Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wobbling



I was reading a post by "Jen" e sais quoi the other day, and now I’m wondering…what would it be like if you really did fly instead of falling?  This has almost nothing to do with her beautiful post, and everything to do with the goofy things my brain does to entertain itself when I’m supposed to be getting things done.  But no, really.  What would it be like if you thought you were going to fall and then you didn’t?  Like an avian first timer, would you go through a few clumsy flaps, then suddenly manage the trick of it?  Would a human instinctively feel how the air currents would lift or drop you?  Or would it be a wobbly, wild ride full of startling falls and random graceful glides?  I’m betting on wobbly, but that may be because I’ve been feeling a bit wobbly myself lately.  I think my depression is finally beginning to lift, but it’s been with me so long this time that I’m having to re-learn how to be okay.  It’s like climbing a staircase where you suspect one of the steps may break.  You continue walking up, but there’s this tension in your body because you keep expecting to have to catch yourself.  A part of me wants to start running—just haul ass up the steps, let them break behind me if they want, I'll zoom upward and at the top I'll fly off into amazing.  Sometimes I think that part of me is brave, sometimes I think it’s foolhardy.  Either way, wobbly or wild, things are improving.  That’s the important part.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Pizzukes



New recipe!  My friends had a party this weekend to celebrate their snazzy new grill/smoker.  They provided the meat and the beer and the rest of us brought side dishes and dessert.  A darned good time was had by all.  It also provided me with a captive audience of taste-testers (muahahaha).  I’m forever craving pizza, but money was tight so I invented a new recipe involving zucchini (which is in season and therefore pretty cheap).  You may recognize the sauce from my previous pizza casserole recipe. It’s the best pizza sauce ever IMHO, but I can’t credit the author because I have no idea where it originally came from.  Sorry, pizza genius, I wish I could thank you personally for this sauce.


Pizzukes

Sauce:
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves minced, or 3 heaping tsp of minced garlic from a jar
15 oz can tomato sauce (use a good name brand--Muir Glen organic is my fav)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Add herbs, then stir in tomato sauce.  Cook a few minutes until flavors are blended then set aside.
Big pile of zucchini, sliced
1-2 onions, diced
1-2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
Heat oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and cook 3-5 minutes until translucent.  Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini texture is where you like it.  Stir in pizza sauce and heat through.  Serve with mozzarella or feta cheese.

I’ve never been a big fan of zucchini.  I come from the sort of place where people leave sacks of it on the neighbors’ porches in the middle of the night and run away.  Pretty sure that one zucchini plant can supply an entire small town, so why does everyone plant a couple?  That said, this is one of the ways that I am willing to eat the green monsters.  (The previously posted zucchini noodles is the other way—tomato sauce and cheese makes everything better).

Drooling commencing now. 



Friday, July 25, 2014

Zounds--zoodles!



Some days it’s the little things that give you your smile back.  Today at the farmers’ market, I found some really large zucchini, so this weekend I can have zoodles (zucchini noodles, for those of you who don’t do the primal/paleo thing)!  Now I just have to find some good Italian sausage and it’s finally time for a big plate of spaghetti.  Eating pasta simply doesn’t occur to me most of the time, but it’s one more reason that I love summer.  You can’t get ginormous noodle-sized zukes any other time and spaghetti squash just doesn’t have the right texture.  Yay, summer!  

Lookin' so tasty!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Missing Art



Once upon a time, I thought of myself as an artist.  I’ve played around with a wide variety of tools and techniques over the years.  About a week ago, an image popped into my mind just as I was waking up and I saw it as a pen and ink drawing.  As I was talking to a friend who agreed to be a hand model for the piece, I realized that it has been years since I worked on anything I thought of as an art project.  Between the divorce (and subsequent dating), working 6 days a week, and learning to run, I haven’t had much time for art.  I created a piece of jewelry for friend a couple of years ago, and a handmade book/journal for my mom a year or two prior to that.  That’s it.

Of course, I’ve been writing during this time period.  Mostly blog posts, but also poetry.  I’m not certain why I don’t consider writing as art.  Maybe because the process of composing an essay is so different from the process of designing?  Poems usually come to me in a rush and as a whole, editing rarely required, so that process is different from either writing or designing.  Generally, it seems I have been crafting—creating chocolate flavors and costumes and crocheting and card-making.  These things sometimes use techniques from my various artistic endeavors, but they aren’t really art.  They rarely evoke an emotional response, which has normally been my motivation for creating art in the past.

Definitions aside, I have experienced inspiration for the first time in a very long time.  Now I’m worried that my drawing skills have deteriorated, so I’ve started making backup plans to create the image as a sculpture, possibly even as a painting.  Ah, my lack of confidence makes me want to shake myself until my eyeballs rattle.  Thank heaven for the library—I picked up a couple of drawing books, including this one, which looks like a fun way to get back to my roots.   

Doesn't it look like fun?

I’ve been working so much in other media that I haven’t done any drawing other than sketching costume or jewelry ideas in maybe a decade.  In flipping through the book, I’ve found quite a few exercises that make me nervous but also excited.  It’s tough to say how this will turn out, but I’ve got a new sketchbook and sharpened my pencils.  Now I just have to find a volunteer to be a model for my life drawings…anyone up for it?  Heck, you get naked and sit still while you’re randomly stared at for 3 hours—who WOULDN’T want to try that?



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Toothless

Had another tooth pulled last week.  Yucky.  It's healing reasonably well, certainly better than the last one.  It's been years since I had an extraction done and I was still a smoker back then.  Now, I have clean and happy lungs and healthier eating habits.  It makes a big difference.  Also, in talking with a friend who recently had one pulled, I discovered that penicillin seems to affect mental states.  She was on it for a week or so and said she thought that she was going crazy, so perhaps that explains the deeper than usual depression I was dealing with.  I hope to get back to running within a week or two and I'm done with antibiotics for a while, so things should ease up very soon.  Think happy, healing thoughts for me, please?!


Open wide, this will only take a minute...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Illin'



I’m not sure I can think of a way to talk about this without sounding like a whiner.  This depression is really starting to get me down, you know?  It stole any sense of pride or accomplishment I might have gotten from completing my first marathon.  How unfair is that?  I should have been so pleased/excited/happy/ proud but instead I just felt relieved that it was over.  If it weren’t for wine, crafty crap, and cats, I don’t know how I’d cope.  Depression lies to you and I know that, but it talks so loudly and it’s always so certain that I’m (pick ANY negative descriptor—I’ve said it to myself at some point).  It’s been six months now.  It’s like serving time except you have no idea how long your sentence will last.  Could start feeling better next week.  Could still be in this headspace at Christmas.  During my marathon training, I was wondering how much more depressed I would be if I weren’t running so damned much.  Well.  Turns out to be a fair amount more depressed.  I haven’t been able to run since the marathon due to physical issues of one sort or another and things are absolutely getting worse.

Of course, there are plenty of things I do that keep it from getting too bad.  I take the right vitamins and supplements, I exercise (still walking 10-20 miles per week), I try to get out of the house, I stay busy.  I’m beginning to find myself withdrawing from my friends now.  I’ve tried a few times to suggest a girl’s night, but they all have partners* who are so cool they can’t be left behind, even for one night.  (Either that, or they need some moral support to deal with being around me for an entire evening—don’t think I haven’t considered that angle.)  Being the 3rd, 5th, or 7th wheel has lost its appeal and become more of a chance to find something different to be depressed about rather than a beneficial social interaction.  I occasionally consider getting back on the online dating sites, but that feels almost like an addiction at this point.  (i.e. “I feel like crap about myself, I need some positive feedback and here’s an easy source.”) Maybe prescription drugs are the way to go, but they have such unpleasant side effects.  Hopefully I’ll heal up from this physical mess and get back to running very soon.  At least then I’ll only be kinda bummed instead of the way I feel now.


*I use the term partner because some of my friends are married and some are dating, and because I believe the terminology should be the same across the board, whether you are gay or straight, married, living together, or dating.  You are romantically involved with that person currently (and if you’re romantically involved with more than one, you have partners—simple as that).  It’s easier all around, but I doubt it will catch on since it doesn’t give anyone a social cue about the status of your romantic relationship or if your significant other (or others) happen to be the same gender as you are. Humans are so illogical.