I gave a stranger one of my cinnamon rolls yesterday, and immediately felt vulnerable. I always think that anyone who tastes my baking is going to instantly know everything about me; maybe because I put so much into it. But even if they were paying attention, that’s not how it works. Thank goodness. Life is raw enough.
Speaking of raw, my editor keeps publishing my articles and I can barely stand to look at them. I have to pretend that someone else wrote them when I have to proofread. Probably because they are reaching such a large audience, it’s a little intimidating to have that many people read the words I string together. On the other hand, I write about uplifting, inspiring things and events, so it’s exciting to put those ideas out there. I want to be a warm and fuzzy counterpoint to all the horrible destruction that happens. It doesn’t always go so well, and I often feel overwhelmed and in despair over how messed up humans are. Myself fully included.
Use Me- Bill Withers
Superstition- Stevie Wonder
I Don’t Feel Like Dancing- Scissor Sisters
Got To Give It Up (Pt 1)- Marvin Gaye
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing- Leo Sayer
Get Up Offa That Thing- James Brown
I struggle to follow recipes. Depending on my mood, they seem like suggestions sometimes, and other times they are throw down challenges. Either way I love to put my apron on, make some tea, and get messy in the kitchen.
I’ve been using the same basic bread recipe since I was six, but I don’t believe I’ve ever made the same batch twice. Today I added brown sugar, honey, flaxseed meal, almond meal, and made half the batch into cinnamon rolls. My house smells fabulous.
It’s so important to put the right fuel into your body- good, healthy food made with good intention. This recipe always makes me happy to create, and it makes other people happy to eat it, so it works out great for everyone.
for 4 loaves-ish
4 cups room temperature water
4 Tbsp yeast
1/3 cup sugar (can vary from 1/8 cup to 1 cup)
2 eggs (optional)
1/2 cup butter (optional)
1/2 cup dry milk
1 Tbsp salt
Lots of flour
Add yeast to water and then add sugar (or honey/maple syrup/brown sugar). Wait for yeast to show activity, then add flour to make a slightly viscous texture. Add room temperature eggs and melted butter (cooled slightly), then add dry milk, salt, and add more flour until it becomes dough. Dump out onto large floured surface, knead more flour in as needed. Shape into a ball and leave in warm location to rise. Punch it down after it doubles in size. Reshape in ball and let rise again. When it doubles in size again, shape it into loaves and let rise in greased loaf pans. When it’s about the right size and shape, cook in the oven at 350 degrees, for about 30-40 minutes. This is what I did with that recipe today:
I woke up at 4:30 to the sound of the wind blowing hard around the house and through the trees. It sounded so wild and epic, it made me want to run away into the mountains with just my art supplies. Damn, I wish I didn’t have to live in such a big city.
But I do love it here, it’s an amazing city, and it’s getting even better all the time. Art everywhere, kind and caring people, fabulous scenery indoors, outdoors, all the time. The social events are varied and awesome, and there are a ton of places to visit, things to do, people to meet.
Certain poetic weather stirs it up again, how much I miss home and family. Even though they did horrible things to me and my sister, it wasn’t all bad. At least I was raised with a mostly good value system. They did show me that the best default activity will forever be “read a book.” -I will add: “or write one.”
I think I’m going to stay home and do girly stuff today. I need to bake, and clean, and rearrange some art supplies. I hope a rain storm blows in too. I’ll open all the windows and let all the sadness and regret blow away. It’s useless to dwell on the past, other than trying to learn from it and stay fucking zen about it.
Wahoo, the wind is ripping! It feels wild out there! Time for coffee and baking, hallelujiah.
Love to all
In My Dreams- Berlin
Hallelujiah- Leonard Cohen
My Heart- Dirty Radio feat. Sherry St. Germain
I was starting my freshman year of high school when my sister first tried to kill herself. The reaction from my peers was awful. One person asked me a bunch of intrusive, inappropriate questions, and then no one else would talk to me. The entire rest of the nightmare school year, no teachers, no students, no one would talk to me. I would talk to people, and they would look right through me and just walk away. Friends got really busy, and it was like they were unable to utter a word, because literally no one did. It was freaky and unnerving. After my sister committed suicide in the hospital in March of that school year, it was even more shocking how people avoided me, and acted like it might be contagious.
That was my introduction to mental illness and the stigma of it in ignorant Idaho in the 80’s. Things are better now, but not by much. When I got a label of my very own, I knew exactly what social issues I was up against, so at least I was a little prepared for how shitty people can be. The stigma is still there, and treatments are still brutal and primitive. I understand, but hate it. It’s upsetting how many people don’t seek care for their emotional and mental issues, because they are afraid. I don’t blame them at all, but I wish them strength to do it anyway. Fuck the ignorant assholes, only the stupid sheep are afraid of addressing mental health issues.
I’m starting to warn people now: I’m not talking to anyone for the month of November while I participate in NaNoWriMo. I feel compelled to write the 50,000 words, even if I have to be a damn hermit to do it.
Crap, I guess that means I have to start thinking about my plotline for this year. Last year I finished at 25k+ and a sad ending. Maybe this year the heroine will have something better happen to her. Even if I can’t make it happen in real life, surely I can write some happy fiction. No matter, however it comes out will be lovely. I just really really want to hit 50k this year.
It’s lovely to have a forum where you can create whatever you want, whatever you can imagine, and no one will edit or censor. Oh yes, there will be hot and steamy sex scenes, there will be spaceships, and by God, I will be writing dangerously. Bwahahaha.
Love to all
Dance Along The Edge- Concrete Blonde
Fast Movin’ Train- Restless Heart
Well, I’m just starting with the song of the day because I sure as hell need a strong soundtrack today:
Fire Woman- The Cult
It’s been a rough few weeks for a lot of people, myself included. I had two friends pour their hearts out to me yesterday, and even though it’s hard to hear some of these stories, I’m honored that they choose to talk to me. That’s one really wonderful thing about battling a mental illness for so long; friends and even strangers know that I won’t judge them when they are struggling. I talk to all kinds of people about it, because I think it’s the height of stupidity to try and hide or stifle your emotions. It’s even worse to pretend like nothing’s wrong, or that an emotional response is not ok. That’s what a lot of people do, and it drives me up the wall. Of course, not everyone feels emotions on the same scale. Apparently mine are pretty intense. lmfao. I’m just glad that my own experience with hell can help other people sometimes. It makes it a lot more bearable. Sometimes.
Love to all
The thing about getting better gear, is that I now want to push it harder and faster than I previously could. Emergency room visits are expensive, and so are ambulance rides, so I have to practice self-discipline. Let’s just call that challenging.
It still needs work, but it’s much better now. My friend’s kids helped with a layer of glitter, and there will be glow in the dark paint involved, but I love it already. No labels, which I hate, and a little messy so no one will mess with it. It feels like a rolling starry night, and I think I even kind of like the disc brakes, which I’ve never had on a bike before. It’s heavenly to have front shocks again, never mind full suspension. I want to go bike the mountain in the dark, even though it sounds like a Darwin award in the making.
You Can’t Run From Love- Eddie Rabbit
Love Will Turn You Around- Kenny Rogers
If You Came Back From Heaven- Lorrie Morgan
Thank goodness for my friends, all of them everywhere, who help me through the rough parts. The power of community is a beautiful thing; everyone needs strong connections. I love that my close friends know me so well, I find it immensely reassuring. Sometimes things are just beyond words, but whatever happens, I can count of them to laugh with me when something goes down. They won’t freak if they hear the following:
“You know I have a little problem with impulse control, right?”
“I can only explain it in cake.”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Everyone is struggling these days. The internet is amazing as far as connecting humans and educating in new ways, but it also introduces all new kinds of stresses. I think it also must be the mid-autumn moon that’s throwing everything into upheaval and making me homesick. My machines are breaking everywhere; and here’s saying goodbye to my sewing machine, which just “crossed the rainbow bridge” as the hippies say. Oh well, better the machine than me. I still have a lot of work to do.
I think I need to go do some slam poetry and burlesque, and maybe some whitewater once the rainy season starts. It’s getting close to time for the pray for rain party. I’m ready. I think I’m going to love biking in the rain on my new beast of a bike. I am calling it “The street steed”. It weighs over 30 freakin pounds- a huge handicap on the uphill. Maybe it will help me step up faster, create and balance more happy chemicals in my brain, and deal better with whatever comes next.
Baby, I Lied- Deborah Allen
Black Coffee- Lacy J. Dalton
It’s awful how greed and evil seem to be winning in the world. Not enough sweet and wonderful people are willing to step up and make a difference. I totally expect better of people, and it’s super disappointing to see the apathy and even callousness. I understand very well how overwhelming life is, and how easy it is to do nothing, or fill up your time with empty people or things. I just wish more people would do something, and more than that, do something good.
Start with little things, and work your way up. Baby steps can get you over mountains. Maybe it’s the perpetual teacher in me that always hopes education and action will make a difference. Throw in some art, dancing, cake, and a lot of amazing things can happen.
Quote of the day: “If you can’t do great things, do little things in a great way.”- unknown
Love Somebody- Rick Springfield
Hand To Hold On To- John Cougar Mellencamp
There’s a writing contest about mental illness, and you have to submit two stories; one about the serious struggle, and the other about a funny event that may or may not be related. Crap. I can think of all kinds of serious stories, but nothing that’s ha-ha funny. Maybe work just sucked all the humor out of me.
I’m so excited to leave that job for a while and go do something else. I don’t know why people fear change so much, as it’s the only thing that can keep me going sometimes: the knowledge that however bad the moment is, it won’t last forever. Change is the only constant. I wish it were easier sometimes, but purging the unhealthy is often very painful. Even if habits are incredibly bed for you, they get to be comfortable and familiar.
The pending changes make me feel very hyper. The only reason I’m not bouncing off the walls is because I didn’t sleep. I went to bed at 2:00 and woke up screaming at 3:15 with a horrific nightmare. I try to not be angry or hold grudges- those are two reasons the world is already such a mess. However, I struggle not to have hatred for the men who did such awful damage that I am still having flashbacks years and years later. Do any of them struggle or have these issues? Hell no. It’s a sick world where you can force your dick in an unwilling woman, and then blame it on her. Then you wonder why I’m crazy??? Super frustrating, but I’m channeling all of that emotion into making some waves. Perhaps the judicious use of media can slowly make a difference. Like water wearing away a stone, that’s how it feels. Maybe that will be the title of the first story.
Telling Stories- Tracy Chapman