Day 9: What are 5 passions you have?

  1. Truth. I don’t like grey area and I don’t like games. If you want to know how I feel, ask. I’ll tell you. Lying pisses me off more than anything and liars are weeded out of my life like the dandelions in my garden. I have a lot of patience, but I don’t fuck around with lies. Hurt me with the miserable truth and I’ll love and respect you forever, but lie and you’re dead to me.
  2. Knitting. It’s a guilty pleasure because I rarely have the time to turn my yarn into anything but silky soft loops of therapeutic peace on my needles. I have half a toy elephant dress finished and my baby nieces are growing at the speed of light. My Dumpling had to go with her daddy last month and it always makes her a little anxious at first. I knit her a bunny with a tiny heart on it’s chest that we spray with my perfume when she has to go. It’s a snuggly soft reminder that home is just a state of mind, a smell or a person. The bunny goes a long way towards making her feel right at home, right away… with her dad. Knitting is magic at your fingertips, all you need are a few sticks and some string.
  3. Writing. In the last year I’ve written three times as much as before, with most of it private or contracted. The work I’ve turned in professionally has earned me more financially this year as well. That’s not what has stuck with me though. I find it so much more satisfying that I wrote my own self out of feeling like warm trash this year. In yelling at the world through a keyboard, I taught myself to let shit go and move on. I love the entertainment of it all, but the therapy of it all is why I began writing in the first place. Sorry to all of you along for this crazy ride, and thank you for your shared perspective.
  4. Love. I love out loud in ways that make me painfully uncomfortable on occasion. I still wouldn’t have it any other way. I smile at strangers, I help people who are grumpy… it’s just who I am. It comes from my adorably sweet grandma Elaine and my equally spicy red-headed firecracker Grandma Afton, both of whom taught me to love the whole world and everything in it, to my toes. Sure, sometimes it ends badly and I end up hurt again… but at the end of the day, purely because I refused to give up, I like to believe my life will have been full of more love than I knew what to do with because I never let fear stop me from having faith.
  5. Gardening. My beautiful obsession with the dirt has gotten me through things I never thought I would survive. Losing my son, my house going through foreclosure (twice), an epic water leak in the yard, countless cheating boyfriends, 5 years of celibacy, having a baby alone from birth, poverty, depression, etc… You name it, I’ve coped with everything by putting on a headlamp and pulling weeds into the wee hours of the morning. Some of the worst and most insurmountable pain can be soothed by digging potatoes and beets. Some of my greatest heartache has only been kept company by tomato plants in need of staking, peppers in need of picking and long, quiet rows waiting for a fresh blanket of straw. When I’m at my breaking point and in desperate need of a reminder to keep myself grounded… I take my shoes off and stick my bare feet in the dirt.

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What are you passionate about?

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Day 8: What is your dream job?

2016

To be a financially successful farmer.

I really hate leaving the house, if the truth be told. I’d be blissfully happy to work from home and avoid people even more than I already do. I work in a small group that I manage so it’s essentially my way or the highway in my life, with the exception of my garden.

I love the messy wetness of it all. The dirty organization that makes the stress of my life, melt away. I like a headlamp and mosquito repellent far more than perfume and diamonds and much prefer a night under the stars than in a bar.

It just isn’t lucrative. At ALL. When I calculate the cost of canning jars, lids, and time spent … I could have saved money buying all the same things from the crunchy hippie store down the street from me.

Peace is priceless though, and I dread going into a summer I know I’m not going to plant a garden. I have new houses all around me who are full of tourists turned residents. They buy salt licks to lure the deer to their backyards, which happen to neighbor my garden fence. My fence has been defeated and it’s a year of rebuilding the garden in a new place much further away from the salt licks and foot traffic.

Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite and I have a few new varieties to grow this year, along with my old favorites: Black Krim, Thornburn’s Terra Cotta, Jaune Flamme, Jersey Devil, Brandywine, Aunt Ruby’s German Green and an odd cherry tomato here and there along with a tomatillo or two.

Once you’ve picked a warm, ripe tomato from a plant you’ve been nurturing since February… you taste life differently.

Ohhhh how I wish I could earn a living growing them. I’d quit my job tomorrow.

Mmmm


Day 1: 20 random facts about me.

  1. I spend more on yarn than makeup. Always will. While I realize that I should probably care more about learning how to make myself pretty.. I just don’t care AT ALL. I’d rather be ugly, with mittens.
  2. I apologize for everything. It makes one of my sisters yell at me… and you should hear her flip out when I apologize to her for her being mad at me for apologizing. Oof… I can’t help it. I’m still learning to like myself. (Sorry).
  3. I can’t wear mismatched socks. I don’t understand those of you who can.
  4. I don’t eat eggs because I had a violent stepfather who forced me to eat them until I vomited. He had a monumental effect on my life because I’m so careful not to inflict the same life long suffering on my children or those that are in my life. Don’t like it? Don’t eat it. I will cut a bitch defending your right not to.
  5. With a Catholic foundation I built for myself and Mormon roots that run deep into the heart of Utah… I am an atheist. I would love to believe in God, Jesus and all their friends… but I’m pragmatic and have suffered enormous trauma. Two things that make faith a whole lot less available. I have a serious weakness for a faithful man though. I don’t know exactly why, other than the sight of a man on his knees in prayer makes mine buckle. Go figure.
  6. Thread count is my religion. Call me shallow AFTER you sleep on some 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton. I dare you.
  7. I can’t love a man who hates tomatoes.
  8. Same goes for men who love Android phones. I hate them and I want to see those three dots from the man I adore. I’m an apple girl, through and through.
  9. Brewers yeast on your popcorn is not optional if you’re eating it at my house. It’s NOT called nutritional yeast, either. I’ve eaten it since I was born and this whole “nutritional” trend annoys me. I will re-label any jar that refers to it incorrectly.
  10. I quit CrossFit and I’m heartbroken over it. Between the $334 a month (for an hour a week) it costs and missing work, I was going bankrupt trying to be healthier. I’m really proud of myself for transitioning my workouts to home and determined to stick to my goals, even if I have to light a fire under my own ass. It cost me $1200 to lose 10 pounds and I gained them all right back as soon as I started eating again. Live, learn and lift.
  11. My best friend is my therapist. I owe her my life and all the good things in it.
  12. I believe in love, marriage and building a life with someone. That has taken a decade and is still painful for me to admit. I fell in love for the first time in my adult life last year and it destroyed me a whole lot. I didn’t like who it turned me into and I spent a year working on my character so that I didn’t deliver the same thing to some poor unsuspecting man.
  13. I’m happy. I work really hard at it.
  14. I sincerely regret getting a puppy… but I know it will all work out in the long run. Commitment is challenging for me and adding more stress to my life was perhaps not the best idea I’ve ever had, but she’s such a big part of what helps me breathe instead of scream, laugh instead of cry and cling to that last tiny shred of faith I have.
  15. I’m afraid of a lot. This year is bringing a lot of ENORMOUS change and I’m learning to just have faith and keep walking forward. Where we land doesn’t matter as long as we are together when we get there, right?
  16. It’s 4:11 AM and I got up at 2 AM to write. I’ve lost my ability to sleep again. Virtually anything that disturbs my sense of peace and tranquility results in me being exhausted. Yay for undereye concealer.
  17. My son hasn’t spoken to me in 10 years. My mother and one sister have a relationship with him and that precludes me from really loving either of them as much as I’d like to. I’m just being honest and fallible. I don’t think I’ll ever hear from him again. I was a damn idiot 10 years ago and I don’t blame him for bailing. I would’ve too if I could have.
  18. I’m stupid dramatic when it comes to my feelings… of which I have too many.
  19. I can drive anything, learned to fly a plane when I was 16 and use Google to fix or do anything I haven’t learned yet. I am incapable of asking for help until the whole dumpster is on fire.
  20. At 43, I’m still absolutely fucking things up left and right, but I come from a place of peace and reliability now, where I used to have such a chip on my shoulder and expect so much more from the universe than I was ever promised or “owed.” I don’t hitch my wagon to anything… I carry it myself.

Did I really agree to this? 🙂

 


Peace

I used to really care what other people’s opinions were. I don’t any more. My mother says the same thing to me, every time I need to check back in with myself.

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I’m proud of myself after surviving the last year. I’ve learned to love the less spectacular things about myself and the messes I’ve made within the confines of my life. I fell head over heels in love with a good man and suffered the worst heartbreak. I don’t regret a single tear. Life is too short to be anything less than passionate and though it didn’t end the way I wanted, I learned a million things from every painful day. He may have broken my heart, but he also broke my douchebag magnet and flooded me with the faith that comes from realizing that you can fall crazy in love again when you least expect it.

I learned to play more and clean less. I’ve made buckets of slime and have spent quality time just listening to my children. I’ve turned the TV off and focused on the reality of the beautiful home mine has become. We cook, clean and laugh together more than ever before.

I found peace in the small details when the big picture felt too overwhelming. I asked the uncomfortable questions and got the answers I needed to feel better.

Talking to my favorite man and hearing some painful truth was the cure to what ailed me. I can happily cook again … and eat for that matter. I overslept this morning and it felt like winning the lottery. As an overthinker, my mind had gone down every dark path and I’d made Everest out of molehills. Cold silence is the way I punish people but it was the first time I’d been on the receiving end of it. Having the difficult conversations has become one of my favorite things because I found my will to be blissfully happy again, even on the heels of hearing things that made me sad.

The truth sets you free, but the details dust you off and help you back up.

I miss my Anthony so much it hurts more a little each day because I feel so much better lately and he’s not here to hear all about it. He died in the midst of me folding myself up like a dying flower and he didn’t get to watch me bloom again. He always insisted I would. I find myself looking skyward with a simple wish that the clouds obscured heaven, like I did as a small child. I understand balloon releases a lot more these days because I wish so much that I could write him a letter that he’d actually be able to read.

yay

My priorities have gotten clearer and I’ve begun the new year making choices that feel better and aim towards happiness instead of delaying the hard work involved to change my life. I’m truly happy, all alone. In feeling so sad last year, I forgot about so many of the luxuries in my life that give back so much more than holding a man’s attention.

I spent yesterday cleaning up and throwing out the things that clutter my life. Blank surfaces inspire me to clear the cobwebs from my head and they heal my heart as well. I pulled my knitting out from the long-since abandoned basket of yarn and made a washcloth. Just like the first few days after I learned to knit, I caught myself moaning and groaning about how slow going it can be. It’s that way with everything you neglect… you have to get your feet back underneath you when you’ve been sitting down for too long. I pulled some black beans from the barely touched pantry and made chicken tortilla soup for dinner, relishing the simple one foot in front of the other magic that goes along with cooking.

A week on my mama’s farm was like therapy and I miss my little chicken friends this morning. Along with farm chores and cooking to my heart’s content, I realized a lot of the things that I’ve been giving my time to aren’t worth the sacrifice. I spent a week disconnected from the internet, unplugged from the television and hidden away in the mountains. I fell in love with my life again, separate from the “things” that make it so difficult. I got surprising answers to questions I didn’t know to ask and finally duct taped that hole in my heart.

Somewhere amongst the baby owls, blooming orchids and fresh straw… I found peace.

Happy new year to each of you. I hope if you’re struggling that you’re able to find some peace and If you are content, then perhaps offer a little to someone you know that has run out.

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Hungry

hungry

I lost my appetite a year ago. Something about being in love with someone destined to keep on hurting me also stole my love for cooking and eating. Food is love to me and the absence of it in my life left me disinterested in eating more than was necessary to survive.

I didn’t want a steak if the guy I wanted wouldn’t cook one for me. I know that sounds dramatic… but it’s the truth.

I used to bake a blue streak. Homemade marshmallows, ham, crab legs, cookies, cakes and more… I’m a card carrying domestic goddess and feel happiest in panties and an apron. I suppose in the depths of my depression over being so incredibly unsuccessful at winning his heart, I hung up my apron and pushed away my plate.

Miss Fancy has worried about me a lot in this instance. Our bubbly lunches always include her inquiring about what I’d eaten that week. She texts to ask the same. I’ve only been truly honest with her about how little I’ve actually been eating, and frankly if it weren’t for beer, I’d be a size 2 by now. Alcohol is an ugly coping mechanism when you’re already depressed, but those calories have kept me alive this year.

I met my Fancy best girl the day after my incredible date with Mr. Right. Mimosas, football and her pretty face is about as good as it gets. We were laughing and I realized something.

I was starving.

As in… order every single thing on the menu, hungry.

I settled on ahi tacos and inhaled them in minutes. I looked up to see her sparkling eyes and excited smile.

F- YOU’RE EATING!!!!!!

J- I’m starving.

F- That makes me so happy. ♥

Something shifted in feeling happy again and I can’t decide what to make first. I went to return an extremely overdue Redbox movie last night and bought half the grocery store. Single parenthood makes dating a bit difficult, so we had a hot phone date last night while I made clam chowder and baked bread. He was grinning about my panties and cherry apron uniform when he stunned me silent.

R- I want to make you dinner.

J- <swoon> I would love that.

R- You just tell me when. I love to cook. Food is my love language.

Which is when he got his nickname.

Isn’t it funny that I’ve spent a year begging for five minutes of someone’s company and all I had to do was walk away to have an incredible man pleading for a second of mine?

He called this morning and asked if he could make me breakfast after CrossFit….

Someone should probably warn him about how hungry I am…