Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And On a Darker Note...

I've been absent from the blog for the last week. Obviously. Every time I would start a post, the words would stop and the fog that obscures my brain would take over and that nagging voice, the one that I can't turn off, the one that follows me around telling me how I can't do things, that I'm stupid and no one wants to read what I have to say, that voice takes over and when I'm that tired and the fog is weighing me down anyway, it's easier to give in and give up. I'm not proud of that, and that gives the voice strength, too.

See, what I don't talk about a lot is that in addition to my myriad physical issues, I'm also bipolar. And when I'm manic and up and laughing and talking any my brain is working full speed ahead, it's awesome. But, when I'm not manic...well...not awesome doesn't remotely begin to cover it. And hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, hormonal imbalances and bipolar disorder are like this evil gang of square dancers that have their choreography down to a science. Any one of them can trigger a flare in one or all of the others. But, when the physical stuff sucks, at least my brain still works and I can laugh and talk and still be, essentially, me. The depression, though...that's a whole other animal, and it weighs me down and turns me into a zombie, and suddenly I'll realize that three days have passed and I've been on autopilot.

I did too much this weekend. The weather was beautiful, the midget had a softball game, there was family stuff going on, my little sister who I miss dreadfully, was staying with me...it was good. And then my body said...Whoa, there...hold on...this is too much fun and too much activity and the hour you spent in the sun is going to combine with all of the energy expenditures and every cell in your body is going to scream in agony and breathing is going to become so exhausting that it makes you want to cry, and then when you try to sleep you're going to have a panic attack because you're having tachycardia. And all of that slams me into depression faster than you can imagine.

I don't like to talk about it much. It sucks and it's sad and it just drags people down. And that voice, that voice that I can't shut out, is really good at convincing me that I'm alone, a freak...that everyone else is normal and no one will understand, so why even bother trying to tell them about it. And so I hide in my house, cobbling together what little bit of energy I can muster so the midget gets to and from school and gets dinner and clean clothes and homework help, and I stagnate and cry and then...I start to feel a bit better. Maybe I don't hurt so much, or I get a little sleep. And then I'll read something on one of my favorite blogs...usually The Bloggess (someone who actually gets the depression/anxiety thing and laughs about it) or see a good show, find a good book...something...and I'll the depression lifts a bit. And then bit by bit, it gets brighter. For awhile.

I'm surfacing right now, and starting to recover. Thankfully it's only been a day or two this time. I still hurt and I'm still exhausted, but the depression is lifting, thankfully.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Black and White HNT

Taking pictures of one's self is not as easy as you may think. I mean there are easy shots: feet, arms, hands, etc... And there's the self-timer, which I need to practice with a bit more, but getting anything else is difficult. I set out this evening to get some hip shots, but it just wasn't happening, but I love this long leg shot I got, so I guess it worked out.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why I Love to Cook

Last night I had an urge for banana bread, and an hour later there was banana bread in my kitchen. Not instant gratification, no...but good enough, especially since I get it warm and soft right out of the oven...and bonus: my house smells like banana bread all night.

I had been perusing food blogs, as I tend to do...if it's not food blogs, it's sex blogs...but that's another story, and perhaps another blog. I came across a recipe for breakfast pizza that looked interesting, except that having breakfast pizza would involve me being up early in the morning, which I had no intentions of doing since it is, after all, the midget's spring break and I am going to take every opportunity to sleep in.

So, instead we had pizza for lunch, and the only thing it had in common with the recipe that inspired me was bacon. I ended up with this lovely pizza....

First, I sprinkled some drained diced tomatoes, followed that up with feta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Then I broke out the artichoke hearts (YUM) and broke up the bacon I had just fried up and sprinkled that on, threw some more tomatoes on and added a bit more Parmesan cheese. Oh. My. God. So good. The only thing I think I'd change if I did it again is to add some diced garlic, because garlic makes everything better.

I had some left over bacon and there were these two dogs...well, could you resist this?

It would take a stronger woman than I to resist those faces...and they were so sweet about it...but, then the bacon got the better of Ellwood and he completely forgot his manners...

Charlie, however, behaved like a complete gentleman...

My dogs love that I can cook, too...

Friday, March 12, 2010

That's MY Cookie

Warning...the following picture is so cute, it may hurt...

Now, normally, when the boys get a cookie, Charlie scarfs his on the spot, and Ellwood does a victory lap around the house, grunting all the way, and then settles down to gnaw on his. Today, for some reason, after his victory lap, Ellwood laid down and basked in the glory that was his cookie. Charlie, having already devoured his, came to investigate whether Ellwood had left any crumbs he could steal. When Charlie spied the while, uneaten cookie, he tried to steal it, which wasn't at all surprising. What was surprising was Ellwood's insistence that he wasn't giving up his cookie. Not only did he not just walk away from it, he actually barked. Barked. At Charlie. I'm not sure who was more shocked, me or Charlie. Charlie, attempted his theft again, and AGAIN Ellwood barked.

Charlie was so bewildered that he backed off and laid down on the floor below where I was sitting on the couch. Ellwood went back to loving his cookie. He eventually scarfed it down, but the two of them stayed like this for about a half an hour...

Charlie looks so forlorn. Who knew Ellwood knew how to stand up for himself?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Taking Advantage...

I think I've mentioned my longing for spring. It's been ridiculously cold here. I know, I know, those of you in higher latitudes are laughing. I mean, 0 C is nothing to you, but to us California girls, it's painful. Cold to me is anything under 55 F...

We had one day this week when the sun shone and it was 60 Fahrenheit. I reveled in it. The midget was at her softball clinic, so I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors. And though it was still vaguely chilly, the sun felt amazing...Of course, the sun didn't last long and we had snow (SNOW! AGAIN!) a few days later, but at least I had that one glorious day of sunshine.

This was my first time using my timer on my camera to take self portraits. It was tricky, and I got a lot of awkward face shots and being as ridiculously pale as I am, many of the pictures were pretty washed out.

I loved the way this one turned out, though...especially the sun on my hair. And though you can't see it, there's a horse in the tress trying to figure out what the strange human is doing...

Happy Thursday, everyone...And here's hoping the sun is shining in your corner of the universe!!


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"The Happiest Days...

...are when babies come." Melanie Wilkes says that to Rhett Butler on the day Scarlett O'Hara gives birth to his baby. And for all that it may be the most well-worn platitude ever uttered, it is also 100%, irrefutably true.

I finally got to meet this little angel...my newest "niece" (okay, okay, really she's my cousin's daughter, but as I've mentioned before, we don't make those distinctions).

Now, I'll admit, when I first heard, some 10 months ago, about this bebe's impending arrival, I did not exactly jump for joy. In fact, my first thoughts were colored by anger, by fear, and by a deep sorrow. I believed, and still kind of believe, that her mother, my beloved cousin, wasn't really in any position to be having this baby. She's older than I was, certainly, when I had my "whoops" that led to my precious little midget, but her life is a bit of a mess. Without going into too many details, it just wasn't a good situation, a sentiment shared by many in my family. So, while we're a close knit group and love children, we found it hard to get excited about this birth, and given that my cousin's pregnancy was high risk, we were all nervous about the outcome...so, unlike all our previous babies, we weren't excited, we just couldn't be...We wanted to be, but it just wasn't happening.

Time passed, as it inevitably does. We had a baby shower (which I missed, thank you FM). And this baby came early...and was tiny...She was in the hospital for several days due to her teeny size. She's been in and out of the hospital for the last two months, suffering from various ailments. She's still tiny, at two months, she's smaller than my midget was at birth, though, admittedly my midget was a giant baby, nearly 10 pounds.

Finally, finally...she was healthy enough to come and meet us, her crazy, extended family. And despite my fears for her mother, my concerns about her health, it was lovely and amazing to see the joy on her cousin's faces as they each took it in turn to hold her tiny body in their laps. It was joyful and funny and silly to watch as her cousin accidentally made her smack herself in the face, a precursor of things to come for the youngest in this horde of monster children, I fear.

So, though I am still nervous about the future for this baby, I am reminded that my situation, when my little midget was born, was not too promising, either, and yet, she is a lovely, amazing girl on the edge of teenage angst who has had a lovely, amazing life due to all the wonderful people who love her, namely of course, my insane extended family. And so, perhaps there is less to be worried about, and more to be happy about. Because, this certainly was a happy, happy day.

Welcome to the madhouse, sweet girl, we are so happy to meet you.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Spring Fever...

I have it...I have it bad...

It's a gorgeous sunny day. Okay, so it's only 60 degrees, but don't bother me with details. It's brightly sunny and I'm supposed to be doing my cooking chores...getting breakfast burritos made and frozen, making some challah, but all I can think about is the sunshine and the way the grass would feel on my bare toes. I am so ready for the end of winter. I'm ready for capri pants and sandals and tank tops...

I think I'm going to head outside with my camera and see if I can't get a good shot or two for my HNT post this week. Meanwhile...here's a little music, something that's in pretty much constant rotation on my iPod...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fantastic Shoes, Right?

Here's this week's HNT submission. I love, love, love these shoes. They're devilishly hard to walk in, but I'm definitely working on it. I've got another fabulous pair in hot pink that I'm wearing to my brother's wedding in May, but I like these better.


Monday, March 01, 2010

Geek Squad, Schmeek Squad...

Ack...so they replacement cord for my laptop MELTED...and now I can't charge my laptop at all, even when I tried to use my sister's brand new universal cord. I'm off to Folsom this morning to get it fixed, which will likely mean them sending it off for repairs and I'll be without my laptop for another month. Since October, they've had it more than I have and I am beyond frustrated. Of course, this latest issue happened just after my warranty expired, which means they're going to try and get me to pay for any repairs that need to be made, which means I will scream at the top of my lungs about what asshats they are and how if they'd fixed everything correctly the first time and hadn't had my laptop for three out of the last five months, my warranty wouldn't have expired before this happened.

I'm also going to Target and Old Navy to buy clothes for the midget. She refuses to quit growing and doesn't seem to care that I'm too poor to replace her wardrobe every three months.