the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

A garden full of snakes.

We took the kids to a science/rock show in Baton Rouge a few weeks ago. It was a well planned weekend that fell apart when we got stuck in traffic on the New Orleans high rise for HOURS – HOURS people!!!

Anyway, we hit that show with a hard plan to make sure that we got all things taken care of so that we didn’t miss a thing. I was desperate to do the craft – not knowing what it was – but that was the last thing planned because we prioritized the kids. Then we found out that it was painting a rock and, unhappy with drying times and the available mediums, we decided just to take our rocks and paint them later.

Later was postponed and postponed until the perfect opportunity set itself in front of us. Happily, that was Easter Sunday. We sat together that evening and painted our little rocks. We loved it. We will be doing more, clear coating them, and setting them in our next garden when God moves us where He will.

In case you wanted more, here is the small video I made about the trip:

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A call for prayer.

Well, we have been on this journey for some time now. We have looked all over and answered questions we did not know we had. We know now where we would like to be. We have found the home – more importantly – THE LAND of our future and we have laid it before God with a prayer that our home sell quickly and at a good price so that we may move on. Please pray that our home sell and that this new place remains available for us. Thank you.

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Simple & yummy!

Real quick, because lately if it ain’t quick it ain’t happening! lol Two fast, fun things to eat:

First up, Banana Cups – basically a banana ice cream made and then portioned out to be portable and quickly accessible!

All you need to make them my way is bananas (very, very ripe) and coconut oil. Of course, you can add chocolate chips, coconut bits or anything that you would like!

Next is a dish I make a lot and I think I shared here before. At least a variation probably! I love to cook for my wife. It makes me happy that even though she is out of town I can still be a big part of her daily life.

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Ah,the insanity!

Darlings! My little blogging bunnies, you know how much I adore a good before and after don’t you? Of course you do! So, If I were to tell you that the entirety of 2016 thus far has been one big Pinterest-y makeover of my dwelling and yet I have NOT ONE set of before and after photos – If I told you that, would it help you understand how blown my mind is by everything going on??? Because, for sure, my mind is blown.

I sit here this morning with my coffee and my computer (not yet introduced to you) and the house is silent, and the world is calm and my brain is racing. I have been – thus far this year – always on edge. We have listed our home, our sweet abode, and have set out to find a new, sweeter abode. (Actually, just different. I love our home now. I love her grass and her spirit and everything. The time is here, however, that I have to realize this life isn’t life anymore. I am glad I came “home” after Katrina hit. I needed it, but now my whole family needs this and when I am honest with myself – I am glad to put this place behind me.)

We are looking in an area about an hour to an hour and a half away. I have my heart set on a place, but we have to sell ours first and I can only pray and trust God to deliver it for us. We will have land, space to grow and evolve and plant and raise. We will have chickens again – and at this point I think even complete strangers know how much I miss my chickens. Ducks, a cow, goats – an outdoor sanctuary and ART. So much art. It took a while to find myself, to make art from a happy place, to create a voice of worship with my art. Now, thankfully, I have that and I can’t wait to cover our little piece of heaven with art! (There WILL be before and after photos of that!)

 

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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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