It’s been a mini-eternity since I’ve posted. Truth be told, I’ve been extremely busy with “life”, and that means I have an excessive amount to write about. I’ve had a lot of “irons in the fire” lately. At the time that I am writing this, my son and I are on vacation, and I am using this time to update my blog. There’s so much to tell, and there’s something for each one of my memoirs (I will post these paragraphs in their appropriate memoir, eventually):
Memoirs From A Vegetarian: In May 2013 I accepted a 14 day “no meat” challenge. The 14 days went so well that I decided to extend the challenge, but I tweaked it by adding fish to my menu which transformed my vegetarian venture into a pescetarian venture. Well, the pescetarian plan was going superbly for 2 1/2 months until I started craving (urgently) my favorite protein, chicken. My desire for chicken was so intense that nothing I ate satisfied me. Nothing! That was the end of my vegetarian/pescetarian journey. It lasted for 3 months. Transitioning back to chicken was not easy. For about 2 weeks, I was tired all the time, and I felt somewhat lethargic. However, now I am back to my usual self (meat-eater, especially chicken). I think it was a great experience, and I would like to take the challenge again, but I’m not sure when.
Memoirs From A Shortbread Cookie Fanatic: My vanilla extract experiment, the 6 month “Vanilla Bound Series – You Are Now Vanilla Bound”, was a success. I removed the extract from the dark cabinet in late February. I strained the extract 3 times (strainer, cloth and then strainer with cloth). I transferred most of the strained extract to a dark bottle (to keep out light and extend its freshness) and placed it in the cupboard. I have used it a few times in my shortbread cookies, and it worked. I loved the smell of my vanilla extract so much that I put the remaining 4 ounces in a spray bottle, and yes, I’m using it as a cologne spray. I will definitely do this again, but maybe next time I’ll mix different vanilla beans. What can I say, I LOVE vanilla!
Memoirs From A Poetess: As I have stated in the past, I am usually an emotional writer, but a “poetic” friend of mine asked me to collaborate with him on a poem (he would write and I would pick up where he left off). We went back and forth with this technique for about a year (both of us too busy with our own individual lives to write often or much). The outcome was short but sweet. It was challenging for me because it was like writing on command, and I struggled while hovering over a piece of paper trying to “will” myself to write. The poem has not been posted yet, but I will be posting it soon, “Poetic Duet”.
Memoirs From A Single Mother Raising Boy: There has been a lot happening in my day-to-day life as a single mother. My son is 14 1/2 years old. He’s in high school now, and he’s excelling well in school. He has joined several school clubs and two sports. Obviously his busy schedule is related to my busy schedule, but it is a great experience for both of us. Although there is no problem with his attention to school work, we are still experiencing growing pains with regards to talking back, responsibilities outside of school, and his desire and expectations to be granted similar privileges that his new high school friends (11th & 12th graders) are allowed. My challenge is to help him understand that because his friends are 2 to 4 years older than he is, they have earned the privileges that they have been granted, and maturity, over time, is one of the ways that privileges are earned. It’s a struggle, but after talking to several parents of teenage boys, I know I am not alone.
In addition to parenting a high schooler, I discovered a new hobby (as if I didn’t have enough hobbies). It stemmed from an extreme need and my desire to be in the kitchen, and it was “something to do” when the shortbread craze lulled after the holidays. My need goes back approximately 12 years (or shortly after my chemo and radiation treatments). I found myself with dry nails, dry skin, and dry hair, and it was challenging. I was on a constant search for a moisturizer, shampoo, and/or conditioner that would give me a visible difference. The expensive products produced decent results (using the free trials), but I couldn’t (and still can’t) afford to go that route. The less expensive products were “hit & miss” but sometimes made things worse. So, one day I decided to create my own natural moisturizer, shampoo, and conditioner. For several days I googled natural moisturizers and skin care ingredients. What I found was budget friendly and very doable. It was also preservative free and lacked harmful chemicals. I purchased jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, aloe vera gel, honey, yogurt, and a few other items. The experimenting and mixing began and SuppleSwee-T’s Skin & Hair was born. After using my new creations, I was happy and extremely satisfied. It was a “voila” moment for me. My hair was no longer dry and brittle, and the dry patches on my face were no longer visible. In the past, wearing makeup would make my dry skin even drier, but that is no longer a problem. I got so excited about my new discovery that I even made lip balm (which I also rub on my cuticles and nails to combat the brittle dryness). The only thing I ponder over now is why it took me so long to figure this out.
Another “life” moment for this single mother is my promotion at work. I am happy to say that regardless of my hobbies (writing, baking, and the newest hobby SuppleSwee-T’s Skin & Hair), my job (the thing that pays the bills) is also very important to me. All of my hard work, at my day job, paid off in the form of a much desired promotion, and for that I am extremely thankful. I am forging ahead, and even though I am at the same company, after 27 years, I will be doing something totally different from what I have done. A few months ago, I interviewed for a different promotional position that would have brought my job closer to home. The interview went well. I was myself, and presented myself as knowledgeable and prepared to handle the job. However, before any/every interview/endeavor, I say a prayer. My prayer is not for God to give me the thing that I desire. Instead, I pray for God to place me in the place I should be, if it’s His will. Needless to say, I did not get that particular position, and it did not bother me. I knew this meant that God had other plans for me. Fast forward a few months and here I am with a promotion that is better than the one that passed me by (on many levels). Yes, I have entered a new venture in my journey, a new chapter in “Life’s Lessons Learned”.