Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Different Thoughts of the day

I went up to my husbands former employer today to deal with our 401 K, scary hu? His boss is married to a really preety lady that has been intimidating to me in the past. But today I was ok, I think I am feeling secure enough with myself that I didn't feel intimidated.



One thing though that has been on my mind is the differance in the amount of money that we have. It's not really an envy thing, I really appreciate what I have, but it did cause me to rethink my priorities a bit.



For one thing, they have a lot more at stake than we do in their 401 K. That is good in some ways, and of course if the US economy grows and keeps going then they are better off. But what if there is the off chance that the US economy totally flops? What if inflation grows totally out of control and the value of peoples portfollios is completely wiped out. They having a lot more will feel a lot worse than I would. What if I lost everything? Well right now, I feel secure in the idea that I will be taken care of. I know it seems naieve but that is how things have worked out for me. about 6 years ago we did lose just about everything and I was scared stiff. We had no car, no jobs, no money. What did I do? I prayed my guts out and worked through our problems to find a solution. Things worked out.



So this line of thinking led me to think about my general attitude about things. I realized that I have a bit of a defense mechanizim for when things get out of my control, I just let go. I stop thinking about what is bothering me. Our money situation and our business have really been bothering me, I have no control over it and I have had to let go. But that leads to problems. I get really aimless about life. It is hard to figure out what to do with myself and I let other important things slide also. So today, I took a look at what was happening and grabbed a hold of the reigns and started doing something productive again. Just in the nick of time I hope. Of course I haven't let everything slide, but it feels good to be trying a bit harder again.



Well I think I had better get to sleep, I will write more on this line of thinking later.

~Strawberry Girl

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why do I waste so much time?

I don't know what it is, but I keep waiting for something to happen. It's like I am in this rut and I just wish it would go away and that something exciting would happen.

Today, I accidently backed into someones car, when I was trying to turn around. The street they were parked on is super narrow and their car is low and I have to drive around monster Yukon (not by choice). I hate having to drive this big ol' truck around. It's a gas guzzler and not my style either.

Anyway, besides for that I had better get going and do something with my day. I think I will go for a run. I should also read my book, that everyone say's is great but I am still trying to get into it. Well gotta dash.

~Strawberry Girl

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wild Strawberries

Imagine that you are walking in a field, there are numerous streams here and there all flowing down to a beautiful crystal clear lake. The field is full of green grasses and beautiful surprizes. Hiding in small clusters are these little plants with snowy white star shaped flowers and as you look closer you discover little red strawberries, as bright as the sun and they taste like the sun as well. They are tender and warm and delicious. This is one of the reasons why I love strawberries. Here is a picture I found on the internet of wild strawberries.



I hope they make you feel happy and that your day is great.

~Strawberry Girl

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hair Dressing and Backyard adventures

Today, I went in to get my hair colored. It was a hectic day, since I had my carpets cleaned earlier and I totally cleaned out my closet in the living room and threw out a bunch of stuff.

I am so glad I found this hairstylist, she advertised on craigslist for free haircuts. So I thought “hmm I wonder if it’s a student?” Luckily for me she is a former shop owner who wanted to work from home and is trying to attract clients. So she’s been cutting hair for 17 years and she gave me such a good hair cut that I gave her $8 dollars for it and then came back today for a weave. It is a little bit lighter than I wanted, but it’s not so bad that I hate it. This reminds me of one of my first “professional” hair dye jobs. My mom brought me to a student hair school and I got a real fine job done, about the brightest beach bottle blonde that you can imagine. I had to go to school the next day with it, the mean girls had fun with that one.

Anyway, I have been thinking about what it was like in my backyard as a kid. We had a decent sized back yard for a duplex apartment and my dad liked to grow stuff. He had these large gardens that always seemed to get overgrown. One year, when I was about 15/16 he had gone way overboard on the miracle grow, so the back yard was like a jungle, just the way I liked it.

I can remember how comforting it was to me to know that there were so many thriving plants outside. I would lay in my bed by the window and look up at the bright moon. My room was on the second floor and the garden was right outside my bedroom. There were also these tall trees, back further behind the fence, that would shake in the wind. Especially during a storm, for some reason this sound is comforting to me.

We were also fairly close to the railroad tracks. Not so close that the train clickety clacked right by our house, but close enough that I could hear the lonely whistle blow, right before bed. It seemed to me that the sound of the train whistle was a reminder to slow down a little and think of what was going on in my life.

I am a very reflective creature and I love to have a nice garden to walk in when I want to think. Sometimes when I was troubled I would rise from my bed, with tears threatening, and I would walk out barefoot to the garden. We had stones set along side our house that I would step on each in turn to get out back. I would hold off on crying, and I would take a deep breath, this would calm and soothe me.

I would either find myself in a swing, which I would slowly rock back and forth in, or I would find the wooden bench that my dad had placed in the garden. This was half of a picnic table that folded into a bench. It was by small pink wild roses, their smell is spicy, not at all like the rose that reveals itself from a bud. I would breathe deeply, calmed by the sound of the crickets chirping somewhere in the distance.

If I was really troubled, I would climb through the hole in the fence out into the untamed wild beyond our backyard. This lot was really like a piece of wilderness cut out and preserved all around by fenced back yards.

I knew all of the ways into and out of this lot, as well as my brother. It was our paradise, we called it “the snake pit.” So christened by chance because we had found a plastic pool and upon lifting it discovered some worms. My brother, wanting to scare me, mentioned that there might be snakes in the pit, so the snake pit it was from then on. We were really very imaginative kids, and made much of our lot (actually belonging to the grumpy guy behind us, he played a part in our imaginative lore).

As I said, if I was really troubled I would walk through the hole in the fence (it was a wooden fence with a board missing, that dad never seemed to fix). I would listen to the sound of the trees, rustling, unsettled. The grasses grew tall around me, enclosing me in their world. I would make my way over a large pile of concrete, that was dumped randomly in the middle of the lot. Since it was surrounded by trees it seemed like part of the wilderness. I would go and find a place to lay, among the wildness of the tall grass, there I could cry. There my dad and his angry words could not touch me, I could never speak what I really thought around him. Sometimes I would scream, out into the darkness, muffled by my arm because I really knew that I was surrounded by houses and what would they think. It was so soothing to lay there, my tears would dry and I would feel immensely better. Strange how it is so hard for me to cry now, even when I am really upset. Maybe it is because my wilderness is gone, my freedom.

That is partially why I love to walk near the river. It is the same river trail that ran a couple of blocks from my home when I was growing up, I retreated there with my brother many times. This part of the trail is further down. When I was growing up I never walked up to where the trail is by my house. It was like that part of the trail belonged to the future, and it does. It is strange now to walk all the way down to where I used to haunt the river, that part of the trail belongs to the past.

How I wish I could guess, where the future is headed now. I have been so unsettled, trying to figure out who I am. Because I have felt so lost these long years, eating food that made me feel sick.

It is funny when I come across something that truly resonates with me, I hold on tight to it. Like Strawberry Shortcake, the old fashioned version, the new version does very little for me. I have found that I like deep red, the dark pink, teal green, and a certain shade of blue. I'm not sure if it is because of Strawberry Shortcake or not, but those are some of the colors that the artist uses for her. I wonder if the colors you like reveal anything about you. Maybe they do, I used to only be able to wear blacks and dark grey’s, maybe it was because of my mood. My little sister is entrenched in black and has now colored her hair black, I was never that bad, I am kind of scared for her.

I guess I had better get to bed, I really need the sleep because tomorrow is going to be another busy day.

~Strawberry Girl

Great Gobs of Corn Syrup

Well, well, well

I saw an interesting ad the other day. A lady and her fellow are relaxing on the grass having a picnic. She offers him 1 red popsicle and he say's "I thought you loved me?" and she say's "What?" He say's doesn't that popsicle contain High Fructose Corn Syrup and she say's "So?" and he say's "isn't that stuff bad for you?" and he seems a bit puzzled as to why. She tells him that "A little bit is safe for you, it's just a popsicle" or something to that effect.

This certainly points out the general confusion and misinformation on HFCS, but it does so in a way that play's on our fear of being "Paranoid" or different. HFCS, it's safe, right? NOT AT ALL, Don't be fooled. Here is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Mercola. I have actually read on this further and they are working hard over in Australlia to ban this stuff. Here is the excerpt

"Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.
Whereas the glucose in other sugars is used by your body, and is converted to blood glucose, fructose is a relatively unregulated source of fuel that your liver converts to fat and cholesterol."

Here is a link to this article:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/09/23/dramatic-example-of-how-the-food-industry-lies-to-you-about-corn.aspx?source=nl

Don't be fooled.

~Strawberry Girl

Monday, September 22, 2008

Life, enjoyable life!!

I guess that my last post sounded a bit harsh, with my opinion of junk food. Don't think I don't eat sweets or good food. To the contrary, I get to eat absolutely the best food in the world. Let me expound on that:

Last night I ate delicious Muligatawny soup, for a snack I had some tortilla chips with cream cheese type cultured Macadamia nut pulp. For a salad earlier I had a spring lettuce mix with sunflower sprouts and a sweet coconut vinegar dressing, yummy.

Tonight I had roasted free range chicken with steamed veggies covered with the yummiest butter from a pasture raised cow (it is chock full of good omega 3's and CLA's). In fact I get to enjoy this butter whenever I feel like it because I know it is good for me. For dessert I had a decadent Xocai chocolate nugget.

I get to enjoy the outdoors, now that my body feels happy to be there. Everyday I look off to the mountains, they are so beautiful. Rich verdant green mountains in front of a purplish red one. I can see clear back into them and imagine that I am walking among them. The river as I walk is soothing, rushing over rocky barriers, splashing and roaring over the waterfalls. Yet I am aware of the pollution in the river, I cringe to see the murk gathering behind rocky barriers and debris all along the trail and in the river. Plus there is the ever present graffiti along on anything big enough to write on. Also my soul cry's when I see someone sitting on the side of the trail, looking lost, dazed, ill. My spirit is revived when I see animals and wildlife. There is a big population of quail that call the river trail home. Plus there are usually ducks, and mud dobbers along the bridges. One day there was this dog, happiest creature in the world for he had gotten loose and was free (for the time being). He loped along, running, running, dashing in the water. Back and forth going up to friendly people and then dashing off before they could touch him. Then also there is the sound of the wind. How reviving it is to feel it rushing over you, blowing all of your cares away. Rustling the leaves, cleaning the air. Man, how I missed so much when I was eating an unhealthy diet (plus foods that I had an allergy to). I want to cry over how much I have missed. Every year we go up to a family reunion in the mountains. One year we got clear up to this beautiful verdant valley, and all I could do was sit there, tense, with a ringing in my ears that wouldn't go away (I never thought that it would go away, but it has, HA doctors). I wanted so badly to relax, man that was sad. Then there were the trips that we would take to the sand dunes, beautiful, I couldn't take too much of it, I would end up in the car. I remember laying out with my dad and my cousins. My dad was explaining the stars to us, I remember being so frustrated because I couldn't follow what he was saying and everyone else seemed to be getting it. Then there were the hikes that we have gone on, I couldn't make it very far without being exhausted and I had to sit down, how sad, so very sad. I never, ever, ever want to feel that way again. I wish I could give someone that feels like that 10 minutes of how I feel today, just so that they might believe me when I tell them that what they eat is vitally important. Man, life can be so good and enjoyable. That's what I would like to say (although I sometimes get in a prosaic mood and whatever I say, no matter what, comes out preachy and self righteous, grrr.)

Goodnight to you all,

~Strawberry Girl

I Can RUN!!!

Imagine the kid running in the back of the crowd in school, panting, wheezing, lungs on fire after 10 steps, that was me, it was pathetic.

Today, I have made a breakthrough!! I never thought it would be possible, I ran for 10 minutes straight!!! I think I could have ran longer but I wanted to cool down before I got home. It is a miricle!! My lungs did not burn, my head did not ache, my muscles responded and worked instead of ceasing up. FOOD IS EVERYTHING to your health!! The greatest truth I have found, besides God, is that the food you eat will determine how healthy you are. I don't mean that your "not sick," I mean how well your body will function. I wish my family would "get it," but they don't. It is probably the greatest source of contention (besides money) in my life right now. People say, well eating a treat now and then won't hurt you. Yes it will, it absolutely will, but your body will recover better if you eat mostly diet free of processed foods and high in raw veggies (and a bit of fruit). Does this make me sound fanatical? I know it does, so I don't go around espousing my view to everyone, I usually only talk about it to those who "get it."
I allow people to believe the "little bit" of bad view, because they don't want to believe otherwise and I don't think that you should push your view point on anyone. It is a bit irritating though because I feel so good. I say "Break off The Shakles," almost everything that I ate before was bad for me. Sad, but what can I say.

Anyhow, now for something amusing. Today I saw some ducks at the river, it was funny how they would totally invert themselves somehow paddling with their head down in the water, looking for minnows. Ducks are definantly talented creatures. Also amusing it my attempt at guacamole today. Man, the recipe looks easy, I don't know what I did wrong but my guacamole tasted strange. I am definantly going to have to do a major internet search on guacamole recipes and try and work it out right. I ate my strange guacamole anyway, because I had some blue corn chips that were begging for something to dip them in. (Yes blue corn chips are relatively healthy, or I wouldn't eat them right?)Ah well, next time.

That's all for now,

~Strawberry Girl

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Failed Cooking Experiments. . .

OK I confess, I experiment a lot, but that is a good thing. Right now I think that I make the best darn chicken soup out there (or at least in my world). It is a basic recipe that can be moulded one way or another. Sometimes it is a basic chicken and veggies, or chicken and rice, my current favorite is a play on yummy muligatawny soup (with curry and coconut milk). I have made different types of gluten free breads with varying success, in those cases I found that I wasn't feeling very healthy eating them, so I have been holding back on those until I can increase my reprotire of knowledge on which recipes work and look good. Last week I made a fairly decent Oatmeal and Millet based bread, I think I will work with that a bit more.

Now for the experiment that is the most amusing to me and which prompted me to write it down. I got into a mexican cooking kick, most likely because I love the food (Yum). So I found numerous recipe's to start experimenting with. I got fairly good at Pico di galo. I made homemade corn tortillas. Then I decided to take on what is what I consider to be one of the biggest projects, homemade Tamales. It took me a while to prepare myself to try this out. I bought the necessary equipment (a stainless steel steamer pot) and bought Masa, and chile's and of course a big hunk of meat. Then there was the difficulty of which type of fat to use in the preparation of the Masa, of course Lard is the best to use for this, but I had been adverse to buying and using Lard in the past considering it to be very fattening and bad for your arteries. After some research I found some vegetarian recipes that used olive oil. Being that I am or was very ignorant on what would happen, I thought that it would make a good substitute. So I got making my Tamales and the meat turned out really well, juicy and flavorful. I wasn't really thinking about how the Masa dough would turn out. So I made a whole bunch of them. Unfortunantly for me, my sons little friend came over. His grandma is very good at making Tamales and he smelled the Masa cooking. So he was hanging around and although I was uneasy serving an untested recipe I told him he could try them, but I warned him that they were not the same. Boy oh boy they definantly were not. The olive oil gave them a nice delicate bitter taste, not at all yummy. But he was a polite kid, he ate his Tamale and didn't complain. I gave everyone some yummy cookies to make up for it. But I am sure that he won't want to try my Tamales again. I did some more research and found some Pricy Organic Lard from an Amish farm. This makes acceptable, although I know they are not authentic, Tamales. My daughter is totally hooked. I have found that the best Tamales that I have turned out took just a bit of common sense, some carmelized onions and spices added to the meat. Enough Lard and flavorful stock to the dough. Boy those type of Tamales are good.

As to other cooking experiments. I have found that cooking with whole, real foods usually turns out good food (and simple is usually better). I am frustrated though that even when I cook an excellent meal, no one really appreciates it. So I have hit a bit of a block on my cooking, but I am still trying, because I love to experiment. When I do find something that works, it is so gratifying. Anyway, maybe I will make a little food blog. Because I am into that type of thing, and I will attach it as a link to this blog.

~Strawberry Girl

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Time that I Write Best is . . .

When I am stuck at the lake without a pen, pencil or decent paper. Or when I am trying to fall asleep. I have this very interesting story or dialouge playing out in my mind and I wish I could write it down, but know that if I get up to do so it will be 3:00 a.m. before I get to go to sleep.

I keep thinking that I really need to get a recorder so that I can talk out what I want to, but then again, how strange would it be to hear myself talking and what would everyone think if I went around talking into a recorder "she walks into a room and tosses her cardigan sweater into the beat up chair by the wall . . . ." People might be a bit amused to say the least.

You know, I really miss having my cousins around, a lot. They are so busy, and we have grown apart I guess. They are really the only ones that I can have goofy conversations with and laugh it up because of how rediculous we sound. You know that I really like you if I joke around with you. We always like to tease each other when we get together. Life really is so much funner when you don't take yourself to seriously.

That reminds me of an ironic moment that I had driving around trying to get too many things done at once. In the past I sometimes would bring a salad or something with me while I am driving, a habit that I have sworn off of now. I was driving around trying to eat a bowl of salad and thought of how rediculous it would look if I got in an accident and had to explain why there was salad all over the car.

Well that's enough for now about my goofy escapades, it's about time for bed.

~Strawberry Girl

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Banks

American's

The propossed bailout for the banking industry cannot be allowed to pass without protest. Write your congressman. Here is a link to a website to oppose this bailout

http://stopthehousingbailout.com/

and here is a link to contact your congressmen

Stop The Housing Bailout: Send a Letter to Congress

The Secret of Roan Inish

This is a good movie that I just watched, really cute. May be I miss something about the sea, the old ways, how people used to be. This reminded me of that deep longing we sometimes feel and don't know why.

I will post more later since it is late. Tomorrow I plan on checking out this little farmers market store near me. I am so glad another health food store has come into the area.

~Strawberry Girl

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Economic Worries

Wow,



America is making the world mad, especially the middle east. More millitary action in Pakistan!! Of course I can see how we need to get rid of the threat of extreamist Al-Quaida and other militant groups, but this is not the way, is it?



What is disturbing is the amount of political and military involvement which our government continues to use in other countries. We elect people to go and help solve "Our" problems, not create more for us.

In my economics class I learned that since WWII the government has been using military spending as a regulatory force upon the economy. The theory is that this increase in spending will create new jobs. This theory has always sat uneasily with me. Sure more military spending, more jobs, who doesn't want more jobs? But why does it have to be military spending?

What is better for our economy is for people to responsibly work hard and be creative with their lives. Then for them to save and responsibly buy what they need.

President Bush encouraged Americans to be patriotic and to go out and "spend" after 9-11, what a bunch of malarkey.

Don't get me started on all of the companies that they "bailed" out. This has the effect of lowering interest rates (already being lowered by the fed) and encouraging more people to buy houses. Guess what? That's how we got into this mess in the first place, by people being unwilling to save and wait until they were responsible enough to own a home. That's how the price of houses increased so quickly over the past 10 or so years, that's why people have to work 15 jobs to pay their mortgages, that's partly why mommies are not home with their kids, why crime is on the rise, why the cost of everything is going up. Plus the bailouts and fiat money create more inflation and therefore a tax on every single person in America.



I am looking for ways to avoid being beholden to the government and to be responsible with my life. I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint by buying as much as possible used, buying local, buying organic, buying Certified Free Trade, plus I have a garden, sure this year it wasn't as good as it could be, I am a novice and don't know much about it, next years garden will be better. I am trying to learn about it as I go.

Plus the next time an opportunity arrises to get involved with the government I am going to find a way to contribute. If that means becoming a delegate, I will try to become one. If I had my choice right now for President it would be Ron Paul. I don't agree with everything that he say's but I agree with more of what he says than anyone else (give me a break McCain or Obama, woopie).

That's my rant for now.

~Annie

Drink from the Well of Life!


Wow, my walk/run today was terrific!



The river has always been my cleanser. Even when my mind was foggy, I would take off my shoes and feel the brisk water rush over my feet. The sensation of cold slimy algae under my feet and fish bumping up against my legs woke me up really quick.
Water skeeters are delightful. The shape their feet make on the water, three circles, concentric, rippling outward, merging with one another. I used to carry those little skeeters and their little circles home with me in a cup. Pure Bliss!!


Drink from the well of life and that more deeply!!

~Strawberry Girl

Live like no one's watching!

How many people out there really enjoy their lives? How many people on Wall Street get up each day with a feeling of well being, that their lives matter, that this world is good?

When you focus on those things that are important like, good health, good friends, good music and family. Then no matter how much money you have you will have a good life.

Good health, I want to postulate that it is very essential. Yes if you have other things then you can try to enjoy them, but view my world for a minute when I eat the wrong foods. . . I am dizzy, half awake, my logic is disrupted because my mind is cloudy, I am grumpy, and I feel a general sense of malease. (Imagine the song Away From the Sun by Three Doors Down)

Contrast that to how I felt Monday, refreshed, calm, clear headed, with a feeling of well being. I had been eating a very good diet for the past week. There is a big difference in the world between the two. Right now I am slightly dizzy and sleepy because I had maple syrup on my Gluten Free waffle, I am going to have to walk it off or sleep it off. I have got to find a way to replace sugary syrup.

Good friends, family and music can also come and go but I find that without them my world is not as exeptional.

I also like a good herbal tea, Roobios (Roy Boss) tea or i.e. red tea from Africa is absolutely my favorite right now. I have enjoyed mint teas in the past, but found out that I am sensitive to them so I am trying to avoid them for now.

Also, how can you enjoy life if you have no one to talk to? Friends and family are the spice and color to life. Sure I am an artist in my own mind, I enjoy solitude as much as the next person, but I also enjoy cooking with my friends and good conversation. My good friend Tanya moved away and I miss her deeply because we were able to cook and talk together.

Enjoy Life, even if you have poor health, no friends or family. Even if your world is bereft of music, there is a way to have meaning to your life. Viktor Frankle a survivor of a Nazi Concentration camp, endured the worst conditions to life in human history. Yet he said that even under these conditions there were people who went around lifting others, giving up there last piece of bread and showing that they could choose to find dignity, even in suffering. Then there were others who's spirits were broken, I don't know that my own spirit would stand up to that test. But it gives me hope that there were people who did rise above their conditions, how inspiring. If they died, and most did, even then there lives had meaning. They, through the eyes of others, have given us all a glimpse of the better way of being. I am so grateful to have learned about them. The Nazi Concentration camps seemed to me only places where broken people were made, but even Viktor Frankle shows me that you can survive and change and have a better attitude then you had before.

One of my favorite things about this book is what he wrote about love. His young wife was killed, though he didn't know it. During some of the hardest parts of his internment he imagined her, and talked to her and felt her presence there. He had a beautiful love for her. Not the crass baseness of the physical, (for that drive disappeared under the unique stress they were under)but he loved her essence.

Oh to be so loved!!

In any case, I am through for now with sitting in front of my computer. There is very little of beautiful enjoyment here, although I did find a beautiful You Tube video of Peruvian Pipe music. I am going out to enjoy the day.

~Strawberry Girl

Monday, September 15, 2008

Having a good day!!

Wow, I feel so healthy today!!

It is ironic I guess that I feel so good, when there are so many terrible things happening today. The stock market is going crazy and it leads me to think again about what the smartest thing to do with your money is.

I think that people need to value more that which is life sustaining and that which leads to happiness. At the least a family should have a bit of land, they should make their home comfortable, but shouldn't get caught up trying to beat out the neighbors. Right now we are renting and fortunately our duplex is on a large plot. So I am trying to make use of what we have by planting a garden and utilizing the space inside to the best of my ability. I feel healthy because what I eat is absolutely uncompromising in the quality of the ingredients. That is best you know, to choose the best and stay completely away from junk.

Then after establishing where you are I think it is important to recognize and work towards where you need to be. I know that opportunities await those who are prepared to work hard for them.

I love the book The Richest Man in Babylon. The central ideal of the book is to save 10% of all you earn to be invested with people who know what they are doing. I think that despite what is happening with the housing market today, people should be investing in real property. Where everyone has gone wrong is that they bought without any money, bought too much and spent too much fixing up there property. You should work hard, save and then invest in my opinion.

I found out that it is ridiculous to spend almost any money on clothes because other people buy so many and then sell them at yard sales or give them away. I also know that not only is it cheaper to cook everything at home, but it is also more enjoyable and delicious.

That's my two cents worth for today

~Strawberry Girl

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What I miss about being 10

When I was 10, the world was full of possibilities. My favorite music was definantly Jazz and rock (I really thought country sucked, and I think it did at that time). My favorite groups/singers were Karen Carpenter, The Manhatten Transfer, and Buddy Holly.

It was so good to be alive, I loved to pretend. My mom had a habit of putting all of the chairs into the living room so that she could clean the kitchen floor. So my brothers and I would hop around on the chairs and pretend that we were avoiding the hot lava. We usually watched the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

I was such a romantic little girl. I had a four poster bed with a canopy on top. I would find luxurious sheets and hang them around the top and pretend that I was a princess, I felt so rich. When my cousin Pam would sleep over we would dress up in our silkiest pj's and pretend to be rich princesses.

Another of the fun things that I liked to do was go out back to the little copse of trees behind our house which was in the middle of a field. I loved to walk among them, dream and listen to the wind. I used to be very sympathetic to wildlife and to the trees and plants.

I am different now, I have not been as romantic. I don't feel the same way as I used to towards animals or wildlife or plants. But I remember how I used to feel. I think that when my favorite pet died, a black cat, part of me lost touch with animals and such. Plus I haven't been able to find a substitute for my kitty, my parents cats are brats.

Well anyway, I am going to go make an experimental gluten free pumpkin pie with coconut milk instead of evaporated milk and less sugar. Wish me luck!!

~Strawberry Girl

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Universal Mathematics

The concept of Karma or the saying "what comes around goes around" are both statements that experience can show to be true.

I have always been a "nice" person. I have never conciously set out to harm anyone (although I have been subject to human error like everyone else). I believe that what you give to the world, you will eventually recieve in kind. The nature of open, free, kindness is that eventually you will recieve the kindness back again. Plus I have noticed that the world that you inhabit is also a product of your attitude. If you are ungrateful, there will be little to be grateful for. If you are greatful, you will notice how much you have to be grateful for plus, you will recieve more to be grateful for.

Just a little note on this, hopefully I will find the time to expound my thoughts further. As a side note, I am reading a very interesting novel called "The Magic Mountain" by Thomas Mann. It is a really good read.

~Strawberry Girl

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Word Painting

Hi Everyone!!

I feel like trying out an experiment. I want to create a mental image of some things that I have seen, smelt, and may be some things I have heard.

First of all, the mountains near my house. I looked up at them the other day when it was a clear bright morning. The peaks stood out in stark contrast to each other and you could see back to the furthest reaches of the mountains. Two stood together like sentinals or like gates and one stood behind like a majestic giant. They were all covered in a verdant green yet you could still see places were the granite rock outcroppings were poking through.

Yesterday I glanced up, after a light rain, and saw lush clouds hugging the tops of the mountian. They looked like fluffy cotten strung out accross the peaks. The sky was a steel gray with even darker overtones, yet there seemed to be a lightness to the air like the dawning of a new day.

Hmm, smells

I love the smell of fall, musty, fresh, like a sigh of relief over the summer finally being over. The air has a crisp light feel to it. You can breathe deeper and more fully. You can appreciate ther contrast between the dark green grass and the reds and golds and still even greens of the leaves. The dark earth, loamy and fresh smelling is attractive to me. I took a walk down to the park and found a secluded spot were I put my feet up on the bench, an eagle project completed when I was about five, and I rested there. I was listening to the small stream that runs behind it and hoping that the dog who was running around in his lopping, happy manner would leave me to my solitude. I can still smell the fresh earth and grass beneath me, and the clean quality of the air.

Emotion - Surprise!!

I was peeking around in my garden, looking to see what had grown, when a sudden movement and the indication of brown fur made me jump back in surprise. Furitively I peeked back under the squash leaves and saw a little mole sniffing around and blinking, blind in the open air. So I ran and got a plastic jar that had contained bubble wands and was suitably sized for such a little guy and then I scooped him up in it and observed him. His little soft looking claws, his squat little body. His eyes were goopy, from disease, I know not. I showed him to all of the kids around, who cried out with delight over the little creature. However I didn't know what to do with him, so I had the kids set him somewhere until I could figure it out. Unhappily however he died an ignominous death and the kids gave him a suitable funeral in the back yard.

I will write some more word paintings later, right now I have to get going.

~Strawberry Girl

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I love Strawberry Shortcake!!

For some reason, I still love Strawberry Shortcake, the doll and the food. A few years ago my mom gave me a Strawberry Shortcake shirt for Christmas. When I opened it up and saw what it was the biggest jolt of childish joy went through me. I love the dark red, mauve and royal green colors that all go into the image of Strawberry Shortcake. Strange, but I am glad that there is still something that can evoke that childish joy in my heart. The same thing happened to me when I got a copy of The Boy From New York City for Christmas. I put on my headphones and started the tape from the first low beats of the song I was in heaven. Maybe it was because my dad had bought me a tape of The Manhatten Transfer songs one cold and rainy night when we were out together at the store. I waited for him in the car and he bought it for me as a gift. I sang that song on top of my bed to the largest imaginary audience possible for weeks after that. I wore out the tape and eventually lost it for years. Until I finally asked for it for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Do you really understand me?

I have been thinking lately about how two people can be having a conversation and one or the other (or both) don't really understand what the other person is thinking.

There is a famous comedy routine by Abbott and Costello called "Who's on First?" Here's a link to a transcript http://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor4.shtml They are having a conversation yet neither one can communicate effectively with the other (obviously).

So connected with that thought it came to me that we really don't understand other peoples realities as much as we think we do. We can understand objects and certain ideas but they are colored by our own realities. If you account for the differences in male and female, children and adults, culture, religion, the time of day. There are a lot of variables that can make it so that two people having the same discussion could come away with a different idea about, what was said, what should be done and what the motives of other people really are.

Beyond all of that I have discovered that someone could have an underlying condition that they are unaware of that can effect there perception of the world, how they react to other people, whether they are aggressive or assertive, whether they are meek and unassertive.

Also people get clues from other peoples posture, facial expression, stance, what they are wearing, what they are driving, how they talk. Sometimes the other person is aware of the message that they are sending and other times they send off unintended messages and are unaware of it.

Here are some examples from my own experiences. When I was eating wheat (and other allergenic foods), I had a subgrade headache all of the time, I had a type of brain fog that made it difficult to navigate around and to think clearly, I was unable to run for very long, it was difficult to find energy to clean, cook and do other normal daily activities. I also had a sort of paranoia when I was around a lot of people I would like to find a desk to have in front of me, or a book, or a wall, or to sit close to someone I liked. The isles of stores seemed narrower and less navigable. Plus I had a lot of anxiety, I felt obsessed with every little imperfection.

I always had to be working on my goals. Plus I didn't really know how to prioritize and what I was really interested in because I felt like I needed to know everything. So I would write out goals and relentlessly work on them, a lot of goals were actually based on trying to do be perfect. As I have gone back now I have totally lost interest in some of my previous"goals." I was unable to understand myself, I was constantly searching to try and find out. I was constantly reviewing my past to try to make sense of it.

Also I was not able to feel comfortable with the slightest bit of disorganization, even in other peoples homes I felt compelled to clean and organize. I was unable to always keep everything clean but I felt the disorganization in my home like a weight. I would hold off for as long as I could on totally obsessively cleaning and then it would break out at the oddest times especially if life felt out of control. I would then stay up all night cleaning, stay home from church to clean, stay home from work or from school to clean.

I would put off enjoyable things, for some reason I would sabatoge myself. When I was invited to fun activities or when I was in charge of something I would start a project that sometimes didn't even have any value in and of itself. I couldn't quit I had to finish it, I would stay up at nights even.

Now my whole world has changed, I am at ease and comfortable in all social situations. I am not intimidated by almost everyone. The isles of stores seem open and easy to navigate. I am able to be more rational. I am less impulsive (I used to buy things I knew I shouldn't, then return them later when I had thought it over, now I am less inclined to do that). I am starting to understand myself better, set goals that I want to acheive and that I am excited about. My relationship with my family has improved, my ability to communicate is better. One drawback is that I have lost some of the drive that used to keep me learning and reading more and also some of the intuitiveness which came from extreme concentration (because of the constant headache and brain fog. I had to really concentrate hard or I would not be able to keep on task, or complete a project, following step A to step B. Government forms were especially hard). I am learning to get some of that back though and I am still an avid learner plus I still always like to keep busy. I think it would be easier for me to buy a car now, since I can think through things more easily. Plus I would like to see how well I could do at a job. But right now it is nice to be able to take care of my children.

So now that you know a bit more about where I am coming from, I would like to take my general premise a bit further. I submit that it is possible for someone to have a relationship with someone and have misunderstandings the entire time. If they don't even know themselves then how can they fully know someone else.

Yet I know that there are other factors. I was attracted to certain people, people that I could feel like I could bond with, I still am. A lot of my friendships are made this way. Now I am even able to talk to those people that I was unable to before because of my own inhibitions. But I cannot become close to someone if we don't connect somehow.

What is sad is that I inadvertantly hurt some people by not knowing myself and not fully understanding them either. I cannot talk to some of them now, but if I could I would appologize for what had happened. I would hope that they understood, and that I could fully explain myself. I would tell them that I thought about them a lot and missed them but knew that I didn't really know them as well as I should have. I would tell them that I was happy because I feel so much better. I am able to run, I am more in control with myself. I have accepted what life has given me. The only complaint is that several relationships ended with misunderstandings.

That has been a sadness that has stayed with me, as I take walks down the river trail by my house, I remember my friends, I feel like I need to cry but cannot. I felt very connected, they brought out so much good in me. I wonder what our relationships could have been like now. I regret losing them, I still love them. I love my friends and family now, I really do, in fact I wish to see my children grow and to be a good wife. But I still have a dear love for the friends I have lost. I wish they could know that I never meant to lie to them or lead them on. Things just worked out that way and I regret it. Hopefully I will see them one day and they will be happy.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on misunderstandings, these are my thoughts and regrets. Hopefully I will be better able to avoid big misundertandings with others again, I will sure try.

~Strawberry Girl

How hard is it to know who you are?

How long does it take to understand who you are?

It has taken me years and I am still on this journey of discovery.

In fact the name of my blog is a reflection of who I am. I have had a tendency in the past to create e-mail accounts or livejournal accounts that had whimsical, ephemeral titles. Today, as I was creating this blog I thought "who am I truely?" and it came to me that I am just me.

Of course who could blame me for not knowing who I really was, I have been afflicted with depression for most of my life, that I think, was caused because I had an undiagnosed allergy to wheat and other foods that I have finally figured out. If I don't eat these foods my mind is lucid and focused. If I eat them I have a reaction.

What is funny about this is that I used to have a knee jerk reaction to people with "food allergies." I thought stupid things like "what a convenient excuse not to eat (_) vegetable or fruit." I thought that they were making it up, how ironic of me. Now I have to deal with that attitude as people (who don't know any better) give me a feeling that they don't believe me.
Well that's just fine for them and it serves me right for thinking like that in the past. In fact I saw the opinion stated on another forum once that "People with allergies where kept in a sterile environment as kids and didn't get to play in the dirt or have pets." I too held that rediculous opinion, until I finally realized that a lot of conventional wisdom is wrong.

I have grown up in a somewhat narrow existence. Confusion reigned as a child but now I feel as though I better know myself. I am married and have four children. Although I love them, I feel sometimes as if I just woke up and found that my life had been determined without me. I am still trying to figure out how to play the roles that I must play. It is a process of becoming.

Anyway, I started this blog as a forum of discovery. Whether anyone else reads it or not doesn't matter. I think it will force me to be more honest and reflective to be writing to an unseen "audience."

Until later,

~Strawberry Girl