Crab Canapes and Christmas Pudding

Dear Internet,

Tomorrow I go back to work as my holiday break is now over, thus things may slow down around here after my mania output for the last few weeks. It’s now eight days into the new year and I thought it would be a good idea to give up an update as to how  my proposed changes are coming along.

(I’m still tap dancing around the notes that need to be finished for body and health pieces, but I’m just not there yet.)

  • Buy Nothing in 2013
    I promise I will not tell a lie: I have spent money on non-essentials this year, totaling $90.26, but it was for very good causes. Two of the items, a yearly subscription to Duotrope and the fall issue of Jane Austen Knits, were items I planned to buy in December but forgot until after January 1. I know I’ll probably end up purchasing a license for Licorize sometime later this week, but that’s a one time cost. Removing myself from temptation has been huge. I also am ignoring anything Margaret posts because I almost always end up buying what she suggests.  Anything I have found has gotten pinned or added to my wish list. Side bonus: Removing myself from vendor catalogs has slowed amount of junk mail in our mailbox.
  • 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)
    I’ve only really worked on the cooking and knitting stuff, which have been slow going as one meal a day is a green smoothie of some sort, lunch is usually a salad, and dinner is something we come up together. Our timing is going to change once I go back to work tomorrow, so not too much to report.  In the knitting area, I’ve almost finished my brother’s hat and will be working on fingerless gloves for me next.
  • Year of the written word
    The goal was to write at EPbaB five times a week, at about 250 words per piece, and 10 hours a week writing fiction. In the last 8 days, I’ve published something here everyday except for one and in space of 7 published days, the pieces here totaled 4992 words. In fiction writing, the goal was to write a short story a month and get something published by my birthday. I’ve finished one story a few days ago and I’m starting on a second. I have two additional stories in draft form that also need to be finished.  So far, these goals are being met. But again, with work starting back up for me tomorrow, this output is more than likely slow down. The second bit of this challenge was to read everything I’ve had on hand – which I’ve not really done, but I am still shooting for finishing a book a week.
  • teh interwebs
    This was by far the best thing I’ve done as my inbox is so quiet right now, it’s kind of frightening. I did go so far as to unsubscribe from several of my favorite retailers emails, in addition to paring down other vendor emails to once a week or month. I’ve stuck with following vendors in one format instead of all of the ones they offer, which has also helped considerably. I almost did purchase a domain, one I was eyeing on in late November but didn’t follow through at the time, but refrained from doing so. I spent several days paring and cleaning up my RSS feeds, but that may end up just being a lost cause for the moment. I’ve not started putting together a workflow for the archives.

I’ve struggling as to how to articulate how I’m feeling today, and lately, finding it is much harder than I had hoped. The 900mg of Lithium has definitely leveled me out as far as moods go. I fake raged to TheHusband, while feebly pounding against his chest, if this was what being happy was like, then I’m not sure I could deal with it. Most of the side effects of lithium have dissipated, and I’m feeling pretty much, overall, okay. I’m still freezing all the time (and we’re on track for January to be our warmest month on record), but I have no evidence to say this is because of Lithium or not. But I’m far enough away from being without lithium to know the difference between when I’m on it and when I’m not. I’ve not gained weight and I am drinking a lot of water, so I do not feel dehydrated as one would think for taking a salt.

Concerta on the other hand is tricky – very tricky. I need to take it no later than 9AM, for if I do, I’m apt to be up all night. If I go a day without it, I can still sit and work without being all over the place. If I go two days without it, then it’s like I was before and like nothing has changed. I get small bouts of mania, but these seem further afield than before and seem to be random, meaning there is no trigger. My headaches are mostly gone.

In the before, I was very passionate about some things and mildly interested in others. In the during, I had zero interest in anything, and to some extent, to anyone. I could not feel or love what it was to feel or love. I did things because I knew how to already do them and I knew that they needed to be done.  Robotic. I could muster energy to feel something about tiny things, but larger things were passed over. I did not think of myself as being depressed until much later for I did not act like those I knew to be depressed acted. I did not see myself as being manic because I did not act like those I knew to be manic acted. Something was wrong, but to what extent that wrongness and/or what was needed to fix it si still remain to be seen. Well. We know, but whether this snake oil is actually working remains to be seen.

There you are. Here I am.

x0x0,
Lisa

Kalendae Januariae : 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)

Dear Internet,
To continue kicking of 2013’s ass, next up is:

2013 will be the year of creativity, even if it kills me.

I have a lot of hobbies. Well, let me rephrase that, I start a lot of hobbies and never finish them. I also have lot of projects on the burner that I start and never complete. A pattern develops! A big push for the “Buy Nothing in 2013” was realising I spent a lot of time researching / buying supplies for a project, not a lot of time working on the actual project to get it to completion. Something I have said numerous time to people is an example of this is I learn how to play Chopsticks, I think I can then play Wagner.  My brain cannot fathom why it does not know how to play complicated when it learned the base, for it thinks that single base is all it needs. I don’t have the skillset on what it takes to learn how to practice. Which sounds grammatically wrong, but is so true. Throw in the ADHD (impulsivity, unable to focus), and you can see where this is becoming a mess. The idea here is to take one of my many hobbies/projects, pick a month, and start working on that said hobby. When the next month rolls around, continue with hobby/project A and then add in hobby B. Continue until all hobbies/projects are exhausted. Some are one-offs, others will be life-long learning.  Here is that list:

  • Start up the podcast, AUDIOMUSICBIOGRAPHICALLY.
    • I own 100G of music, which comprises of about 1000 CDs and hundreds of artists.  Due to my ADHD fueled depression, I actively stopped listening to music several years ago. The idea is to go through my list of artists, alphabetically from 0 to Z, listen to the band, write out how I got introduced to them and my connection to their music, and then podcast about it. Goal is a new podcast every week, 20-30 minutes each episode. Length of project is going to be over years. For holidays, TheHusband got me a mic and I did a test run reading the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice
  • Learn a language, namely Anglo-Saxon and/or French/Italian
    • Awhile ago, Alice and I decided to learn AS together, but life sort of got in the way. I think I may have to poke her on starting up with me again, but I will be going at it for sure since I have all the books / mp3s and online resources. Why AS? The better question is: Why not?
    • As for French/Italian, I have the Rosetta stone in French for levels 1-5, so that would be the easiest to start with Italian, another Romance language,  is more desirable since TheHusband and I plan on one day retiring to Italy. Or maybe Scotland. Maybe I should pick up Scottish Gaelic?
  • Learn to cook
    • If you’ve been following me for a bit, I’ve posted recipes on/off for various things, but the truth of the matter is, I’m a terrible cook. I’m a most excellent baker, but a terrible cook.  This morning, I nearly destroyed the pancakes I was making. So, I sourced the interents for suggestions on how to learn to cook and they were to get Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything The Basics and Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques, which were purchased before my self-imposed buying ban. Here’s hoping I don’t burn the house down.
  • Finish all my knitting/cross-stich projects.
    • Pretty self-explanatory. I bought a lot of supplies for these two hobbies, got really into them and petered out. I want to move beyond making hats/scarves and finish the gifts I promised with the stashes, that would be delightful.
  • Learn to sew.
    • TheHusband planned on buying me a machine for my 40th birthday this year, but since I was having foot surgery shortly after, throw in a long recovery, the machine in question is still on hold. Because I have zero supplies for this on hand right now, this will probably get pushed out towards the end of the year as the other projects take precedence.

While it’s awesome to keep my hands busy, what about my brain? With that, 2013 is also going to be all about the year of the written word.

x0x0,
lisa

To: Consume: Craft THIS!, Martha

farlsammich
Roma tomato, fresh moz on spelt farl.

Last night I was busy making farls and finishing up a hat I was knitting, all while whilst wearing an apron.

The prior night, it was me prancing around the kitchen making homemade granola and hummus. While wearing an apron. And nearly every night it has been the same image: Me in the kitchen brewing up some witchy potion while wearing an apron.

I’ll let that image settle for a bit because if you know me and the above image seems fucking ridiculous to you because Lisa without coffee, cigarettes, and some processed food living in the fridge, you would typically be correct. I’ve run into the bathroom numerous times in the last few days to make sure my ears didn’t suddenly sprout pearl earrings and my tattoos were still in place. My hair was still twisted up in Lisa-poofs and my piercings were all present. I am slowly turning into Martha Stewart’s bastard punk rock daughter.

But to be fair, this isn’t a new development – it’s been going on for quite some time.

granola
Granola made with oats, apricots, banana chips, almond slivers, raisins, cashews and dates.

In the fall of 2006, I was having problems with digesting food – meaning that regardless of what I was eating, hardly anything was coming back out (to put it politely). For example, I was physically ill in the sense that eating pizza really heavy on the sauce meant I was up later in the night throwing up or having rot gut. If the pizza was light sauce, I had terrible heart burn. I used to have a cast iron stomach! Why was this happening? In the late summer of 2006, after numerous days of no bowel movement, I took myself over to the ER to find out what the hell was going on. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me, gave me a extra strong laxative and recommended a local nutritionist who diagnosed that I had some sensitivity to nearly 100 different types of food.

In the last four years, I’ve alternated between being really good and being really bad with my food. That whole discussion is worthy of several blog posts in themselves, but it’s been awful for the last few months after we came back from our honeymoon. Not only have I been randomly sick (again) but the weight is not coming off, rather, it’s packing back on. Justin was also gaining weight and feeling overall of crap. Deserts from Pronto! and Astoria tastes FANTASTIC going down, but later? Not so much. In fact, most restaurant/processed food gives me issues in some form or another, not always immediate it eventually does happen. Based upon Justin’s prior experience when he was training for half-marathons and my food issues, we decided to implement the following as of last week:

  • No sugar (including raw, brown, white, and fake sugars). Honey/Stevia/Agave/etc are allowed.
  • As little gluten as possible.
  • No foods listing HFC as an ingredient.
  • No pasta, no store bought bread.
  • Little to no meat.
  • Heavy on fruits, nuts, whole grains, veggies, cheeses.
  • If I want to eat something, I have to find a lisa-happy version. Bread, for instance, has been replaced with Spelt farls which I can tolerate amazingly well.

I’ve been taking photos all week of the food we’ve been eating and uploading them to Flickr. And nearly every single thing we’ve had to eat this week has been made from scratch, with fresh goods (organic if available) with my own little hands. While what we’re eating is pretty simple, it’s amazing how much of our appetites have dropped since we’re not eating (as much) crap as we used to. We’ve also started doing mat Pilates every morning for 30 minutes into our daily routine. While we don’t think of this as weight loss or diet gimmick, but as a 180 lifestyle change, we’re still keeping track of our weight, making adjustments as needed.

The first week weigh-in, I lost 7.5lbs while Justin lost nearly 3. Where as it was pretty common for me to have some kind of “issue,” ranging in varying degrees of bloating/nausea/heartburn, this is the first week in a long time I haven’t had that. And I’m not terribly concerned about the huge weight loss either, because it’ll adjust itself in the next week or two.

It’s not so awful to be Martha Stewart’s punk rock daughter – as long as the only pearl necklaces are the ones given to me by my husband1, I’ll think I’ll be just fine.

1. I don’t have to explain this one to you, do I?