Entries Tagged 'neurosis' ↓

Standards, People, Standards

I don’t talk about faith too often. I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I believe, I just try really hard to live a quote I’ve heard attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:

Preach the gospel always. Use words when necessary.

Am I good at that? Probably not, but I hear effort counts for something.

Why do we hold Christian media producers to a different set of standards than secular?

Could we please start at least judging Christian art, in whatever form takes, on its actual merit and not its intentions. This is something I see a lot with my more evangelical friends. If a movie is labelled Christian, then no matter how bad the acting is, you’d think it was the best thing since sliced bread.

It’s not.

No matter what the intentions, bad movies are still lame.

Bad acting is bad acting.

Every time someone creates a bad movie and promotes it on the Christian platform, they really aren’t doing the rest of us any favors.

Plenty of people I know immediately knock IQ points off of anyone who claims to be Christian. It’s an obnoxious and cruel assumption, but it’s out there. In that light, I believe excusing bad media for its intentions or message does Christianity and faith a huge disservice. It’s one thing to be mocked for your beliefs and it’s another to embarrass yourself.

Knock it off.

It is a beautiful thing to create to glorify Him, it’s another to expect others to glorify you for the effort.

Having faith in God does not make a person an artist.

Michaelangelo was not commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel because of his faith, I’m not even sure he was Christian, I think I remember hearing he was Humanist or Platonist, but I could be wrong. He was chosen because his art would best glorify God.

Coming Home Again

I had an amazing time in Asheville. It wasn’t the not cooking or cleaning, having my work already done. Those things were nice, but that wasn’t what made my time there as great as it was.

I learned something this trip.

It’s not really the kids that get me down.

It’s those stretches of time where I don’t talk to intelligent people for days on end. Tim comes home from work and falls into bed. By that time, I’m also too tired to articulate anything coherent, but at least he has co-workers. This isn’t a post about my marriage, don’t try to read between the lines, there’s nothing there to see. We have our ups and downs, we’re human, fallible, but generally forgiving.

I miss people outside of this house.

I’m tired of fact families and phonics, where saying, “wipe your nose”, and “flush the toilet” are the bulk of my human interaction.

My sanity is held in check by a few Skype contacts and the promise that it’ll get better. I know I’m not the only one and I know my situation isn’t at all dire. It’s just frustrating. I hate that I hang on hoping for an hour or two where I might get to see adults where the conversation moves past the social niceties.

So many of my local friends have left, if not physically in practicality: Jared, Janet, Dan, Don. It’s like one by one the people are packing up and moving on. The ones that haven’t left yet, seem to be making plans, Nathan, Chris, Greg, Matthew -see above about fallible- is it true?

If I’m down, it’s because coming home means heading back into the isolation I accidentally created for myself. I’m trying to break free of it, I’m just not sure where to start.

For now I escape into podcasts. I think it’s because I can at least fool myself for a little while that my world isn’t really as quiet as it has become.

Over the weekend I got to spend time with women I consider my mentors: Aliza Sherman, Wendy Scherer, Kelby Carr, Deb Ng, Alli Worthington, Megan Jordan, just to name a few.

Each one is a bit farther down the road than I am.

I’m trying to be brave.

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have even tried.

Photo Credit: Alli Worthington

I thank you for the example.

I’ll get there and maybe, just maybe I’ll learn that choosing to be remarkable is a good thing.


Insecurity Courtesy of My Subconscious

Flashback to the summer of 1994, I went to pick up the schedule for my senior year only to discover the front office had it mis-filed. It wasn’t really their fault, I had skipped my junior year and with thousands of kids in a school, how high should our expectations be? After a stressful couple of hours everything was straightened out and I was placed in the right homeroom and given appropriate senior privileges.

Ever since then, before every major milestone I am plagued with dreams of having to go back and retake my senior year.

The end of the book is in sight, just a few more chapters and I’ll be working on rewrites and edits. Naturally I am spending my nights trying to find my locker, trying to make the kids behave as I take notes, and wondering why we look so old.

When I was a little girl, I used to think that becoming an adult meant the voice in my head would change. I must have read too many coming of age novels, where the phenomenon was stark, always a before and an after. I assumed the essence would change.

Sure the voice is a little wiser, can grok bigger concepts, and has a little more patience and courage, but the old one lurks just underneath.

Post-Op Day 6

Well, I told myself I wasn’t going to whine too much. I lied.

There have been things in life people have told me would hurt and they did, but it was never as much as anyone said. Childbirth, yeah that sucked but not quite to the level people talked it up. The after pains post Ellie were miserable, but even then. . .

The tonsillectomy?


Great big painful buckets of crap.

The doctor told Tim that my tonsils were a lot bigger than they appeared during the first examination. When I’m brave enough to open my mouth and look in the mirror it’s gross and scary.


I can breathe through my nose better than I’ve been able to in years and I kind of hope after I’m all healed up that maybe I won’t snore (as much).

I haven’t had food since last Thursday night. I miss food. I think fondly of food, I daydream about cooking and eating.


Would I even think of taking a single bite of anything today, even six days later? Not on your life.

I’m managing to drink Ensure, but that’s as thick as I can handle and I’m sick of chicken and I’m sick of sweet. I don’t understand why I’m daydreaming about stuffing, but I am.

And grouchy? I’ve been taking crabby to new levels.

On the upside, today is the first day that the pain medicine does more than take the edge off. I have made progress on the book, not as much as I hoped, but progress is progress and as of today or tomorrow I should be done with the last of the drier subjects. There is a reason not many comedians make their living on dry wall repair.

I kind of have this fantasy that tonight, I’ll be able to actually lie down and sleep. I’ve spent the last few nights dozing through episodes of Bones. Why? Because it takes my mind off of dreading the next swallow.

The telling thing? I’d go through it again if it will prevent damage to my joints. Here’s to no more strep and to no more over-reactions to strep.

Kvetch, It’s What I Do

Somehow, there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I should be doing, but somehow I still find time to procrastinate. It’s a habit I have to break.

The first deadline is hanging over my head, so of course Tim is having to pick up shifts. I’m hiring a sitter one day a week to help ensure I have at least some uninterrupted time, but I don’t know if that’s going to be enough and I don’t know what else to do.

I’m still excited beyond my wildest dreams, but the actuality of the obligation is now looming. I feel like the ridiculous girl in any number of movies, the one that just stands there and stares -or worse screams- instead of doing anything.

I don’t regret any of this, but I’m fairly certain that the cracks in my demeanor are starting show. For that, I apologize.

The News

A month ago I was contacted by an editor at a traditional publisher. She wanted to know if I would be interested in having a conversation about turning Home-Ec 101 into a book.

Immediately I turned to Google and Facebook, looking to see if it was a legit company.


I returned the email and a few days later we had a conversation that outlined the whole process.  The biggest hurdle is the pitch. She sent me a sample proposal and from that I began piecing together one for Home-Ec 101. After stressing about it and pestering people into giving their opinions, I finally turned it in -before the deadline, thank you very much.

Since then, it’s been a waiting game. Well, until yesterday that is. Around 1pm I got an email from the editor saying they really liked the idea and that it seems marketable. In fact, they wanted to hear it pitched in a larger size. (The original specs were for a paperback, slightly taller than your average novel, but not as thick (about 240 pgs ). Apparently they want to see it priced out in a larger book, I don’t know if that has anything to do with the number of words, adding content, or if it’s to allow for more whitespace.  I’ll negotiate my contract when the final size & cost of production are figured out.

Regardless, I’m beyond excited, if nothing else, this is flattering and validating. I plug away at HE101 hoping I’m not wasting my time.  Insecure much?  Always.

Publishing projects take a while, so it will be some time before I make the big announcement on Home-Ec 101. It’s not a secret, but I’m going to try to not make a big deal out of it until closer to the release.

I’m still on cloud nine.

Being Brave?

Well, it’s silly, but there is an open casting call for a cooking show. It’s today from 2 -4 and I’m going to go for it.

What the heck, right?

If I ask my readers at Home Ec 101 to be fearless in the kitchen, then I must follow my own advice, even if it means I’ll look like a stammering goofball in front of people.

Here goes!

Public Speaking

Well, I think I’ve come a long way over the last few years.

Here’s a clip from last month’s Social Media 101 panel.

Errata Take Whatever

I feel human again. The cruel joke is that I have to stop taking the new allergy medicines in just a few days for another round of testing. You see, I had a reaction strong enough to the scratch test to worry the doctor and they stopped the testing.

Does your throat itch? No.

Are your lips tingling? No.

We have an epi pen right here.

Thankfully it never came to that.

It was absolutely vindicating to learn my allergies are that bad; that I’m not just being a wuss. I’m such a neurotic weirdo, I know I lean toward hypchondriac, but then I always end up waiting until I’m absolutely miserable so I don’t waste a doctor’s time. That happy medium is a hard place to find.


I went to the Summerville Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago and I’m very happy with some of the pics I took.


Mikala is here for awhile. I’m enjoying the heck out of having willing help in the kitchen. I let her choose and today we’re going to tackle spring rolls for this week’s Fearless Friday.

Itchy and Scratchy

I’ve been sick for a while, it’s my own fault, really. Do you ever get into an unintentional standoff with your spouse? This time it was over the shower in the master bedroom. After years of begging him to squeegee it and leave the door open so it could dry between showers I gave up and started using the upstairs bathroom. I figured his mess, his problem.

I didn’t realize that a shower I didn’t use could bother me so badly.

I waited.

I waited some more.

I think, but cannot confirm, advanced life forms developed in the stall. I heard the whispering late in the night.

I waited.

When I began to hear jeering and catcalls as I passed through the room, I broke down. I’m weak like that.

I decided to tackle the job piecemeal. I sprayed down one wall and attacked it with a scrub brush, thankful that it all appeared to be a surface problem and the grout wasn’t actually discolered. 

A short time later, cooking dinner, I was hit with nausea so fierce it made room spins pleasant. I laid down in the middle of the den where passing children and dogs took turns sniffing and prodding me, demanding to be fed. My insides churned and I cursed Tim for never getting checked after his procedure and worried I was pregnant. Slowly it passed.

After dinner I went back to the shower to bathe Wallace who is allergic to the fleas he’s thoughtfully brought to visit. The poor thing is miserable, so I hung out with him while the shampoo cured.

This time I was sure it was food poisoning.

Slowly the pounding head and churning stomach turned to a full blown allergy attack. I’ve had allergies all my life. I’ve learned to manage them pretty well and have reaosonable coping skills for when they spiral out of control. 

I came close to begging Tim to stay home from work, something I’ve never done, even with the flu or surgery. I made it through the day, whining all the while. Benadryl, Claritin, hydroxizine (I had leftover from a case of hives), I might as well have been popping Tic-Tacs. Nothing brought the sneezing under control. I only stopped when I had to leave the house.

Slowly the light turned on.

I went into our bathroom, opened the door to the shower, there is no delicate way to put it, so we’ll just say my sinuses expressed their fury. 

I woke the husband up, gave him a bottle of bleach, a scrub brush, and left the area.

Now, I’m happy to report the shower is dry and there is a new-to-us-dehumidifier busily sucking gallons of water from the air. 

The downside is the mold started a cascade I haven’t been able to completely stop. The every day allergens I’m sensitive to, but haven’t bothered me in years are making my life miserable. I’m on new medications and I have an appointment with an allergist for Tuesday. Just before I finally became pregnant with Aidan I began immunotherapy, but had to stop as I wasn’t far enough into the therapy to continue during pregnancy. Off and on I had been considering trying again, but something always came up. I planned to ask for the referral in winter, as most allergy medications will interfere with the testing. Today is day one of having to quit antihistamines cold turkey. I called my mom who has agreed to monitor the kids if my allergies flare up out of control. 

My eyes are itching and Tuesday seems a long way away.