was my own beautiful 9-year-old daughter. Of my gorgeous 18- and 19-year-old daughters.  And then I thought of a young me searching for acceptance , attention, and love through sex and how easy it probably would have been to lure me into a life of prostitution if the “right” person had tried. “But for the grace of God…” is what my heart was screaming at me.

So I made my three month commitment: Thursday nights from 7:00 to 11:00 from December through February. I balked a little. I have several other things that occur on Thursday nights. I really wanted Monday or Wednesday nights! But there had to be a reason that was the only shift left that fit with my work schedule and the times I have Hellion.  I signed up for my three job shadow days. And I left excited about this new opportunity, about being part of something so much bigger than myself.

Last night was my first job shadow. I was so close to leaving five minutes before I was scheduled. I’d come up with a dozen plausible reasons for bailing. My anxiety was escalating quickly. Everyone behind the counter was young, laid back, at ease. I didn’t fit in! What was I thinking? No way could I spend four hours behind the counter actually interacting with people and being a cashier!  Somehow I stayed. And I can’t say it got any better over the next four hours.
Around 9:30 I was still feeling out of place, like I just didn’t belong. I was tired after a full day at my regular job. I wasn’t used to being on my feet for hours. I wanted a glass of wine, my fuzzy cozy pajamas, and my bed. I was wondering if they’d ever had someone show up for job shadowing and not come back. I felt like I was just standing around too much – I didn’t know what else to do, though, and I was already super anxious and didn’t want to interrupt conversations to ask.  I was really ready to make an excuse and go home. Maybe come back, but likely not.

Image from Aling Baby.

And then the words from orientation hit me. This is a totally sucky paraphrase but basically it was that I was sacrificing four hours of my life so that a slave could go free. Sacrifice. If it’s easy, it’s not much of a sacrifice. I was uncomfortable. I was feeling out of place, tired, a little afraid. For four hours in a safe warm inviting environment. What the hell was I complaining about? I thought about how those being traded for sex would probably long for just such an opportunity, of the emotional and physical abuse they were enduring, wondering how long they could hold on to hope. I read the dishwashing instructions on the wall and washed the dishes.  It wasn’t much, but it was something. It was a start. When I want to quit, when I'm tired and cranky and frustrated, I’ll remember that I’m the fortunate one and pray that my four hours each week are enough to help someone else get freedom for life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Not a Nice Person

I have a couple of friends who insist on analyzing pretty much everything I say and do. They seem to have a hard time just listening. Just being there.  And one of these friends then does pretty much the exact opposite in her own life.

It's not that rare, I know. It's so much easier to tell others why they do or say things and what would be better to do or say.  Tonight? I found myself analyzing someone. Okay, that makes it sound nice. What I was really doing was being a bitch. I'm REALLY good at that.

So here's the scenario. Reading through Facebook posts (Tweeties, hush now!) and I come across a complaint about working a 12 hour day, spending an hour cooking a meal from scratch, and the kids eating it all and being gone from the table before the mom could even sit down.  Of course everyone else commented on what a great mom this person was, pointing out things that might help her feel better:

  • You're an awesome mom
  • At least your kids ate it, my kids won't eat
  • Sounds like you made something they liked
  • Try doing this
  • Try doing that
Then there's me: What you do is not cook from scratch after a 12 hour work day. 

Bitch Comments & Graphics
~Magickal Graphics~

That was actually the nicer version of what I originally wrote, which went along the lines of "You're a sucker. Don't cook after a 12 hour work day - save it for days you don't work or at least work less hours." Along with some other variations.

Her response was that she enjoys cooking for her kids and only gets to do it every other week.

This is when my extreme bitchiness set in and my THOUGHTS (Edited: 10/26/12: I did not POST these thoughts on FB because I realize they were way out of line) went along the lines of, "You obviously posted this to get people to tell you what a great mom you are and that you're under appreciated. If you're going to bitch about spending an hour cooking after a 12 hour day and your kids eating without you, then don't cook. Maybe cook when you don't have them and freeze it so you can spend that hour doing something with them. Also? You made the decision to end your marriage, so it's your own fault you only have them every other week AND that you now have to work 12 hour days."

Yep, I was THAT bitch. And I shocked myself. Especially since it's not like I haven't posted similar things. Sometimes for exactly what I said above: I wanted/needed someone to tell me I was a good mom. But more often than not I just needed to vent, I needed to know someone else was feeling or had felt this way before, and I fully expected some sarcastic comments.  Also? I made the decision to leave my husband, and everything I'm going through right now? My own fault! So, yah, way worse than my aforementioned friends who at least didn't get that mean about things! (Or did but didn't verbalize it.)

Best Friend Comments
Magickal Graphics
My most bitchy comments usually come from feeling inadequate and jealous. I do recognize this and try to curb it. And the person above? I've been battling my jealousy of her for years. She took my best friend, BGB. (If my best friend is reading this and trying to figure out why I've nicknamed her BGB,she just needs to think about the song she always says describes her.)  I knew in my heart that my best friend needed her - I'd moved 2.5 hours away when BGB needed a best friend the most. She helped bring BGB out of her shell, reminded her how to have fun, had her back at all times.  And all I could do was watch from afar. She's also in great shape, has fantastic boobs and is completely confident in herself. She goes after what she wants, stands up for what she believes in, and doesn't put up with any shit. Frankly, she's kind of a conceited and rude at times, but if she's your friend you'd better believe she's going to be there for you no matter what. AND she fricking cooks from scratch after a 12 hour work day? Wth? I don't cook from scratch on a day off. 

The moral of this story? Don't be my friend on Facebook and make sure your settings are for only Friends (not Friends of Friends). Otherwise? Expect sarcastic comments. Not bitchy, because I usually filter those out, but definitely sarcastic. And if you are my friend? I probably do actually like you - I just get jealous and cranky at times. Don't be afraid to call me on it. 

Bigtime Fail

I lost my own DietBet. I was the only one of the 8 of us to lose. I started with the best of intentions:  
  1.   I would be committed.  
  2. I would post at least weekly about my progress, along with any tips and recipes I came across.     
  3. I’d link up with the Pish Posh challenge.   
  4. I’d meet my goal.

And I didn’t do ANY of those things. 

Hoping to entice participants, I offered some prizes and winners would be entered into a drawing. I figured I’d meet my goal and at a minimum get my $40 back to spend towards prizes, plus two of the prizes would be donated.  Bigtime fail. I didn’t win and didn’t get the two donations (more my fault than the donators).  The failed DietBet wound up being slightly expensive. 
  •   $40 buy-in        
  • $25 JCPenney gift card (sorry @red_writinghood I STILL haven’t mailed this)       
  •  $25 Victoria Secret gift card         
  • Mary Kay mini fragrance set         
  • Mary Kay pedicure set

But, on a more positive note, I took this picture towards the end of the game – as I headed out to my Burlesque 101 class. I think I look okay. Even if the pounds didn’t fall off, the skirt I bought at the beginning of the bet is now too big, so something was happening! So I’m okay with not meeting the goal in pounds.
Want to see more pictures? Check out my Facebook page

A special thanks goes to Redhot Writing Hood for participating AND helping get a few additional participants.

Interested in DietBet? Check out their website and join an open bet or host your own. It’s a great motivator and can be fun. I did win my first two bets but at this point think I’ll work on toning and not worry about the scale anymore!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Liebster Award

My amazing Tweetie, Redhot Writing Hood, nominated me for the Liebster Award. (She also joined my DietBet and wrote a blog post about it - now THAT'S a friend!) This is flattering considering I hardly ever write on my blog. Glad to know someone is enjoying it! And sorry it took me so long to respond to this! I'm not really sure what the Liebster Award is,but I'll take whatever recognition I can get!

Apparently it comes with rules and such, so here goes.

The Rules

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.  Go to their page and tell them.
  5. No tag backs.

11 Facts About Me
  1. I get bored very easily - which is partly why I change my hair every other month.
  2. I exercise because I have to not because I actually enjoy it!
  3. I really want to do a basket toss. I never got to try it when I was a cheerleader.
  4. I was a size 0 my senior year in high school and wish I'd known enough to enjoy it back then!
  5. I love to surprise people with little gifts, but I'm mostly too broke to do it very often.
  6. My favorite job ever was coordinating after school programs. Wish I hadn't let pregnancy hormones and a not-so-nice boss push me into quitting.
  7. My dream is to have an after school program for middle school kids - there's really no place for kids that age to be safe and supervised without being stuck with a bunch of younger kids.
  8. I love Old Vine Zin wines. Bogle is one of my favorites and I can actually afford it.
  9. I have a huge crush on Scarlett Johansson and on Sass Herass.
  10. One day I want to do a burlesque solo on stage.
  11. I'm shy and socially awkward in real life.
My 11 Questions to Answer
  1. What types of movies do you prefer? Drama and thrillers, I suppose, but I also like comedy and chic-flicks.
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Jamaica. I'm not really sure why - it's the first thing that popped into my head.
  3. If you could relive one moment in your past, what would it be? Hmm, sorry, can't really answer that one right now!
  4. Dogs or cats? I'm not much of a pet person. Probably dogs, though.
  5. If you had a bitchin' fake tan, would you be a member of Jersey Shore? Um, no thanks!
  6. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes. When I was a kid we moved into a house and lots of weird things happened, like pens flying out of the bathroom at me when nobody was in there!
  7. What is your favorite time of year? I really love fall. The only problem with it is that it reminds me that winter will be here soon, and I hate winter. I grew up in Arizona - I don't like the cold at all!
  8. What color do you have the most of in your closet? Black and white. I'm starting to diversify, but I do have a lot of black and white and denim.
  9. Are you a white underwear girl or do you like them colorful? Colorful for sure. I think I own maybe 2 pair of solid white underwear. 
  10. What are you the most passionate about? I guess after school programming. It's so important to have safe, affordable places for our kids to be once school lets out. There are so many single parents, or families where both parents work, and after school care is often ludicrously expensive or not available for certain ages at all. 
  11. Do you get up early or stay up late? I get up early because I have to for work. It sucks ass. I'd prefer to stay up late and sleep in, but I don't get to do that often.
My 11 Questions for my 11 Liebster Nominees:
  1. What do you get out of blogging?
  2. What's your favorite thing about being an adult?
  3. Do you believe in soulmates?
  4. What's one thing that can always make you smile/laugh, no matter how bad of a mood you're in?
  5. What's something on your bucket list?
  6. What's your go-to recipe?
  7. If someone handed you $2,000 to take a weekend trip anywhere you want, with a stipulation that you could not use the internet or your cell phone for those 48 hours, would you accept it and if so, what would you do?
  8. When was the last time you colored a picture?
  9. What's the sweetest thing someone has done for you in the last year?
  10. What was your last random act of kindness?
  11. What's your biggest turn off?
11 People I'm Awarding
  1. Divorced D20 Dad
  2. Not Blessed Mama
  3. An Angry Girl Who Does Yoga
  4. My Life as Lucille
  5. The Glamorous Life of the Modern Day Soccer Mom
  6. Fadderly
  7. Life in the Northwest
  8. Pish Posh
  9. 30andfatto40andhalfmarathon
  10. Jenbug blogs
  11. Batcrap Crazy
Last, but not least, I'm going to add what some people who know/follow me have to say about me. This has nothing to do with the Liebster Award, I just want to share!

11 More Things to Know About Me (according to others)
  1. U care about your friends and family and have a wonderful since of humor about life no matter what it throws U.
  2. You got married young, and not because you were pregnant. 
  3. You had a baby young. 
  4. You wanted to be a stay at home mom and drive a station wagon :)
  5. To add to that I think your very feisty, spicy, intelligent and have a lot of perseverance!
  6. You can shake your booty like no other!! :D
  7. Spontaneous.
  8. Sensitive.
  9. Bitchy. :p
  10. Generous.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Let the DietBet Begin

Yep, it's day 1 of my DietBet. I now have 28 days to lose 4% of my weight. I weighed in at a mortifying 136.6 pounds. Considering I was down to 128 a few months ago, I am NOT happy with this turn of events. I knew my fat pants were getting a bit snug, that my adorable pink and white gingham bikini was not looking quite as flattering, but I was still hoping for the best.

I can find lots of things to blame the weight gain on: not sleeping well (we all know sleep is vital to weight loss, right?), new meds that made me hungry ALL THE TIME (nevermind that I stopped taking them about a month ago), the stress of separating and having my youngest child move 2.5 hours away, feeling like a massive failure at work...  But what it boils down to is they're all just big fat excuses for being a lazy bum who ate too much crap and drank too much over the last few months.

The one positive to the weight gain is that some of it went to my boobs. First place I lose it from, but at least not the last place I gain it.

I need to lose almost six pounds for my game, but my goal is to lose the 8 I've gained. It's a pretty ambitious goal, especially considering my laziness. Contrary to what many think about me, I hate working out. And I love food. Especially food that has lots of cheese. Especially pasta and breads. And I really like my red wine. But I also like fitting in my skinny clothes. I like not having a major muffin top. I really like buying size small panties. So here we go!

This is heaven on earth. Chile Colorado Burritos from
The Food Pusher.

This week's goal is to do some form of exercise at least 20 minutes 3 days and 45 to 60 minutes three days. I'm off to a mixed start. I knocked out week 2 of Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30.  Of course, I also gave in to a nonfat pumpkin spice latte and a bacon/gouda breakfast sandwich this morning after waking at 4:00 am and being on the road from 5:30 to 8:00 am.

Here's a recipe I'll be using to help keep me away from Starbucks and Krispy Kreme. I like to make up a double batch of these (when I'm not too lazy) and freeze them. I pop two in the microwave in the morning.

Mini Frittata Recipe from Family Fun.

What's your goal this week?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sexy in time for Halloween

How many times have you looked at all the latest Halloween costumes and snottily pointed out that they're too sexy these days, but in the back of your mind you know part of your issue with them is that you can't fit in one? Okay, maybe that's just me.

This is the costume I want this year. Although I'm slightly irritated that the wings don't come with it.
How is it a fairy costume without the wings?!

As some of my readers know, I participated in a DietBet a few months ago and got down to my lowest weight in years! It was awesome. But the stresses of separation combined with new meds and my total lack of motivation the last two months resulted in some weight gain and loss of muscle tone.My "fat pants" are snug. My back fat is bulging. Ugh. That about sums up how I feel about that. So in order to try to get to my goal weight (125 pounds), tone up, and just plain feel better, I'm doing two things. I hope my friends and readers will join me!

  1.  DietBet - You bet $40 you can lose 4% of your weight in 28-days. Weigh-in on the first day and the last day of the challenge by submitting two pictures to the game. Lose weight in whatever way works best for you. At the end of the game, everyone who meets their goal is a winner and the pot gets split between them. In addition, the winners will be be entered into a drawing for the following prizes: a $25 Victoria Secret gift card, a bottle of wine, a Mary Kay miniature fragrance set, and a Mary Kay mint blossom pedicure set. Click here and sign up now- my game starts on Monday, September 17. (I've just emailed support to change the date from the 10th to the 17th, so ignore that it says the game starts now!) Remember, as long as you meet your goal you at least get your $40 back. My last game had a $50 buy-in. The winners wound up with $83 each. 
  2. The Pish Posh Challenge - The wonderful Pish Posh is also doing a weight loss challenge; hers doesn't cost any money, though. Check out her 8 week challenge here. I'm joining a little late - but what the heck.

If you're really intense, check out the Whole Life Challenge. I was going to try this out after hearing about it from Crossfit Echelon, but I don't have another $40 right now and I'm not sure I'm ready for this kind of commitment. This is an 8-week challenge and the last day to sign up is September 14.
Here's a summary of how it works: "The Whole Life Challenge is an 8-week health and fitness game designed for you to see what kind of impact you can have on your body, fitness, and lifestyle if you commit yourself to a specific structure. There are three categories for the game - Performance Results, Physical Results, and Lifestyle and Accountability. This is not just a “change your body” challenge. It is a “who you are” challenge! Nutrition, workouts, mobilization, supplements, daily accounting, community engagement -- if you play all out you won’t believe the results you can get!"

It's the food part of this I'm not sure I can commit to... I think I'll take baby steps on that part.

And here are pictures from last year's Halloween costume (Mrs. Edward Scissorhands), just for fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Catch Up Time

Not catsup or ketchup time. Time to catch up. Got it? Good.

This is like a Thursday wrap-up for my Inelegantees or Randomeers or just followers. Whatever you want to be called if you read my blog regularly (or at least as regularly as I post which isn't regular at all). Hmm. I have the weirdest feeling that I'm either still slightly inebriated or manic. Or both.

But, anyway! I have all these ideas in my head to write up, but no time to write them lately. And when I do have time, the words don't flow. So this is just going to be a very random post.

Phone update: My phone is very much like a toddler who wants to repeat her favorite words: shit, daddy, hottie, Hu, Jim, ver and various random letters that might be words in a language I'm not familiar with... I'll be contacting Verizon today to see exactly how much it will cost to exchange this phone for the iPhone 4s.
Hellion as a toddler. I don't really remember her favorite words.
Abuela and some other Spanish word for  monster that I have no idea how to spell. And no, of course.
Getting healthy update: I have not been getting healthy food and exercise wise at all. Too much alcohol. Too much fatty, unhealthful food. Not enough exercise. Though I did discover I can work my abs, thighs and butt while driving - enough to be a little sore the next day. I'm trying to decide between hosting another DietBet and joining the Whole Life Challenge or possibly both. The Whole Life Challenge would be, well, challenging to say the least. I don't eat fruits or vegetables much. Basically everything I do eat is on the "not allowed" list. But I realize I feel like shit for a reason and my crappy diet plays a big part in that. I'll be writing a blog post about this soon and will be having some giveaways. So come back!

Bipolar update: I'm still having some manic times. Or I'm just happy. My daughter asked if I was drunk already last night (at 6:30 pm) and I hadn't had anything to drink. She said she's not used to seeing me so talkative and happy. This greatly saddened me. And, btw, I hadn't had a single alcoholic beverage. I absolutely despise the Zyprexa. I have dry mouth - actually dry entire body and I'm hungry ALL the freaking time. I also crave salty foods like you wouldn't believe. Because that's not enough, even if I take it at 7:30 or 8 at night, I'm still groggy until about 9 the next morning. Between the Zyprexa and the Effexor, my memory is crap, I'm gaining weight, and I've lost what little sex drive I had. So yah, there's a trade-off for being stable on meds. You get fat, senile, drowsy and become celibate. Lovely indeed.

Can't remember where this came from, so if it's copyrighted and I need to take it down just let me know!

RAK: I used to be really big on random acts of kindness but I've been slacking of late. Last night I gave up my chair at the concert to a pregnant lady and that got me thinking. I'm going to start a monthly giveaway for RAK. None of my giveaways will be great - I'm not rich and I have no "sponsors", but hey it'll be something free for doing something nice.

Moving: I'm all moved but not all unpacked. The boxes are starting to stress me out. Hopefully I'll get them unpacked this weekend.

That's enough for now, lovelies. Please take a moment and comment so I don't feel so alone out here in cyber world! Also I'm rushed so just ignore the grammar and spelling mistakes, please!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Harajuku Girls

I almost started this post with, "Well, tweeties..." I guess that shows you where I spend most of my time. Or spent as the case may be - since I've had no internet at home and little time or patience to be on my phone  all the time keeping with ally my internet friends. It's quite humbling how many appear to miss me; i.e. hardly anyone.  But I adore those who do, and even some who don't, and in the world of the internets you take it (or try to) with a smile and shake of the head and keep moving along.

Anyhow! Over the past few weeks I've had several posts built up in my head but never quite seemed to make it to a computer or even to pen and paper to get them out there. And now here I sit at what used to be one of my favorite places trying to remember what it was I had to say that I thought people might find interesting. My mind is completely blank. I blame the new meds 150%. And maybe the chaos in my life: separation, moving, etc. All things I can't write about right now but will in the future when they aren't so fresh and possibly painful topics for others.

So instead, I'll tell you about my new phone. The phone I HAD to have. The phone I spent a lot of money I couldn't afford to spend, trying to justify it with the fact that my old phone would go to my husband to either replace his phone with the cracked screen or our daughter's phone with the even more cracked screen.

This is my phone.
My new Samsung Galaxy S III. Not all it's cracked up to be.

 This is my phone case. I didn't realize it was a 3-d phone case. That swivels to show a mirror.
Super cute case from HD Accessory. Cost me a whopping $13, and I've already
dropped my phone twice today and it's still in good shape.

 I didn't pay that much attention. I thought it was super cute and just painted on the case. The gals at work are now calling me a 15-year-old girl. But only because they're jealous they don't have a phone case that is so freaking adorable AND also useful because it doubles as a mirror!  A real mirror - not just pretending-the-apple-on-the-back-of-their-iPhone-is-a-mirror mirror. Every time I look at the case I smile, and then I start singing Gwen Stefani's song about harajuku girls.

The battery is supposed to be better than my iPhone's was. Yah, that has NOT proven to be true.  The screen is fabulous. I was really looking forward to the 8 megapixel camera, but I'm finding most of my pictures are blurry. Operator error, I'm sure! I'm  partly loving the swiping keyboard thingie. (Yes, I know you love my technical terms.)  Except that it just flat out refuses to work on some words.  So in case you read my Facebook statuses, tweets, or I text you, here's a translation guide for you!

What I type vs What my phone decides I want

  • I'm = Jim
  • for = shit or good
  • you = Hu or tty
  • short = shot
  • hot = shit
  • stalk your house = stab good horse (don't ask)
It's a short list since I haven't had the phone long, but you can imagine what my texts have been like lately. Numerous people have asked me who Jim is... I don't know, people! I did NOT type Jim in my phone. The phone seems to come pre-programmed with certain names. A friend of mine texted me, "Um, I'm not Jim. I'm [insert name here]." I told him it was the damn phone; that it likes Jim more than I'm. I have a vague suspicion that he and many others don't believe me and are convinced I have a secret lover named Jim. Sorry, folks, that's just not the case. If only my life were that interesting - I'd have so much more to blog about. Except then it wouldn't be a secret. Oh, never mind!

So, if you get this message, "Jim going to eat", please remember that Jim means I'm. Jim is most certainly not going to eat. Or if you read, "Hu want to join me shit a coffee?", it means "You want to join me for a coffee?" Although coffee is a diuretic, so it could be true, but I wouldn't ask Hu to join me for that.

Well, now you all know that i haven't disappeared completely. I'm still around. And writing more random and awkward posts! I'll be moving this weekend and hopefully have internet at home next week, so you'll get lots more of my randomness soon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Choosing Fun over Healthy

I want to vent and complain, but I can't. Not here. Not yet. Not about this. Partly because I'm hurt and angry, and the people I want to vent about are hurt and angry, and frankly we all need to take some time and calm down!

And now I've totally forgotten what I was going to write about instead. I'm truly a hot mess these days. I can't remember what I did an hour ago. Is it meds? Is it stress? Am I just going crazy? All of the above?

Anyway, I recently posted about my problems with bipolar disorder and addiction. I asked for friends willing to help me be accountable. This is hard for me... I say I want this, but it's not so easy to accept when they actually start doing it. I've said it before: I have a tendency to not only justify things on my own but have others around me who justify for me. They tell me I have every right to do what I'm doing because of this, that, and the other thing going on in my life or done to me.

This pretty much sums me up! Image from Autistm - Day by Day

Well, let me tell you, if you want someone who takes this accountability (and your well-being) seriously, TheBorgBlog is the person to have in your life. I was fortunate enough to meet her through Twitter at #wineparty. (Read her post #crankypants and #wineparty confessions... to find out more, especially if you're on Twitter and find yourself at home bored on a Friday night.) I began reading her blog - which I thoroughly enjoy - and tweeting with her. We've gotten to know each other through email and eventually texting. She's an awesome friend. And now she's helping hold me accountable.

A few things she knows about me:

  • It's important for me to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to help manage my bipolar disorder.
  • I need to exercise at least a couple of days a week to help relieve stress and stay in shape. 
  • I tend to do things I want before the things I need. 
  • The details of my addiction. What kind it is, how it's affected my life lately, and so on.
  • Alcohol, while not my addiction, makes it more likely I'll give in to my addiction.
  • I need quiet time to myself to stay stable and sane.
Photo from Sugar Doodle. Check out Nicole's Value Posters for more!
So last night I had a plan: go home and check on the 5 teen boys in my house, pick up a few groceries and prep some healthy meals for myself for the week, go to the gym, go to bed by 10.  I went home. I saw the boys needed food, which meant going to my most hated place (Wal-Mart), and off I went. I also needed some cards, which take me forever to pick out, so I wound up being in that dreaded store for over an hour. I also had to stop for gas and go to Safeway for a few things. I don't like to work out after 8:30 or so because then I can't get to sleep. (All justifications/excuses, I realize.) So when a friend texted and invited me over for a glass of wine and daughter's birthday dinner, I said sure. Took the groceries home and headed over. 
TheBorgBlog very kindly, but firmly, pointed out to me that it's much more fun to go to someone's daughter's birthday party and be with people than stick to my plan to do things that are healthy for me. I wouldn't be taking time for myself, working out, or (probably) getting to bed on time. She pointed out the things I say  I want to do versus the things I end up choosing to do.  Which is exactly what got me into trouble last week. 

Another friend asked what I ate yesterday and when I told him, he was so kind as to point out that I probably feel so tired all the time because almost everything I eat comes from a box. 

Today's lunch. Marie Callender's Smoky Bacon & Cheddar Mac.

I continue to go forward - attending meetings, making appointments, setting bottom lines, and making healthier choices. I'm grateful for the people in my life who are stepping forward to help me be accountable for the choices I make - who are helping me really think about the choice and what could come of it. 

I wish I'd taken many of these steps years ago. I can't change that. But I can move forward much more positively.  Thank you all so much for helping me in my journey.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Being Bipolar Sucks Big Hairy Balls

I think the title pretty much sums up how I feel about being affected by this disorder. Bipolar, or manic-depressive, disorder for me is like living life on a constant roller coaster. I love roller coasters, don't get me wrong, but never being able to get off the ride would seriously diminish my enjoyment!

Sometimes I go through phases where I think the diagnosis was wrong. What I really have is severe social anxiety and depression. This is easy to believe for awhile because my depressive episodes have been much more frequent and severe than my manic ones. It gives me an excuse to insist that I can take an anti-depressant alone.

Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask is a great book, a fairly easy read, for those suffering and for their loved ones. One of the things the the author talks about is our tendency to believe we aren't bipolar and then go off meds. 
Last week was a low point in my life, although I didn't think so at the time. I was energetic and ready to take on new things and meet new people. I wasn't sleeping.  Classic symptom, right? On my own and out-of-town, I drank too much and quickly spiraled out of control.  If this blog were anonymous, I'd share more details. Because I honestly believe that sharing details can help others who have also suffered.   But this blog isn't anonymous and there are those who would use it against me in a variety of ways, and it could also hurt others. So we'll have to suffice it to say that the week ended with me being embarrassed and ashamed and realizing that along with being bipolar I suffer from an addiction that I can't control on my own right now.  I realized that I have no clue how to set boundaries or have healthy relationships. I also managed to hurt someone very deeply and not for the first time. I also hurt a new friend and I'm sorry she had to see that very unattractive side of me. 

So from here I'm moving forward and making some changes. Establishing bottom lines in relation to addiction. Attending meetings, seeing my counselor, going back to my psychiatrist. Simplifying my life a bit and saying "goodbye" to some and "I hope you'll be around when I'm healthy but I don't expect you to wait for that" to others. Many of the relationships I have in my life right now are unhealthy and lack boundaries. There are those in my life I love but I know I can't be with - maybe just temporarily or maybe more permanently. I need to distinguish between love, dependency and addiction to people.

There's so little about me that I like right now. I need to fix that so I can truly love and like others. Some of my readers know I've said similar things in the past but didn't actually make the changes. I've started the changes already, and it's so very hard to stay strong and do what I know in my heart and in my head are the right steps even though they may cause some even more pain in the short term. I hope that my friends will help hold me accountable. Because one of my major problems is that I surround myself with people who help justify my poor decisions and actions.  Wanna help be my accountability partners? Give me your contact information and I'll let you know how you can help.  Let me know why you want to help.

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding & Helping Your Partner, another book I found very helpful. This is one I think needs to be revisited every few years. It helps identify triggers.

Be sure to check out Band Back Together for more resources and to read the stories of others (or share your own story).

Thank you to the many of you who have offered me positive comments and support!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bullied Teen; Bullied Adult defines bullying: to hurt, intimidate, or persecute (a weaker or smaller person).  I was -and maybe still am - a weaker smaller person. I was bullied in school. I realized this weekend that I'm still being bullied. 

I moved to Apache Junction during 5th grade. I was a petite, very nerdy little girl who loved school. I was that kid that drew sad faces on the calendar on school holidays.  I didn’t have cool clothes. I was shy. I was one of the poorer students. Of course I got picked on. But it didn’t turn into full on bullying until eighth grade.

What the hell was I thinking?! Yes, let's chop off all my hair, wear dorky glasses and take a picture
wearing a t-shirt, where something looks very wrong with my legs. 

Eighth grade had been a good year. I was a cheerleader. I had a great best friend.  And then it all fell to pieces. My memory has huge gaps (side effect of all the meds I’ve tried for my bipolar disorder over the years?), but unfortunately I remember the fear.  My best friend was hanging out with someone new a lot. Boys were in the picture. She asked me if I thought she was a slut. I told her no, but she was starting to act like one of the more slutty girls we knew. That somehow turned into I’d said she was a slut like the triplets – the most popular (and mean) girls in school.  I was so afraid to go to school I made a very juvenile attempt to slit my wrists. I went to the principal. Nothing changed. The next two years of my life were hell.

OMFG. Really?! How did I have any friends - or a boyfriend, ever?
My freshmen year was a nightmare, and the beginning of my sophomore year wasn’t much better. I was bullied everywhere I went.  If I walked home from school, people threw things out bus windows at me. If I rode the bus, they’d walk by my seat and slam my head against the window. I was picked on in the locker room during PE. They made me cry between classes. Lunch was the worst as I tried to find a place to hide and be left alone.  I was deemed a slut before I’d ever even had sex. If by chance I found a guy interested despite their best intentions to ruin my life, he was quickly persuaded away by one of their group.  A boyfriend even got me to a dance so the girls could corner me while he dumped me and left with one of them.  At the movies I was chased into a nearby store where the employees were nice enough to let me call my parents to pick me up.  Going to school officials was useless.  Most “friends” I trusted were persuaded to join the band wagon and betray and hurt me.  All I had ever wanted was to be like them. Smart, pretty, funny, popular – and not afraid all the time.

Nerdy high school me. I'm pretty sure I had a perm in this picture.
The majority of the bullying ended my sophomore year when enough was enough.  The bus drove by, one of the main bullies yelling out the window, and I yelled back! Doesn’t sound like much, but I hadn’t done it before. I’d always just quietly taken the abuse, usually in tears. I went home, told my dad I was likely getting in a fight the next day, and went to bed. The next day, sure enough, she came up and got in my face. But this time I didn’t cry. I didn’t back down. I didn’t run away. I talked back. She swung at me. That’s the last thing I remember of the “fight”.  I blacked out. The next thing I knew, we were each being held back by teachers and our parents were on their way. My dad took me to the doctor since she’d slammed my head against the metal door guard. The school tried to expel me and my dad went off on them for letting me go through years of hell and for trying to punish a straight A student with no incidents before this who had finally stood up for herself.  

The bullying didn’t stop completely, but I was no longer afraid to leave my house. I was done crying between classes, rushing and trying to find the shortest distance away from my bullies.  My junior year I was confronted at the mall. I blacked out again. I’m not really sure what happened, although I apparently responded with some not very nice things that resulted in her punching me.  That was the final straw for me and I packed up and moved to California to live with my mom.

I'm 38 years old now. Up to about a year ago I still had nightmares at least twice a month. I'd wake up filled with fear and have to remind myself it's been over for a long time. This weekend the nightmares came back. And that, I'm afraid, is a blog for another day...

And here is me today. Still kinda nerdy. Hair kinda messy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Taking Sides

I was going to post this on my Facebook page, but I figured I might as well actually use my blog for something! You may have noticed a lot of posts on my FB, Twitter, and various blogs about friendship lately.  This is weighing heavily on my mind, as I have no family in the state where I live. The closest family is 7 hours away, then 8.5 hours away, then 13+ hours away. So I need friends. But I apparently suck at deciding who is a good friend. I'm too trusting. Not to mention it can be hard to be my friend, which I discussed in a previous post.

Great photo by Strep72.

I've had major crap going on in my life since March. My husband and I separated. It started out amicable and quickly became vile. This was due to a woman who apparently thought it was okay to pretend to be my friend and then say horrible lies to my husband. She not only hurt me in the process, she hurt him. Anyway, the move was short-lived and I went back home. Now, well, things are tumultuous again. I take responsibility for my part in this, because basically it is pretty much all me. It's a topic for another post. But as someone else pointed out, it is extremely rare for these things to be 100% one person's fault. And I refuse to continue thinking that because I don't feel what others think I should feel that makes me a horrible person.

For all of you who feel the need to judge and be hateful, you aren't the kind of friends any of us really need. There are ALWAYS two sides to a story. There are things you will probably never know about, that aren't any of your damn business. For those who feel the need to bash me rather than just say, "Hey, I'm sorry, but I don't agree with you" and step away, well too bad on you.  I've made some fucked up mistakes. I've hurt people - but never intentionally. I have some major self analyzing to do. I need to figure out what drives me to do some of the things I do, and that might mean not being around/with certain people. If you don't like me or my choices, be mature. Unfriend me. Go your separate ways, but don't go around bashing me to anyone who will listen. There are many good things about me, which you would know if you ever took the time to actually get to know me.

Also, thank you to my friends for letting me vent and tell you my hurts. But that doesn't make it okay to bash my husband. I love him and will always love him. Regardless of what happens in our marriage, he is a good man who loves with his whole heart. He will be there for anyone - even those who have betrayed and hurt him in the past. I often wonder at his ability to forgive. I appreciate your efforts to help me see that I'm valuable in my own way. And for those of you who try to encourage me and be there for me without saying horrid things about him, I truly appreciate it.

I don't know what the future holds. But I know that my husband, my kids, and I need people who want to be there for us and not perpetuate hatefulness. It doesn't make any of us feel better.