Saturday, 27 October 2012

my victory lap aka my cookies are pretty and can kick cancer right in the nads

So I tend to think of myself as a completely non-competitive person.  Being competitive is like sports and I don't do sports so I'd just rather forgo the whole competitive thing altogether, yanno?

I'm more of a watch the figure skating for the outfits kind of gal and I stopped doing that about 10 years ago.

So anyways, Sheila told me there's a bake sale at her work and wouldn't you know it, it's a cancer related bake sale.

No, not raising money for cancer...it's already a greedy mofo.  It's for cancer research at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.   As  y'all know I lost my husband David O'Farrell to cancer almost 3 years ago and wouldn't you know it, I can bake!

I was damn well going to make cookies for that bake sale.

Dave T inspired me to make the cookies with an autumn colours theme and while I was trying to fall asleep the other night I remembered that I have a maple leaf cookie cutter.

BAM!  FALL LEAF BUTTER COOKIES!!!!


It's SUPER easy to do.

Just make 3 bowls of what I call "cheater royal icing".  It's basically royal icing without the meringue powder.  I just mix icing sugar, warm water, and vanilla until it's the consistency of thin pudding.  It's creamy but will drizzle off the spoon easily.  Just make sure it's not runny because it needs to give a nice coating on the cookie.   Too runny and the icing will be too thin and you'll end up with more icing on the countertop than on the cookie.

Colour one bowl red, another bowl yellow, and the third bowl orange.

Pour the contents of each bowl into a larger flat bottomed bowl (I used a shallow corning ware dish) one at a time and in different parts of the bowl.  Take a skewer or something (particularly something you don't want stained) and swirl the colours together slightly so that they mix up a bit but they do not blend.

Take your cookies and dip them into the dish and set them on racks for the icing to set and harden.  Oh there will be icing drippage so put wax paper or  plastic wrap under your racks...trust me.   This is what happens under the racks....looks kinda cool actually.


The white blobs are from the chocolate cookies I made to go along with the butter cookies because I can never, ever,  just make a little bit.

Yeah.  This is what I made for the bake sale.


Aaaaaaaaand guess who got unofficially voted the PRETTIEST COOKIES OF THE BAKE SALE???

ME BEYOTCHES!

That's right!

And even though I priced my leaf cookies at $3 dollars a plate they sold for $10 dollars a plate!

SUCK ON THAT, CANCER!  FEEL MY RESEARCH MONEY GOING RIGHT FOR YOUR SOFT UNDERBELLY!

Ahem.

Does being smug take away from my good deed?

So much for having no competitive streak.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I am still here

The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables. Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted. Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness lives. 
The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight. 
Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do. 
I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling. 
You will find a good man soon.” 

The first psycho therapist told me to spend 
three hours each day sitting in a dark closet 
with my eyes closed and ears plugged. 
I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking 
about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet. 

The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth. 
Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness 
when they care more about what they give 
than what they get. 

The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.” 

The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me 
forget what the trauma said. 

The trauma said, “Don’t write this poem. 
Nobody wants to hear you cry 
about the grief inside your bones.” 

But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi dove
into the Hudson River convinced 
he was entirely alone.” 

My bones said, “Write the poem.” 
The lamplight. Considering the river bed. 
To the chandelier of your fate hanging by a thread.
To everyday you could not get out of bed.
To the bulls eye of your wrist
To anyone who has ever wanted to die.
I have been told, sometimes, the most healing thing to do-
Is remind ourselves over and over and over:
“Other people feel this too.”
The tomorrow that is coming, gone
And it has not gotten better
When you are half finished writing that letter 
to your mother that says “I swear to God I tried
But when I thought I hit bottom, it started hitting back”
There is no bruise like the bruise of loneliness kicks into the spine
So let me tell you I know there are days 
it looks like the whole world is dancing in the streets 
when you break down like the doors of the looted buildings
You are not alone 
and wondering who will be convicted of the crime 
of insisting you keep loading your grief into the chamber of your shame
You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy
I have never met a heavy heart
that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside

Some people will never understand 
the kind of superpower it takes for some people to just walk outside
Some days I know my smile looks like the gutter of a falling house
But my hands are always holding tight to the ripchord of believing
A life can be rich like the soil
Can make food of decay
Can turn wound into highway
Pick me up in a truck with that bumper sticker that says 
“It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.”
I have never trusted anyone 
with the pulled back bow of my spine 
the way I trusted ones who come undone at the throat
Screaming for their pulses to find the fight to pound
Four nights before Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge 
I was sitting in a hotel room in my own town
Calculating exactly what I had to swallow
to keep a bottle of sleeping pills down

What I know about living is the pain is never just ours
Every time I hurt I know the wound is an echo
So I keep a listening to the moment the grief becomes a window
When I can see what I couldn’t see before,
through the glass of my most battered dream
I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind
and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.
So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin, 
don’t try to put me back in,
just say “Here we are together at the window aching for it to all get better
but knowing as bad as it hurts our hearts, made of only just skin, 
knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming —
let me say right now for the record, I’m still gonna be here
asking this world to dance, even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet
you — you stay here with me, okay?
You stay here with me.
Raising your bright against the bitter dark
Your bright longing
Your brilliant fists of loss”

Friends, if the only thing we have to gain in staying is each other,

my God that’s plenty,
my God that’s enough,
my God that is so so much for the light to give,
each of us at each other’s backs whispering over and over and over
“Live”
“Live”
“Live”


The Nutritionist— Andrea Gibson

Friday, 7 September 2012

Ooops doesn't even begin to cover it...

Okie dokie, so it turns out I've been accidentally OD'ing on one of my meds for over two weeks.
 That would certainly explain a few things. 
After a couple of frantic phone calls with my team it's been determined that I should settle out in a week.   Oh and I won't die...just sayin'.
It is, however, kinda serious so I feel like an idiot. 
I used to take 2x250mg pills in the morning and 2x250mg pills at dinner of a certain med.  The prescription changed to 1x500 pill morning and night.
I sort of didn't notice and kept on taking 2.  
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL KIDS!
 I AM A DOOFUS!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Once in a blue moon...I baked a cake.

It's a blue moon tonight.

Wiki has an interesting article on what a blue moon is HERE

Read the article and you'll understand where the saying "once in a blue moon" comes from.

Sheila decided this occasion needed a cake and I volunteered to make one...as if I wouldn't.  I didn't want to just make a regular cake though.

I wanted to make a BLUE MOON CAKE!!!!

I had all these grandiose visions of having the man in the moon on the cake, all sorts of nice craters and things showing up, and I even thought of putting up some moon landing stuff for fun.

My vision was pure art I tell you.

The reality was more like this,


Yeah.

It's just half a sphere with blue icing.

BUT, I made a spherical cake without one of  those spherical cake pans!  IT CAN BE DONE!

And there was minimal cutting involved.  I used 1 9inch springform cake pan, 1 pie plate, and 1 pottery bowl.    FYI the batter in the pottery bowl cooks up fine, it just takes a bit longer.  The only thing I cut was the cake out of the pottery bowl because the bottom side wasn't flat enough.  Other than that, stack them up in a 3 layer cake and ice it into a sphere.

In other news, I made my first home made pasta sauce recently.

We had an insane amount of roma(plum) tomatoes from our garden out back so I blanched roughtly 2 colanders full of them, peeled them, and chopped them up.  I also used a bunch of onions from the garden out back and sauteed those with fresh garlic and olive oil.  I added fresh basil paste, fresh chopped oregano, salt and pepper, a bit of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes, and I have to admit I didn't have tomato paste so I threw in a store bought can of sauce to help it thicken.  I also browned some lean ground beef and made it a meat sauce.  Oh and I added a little hot sauce and one secret ingredient to give it some zing.  :-)

Here's my very first ever from the garden made pasta sauce!


IT WAS AMAZING!!!!

I worked hard on that sauce and even burned my thumb.  Yes, suffering and love went into that sauce people.

WHAT?

IT ADDS TO THE FLAVOUR!

I can't believe I had an Italian grandmother and I never got around to making a home made sauce until I turned 40.  She'd probably pinch me and be proud of me at the same time.

Wish I could have known you Grandma Ida!

Dave, tell her good things about me ok?  And tell her I love elephants too.

Miss you.  Always will.

I think of you all the time...not just once in a blue moon.




Thursday, 9 August 2012

Hot sauce malfunction, potato salad, and meeting The Bloggess

A few minutes ago I was literally holding cold potato salad to my lips in order to ease the chemical burn I just gave myself from putting too much hot sauce in my lunch wrap.  Seriously, my lips are red and swollen. 

Most people would drink milk, water, or hold a cool wet towel over their lips but no...my big idea was to smear cold potato salad on my face. 

There are no pictures of this but I did feel one of my cats judging me.

So what else is new?

Well, I TOTALLY MET JENNY LAWSON ( THE BLOGGESS ) Tuesday night !!!  She came to Toronto on her book signing tour.  If you don't know her yet, check her out!

This is everyone holding up their copies of The Bloggess' book for a picture.  


That awkward moment when I start to walk away before having a proper picture taken.  It seems to be a theme with me.



 Me and The Bloggess!


She was awesome.  She did a bit of an interview, did a reading from her book, and then answered a few questions from the audience.  I'm amazed at how gracious she is to everyone wanting their couple of minutes to say hi to her while they get their books signed.

I asked her to sign my book with "NECROPHILIA IS BAD!"   You'd have to read her book to understand why...I won't spoil it for you.

Her struggles with depression and anxiety and the humour with which she shares her experiences make her somewhat of a hero for me.  It was wonderful to meet her.  

AND SHE TOTALLY TOLD ME I HAVE AMAZING HAIR!!!  (Although you wouldn't know it because I look really shitty in these pics.)  Actually before the bloggess showed up, a total stranger came up to me in line to tell me I have amazing hair.  I tell ya, it's going to be tough to go back to a regular colour now.  LOL

Anyhow, we showed up a bit late and didn't get seats so we ended up standing for an hour before she showed up and then standing for another couple of hours during it all but it was totally worth it.  I had fun.  

And then we went to Zorba's on the Danforth for Greek food!  NOM!  I had to smile though.  I was in A LOT of pain from standing for so long so I was shuffling down the Danforth at a pathetic pace trying to keep up with Dave and Sheila on our way back to the car and I got ogled by some middle aged Greek men sitting at an outdoor patio.  One of them smiled and said, "well, hellO".  Hah!  

You take what you can get, right?  LOL

Oh I've probably got so much more I could say but the words aren't coming.  I'm out of practice.  I know I've got lots of photos I'd love to post as well.    

The next entry will be "what I've done this summer...in pictures".  

 

 
 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Winning things from today

1.  Having someone around to lift heavy things when my back and hip are really sore.

2.   Persian shawarma plate at Cyrus!

3.  Going shopping with the last of my gift card money from my sister Robin and having the grand total come to 67.79, then finding out that the amount on my gift card was exactly 67.79.  I COULDN'T DO THAT IF I TRIED!!!!

4.  Coming home walking the dog when it's cooler and NOT getting eaten alive by mosquitos.

5.  Coming in to eat the Persian baklava I brought home for myself.

6.  Having a "mocktail" upstairs with my friends.

7.  AIR CONDITIONING

8.  Re-read # 3 'cause that shit is amazing.




Monday, 9 July 2012

Motorcycle band...for Dave T!

Yes I am posting random crap tonight.  I don't know why.

Check it out!



It's crazy enough to begin with but WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THE DRUMMER????


It's probably very wrong...

....that I literally laughed out loud when I saw this.



I know.
I'm twisted.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I can't shake it


Dave T and Sam chillin


So this morning I got up, took the dog out, flipped on the T.V., and walked over to make the coffee as usual.

As usual, I didn't pay attention to what was on the T.V. It was some sort of documentary on dogs. I like dogs, I have a dog...so I left it. I usually don't change the channel until after the coffee is made.

So I'm making coffee and I hear them talking about shelters. I hear dogs fussing in the background and thought nothing of it. Dogs fuss at shelters...this is normal.

I turn around to see a bunch of dogs in a big metal box that looked sort of like a chest freezer, some guy closing the lid, and another guy turning a dial on a canister of gas.

I start cluing in.

All of the sudden the dogs in the box start howling and whining.

They're being gassed to death.

And I'm watching it.

I can't handle this.

I'm not one of those people who needs to be shown how important animal rights are. Every fucking animal I've owned has been a rescue. Every animal I have owned has been spayed and neutered.

I GET IT. I TOTALLY BELIEVE IT IN IT.

I'm also a highly sensitive person going through some very real shit right now and hearing animals suffering and dying is not something I can handle. This is something that is traumatic for me.

I dashed over trying to change the channel and I was so upset I was fumbling and couldn't get it to change right away.

I'm now sobbing listening to this box of dogs die.

I finally changed the channel but I just can't shake it.

I'm not writing this to say they shouldn't have shown that. People NEED to be responsible pet owners and NEED to know what happens to the animals that are not cared for responsibly.

The sad part is that the people who need to see this shit probably won't see it or most likely won't get it. If you don't care about animal overpopulation or responsible pet ownership, you're probably not going to care about a box of dogs in a mini gas chamber being killed.

I have no answer.

I just know I really did not need to see that this morning and now I can't shake how upset it's made me.

Monday, 18 June 2012

So I baked some cookies the other day...

And here's how they turned out.



Lesson 1:  Do not decorate cookies when your housemate is up on the roof alone and you are worried about him falling off.

Lesson 2:  Don't rush due to not following lesson 1.   Wait until you can use racks under ALL the cookies so they ALL come out cute and not a big blobby mess of icing.

Lesson 3:  When you think the icing consistency is too thin, don't say "it's good enough" and proceed to get it EVERYWHERE.  Red blobby icing only went well with the brain cookies.  Having a sheet of  maple leaf cookies look like they were decorated via a gruesome murder scene was not all that appetizing.

But they still tasted good.




Saturday, 9 June 2012

THE BEST LEMON CAKE IN THE UNIVERSE....

is this one here...


Over 2 days I have eaten 4 pieces of it.  It's  made by Dave T's Mom and it's the best lemon cake I've ever had in my entire life. 

She might...just might...give me the recipe.  :-)

Today during a trip to Kensington Market I also ate yummy chicken empanadas (thanks Sheila!) and something called a "spudagel".  The spudagel looked like a bagel but  it was more pastry like (think sausage roll) and had a potato onion filling.  It tasted really good so I'm assuming it was really bad for me.

Yeah.  Monday's weigh in with my weight management team is not gonna be so good.

Because of how much I've been struggling this past month since going off one of my meds, I've been emotional eating like a fiend.  Like a glutton who's eaten a fiend who was a glutton before they got eaten by another more gluttonous glutton.

Gah.

I'm trying to get a hold of myself but my mood has just plummeted and I'm struggling with constant distorted thinking.

To make matters worse, they've assigned me a new therapist since mine is off due to major surgery.  This  new guy...I do not trust him.  We haven't actually met one on one yet...only in a group situation.  I see him on Monday though and I'm going to express my concerns...respectfully.  We'll see how it goes from there.

Right now though with my screwed up thinking and depressed mood, all I can think of though is that I'm so fucked.  Right now when I need help, I'm not going to get it.

*sigh*

Nothing feels right.

Except food.

Food is always fucking phenomenal dammit.

And that cake...MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING!!!

 
 


Friday, 8 June 2012

Happy Anniversary to me.

Today we would have been married for 15 years.


The picture is all pixelated and blurry...I don't have the original on my computer.  But this was our first dance on our wedding day.  

Here's  a candid shot of him sitting at the head table.  


Again it's sort of pixelated but he was so damned handsome.  You can't tell from this pic but he had the biggest blue eyes I'd ever seen. 

It was such a great day.  

Sure I have some regrets but none of them are about him.  Things that seemed so important and earth shattering then come to be trivial in hindsight.  So much time wasted on stressing out over drama and stupid things.

But still...I never once thought I'd made a mistake in marrying David O'Farrell.  He was everything to me.  Yeah we were fucked up, immature, and prone to making bad decisions but we loved each other so damned much.  

He was my best friend.

I would marry that man every day all over again even knowing everything we went through together.  

We should have had a chance to grow up and grow old together.

It's hard living without him.  Nothing seems to make sense when it feels like half of me is missing.  

But I'm still here...still kicking...still laughing...still loving my friends and family...and I'm still loved.

Times are tough right now with all my medication changes.  Right now I'm really struggling and really missing those big shoulders of his.  At times like these, he used to look at me, smile, and say, "you know what the best thing about hugs is?  I can always make more!"

Not everyone gets a soulmate.  I had one and I will love him forever.

Happy Anniversary Babe.  

Miss you so much.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Sheila's Magical Mookies

Sheila baked her mookies tonight.  What's a mookie you ask?

They're not a cookie.



They're not a muffin.



THEY'RE MOOKIES,YO!  
They are their own explanation! 

And they're awesome.

They deserve poems, and songs, and rose petals thrown at them but instead I'll just eat them.  And no I'm not giving out her recipe.

But the best ones, in my humble opinion, are the ones that are a leetle bit sunken in in the middle.  That makes them all crispy-chewy on the outside and then oooh so gooey chewy on the inside.

Mookies.

That is all.




Monday, 4 June 2012

Random Pics for Fun!

Just posting more pics for fun.

I've had an anxiety riddled day so I thought I'd do a little distraction therapy and blog some pictures.

Here goes!



Here's my dog Sam standing under the chestnut tree.  The ground is littered with fallen chestnut blossoms.



My car is adorable.



Look at that colour!  Isn't it gorgeous?  An Iris waiting to unfurl.



The 4 Leaf Clovers are back this year.



The biggest fish I ever caught!!!  (with Dave T's help of course)

This is a 7lb smallmouth bass caught on Lake Scugog a couple of weeks ago.  And I'm STILL tickled about it!  :-)

Anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious....

But the pictures make me smile.

Awesome.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

And now for something completely different...GARDEN PICS!

I've been gardening for the first time in a few years and today I thought I'd take some pics just for fun.

Here's my little garden plot by the deck.  Sheila put the irises in last year.  This year I dug it out, planted some violas, mars midget, passion flower (in the back), and gladiolas.  I found some rocks at the back of the yard and I'm definitely happy with how it's starting to take shape.



Violas!



The Veggie Garden!
A few different types of tomatoes, peas, a few different types of peppers, and onions.



The onions are already peeking through :-)



Ok, I don't know what this wildflower/weed is but it's darn cute.



Here is our chestnut tree in the backyard in full bloom.  Isn't it gorgeous?  Bees just love it so right now if you stand under it all you can hear is the humming of all the bees.



Chestnut blossoms.


y so srs?

I swear I'll get back to baking and shit eventually.

This can only last so long amirite?


Just a big 'ole depressing purge...move along...

How do you say happy birthday to a dead man?

You can't.

It helps to raise a toast, tell a funny story, or even just say his name.

David O'Farrell.  You were alive once and the centre of my universe.

You were real.

Our life together was real.

He would have been 41 this year.

Maybe it's all the drug changes and messing around with my brain chemistry but this year his birthday was so goddamned hard.  And I fucking hate the platitudes....still.

I guess maybe I'm still angry.

I just want him back.  Two and half years later and it still seems like such a bad dream.  I know some people must feel that I'm stuck in my grief and not moving on.

Fuck 'em.  This is my fucking journey.  Get back to me when you've lost your soulmate...when you've had to bear the strain of the world falling apart around you all the while doing everything you can to keep him going through his despair, his fear, his all encompassing anger.  My shoulders bore so much while he was sick.  People supported me where they could be so much was mine, and mine alone to bear.  And I would still do it gladly if only he was still here.

Get back to me when you have to stroke your soulmate's hair and hold him as he dies suffering gasping for breath and trying to scream but he can't.  

I just want him back.

I swear I would bear that and so much more if he was still here.
 
He did not deserve to suffer and die so young.

 It should have been me.

But now he's gone...dead at 38 and life makes no sense without him.

I live with 2 people I love and laugh with but there is still this pervading sense of wrongness in everything.

I've been in therapy for a year and have made great strides only to fall back into a helluva relapse lately.

I felt like I was ready to break the whole time he was sick.  But I just kept on going because I loved him and he needed me.

Now I don't know what to do.

I'm trying to use my new tools for coping.  I'm trying to have empathy for myself.

I'm trying to remember that "a relapse is only a reminder of how far you've come".

Just breathe.

I wish I believed that I would be with him again someday but I just don't believe in heaven.

Unfortunately hell is all too real.

I am a baker that does not bake.
I am a writer that does not write.
I am an artist who does not create.
I am alive but I do not live.

This is all just a purge.
A pressure valve releasing.

I miss him so much.
I wish I could bake you a birthday cake and you could blow out your candles.
I wish I could turn around and see you there smiling at me.
I wish I could hold you again.

David O'Farrell
May 26, 1971-Dec.21,2009

You will never be forgotten. 




Friday, 25 May 2012

effexor free and apparently swearing a lot

I'm taking a page out of the Blogess' book and saying this is not a real post.

This is only a boring and completely unfunny post with no baking references.

Basically I'm documenting this shit for posterity.

Ok, the words shit and posterity did make me chuckle...I admit it.  I mean really...posterity is just one butt freckle away from being posterior.  AND WHERE DOES SHIT COME FROM??? YOUR POSTERIOR!!!

Shazam!  I made a funny.  A really immature funny but that's kinda my style.

I'm now off of Effexor.  Sunday was my last pill.  It's been BRUTAL.

Non stop head zappy wobbly feelings, plummeting mood, and rampant anxiety.  I've been in contact with my shrink and his nurse practitioner as of today and I have appointments and a plan to hopefully deal with this.

Basically I have not been doing well.

Oh and in my latest round of blood tests, the level of my mood stabilizer in my blood is too low.

So yeah.  Effexor withdrawals and not enough mood stabilizer.  Fucking "A", let's throw a party!   *Sigh*  Add that to the list of things that need to be fixed.

In other medical news...

The combo of stopping a particular allergy pill and blood pressure medication has me back in the normal range again instead of being one step away from a hypertension induced coronary.

As for my hip...well I had to stop taking the arthritis meds.  They were just too hard on my system.  My hip still friggin' hurts all the time.  I still can't really lie on that side and if I'm very active, then the pain increases but on the whole, 2 weeks of anti-inflammatories did help somewhat.  I'm now being prescribed a pain med to help.

Oooh and lets not forget the saga of my ears.

Last summer I had a severe ear infection in both ears.  FUCKING SEVERE.  I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't hear for 3 months.  Drops and oral antibiotics did nothing.  NOTHING.

Basically I had ended up waiting it out and not being able to hear for 3 months.

Here's the thing.  My ears have hurt ever since.  Constantly.  I get them checked regularly and it's always the same..."hmmm...looks like there's fluid and inflammation in your tubes...try this allergy pill..."  And it would start to get slightly better but then they'd just start hurting again.

So today when they looked in them, they said that my ears looked angrier than they did last time and that while the membranes were intact, they're scarred up like a mofo.  We went over all the symptoms of the ear infection last summer and she said to me that my ear drums were obviously ruptured at the time.

SHE'S THE ONE THAT LOOKED IN THEM AT THE TIME!!!!

FUCKING HELL I WANT TO SCREAM!


You know, last year when I'd come back for the second and third month in a row,  both ears full of pus and nothing draining, with a profound hearing loss in both ears, YOU'D THINK THEY'D SAY AT THE TIME THAT MY EAR DRUMS WERE RUPTURED AND, DAMN, MAYBE WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT!

Breathe...just breathe...

Things are happening now...finally.

Just keep breathing...everything feels so wrong right now but I just have to remind myself that I've got all sorts of chemical stuff going on in me as well as physical problems.

At least I'm gardening right now and that's fun. 

Sheila bought me more gladiola bulbs :-)

Can't wait to plant 'em.

Just keep breathing...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

crazy pills, gardening, and exhaustion...a less than exciting update

Tomorrow I take my last Effexor.

This taper down has been an absolute bitch with this last week being the hardest.  I've been off the rails a few times but with a little help was able to reel it back in again.  See how I  mixed my metaphors there?  I'm badass like that.

I ain't gonna lie.  I'm scared about taking the last one tomorrow.  And my latest round of blood tests is apparently showing that the drug levels for my bipolar II meds are too low in my system again.  That's not going to help matters. 

We'll see how it goes.  I'll be hearing back from my doctors this week I'm sure.

I've got projects to keep me busy. 

I'm currently gardening thanks to Dave and Sheila giving me a little spot to garden and some plants to put in it.

I'm helping Dave T make a vegetable garden.

And thanks to Dave T I've got some fresh beading supplies that will hopefully enable me to make some kick ass stuff because I'm going to need to pay him back...LOL

Pics will follow of the gardening and beading.

Right now...well right now I'm exhausted from clearing garden beds.

But Sheila baked a chocolate cake tonight so how can it be all that bad, I ask you?


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Love Letter



This is part of an email I wrote to someone I care about.

It strikes me as exactly the type of advice I should be telling myself.

So here it is, as a reminder, that I should remember that I said these words and that I should have this kind of empathy for myself as well.

We all should.




"It doesn't matter how hard it is or how lonely you must feel at times, or all the shit you have to deal with in life...you still keep going. 

That in itself is amazing. 

You have a lot of people that love you and even if the inner self-worth demons make you doubt it, they/we are still here caring about you.
 
That means you are worthwhile.

My therapist often tells me to stop listening to all that inner crap that tells me I'm worthless. After all, why would you listen to someone who doesn't like you?

So listen to me instead.

You rock.

<3 you big time."

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

creative confidence crisis

I haven't made any jewelry in ages.  Last weekend's Studio Tour as well as making a repair to an older necklace that sold at Meta4 has got me wanting to make things again.

Here's the one I just repaired.


Maybe it's leftover from the emotional day I had yesterday but I'm having a serious lack of confidence in the jewelry creating department.  I feel like my stuff is totally amateur because I've never taken any courses or anything.

I'm just a gal that likes to play with beads.

Plus I'm not happy with my style of beading lately.  I want to do something a little less labour intensive....something more fun and simple...and yet is still uniquely  me.

I dunno.  I feel like the women who run Meta4 are always on the verge of saying they don't want my jewelry anymore.  I've not been selling like I used to and I haven't brought in anything new since Christmas. 

But I'm finding I've got the itch to make stuff again.

I feel like it's like the jewelry equivalent of writer's block.

I've got to stop worrying about everything and just play with the beads. 

Yeah.


Monday, 7 May 2012

strange, strange day

I had such a weird day of ups and downs galore.

I'm so sluggish and tired today after a weekend of helping out with the art show. Everyone was a bit tired today.

I had such down points today.

Actually I felt kind of hopeless today. I don't know what to do with my life and I still have days where I struggle so much with the trauma of my husband's illness and death.

As any widow(er) knows, it can sneak up on you at any time and punch you in the gut.

Plus I'm still tapering off an anti-depressant I've been on for 12 years. And like a doucheketeer I accidentally missed one of my other meds yesterday.

My dog found it on the floor, picked it up, and spit it out practically at my feet today as if to say, "HEY, you forgot this yesterday, asshole!" It must have fell out of my pocket and I didn't realize it. I'm just really freakin' glad he didn't eat it.

Anyhow, to try and break out of the hopelessness I was feeling again we got out of the house for a short trip to the local wal-mart. Yes I know they're evil but I live in a small town and there's not much to choose from when you have limited time.

On the way to the store we drove by the local cemetery and I saw a young man lying in the grass along side a fresh grave covered in flowers.

That image will be burned in my brain forever.

My husband is not buried. His ashes are with me in a beautiful wooden box hand-carved and painted by Dave T.  But I know how that man felt.

 Early on after his loss, there were many nights I held onto my husband's picture and ashes and just lay there with him wishing he would come back....wishing it was somehow not real....wishing it was somehow just a nightmare. Lying next to his remains somehow kept the connection alive.

And then we were in the store and shopping. I found a cheap pair of sandals that fit my feet like they were made for them. I got a pair in red and a pair in black and they are so comfortable that they somehow made me feel good emotionally.

How awful is that after seeing a man stretched out beside a loved ones grave?

Shoes and graves and my husband in a box.

I just don't know what to make of today. Everything is so bizarrely juxtaposed.

What do I do with my life?

I lived on after he died and I can't stay hiding in this basement for ever.  How can I go on when I still doubt that I took care of him well enough, that I was even a good person to be in his life???  Did I do the right things when he died?  Did he know how much I love him?  So many doubts....so  many regrets...  I feel like I wasn't good enough for him and yet somehow he loved me.

My therapist would hate that I said that.  She sees the progress I've made and is constantly reminding me how harshly I judge myself.  

Today I'm so confused and lost and on days like this I feel like I am inside someone who hates me.  Self  hatred and self harm are still daily struggles for me.  Even thoughts can be self harm, did you know that?  But as the Bloggess says, "depression lies".  I think that goes for so many different mental illnesses, whether it's depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, or bipolar disorder.

Days like this happen and it's all about what you do with them.

I don't usually lay myself out like this in blogs anymore but I just couldn't help but feel that writing it would somehow help me breathe.

Strange, strange day.

 Life is just bizarre.   It's made up of an endless series of big things and small things, comforts and emptiness, confusion and love...

But occasionally there are cookies.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Studio Tour Cupcakes

Chocolate mini cupcakes with buttercream icing. 




It took me 2 batches before I realized that over filling the muffin cups was NOT better.

Bigger is not always better.  They're too delicate for that.  If they rise up and over flow the edges like muffins, cupcakes do not hold together as well and the tops break up when they come out of the tin.

Lesson learned.

In other news I took my first arthritis pill and blood pressure pill today.

I feel old.

I'm losing weight, I'm walking every day, and yet I'm still falling apart.

WTF

However...cupcakes.





Thursday, 3 May 2012

Someone get me a walker and a knit sweater...STAT

So I just turned 40 and I've suddenly got a bad left hip which is either arthritis or bursitis as well as skyrocketing blood pressure.

It's all so sudden.

I woke up one morning with a sore hip I guess around a month and a half ago and it just never got better.  Nothing happened...there was no injury.  It just started hurting.

Three or four months ago my blood pressure was holding steady around 118/ 68.  For the last few months it's been high.  Today it was 148/ 102.

I've asked 2 doctors, 3 nurse practitioners, and one nurse about the sudden change of blood pressure.

NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN IT. 
 
WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.

Someone get me a walker and a knit sweater STAT.

But before you do, check out the latest batch of cookies I made for the studio tour this weekend.



 It's only my second attempt at cookie decorating.  Yeah I know they look amateur but I like 'em. 

Tonight I'm makin' mini-cupcakes!!!

That is, if I can get out of my chair now that I'm apparently on a steady decline into infirmity.






Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Truth in advertising: Spring Studio Tour Cookies

So it's the Scugog Spring Studio Tour this weekend and Dave T is one of the stops along the tour.  I'm baking cookies for the refreshment table and when I asked Dave T what kind of theme he wanted on the cookies he came up with this,


Think they'll get the message? 

They're my basic butter cookies with royal icing. 

I've never actually piped with royal icing before.  Actually I've never actually decorated cookies with piping before.  As usual I said, "sure, I can do that!", looked it up on the internet and proceeded to do it.

Yes my piping is very amateur but it's still fun.

Sooo much more to do!!!  


3 Grandas watching the Kardashian Sex Tape

Ok, I know I'm easily amused but this made me laugh so hard I almost cried.

I love these Grandmas so hard.


Monday, 30 April 2012

Don't leave.

The people in your life want you there.

Depression Lies.



I love her blog.  The Bloggess

I love her book.  Let's Pretend This Never Happened

I love her courage in being open about mental illness.

She's funny as hell but when she's serious she's a champion for all of us living with mental illness.

Don't ever leave Jenny and I'll do my best not to leave either.


Friday, 27 April 2012

Diva Night Cupcakes!

I was going to title this blog "Diva Cups" but then you'd think it was all about my womanly cycle and thought better of it.

Tonight was Diva night in Port Perry.  Basically all the shops were open late and most were offering discounts but what I was looking forward to the most was the professional drag queen performance!

Yeah.  It was a let down. 

I had more fun watching the drag queens at an Oshawa gay club.

I have to say she was gorgeous though and it was so cute the way she had the kids and one granny on "stage" (the steps in front of a floral shop), bopping away to Beyonce with her. 

So anyways,  I was itchin' to get my drag queen fix and ready to get fabulous so what did I do???

I totally baked Diva Night Cupcakes!!!


Those are homemade cherry chip cupcakes with the left over homemade buttercream icing from my birthday. 

Don't ask me why I did such a weird icing pattern.  I don't know what to tell you there.  It sorta looks like a brain/boobie accident. 

I don't even know what else to say about that.

They were good though.

Ahhhh Diva night...you were good to me.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Universe told me to buy these...I swear...

So I got some birthday money from my Mom of which I'm so thankful for since I'm so poor.

Most of it will be used in very practical ways out of necessity but on a trip to Canadian Tire the other day I spotted something that make me stop in my tracks and exclaim, "OMG, THAT CAN'T POSSIBLY BE THE PRICE OF THOSE!!!!"

I'm talkin' about dishes.

Red ones.

I've had the same dish set from IKEA for about 11 years.  It's old, it's chipped, but still serviceable yanno?  Sure the teacups are too small and the bowls are too shallow to be really useful but who cares, it's not like I'm livin' large here.

But then I saw those red dishes at a rock bottom price and I was like a kid in the cereal isle.

A complete set of 4 place settings with large mugs for only $24.99.

Oh and did I mention they're RED?

I bought one set on impulse went home and got all angsty about spending money on something that was frivolous.  Then I thought, well it IS birthday money so why can't I buy just one thing that I like?  Plus I just did 2 years of tax returns that are going to turn out well so it's like the universe was practically telling me to go ahead and buy the frikken dishes.

And who am I to go against the universe?

But then I had a plan.  I went through my filing cabinet and pulled out a wad of Canadian Tire money that added up to just over $10.00 (thanks to about 35 cents from Dave T).

So you know what I did next?  I went back to Canadian Tire and bought the other set of red dishes giving me me a complete set of 8 place settings for $40.00!!! 

Plus I had more than 8 place settings of the old dishes so I managed to salvage enough of the old stuff to make up a complete set of 8 slightly worn out looking dishes that I'll try to yard sale.  If they don't go in a yard sale then I'll just donate them, thus hopefully contributing to good karma.

BEHOLD MY NEW DISHES!!!!!!!!!!!


 Thanks Mom!!!!



Sunday, 22 April 2012

Feel the sugar rush my friends...

Guess who wanted home made pink buttercream icing on her birthday cake this year?

ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I made it :-)



Ooooooooooooooh Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

I bet you can feel the sugar rush through your screen right now.


Holy Hell! UPDATED

I'm now 40.



I'm celebrating at the moment with hives.

Go me.

*scratch, scratch, scratch*

UPDATE!!!

I would like to update this to say that apparently I was lying.

Sheila has pointed out to me that I, in fact, was in LA yesterday hanging out with the Bloggess and the author of the Twilight books (sorry George Takei, some things I can't control).


From:  thebloggess.com

I know, I know...y'all want to hang with me now that I'm chillin' out with famous people.

I'll have my people contact your people.

kiss, kiss

Update:  Ok, just to be clear, the redhead in the picture IS NOT ACTUALLY ME...hahahaa.  I live in a small town in Ontario, Canada but my friend pointed out that the woman in the picture looked EXACTLY like me and I thought it was funny.   There's been a little confusion over this which I actually find hysterical but I figured I should do the proper thing and set the record straight.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

ummmmmmm

So I was perusing one of my favourite sites and I come across this...


I know I turn 40 on Sunday but WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!

Funny fact:  I walk through a graveyard almost every day.

Also, bacon.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

I enjoy looking at him...

...even though he's creepy as fuck right here!



I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THIS MOVIE COMES OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prometheus!  June 8th!


Monday, 16 April 2012

For posterity

This is the biggest green pepper I have ever seen.



It's not merely tall.  It's wide as well.


Can you imagine if peppers had Olympic Games?  The doping committee would be all over this pepper's ass.  There would be allegations that it's Miracle Grow was laced with illicit substances and the tabloids would go wild.

There were even two baby peppers growing inside it when I ruthlessly chopped it open but I'll spare you the sight...

Maybe this pepper was a mole on the jolly green giant?

Think about it...

Why yes...I DO spank my tortillas.

It wasn't exactly baking but I made homemade flour tortillas again today.

 
It always seems like such an AWESOMELY EXCELLENT idea when I start.

You know the stages of grieving?

Well I've found that making tortillas has stages as well.

Stage 1:  I FUCKING LOVE HOMEMADE TORTILLAS THIS WILL BE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

Stage 2:  Assemble ingredients, make the dough, separate dough into balls and set to rise.  Survey the carnage and say happily and with much determination, "it's ok, I'll clean it up later".

Stage 3:  After the dough has rested for the required hour (it doesn't really rise), get out more flour, the rolling pin, the nonstick pan, and make sure the music is playing because once you start the process  you can't really stop.

Stage 4:  You're still excited to go through with this you poor, silly fool.

Stage 5:  Roll out the first one and plop it in the pan to dry fry.

Stage 6:  Feel a little smug that you're making homemade tortillas that will taste so much better than the store bought ones.

Stage 7:  Stop feeling smug and realize you've got the get the next one rolled out while the first one is cooking.

Stage 8:  Realize you've got the pan too hot.  Fuck.  Put that one aside for the dog.

Stage 9:  Adjust the temperature and get right down to business humming along with the music and having fun with your own personal assembly line of roll one out, flip, the one in the pan, spank the excess flour off of the next one to go into the pan, and repeat.

Stage 10:  You starting to get tired now aren't you?  You look over at your tray of dough balls and realize you're only half way through them.

Stage 11:  You roll one out that looks like a Base ship from Galactica and giggle.

Stage 12:  You look over at the one in the pan and it's blown up like a big balloon and you look over at your dog, hold up your arms and say, "eeeeeet's aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!".

Stage 13:  You keep going but the next ones are pretty plain and some even annoy you by sticking to the rolling pin.  You start thinking how cheap it is to actually buy a package of tortillas.

Stage 14:  Can't slow down...gotta keep up the pace...roll, flip, spank....roll, flip, spank...

Stage 15:  OMG it's getting hot over the stove and my head itches.  MUST.NOT.SCRATCH.  Can't dirty my hands now...gotta keep going.

Stage 16:  Getting tired of having to wipe the burning excess flour (that didn't come off in the spanking process) out of the pan every so often.  My apartment now smells like burning flour.

Stage 17:  Sweet Jesus there's flour everywhere.  I wonder if you can die from inhaling too much flour.   I wonder to myself if I went out and got stopped by a cop right now, would he/she think I was snorting coke?

Stage 18:  Oh god no more...back hurts...it's hot...so much flour...but they'll taste soooo frikken good.

Stage 19:  Look over at the tray....there's only a few left.   I look at my dog and say, "WE'RE IN THE HOME STRETCH BUDDY!"

Stage 20:  Finally the last one is in the pan.   I survey the tortilla aftermath in my kitchen.  There's a thick coating of flour everywhere.  I know the mess will take FOREVER to clean up and I wonder why I bother doing this.

 Stage 21:  I take one off the stack, rip it in half, give half to the dog and try the other half.  OMG THESE ARE SO FREAKING AMAZING!!!!!  NO WONDER I LOVE TO MAKE THESE SO MUCH!!! 

Stage 22:  Eat dinner.  Lap up compliments.  Think to myself, " I should make these more often".

Stage 23:  Come back downstairs to my apartment for the night, look again at the tortilla aftermath in the kitchen and realize there's no way you're going to clean it up tonight.  Fuck it.  It can wait until tomorrow.

This is what tortilla aftermath looks like.





They were really good.

I'd post the recipe but I'm too tired.




Wednesday, 11 April 2012

ennui cat amuses me


That's a serious milkshake!

I haven't baked in AGES.  I'm in a funk.

This whole medication re-arranging is screwin' with me a bit.  Plus who needs to bake when there's Easter chocolate lying around!

You know what though?  I'm also full of indecision.  I want to bake something new, something I haven't tried before, but I don't know what.  So many recipes look good but I just don't have the urge, yanno?

And I have no funny stories at the moment.

I'M SOOOOOOOOOOOO BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everything is just so serious lately.  I  miss blogging about silly things and baking. 

I have a serious lack of inspiration going on.

Maybe this will help.  I cannot believe Dave T had never heard this before.


I blame my friend Sammy (not my dog) for posting this,


IT'S BEEN IN MY HEAD FOR DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MAKE IT STOP!


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Nacho Extravaganza!

I may or may not have eaten some moldy maple syrup this morning. 

If I don't blog again you know what happened.

I could die.

Srsly.

But before I do, I had to have my EASTER NACHO EXTRAVAGANZA!


Ok, here is where I admit that this picture is totally staged.  I had already stuffed myself full of nachos at this point and then decided I should have a picture of my nacho feast.   As usual, I made twice as much food as this because I am a dork. 

Or maybe I'm a secret genius!

I knew I was going to only eat one plate but I shredded so much cheese and cooked enough beef for two.  Instead of putting it away I decided to make the whole thing anyway and just eat the leftovers tomorrow. 

So bam!  Now I have a pic of  my Easter feast even after I had already stuffed my face.

I'd like to point out that under the cheese there is beef, onions, tomatoes, and yellow peppers. 

Nom.

They tasted a lot better than they looked.

I didn't have to spend this Easter alone but I chose to and it's been nice and relaxing.

I'm so full!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

There are no cookies that can fix this...

I dreamed of him last night...my late husband.



It  has been 837 days since he died at the age of 38.  It has been 837 days since I became a widow at the age of 37. 

For over two years I've dreamed of him usually twice a week.  There are 2 kinds of dreams with him.  I either dream about the time when he's sick and dying or I dream that he somehow recovers but doesn't want me in his life anymore.

Either way I lose him.

Last night was the first time in over two years I dreamed that he somehow came back to life and still wanted to be with me.  We held each other tight, we cried...I had so many questions...so many things to say that I've figured out since he died.  He told me he loved me.  We could not let go of each other.  He said that for him it was like falling asleep and waking up again.  I know that he suffered but somehow  he didn't remember it.

There were so many tears shed from me and he just held me and told me over and over again that he loved me and he was here again.

I didn't want to wake up.

While I was asleep, I could still be with him.

I miss him so much.  I wish I could believe that he hears me when I talk to him every night.

It felt so good to dream that he was there and that he still loved me but waking up to the reality of him dead was cruel.  I guess it's less cruel than dreaming he doesn't want me anymore.  There's a part of me that is very grateful that I finally dreamed of him cancer free and still loving me.

 I still don't want anyone else.

There are no cookies that can fix this.