There’s a GIANT ZUCCHINI in my kitchen

One of the local farm-to-table restaurants has a crate outside their front door with a sign on it that says feel free to take one. I’ve done this once before, and took home something I was hoping might be a very pale butternut squash but I think was actually closer to spaghetti squash.

Last night on a whim I brought home a zucchini almost as long as my arm. And you know what happens when you google “how to butcher a giant zucchini”? My top hit was of someone cutting a large zucchini (not as large as this one, score one for me) while background spectators yelled encouragement and various suggestions. It was not actually helpful.

2017-11-13 12.57.49

So, this post is going to serve as a collection of resources for WHAT TO DO WITH THIS THING. I haven’t yet taken the time to try or even really read through these too critically, so I will probably keep coming back to this post and adding notes.

Do you have a recipe or any other zucchini-related notes, anecdotes, or adventures? Let me know! Continue reading “There’s a GIANT ZUCCHINI in my kitchen”

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A Month in Review: October 2017

It’s beginning to feel a lot like autumn. We’ve gotten a fair amount of rain in the past few days, and now that the fires in Sonoma and Napa counties have simmered down, the focus is starting to roll over to flood prevention/preparation. California may not have a lot of weather compared to states that get hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, but when we go for something we go at it hard.
But it’s cozy inside. We finally gave in and moved the big baseboard heater from our bedroom to the living room. I don’t know why it kept blowing out the circuit in there but hasn’t been a problem out here, but there you go. In between phone interviews and sending out resumes I’m trying to enjoy the rain and the fact that if I lay on my back long enough, a cat will come lay on my stomach and purr at me for a while. Currently it’s our youngest cat, who just turned a year old yesterday.
Halloween was a bustle of activity for me, but not the expected holiday kind. I had a morning face to face interview, then continued from there to the South Bay for a meeting with my/my parents financial advisor about the current state of my investments. We bumped some things up from conservative to moderate-conservative and moderate risk, since I have no plans to cash those out soon — it’s all rather baffling, to be honest. Then I went home and made reduced sugar, accidentally low sodium pumpkin cupcakes for my Grandma’s birthday dinner. They turned out delicious, and the cream cheese frosting with honey is really easy to spread and my new go-to for my Dad’s red velvet birthday cake I need to make in a few weeks.
Here’s all the other things I am currently:
Writing
… A novel!! I got my act together towards the end of October and wrote an outline/timeline for this revision of last year’s project, and I’m so glad I did. There are some small ways in which I haven’t bothered to follow it but that’s half the fun of writing, isn’t it? To let the story discover itself as it unfolds? I also cheated a little and had a 3k prologue written in advance that I counted on November 1st, but that was the only day I didn’t knock out at least 1667 new words.
My partner and a friend each independently said that they could see this story as a movie, so I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.
Planning
… For the holidays. With three cats, driving down to visit our families for a long weekend gets a bit more complicated. My parents are not pet people, and I’m not entirely sure I trust them not to accidentally let our indoor cats sneak outside. (I’m also pretty sure that they knee-jerk don’t trust me to clean up after them, which is bs but to be fair they do try to quash that first instinct for my sake.) my partner’s parents are a lot more pet friendly, but that’s because they already have two large dogs (who are big babies that refuse to make eye contact with all but our oldest cat, who they’ve known the longest). When the pets outnumber the people, you’re basically living in a zoo. To top it all off, my aunt is flying back from Michigan for Thanksgiving and she’s bringing her two cavalier King Charles spaniels. In a fight between our cats and those dogs, I am convinced the dogs would start it but the cats would finish it, and the whole thing would burn up all my remaining patience with my aunt.
So I guess we’ve got to go with option zoo, at least for Thanksgiving night. Sorry future in-laws.
Making
… New recipes. Have I raved here about the mango cashew fried rice I made yet? Because it was AMAZING, and that was just with dried mango that I rehydrated sounds could use up the last of that. It would be stupendous with fresh!
I will admit to using kitchen experiments as an alternative to finding and spending money I don’t have on a therapist. Eating healthier is good for me too!
Anticipating
… Hearing back about some promising interviews this week. Fingers crossed! 🤞
Reading
… Fanfiction, lol. I’ve fallen back on some old favorites that I know share some similar vibes to what I want to write. Does anyone else out there like a good James Bond/Q fic every now and then?
Watching
… Lots. We typically have one of our three comfort sitcoms on in the background, and right now we’re still on Friends. I also found a random Netflix movie that I liked enough to watch twice — it’s called Infini and if you’re a sci-fi fan I recommend it. (Watch it with subtitles the first time through though.) Plus, my partner and I just finished watching the most recent season of Grace & Frankie. Love that show. At some point we’ll get to the new season of Stranger Things that everyone is raving about… I just want to rewatch the first season again first.
Feeling
… Really excited about how NaNoWriMo is going. This challenge is an exercise in word vomit, but I actually don’t dislike most of what I’ve written so far.
Needing
… More sleep. I don’t know what it is, but it’s like I spent so much time beaten down by my job, I was exhausted and usually got to bed at a reasonable hour. Now that I have the energy to write and be creative again, suddenly I have insomnia. I can’t get my brain to switch off until somewhere around two in the morning.
Loving
… The friends we’ve made up here in the past couple months. It’s so cool to be able to go out with people and do fun stuff, like lounge around the pool at Francis Ford Coppola winery in between magic shows during a Halloween party, snacking on free kettle corn and candy while sipping (not free, but more affordable than mixed drinks) sparkling Sophia.
Hating
… The recent devastating events in our area. Many people have lost their homes, businesses, workplaces, safe spaces. It’s awful.
My partner and I have been trying to donate as many resources as we can, but one of the outcomes is a significant blow to wine country tourism.  I can speak from mypartner’s  experience that tasting rooms are currently experiencing long stretches of nothing happening. So I say, come to Northern California, people! Lots of wineries are donating portions of their proceeds to relief and rebuilding efforts, and staff hired for their ability to chat with anyone about wine, the universe, and everything. They are lovely people, come talk to them!
Hoping
… To at the very least not gain any more weight over the holidays. I’ve been holding steady recently and trying to eat better, be more active, etc. The boot camp stuff I was doing kind of fell through because of the fires disrupting everything, but I swear that as soon as I have income again I’m going to find a Pilates class. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts.

The Fall Tag

I didn’t get tagged for this, I just saw it floating around and thought it looked like fun. For this reason, I’m not going to tag anyone either. 🍃🍂🍁

1. What’s your favorite fall outfit?

Comfy jeans and a warm snuggly shirt or sweatshirt.

2. What is fall weather like where you live?

Fall in California’s wine country isn’t as dramatic as it is in other parts of the country, but as soon as the vineyards are harvested the grape leaves start to turn orange and yellow. The apples are ripe. Local pumpkin patches start to open up all over the place, and there’s a large corn maze a fairly short drive away (luckily untouched by the fires).

3. Your favourite drink to have in the fall?

Hot chocolate. Although, hot apple cider is always good, too. And you know what I want to try that I haven’t had since college? Hot buttered rum.

4. Does your family have any fall traditions?

It’s the beginning of baking season! Grandma’s birthday is October 31st and I’m doing the cake this year — well, cupcakes. Dad’s birthday is at towards the end of November and I took over making the red velvet cake for that years ago. Then for Thanksgiving I’m in charge of gluten free pumpkin pies for two different dinners (yay having a second family via long term relationship). After Thanksgiving comes all the family Christmas cookie events, from cookie making day to cookie decorating day.

5. What are some activities and events you enjoy going to in the fall months?

Super, super psyched about that corn maze. We’ve lived near it for a couple years now and this is going to be the first year we get to go!

6. What’s your favourite fall-scented candle?

Warm vanilla sugar, or anything that smells like baking spices.

7. Tell us about one of your favourite fall memories.

It was some time in middle school and I had the flu. It was a little after Thanksgiving so the Christmas decorations were already up, and my mom was having some work friends over for a holiday party and White Elephant game.

(For those of you unfamiliar: You wrap up a ridiculous and/or hilarious gift, possibly even something around the house that you want to get rid of. At the party, everyone draws a number to determine what order they get to open presents and the first one opens whatever they want. The second person can either steal the known gift or venture into the unknown. Each gift can only be stolen three times, max.)

My mom let me unwrap for her, and I ended up with this really cute, big mug in the shape of a sheep. I called it my Shmug. It was a really funny afternoon, even with the flu!

8. What are some fall movies you enjoy watching?

Anything creepy. I love Halloween.

9. What’s your favourite fall treat?

Pumpkin pie!

10. If you celebrated Halloween, what’s the best costume you’ve worn?

Best, or hilarious? Because one year in highschool I ordered a cardboard coffin, cut off the bottom end and the top portion of the lid, cut arm holes in the side, and spent an entire school day walking around in it. The opening in the bottom wasn’t very big so I had to take small steps everywhere, and could only go down stairs by hopping down from step to step. I also couldn’t lower my arms without clunking the top of the coffin into my head. My mom was laughing so hard when she dropped me off at school that I think she almost caused a minor traffic incident in the parking lot.

Anxiety Dreams

You know those dreams where you’re suddenly back in school but you have no idea what your class schedule is? And often it’s partway through the school year, and you know that either (a) you’ve been going to those classes for months and have suddenly forgotten everything about when and where, or (b) you just haven been going to them at all, only just realized it, and are completely screwed?

Last night, I had a slightly different variation of that dream. My partner and best friend had decided to go back to college, and I decided to join in. I didn’t look at any other schools, just applied to the same one they did. When I got there, for some reason I expected to have math classes… and it took me a week to realize they were lit classes, I hadn’t gone to any of them, and I was behind on reasoned at least three classic novels with more assignments coming up soon. Then my brain decided I was going for a degree in editing (is that even a thing?) and not only had to read the books, but had to write an evaluation of the most common sentence structure types throughout each and write a short story in the same style.

… I might have been accidentally trying to dream-create a fan fiction major.

Sonoma County Strong

If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. This past winter we were worried about flooding throughout the county, and now a raging urban fire has torn through Santa Rosa and other towns throughout Wine Country.

I am very lucky. My partner and I were in Nevada visiting my brother, and were driving back on the Sunday night all the fires started. Instead of driving straight into it we went to the South Bay, where our three cats were already staying at one of our parents’ house. We didn’t realize what was happening until the next morning.

Then began several days of watching the news, which, honestly… was depressing. I feel for the people who lost their homes, and the people who still don’t know if they have homes or not, and the people whose houses are still standing but they can’t return to them because of evacuation rules. But “breaking news” provided more human interest stories than actual information, and here’s why:

  • There wasn’t any. Everything started at night, when they couldn’t start fighting it until dawn. By then there wasn’t anything they could do about containment, all focus was on evacuation and rescue. So there was nothing informative to report.
  • No one could really believe what was happening. We get our share of fires here in California, but even we are used to forest fires and wildfires in sparsely populated areas. Even up here where we know that Lake County just a couple hours north has semi-annual fire problems. This was different. This was multiple urban fires throughout four counties (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake) all at once. I think part of what kept us watching was these sense of, “wait this is actually happening?”
  • The news was also meant for people outside of the impacted areas. Because if it doesn’t affect you directly (even elsewhere in the Bay Area where it’s merely super smoky), we want you to know what we’re going through. Local news will broadcast the devastation again and again just to try and convey how real, how devastating this is to the area. Even once they get all the flames out, this will continue to impact our community for months, at least — and we have until then to make sure the outside interest and support will stick past that point.

Honestly, I got more helpful, direct information from Cal Fire’s twitter feed than the local news. (Sorry local news.)

The only other points of reference we had for what was happening near our home were our landlord and a smattering of local friends and coworkers. Our friends are lucky too, because none of them were injured or lost their homes. Some were evacuated, some were on high alert with the possibility, one’s workplace burned down, but overall they are okay.

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Facebook photos of the healing base camp. 

We happen to be friends with a really cool person who made some of the first moves to set up at evacuation centers and firefighter camps to offer massages, reiki, energy healing, etc. She’s been giving with her whole heart and soul for around eight hours a day ever since her neighborhood was deemed safe (ish, as long as the wind didn’t change, and so on). Firefighters have told her that she and her peers who are pitching in this way are making the experience legendary, because no one has ever done it for them before. (There tends to be a lot of red tape around actually getting into the firefighters’ camp, so she set up right outside one of the entrances and they come to her.) It’s heartwarming to see in her Facebook posts and talk about whenever we see here. We ❤️ you, Rebecca!

 

On Friday we were able to drive up and check on our place. It’s about twenty minutes from the Fulton Road evacuation line, but perfectly fine, not covered in snow-like drifts of ash as I had half imagined. We harvested tomatoes from the garden and went to a potluck dinner with friends to celebrate being able to get together in all this madness.

On Saturday we gathered up some things to donate. We don’t have a lot of money right now, so it wasn’t a lot. Two cans of tuna, two small containers of gluten free cereal, two cartons of rice milk, a tiny jar of honey, and a packet of hot chocolate mix. Some kitchen things, some clothes we no longer need, some cat toys our girls don’t play with much anymore, and a couple cans of kitten food.

After donating food at Redwood Empire Food Bank, we didn’t know where to go to drop off the other stuff so we visited our friends at Tilted Shed Ciderworks. They were having a benefit for neighbors of theirs who had lost their house, donating 35% of profits for the day to help. They were also handing out fliers for a place just down the street that was accepting donations, which was so helpful because I’d heard that some places had reached capacity for accepting things.

We ended up at what looked like an office building that had been vacant and the owners just decided, hey, let’s open it up and use it as a space to help people out. As we drove out a family was walking out carrying pillows, clothes, and bottled water. The woman I spoke to thanked us profusely for everything we brought — especially the cat supplies, because they had a lot of dog stuff but not a lot/no cat stuff. She asked if we needed anything, if we had been impacted by the fires, and when I said we were okay she offered us bottled water anyway and settled for giving me a hug. (As far as I know, they’re still accepting donations in Windsor.)

It wasn’t much, but it felt so wonderful to be able to help. There are more clothes that we can give away, we just have to dig it out.

On the way back down to the South Bay on Saturday night (since the air quality was okay we decided to bring the cats back up the next day), we were on 101 and drove through some of the area where the fire jumped the freeway. It was shocking. And it was pretty random. There would be one building that was just nothing, just a pile of ash with the remains of a roof collapsed down on top, surrounded by buildings that had been left untouched.

The thing about watching the news was, there was nothing we could do. But it’s empowering in the face of such tragedy to come home and see how much everyone is banding together.

A Month in Review: September 2017

 

I type this one-handed because there is a cat on my chest. Because if anyone is enjoying the hell out if my unemployment, it’s the kitties. Plus, as the weather cools they’re only going to get snugglier. Even our Cranky Frankie has been in a better mood lately. And so have I!

Photo on 10-1-17 at 6.24 PM
Louie, woundering why my computer was making noises.

Anyway, here’s what I am currently:

 

Writing

… Something. In theory. There are some ideas buzzing around in my head but I’m still trying to decide what I want to do for NaNoWriMo this year. Basically, it’s coming down to continuing work on one of my past novel attempts, but I’m not sure which one.

Planning

… To exercise a lot more. By chance, I saw something my local library posted on Instagram about a series of health and exercise classes starting up in September. I’m not doing a lot besides job applications and being a volunteer shelver on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I put them on my calendar. So far I’ve gone to two Boot Camp sessions and one Core class, both of which were basically voluntary cardio torture. But I was so much less sore after the third one than I was after the first, and that feels great!

Making

… Savory baked goods. It took me a couple tries, but I have finally mastered the art of Scallion Goat Cheese Muffins! I’m trying to make things that have more veggies and less sugar. Oh, and healthy smoothies! Guava juice or mango juice both make really good bases.

Anticipating

… Visiting my brother in Nevada. He happens to live in a patch of nowhere that’s only a ten hour drive away, and he’s already bought us all tickets for the local Haunted Train ride. It’s also going to be the first road trip my partner and I have taken together!

Reading

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. It’s a fun story because it starts off telling you that a parent died at the local elementary school’s Trivia Night, then immediately jumps back to before the beginning of the school year and follows a few of the kindergarten parents up to that fateful night. While I won’t give spoilers, I will say that I did guess a significant clue about Jane’s backstory long before I was supposed to. However, I had no idea who was about to die right up until the paragraph it happened, and that’s what kept me listening to this audiobook.

Technically I haven’t finished it, but I will tomorrow morning. It’s probably only a few more minutes.

Watching

… American Horror Story: Cult. It’s… more surreal than usual. So far I can’t tell which parts are conspiracy and which parts are horrible coincidence, but the smart money is probably on horrible conspiracy that takes advantage of every coincidence it can find.

Feeling

… So happy! My tattoo is all healed up. The first blush of my partner’s new industry discount at winery tasting rooms is starting to wear off, but I had so much fun while it lasted. Now I am content to stay home and focus more exclusively on job applications.

Needing

… A job. Something I really enjoy doing. And has health insurance. I seriously need health insurance. You want to know how much my stupid endoscopy cost? About $3000, after insurance.

Loving

… My freedom! Since leaving my job I’ve been able to focus on exercising more, decluttering the house, listening to more books, and taking care of my own mental health. It’s wonderful. The only downside is, you know, bills and rent and stuff.

Hating

… The dickwad who hacked my grandparents’ computer, stole all their credit card and social security info, and went on a spree of opening random as hell accounts at places like Walmart.

Hoping

… My parents aren’t planning to push too hard against my dream wedding venue. Because it’s beautiful and probably the best deal we can get in this area (it’s a hotel with a farm-to-table restaurant, an event center, lots of outdoor space, and a vineyard), and if anyone tells me to just look in another area I will be pissed.

 

All in all, September saw some huge steps forward in my personal goals. How was yours?

A Month in Review: August 2017

August was both stressful and a huge relief, because I finally did something huge that I’ve been needing to do for the sake of my health — both mental and insurance. Certain things about the company culture were seriously wearing me down, to the point where it was becoming harder to get out of bed on workdays. On top of that I’ve had some unexpected medical adventures and, given the current political crap, it’s really made me feel the urgency of finding of a job with health benefits.

So I put in my two week’s notice and my last day was on August 31st! At the same time my partner was starting a new job in a winery tasting room (I’m so proud!!!) and doing so well there while also being super supportive of my decisions. The fact that at least one of us is currently employed has, I think, helped us avoid a lot of the tensions that would have come from both of us being anxious and together literally all the time.

Freedom from my old job allows me to do a lot of new things. I’ve started volunteering at the local library. I’m going to get all my shit at home organized, throw out things I don’t need, and start cooking more. I’m going to be healthier, eat better, exercise more, lose weight. I’m going to play with the cats more often, because they’re such needy, demanding little buggers when they have a mind to be. It’s going to be a month of planning and prepping, and getting things done.

In the meantime, here’s what I am currently:

Writing

… In small quantities, but more than I have in a while. I feel like that’s going to pick up speed in the coming weeks. I keep having all these new ideas for the novel WIPs I’ve worked on in the past two Novembers, and I’m still pondering what I will do for this year’s NaNoWriMo. Start something new? Work on one or both of the things I’ve already got going?

Planning

… A trip to visit my brother in October. My partner and I are going to road trip the ten hours to his place in Nevada, in part because the nearest airport is an hour’s drive anyway. He’s already bought the three of us tickets for a haunted train ride, he’s so excited. It’s adorable.

Making

2017-09-02 20.41.35… Pies. I promised my mom an apple pie when I visited for her birthday party over Labor Day weekend, so I made the dough the night before driving down but forgot to take it with me. After I got there I made more dough and did an apple pie anyway, but I still have two discs of dough to experiment with now. Savory pie experiments, here I come! Because if I do open top pies, I can do two.

Fun fact about gluten free flours: Bob’s Red Mill baking mix produces a pie dough that, while still raw, tastes heavily of chickpea. Not a favorite flavor of mine, although it cooks out just fine. The pie pictured above looks like a hot mess partly because I baked it in a toaster oven (it was way too hot inside that house to fire up the big oven) and because I used pure brown rice flour, also Bob’s Red Mill.

I’d tried white rice flour before and thought brown rice would be different, but not really. It was better, but rice flours produce a pie dough with a very sand-like texture. The main difference between white and brown is that the former was impossible to roll out and I just had to press it into the pie dish, while the latter rolled out well enough but didn’t stay together in the transfer from rolling surface to dish. So. Let that be a warning to gluten free bakers out there!

(The pie tasted damn good though.)

Anticipating

… Getting to know my local library better. I’ve volunteered to help with shelving on Mondays, since that’s a day they need the most help right now. In the long term I hope to get a job at the library, making this a strategic move in addition to something I also find really fun. And I get to cross it off on my bucket list!

Reading

Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. I’m really liking it and I really, really want to know what happens next. Great choice for my first new audiobook in a while.

Watching

… The new season of American Horror Story! Or I will be soon, anyway.

Feeling

… So very frickin happy. I feel happier than I’ve felt in months, and more in control of my life than I have in a long time.

Needing

… A job with vision coverage. I haven’t been to an optometrist in like four years. By this point I’m sure my prescription could use an update. I mean, health and dental are of primary importance and this is sort of secondary, but it would be really nice.

Loving

2017-09-03 11.33.58… The brave new me. Because not only did I leave my job but, despite my fear of needles and pain, I got a tattoo! My partner tells me I was very brave.

It’s a two inch turtle on my shoulder, a honu. That’s what I’ve always had in mind for “if I ever get a tattoo” because I’ve always loved turtles (from my first stuffed animal to swimming near them on family trips to Hawaii) and I love the simplicity of the design. When I was in college I fell in love with the webcomic XKCD and started drawing my own expressive stick figures, including little comic strips here and there, mostly for whatever fandom I happened to belong to at the time. My big project one year for a drawing class was a six foot wide, four foot tall mural design on paper in graphite and black light pen, consisting primarily of words and stick figures (lots of lines). I never did finish it because it was a lot of fiddly bits — writing the words in blacklight marker, filling in around them with pencil to reveal them as negative space, and that’s literally what ALL of the lines were made up of.

I guess if I ever get a second tattoo it’ll be something that I designed in the same style, although I think for a tattoo the words would be better in positive rather than negative space. Or I don’t know. Either way it would probably hurt more than this one did, soooooo we’ll see about that.

Hating

… The crazy heat wave we’ve been having. One day it was so hot that movement just wasn’t worth the effort. (It has since cooled off tremendously and even rained. Yay rain!)

Hoping

… For a job at the library. While I’ve always wanted to volunteer and never before had the time, I do have a bit of an ulterior motive. The compensation and benefits for full time library employees are good. I like books. I deeply enjoy shelving things and making everything neat and orderly. I want to use my volunteer time getting to know people and making connections that might really help me out with applying. (Of course, I will apply to other things too, but this is really what I have my fingers crossed for.)

A Month in Review: July 2017

The older I get (I say at the ripe old age of 29), the more each month seems to hurtle by like a runaway roller coaster. July was especially full of highs and lows — from a trip to Disneyland to crying before my endoscopy. My anxiety has spiraled wildly out of control recently but I think I am starting to get a grip on things again, partly by building better habits.

July was the month I bumped my Fitbit daily goal up to 7000 steps a day, lost my Fitbit Zip, and ordered a Fitbit Flex. I went to the doctor, spoke to a therapist, and started a daily mindfulness journal using Griddiary. My partner took more nature walks on July than we probably have in all of January through May, and we took the first major steps in finding the perfect wedding venue (even though we’re not technically engaged yet and won’t be tying the knot until at least 2019, lol). Lots of good things happened and good progress has been made.

One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is this blog. I’m not quite sure what to do with it, especially considering the fact that most of my recent posts have veered away from writing to self-care and recipes. For now, I’m just going to let it be. There are a lot of other important life decisions I will have to make in August and blog plans will just have to take a backseat, but in the meantime I will continue to post whatever pops into my lil head.

 


 

Here’s what I am currently:

Writing

… Occasionally. I’ve started working on a short story that goes with my 2016 NaNoWriMo novel, and it may or may not eventually morph into the beginning of the novel.

Planning

… On being so much healthier. First, I’m now entirely gluten free (barring accidents). Second, I am keeping an eye on my macronutrients. I ordered a Fitbit Flex because I lost my Fitbit Zip in the Castro at some point between two or three blackberry ciders and I don’t know how many White Russians. Until it arrives I’m giving myself a little vacation on the calorie counting, but the Fitbit app automatically divides calories up to show the percentage of cals from carbs, fat, and protein. Fact: I need to eat more protein.

2017-07-26 18.56.35
Green Onion Pancakes Experiment #1

Making

… More things with green onions. We planted WAY too many green onions. This has lead to Green Onion Pancakes Experiment #1. I wrote everything down so that ongoing experiments will be better.

Plus, banana pancakes. But I’ll save those for a later post.

Anticipating

… Something in the works that I can’t talk about yet. But I have my fingers crossed really, really hard.

Reading

… An collection of paranormal stories. I forget the title, but the last short was about Peter Pan.

Watching

… 13 Reasons Why. I am not proud of this, but I put it on for background noise while I was working on something one day and now I need to know what the hell is going on.

Feeling

… Less overwhelmed. More capable of letting things go, or at least not holding onto them longer than I actually need to. (For example, work problems belong at work. I do not need to bring them home.) Less sick, because my body finally adjusted to the new dose of my medication and I don’t have to dread an upcoming endoscopy.

Needing

… To meditate more often. I think I meditated once in July, and that was a drop in the bucket compared to how many times I woke up thinking, “Today will be the day I start going that again.”

Loving

… Some of the new blogs I’ve found recently. I have a special grid in my diary devoted to this 21 Day Self Care Challenge over at Discovering Your Happiness. I started a few days late and did not have a chance to take a mindfulness walk on Saturday, but it’s all good.

Hating

… How little effort some people put into their work sometimes.

Hoping

… That I will lose more weight this month. While I do have a goal, my main aim is simply to be healthier — but I want both, haha.

I’m… is it okay or OK?

I had the endoscopy yesterday, and honestly the worst part of it was getting the IV in. That Ativan I took beforehand really helped — I didn't make a scene, just held my arm away and cried hard but silently for about sixty seconds, then let them do it.

The nurse was really good, I don't even have a bruise.

Don't really remember the rest. There was a brief wave of unpleasant feelings when I was wheeled into the procedure room, but after they asked me to turn and lay on my side I was out like a light. My throat isn't even noticeably sore, or at least not more than I would expect from chatting all night in a loud restaurant. I did have to leave the building in a wheelchair though. It was very comfy. And it was necessary, because my knees and legs were definitely on a slightly different plane of existence from my brain.

Today, I'm still feeling sleepy and a little chilled out. I don't know how much of that is residual effects from the sedation (or the Ativan) and how much if it is relief to have the whole thing over with. Both, probably. I'm taking it easy.

Self-Care for People Trying to Adult Good

This guide was meant specifically to help people with ADHD and ADD. While I don’t have either of those (as far as I know, I am increasingly less and less sure of anything about myself these days), some of the self-care tips struck me as Really Good Ideas. Halfway through reading it I stopped and downloaded the Grid Diary app. Sam’s examples of his own questions he’s set for himself to answer at the beginning and end of every day are, after some slight tweaking, a good reminder for me to be more mindful. Some of these are (tweaks included):

  • What are some strategies I can use to be effective and get shit done today?
  • What’s one way I can support my mental health today?
  • Am I worried about anything?

And one suggested by the app, which I decided to keep:

  • What problem did I encounter today? How did I solve the problem?

As Sam comments in there somewhere, these tips won’t be perfect for everyone but work for him as he spends a lot of time on his phone anyway. My partner, who most likely does have ADD, swears by bullet journals and didn’t seem as interested in this app as I am when I mentioned it — but then I’m more of a phone person, and any time I spend on my phone that’s not noodling away on Candy Crush Soda Saga or Solitaire Tri Peaks is probably a good thing.

 

That’s when I knew: I didn’t want to live like this anymore.

via ADHD Survival Guide: How I Stopped Procrastinating and Got My Sh!t Together — Let’s Queer Things Up!