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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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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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