Nurturing Oneself

I had an early brunch with a dear, dear friend of mine this morning. As we sat in her sweet little breakfast nook with tea, boiled eggs, and stollen, we chatted about how the year was going and she asked me what I was doing to nurture myself. Honestly y’all, I babbled out an answer full of things that made her go “THAT’S what you find nourishing?” Things like scheduling things, making sure everything had a task associated with it, being better organized, etc. She expressed a bit of doubt with my methods, but being the gracious hostess she is, she just let it go and the topic moved onward.

I got home a while later and really started thinking about it. I am not really a planner. Oh, I try and try to be, but in the end every plan lasts a few days and then I scrap it. So I spent some time just meditating on the idea of nurture and what it meant to me.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Nurturing me means extra time around everything so I can digest experiences. Yes, that means a bit of planning, but it is soooo good to have time around things and not just be chock-a-block busy.
  2. Nurturing me also means time for music, which I have not been making. The words “I haven’t played the piano since I got these progressive lenses” slipped out of my mouth and now that I’ve ruminated on it, I got the glasses in January (9 months ago) and haven’t really touched the piano since my mom died.  Hmmm….
  3. Nurturing me means time to read. I have “Time to Read” in my Habit Tracker, but how much have I really been reading? None. Like one day a week, which is very close to none for a Lisa.
  4. Nurturing me also means eating foods I actually like. My husband is very good about cooking dinner, but he is very bad about making food that I really am fond of. Part of that is that the kids hate everything and part of that is that we really, Nick and I, have a totally different palate. I’ve been cooking my own lunches this week and eating all the things I love, like mushrooms and onions and zucchini and sweet potatoes and cabbage, and have been so happy at lunch time!

Anyways, that’s what’s on my mind today. Time to go eat the mushroom/onion/zucchini/feta dish that’s been sauteing while I type. 🙂  Hope y’all have a good afternoon!

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Things I Do When I Cannot Write

I wrote 7 scenes yesterday, but my brain could not be bothered to come up with more than 500 words today, which is the lowest limit I allow myself for productivity these days. So I made this list of things I could do that are mostly Writing Adjacent on those days:

  • Make list of things to be done
    • Scenes
    • Outlines
    • Character sheets
    • Research
  • Research things off my Research list
  • Write “daily pages”
  •  Update Writing folders on computer
  • Read “Downloaded-yet-Unread Writing Related Articles”
  • Sort “Prompts” file by type of prompt for later use
  •  Figure out what topics I want more info on for the next writing group meeting
  • Prepare my 2-page item for sharing at TPL’s Writing Club
  • Do coursework for online writing classes
  • Help someone else with their writing

 

So then I did, yay verily, sort all my prompts. Also, dyed my hair teal. It didn’t come out quite how I hoped, but that’s how my whole week has gone.

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Sausage Mushroom Breakfast Casserole

I made a really delicious breakfast casserole this morning. Our picky eaters are out of town, so we are able to eat mushrooms and onions again. Let the rejoicing begin!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of an 8 inch round onion focaccia bread
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix (mine has oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, and marjoram)
  • salt and pepper to taste (mine was light on salt and heavier on pepper)
  • 1 long piece of beef sausage (from those that come 2 to a package)
  • 4 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • a few dashes of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup or so of shredded cheese, this time I used a Colby jack/Monterary jack, next time I’m trying feta

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 in casserole with your favorite oil.
  2. Whisk eggs, mustard, and milk in a bowl.
  3. Cut foccacia into 1 inch chunks and place in bottom of casserole.
  4. Pour egg mixture over it and set it aside.
  5. Slice mushrooms, not too thin, into 1/2 inch or so sized pieces.
  6. Cook mushrooms with the Italian Herb Mix and salt and pepper until they are nice and yummy.
  7. Slice the sausage while the mushrooms cook, then when the mushrooms are just about done, add the sausage to the pan and cook for a few more minutes.
  8. Pour the mushroom-sausage mix into the casserole, giving it a bit of a stir to incorporate the mushrooms and sausage a bit into the bready goodness.
  9. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on first, then the shredded cheese.
  10. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.

 

It was delicious! 🙂

 

 

 

Sometimes I hate my life

I had hoped to go to an author reading & signing today and then make it to my midkids football game for once, but no. Stupid RA. Stupid fibro. Hoping someone will post the band’s show sometime today or tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll be here sitting with my ice packs. At least I have those. And husband & kid doing the dishes. Sad meep.

Health Woes, again

Saw the neurologist today. Apparently I’m having one of those rare drug interactions no one else gets. Symptoms include erratically high and low blood pressure, chest pain, numbness & tingling, dizziness, memory loss, slurred speech, muscle & joint pain, muscle spasms, and ringing in the ears. So that explains just about everything except the weird spiderwebby nerve-feelings in my knees, which might be explained by my use of all the weird new equipment my gym has recently brought in to replace the stuff I used to use. Picked up my new meds, but it’ll be 2 weeks (according to the neurologist, or more, according to the pharmacist) before I’m ready for exciting life events again. So if you’ve seen/continue to see me dropping off the radar for the next few weeks, now you know why.

Writing Group

This week I joined another writing group through my public library. The library had advertised it as a new group, but once I got there I found out that it had actually been a group that had met for a few years in another location and been transplanted over to the library, much like my book club was more than a decade ago (that one I quit going to because they changed the time on us and wouldn’t let our breastfeeding mothers feed their babies during group time? Yeah, that was a long time ago). I love my ETWG, but they only meet monthly and I wanted something more regular than that.

In any case, it seems like an interesting group. Most of the other writers are memoirists, which was initially disappointing, but the idea of meeting and having people to read my stuff is invigorating. We wrote some 10 minute writing sprints with prompts, which is not in my wheelhouse. I did awful at it the first time. The second time was marginally better. We shall see how it goes.

Hello again!

I have let this blog flounder for far too long and today is my first day back at it.  We have had a wacky, crazy year. I’m not even sure that I should try to summarize it, but find myself wanting to. Let’s start where I left off… oh my. Okay. That’s a rough place to start.

December 5th, 2018 my mom left the nursing home to go home for my dad’s birthday. She lasted at home until December 7th, when she had to be rushed to the emergency room. I went down on the 9th because it was clear that she was on her way out of this world. She passed away on December 12th. I spent the month in College Station or Wisconsin. We had two funerals for her, one in each of her hometowns. They were lovely, both of them attended by family and friends and filled with beautiful reminiscences of her full, mostly happy life. (Please note that this is short, not because I am being in any way flippant about it, but because I’m crying too much to say more.)

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In January we tried to be humans. We had our annual board game extravaganza on January 1st at my dad’s Tyler house so he wouldn’t have to be alone yet and could be a little distracted from all the sadness. April is with him all the time, but we come and go and try to bring a little joy to them with our visits.

February and March went by kind of in a blur. We visited College Station every couple or three weeks and spent half of spring break with my dad and sister. David and Nick were each gone a week in April and then it was birthdays and Easter all at once. We celebrated in the Tyler house, trying to avoid sadness, but failing. Easter was one of my mom’s favorite times of the year.

In May everything ramped up. The six month anniversary of my mom’s death was literally Mother’s Day. How’s that for irony for you? April and Dad ignored the day completely, while Nick, the kids, and I went to Scarborough Faire for the day (something I’ve been wanting to take the kids to for years. They were, naturally, underwhelmed because we’d waited too long).  All the end-of-year “lasts” were heightened because it was David’s last high school everything. We had a graduation party for him the day before graduation, we all attended graduation night outside at the stadium, and then the very next day he left for his band’s spring trip. And because we’re crazy, we had a family BBQ the following Monday with Nick’s family.

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June was even crazier, though. Nick and David left the first weekend, Nick for work in the Czech Republic and David for Tennessee for working a pre-teen camp. Then I left for China the same day Nick came back from his trip (and no, we didn’t even get to see each other at the airport). Greg spent weekdays at his Nana & Pa’s house while the other two boys came and went. David had college orientation for a few days in there. Nick and all the kids went to the Houston Aquarium for Father’s Day while I spent Father’s Day with my dad in Tianjin. Then kids all spent the last few days I was gone working the pre-teen camp at Camp Piney Woods while Nick was in Tennessee for work. We all were supposed to get home Wednesday, June 26th, but my flight got delayed by several hours and I ended up getting home at 4 in the morning on the 27th. Then on the 29th, Greg and David got in a van with other church kids and left for Teen Camp at Camp Pinecrest in Missouri. (I will most likely blog about my China trip in some upcoming posts.)

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Today is first day I’ve felt human and somewhat put together in a really long time. I’m getting back onto somewhat of a schedule. I’ll be spending weekday mornings at the gym and afternoons writing. Ree has this whole month free, so we’ll be starting parent-led driving lessons for him this week as well, probably in the mornings after I’m back from the gym. 🙂 Greg will be in day camps most of this month and who knows what David will be up to? I sure don’t! He was looking for a job last time I checked, but no one would hire him because he was out of town so much this summer (he has one more camp he’s working at the end of the month).

So there you have it. We are crazy and we know it. 🙂 See you tomorrow.

 

8 week health check-in

124 health check inI have been going to the gym for 8 weeks now, although with all the missed days due to illness or Thanksgiving break, it’s really more like 7 total weeks. Overall I have lost 27.25 inches off the 12 points I measure (neck, chest, chest+breasts, natural waist line, belly button, hips, upper arms, mid arms, lower arms, upper thighs, lower thighs, calves) and 4 total pounds. I haven’t changed my diet any, and I didn’t really hold back at all on Thanksgiving foods that week either.

I tried on those pants from the before photos over the weekend and they are so loose, y’all. I am down to regular size clothes in the next size down (from last month) and some of the super big ones from the size below that (which is funny because some of the super small in my current size are still too small. Oh the joys of size variety across brands). I emptied a new box out on the bed today and everything in it fit fairly well. This was a small box because I took the top half out just before Thanksgiving, trying to find a cute Thanksgiving outfit. Things in the next size down box are those that currently can fit onto my body, but I can’t move around much in them. So I started this effort with five boxes of clothes going from the biggest I ever was (back in September) going all the way to the size I was when I had David (17 years ago). I am two boxes down, with three left to go.

So I’m going to continue on in the gym, but I’m going to focus a lot more on my waist area, if that’s even possibly a thing (it must be). In January after the crazy eating month is over and hopefully we can start getting salads again (I haven’t been able to find one in the last two and a half weeks except at Dairy Queen, who gave me a chopped ice berg lettuce salad), I plan on tweaking my eating and maybe come up with a plan I can stick with. 🙂

Okay, that’s enough rambling about that. Y’all have a happy day!

Post Nanowrimo Thoughts

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When I started Nanowrimo this year, I felt super prepared for it. I’d done a couple months of prep writing to practice getting back into the habit of writing every day, I spent a month making a new outline for the novel I was working on, updating bits of the story here and there and strengthening the theme I wanted the novel to have, and I blocked out my calendar for the month to make sure I had time to write every day.

So of course it all fell apart. But I already wrote about that. This is the post where I talk about what I can do to make it better in the future.

In non-writing related things: First off, I’m going to make sure that my husband is, in fact, not going to be out of the country when I’m intending to do crazy things. Second, I’m going to make myself and everyone around me use more hand sanitizer. Third, I’m going to write ahead each day so I’m caught up with the words from Thanksgiving week so that I don’t stress so much that last week because I am so far behind. Fourth, I’m going choose easier meals to make if the husband is, in fact, gone while I’m trying to write a ridiculous number of words. Fifth, I’m going to make my kids start doing their own laundry.

Writing-wise: Numero uno, I am going to make sure that that spiffy new outline is completely fleshed out before I start. I had several days where I looked at my outline this time around and realized that a chapter only had one scene or that I hadn’t figured out how a character was getting from here to there from one scene to the next. Two, I’m going to make sure I have done all the research on the things I need to know more about before I start writing. I have a bunch of places where I have “insert data on that here” or “insert something more specific here” in my novel right now. Tres, make sure I really love character names instead of putting in place-holder names that I can’t remember how to spell from one scene to the next. Quatre, I’m going to figure out my magical system before I start writing so I stop making plot holes.

That’s about it. I’m looking forward to writing another 50,000 or so words again this next month now that I know I can do it under some pretty insane conditions. 🙂