the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

Changing my MIND.

We girls, we reserve the right to change our mind – and then change them back. lol That is not what this post is about. This post is about changing my mind’s reality – redefining things that were defined for me before myself or my mother or my great-great-great grandmother existed.

Food.

Yep. It’s me, returning to a blogging past of FOOD. I mean, I had a whole blog based on what I would/would not, did/did not eat. Food. Food is a cultural, religious, emotional, life staple and, for me, it is my drug. I am a food addict. I am very careful about saying that. I want to speak life over myself, speak freedom, and love and light – so, I will say I am a food addict on the road of recovery. I flipped back and forth between not want to say that I was an addict, but in the end – this is the right choice for me. Using my God to deny this in the form of not claiming it did not help me stay sober, in fact it allowed me to pretend I was not in need of sobriety anymore. Twisted, I know, but I am an addict. We twist.

On and off as I have struggled to reach and maintain sobriety I have visited the idea of abstaining from food. I visit this idea and then declare that it is impossible, because it is. I then look for ways to get as close as possible. Shakes? Juices?

Perhaps, though, reaching sobriety will be a blend of redefining both sobriety and food. So, I am going to be going on an ALL Soylent diet for seven days. I ordered the Soylent powder 1.5 yesterday and I think that as soon as it comes I will mix it and start the next day. As a disclaimer I do have a race scheduled for the 30th and I will be getting a medium Green Tea Tango with strawberries afterwards.

The plan right now is evolving BUT instead of making a little notebook I am going to live it out right here and one YouTube. I will tweak and change and thing and move in a transparent way that will hopefully help me and anyone who logs onto the interweb some day looking for help in an impossible feeling situation.

 

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I want to know..

Last Christmas my mother asked me to make a family tree for her. I was totally into the idea (though it hasn’t happened yet – I don’t know where the year went but I know that both of my Christmas gift art projects are still undone!) because lately I have been really trying to understand what it means to be – white.

edited me

Clearly I blocked out names because it seemed like a lot of information to be putting out there in one place. idk

Look, I know what it means to be white skinned in the south – I know that it means I am safer, I am more employable, I am born with the privilege of living without many of the social and economic hardships that my fellow brothers and sisters of earth do not enjoy. I didn’t always know that – but I do now. What I didn’t understand what how my mother could look at pictures of her father – thick black hair, dark eyes, deep brown skin and say, “That’s the Indian in him.” If we were white, how was he Native American? I was raised in a white-washed white world with NO CONNECTION to any sense of history, family, culture other than the small family I knew and the culture of Southern Louisiana and New Orleans.
It honestly never occurred to me that I came from somewhere. That my family came from someplace beyond the land deep in the south of Mississippi where my grandmother’s grandmother still lived. I was SHOCKED when I was told that Native American’s weren’t allowed to go to school or have other rights and due to that our Native American ancestors registered their children as white. I knew that there were Irish-Native American marriages, but had no idea that many Native Americans married outside of the tribes to avoid persecution and to attempt to be accepted and afforded the chance to just live. Many of those we to the poor Irish, which my great grandparents were. Then the brain starts to question all sorts of things. I was angry that they would have to do that and that no one seemed angry – in fact they seems happy just to be white. “You just are.” I was told. How? How? Just because we passed? How was it okay to just walk away from who you were and become something else? Would everyone back then have done the same?
Finding out about that side of the family has been hard enough, but the other side is even worse. There was an adoption – though it is questionable if it was an adoption or an out of wedlock baby adopted by only the father. That happens to be the lead I am following due to the fact that that is the only story I was given with much conviction. There was a great grandmother who spoke German, though someone else remembers her speaking French – what?
Though the disappearance of any Native American blood is one thing, if it was better I can almost understand. Why, though, do we have NO connection to the Irish side? No celebrations or customs – what happened to their way of life? There had to be something. What happened to any of the things that made the people I came from who they were? Other than a long line of addiction I can’t see them. Maybe it was the fact that they were so poor that there wasn’t much to pass on, maybe it was the addiction that left nothing to look back on fondly… It’s not that I don’t want to be white, I am white. I am also confused and disconnected.
It all left me blank, an open canvas with no real loyalty to the white mass. I am filling my canvas with learning, with our own customs and culture. I am investigating where I come from for my daughters – it’s where they come from. I am learning where they came from, we talk about the history that they have as best as I have been able to discover it. I am embracing ALL of my history – because while I don’t know much about me the individual I know I am an American and that American history, LGBT history, Black history – the good and the bad – ALL of it is ours to share and know and learn from.

I really can’t tell if what I am trying to say is coming across. I hope so, but if not I will keep trying…

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Maybe not.

So I started the cooking/counting and tracking with gusto. It was going well. I found that most of my meals cost between .55 cents and 2 dollars to make. I took a lot of pictures and several time sat down to load them. Here’s the thing: I can’t right now. There is too much with the packing and the schooling (wrapping up as winter break approaches) and the Christmas gift making and EVERYTHING else. So, I figured that documenting my food cost would be good enough for now. I am trying to remember every time I grocery shop to take photos and from there I should be able to tell how much the food budget is.

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Weekly grocery trip: $122.97

Walmart: $78.50

Save-A-Lot: $38.44

Winn-Dixie: $6.03

food

 

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Feeding a family.

I have been really pouring over the budget, figuring out where and how to save. I coupon when it fits, but I don’t have the time or the space to “stock pile” and I don’t see any reason to save money on things I don’t actually use…

Anywho, as I Googled I found a slew of blog post and articles on the topic of stretching the family food budget and on feeding the family. Thing is half of those were couponers who fed their family on three dollars a week by saving a thousand dollars – um, not helpful for me. Many were people who were feeding LARGE families or who were challenging themselves to feed the family on ten dollars a week. Some utilized six deep freezers and hunted meat. Nothing resonated.

Then I found an article about a woman who talked about feeding her family on the 500 dollars that SNAP provided and how she often skipped meals. It struck me because that is my goal. 500 dollars for a family of four. I am not on any food programs, though I have used them in the past when I needed them. (Two particular times in my life is the months following hurricane Katrina when I lost my home and job and was completely lost in life, and another was after a storm took our power for days and we lost all of our food we were allowed a month of emergency food assistance which was seriously miraculous. I was so overwhelmed looking into the mess and thinking, “How can I possibly replace this in our budget!”)

I was reading it and there were several points that kind of confused me, but what really struck home was that I DO THAT. I feed my family of four (two adults and two teens) on 600 dollars a month, only lately I have been striving to make that number 500. Only we home school and ALL meals are made in the kitchen: breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruit, snack. The end. I decided to actually LOOK look and really get into where our food budget goes. Over the next week (I would like longer, but this week at least) I will be documenting all the meals that come out of my kitchen and the cost.  To give a fair picture I decided to document all the food currently in the house.

Don’t be judgey about the mess of my fridge (I didn’t even realize until a flash was going off) or the quality of food. This isn’t about how to eat (though I try to be balanced and I try to talk about our choices with the kids.) This isn’t about what should or shouldn’t be cooked. You will see processed foods and you will see snacks and you will see me not eating enough or eating too much. I am going to be honest, and that will probably be messy. Be kind, I am opening myself and my kitchen in an effort to help myself and add something to the conversation.

My pantry:

The fridge and freezer:

The twee deep freezer:

The photo not included (because my phone ate it) was of the bread box and it would have revealed a half pack of small white tortillas (used before I started tracking,) a pack of hamburger buns (most of which were used before this,) and a half of a loaf of wheat bread.

And there it is, a full account of all the food in this home! Saturday is the first day that I am going to be crunching the numbers and documenting everything.

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No. 35

My sister sent me this gem via Instagram yesterday. A brand new me. lol I like to think it was one of the best days of her life!

My sister sent me this gem via Instagram yesterday. A brand new me. lol I like to think it was one of the best days of her life!

That’s where I am today, number 35.

Staring at this giant shift in life. Starting to learn and navigate with more courage. Unlimited possibility and full of ideas. I am so blessed to be loved the way I am and to be gifted with talent. This year I have a few goals: be the best mom/teacher ever, involve the kids more creatively, money from art/passion.

I’d also like to blog and vlog more – I miss it.

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Goodbye, summer…

I know that we said goodbye to the summer some time ago, but down in the bayou it has still been sweltering. Our green trees are evergreen and, while the days have gotten suddenly shorter with the time change, the sun is still blazing in the sky! It’s a hard time, the holidays are firing at you but you just don’t feel like it’s November when you are struggling to breathe through the humid heat. This week, however, I was able to open the windows for a few hours TWO days in a row. There was a lovely chill to the mornings and it crept back around noon only to return in the evening and tuck us in.

Around here the holiday season is in competition with the fact that we are looking over the next year at a move and a change that seems but natural yet HUGE! lol I keep getting swept up in the fact that every time I look away from my girls they seem to leap into the next stage of life.

Seriously, we’ve been downsizing and cleaning to prepare the house and we just sold the kitchen. The simple wooden play kitchen that Lou ♥ got from Santa when she was four. The little pastel kitchen she passed to Mavis, darling! only a few years later. Yes, that kitchen. My girls young ladies and I sunned and hung out in the breeze and watched as a young family drove away with the kitchen of their little baby girl’s dreams.

Halloween came and went and the kids and I got a special TREAT – hehe, see what I did there? Halloween = trick or treat = special TREAT! lol Okay, here it is: for the first time in YEARS my wife was home for the trick or treating and we got to go as a family! It would have been nice anyway, but considering that this is probably our last time going in this neighborhood (if at all as the kids get older) it was extra special.

There is a lot going on around the house, a lot of art in my mind and a lot to be done. For now, I am starting Christmas gifts with the kids and looking to plan our next jewelry show. I also have a tone of writing rattling around my head – so I hope to see you guys more!

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Manolo Maria Luna

manolo (7)We got ourselves a new vehicle last weekend. It was MUCH needed and I am excited, while nervous about having a note. There is a lot going on with my art and face painting so hopefully that will boom now that I can get where I need to go I can book jobs!

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Goodbye.

Jamie (5)I knew your light was flickering, but I truly thought you would recover. I never imagined it any other way. I can’t believe you are gone. I am shocked.

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Life lately!

You guys I swear when I make plans it is as if NOTHING can line up. Then, when I just toss in the towel, it comes banging back together! lol Such is life lately:

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