Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Under Construction

I'm under construction AND started worked outside of the home on Monday.  Please be patient. . .
Working to incorporate everything into my new schedule and looking forward to catching up soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday's Woman: Thank You for 2012

We honored celebrities, friends, moms, and neighbors.  We celebrated you and your children.  We recognized athletes, scientists, news reporters, survivors, those who are thriving, writers, singers, advocates and more.  In 2012 we paid tribute to approximately 35 women who are providing us with inspiration and reminding us that when we are called to action we must listen.  We also were reminded that even the smallest of actions can make a huge impact in the lives of others.  I want to thank all of the guest bloggers who helped to make Wednesday’s Woman a shining highlight at Sperk*.  I have a great amount of gratitude for all of the honorees and for all of you.

Thank you, Anna Mahler for being a regular contributor to Wednesday’s Woman and for being my friend.  My gratitude for bringing awareness of the inspiring work of Lisa Shannon, Jane Aronson, Taryn Davis, Diane Latiker, Zainab Salbi, Christy Turlington Burns, and Seane Corn.

Thank you Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms and Tara Pohlkotte for sharing your stories of women who write and who impassioned your own journey of expression.

Thank you Heidi Cave, Ashley Taylor, Galit Breen, Kristen, and aka Lavern for sharing your heart and reminding us that a Wednesday’s Woman is always right in our midst.

Thank you Delilah and Kirstin Piccini for sharing your stories of the women who pulled you through your toughest trials.

Thank you Kim Pugliano, Cat Poland, Stacey Gill, Cindy Reed and Tracy at Scribblesaurus Me for honoring your friends and bringing their stirring stories to light.

Thank you Missy Bedell and M for reminding us that our mothers or mother-figures were our first Wednesday’s Women.

Thank you Ado, Miranda and Aubrey Ortega for bringing to light the little-known works of well-known people.

Finally, thank you to Corrie Ortner, the first Wednesday’s Woman and my friend who inspired the entire series.

I am looking forward to discovering the Women who inspire you in 2013.

Wednesday's Woman is a weekly feature dedicated to spotlighting women who are role models for our daughters. . . and the world.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Memories Captured: Remembering the Joy

In November of last year, 2011, news reports came out that there was a scandal of child sexual abuse at Penn State University.  Shortly after hearing the news, my significant other, M, recovered memories of his own child sexual abuse.  During the same time, I was at a crossroads in my relationship with my mother due to my own issues with childhood sexual abuse.  I severed all ties with her by February of 2012.  M is currently teetering on the fence with his family, exploring how to make their relationships work in light of his memories.

For families that have been torn apart by abuse, the holidays can be a heavy burden and filled with grief.  For M and me, 2012, this year, was the first year we did not have to make excuses to avoid Thanksgiving with family.  No one called to invite us.  On one hand, this was a relief.  I know that my healing cannot be done with my family in my life.  On the other hand, the grief that remains is something I would rather not contend with, for grief is a prize fighter.

During Christmastime 2010, as we were ushering in 2011, not knowing the aftermath of child abuse was going to plague our days at the end of the year and well into the next, we celebrated.  We sang.  We danced.  We loved.

During Christmastime 2010 we made a video. 

Last year, during the Christmas of 2011, we did not create a video.  In fact, I can’t find many pictures from then either.  I could say it was just too difficult with the girls going back and forth, to and from their dads for extended periods of time.  Or, we didn't have them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so what fun would it have been to make a video?  But those would be lies.  Last year, during the Christmas of 2011, we were heavy with grief.  The prize fighter had us in a TKO.  Although we didn't let our emotions keep us from having Christmas, we failed to conjure the spirit to capture the moments of Christmas.

Adult survivors of child abuse lose a lot of time.  Sometimes the good times are viewed through murky goggles of pain, anger, and sadness.  It takes a strange amount of courage to cut through the muck and be present.  Being present can take all of the energy leaving none for picking up the camera to capture the memories.

However, capturing memories is important.  Remembering the joy of the present offsets the pain of the past. 

Two bloggers I know, Galit and Alison, understand the importance of capturing memories.  They provide bloggers an opportunity to share their treasured moments each month in a blogging link up called Memories Captured.  I’m grateful for this.  It is a much needed reminder for me.  I do not want to lose any more time without it being documented. 

And so, to express my gratitude, I’m joining the link up this month.  My submission is our Christmas video from 2010.  It reminds me that we are a joyful bunch.  It gives me hope.  Maybe we’ll even create another this year.

photo credit: Brian Hathcock via photopin cc

Monday, December 10, 2012

10 Foods for Depression Fun

Some people fall into depression and lose their appetite.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for me.  As some of you know, I've been battling depression for the past several months.  When I’m down, I eat.  This causes a terrible cycle of feeling terrible.  See, I’m a firm believer that if I was one of those non-eating depressed people, at least I’d have a nice slim body to admire in the mirror and possibly this would lift my mood.

Please know I am not saying that slim depressed people have it better.  Depression in all of its manifestations of behavior is a harrowing existence.  Even more distressing is when one knows what makes one feel better and is unable to do it…due to the paralysis of depression.  It’s an evil, evil thing. 

This leads me to this week’s topic for Monday Listicles: Food.  The topic was suggested by blogger extraordinaire, Beth.  The leader of Monday Listicles, Stasha, has instructed that the topic is open to interpretation.   So, I chose to share with you the 10 foods that keep me physically filled-out while I am depressed.

10 Foods for Wallowing in Depression

1. Salt and Vinegar Chips

I seriously considered moving 55 miles east to Zanesville, Ohio where Conn's Salt and Vinegar chips are made.  They are by far, the best Salt and Vingar chip ever made.  I know, because I've tried them all.

2. Peanut Butter

My favorite way to eat this creamy goodness is with a spoon right out of the jar, but there are several ways to enjoy this luscious nut meal:  on warm toast, as an apple dip, smothered on top of an Oreo cookie.  Ironic that this spread was first introduced in the United States to sanitarium patients by Dr. John Harvey Kellog.  If those patients had the same experience that I do when eating peanut butter, it was the one time during their day in which they felt sane.

3. Nutella
                                                                                 Source: annies-eats.com via Sperk* on Pinterest

Nutella has become quite popular as I have noticed many Nutella based goodies, like the fudge pictured above, posted on Pinterest as of late.  But I've been digging into jars of Nutella for years.  I don't have the discipline to cook or bake with it.  The most patience I have is waiting for the toast to pop from the toaster and quickly getting that spread applied to assure a tremendous amount melting of the chocolate-hazelnut goodness onto my hot flaky bread.  (Did you know Nutella was created by a pastry maker during World War II due to the shortage of chocolate?)

4. Hummus and Pita Chips

When I bring home hummus and pita chips from the grocery store on Monday, they are gone by Monday night.  I've turned out the entire family.  And if the pita chips are gone before the hummus, scooping it out with your finger not only gets you more of the yummie goodness, the rest of the family runs away from the table in horror, leaving you alone with your hummus.  Perfect.

5. Fancy Creamers

Coffee-mate has made luxurious dairy flavorings accessible to the common folk and I couldn't be happier.  My condition of lactose intolerance is not a hindrance to me enjoying these feel-good flavors added to my favorite anti-depressant, coffee.  Oh sure, there's tons of sugar and fat, but remember, I'm depressed.  And, if you look carefully in your grocery's dairy section, there are now a few fat-free and sugar-free varieties   Plus, if you can't figure out how to make these yummie liquids work for you, the Coffee-mate website has recipes.  Yes, recipes.  I see no need to go beyond "pour half the bottle into coffee and stir", but whatever.

6. Pizza

My lactose intolerant gut always fails to send the "DO NOT EAT" message to my eyes when I see pizza flashing in a television commercial, staring from the grocer's freezer, or delightfully offering coupons via the mailbox.  And there are always excuses to order pizza: no time to cook, the girls would love me more, the football game is on, girls have friends coming over, etc.  My pizza of choice: The Works from Papa John's.

7. Ice Cream

Yes, there is such a thing as dairy free ice cream, but it doesn't taste good.  Yes, you have read correctly in the above points.  I am lactose intolerant.  I love ice cream.  It makes me feel good.  And the tumultuous gas it causes provides me an excuse to hide away alone in my room, which fits perfectly with being depressed.  Of course my favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby due to the "fudge covered PEANUT BUTTER filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream rippled with fudge & PEANUT BUTTER."

These belly killers are for when I am at the lowest of my lows.  Brought to you directly from the convenient store just a few block away.
This one I can pass off as a good meal choice for the entire family.  Really, it's just creamy-good comfort food.

This one can also be passed off as a good meal choice for the entire family.  The key is to only make it when family is around.  Otherwise, it becomes and over-sized pan to enjoy on my own during a marathon of America's Next Top Model (if I actually watched such a horrific soft-porn flick being passed off as a reality show).  

What are your go-to foods when you're feeling bad?

See how other fabulous bloggers interpreted "FOOD" for Monday Listicles!

The best way to spend Monday in the blogosphere!

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