I can’t move my fingers

It may surprise many of you that I am in fact quite handy. I can change a tire, battery, and change out headlamps. I can rewire a lamp, put in a ceiling fan, and put in a dimmer switch (among other things). But, I cannot paint. It becomes a big spotty miss on ceiling and floor. Which leads me to the delusion that I had that I could refinish the floor in our bedroom with20170228_140431out disaster.

Wow, I just realized that I can’t add a picture without disaster. Hmm. This all started with the disaster that my husband created. He insisted on staining the floor, after stripping it with 50 grit sandpaper, and not closing it with 100 or 200 grit sandpaper. It was terra cotta, maybe more reddish – Texas orange. Regardless, it had to be fixed and we did sand the floor. I told him that I would polyurethane the floor. Which I did, except that I forgot one small, small thing. You should wear gloves when you put down polyurethane.  By the time I was done, I literally couldn’t move my fingers on my right hand. Did it wash off? No. Would it scrub off? No. Would the Magic Eraser erase it? Ha-ha-ha. So, off to Home Depot I went. The nice woman in the paint department led me to this amazing air freshener that released my fingers.  I wish that I had a picture of the product because it is awesome, and evidently will take the stickers off of items, remove oil based paint, and other wonders.

 

 

Three and a half months

Sometimes it is hard to think about how much life can change in 3.5-months. Tomorrow, I see my psychiatrist for the first time that I think that he will be willing to sign off on my returning to school (and work). I’m excited and scared. In these last few months, I have come to terms with some very difficult things. I have learned that despite my best efforts that I cannot control Bipolar Disorder.

I have learned that medication is only part of the equation. Limiting stress and moderation are very important. I learned that my force of will could not make me better. It took a long and difficult path to reach that point. I learned that it was okay to admit that I was completely unable to control my world or even my emotions, even a little.

But, I also learned as I got better that I needed to determine the person that I am deep down inside. Not the person trying to be what someone else wanted. Not the person pretending to be stronger than she was. Not the person who reacted badly to being hurt and wanting to hurt someone else back.

Working with my psychologist has been great for this, but my trip to New Orleans taught me so much more about myself. It taught me that I am self-reliant, but that I love my family and value them. It taught me that while I am very good at reading people that I am not always good at judging them. I am far too likely to give the benefit of the doubt. It taught me that I seek safety because I have so often been afraid. It taught me that despite the voices in my head that still plague me from time to time that I want to live. Most importantly, I have learned that it is okay to just be me. As odd as I am, as introverted as I am, as much as I care about my clients, as passionate about social issues as I am, and equally passionate about my religious beliefs. Even my complete disdain for the Evangelical movement (if you are offended, I’ll be happy to explain why). I despise Donald Trump and his Cabinet. Yep, I’m saying it now, worst president since Andrew Jackson. Maybe even worse than Andrew Jackson.

There is a wonderful world out there and I want to be there as my children experience it. I want to travel with my husband before his knees give out on him.

More than anything, after 3.5-months I look forward to waking up each day with the Queen in our new home. A home that is free of damp and mold. A home where her two loving parents are happy, and her brother and sister are working on it. Where her mother is finally healthy.

Moving

20170210_130929

We closed on our beautiful new home on February 10. For the most part, the house is exactly what we were looking. However, with my penchant for older homes, it was only to be expected that there would be interesting problems that would need to be worked out. For instance, if an addition is built onto your house in 1969, there is carpet in that room, and even if there is hardwood floor in part of the room… it’s a lie. Two-thirds of that room will be some kind of floor boarding that must be ripped up and hardwood put down or recarpeted. Budget wise (and resale value) the hardwood just made more sense.

Or, the kitchen where we have been working to meld my sweet husband’s ultra modern stainless steel and my more classic era of the house elements. I think that we finally worked that out. For the moment our kitchen looks like a war zone, my appliances are hanging out in the living room. Hey, at least the washer and dryer are set up and ready to go.

Perhaps the best thing about this house is the large fenced backyard, with a huge dog pen. There are plans in the works to get another dog for Byron to train. There is also a huge playset that the Queen thinks is the best thing EVER.

 

20170210_131306

Cooking is good for the soul

I taught myself to cook during my 2nd year at Georgia Tech. My mother had bought me 1000 Vegetarian Recipes, an inexpensive set of pots and pans, and the necessary implements to cook. She promised to replace my starter set if I learned how. I sat down with a set of then sticky labels and marked the recipes that I wanted to cook, and then with another set of labels the ones that I thought I could try to cook. I remember that the first recipe that I cooked was Rattlesnake Stew. It was named so for the rattlesnake beans that were supposed to be in the soup. These beans are nearly impossible to find, but adzuki beans are a nice substitute. It was wonderful, and I thought, maybe I can do this.

In the beginning, cooking was like math, which I am very good. If you follow the recipe and the recipe is not written by an idiot then your recipe is going to turn out. Baking is chemistry, and I struggled with chemistry. This is the reason that I avoid baking if possible. Now, I am more comfortable in the kitchen, I trust my palate, and I can cook from my experience and not a book. Of course, I love my books. I also have an amazing number of kitchen gadgets and beautiful pots and pans thanks to my Mom. I learned how to cook and she kept her word.

I cooked multiple times a week until my sweet husband and I married. We had 3 children living in the home and none liked my style cooking. The didn’t like that one day would be Indian food, the next Italian, and the next something that I came up with off the top of my head. Then I became pregnant with the Queen, bed rest, and I stopped cooking altogether.

I also hated the kitchen, with the lack of counter space, and glass top stove. I hate a glass top stove. When we moved south, the house that we are renting also lacks counter space and has a glass top stove. I just can’t make myself cook most of the time. However, the kitchen in our new house has a wonderful amount of counter space. The meals that I look forward to cooking.

Friday or Saturday, let’s be honest I have no idea which one, I commented on Facebook that reading and watching Julie and Julia with my current abdominal ailments made me want vegetables, butter, and cream. Tonight, I decided that misery be damned and I made my Spiced Cauliflower Soup, dairy (butter, milk, and sour cream), chipotle powder, and onions and shallots. It was delicious, so very delicious. The type of meal that leaves you full and happy. However, I’m up at 1:20 writing this due to the misery of my decision. But, I am not complaining, it was worth every bite and swipe of bread.

I look forward to the next meal that I cook. The catharsis of cutting up vegetables. The first bite with family.

The snake

In Native American teachings, the snake is seen as a symbol of transmutation because it sheds it’s skin once each year. The snake is enigmatic as it embodies sexuality, psychic energy, alchemy, reproduction and immortality.

A tarot reader reached across the table after our reading. He said that the snake was a real person in my life. He told me that I must get this person out of my life no matter what.

I am not a believer in the occult. I had done the reading on a whim while walking through Jackson Square in New Orleans. However, before he spoke, I saw the face of the man that he meant. Over the next few weeks, I tried to extricate myself from the relationship  (loose term). I somehow always failed, but I kept trying.

Then I remembered, certain personality disorders will always want there own way. They can’t stand to be challenged and they certainly can’t stand for you to continue to do what they don’t want. So, I set things up to do just that. It was personally painful as I had to pretend to engage, pretend to be hurt, pretend to care about a relationship that was as interesting to me as paint drying, and pretend that my little heart had just been broken by a shitty friend. It worked though, and I’m glad to be done.

I wish that my path to cleansing didn’t include apologies and truth telling to some others. But, that too, was necessary.

Take my advice when you think someone isn’t acting in your best interest, don’t wait until it takes these lengths. Don’t wait for the grizzled hand of a psychic to bring you to your senses.