I have decided to create a new category/post type/segment/blog series called ‘Blunt Talk.”
I’m going to talk honestly (thus the “blunt talk”) about the things that people want answers for, but are too scared/ashamed/embarrassed to ask. The weird things, the gross things, the interesting but slightly scary things. You know what I mean, good reader. Things like… ingrown toenails (and how to get rid of them) and yeast infections, and why it’s good to clean your ears (but not with cu-tips ) and better to use headphones rather than earbuds. Maybe it’s things you never learned from your mum (or dad) or it’s things that you heard ABOUT but never really understood, or perhaps urban legends that you’d like to know if they are true. I’ll answer as best as I can (after much research if necessary, of course) and try and come up with reasons and/or solutions if it’s something that can be fixed/cured/treated. Some topics will be from personal experience, some will simply be things that I know people don’t “talk about” but would like to know the answer to (because I know I would!) and hopefully some topics will be from you, the reader.
I’m going to set up an anonymous question thingy, and of course you are free to email me or comment (if you’re feeling brave or your question is something you don’t mind being associated with) on this post and I’ll include it in the next sessions of Blunt Talk.
I’m also going to start handing out my natural herbal/plant remedies where applicable. I’ll talk about what I am/what I am doing too, if anyone is interested.
I’ll start tomorrow (Saturday) with my first topic. Come back tomorrow if you want to know what it is, or subscribe to my site feed 🙂
A little bit of inspiration to put a smile on your dial:
The trick is remembering that at all times far more is happening on your behalf than your physical senses will ever reveal.
Like right now.
Because of how much you’re loved,
PS. Pity, huh? I mean, you can’t even see the colors you emit when you laugh, your wings ruffle when you blush, or your friends in the unseen walking in your footsteps, sleeping cuddled by your side, and making those wacky finger horns over your head in photos.
- Notes from the Universe, www.tut.com – Mike Dooley
My heart is still very sore over the loss of my Macky-Moo. But it’s now an ache that sits quietly and doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to burst into ugly tears at any moment. It’s a bittersweet ache.
I’ve been thinking a lot about life, about death, about the circle of things. I’ve always liked the symbol of the circle. Infinity. Life, Death, Life. Things carry on, whether we want them to or not. We can’t stop time. We can’t stop the world. We can’t step off and wait until our heart feels less broken, or our mind catches up with us after a trauma, or while we catch our breath and try and get a grasp on WHAT just HAPPENED?!. The Earth keeps spinning. Mother Earth.
I’ll die one day too. This thought used to terrify me when I was younger. Much younger. I thought about these things when I was a very young girl. Especially after losing a member of my family, whether they were human or animal. I could dwell on it for days. A dark cloud settling over me. Because I was such a solitary child, I don’t think anyone really noticed. Which is fine. That’s the way I wanted it. I didn’t like to talk about the way it made me feel. I could talk about it now, I suppose, but years of keeping it all inside make me loathe to start doing that.
Now, being older with more life experience under my belt and knowing that I’m a survivor and that I am stronger than I appear (outside and inside) the thought of Death simply makes me sad – leaving behind the ones I love: human and animal. Not having done the things I wanted to. Said the things I wanted to. I’m not scared of dying itself. I’m scared of what follows. Not for me, but for the people I leave behind. What makes me feel small is that the world WILL continue turning. The Earth will carry on without me (for the moment) and my energy will go … somewhere…. but I have no control over that. I think THAT is what scared/scares me. The way Death takes over and you no longer control anything. Even if you never really controlled anything.
So after losing Macky, I’ve been dwelling. Thinking. And I’ve been trying, desperately, to live in the Present. For me. For my dogs. For life in general. For the Universe, Mother Earth, The Goddess – whatever you want to call that overwhelming force that binds us all together – so that I don’t go weakly, but I do go calmly, serenely, without TOO many regrets.
With this new thought pattern and attitude comes a curiosity (caused by a dream I had) to explore new ideas. Or old ideas, as the case may be.
The Moon. I’m drawn to it and always have been. Now, I am trying to be more aware of the Moon. Of how I feel at what point in the Cycle it is. I am a woman. I am attuned to the moon. I want to see where I go from here.
The cry of a crow. When you least expect it.
So, people – there it is. Goal weight. Or should I say _initial_ goal weight (I still want to lose a little more, but this was my first goal to reach, to keep me motivated)
I wasn’t expecting it, as I’ve been feeling a bit meh the last few days (headache, etc) but still eating (nothing stops me eating – not even food poisoning – I’m African) and running with Odin (who is doing superbly, by the way) and of course all the walks with the pack. It was a nice surprise, I have to say! I was expecting maybe 1 pound less than yesterday ( I did acknowledge that I’d been pretty good about my portion control since the weekend, when I binged on pizza and beer with my husband) but instead I found 2.5 pounds dropped off. It’s a good feeling. Now I just need to maintain, and/or drop a little more and then I am going to start weights, and get some tone to my jiggly bits.
Yay me! Of course, waking up this morning my knees were incredibly sore :/ Just my body reminding me that I turn 40 in a few months – another reason I wanted to reach this goal weight before that day. Psychological barrier and all that.
40. Quite honestly I never thought I’d make it to forty, much less be married to an American and living in a foreign country. I couldn’t “see” my life passed around 25. That was my “I am a grown up now” age, when I was a young girl. 25 was OLD. 25 was a “real grown up with a job and stuff” but I never wanted kids or to be married – I was never one of “those” girls who planned my wedding and picked my dress out before I’d even turned 14. I played with dolls, but I made them do crazy stuff like bungee jump and ride motorbikes and do karate. I never gave it a thought, really. I was too busy playing “Thundercats” and climbing mountains and riding around on my bicycle (while I had one, anyway – it was called Lightning and I pretended she was a horse) until the street lights came on and I headed home to read books until much later than I was meant to be up, and eat peanut butter toast.
Life has been… interesting and a challenge at times. I’ve been through some hectic sh*t, but I’m stronger each time I come out the other side. A bit more worn and dirty and cynical and jaded, but much stronger for sure. I have many scars – both physical and emotional – and while I do try to be open-minded and easygoing, I DO have certain things that rile me up no matter how hard I try not to let them. But I’m not ashamed of that, or any of my scars. My life is my life. It’s made me who I am and what I am. If I was not who I was at the time, I would never have made the decision to break out of IT and get into photography, quit my job and start riding horses all over the place. I would never have met my husband, because I wouldn’t have been house/dog sitting so much.
So many paths taken that have led me here. Nearly 40 and living in Germany, on an American military post, with my gorgeous husband and 3 beautiful furry children.
Life, huh? It’s cray-cray.
My friend Steph posted this article about a topic that’s quite inflammatory and divisive and seems to be intensely debated over the last year or so. I know where I stand – I don’t see why women who choose not to have children are vilified and called “selfish” and asked “WHY?!” as if it’s some kind of crime to make a choice that doesn’t affect ANYONE else except the person who makes the choice.
But that’s my opinion.
A quote from the article…
Today, 19 percent of women end their potential childbearing years without having had any children—making childlessness as common as it is irrationally controversial. We had the chance to talk about the topic with Meghan Daum: author, LA Times columnist, editor of the forthcoming essay collection Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, which is out tomorrow, March 31.
By email, Daum and I discussed everything from why childless-by-choice people are often forced to produce a “why?” for the (sometimes) well-intentioned crowd who demand an explanation for their decision to not procreate; the hubbub around egg freezing; what drives people to remain child-free; and why the phrase “child-free” itself needs to be retired.
I’ve read a couple of interesting articles the last couple of days.
One was about removing the Big Three from tech life (Microsoft, Google and Apple)
I started on that process quite a few months ago. Switched to Linux, closed my Facebook account, and I don’t own any Apple products, so that’s fine.
I also wanted to start working on getting my THC mail up and running and using it as my main mail account, instead of my gmail so that I can move away from them. That would be cool.
I’ve been reading about Android replacements as well.
I also read an article about how Google plans to slice up Google+ – not sure how that will work or how they will section it up and how it will affect the general user, like moi.
Hopefully I will be more “detached” from it all by then, so it won’t really affect me too much.
Gina got very very sick last week Thursday. I had to rush her to the vet. She’s not well still, but getting better. I tentatively hope.
Next article I need to read is about handling easily stressed dogs – that wasn’t the issue, or why she was sick, don’t worry! – because Gina is now 6 years old (on the day she got so sick 🙁 poor girl) and she gets so stressed with my interactions with Azzie (who I have to constantly “deal” with – stopping her from doing stupid things, EATING EVERYTHING, barking at everyone and everything and yanking my arm out my socket) that she is now incredibly tentative on walks. She lags behind, at the end of her lead, or just stops dead as soon as I correct Azzie, or she THINKS I will correct Azzie (when actually I’m just watching Azzie to make sure she’s just SNIFFING and not looking for crap to eat) and she _watches_ me constantly, to see if she can anticipate my reactions. It’s stressing her out so much 🙁 So I began an experiment this afternoon – took her on a walk on her own (I do take them down individually in the early morning hours, for their first toilet break of the day, and again in the evening for their last toilet break before bed as I found that she got so sidetracked or put off by Azzie darting all over and making me drag her all around that she either forgot she needed to poop, or would just hold it because she was too stressed to poop – either way, not a good thing) Just a short walk, 10 minutes of alone time with me. It seemed to work well. I took Azzie first (as usual) and she was also rather well behaved on the walk: perhaps because she had my FULL attention and didn’t feel the need to do stupid things to attract it, I suppose. And then I took G out and the transformation in her was quite profound. She was happy, her tail remained UP the entire walk and she bounced around and wanted to play with the plastic bottles we’d walked by earlier in the day. She didn’t poop, but that’s ok – she doesn’t go much when just being fed chicken (which is what she is eating at the moment because of the tummy issues) – as she seemed just much happier.
So from tomorrow, I will take them together on our long walks (because doing two long walks would be inefficient and silly, and I’m not sure Azzie would be very happy to be left alone for that long anyway) and then the rest of the walks I will take them individually. Just short walks. See how G manages.
I’m hoping it will boost her confidence in me, and in Azzie, and that her stress levels will drop.
Also – I will begin posting here a lot more, instead of on G+ – especially if that will be hacking it up and I will lose what little “audience” I have.
Right. And on that note – it’s time for the Last Walk of the day. Hoping that if G poops, it’s better than earlier 🙁
Night night, chickens.
OH! Almost forgot! Started on my Linux course 🙂 So far, going very well. Can’t wait for the next section to start!
So. 2015 huh? And still no flying cars.
Tesla’s are cool, of course – but they don’t fly…. yet.
ISIS are making a concerted effort to f**k the world up.
America slips deeper into idiocracy. (That movie is a scary warning, which unfortunately no Americans seem to take seriously)
My home, South Africa, begins to twist into “new Zimbabwe” thanks to Zuma and the ANC “gang” – with farm attacks and “reallocation of land” and load shedding and all that fun stuff. Apparently Zuma blames the “white colonials” for all the trouble they (the black people) are having now in South Africa. Yeah. Because it was so rosy before they arrived, right?
Dogs are doing well (although G is having a bad tummy morning – but I know the reason why and I have taken steps to sort her out)
Husband is still away. They extended his mission time.
So there went our Nordic dream trip. Yay army.
One good thing came of all that mess – in trying to sort out a shengen visa to travel around Europe, I discovered that because of various factors (foreigner, married to a US military member, living in Germany on orders) I can actually get a kind of residence permit, which will allow me to travel Europe without the need for a visa! Yay!
So this afternoon I’m off to see Mr Kupke at the “government house” (not the Rathaus, he was quick to clarify) and begin the paperwork for that.
I just let Gina out on the balcony for the 10th time this morning, and 7 seconds later she was at the door, asking to come back in – I timed it. Seriously. She’s worse than a cat. I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with this in and out and in and out and in and out every 2 minutes, so she can now sit there and chill until I feel like opening the bloody door again.
UPDATE: there was a reason for her restlessness – she is quite unwell. Vomiting, bloody diarrhea. So I rushed her through to the vet. No parasites or Giardia, thankfully. But she will have to fast for today and see how she does tomorrow with a little bit of chicken or something. Danke schon, Doktor Dehn.
Been a few months now as a vegetarian and I’m doing well. No anemia, no weakness or issues. I’ve been using an app called “MyFitnessPal” which helps me count calories etc and I have been slowly and steadily losing weight. I’ve lost 10lbs now, and while I have hit a slight “rut” now, hovering around a weight, I just need to be disciplined and stick to it and I am sure I can lose some more. I’m close to my goal weight. I just need to stay on track.
We’ve had loads of snow, but I think it’s now petering off a bit. We’re heading into March (it’s Gina’s 6th birthday tomorrow!) and it’s starting to warm up. Then again, Germany (Baumholder especially) likes to keep us on our toes when it comes to the weather.
As I wait for the US to “come online” I count down the minutes until my Facebook account disappears forever.
Not discontinued, but actually gone. Deleted. All trace of me removed. I feel a bit weird, but also good. Had a strange dream last night about it – cutting a line, flying out into a grey/black world like a kite let go. I could see lights down below, but I was… free? Alone, but free. I think I had wings, but I don’t remember. I looked down, not up.
Today’s the day.
I tried to give up dairy too, as I am a vegetarian (lacto-ovo… sparingly) and I know what goes down in milking sheds/factories.
But then there was macaroni cheese. Linguine pasta with creamy alfredo sauce and portobello mushrooms. Chocolate milk. Ice cream. Whipped cream on apple pie. I know it’s wrong. So very wrong.
I tried soy milk.. it was ok – but tasted weird after a while. I tried almond milk – didn’t like that at all. Even tried rice milk (nearly gagged) just so I could say I had. I’m not a vegan – I wish I had the discipline, money, time to be. But I am still a vegetarian. Some days are harder than others (I gave up meat because my conscience/heart wouldn’t allow me to enjoy it anymore, not because I don’t like the taste) and I struggle. But I’ve seen my health/body change already in just a few months of being serious about it again. Lost weight, lost fat, feel lighter and more energetic. I just get so _bored_ with the options available here. That’s what makes it difficult – lack of choice and variety.
So maybe when we move back I can get into it better.
Big things ahead. We are hopeful, after such a long time.
So. I did it.
2 Days ago I finally pressed the “delete account” button for Facebook.
Day 3 of Life Without Facebook and I have to say, I still have the habit of sitting down in front of my laptop in the morning and think of clicking the link to check my FB, but it’s waning very quickly. This morning I didn’t even open up my “daily” folder.
I opened email, checked Ello, and then had a chat with some friends on slack (new school IRC, basically – same good old friends and channel though) and continued with my day.
Sunday means dog park play date, and I also made breakfast for my husband who is on 24/7 duty for a week. Fun stuff.
We headed off, breakfast warm and cup of fresh coffee in hand for him too. Dogs said hi, we hung around for a little bit and then met our buddies at the dog park for an hour and a half of running around in the mud and rain. It was great. Dogs were great.
So I am _slowly_ getting used to Life Without Facebook, and I am starting to slip into a _new_ life routine. It’s pretty cool actually. I have moments though, I will admit, where I think about it… but it passes and I move on.
I was on Facebook for 10 years… seems both shorter and longer. I was a beta tester, so I got to iron out the bugs and see it change. Not all changes were for the better. The recent influx of complete idiots (this new generation is just unbelievably stupid… seriously) has also soured it for me. And the privacy issues and copyright issues and the whole limiting access to your network unless you pay them… just nicked my “mafioso” nerve and I’ve just had enough I think.
I had a lot of excuses/reasons for staying on, but I was brutally honest with myself and realised that the people on Facebook would do fine without me – my rescue organisations would be taken care of by my good friend Nicole (Even more so, as she’s a volunteer at many of them too) and my Berner groups are so large now they would barely notice the absence. Besides, my husband is still on it and he’s still in the groups, so he will let me know if I miss anything.
I haven’t posted photos in a long time, and I removed all my information a long time ago. So it was no big jump. Just a few moments of heart fuzz and then it was all over.
I still have about 11 days left to “change my mind” until they actually delete all the information etc… but quite honestly – I don’t miss it.
I’m getting back in touch with the “old school” – even writing letters by hand (just to my mom for now, but I’m happy to write to anyone who wants me to) and living my life for ME.
Hoping my inspiration will blossom again – for my photography, my sewing, my running, my yoga.
It does feel like a weight off my shoulders. I don’t know why, as I was not really very involved anymore (only checked it once a day for 5 minutes) but it does feel like I’ve let go of something that I didn’t need. Which is a nice feeling. If a little scary for me (if you ever have time to listen, I can try and explain my “unable to sever” dreams/daydreams/thoughts) generally.
Life goes on, and so do we.