the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

Water Lines

I want to say that I am happy now. I can not say that I am who I was. I feel like my life now is not a continuation of that life, it is new. Something dies in you when you lose everything – and I am not talking about material things. I am talking about life as you know it ending. I am not saying that I can not see the good that has come. If the remains of a burned house, left for a decade, became over run with wild flowers – we could appreciate the beauty and still mourn the family who lived there and their loss. We could see the change and still acknowledge that something tragic happened.

Everything and nothing.

That is what I feel:

the whole of loss,

the entirety of emptiness,

the total of nil.

My heart is at it’s capacity –

of vacancy.

It is a feeling I have struggled with,

for ten years.

For ten years.

A decade.

A decade

lived on pause.

The then and the now,

both frozen.

Both immovable,

caught in a time and place

that doesn’t exist,

but will exist forever.

Katrina.

Katrina.

Like a splinter,

wedged in between.

An eyesore,

detour,

the great divide.

The sun came up,

I had not slept.

The sun came up,

I was not ready.

The sun came up,

like the day before.

The sun came up,

like we didn’t matter,

like it didn’t happen,

like my father wasn’t lost in the city still,

like my memories were not drowning.

The sun came up,

as if life was going on.

Life went on.

I have watched myself –

live.

I have watched myself –

move.

I have watched myself –

continue.

I have not seen her cry,

not about Katrina.

I have not seen her.

Not since Katrina.

They put up signs,

for the water lines –

and I feel like I can’t breathe.

They put up signs,

for the water lines –

and I feel like I haven’t taken a breath.

Not a single breath.

Ten years ago.

A decade ago.

My memories,

my proof of existence.

Me.

All submerged,

left to rot in the toxic water.

Me.

Excavating the bones

of another life.

Fishing the brittle remains

from the gray,

from the dried ending.

Deep below the water lines.

Ten years ago.

A decade,

and I am still wet.

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But, did I miss my miracle?

Can we talk miracles and not talk God? I don’t know. I know that my understanding of a miracle is linked to God, but also that my understanding of God isn’t easily written into a neat little blog package. So, let’s take it to the intra webs to see what a MIRACLE actually is:

A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being (God or gods), a miracle worker, a saint or a religious leader.

Thank you very much Wikipedia, my go to source for easy and fast look ups, though not guaranteed to be correct I am going to accept this and go with it!

Back in the times long before the internet and cars and CDs and all of the other things that we love and don’t even realize were once nonexistent people thought that droughts/fires/floods/ect. were directly caused by God/gods and that sacrifice would appease the angry toddler like beings. Conversely people believed that rainbows and other natural (yet unexplained) events were miracles, and well they might be if you happen to marry science to miracles as I do. Seriously, when I think of the intricacy of nature, of the awesomeness that comes together to make this world what it is – I see many a miracle, and proof of God. I don’t know that God cares if you call Him God, or Allah, or if you think of Him as one or as three or as many. I don’t care, but I (unlike so many of today’s leaders and christains,) do not speak for God. I also would never use my understanding of God to enforce my beliefs on someone, or their body or their life. That’s just me.

Anywho, I was lost in the nothingness of Facebook space (you know what I am talking about, when you go from one friend’s photos into the lives of acquaintances, then practical strangers and then actual strangers…) and I happened to stumble upon this:

miracles

I get it. I understand the point that it is making, but still I found it so sad. I found it sad that this person, who I do know in some capacity, felt connected to this. I found it sad that so many had liked it or commented with things like, “You know it!” I felt sad that THAT is what they think of God. The simple idea that we as humans could BLOCK a MIRACLE from happening with our timing, attitude, flaws, imperfections, actions or emotions undermines the very nature of God and miracles. They are not merit rewards for good behavior, you do not earn them. The absence of miracles (generally, in my experience means we are looking in the wrong direction) is not a punishment. Miracles exist around you, even in devastation, even when we can not appreciate them, and yes – even when we do not deserve them.  Heck, we ourselves are miracles, constantly shifting from kinetic to potential and back again – blessing others and this world when we choose to be and share the light.

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Today I feel… SKINNY.

Today I feel skinny.

Even though I know that I weigh what I weighed yesterday. Even though I am not even thin (though people who are accustomed to the new normal of our society may disagree.) Even though I know my clothes will still feel snug and uncomfortable. Even though my skin is still trying to detox from the wretched foods I have been eating. Even though I am still trying to hydrate myself from months of not getting enough water.

Here’s the thing: I feel skinny because I have been eating well. I feel skinny because I have been drinking enough water. I feel skinny because I worked out this morning – for the SECOND time this week. I feel skinny because I feel good about myself. That is no good.

Sure, the feeling good is a great thing. The fact that my mind is programed to equate feeling good to skinny, feeling happy to skinny, feeling hopeful to skinny – that is not good. That’s not good for a million reasons, but for me in particular it is no good because it adds to the unhealthy relationship I have with food and fitness. Sure, making good choices should make me feel great – physically and mentally. But when they make me feel skinny and skinny makes me feel in control it sets me up to fail. The moment one “bad” choice comes along my mentality becomes, “Throw in the towel.” My mind fills with some of the following thoughts (and more:) You already ruined the day, just eat. You are fat anyway, eat more. Better eat everything today because tomorrow you starve.

The “bad” choice doesn’t even have to be BAD, it just has to be less than perfect (and I swear, my definition of perfect is far from it. It is a strange list of food my brain has given me permission to eat.)

To try to work with myself I am trying to identify these moments, these days, and to really think them out. I am trying to re-frame my head picture and use new vocabulary for my thoughts. So today instead of skinny I feel happy – my wife has the weekend off and we have plans with family. Today instead of skinny I feel strong – despite high levels of pain and recovering from injury I have worked out TWICE with at least another one planned. Today instead of skinny I feel like ME – I am finally running again and all the lies I told myself about not really wanting to be a runner have fallen away! Today instead of skinny I feel hopeful – I have a plan, and God has been smiling on it. Today instead of skinny I feel disciplined – I have been eating well, making health choices and avoiding the use of “good” or “bad” to describe my foods.

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Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year!

It’s already better than the summer! lol

No, seriously, to cap a crazy summer of mishaps I had an absolute, hardcore wipe-out on Friday – the day I was billing as the “last official day of summer.” I’m talking about a banger of a fall. My right palm was scrapped and instantly swollen, my left pinky was scraped and oozy/bloody from knuckle to knuckle, BOTH knees were skinned with the left being BAD and bloody and making a hole in the knee of my jeans. That’s just the abrasions. lol

Can we talk for a moment about the fact that when you fall as an adult is it a whole different world that falling as a child?! I can remember two GIANT and gnarly falls (I mean, there were tons, but two stand out.) One was a bike incident and the other, huh, a bike incident. Maybe biking wasn’t my thing. Anywho, I remember the pain and tears and the clean up. Then I remember bouncing off to play again. Dudettes, no. There was none of that. I hurt. lol I hurt in my bones. I hit the ground and did a life check – head, okay. Bones, okay. Teeth, okay… Like and assessment of the systems. Then I got up and it was like, wait – there is a system I missed – it’s the overall system and it has been damaged! lol

Truthfully, this summer has felt like a cosmic plan to force evolution. (And, a bit like a cartoon.) It was the stuck at home, too sick or injured to do anything, that got me doing all sorts of new art! I am happy, it’s just weird.

Just as Friday was a great end to the summer I had, Saturday was the blooming flower of the year I was promised! My wife made a sale of an art piece of mine. I booked a job for August, and then one for October. Thank God. The biggest thing, however, was the most unexpected. Back in the beginning of the summer I was on this absolute kick of organizing the classroom. I was really flying and then I had the head injury and it all came to a crushing stop. Since then I have cleaned, moved things – I have not been able to get back into a groove, until Saturday. I just started busting it all up – I got the classroom ready AND my art chest of drawers cleaning out and reorganized! I donate, gave away and have a box for my friend, Evan, to go through this week!

Those things alone would have been amazing, but I wasn’t done. I also got TWO art projects done with the girls. Now, one was uber easy and quick – but, still!

All in all, things are looking up. I think that God’s plans are better than mine, so I am very willing to go with it! lol I mean, if the summer was the “set back” I am excited to seen what is coming!

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Here’s to a new school year!

Well, I won’t lie to you. We have never had that kind of a relationship, so why start now? The cold, hard, honest truth of the situation is that this summer sucked, and I type that sentence with a thermometer tucked dutifully under my tongue. It’s no secret that the last two years have been a throwback to 2009/2011 in that I have been sick more than not. Seriously, we are coming up on the two year mark of the first 2013 flu that I never fully, long-term recovered from.

AnypasstheAdvilpleaseway, if we took a jaunt through the summer we would have the remnants of my asthma coming back, a head injury, a foot injury, a month long erythema nodosum flareup and – finally – an overlapping “thing” that at first I thought was a bite, then a spider bite and now, sadly, I am thinking it may be a staph infection. (Flashback: I actually had a staph infection in 2002 that lasted MONTHS, took to me to the hospital twice AND required minor outpatient surgery. So, I am a little freaked out at the idea of staph.)

It’s hard not to be uber disappointed by the way it all panned out, at the same time I am in a weird space. It’s okay. The kids were happy, they entertained themselves by making art and videos and reading. I had A LOT of forced downtime and I created, made a plan and have some things on the burner that I would not have taken on if I was going, going, gone all summer! I was dealing with some guilt about the epic failure of this time, about the fact that I haven’t been to church, that I haven’t seen friends, that the workouts have been basically nonexistent. I was dealing with some nasty self-hate about the fact that the scale is reflecting a total gain (from my lowest weight) of 51.8 pounds over the last two years. Then, it was like I kind of stopped feeling all that. I’m not happy about the weight, but I am not angry at myself. I am not happy about the summer, but I am not sad over it either. It was like I entered this strange nothing over it. I can navigate in the nothing and get things done, so in that respect it is better than the stifling stagnation of depression. Only, I can’t quite get to happy. It’s like it is right on the other side of an invisible wall. I can reach for it and even feel it on my fingertips, but not wrap my hand around it. I am sure it has to do with being sick, with lack of normal and steady workouts and with the family situation that we are currently in.

Still, I can’t help but feel a little excited as the school year quickly approaches. I am happy to leave behind this dismal summer. I am excited to have a change in the monotony of these hot, long days. I am hopeful and full of this potential energy that is just dying to move again. So, I will say a little prayer for the trip I am about to make to urgent care (my Dr. wants me to go in) and for the rest of this summer’s nine days and then, come Monday morning the 10th of August I will be ready for something truly and completely different and amazing!

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“I’m a real boy!”

dude gets legs (5)

Lou ♥ has always loved making videos. Puppetry and directing make her so happy. Dude is her Muppet Whatnot from FAO Schwartz that she received from Santa about four years ago. Since then she has received several other full bodied puppets from other people and it had made her want Dude to be full bodied as well. She has brought it up a few times, and with our trip to see Harvey Rabbit looming she was all about it.

“Next year I am going to bring Dude.”

“Why next year?”

“Because by then Dude should have new legs.”

That conversation took place the Monday before the Harvey Rabbit show on Friday. She was THRILLED and asked me several times if it was really possible that i could have it done by then. I told her that as long as we found what we needed at Goodwill it was totes possible. We went to Good will and we found shoes, pants, a brand new shirt and I also scooped a Toy Story PJ top. Lou ♥ was all, “What’s that for?” and I was all, “Watch and see!” lol (I cut the arms off and made them legs.)

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“She is MY daughter, her mother is my wife.”

The following is a conversation I recently had, quoted to the best of my ability to recall it. I admit the details get a little fuzzy as I the conversation evolves and my anxiety rises. I do want to make sure that I clarify that the woman I was talking to was very sweet and kind and friendly. I am NOT writing this to talk about her AT ALL – I am writing it to talk about what I go through almost weekly and this just happened to be a recent and perfect example.

A couple of weeks ago I brought the girls to a field trip arranged by a local homeschooling group. It was our first time joining in and I was excited and nervous. It sounds funny for me to nervous, but it means new people and new people mean coming out – AGAIN. To add to an already anxious situation I know that a lot of these women go to local churches and, though I am an avid churcher and I love God and I love other Christians, the truth is that in today’s climate there are some “christians” that are mean and cruel and aggressive. I am always more wary when it involves my kids, so it was that I was nervous as I stood there waiting for others to show up.

Everything was going great, the people were friendly as people down here are. I had relaxed, joked, mingled and then it happened.

Her: (Looking at my second child.) She must look like her dad.

Me: (VERY uncomfortable. At this point if it is a stranger that I will never see I generally say, “Yep.” However, this is a woman I may befriend in time, our kids may play, I would like a group of homeschoolers to do fun things with.) She looks like her mom.

Her: Oh, so she’s your step daughter?

Me: No, she looks like her bio mom – she is my daughter.

Her: Did y’all adopt or are you her foster mother?

Me: (I want to cry and to leave and, a little, to throw up. I want this to stop so my daughter doesn’t hear this. I want the world to be a better place, where I feel safe because I am safe, not because I am hiding in my cocoon of acceptance.) She is MY daughter, her mother is my wife.

Her: Oh! OH! I’m sorry, look at me! You must get that, though…

We kind of talk over each other, me trying to make her comfortable and hating myself for it. After that she kind of avoids me, or am I avoiding her? I don’t know. Maybe she is staying away because she is embarrassed or maybe because I am a lesbian, heck it could be that I am staying away out of concern that the conversation isn’t over. At this point I don’t know.

If you can’t imagine the word brave being used in relation to Caitlyn Jenner then you have probably never known the fear and discomfort of coming out. As a femme lesbian I am faced with this virtually each time I meet someone new – and it doesn’t get easier. Some might think “get over it, it’s no big deal” and if that is how you feel that’s awesome, but when you assume that someone is straight you create an uncomfortable situation I can’t just get over – I have to come out, yet again. I have had people feel lied to because I didn’t clarify that I was married to a woman. I have had other’s feel like I talk about my gay too much when I did clarify, because they didn’t mind interacting with me as a straight person but when I explain that I am married to a woman (because they assumed I meant man when I said married) they feel uncomfortable. I have had people completely change how they interact with me. It happens all the time.

If you don’t see the big deal in this then you probably don’t have to worry about being kicked out of businesses, turned down for or fired from a job, getting verbally or physically assaulted due to who you are attracted to. Congratulations, you are blessed in ways you may never truly understand.

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Summer Reading 2015!!!

summer reading (9) Yesterday I took the girls to the Library to sign up for the summer reading program for the second year. Last year this was so much fun, we got movie tickets and a list of fun “book based” activities. It really got the kids excited. This year as we drove there they were wondering what the movie wold be (if we got tickets) and what our activities would be. They are super stoked. We got tickets to Back To The Future – yeah, apparently this year is the 30th anniversary! WHAT? I know, let’s move on a pretend it isn’t happening!

Anywho-doodle, Mavis, darling! and I have both read Rosa Parks already, Lou ♥ is reading it tomorrow. I read Anne Frank and cried. Lou ♥ and I both started the unicorn book and I am about to read The Books of Elsewhere! Happy summer reading, I will keep you guys posted!

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You deserve better!!! DIY Deodorant!

I know, I know, I KNOW – I am so aware that there are a thousand and one DIY deodorants out and about in the world of the interweb. Guess what? There is now one thousand and TWO! lol Mine is a twee different, as this post may wind up being. I’ll tell you why, and it is something you might already know – because I am not a 100% crunchy, vegan momma. Nothing is wrong with them, in fact I often envy them, but I am not one of them. I kind of have adopted the attitude that some is better than none and that doing what you can is better than holding off until you can go 100%. Let’s be honest, timing is rarely perfect and money is rarely abundant – you just have to jump into life. Also, here is a big life tip I came by a few years ago, if you start when and where you can you actually will wind up making great strides. When and where adds up quickly!

Ready – OKAY – just a quick FYI this recipe will fit perfectly into these little half cup canning jars perfectly! So, if you are blessed and able to just go out and purchase everything – perfect – if not, then I will give you tips along the way! Also, we don’t all live in a world where whole and natural things are readily available. You can use the Internet, I mean Amazon has almost EVERYTHING but if you don’t shop around you could wind up paying a lot more than you need to!IMG_1239

Clearly, CLEARLY, if you can get you hands on all organic everything your life will be better, you will be thinner, you will live longer, you honey will be hotter, your children more amusing and your crafts will be craftier… Maybe not, but that is what the world wants you to know. I want you to know that I buy organic when I can, on those days my crafts are not anymore craftier. I do what I can, but really the whole point of this – for me at least – was to get the bad deodorants out and in my opinion something made from five or six items that I could eat just seemed better than what we had. I am going to say – make sure ALL the ingredients that you use are food grade or could be ingested. You may not be eating them, but you are putting it on your skin daily and your skin will absorb it. In fact, whenever I am buying food or health items I try to buy the best of what I can afford. When picking up just one ingredient I can usually splurge and get the best, but when I need a lot I buy what I can.

You can get most of it from anywhere – seriously. Some grocery stores sell arrowroot powder, none around me, but some do. (Quick side note, a lot of my links will be to Amazon. I am a Prime subscriber – so fast free shipping makes me turn there first!) I used cornstarch because I had it and I wasn’t trying to buy anything because I didn’t know if it would work and I have spent about fifteen dollars in the pursuit of a natural deodorant and I am still using my poison when I need something I can depend on. I already had the diatomaceous earth because my mother had ordered a huge batch and given me half, I used this because of it’s clay-like qualities. Clay (and DE) will wick moisture away from the surface it is on keeping you drier feeling, giving less time for the bacteria that causes odor to feed on it and overall it feels good. I also knew that I would not be using a lot of baking soda. Baking soda is great for dry and stink free pits, but it can also eat up your skin. I know from experience that my skin will get angry and flare up if I smother it with baking soda, so I used mostly DE and a bit of baking soda. For a delicious scent I used 10 drops of clove essential oil and five spearmint oil drops. It is super easy to melt coconut oil, I mean REALLY. I used a small glass bowl inside a larger glass bowl that had hot water heated only from the tap.

Sounds great – but how does it work?

I keep it in the little glass container and when I need it I simply scoop some onto the back of my thumb nail and the melt it with both hands. It applies like a silky lotion and BANG – done!

The real question is DOES IT KEEP YOU SMELLING NICE? I know that is what you are asking and it has been tested and approved by me, the kids and my wife! So, let’s see. The first day I put it on after my workout and shower – I was giving it the “daily life” test. Throughout the afternoon or laundry and housework I sniffed repeatedly and there was nothing but the soft hint of minty clove. All good. The next morning I smelled like mint more than clove, but no BO. Having a hard time believing it could be working I had my girls give me a quick sniff test – they are going to be 11 and 13 this summer, and while they are awesome they can both be brutally honest. They were both impressed – though Mavis, darling! crinkled her nose and was like, “You smell like those air fresheners we made at Christmas!” It was cloves, she isn’t to hot for clove. lol

That afternoon I worked out – about forty minutes in the 85 degree swamp that we call air down here. I was SWEATING, which was what I wanted – to sweat like my body was made to do, but not stink. I came in drenched and, if I am being completely honest, a little scare to sniff! Dude! Under the intense heat of a workout I smelled like clove and mint – delish!!! I took my shower and reapplied – all day, all good. The third day I was sold, but felt like I might want another opinion. I took it to my wife. She literally sniff tested my pits on demand all day Sunday – pass, pass, pass, pass!!! This is a resounding success!

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I’m sorry. Just hear me out…

That’s how this would go if we were friends in real life (just found out that there is a interweb shorthand for in real life – irl – I know, kids today make everything so easy!) Though, if I am honest I think that if we were irl friends then you wouldn’t make me say I’m sorry. After all, love means never having to say I’m sorry… My blogging bunnies I fell hard for that line of Love Story and I let it help a few undeserving people out of a lot of awful things. It’s true, love means never having to say you are sorry BUT reciprocated love means saying that you are sorry and SHOWING that you are sorry BECAUSE YOU ARE not because you HAVE to! That’s the catch there!

Back to MY I’m sorry! I am, I sort of fell off of earth. I am mentally/spiritually processing a lot. It’s like my seedling out grew her pot and I had to go away and replant. Life is – once again – up in the air and it is both exciting and terrifying. Physically 2015 has been a good pain year, nothing crazy and I am more mobile that I have been in a while. I have been ill – I have asthma and new allergies, but those are now being treated. Creatively I am exploding, thank God, and I have been able to open an etsy shop, Sagittarian Designs.

This summer we have tons of things to make, do and go. I hope to blog and also to sort out this strange I am feeling. No matter what I plan to be here at least once a week!

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