Writing Exercise – Dream House

So I was tasked to talk about my dream house, and in all reality, I don’t have one. My dream is dependent on my mood and my current finances. I was told to think about my dream home and not think about cost. Being the single woman adulty adult that I am, cost is ALWAYS a factor, so this writing exercise is harder than most.

But no matter what, there ARE some things in common. I want a shop. I shop where I can work to my heart’s content and build and create till I can’t do either any more. I am not a traditional female. I love to build, I love oil and grease…basically anything that causes me to get my hands dirty. I don’t do the simple pintrest salad out of jars bullshit. I want to MAKE something. I want to build. I want to rebuild.

My home is ideally on a cliff where I can see the sun rise in the morning. I want to wake up and sit on the rooftop while I watch the sun show it’s majestic glory over the sea.

BUT…then again, I also want that country home with the white picket fence.

My actions and thought processes define who I am as a person. Simply put, I don’t know exactly who I am right now, nor do I know what I want…

I Am Blessed

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I have so many things to be grateful for. The more I think about it, the more blessed I feel. There are certain people that I want to thank in my life…

To my mom, for always being loving and having confidence in me when I didn’t. For always being there to support, encourage and push me when I couldn’t do it for myself. For being someone I could run to with my problems and need of advice; even when I pushed her away because of her advice, she never stopped loving me and accepting me. She would continue to drive me to be the person I am today. So many times she could have given me up as a lost cause, but she never stopped praying for me and loving me. She is a pillar of strength no matter how much she will say she is weak.

To my amazing “new” step-father for all the love he has given to my family and myself. It takes so much to love a whole new family of a wife and five step children, but he does it with such Godly grace, love, and kindness. He continues to amaze me with his loving heart, not just for my mother who needed it so much, but to all of us kids as well. HIs accepting nature always astounds me.

To my brother David, for being even tempered and loving, kind and patient. He is filled with easy going kindness and support. He is thoughtful, goofy, and sweet. He will be so incredibly busy, but will always make sure to take care of his family is doing well despite the distance.

To my future sister-in-law Myra for her laughter and kindness. I am so grateful the Lord gave my brother such an amazingly funny and gifted wife-to-be. She is as kind as she is sweet, funny and quirky, just like David.

To my sister Delaney for her love and support. There were many times I went to her first when I was going through so many hard times. She never judged, she prayed with me over the phone even when I was drunk and sobbing (even though apparently she never knew I was drunk at the time about four years ago). She is filled with such Godly love and grace, it is profound. Our sisterly relationship has grown so incredibly much over the years, and I am so thankful for it.

To my brother-in-law Nate for his love, kindness, and humor. He is so smart and he loves my sister so much. They are a God-made match. He is such an amazing provider, honest, and giving. I am so proud of him for opening up his heart to be a foster father, even though it has been an incredible challenge for him and my sister.

To my brother Kyam for his love, generosity, and kindness. He has so much talent, and no matter how exhausted and cranky he is, he never shows it to me, and is so sweet and loving. I am in awe of his talent given by the Lord, and pray he will continue to succeed in everything he does.

To my sister Libby, for her quick wit, Godly love, and kindness as well. She makes me laugh, and even when she is upset herself, if she knows she is needed, she will rise to the occasion without hesitation and listen. She has such incredible talent for so many things. She is so incredibly amazing in so many ways.

To my dad and “step-mother” Dee…we have had so many rough patches, but through the grace of the Lord, I feel like we are finally on the right track. There has been so much pigheadedness on my end and not knowing how to compromise in so many ways. My dad has given me so much support and love that I have taken for granted. Recently he has said to me, “Don’t ever doubt that I love you” and I burst into tears when we got off the phone. I don’t know why I took that love for granted. Maybe I was just so obsessed with myself I didn’t realize how much he missed out on my life, and then I was unwilling to share it with him. And to Dee…. she is so incredibly loving and kind. She has never been a “step-mother” to me, but a second mother. There is no “step” about it. She went above and beyond when it came to marrying my dad and accepting David and me as part of the family without prejudice. I have been truly blessed to have a mother such as her.

To my sister Katie and my brother Devlin… We are still getting re-acquainted, and I am glad they are willing to be in contact even though I have not been there for the majority of their lives. They both have their strengths…Katie with her serving nature, and Devlin with his hard work. Both are committed to what they do. I am so glad I have two siblings whom I barely know at this point who want to include me in their lives when we are able to be in contact.

To my new brothers Adam and Will…both of them have been so accepting of having so many new siblings when Mom and Bill got married. Again each with their own strengths and personalities. I can’t wait to continue getting to know them.

To my friends Rachel, Natalie, Wayne, Rad, Brian and Suzanne. The five of them have been steadfast rocks when I really needed them most. They are all my peeps I have met on FB in the last couple years. Rachel for her many laughs and conversations when we both have downs and lows. She is my sister in heart. Natalie for all her encouragement and support as well. Another sister in heart. Wayne, for his love of the Lord and encouragement when I have needed it the most (I still owe him a framed quote). Rad, for her undying support and encouragement. We talk so frequently it seems like a right shame we are so far away. Brian for all the times he talked my drunk ass off the floor in undignified shame and helped me appreciate myself. Suzanne for all the recent support and friendship she has provided lately (not to mention Pintrest information).

To my friends Heidi, Maggie and Lori. Heidi for her friendship, support, kindness and generosity. Some days I have wanted to pull my hair out at work from frustration, but she has always kept me from doing so. Maggie for all her friendship and kindness especially when I was going through some horrible times. We have had a lot of fun laughing and making snowflakes from coffee filters. Lori, for her constant and unwavering smiles and friendship even when times have been tough for both of us.

I have so, SO many things to be grateful for. These people have been true blessings in my life, and I thank the Lord for them. Sometimes I have felt so alone and thought I had nobody to talk to. But when I am able to write it all down like this, it shows me how many blessings I have been given, and they all truly outweigh any negativity in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Exercise – Cauliflower

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Ok, as there were multiple comments, I feel I need to provide the background on this topic. This one really threw me for a loop, and the guy who suggested this cracks me up.

A: Cauliflowers
Me: A-, you WOULD say something like that.
A: Just sprung to my mind, thought might (or might not) be a challenging subject for you to write about. If we’re honest, I think everyone has a Cauliflower story to tell…
Me: Hahahaha a cauliflower story?
A: e.g. I never used to like Cauliflower, not I do, my moms recipe for Cauliflower cheese is the best ever, here it is. I’ve tried growing cauliflower, but like most brassicas the caterpillars get to them before I can pick them. These are just a selection of cauliflower stories that might spring to mind that you would write about.
Me: Lol well…I’m afraid I’m stumped on that. Would probably end up being more of a research essay.

Surprisingly, this is not going to be a research essay, but one of my memories I will end up sharing.

So I have always had a love for cooking which Papa (my ex step dad) helped instill in me at a fairly young age. I was always hovering in the kitchen (which he LOATHED) wanting to watch a learn. So finally, rather than have me do the dreaded hover thing, he began to teach me. However, cauliflower was rarely if ever, on the menu.

It wasn’t until my ex, Phil, and I were together that I saw cauliflower for all it’s true glory. I got really into watching cooking shows. I found out how cool it was when I watched an episode of Iron Chef and the secret ingredient was cauliflower. And it wasn’t just the normal white cauliflower we see on a daily basis in the grocery store. There was green cauliflower, purple cauliflower, cauliflower that looked like an M.C. Esher drawing with all its glorious abstract patterns. Suddenly, it became cool.

Granted, now that I am single and living on my own, I do shite to cook for myself. What’s the point? The reason I love cooking so much is to prepare something for those I love. But when I get fish, I will cook cauliflower along with it, it’s just that good.

One of the things I DO love about cauliflower so much is the fact it can absorb all the amazing flavors in whatever it is you are cooking yet still maintain a distinct flavor all it’s own. It’s almost…nutty, I guess. And filled with umami goodness. It’s one of those earthy vegetables that radiate comfort.

It brings up another memory as well, a happy one. When my mom and new step dad Bill got together, he made some “hash” for us one night consisting of broccoli, onion, sausage of some sort, almonds, and CAULIFLOWER. Like I have already stated multiple times, it has an earthy goodness that absorbs new flavors and just enhances everything. That is when I first truly came to love cauliflower.

It reminds me of comfort, security and caring. While my Iron Chef memory with my ex is nice, the one of my step dad making his “hash” brings back the best memories. Ones I feel good about sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Exercise – Dreams

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So again, I find myself working on a new writing exercise with a topic given to me by one of my friends on FB. I am finding it is forcing me to be creative and think about what it is I want to say…and apparently my next writing exercise is to revolve around cauliflower, but I digress.

Dreams: the window to your inner soul where all your darkest fears reside. Honestly, I can do without dreams. I am not a fan of them, as they end up showing all the things each night I fear the most. I would have dreams where I would break out in a cold sweat, panting for breath. I hate it. My dreams caused me to become an insomniac at the age of 13. The worst part was, they were induced by an every day over the counter sleep aide: melatonin.

I had already been having some issues sleeping soundly due to the fact I had just started public school again after 6 years of homeschooling. That was stress inducing in and of itself. So a friend of mine who was in her later 20’s asked my mom if it was ok for me to take some melatonin as it was over the counter and non habit forming. Having gained consent, I began taking it. Lo and behold, I was able to sleep. And about three days later, the dreams started.

Wildly disturbing dreams. Dreams where my step dad at the time (Papa) was screaming at me and threatening to disown me if I told his secrets. Dreams of my family being shot in the abdomen and bleeding out while I held them, the EMTs being unable to do anything to help or just stood there watching with pity in their eyes. Dreams where I was all alone in dark blankness. Dreams where I was stuck in mud and unable to run away from people who wanted to hurt me. Worst part is, I ALWAYS dream in color. Apparently, most people dream in black and white, but I can’t recall a single dream where this applies to me.

But as I have grown older and come to terms with some of my insecurities, I have realized a theme. Pain, abandonment and loneliness. I have gone over and over these dreams, especially when I wake up in a blind panic and gasping for air with tears streaming down my face. Why, when I have a mother and siblings who love me so dearly, am I afraid so much of being so alone? I still don’t fully understand it, and doubt I ever will.

There has only been one thing I have ever discovered that took the night terrors away completely to where I wouldn’t recall a single dream. Marijuana.  When I discovered this, it was as if I could hear the angels singing in the sky the first morning after. And then, all I could do was fantasize about sleeping. Sleeping without dreams, or at least no memories of them if I did.

I became hooked, and then I started grossly abusing marijuana. I didn’t care because I was trapped in such a loop of self denial and self hatred, my only respite came from being able to sleep at length without waking in a cold sweat. I eventually ended up quitting smoking, and it sucks. The night terrors have come back, and the repercussions effect my daily living. When I don’t sleep, depression sets in, my job performance sucks. My personality hits a low fairly regularly, and I am powerless to stop it. While the night terrors are not quite as bad as they were as a late teen, they can still get pretty bad. Mostly, I end up waking up before I start crying and am able to calm down.

As soon as Kansas legalizes it though, I will be one of the first people at the doctor’s office to sign up for a hemp card. I know my family frowns upon it, but it helps me function if I smoke right before going to sleep. I can actually wake up refreshed and not worry because I got a good night’s sleep.

In the meantime though? I just have to keep praying the Lord will keep me safe and help me deal with my issues in the waking hours so I don’t have to experience nightly trauma when I am utterly defenseless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Exercise – Character Flaws

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To give a little back story, I decided I wanted to write tonight, but I couldn’t pick a topic. So I let my friends on Facebook decide, and told them to give me a topic. The first person to give me a topic would be what I wrote about. A co-worker of mine responded, and this is the current chain…

J: What has been your biggest emotional and personal “character flaw”, have you had a hard time recognizing it, where do you think it stems from, how has it effected your personal life and relationships, and are you working to change these things about yourself?
Me: Oooooh, J-, nice one! And you are making it so easy to flow from part to part in the topic. Gonna be a tough decision though because I have several character flaws that bug me. But I’ll definitely get to writing.
J: I strongly believe in embracing our flaws and owning that shit lol. I’m not afraid to tell people I’m not perfect, so I love hearing about what other people know they could work on, you know?
Me: Oh definitely. I’m not shy about admitting my flaws wither…And…you know what? That just inspired me…Low self esteem and the pride that goes along with it… That’s my biggest flaw, and now I know how to address it, because I will point out my flaws faster than anything positive about myself. This should be interesting.

So it begins….

I have found through my life I have low self esteem. Not really surprising, given some of the things I have been through. What I didn’t count on was the PRIDE in having low self esteem. Before you begin to be confused as to why someone would be proud they have low self esteem, let me explain. It isn’t pride in the trait itself, it is pride in how I am so readily willing to admit it.

I would have to say that while I have always struggled with the self esteem and was able to admit it even if only to myself at first (although it was obvious to everyone). I have only recently realized there is a great deal of pride that goes along with it. It is pride in being able to throw that label out there so nobody else does. I can beat them to the punch. It takes the fun away from bullies when you make fun of yourself. And I was bullied growing up. A lot. So I learned to roll with the punches before they even came. IF I could so quickly throw it out there and crack jokes nobody laughed at, I didn’t have to hear the open sniggers directed my way because I did their work for them.

It has effected almost every single relationship I have ever had, including the familial relationships. The biggest ones were the daddy issues, and then later my friends and future boyfriends. It’s a cancerous ordeal when you have low self esteem and not easy to overcome.

Because of it, I have had toxic relationship after toxic relationship (at this point I am referring to friends and ex-boyfriends). In order to have friends, I let myself be the DUFF (for those of you who don’t know what it means, it is Designated Ugly Fat Friend). I didn’t know I was a DUFF, but I was always the ugly one, the fat one, the…whatever… And having let myself play that role, it bled through to the significant others too. I wasn’t good enough for them, so I might as well play a servile role. I took pride in being the “best friend” or the girlfriend who would do anything for her man. I didn’t realize how badly it was effecting my soul and my actual personality by letting my friends and boyfriends walk all over me.

This ended up leading to drug addiction and alcoholism. I learned how to self destruct so I didn’t have to blame anyone but myself. I learned how to punch that hole in the bottom of the floor so I could fall through it and embrace the suffering and pain I knew so well. I didn’t know how to be happy. I wasn’t allowed to be happy, because I didn’t deserve it.

Then one day, I snapped. I don’t exactly how it happened. But I knew I was miserable. I knew I was ashamed. It happened around the time of my third boyfriend Nick. He treated me SO horribly. Daily death threats. Threatening my friends, family, co-workers, and the kiddos I work with. Telling me I was a piece of shit and that I wouldn’t amount to anything. Threatening to throw me over my own balcony in the home I opened up to him so he wasn’t homeless.  So…I finally decided to do something for myself and defend who I was. I got a restraining order and got him the hell out of my life.

I knew deep, deep down I am brave, smart, compassionate,  giving, kind, loving, faithful, honest. I didn’t deserve ANY of the shit he threw my way other than my sheer stupidity and stubbornness in pursuing a relationship my mother and all my friends advised me against. So I acted.

Almost six months later I started dating someone who had been pursuing me avidly for a year. He gave me attention, was a listening ear, etc. And things WERE good for a couple months. But once he got me, once he got what he want from me, he lost interest. He didn’t want to learn new things. He didn’t want to experience new things. He was happiest staying in his parents’ basement watching Netflix and playing WWE2K or whatever it was called. And I realized I deserved better.

Once again, I was allowing my low self esteem to take over and reveling in the pride in my strength of being able to do so. So I called the relationship off.

Now, here it is almost a year later, and I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I refuse to allow myself to wallow in the comforts of low self esteem. I refuse to let myself repeat the same life long pattern I am so familiar with. I have to force myself on an almost daily basis to go outside my comfort zone, to experience those new things I didn’t want to. I make myself create things. I allow myself to be a bitch once in a while and to enjoy it before meekly apologizing (turns out most people don’t consider me being a bitch when I am trying so hard to be one which I find supremely weird).

So yeah. It isn’t easy. I do still suffer from low self esteem, but I no longer take so much pride in playing a willing victim. I have a voice, and I am allowed to make my voice heard. It doesn’t make me a bad person. It simply makes me human.

A Bed for Dreaming Part 5

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Bed frame 3

Alrighty then!!! I finally have a useable bed frame with no small effort from myself. It felt like it took FOREVER to sand those pallets down, but OH! was it worth it!!

You would think that with having a mental image it would be easy to pick out a stain color for the wood…Wrong. Oh so very wrong. Despite how the pallets and the side boards look like two different colors entirely, I actually used the same color stain. I got Minwax Polyshades Pecan gloss. I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone and stain/lacquer all in one step. And the result was rather nice, I think.

After having spent what felt like nearly a week sanding the pallets, I finally got to stain them. It ended up being an all day thing. I finished the pallets and decided there was no way I was going to be able to pull off a nice clean look by keeping the sides on them open, so I headed to Miami County Lumber Yard where I met a nice gentleman named Rusty who was all to willing to help me in my project. Seeing as how the pallets standing on top of each other were about 9.5″ high, I was able to get to 8-ft 1x10s which ended up being a PERFECT fit for the sides. I didn’t even have to sand the boards! I was able to get right to staining them and letting them dry so I could secure them to the pallets the next day.

Naturally, me being me, I got so excited about the project I’m working on being at a stopping point  I completely forget I need something like…screws. Just regular run of the mill 1.5″ screws. SIGH… So I was able to get some screws and a good friend of mine came over to help me secure the boards and VIOLA….FINALLY, I have a bed I can utilize and sleep on. The dimensions of the pallets vs the queen sized bed I’ve basically had in storage were pretty spot on width-wise. I have about two inches on either side of the bed to spare, and then I have about six inches the head and foot respectively.

I have decided I dislike having so much space between my head and the wall, so when I get the posts finished (the head side will be the first to go up), I am going to create a headboard. I have already decided to do away with the canopy idea, as the fabric or curtains for such an endeavor will range anywhere between $300-$900. I am not willing to pay that much money for freaking fabric, not to mention it will cover up all the work I have done. Instead, I am going to do an open box frame four-poster. This way, I will have a gorgeous and open rustic looking frame, and I will be at full liberty to add the draperies later if I so decide.

In the meantime however, I am FULLY enjoying being able to utilize a bed frame that is completely squeak free and is entirely stable. Not to mention the fact I did it all by myself with the exception of adding four screws. (BTW…I have decided impact drills freak me out because it sounds like the drill is stripping the screws)

A Bed for Dreaming Part 4

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Bred frame 2

OK, so I have made some previous posts now where I put the posts up next to the unsanded and unstained pallets to give a rough idea of what the end look would be.

Well now, I have sanded the pallets quite thoroughly and finally got to stain them today. Not liking the completely unfinished look, I decided to go ahead and get some 1x10s to cover the sides up instead of having all the open pallet spaces. I put them up against the frame to check for size, and as you can see, it’s a perfect fit. The two 1x10s have since been stained and are currently drying so they can be installed tomorrow.

I am super excited about how quickly it is coming together now that a majority of the crap work has been done, although to be quite honest, it WAS a lot of fun staining the pallets. Once I have these babies on, I will finally have a frame I can finally use as I finish carving the posts and staining them as well. Another plus of having these lining boards is it will allow a much easier method of securing the posts once they are complete.

So, some things I learned when I was staining…

  1. polyurethane stain is really sticky
  2. while it seems you can’t really smell it, the smell ends up permeating everything, even when you have a ventilation system set up
  3. it really is necessary to use a damp rag to wipe up the excess stain
  4. just because there is a sheen to the wood doesn’t mean it is necessarily wet… it’s the polyurethane shinin’
  5. One quart of stain goes a lot quicker than you would think

It has been an interesting experience, and one I will gladly repeat on my next project. And then next project is my posts. I can’t wait to get started on those again!

So tonight is another one of those random topic nights where I seem to have a lot of thoughts I am having a hard time processing. It would seem that this is my safe place to post my “diary” thoughts, even though I have a secret blog for my poetry and really deep stuff that I don’t want my family and friends to see. There are some things I have to say that are deeply disturbing, and my family and friends would view me differently.

It’s not that I want to hide things from them, but then again I do. But each person deserves to have their privacy, and setting up a separate blog that isn’t linked to anything I do and say on normal social media seems the safest place to do so.

Today was a crazy day at work. It was painfully hilarious in many ways, and I wish that I was allowed to talk about it all and describe the things I go through on a daily basis so you could understand. HIPPA laws prevent that however. But I have to say there were some truly humorous moments in today’s behaviors.

These last few days have been unusually exhausting. I spent all day Friday and Saturday in bed falling asleep within an hour of waking up. Thinking I was coming down with something, I was all too happy to oblige my body by going to sleep. But no, I wasn’t getting sick. I was getting ready to start my period. You would think at 30 years old I would know my body. But then again, working in a healthcare residence of a predominantly female house will TOTALLY screw up your chemical balances. So, for the second time this month, I am on my period. I guess it’s only natural considering this is a new position where I am in one house instead of hopping from one to another (we have five houses on campus, and it’s pretty even in the male to female ratio)….so actually being stuck in one female house is wreaking havoc on my system. It’s not like I have any reason to be worried about missing a period considering I have no sex life…but to have TWO periods in one month? I better fucking not have a period on my birthday in 10 days. I’ll be pissed (not that I will be getting birthday sex).

 

 

I just don’t know any more…

Today is just one of those evenings where I am not sure what to write about. I already made an entry tonight about jealous whore dreams, and I did it for good reason. But for whatever reason, I don’t feel like I have gotten out everything that is on my mind. Most of my family and co-workers don’t read all of the comments on my posts (not that there are many because I don’t have a large following like many people because I’m not all that popular), so it’s MOSTLY safe to say most of them won’t read what I have on this blog. But in the even they DO read it, it’s hard for me to get out some of my biggest issues because I don’t want to hurt those I love. It makes me want to start another name on this site so I can have something absolutely beyone a shadow of a doubt anonymous where I can write what I want to write to my heart’s content. But that means catfishing myself. I guess I could look at it as if I were a ghost writer, but there is a LOT I want to discuss about my past and about my personal life. Just to get it all down, even if NOBODY ever reads what I have to say.

A Bed for Dreaming Part 3

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Bed frame

Ok, so now it’s time for my newest update. I was getting rather discouraged with my lack of progress. Not only did I have 5 of 8 pallets downstairs on my porch, I have also been struggling with my chiseling technique. Granted, the chiseling has gotten better, but I have no technique at all. My technique is basically start shaving away and pray I don’t slip and gash open either an arm or a leg.

Considering I have no real shop area to speak of, I place the posts on my remaining couch cushions (I demolished the couch by hand which took four hours and then delivered it to the dump the next day) and prop the end of the post I’m working on, on my leg. Then I start chiseling the post and hope for the best. I am not going to lie. It is truly a painstaking process. It is figuring out your lines (I use a vehicle slim jim as my straight edge to draw my lines) and then careful hammering with the chisels to make deeper guidelines. Then it’s up to fate which chisel I end up using.

I usually end up cursing a great deal during the whole process. And believe me, I can usually make a grown man blush with the words and phrases spewing from my mouth. I have had multiple near misses with a chisel to the arm or leg. And that’s when I start swearing profusely. For whatever reason, I become even MORE irate when I accidentally slip and chisel off a corner I worked so hard to preserve.

I began to get discouraged with my progess, and I needed to see the bigger picture to remind myself what I am working towards. So I carried all five pallets, one at a time, up 16 stairs (which is no small feat for me considering I’m such a danged clutz). So I hauled the rest of them up, one at a time and very carefully placed them in the correct formation to make my “frame.” Then I oh-so-carefully balanced the 4x4s so I could see the “BIG PICTURE” and absolutely loved it. I was captivated by the upcoming creation I was about to complete (in a few months, give or take). And now I have a new zest for completing what I started.