Explain Umami

Lilli put her empty pods in a tidy arrangement on her plate. Like a Roman edamame laurel. #artstudent


Put some umami
In my edamame please.
Savory Soy-Joy.

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Movement!

tips for lb loss^These are bad tips! Do not follow! LOL


Lost another 2 pounds. So I am 317.6!! I hate to say I’m fighting for every pound now, but I am. I’ve been stuck for several weeks. But I have to be honest with myself. I’m eating not so great.

Whenever I eat protein, it can have a tendency to tear my gut up. So I have backed away from the amount of protein I should be eating. I need to revert to protein-eating and whole foods.

It’s hard. I become complacent. I don’t always eat when I should, eat often enough or in the amounts that I should. Mostly, I have to eat small amounts because I can’t have large portions. But sometimes I would rather feel a little fuller and go longer without food than have to eat every 2 hours. I wouldn’t say I get hungry either. I get cravings. A hankerin’ for some food taste. I don’t get physically hungry any more. It’s weird!

But how often does a person actually feel hungry in a day? Like, actually hungry? Or do you just want savory flavors in your food hole?

I would be snacking all day if I ate a bite and nothing else. But that’s how I should be eating.

Eating 3 squares a day is what we all know. It’s what we all are accustomed to. It’s what we have time for! Our whole days are structured around breakfast, lunch, dinner. Right?

It’s hard to change. Hard to accept the change in thinking. It’s like quitting smoking and wondering what to do with your coffee break! LOL

Today, in an effort to change and stimulate my body and think outside the lunch box–I am eating whole foods. Edamame, cherries, apple, cup of coffee. No solid protein, just alternative protein like yogurt and fibrous protein-packed veg. No treats. No gummy bears, no low-fat/low-sugar candies, no chips, no cheese, no soda, no juice, no calorie drinks, no sugar. Except for whole-food fruits. I’m not even supposed to have that, but come on. Roasted veggies sound good. Baby organic carrots in the oven? Mmmm. Roasted-soft garlic? Yassss! It will, at least, keep the skeeters away. ;D

 

I Heart You

Science book illustrations taught me that the heart doesn’t look like the symbol we all
know and draw. It looks like a wadded up dish rag. A fist-shaped muscle, an engine valve on a sports car. But it actually does look like that candy box of chocolate, sometimes.
It looks like a heart when it contracts. It squishes down and forms that cutesy, homemade Valentine’s Day card.
That’s when the heart is empty. No blood. Well, very little.
It squeezes in and squirts out all the juice. So basically, the heart has to work to look like a heart.
If it just lays there and doesn’t do anything, it just looks like a big pile of silly putty.
My heart wasn’t working. It was tired. I abused it. I was dying. August 2012, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 39.

I could blame everyone else. I could. But I’m the one who starved it. Beat it up. Ignored the fading pulse of life.


So we put the heart in place of love, right? Mary loves John. โค

We put a heart there. So you wanna know my theory regarding love?
You can only know what love looks like when you actually use your heart. Take a risk. Go out on a limb. Love someone first. Flex that muscle.
We can’t know love until we lay our heart on the line. Our heart isn’t alive until we use it.
A heartbeat. EKG. Charted heartbeats on graph paper. Highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Up and down and everywhere in between. Sharp waves of life beeping out over a loud machined monitor.
And what does it look like when there’s no more breath or blood? A flat line.
Nothing’s happening. You’re dead.
I would rather have the high peaks and low valleys. Rather than dead. Rather than flat, silent space.
A heart at rest can’t do anything. You can’t love passively. A heart in action gives life. A big, pumping, flesh-and-blood organ races at the sight of food, flesh, fear. Love. Beauty.

A heart on fire makes things happen.


My heart is getting stronger. Every day.

Beach!

Went to the beach this morning at around 8 am. Saw a bobcat!!! Beachdunegrassycat! Bobcat Beachthwait. OMG!

I’ve lived in Missouri my entire life except for the last two months and I’ve never seen a bobcat. 44 years old. And I saw one this morning on the path to the beach! Eeeeek! Freaked me out, but it was so cool. We kept our distance. My husband said he thought he saw a coyote the other morning on the way to work. We live in a densely packed neighborhood. WOW! Did not get a picture, he was too far off and I like my face where it is.

I’m a country girl, so it takes a lot to surprise me. But this morning was very cool.

Had a great time at the beach. Bobbed around in the ocean. Did not get mauled by any beach cougars and found a coupla cool shells. Got some sun, exercise and my mojo’s rising.

Have an amazing day! I know I will.

Grilled hamburgers for lunch! ๐Ÿ˜€ Yay, Saturday!

The Best

If you’re a llama?
Be the best llama you know.
Sorry, Non-llamas.


If you can’t be a llama, be the best version of yourself today. Or at least be a little better than yesterday–in understanding, patience or kindness. That’s what all these tomorrows are for.

Drawing credit: Jimmy King (dad)

ยกTricicleta Naranja!

I went for a morning bike ride today! Felt great. (Also! Painted my toes teal with sparkles!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Yay for glitter! It covers a multitude of mistakes. lol)

Here’s my commentary while resting on the porch at 8:53 am.

My face is very red and sweaty and freckled! My freckles pop when I’m red-faced. ๐Ÿ™‚


The air was so sweet this morning. Humid, perfumed and tropical breezes. I had fresh morning flowers and swift coastal breezes to carry me back and forth from Sharky’s Pier. Glad to have that done and under my belt for the day. Great way to start the day.

It was difficult. But worth it.

I’ve been stuck for about a week or so. Just one of those things. I’ve had a larger appetite, so that may account for the stuckiness. I was down to 314-ish, but I determined that was an error. Did you know if you move your scale around on tile, it can weigh you differently?? Yeah. So I have picked a spot and I will always use that spot.

This morning before my bike ride I was over 324. Normal for morning before any liquid removal. ๐Ÿ™‚ Current weight=320.8 lbs after morning exercise, breathing hard, sweating and taking of my Furosemide. I can tell I’m getting rid of more liquids now. That’s how you lose weight. Exhalation (breathing hard, seriously), sweating, and going to the loo. That’s not bad. It ain’t great, but I haven’t gone up all week. I hope that with my vigorous exercise (for me!) this morning, my body will wake up.

Also, I ran out of my med–Synthroid. We lost insurance at the end of May, so I couldn’t get a doctor to call it in. The last script was for Synthroid only. No generic. Well, Synthroid is very expensive without insurance. So I needed the generic equivalent which is Levothyroxine. I found out at least from my PCP in Missouri that I can take Levo because they tested my numbers on both Levo and Synthroid and they were the same. Good to know.

So I finally got a script of Levo and am taking it now. Only $11.90 without insurance through CVS! Thanks, CVS!! I really needed this med. Without a thyroid any more, you have to stay on Levo for life. It really does make a difference. Helps with weight loss, hormone production, body function, avoiding headaches! LOL It does everything that your thyroid does and thank God it exists. The thyroid does a lot–tiny, little, fleshy butterfly in your neck. Controls the whole body. Heart, endocrine, weight!


Thank you, God for flowers, doctors, medicine, trikes, beach, Florida, ocean, family and my body–as hapless as it may be. Thank you! God be praised. So happy to be alive and in need of medicine. So happy to have legs to hurt after bike rides. So happy to have all the little moments that make up even the worst of days.

Vol. 2 (More)

This is more of unpublished Vol. 2. The next 3 chapters deal with my attempted suicide at the age of 15. It wasn’t a question of “if I would try to kill myself,” but “when?” I am not suicidal at this point in my life. I have put that demon down. Teens are the most susceptible demographic IMO, but you know, they don’t have a fully developed brain either.
Depression is rage turned inward. Suicide is an expression of that rage against self. Or can be. It’s also a hopelessness. Hopeless that anything will ever be better or different.

I can verify; it does get better. Get help at any cost.


The Day I Decide to Kill Myself


I am wandering around the basketball court. It’s gym class and I am lost. A girl is dribbling the ball up and down the court, complaining that no one is trying. No one is paying attention to her as she plays by herself, weaving in and out of reluctant, zombified teammates and opponents. No one even tries to defend the goal. I would call this forcible sport. No one gives a shit. This isn’t real basketball. This isn’t a game for points that leads you to a championship. This is gym. Required by the state.
The girl is abusive. She is hateful and accusatory. I was randomly selected to be on her team and she is disappointed by my performance so far. She tells me that I’m worthless. You’re not even trying. You’re lazy.
These are all things that my father says. We would all rather not have to change into shorts and tennis shoes in the middle of the day to sweat and mangle our makeup and hair. We would all rather not have to look at each other naked or shower together. We would all rather be somewhere else living life and not playing basketball. Except for this girl.
And what does it matter anyway? What does it matter if I play basketball in gym class? It doesn’t matter because I will never play on a team. I will never be this girl’s friend. An afternoon class of basketball will never change anything. It won’t earn me money. It won’t make me lose weight. It won’t make a boy fall in love with me. What is the point?
If I had any courage or care, I would say:
Bitch, pass the ball and maybe somebody could have a fucking chance.
But nice girls don’t say things like that. Nice girls don’t say anything at all. Nice girls let people walk all over them. I’m not really nice though.
I’m supposed to be nice. Being nice is what separates me from my father.
I’m just scared. I’m not scared of this girl. I’m scared of not being able to stop once I let go of all mannered society and beat this girl until she’s bloodied and unconscious. I am afraid to become what terrorizes me at home. I’m afraid that if I mess up then I will lose
my mother’s acceptance. My mother never taught me to stand up for myself, even when it was necessary. She taught me to take it. She taught me to keep it inside. She taught me through her own silence and inaction.
If I behaved like my father then no one would love me, not even my own mother. I can’t take any more abuse; in school, at home, in life, from this girl.
And I cannot be unloved by my mother.
I cannot go unloved one more day; by this girl, by my father, by the boys I want, by the world in general. I am completely alone and I want to die. There is no other option. I will kill myself today. When I get home, I’m taking the aspirin.

Algebraic Expressions (Basic Algebra Made Me Want to Kill Myself)


I am sitting in algebra class. I am completely uninterested in basic algebra and the teacher makes the material even more pathetic with his ridiculously poor presentation skills.
He’s actually a football coach who has to teach to have a job. No one pays
attention to this man. We all talk freely in his class. Also, we pass notes openly, seldom
listening to his demonstrations. He is a sad man who doesn’t require any of us to actually respect him. I am brazenly resting my head on my small desk as I listen to the conversations around me.
A girl behind me is whispering about taking an entire bottle of aspirin.
It makes your stomach bleed. That’s one way to kill yourself.
Why are they talking about suicide? Would it really work? How many aspirin though? A whole bottle of how many? Fifty? Five hundred?
That could really kill you? I asked as I slightly turned in my chair.
Yeah.
Hm.

Final Blowout


I am at home now. No one else around. I am scrambling through the cabinet above the refrigerator for the aspirin. There. A whole bottle. There are some missing, but the bottle says 500 tablets. Probably at least 400 left. Maybe 300. Surely that will kill me. I gobble them down. All at once. Chewing, swallowing, crying. Then I wait. I only wait for a few minutes before I panic. I don’t want to die.
I am laying in a hospital bed. I am drinking Ipecac (which is the sound you make after taking it) and liquid charcoal. I have an IV attached to my right hand. I have a pan on my stomach. 2 nurses, 1 doctor and my mother are staring at me, waiting for me to vomit. Everyone’s being nice to me.
My mother is stroking my hair and the nurses are showing me sympathy. The doctor is highly interested in my stomach contents and is excitedly anticipating their arrival.
Drinking the charcoal is better than having your stomach pumped, the nurse reassures me.
They have to stick a tube down your throat and then pump the same liquid down the tube.
Well, at least I wouldn’t have to taste it. That might be better. This ain’t no chocolate shake, bitch. I think this, but I just give a wincing smile while I chug-a-lug. The doctor keeps checking the pan.
Nothing yet?
I shake my head no. I don’t feel nauseous at all. I begin to wonder what the charcoal is doing. Does it just absorb all the bad stuff? Does aspirin really do anything to you?
Am I supposed to throw up? I don’t ask a lot of questions because I’m embarrassed to
speak.
A nurse asks me if I need to be admitted. My mother is there and I shake my head no. She asks me if I still feel like harming myself. I don’t.
No. I made a mistake.
My mother makes it clear that I will be safe in her care. She doesn’t think that I need to stay. They release me. I haven’t vomited yet, but they say it’s only a matter of time and if I don’t get rid of everything soon, I should return.
I stand up and walk to the nurses station, ready to leave. I should go to the bathroom before we leave.
I am sitting down. Without warning, I have to vomit. No time to pull up my pants, only enough time to stand, turn and bend. My throat tightens, my temples vein, my eyes tear and my stomach, back and chest spasm until the black is gone.
It’s like a horror movie. I vomit black liquid all over the toilet, the wall, the floor. I begin to clean the charcoal from all the surfaces and then it comes again. More black. Now I wait just a few minutes before I start to clean again. It takes several paper towels
to wipe most of it away. I’m not able to remove all of it. I’m ashamed to tell the nurse.
She is thankful. She is not at all disturbed by the condition of the bathroom.
I ask for my hospital admittance bracelet that they cut and trashed. We head home.
I realize that I was so desperate for affection that I was willing to go to great lengths to get attention of any kind. I am dying on the inside to be held, kissed and loved. I just want to be seen. I don’t want to die. I just want to be loved. At any cost, by anyone.

I am a complete and utter failure.

No. I’m not. But I play one in the job market. I didn’t get a job that I really wanted.

I’ve been looking for a job for over a month now. I’ve lost track of how many jobs I’ve applied for. I was driving the taxi, but I didn’t feel safe (drunk, belligerent, physically violent riders and creeps in the middle of nowhere) and the pay was terrible. 12-hour shifts and I would only bring home about $50-ish. Granted, I was on-call, so I wasn’t running the whole time. But when they call, you have to go. So it’s not like I was doing much else when I was on.

Sometimes, I would sit down to relax and do something else for a few minutes and boop-boop-boop, I’d get a call. No biggie. Most of the customers were super nice and good tippers. But I was making less than $5/hour.

I started thinking, “I could work a 4-hour shift at McDonald’s, 5 days a week and bring home more than I’m making now. Customers got weird after a certain time of the day and I cut my finger on the jenky driver door handle. The hours were killing me, health-wise, and it was causing conflict in our family. Gassing up in a downpour and standing ankle-deep in a water puddle solidified the sucky-ness of the job and I called to tell the guy, “I’m done. It doesn’t make any sense.”

He understood. But now? I’m jobless.

I have to make this work. For my family. I need a job.

I applied for this awesome graphic designer job at a local college and they called today to say I didn’t get it. Oh well. But dang! I gave a great interview. One of the best I’ve ever given. It just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.

If something doesn’t happen soon? Mickey D’s it is. Until I can get something real. I don’t want to do that, but I have to make rent. I even applied to the local movie theater. They haven’t called. There’s no other option. We can’t go home. We’ve sold everything of value. We have to have a car and shelter.

Thank God, Guy has his security job. Without it, we’d be headed back home to live in someone’s basement.

I love writing, but it doesn’t pay the bills. I’ve even tried to find freelance jobs at online writing hubs. No luck. I’ve tried freelance graphic design in the same context.

Not sure why, but I’m just not finding anything. They said I had an impressive portfolio (the woman in the interview raved about my tagline, yes, I came up with it, on my Opengarden Restaurant billboard “If the ingredients on your plate were any fresher, they’d still be growing!”–she said, twice, “I LOVE that.”) , but they went with someone else. Huh?

I have two options next week. I hope something works.

I haven’t lost heart yet, but it doesn’t seem great. I’ve been here before and the good news? I’m still here. Chin up, Maggio. Someone wants you.

I just don’t know who that is yet! ๐Ÿ™‚

Trouble

I’ve heard some friends and bloggers talk about their weakness, illness or sadness today. I am praying for you. I hear you. God is by you. Do not despair.

Haiku for You


Thankful for trouble.
It teaches me endurance.
And hard times won’t last.


“Please, heal me, O Lord!”
He said, “Grace is sufficient.”
I embraced my ill.


Kingdom come! I’m weak!
His power is made perfect
When I require him.


Be patient. Hold on.
His perfect timing will come.
And trouble will go.


Amen.

knee-deep

This is not the surface of Mars. But I wish it was. A sci-fi Bradbury story and not my life.


Scared and Scarred
I am 6. Tender. Overly sensitive. Idealistic. In the living room watching TV (listening to my parents scream).
My father is chasing my mother from the bedroom to the living room. She sits on the sofa by the window. He grabs her leg and drags her from the cushion. Her pants rip and she awkwardly falls to the floor, pinned between the sofa and coffee table.
My brother jumps up and tangles himself with my father. My brother is 17 and a full-grown male. He might be one inch taller than my father. He weighs less, but not by much and has anger and youth on his side. They wrestle and fall into a window. The glass breaks and the fighting continues. They push each other away and stand panting and snarling, waiting for each other to make a move.
My brother walks out of the house into the yard and my father follows. They exchange violent words and my father threatens to stab my brother. He holds his hand in his pocket, standing at a distance from my brother, claiming to have a knife.
I will cut your gizzards out.
One of the many delusional things my father utters. It makes little sense. He is embarrassingly profane and foaming at the mouth. He taunts my brother to attack again. I can’t remember how it’s resolved.
Sometime later, I crawl up on the sofa to look at the broken window and wonder why our afternoon was disturbed. I cut my knee with a shard of broken glass hidden in the cushion. I still have the scar today. It looks like a soggy piece of puffed rice
cereal landed on my knee and stuck.

The cut was deep. Huge beads of blood. The emotional hurt was even deeper.


Complex PTSD is real. This memory was written in present tense to show how real memories can seem. You can relive some trauma at the slightest trigger: smell (cigarette smoke), action (washing hands), word (gizzards), threat (humiliation), similar circumstance (injustice). Reliving some nightmare from the past isn’t easy. In fact, it’s soul crushing. Mind melting. Scariest thing a person ever has to do–walk into the past like a darkened, grimy hallway of a forgotten house of pain. With no skills, lights or way to defend yourself. Anyone with C-PTSD does not want to be permanently haunted with ghosts. But the mind can’t erase severe hurt. It tries, but those imprints have power. Evict those ghosts with the Holy Spirit and this link: Self-Help Strategies for PTSD Visit this site as well: AnxietyBC

And get help. Talk to someone. Anyone.
This weekend I realized–I am serving my past, not my professed master Jesus. I am serving horrible memories and failing as a wife. I don’t want this. My past is not something to cling to in the storm. Jesus is.