Saturday Stints

Saturday is my day to get all the errands completed even when the budget gets tighter than what was expected. Groceries are first and then my photo for the day which I’ll be trying to capture in a town over since that’s where I pick up groceries. Then it’s trying to poorly draw my comic for the week. If it brings a giggle then so be it.

Then it’s Thor’s Blot tonight with the kindred and I’m just trying to hammer out some details that were not mentioned on the event page. This means possibly putting a dish together at last minute with as little funds as possible.

Now, in a panicked fast voice read on: I need to pick up groceries but leave enough money left over to possibly make a dish to pass at the blot tonight, then I need to get a photo for my 365 Day project because I CANNOT flake out on that if I want to get better at cell phone photos. Oh, I need to edit them and post too. I can do that from my phone if I have to but I hate it. What is my comic going to be about this week? Ugh, fuck it. I’ll wing it. Oh, I need to look for one of my wacoms and PRAY that there is still software somewhere for me to download. I got on the treadmill this morning but I better make sure and eat low points today because if there is food at the blot I would want to eat. Damn the mead, I’m going to have to dip in my weekly points. Not a problem I have almost a full bank. Shit, I need to put money in the kids’ lunch account, and gas. Gas needs to go in the car. It’s almost 6 in the morning I if I look now I can find the tablet and doodle in peace before the kids get up. Too late, I heard legos being dumped in the floor upstairs. Leftovers, the kids can have leftovers tonight and the younger one goes with us.

This is almost exactly what it’s like with my anxiety but what people are not seeing is the depression because all I want to do is crawl back into bed and forget what all needs to be done and went through my head. I know I have forgotten something and will remember it when it’s past time to be done or due. Off to look for one of my archaic Wacom tablets. Happy Saturday everyone!

From Yule to Medieval Times

These past few days have been emotional and great all at the same time. I celebrated and experienced (somewhat) my first Yule with the kindred. I was still sick with the stomach bug but made it through the Sumbels and ritual. During this time my husband and I are trying to find each other again and that is proving to be a longer goal that I once thought. Over a decade of being together, you start to feel like strangers all over again. Christmas Eve, I surprised everyone with a trip to Medieval Times. The only way that we could pull that one off was an online discount, then another at check-in for a better upgrade, and not staying at a hotel which meant driving a total of 8 hours. As your kids get older that holiday sparkle fades in their eyes. The best gift I got was seeing that sparkle come alive again in their eyes as they watched the entertainment.

From Yule to Medieval Times (Friday-Monday), we were going non-stop. Then comes Christmas day when my mom decided to invite her and her boyfriend over. I hadn’t planned much for dinner and ended up throwing something together for 7 people, in an hour. Being sick and tired from driving I didn’t want anything to do with the kitchen. Next year I think we will do a longer Yule celebration since there is some debate on the holiday lasting 3 days or 12 days.

Today, since we didn’t get to do our family games like tradition thanks to family stopping by, I’m ordering pizza and we are doing a gauntlet of games. We will be playing Cards against humanity, exploding kittens, Stranger Things monopoly edition, and some classic Nintendo 2 player game battles. This weekend I have plans for more Havamal study since I learned so much during Yule. I have some wood burning to do and other things to set up my area. Pictures and whatnot of my progress will surely make a debut here. I’m slowly feeling like myself after the huge interview fail and working even harder on my web development course. Maybe marketing graphic design isn’t for me. All the great advice, positive words, and stories from my readers helped in more ways than one. Thank you, guys.

How was your holiday? Traditions new and old? Happy Wednesday everyone!

Weighing In On Weighing In: Roller Coaster Recap

When I stepped back from my writing, art, and blogging I also stepped back posting my journey losing weight. During this time (still struggling to find time to write/post), I was still dieting and trying to find my magic number of activity points and food points. THIS IS NOT WHERE PEOPLE NEED TO STOP READING AND DIET SHAME. This is a roller coaster recap because I experienced a significant weight gain and made I was capable to examine that week for possible causes. Let’s start the next week following the point when I stopped posting which was Week 20 weigh-in was 177lbs.

  • WEEK 21 10/18: 176lbs
  • WEEK 22 10/25: 178lbs
  • WEEK 23 11/1: 175lbs
  • TODAY WEEK 24 11/8: 172lbs

Can you see wk 22? I gained 2lbs and the following week I lost the 2 that I gained plus another one. This is what I think happened. STRESS! I wasn’t intaking more calories and my exercise level even though it was less than normal, was still the same. The only difference that week was the stress at my job.  The run down. I was asked to complete a very large project. I started with a layout example that took 3 weeks to put together for a first draft. I sent the piece to my hiring supervisor and he said, ‘I don’t like it. It’s ugly.’ Instead of snapping back I told him ok, what would you like to see in edits. He gave me a list and before the conversation was over I asked him some questions to ask the other members of the team.  End conversation, begin my rant to my co-worker, layout #2 in beginning. The edits were easy enough just tedious and I received an email from the hiring supervisor that answered the questions I had concerning the informational copy. With the questions being answered, I realized it would change the layout AGAIN. I know this is long but follow me. I emailed a rough layout of what a page layout would look like-which is now different from the edits asked to be made (and now version 3).

I did something radical. Something SO unheard of that I should have been SHOT. Well, at least that’s what it felt like after my actions. I involved the OTHER team members. You would think doing an adult action such as this would be praised but it was the complete opposite. Other members involved caused my hiring supervisor to stomp his feet and QUIT the team! A week later, he took away my multimedia design project we were launching on Facebook. The reason he hired me he took away but without telling me. He just started doing everything. Heartbroken and probably the lowest I EVER felt with my career I was 2 seconds from quitting and applying at Walmart. Instead, I am now looking into other jobs and trying to figure out how to work from home.

Why the long explanation? Well, I’m afraid no one would understand the gravity and to lead into STRESS can wreak havoc on a diet. The next week I lost and still losing. He’ll be on site the week of Thanksgiving and need to figure out how to make myself scarce.

The Goodies

I have been changing things up to help with continual weight loss. I have tried a Buffalo Chicken salad. This is now my GO TO salad. Basically, you’re going to need mixed greens (iceberg is a must), finely chopped celery, chopped cucumber, chopped green onion, chopped carrots, chicken breast (3 ounces),  1 tablespoon of buffalo wing sauce (I found that Sweet Baby Ray’s brand is 1 point per tablespoon), and a couple of spoonfuls of my Ranch Greek Yogurt DipMix the dip and wing sauce together and pour over all your salad goodies and YUM! I wanted to add Bleu cheese but unfortunately, my store doesn’t carry it. Or at least it was out of stock when I went. If you do add the cheese and watching your waistline like I am, only a tablespoon. The Yogurt dip is only two ingredients: plain non-fat Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of dry ranch dressing mix.

I also enjoyed a BBQ chicken pizza using flat-out bread, chicken breast, sugar-free BBQ sauce, fat-free cheddar cheese, and red onion. The entire thing was only 3 points and I couldn’t even finish it. I was also adding pumpkin to my quick 0 point chili and cream of wheat. This was filling and added extra fiber and flavor. Also, a simple shrimp, cucumber, and dill salad. This was shrimp chopped, cucumber chopped, green onion chopped, dill chopped, a tablespoon of light mayo, 2 tablespoons of non-fat Greek yogurt. Mix and YUM! I usually have a slice of 45 calorie wheat bread.

Week to come goals: find another job prefer one to be online, be more active, and try to not stress. 30 pounds are gone and hoping to lose more this week. Happy Thursday everyone!

Weighing In on Weighing In: Week 17

This has been a much better week both work and family wise. I have stopped worrying about my daughter’s decision about moving to be closer to her biological father. That is her choice, she is an adult, and I don’t have to have anything to do with her right now. I’m no longer responsible for her well being. So, I let go of all of those feelings.

I haven’t been meeting my activity points by 10 but I’m staying active. The treadmill walks in the morning seem more intense but it helps me get the stress from work out of my system. I haven’t experimented much with recipes and stuck to what I know. That Tuscan pumpkin soup is my new fav right now and fills me up.

I did it, I lost the two pounds I gained and hope this coming week I can lose more. Here’s to another week, everyone!

6 Word Story: 8/10

I really wanted to just lay in bed and not walk this morning. Not really doing much in the last few days my body begged for me to become one with the bed. I walked. I could feel the prompt word on a personal level from the get-go.


Prompt: Struggle

Struggles are opportunities to understand strength.

Doodle(s)wash: Belated 6/28

What is wrong with me? Last night I was exhausted but I’ve been feeling pretty good. I called my doctor, worried that something might be seriously wrong. She asked me general questions then asked how it was going to work. After spilling everything out she explained that stress can cause exhaustion. Try to practice my exercises and do something relaxing. You know what I did? I fell asleep. Waking up a few hours later and went to be and slept until this morning. I didn’t want to fall behind because I have a busy day ahead of me not to mention a busy weekend of writing. Oh, and planning Fenton and haunted road trip in October.


Prompt Word: Popsicle

PAIN-ting

To make a long story short (which is difficult being both southern and Irish) I was placed on the floor at work today. Being that my back is killing me so much so that I’m dependent on the meeting pad,  it’s difficult to paint, sketch,  and write. Hopefully tomorrow not only can I go to work but also resume my artistic expressions. P.S. I don’t like doing this from my phone. Have a great night everyone.

Doodle Delay

I have been really distracted today with writing and then chores and before I knew it it’s dinner time. What am I cooking? Nothing! I have cooked every night this week and leftover needs to get eaten. Not to mention last night the flashbacks were more real than I could ever remember. More than likely due to stress or a conversation. But, I say down, put in my headphones, with some powerful tunes (that mean a lot to me) and doodled to my little heart’s content.


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Random Tuesday

My brain hurts.  Stress at work not because of my requirements but because of two supervisors basically having a pissing contest. My anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t concentrate to cook dinner or write a short story.  So my random doodle was just the day of the week. By the way my husband picked up tacos so I didn’t have to cook.


Prompt Word: Tuesday

April 12, 2018

I haven’t posted a journal entry in what feels like months. I have been busy trying to keep up with the A to Z blogging challenge, my daily doodles, and my 60word stories. I was right, I bit off more than I can chew with the theme that I chose. The beautifully written bright side to all of this hard work and stress about my theme is that I get the chance to explore. I’m exploring new genres and learning that I can do something if I put my mind to it.

 

Things I’ve missed though are starting to add up. I miss my blogging community. Reading posts, poems, and all the artwork. I also miss participating in 99-word prompts and Discover’s daily prompt and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on track with those. Then throw in being sick, working 40+ hours a week, taking care of kids and house I’m lucky to get in the shower. In all honesty, I think if it wasn’t for my anxiety I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now. I have stolen a few minutes from my daily chores here at work to write this and I feel better already.

I appreciate all my readers for their support. Also, I do read your posts and find brilliance in words and images. I have big plans for my short stories and will also be doing a couple of give-a-ways through Amazon. This weekend I’m going to try a Pinterest recipe and see if I fail and burn the house down or end up with a family favorite side dish. I do not regret for one moment that I chose to participate in the writing challenge but I think next year I’ll choose something that isn’t so difficult.

Hoppy Easter

I took a break from the stress of trying to make a perfect holiday. Lesson learned…nothing will ever be perfect. The painting helped me relax and focus. My little bunny was created using only one color, gel pen for the white highlights on eyes, gel for a couple of whiskers, white space, and dry time patience. Dinner tonight will consist of burgers (that we pick up) because I’m going to have an easy evening. Hope everyone is able to do the same and enjoy the day.

March 28th, 2018

Today was a great coming out of the gate. I made it into work on time and in a positive frame of mind. Then I found out what was really being said about me and was told that I act like an adult and the ‘persons’ responsible are acting like children. That’s great and all but I’m the anxious over-thinker worried about losing my job over untruthful BS. So, I wrote my short story and felt better…loads better. The story was fun and I tried to turn the prompt into something no one expected.

Then there were meetings and of course, I’m sitting across from the forked-tongued individuals. No eye contact was made but the tension was clearly visible. I did, however, thrive in the meeting which I’m afraid only made worse. They were talking a design and coding language that I understand and could speak back. Then they were later showed my computer station where I was able to be the geek that I am explaining what I do and how I do it.

Now for my good stuff of the day. I think I need to start thinking about the positive elements of my day to help keep the negative from playing over and over in my head. I was nominated for two more blogging awards which I will curate those blogs Friday. SUPER excited about those and I will thank those people again and give them the recognition they deserve. And I have decided to participate in the A to Z challenge! I know it’s a big bite to take but I thought since I want to also participate in the NANO month challenge it would be a great exercise. I have been able to write my 6-word stories, daily doodles and even write short stories through other prompts why not actually plan something and work on it.

A to Z needs a theme. I have decided to add a page to the site just for this but can also add other challenges I decided to do. So I will be working on that this week as well. It makes me feel good to think about writing and things like this. I will also start my alphabet journal the same day as my challenge begins. That’s my start date and should end the same time as my challenge. I am still going to try to also keep up with my daily doodles and 6-word stories.

RECAP LIST

  • A web page for  the A-Z challenge (Need to figure out theme and category)
  • Alphabet watercolor journal (animals, foods, flowers, colors…buildings?)
  • Award Posts

All in all the blog, art, writing, and the music I listen to help me through the anxiety and depressive states from outside individuals that feel my C-PTSD isn’t real. I wish they could spend a day in my brain. So, off to do my doodle and some research. Thanks for reading Y’all.

Please Don’t

Please don’t look at me,
I only want to walk into the store.

Please don’t watch me,
I only want to get what my family needs.

Please don’t talk to me,
I will stumble over my words trying to reply.

Please don’t stand to close,
I feel uncomfortable and want to run.

Please don’t make eye contact,
I feel obligated to look away.

Please don’t snicker,
I tried to say my coffee order that I rehearsed.

Please don’t shake your head,
I only want to order something to eat.

Please don’t acknowledge me,
I only want to be invisible.


I wanted to attempt a poem for the Daily Post Prompt: Invisible that captures some of my social anxieties. I remember a time when I was a social butterfly and then I was isolated. Now I’m left with the aftermath of my CPTSD. Some days are harder than others.

March 16th, 2018

A Fraction of A Friday

It has been a week of hell. Demands, nows, requests, and unforgiving illustrations that needed to be done. I made it through until this morning. I got to work only to be met with the largest load of BS I have ever seen. Mistakes were made but a different artist and I had to not only clean up the mess but meet the expectations of a customer that has already been let down once.

I completed their request with the quality that they were promised the first time. I have very little vacation time left but I needed a mental break. I needed to center myself and relax or I was going to go through the weekend frazzled and anxious. I would take it home and worry. Well, NOT TODAY! I walked straight up to my supervisor and told her to put me down for 1/2 day of vacation. She followed with a list of items that needed to be done and frankly it wasn’t in my job requirements. It’s not my fault that other people called in. I decided I deserved a little me time in a quiet house before the kids got home and write, doodle and dare I think nap? OF COURSE.

I stopped and picked up another watercolor journal for a personal project. The idea came from a talented artist Sharon. Please go and check out her work. I already do daily random word doodles and they are helping loosen me up and find confidence. So, I would like to attempt an

ABC watercolor journal. I want this to be done weekly making it a 26-week project. Super excited.

I have also been exercising my short story writing skills and not only learning a lot about myself but finding my voice. My 6 word storied of daily prompts helps boost my creativity. I have a deadline of the 20th to submit a piece to Carrot Ranch. I’m working out where I want my 99 words to go and can’t quite make it come full circle.

 

I also did something I NEVER do. I RSVPd for a WordPress meetup. I will be bringing my husband as I’m nervous and he wants to see more of what I do. He’s a rock of support helping me find time to write and paint. I would also like to thank the great community of bloggers. There is so much talent in the writers’ fingers or the artists’ palms. You guys are the people I wanted to be when I grew up. There is a great deal of encouragement and support.

I also have started a Facebook page and Instagram. I hope I can handle it. If for one minute I think that it’s taking away from my writing and painting I’m taking them down. My husband recommended it to me and I will try. Tomorrow morning I am trying strawberry jam on toast with bacon. Recommended by a fellow blogger.

 

Quote of the Day

I’m only here for the food…and I’m on a diet!

I said this today because too many people were asking me to do so many things when I only have two hands. My anxiety was through the roof by 7:30 am this morning and I had to make a point. Part of the quote came from a movie, ‘Ever After’ and I still enjoy watching it.

Randomly Relaxing

I was doing good until I got home and had to wrangle an 8-year-old, chase a dog, and tell my adult daughter that murder is frowned upon and helped her calm down. All I hear was noise…EVERYWHERE! The dogs, kids, and TV. I decided that my doodle would help.


Random Word: Relaxing

March 10th, 2018

It’s been a hell of a week. I can take the stress of deadlines and last minute projects because they are few and far between until this past week. On a good work week, my workload will average between 20 and 40 color-up requests. That does not include getting orders ready to be printed. This week I managed 152 color-up requests, an emergency banner (that needed to be completed within 8 hours to make the printer deadline) and an emergency handout that needed to be printed and ready to go within 24 hours. Then there was the imprint work for uniforms, approval forms, and they also needed me on the floor to help print.

Understand, I was a blue collar worker before my graphic design job. I was raised by a roughneck oil field worker. He taught me that nothing in this world is free and if I want something I have to work for it. So, I worked hard in college while working two jobs, three kids, a house to run then a divorce from my abuser. I maintained a 4.0 GPA and paid my dues. I worked odd design jobs and internships before landing where I am today. So when they asked me to go on the floor I did just that. I left the floor when I saw that the employees that were supposed to be too busy to print were talking, laughing, drinking coffee and checking phones. I refused to be used like that. I cranked out my order of 160 and went back to cave. There I was met with more work 15 minutes before I was to clock out and leave for the weekend. I decided that I would take my time. I was mentally exhausted to the point I had a headache, eyes were aching, 3 major panic attacks, one crying meltdown, and physical exhaustion. It took everything I had to write my short stories and doodle.

My husband listened to what was going on which helped a lot. He encouraged me to write more after telling him about submissions and what I wanted to do and what I am doing. I realized work was the reason why I was in a funk. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be doing some much-needed self-care. I will write, paint, read, and rest.

Didn’t Quit

Water(color) Therapy

I did have a hell of a day at work which included judgment and bullying by coworkers. I had planned to edit my short story and post then do some watercolor but I was lucky I just didn’t lay in my bed and cry.

Instead, I came home and started dinner. Chopping the taters was a start to relieving stress then moved to folding laundry and picking up. After dinner, I decided to sit down and really practice some watercolor galaxies. I had watched several tutorials and jumped in. I think I ripped up 4 starts and decided that the 5th one I’m going to just deal with it. The stress of failing at my painting faded rather quickly. I found myself smiling and concentrating on paint placements.

What I learned:

  1. Cheap palettes of paint was actually a great buy. Basically, I suck and need practice.
  2. I need to purchase better quality paints…maybe the tubes so my paintings don’t get muddy due to me trying to get brighter colors.
  3. I LOVE mixed media!
  4. I HATE that my gel pens SUCK and need to invest in a good quality white pen.
  5. Calm down when frustrated
  6. Don’t give up…on me.

So I need to come up with the money to get what I want. Yes, want not need but until then I’ll figure out how to work within the parameters of these cheap pans. I might be able to find some extra cash until then to get a great white gel pen.

February 12th, 2018

What a weekend! Stress, fun, food, tears, and laughter all crammed into two days. Let’s start with Friday. My husband and I were still arguing and we finally talked and he understood where I was coming from and we reached an understanding and compromise that we can both live with. Then came the overage texts and after looking it was my youngest daughter. Nipped that one in the butt right there. Then my husband and I had a dinner at a local Irish pub (it wasn’t authentic but close enough from what I grew up eating) and we did something that we hadn’t done in a long time…talk.

Saturday,  breakfast with the family, shoe shopping with my oldest daughter to get her ready for her semi-formal and from there I went grocery shopping. My husband makes chicken biscuits and fries for dinner (all frozen of course…bless his bones).

Sunday, I woke at 4 am and started my Southern-Irish grandmother’s recipe for lamb stew and then breakfast with the hubby. We wanted to try somewhere new and landed in a downtown of a busy town. I had my usual staple but HE HAD to try the breakfast challenge. Even though he didn’t finish I’m proud of him for trying (it was a bucket list item that he got to check off). I can’t remember when I had so much fun with him. Laundry and dinner rounded out the night.

NOW, in between all of the errands and fun I had to call in a complaint to Verizon about a local satellite store authorizing and placing an order for a phone that I didn’t ask for. An hour later a solution was decided…not mine but one that I could agree too. My anxiety was through the roof simply because I had felt violated. Someone else made this decision for me and accessed private information. I wanted his head on a stick and his arms and legs mounted at the four corners of the town to serve as a warning to other cellular dealers not to do what he had done. I know that’s dramatic but that’s where I go with my anxiety and sense of justice.

I also wrote a short story which I will edit and post later. I also will start a couple of small watercolor projects. BUT what’s awesome I started another book on my list. I took a couple of days off from reading but already on chapter 5 of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’m thinking I bit off more than I can chew…it is a LONG book but here goes nothing. I will update my reading journal tonight.

So yes, busy, fun, stressful, weekend but I didn’t lose sight of my writing, reading, and some art goals. Please, if you have goals try something small towards achieving the bigger picture.

6 Word Story: 2/8

I made it with only minutes to spare to do my 6-word story a day post. This is what happens when anxiety and depression hit at the same time. I’m going to count this post as a strength and self-love. I think it’s also fitting that the prompt word examples my life these past few days.


Prompt Word: Challenged

 

Her ‘everyday’ is her distressful trials.

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