Tag Archives: personal

Honey, I’m Home!

18 Oct

That’s right.  My absence can be attributed to the time I’ve had to spend in prison these past few months after being charged with aggressive and lewd behavior.

I’m totally kidding.  I’m not aggressive or lewd.  Nor did I do time in the pokey.  I’ve just been busy moving back home after the tornado pulled its stunt at the beginning of the year.  And enrolling my kid in a cyber academy.

I’ll bet that if you scroll through all the posts on this website along with all the posts on my previous blog sites….you’ll no doubt find that I did some homeschool-bashing at one point.  In my defense, I’m not REALLY homeschooling.  Technically, it’s a public charter school with real teachers, a schedule, curriculum.  I think we all know what would happen if I was solely responsible for my kid’s education.  It’d go a little something like this:

It’s going a little bit like a pimple.  It hurts but you know it’ll eventually get better.  I hope.  I’ve been taking an obnoxious number of showers.  It’s my escape.  The “ME” time that will keep me from developing a twitch.  I mean, right now it’s all I got.  If you click on “My Shop” at the top of the page, you’ll see nothing.  Not a thing.  I should put a tumbleweed gif up in there and tell people to keep the faith.  Maybe one day I’ll get back to making that fake food that people were so willing to pay top dollar for.

Until that happens, I’ll be right here.  All day.  All week.  Instructing and implementing techniques to keep a 12 year old corralled like a wild horse straight out of a cheesy western movie. Maybe I’ll share some tips and insights.  Maybe I won’t.  Like I’ve said before…..it’s all a crap shoot, man.  And sometimes the dice are loaded. Sometimes they’re not.


Cronut Crack

9 Feb



I screwed up.  I screwed up bad, yo.  Yesterday I slithered through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru for an iced coffee and saw that they had croissant donuts on the menu.  So I was like, “Don’t mind if I do!”  And I did.  Oh did I ever.  I know, I know.  I’m a little late to the party.  I mean, they’ve been around for what….4 years now?

Now ya’ll know I make fake pastries and sell them on the internets…so I was already aware of Dominique Ansel’s Bakery in New York.  (I try to use real food as inspiration.)  But somehow I totally missed the fact that he’s the one who actually invented the Cronut.  I vaguely remember seeing something on the Today Show about long lines trying to get some donut hybrid thing, but I didn’t pay much attention.  I don’t do chatty early morning talk shows. Also, I try to stay away from fads until they are no longer fads.

But I’m here to tell you right now this very moment that I am unequivocally addicted to the Dunkin Donut Boston Kreme Croissant Donut like a squirrel on smack.  This morning I went creeping up in there like a Ninja.  They totally remembered me.  I’m like that crackhead that circles around the block and comes back trying to act like he someone else.  Only I’m not someone else.  I’m just an aging woman with a bad back and no shame.

My kid can never find out about this.  Like ever.


Disco Seashells

18 Aug

I’ve always had a hard time saying the word, ‘seashell’.  I tend to say ‘sheshell’ before rapidly correcting myself. If the person I’m speaking to chuckles, this thought immediately runs through my head:


Anyway, seashells have been piling up around here for the past few years and I’ve been at a loss about how to handle their business.  I mean, I’m not exactly a fan of seashell crafts and bathroom bowls.  Not that there’s anything wrong with those things.  It’s just a personality quirk of mine.  I also have a hard time controlling myself around decorative soap when I’m a guest in someone else’s home.  The sight of stamped soap balls  all nestled in a glass dish make me want to immediately soil my hands so I can furiously scrub them with the fancy soap balls.

Back to the sheshells.  (I totally just accidentally misspelled that word and I’m not correcting it to prove my point.)  I blame that song, ‘Disco Inferno’ for my irresponsibility and lack of remorse when it comes to glitter.  Seriously.  You give me some Mod Podge and flocking glitter and I’ll make it look like Elton John moved in.  All over the place.

So putting glitter on seashells should be no surprise to anyone; however, I’ll deny that I had anything to do with glitter being all over my kid’s homework.  Like I said.  Irresponsible.  You know that look people get when they come face to face with a resident of crazy town?  That’s how my daughter looked at me when I proudly showed her my day’s work.  Like side-eyeing Chloe.


Her look became even more concerned when I started laughing so hard that tears were coming out. I totally amuse myself.  Like when I slightly edited this Chloe pic to make her look less concerned and more disgusted.  I laughed so hard that the cat went skidding out of the room.


The disgusted look came when I said, “Hey man.  Put your ear up to this shell.  You don’t hear the ocean.  You hear disco music.”

Oh c’mon.  That was funny.

seashells2 seashells3 seashells4 seashells6



5th Grade Lunch Bag Countdown: 176 More Days

2 Aug


World Bipolar Day

31 Mar

Bipolar Awareness Ribbon big

So I totally forgot about World Bipolar Day yesterday.  Because, you know….I was busy being bipolar and whatnot.  It’s hard being bipolar.  A full time job with unwanted overtime.

I have the dreaded Bipolar I diagnosis.  (That would be the bad one.)  I’d say there are no benefits to this mental illness, but I’d be lying.  Most of us are extraordinarily gifted in some creative field.    When we’re manic, our bodies and minds don’t require much sleep.  We become faster, stronger, smarter, more clever.  It’s the closest thing to being super-human that a human being can experience.  It’s also the reason a lot of people stop taking their meds.  They miss this aspect of themselves.

I miss this part of my illness every single day.  I spent years chasing that high. But the window to this genius is very small.  Actual physical and intellectual strength become imagined and diminished.  Yet within this very small window brews a tempest.  Lives are destroyed.  Lifetimes of accomplishments are reduced to rubble.  The devastation we leave in our wake is unimaginable.  Sadly, it’s not us who suffers, it’s those around us.  Our suffering comes much later.  And that suffering is what drives some of us to escape this world.  Others fall into a trench of depression that lasts months, if not years.  We lose our friends.  Sometimes our families.

I’m not talking about depression.  I’m talking about Depression.  With a capital “D”.  And I don’t mean Dallas.  It’s debilitating.  Bills go unpaid, cars are repossessed.  In extreme cases, homes are lost.  We’re unable to move or feed ourselves without the help of someone else..  It’s not uncommon for someone with no support to be hospitalized due to malnutrition and dehydration while in the throws of depression.  You must be thinking, “Seriously, dude?  It can’t possibly be that bad.”  Oh.  You have no idea.

But I figure it’s easier to embrace the crazy instead of denying it.  Even though I sometimes feel like a chemically altered human being, I know it’s for the best.  For  myself AND the ones who care about me.  So now I speak out.  I get involved.  I participated in an intense study through Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that led to them discovering the genetic DNA link to bipolar.  I won Astra Zeneca’s national essay contest detailing my struggles and recovery.  I was published in Louise Hay’s book, “Modern Day Miracles”.  All of this was done while I was manic.  Albeit a muted manic due to the head meds.  The best advice I can give is learn to ride the waves.  Accept that what goes up must come down.

Most importantly, don’t be ashamed.  Tell your story, create a work of art, compose music, keep a journal.  Create something you can be proud of.  Wanna know where I learned this?  I learned it behind two sets of locked doors, in a psych ward, playing the board game “Life” with a kleptomaniac, a schizophrenic priest and a pathological liar.  By the time they called “Lights out”, the klepto had returned all the blue stick people, the priest blessed us in lieu of condemnation and the liar finally confessed to over-salting other patient’s food when they weren’t looking.  He even turned over his personal stash of salt & pepper packets.  And me?  I accepted my mental illness.  Out loud.

We all turned in for the night feeling pretty gosh darn proud of ourselves.  We all were the same.  And hunny, there’s no shame in that.




It Feels Good To Feel Miserable Again.

17 Feb



Over a year ago I fell into what you might call a bog of depression.  And for a creative person like me, I may as well have been in hell.  I WAS in hell.  If you’re familiar with my story, then you know of my life-long struggle with bipolar.  Tragedy and pain are part of my psychological architecture.  But over a decade ago I decided that I was going to take this dragon by the tail and I chose to do that through intense and ongoing cognitive behavioral therapy and minimal medication.  I knew that for the rest of my life I would have to work EVERY SINGLE DAY to keep my head above water.  I guess I just got tired.  At any rate, my doctor decided to put me on a very temporary Prozac vacation a few months ago.  The dreaded SSRI.

I suppose you could say it worked.  I mean, I stopped caring.  Completely.  Now from the outside looking in, all appeared to be fine.  Was I smiling?  Heck yeah!  Who wouldn’t be?  I didn’t care!  Was there laughter?  Absolutely!  Because I didn’t care!  You don’t like me?  I don’t care.  No one reads my blog anymore?  I don’t care.  Gaining weight…okay, I care about that.  A little.  But then the lack of caring became muted.  I described it to my doctor as a feeling of being filled with cotton.  Everything was muffled and distant.  Creative projects lacked meaning and depth.  Joy was gone.  Passion was gone.  In its place was sheer and utter apathy.  So I tapered off of it and have been completely Prozac free for a couple of months now.

The hypersensitivity is back.  The lonesome alienation.  The pain.  And I care.  I deeply care about everything.  Probably to a fault.  The bottom line was I just got lazy and wanted to take the easy route of popping a pill.  I figured I was already taking enough meds…what’s one more?  Like I said.  Lazy.  It’s extraordinarily difficult for people to understand that just getting out of bed and taking care of myself is overwhelming, exhausting and depleting.  My kid running around with her underpants on her head because she “just wants to make me laugh”.

So last week I told her that sometimes it’s not possible to make someone laugh.  That doesn’t mean that you’re not funny.  Because the whole underpants on the head thing is totally hilarious.  It’s just that sometimes there’s invisible pain.  If you break your arm, there’s a cast.  People can see that.  It’s “easy” to treat.  But this?  This bipolar illness?  It’s invisible.  It makes me feel…..invisible.  And it’s an illness.  Not a frame of mind.  But you can’t really wear it on a bracelet like a diabetic.  Sure, it’s a compliment when someone says, “You don’t look sick.  I had no idea”.  I’m just trying to prevent my kid from writing a handbook on how to survive being raised by a bipolar mother.

But she IS being raised by a bipolar mother.  She’s very aware that I’m not like other moms. And I’m okay with that.  Mostly.  Because more than anything I want her to know that there’s no shame in being different.  That having a mental illness isn’t a death sentence.  It’s all about balance.  It’s about acceptance.  It’s about knowing how to live with pain without letting it define you.

And I have no doubt that 20 years from now, she’ll still be willing to run around with underpants on her head just to get me to smile.

Temple Grandin

10 Feb



A few years ago I watched a movie called, “Temple Grandin“.  (That’s her pictured above.)  Up until then, I’d never even heard her name.  Today, I have to say that she’s in my Top Ten of influential people.  There was a theme throughout her life…one of doors.  She looked at doors as a way to enter another dimension of her life.  Whether it was the door to her bedroom, the door to the principal’s office, sliding doors…she sucked it up and walked through, knowing that there would be a life-challenge sitting  on the other side.

Temple is autistic.  She describes herself as feeling like an “anthropologist from Mars” when she’s around neurotypical (“normal”) people, yet she forces herself into the very situations that terrify her.

When Temple was spending the summer at her Aunt’s Colorado ranch, she noticed that the cows became more peaceful when being held in a tight holding stall.  Temple went on to invent the Hug Machine after learning of it’s ability to calm her down when she became over-anxious.  She wouldn’t let a human being touch her, but the deep pressure of her Hug Machine worked miracles in keeping her stable.

Here’s a pic of it.  It looks totally creepy and primitive, but it’s widely used in Autism therapy nationwide.  I wish I knew someone who had one so I could try it out.  You know, just to see.  I’m not autistic but I do struggle with social interactions and am extremely sensitive to sensory stimulation.  Seriously, I am!  People usually scoff when they learn this about me, but it’s true.  I’ve just learned to fake a calm exterior to hide the internal flipping out.  Coping skills, people.  Coping skills.  In a February 2010 Time magazine interview, Grandin stated that she no longer uses a hug machine: “It broke two years ago, and I never got around to fixing it. I’m into hugging people now.”  That’s my girl.

Anyway…the whole movie struck a chord with me.  Challenged me, actually.  Challenged me to feel the fear and do it anyway.  To run headfirst into life situations that terrify me but will benefit me in the long run.  Sometimes I feel myself begin to scatter and it takes great will power to pull it all back together and find a calm center.  But once I’m there, I begin to see that a lot of the big things don’t matter.  It’s the over-looked things that make the difference.

The story of Temple Grandin’s life is one of the untainted human soul.  She has the ability to see the soul within every living being…not just people.  The first lines of the movie were:

“Hello.  I’m Temple Grandin.  I use my mind to solve problems and invent things.”

And what a beautiful mind it is.

Barbie Body Makeover & Other Stuff

28 Jan


Well would you look at that.  Mattel must have become weary of all the hate mail and crying children because they went and made themselves some new Barbies with three new body types and a bunch of new skin tones.  Tall, curvy and petite.

I don’t care about the tall and petite.  What I want to talk about here today is Mattel’s version of curvy.  Sure, her hips are curvy.  Her arms do have have a shred more meat than the other dolls.  But her belly?  Brother please.  It’s flat.  FLAT.  If they were going for realistic, they missed the mark by a few inches.

What I’d like to see is stretch marks and botched c-section scars.  I’m talking about bellies that look like Indiana road maps.  Busted up feet because there’s no time for pedicures with 5 ungrateful children running around the house.  Yoga pants and a twinge of anger around the eyes because of a lost career and no more girls’ night out.

I guess you could always go with the Lammily doll.


They also come in “normal” body sizes.  But that’s not what makes them special.  What makes them special are the stickers that come with them:  Stretchmarks, scars, acne, bruises, cellulite, stitches, scrapes & scratches, mosquito bites and dirt stains. It’s like create-your-own play thing of sadness, shame and disaster.  And the whole hot mess was created by Nickolay Lamm:  artist and researcher.  (I like that researcher part.)  I do have to give him respect for developing this doll for the main intention of staying true to self and not setting any standards.

I still haven’t made up my mind about the Lammily Period Party.  I mean, I’ve already had the talk with my daughter and there’s no way to describe the look of horror on her face.  Maybe I should’ve gone the Lammily route.  I mean look at the relief and satisfaction on this child’s face.  Like all life’s mysteries have been solved.


I guess it’s their way of fighting back against period shaming.  Quite frankly, I feel a little shame-ish for even discussing this.  (There’s a fleeting fear that I may be asked to resign from my PTO position.)  But despite how I might feel about the whole issue,  Lammily clearly states:

Warning: Choking hazard. Not for children under 3 years old.

So it all seems legit.


Why I Steal Ink Pens

21 Oct


Even under hypnosis, my shrink was unable to root out the origins of my crippling vice: Ink Pen Thieving.

Yes. I used caps because they are THAT important to me. I think I was around four when the swiping began. Pens, pencils, glue, tape….if it was office/school supply related, then it was coming home with me. There for a couple of years, I entertained the idea of being a teacher. But then my personal Jiminy Cricket starting hissing things like, “You’ll be fired within the first week for theft and evasion.”

Couldn’t argue with that one. I remember in the 4th grade, I was asked to go fetch something out of the school supply closet. Not the little cabinet in the classroom. I’m talking the ROOM. With shelves and buckets full of writing instruments and shiny gem clips.

That’s when I knew something was a tad off. What clued me in was the shaking and rubber knees. I was like a crack-head who’d found an 8 pound rock in the alley behind the A&P. My teacher was convinced I’d become a hard-core glue sniffer and pinned a note to my back so my parents would know what kind of a hot mess they had on their hands.

In my youth, I swiped pens with abandon…not caring about their quality or fit. I was so childish then. So greedy. NOW, I’m very particular about the pens I steal. They have to write perfectly…no ink-clots. I prefer a very thin point…but not too thin, as to bend upon pressure.

I’m currently kicking it with the Sharpies that don’t bleed through the paper. I have approximately 50 of them. All the same color. Black. Most writers these days type up their junk. I personally like to write by hand. So I may switch pens 25 times during a single writing session. I am so dedicated to my vice that I’ve developed a freak-bump on my middle finger from aggressive pen pushing.

I’ve just recently realized that my vice has taken me deep into the bowels of the dark side. Hence the hypnosis session. After coming out from under the spell, I could tell my therapist was disturbed by the way she hustled me out of there, forgetting to hand over my ADHD med prescription. On my way out, I stopped at the front desk to make my co-pay and complain of the rising prices of meds.

The receptionist at the Mental Health Clinic has a tough job…dealing with “us” for 8 hours a day. And you can tell she’s not a consumer by the confused look on her face. Anyway, I wrote out my check and felt myself becoming titillated by the sultry sway of the pen tip. Without hesitation, I pointed to the sky excitedly and said, “Lookit!” She whipped around to see what was the matter, and it was in this 4 second purgatory that I made that hussy pen my very own.

I didn’t wait for the receipt. As I walked out, I heard her patting herself all over, muttering, “Where did I put my pen? I just had it.” She should know better than to leave an unchained writing device laying around with a bunch of bored and depressed kleptomaniacs roaming the room.

When I got to my car, Jiminy smacked my butt like an NFL football player and congratulated me on my successful score.

“Aw, that was tight, yo!”

I know this, Cricket. I know this.


4th Grade Lunch Bag Countdown: 147 More Days

16 Sep


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