March is a busy month for me. Lots of historic things in my life happen in March. My Birth for one, My diagnosis via DKA of Type 1 Diabetes (Sometime around this time in 2004. I just remember that I missed St. Patrick’s Day that year because I was in a COMA!). I normally get job offers around this time of year. It is like all the energy of things starting to grow share that energy with me.
With that being kept in mind I have that energy coming again. I am seeing windows of opportunity starting to open. Nothing really big mind you. Not like move to another place and take possession of this farm that I want you to run and I will sign over the house and land to you and pay you $5,000 a week and keep buying all the supplies needed to run the farm.
No, nothing that big. But some things that will help me work towards my big goal that I’ve been working on for a few years might happen.
Sorry for the Vagueness, but I don’t want to declare it unless it happens, which I feel it will.
I do have a few decisions to make and options to weigh. What path should I take? How will it affect my goal that I am working towards and how will affect my happiness (which is pretty much in the toilet right now)
Also, Last year at this time I was told by my super cool boss at my super cool job that due to the Shutdown, He had to eliminate my position. Crap! It was cool to see the lights off at the casinos in Reno and the empty streets on the traffic cameras downtown. It was also kind of eerie. Who knew that last year we would have political unrest, Riots, Mask debates, people acting out when asked to follow government mandates, Incredible division of people by race and political parties and outright hatred displayed for our fellow Americans.
And it is still here. And it makes people who believe in true equality afraid to speak or even talk to friends. It makes you want to crawl inside yourself because you cannot see any hope, not even of having a reasonable discussion with any other human being without being called names or threaten with violence.
Will it end. Will we all get our own windows of opportunity and Carpe Diem? I hope so. I am tired of being afraid of my fellow Americans.
I actually started another blog, but not to worry… I will never abandon this one. I still need someplace to write about random stuff that pops into this odd brain of mine.
This other site is strictly about food.
Yes, we Americans are obsessed with food. What are we supposed to eat? How much? How can I lose weight and not starve myself. (Spoiler: You can’t)
I am not getting into fad diet or weight loss scams though. I am just sharing the knowledge I have of growing, harvesting, Preserving and preparing food. This is a skill we all used to be taught from our parents. Even schools had cooking classes that you were required to take. (They called it Home economics back in my day)
So here it is: ihaveaknowledgeoffood.wordpress.com
Go visit it. Right now It just has the intro. Be patient and I will be adding lots of yummy things to it soon.
I saw that a friend of mine on social media posted an introduction on her wall. I thought this was a good idea and I am doing my own.
Hi I’m Laura. (Sometimes I go by Jadestone when I am representing my art)
I’m not new here but I do have a lot of new and old friends that may not know a lot about me. I’m starting off the new year with a new introduction!
The best thing that ever happened to me was…
Well, here is a detour. I have not had just one great thing happen to me. There is not a “Best” but a series of things that I am proud of. Here is my list: (In no particular order)
Going to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduating with an Associates in Specialized Technology with a focus on Visual Communications
Meeting and marrying my husband of 23 years
Moving to Nevada from Michigan by myself with 40 lbs of luggage, no job and only a promise of an apartment by Train.
Finding a job in Nevada after one week
Finding a job in my career in Nevada after two weeks
Surviving a Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis via DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidtosis aka Diabetic Coma)
Hosting and planning an art auction to benefit charity
Becoming a board member of a charity
Planning and hosting fundraising events for a big art project
Finding and becoming a caretaker for my roommate
Working for the Registrar of Voters and learning the voting process in Washoe County
Working on recovering from a lifetime of Diet Culture and the harm it has done for me
Raising my son to be a successful adult
Meeting Hannah and being worthy of her friendship
Being team captain for JDRF walks to cure diabetes
Being an exceptional worker to carry several letters of recommendation from past co-workers and bosses.
My favorite mentors are my Grandpaw and my Aunt Ruth. My favorite place I have ever been is Hartwick Pines State Park in Michigan.
I love to give. Emotionally or by volunteering. It is my personal belief that giving money is too easy and impersonal. You give more of your soul and heart by listing, hugging, helping someone carry something heavy, taking them to a food bank or giving them a meal when they are hungry. Sharing stories of being in a similar situation and how you got through it, letting them know they are not alone.
My word for 2021 is a phrase “Keep calm and carry on.” Keep improving my opportunities for the job that pays all my bills and allows me to buy some property and a house of my own to escape the racket and greed of renting. To escape poverty, I need to not spend over half my income in rent that is greater than a mortgage and house payment. To seek out some housing security and not be at the whims of a landlord.
I am open minded and totally non-judgmental of your lifestyle. I believe in TRUE Equality between humans of all kinds. I believe in the sharing of knowledge freely. You never know when that knowledge might just save a life. (Especially when it comes to the signs of diabetes or a low blood sugar and what to do) I believe in the rule of three. What you do comes back to you threefold.
We need to love more. We need to accept more, even when people don’t look like you, don’t believe in your God(s), Don’t subscribe to your ideas of what is good sex, Don’t have your skills, but possess different skills, Did not grow up with your ideals and family structures, Do not have your education level or attend your school, Eat different food than you, Come from a different country than you, own more/less stuff than you, have more/less friends than you, are on a different journey of health than yours.
There is a name for it: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. We all need it.
The moment many have waited for is here: 2020 is OVER! Well, kinda.
Here in Nevada, we are still in Tier 1 of covid vaccinations. Essentially Healthcare and first responders. Parties are only allowed to have two households. Fireworks were cancelled. We are told to stay home.
I usually always go out for New Year’s Eve, somewhere. Not this year. Enjoy these pictures of the past (in no specific order)
The one NYE I will NEVER forget is 4 years ago. My roommate’s best friend was dying of Cancer in the hospital. We got there in the morning and stayed late. I left him there in the afternoon so my husband and I could catch the last show of my friend’s band (before they called it quits) We left early as I got a message from my roommate. I picked him up and while I was on the phone with him I distinctly heard a woman talking to him. I saw him on the phone walking alone towards me, yet still heard the woman talking to him in the background. We found out that his friend had died between the time he was asked to leave and the time I picked him up.
Seeing the fireworks that year, I thought. “Wow! you really know how to exit the world in style, on the back of a rocket!”
So, while we continue to grieve our social lives let’s do the list:
A vaccine: the hero we’ve been holding out for to beat the Evil Virus.
Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds? Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed? Late at night I toss and turn and I dream of what I need: I need a hero, I’m holding out for a hero till the end of the night.
New leadership and hopefully better human relations
The return of social activities like concerts, dance parties, Festivals and the backyard BBQs.
Opportunity for growth and better employment opportunities.
This all means one thing: HOPE
So many people died in 2020. Many people have lost everything. No work and no government help has caused a record number of people to not have a home. Some of my friends are living in their cars/RVs. I see so many RVs in my neighborhood and so many tents along the river by the train tracks, in the mediums of the highway on and off ramps, in the back areas alongside the highway. More than normal. I wonder how many of these people don’t have kids and lost their partner because of COVID. How many of these people have no family to take them in and (as we all know) just couldn’t afford to keep a roof over their head because they are a single or reduced hours income.
I survived 2020. I am glad you did as well. I pray for us as a nation, as a world. I pray we treat each other well. You never know what people are going through. Please be kind, even when they are not. Don’t let 2020 turn you into a monster.
This is a test. I am actually doing this for a class on Youtube, but if you like this, I’ve been playing with the idea of making a food blog. Just a place where I can post recipes, food preservation tips and other food making related stuff. Make sure to share your ideas with me in the comments.
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (okay, you know me I put in a whole Tsp!)
3/4 tsp baking powder
13 tbsp soften butter (about a stick and a bit over a half)
1/2 C Stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract
sugar free jam or jelly of your choice.
Preheat your oven to 325. Prep your cookie sheets with Parchment paper. (I didn’t have so I used foil and spray oil.)
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together Flour, Cinnamon, and baking powder.
In a LARGE mixing bowl, beat Soften Butter with Stevia (or your favorite sugar alternative) until fluffy. (3-5 minutes approx.)
When your “sugar” and butter are fluffy, add the dry ingredients slowly and in small batches to allow for thorough mixing. (Add food color if you like here)
add egg and vanilla at the end. (might have to add a few sprits of water if too dry)
Make small balls by rolling them in your clean hands. Space out to allow for some expansion. Use a wine cork (can dip in butter if gets too sticky) to make an indent in each cookie.
Bake cookies for 5 minutes
Take out. (Might have to use the wine cork again to press down the indent. Fill the indent with the jelly/jam.
Bake for 8-10 minutes more.
Cookies should be slightly brown on bottom. Place on cooling mat/rack/newspaper
Well, It is two days before Christmas. Christmas Eve, eve or Festivus if you prefer; and it seems like the Grinch has succeeded in stealing Christmas.
We have not been allowed to have holiday parties either at work or home or friends. No big Christmas dinners, or gatherings with lots of children opening gifts from Santa. No dances, caroling or Christmas concerts. No performances of the Nutcracker, Gingerbread house making competitions or winter wonderland tree displays.
With the Covid surge making it deadly (yes, deadly. Maybe not to you, but to autoimmune compromised people like me.) to get together and celebrate and people not having income to purchase things to give (also due to Covid taking our jobs or reducing our hours) it does seem bleak and makes you not want to celebrate.
But like Dr. Seuss’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (and many other books) the holiday is not about the parties and the gifts, but about humanity and love. We all grew up with this story and I love Jim Carry’s live action version of it portraying the Grinch as someone who hates Christmas because he was bullied. He wants to strike out against it and destroy it. We all feel that way when someone hurts us. Many of us want to strike out and destroy. Some people twist words in their mind (because they don’t know how to listen without emotion) to justify their hate at something. And we have had A LOT of HATE being spread around recently. (In politics, in our perceived loss of freedoms and many other things) It has seeped into every bit of our lives.
Even a simple thing like wearing a mask will bring out people who hate you. I remember Hannah when her husband had cancer (and they both wore masks out in public to protect his weaken immune system) how many people made fun of them about wearing masks. They teased and spread hate until she got mad enough to yell back at them. This mask is to protect my husband who has cancer from YOU!
Sound familiar. My husband works in a gas station and his boss told me that a customer SPIT ON HER because she asked him to put on his mask, per the governor’s mandate.
It’s all Hate, Hate, Hate.
We need to stop. We need to let our hearts grow two sizes to big. We need to spread love to everyone! Not just the people who agreeing with our ideals. If we don’t treat everyone with kindness and not judge them for what they are doing, then we are no better then all those hate spreading groups out there.
We can agree to disagree and not partake in their actions. We can warn them that having a party is not safe according to medical science or that wearing a mask just over their mouth is not very effective, but we must not call them names or hate on them and anyone around them. That is not how we Heal our nation as our president elect is trying to do. We also have to do our part.
Yes, 2020 has not been kind to most of us. Yes, staying home SUCKS! Yes, losing jobs and loved ones is devastating. And Yes, it is getting EXHAUSTING not having a party, and not going out to eat with friends, and not singing and going to concerts, and not going out dancing. But we HAVE to keep doing our part to stay safe and spread love. We are social creatures and we need to connect to one another. So let’s do that!
We have technology!
Low tech options are letter writing and sending cards.
Delivering a homecooked meal to a neighbor’s door step
Picking up the phone and having a conversation
Higher tech options are:
Social media messenger services
Sending videos or video chatting
There are plenty of other options, but this is just a few to get you started. Let’s all be like Cindy Lou Who and reach out to people who are different. Let’s spread some love and put aside our differences. Let’s embrace Radical Inclusion for real and welcome everyone and recognize that they might be suffering in different ways than we are.
There was a sign hanging in a hospital I saw once it said “BE KIND TO PEOPLE – YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GOING THROUGH.”
I realize this takes some empathy and some people just aren’t capable of thinking of anyone except themselves, but most people, I believe can stop and think of others.
So like all those Whos in Whoville on Christmas day with no presents and no decorations. Let’s all reach out to each other and realize that we are all alive and alike in a lot of ways and together we can achieve greatness. (even if together means not physically right now)
14 days, just fourteen days until 2020 is over! It cannot come soon enough for many people, myself included. Although I tend to place more importance on the Lunar calendar than the Gregorian calendar, I am excited to get rid of the 2020 behind the date I write.
At this time, I personally know four people who have COVID. They are all at home, not hospitalized and I haven’t seen any of them for at least two weeks. I believe I am safe from contamination. Isn’t that horrible? That we have to think like the ancients with Leprosy! “Have I been exposed? Have I come in contact with any contaminated surfaces?”
This is a scary way to live. Some of my friends fear social repercussions of getting this highly contagious virus. And THAT is what people need to focus on. HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS VIRUS. We don’t socially mock or shun those people have gotten the Flu or Pink Eye. Both contagious diseases. Obviously not as contagious or possibly life threating as COVID; but we don’t SOCIALLY SHUN the VICTIMS of disease!!
Yes, the infected person needs to stay home and isolate! (as they should if they have pink eye or any other contagious disease) But I am not going to refuse to see you because you caught covid (after your quarantine, of course) I am not going to blame you for the rest of your life because you caught the most contagious disease running around. I might caution you not to be as socially active in person if you were, but I think if you got sick, you have learned this lesson by how horrible I hear Covid makes you feel.
I am going to treat you just like I do people who have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, lupus, Chron’s, Asthma, or any other condition that you might need modifications to your lifestyle. Having COVID does not change who you are as a person, does it?
I WILL call you out if you don’t self-isolate. If you don’t wear a mask. If you didn’t contact the people you were in contact with for the previous two weeks when you found out that you tested positive. That is wrong. Endangering others is wrong. You don’t know which one of your friends have autoimmune conditions or other things they fight everyday that could put them in that statistic of not surviving Covid.
Okay, lecture over.
Mom is done. I think I made my point clear.
Now, back to 14 days. For me, 2020 brought me 3 jobs in my field.
From Jan to Feb I worked for a great company, that put all their eggs in one basket and that basket didn’t renew the contract, forcing the business to close.
From Feb to March I found what seemed to be the perfect job. A mix of Graphic Design, Office Assistant and hand’s on art production. That evil virus forced the owner of the company to eliminate my position and do what I did himself.
I collected unemployment waiting, unsure of what to do. The only places hiring were essential workers, which (I still feel) is too great a risk for me with my Autoimmune disorder.
In Sept. my unemployment ran out. I was scared and frustrated and put up a post asking if jobs I was qualified to do and that were safe were even available anymore.
I found a part-time job (My current one) being an assistant with some graphic design work. It’s not many hours, but I am hoping for growth as I like this job.
My side job of bartending when away as I used to bartend at conventions and concerts. None have happened since March.
I have seen so much hate and bigotry and racism from people I thought I knew.
I have become closer to my cat
I tended my garden and lost most of it to a spider mite infestation that I just couldn’t conquer.
I learned how to macrame.
I became a ROVER pet sitter.
I painted inside and outside of my RV.
I have not heard from a lot of my friends at all. People I would gleefully talk to at parties and picnics. I hope they are alright.
2021 bring hope and I feel I’d like to list them out. Focus on the positive. So here goes.
I hope I can get a vaccine
I hope I can find a job that pays me the amount of a full-time position in my career field
I hope I can buy a house and at least a couple acres of land
I hope I can go to concerts again
I hope I can feel safe enough to go to a bar and dance
I hope I will be invited to campouts and BBQs and parties
I hope I can become involved in charity events
I hope I can go to Local events like the Balloon Races, Street fairs, and art displays
I hope I can go to a movie theater without anxiety.
I hope I can take a vacation out of state
I hope I can go back to my Ecstatic Dance and Meditation classes
I hope we can end all the blatant hate in this country.
Well my dear reader(s), it seems the Grinch actually stole Christmas this year. He isn’t green and hairy dressed as Santa with a little dog sidekick sporting reindeer horns, but rather a round and red speckled globe of terror referred to as COVID-19. (both probably still the same size. I mean a whole city of Who’s live on a flower!)
So what do we do? Do we accept defeat and sink into an even deeper holiday depression?
I say NO!
It is normal for millions of people to suffer seasonal depression around the December Holidays. Why? Well let us pause and think about that.
It’s freaking cold and miserable outside, there are no plants growing and literally less hours of sunshine. Both these items make you happy, (Flowers and Sunshine) even if you are male.
You feel obligated to spend money you may (or may not) have. So, don’t. Instead bake some cookies, make those ingredient jar things and give those as gifts or make something else unique and useful. (potholders or wooden cutting boards or whatever it is that you do. Heck gift a big pack of toilet paper or hand sanitizer!)
Some people have lost loved ones, or are not able to visit loved ones living a long way away. (or this year… COVID CONCERNS) Since the holidays have traditions centered around people gathering and eating food, it is difficult when we cannot (CDC does not recommend) do those things.
So now that we know that it is OKAY and NORMAL to not be happy and joyful during the holidays, we can do stuff to get through it, right?
Now for some personal stories.
I moved to Nevada in 2007 from Michigan. (Google it to see the distance) It took me three days and two nights on the train to arrive here. I have only been back to my hometown once since then to visit. (Travel costs money people) Therefore, I had to find a new way to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas (The two holidays my family gathers for).
Thanksgiving we used to gather at my Great Aunt Sis’s house. Family would fly in from all over and it was like a family reunion for us. She died the year after I left Michigan after giving me her blessing for moving my son and husband out here. We would all bring a special dish to pass and watch the Detroit Lions lose the football game while the kids and a few volunteers would catch the Thanksgiving movie at the local theater. If it was an election year, my Great-Aunt would tell us who to vote for.
Christmas was more individualized. We usually have a couple of gatherings on different days. My Father’s side of the family would have a low key gathering, very quiet and subdued. On my Mother’s side of the family we would pick whose house we were holding it at, that person would cook the ham or turkey or whatever the main meat was, and everyone else would bring the requested side dish. My mom would prepare for the week making Christmas cookies and Hard rock candy and getting out the proper plates, silverware. (If she was hosting) After I had my son, occasionally we would zip up to my mother-in-laws for a Christmas Luncheon and gift opening.
The first couple of years here in Nevada with just my Son and husband were a bit lonely. I had to get creative to celebrate. We would go to the special dinners at the restaurants and try to find holiday activities that my son would enjoy.
After I met Hannah, her family would have us over. After she died, I could not bring myself to going to her Grandmother’s house knowing that she wouldn’t be there. By then, my son was grown and out of the house anyway.
RANDOM FACT: I actually met my roommate at a Thanksgiving dinner at the Morris Burner Hotel (where I was a volunteer for a couple of years). That may be a different story entirely.
So, now that Covid (or here fore after referred to as the Grinch) has stolen everyone’s Holiday traditions I will share some ideas on how to overcome the crushing loneness that you experience the first year you cannot gather with loved ones or friends.
The Mayo clinic recommends these steps for dealing with Holiday Depression:
Acknowledge your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
Be realistic. Find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations
Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend.
Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities.
Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
Don’t abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
Take a breather. Make some time for yourself.
Seek professional help if you need it.
All true. But HOW?!
Take a breather ideas.
Watch your favorite movie alone
Sing & dance by yourself
Take a bubble bath
Write (if you are like me)
Acknowledge your feelings AND reach out. Most people are feeling charitable because of the holidays and will lend an ear. For those that say “I can’t handle your stress right now!” leave them alone and give them their space.
Talk about your feelings of loss
Call your friends & family and tell them you miss them
Write letters in your Christmas Cards remembering details of the recipient’s past and asking what they are doing this year.
Plan a one on one small lunch, dinner or coffee date after the holidays with a friend that lives by you.
It’s okay to say it sucks, It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to not be happy this year.
As for the gift giving. It sucks when you don’t receive anything. Seriously. You see everyone posting pictures and showing off all their gifts and you did not get anything from someone else. It’s a little sad. You may even feel guilt and feeling bad for not getting anything because material possessions don’t matter in the big picture.
So give, but be creative. Encourage return creative gifts.
Make and share a list of things you actually need to replace, obtain. Some people feel better giving things people need like “I need to replace my socks because they all have holes or are mismatched” or “My potholders are getting really thin.”
Gift cards. Yes, I know there are people that feel that is a cop-out, but hey, MANY PEOPLE NEED THEM RIGHT NOW. We are on reduced hours or lost our jobs, our unemployment benefits are running out and groceries are expensive.
If you usually do a big Christmas Dinner out, perhaps order a meal to be delivered for someone via DoorDash, Grubhub, or the various other delivery services.
The point is 2020 has taught us to value the little things more. (Well taught most of us) So think Small, your gesture will be appreciated. Also, ask what they would like or need. That thought of someone wanting to gift something that is actually needed instead of a useless trinket in difficult times is worth more than a million dollar vacation. (well, for most people anyway.)
Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate this time of year.
Everybody… and I DO mean EVERY BODY is fed up with the year of 2020! From Hostile politics, to a pandemic forcing us to stay home, small business to close forever or severely lose business because the middle class has suffered loss of income, deaths and even evictions. From people dying alone in hospitals to people not being able to socialize in the way they know and suffering depression and other forms of mental difficulties.
We are all ready for this year to be over!
I am seeing my friends who normally don’t decorate for Christmas until Black Friday post their decked out artificial trees and fireplaces. I guess Jerry Herman is right this year “For we need a little Christmas right this very minute..”
So in the spirit of trying to hurry up “the end of the world as we know it,” I am writing my usual end of the year blog.
So in the reflection the year of the Rat was supposed to bring good luck. For me it kinda did. I mean, I had three jobs and spent two seasons on unemployment, but I was still able to pay my rent, get my medicine and put food on the table. This is huge compared to a lot of people. Oh, and I have not been sick. (Although Fall is my rough season for getting ill)
I have adopted a view similar to Van Gogh though… Not expecting anything to last. I hope it will, but after two very promising jobs that I got hired for that I could see myself retiring from disappearing (one directly because of COVID Shutdowns)… Yeah.
I did get to read a life-changing book about diet culture and it opened my eyes about how much we stress about food and how bad that is for your health… Just trying to stick to a diet. I am also learning more about new hobbies that I had put off learning. That was fun.
My cat loved it because I was home all day to cuddle and play. Now, he is a little more upset because I am not playing as much as I am sitting at my computer working.
I do love not having to go into an office and deal with badly regulated heat and a/c levels for 8 hours a day.
or putting on shoes.
The year of the rat was not filled with the “good luck” that I was expecting, but looking at it I DID have the MOST IMPORTANT kind of good luck.
As for 2021: The year of the OX
The horoscope sites are calling it “the Year of Patience.” Well, I can be Patient if I have a few things:
Communication from our government on the progress of their efforts with controlling Corona Virus
No longer tolerating hate and fear propaganda
Communication with friends and family
A little bit of stability
Here is hoping. I am making no predictions. I am living day by day, Morning to night, focusing on staying alive and healthy.
Fall is officially here in three days. ( Sorry in advance for any thing odd in this blog I’m using the phone app… Which I don’t like. ) What does that mean? I mean besides a calendar date.
For me it is the start of my fight to dispel depression. The cold weather is coming faster than I want, all the plants start dying, it’s too cold to camp or swim, sometimes even go outside. Driving sucks with snow and grey skies, days are shorter. A bunch of holidays focused on food and family start happening since my family is on the other side of the US and I’m diabetic and have to consider everything I put into my mouth.,. Yeah not a happy thing.
On the bright side: I want to bake, a lot. And take long hot baths. And drink hot tea with cookies. So there is that.
How about you? Do you like autumn? Why or why not? Interact. There is no judgement here.