Because this blog is meant to be more of an outlet for me, I have decided to start working on a new blog. I have a lot of ideas, and some have made it into this blog. I really want to share these ideas. If you are reading this, that is most likely why.
The problem is, this blog is more for me to vent, rant, and help me cope with living with mental illness. Although it is not hidden, it is not meant to be overly publicized. This blog is not hidden away, so that people with mental health could see that it is possible to live with your illness, and not be too drugged up to live life.
So if you recently found this blog because of my DIY posts and other things, do not fear! I have something really great in the works for you!
I am seeing a trend these days of people making more and more things at home. The DIY movement is becoming the common norm, and honestly I love it!
People are making their own clothing, home decor, and foods.
A while back my mom wanted to start making her own yogurt. I liked the idea, but she never really started. Well 5 days off from work, and now five people to feed, really inspire me to save more money. When I saw that you can have a half gallon of yogurt for the price of the milk I had to try. I posted a link to the recipe I used the other day. I also posted a link to peanut butter, which I have not yet tried.
The yogurt went so well I went through as many of the recipes as I could find. When I saw homemade mayo that really opened some options for me. I never thought of that. Then I saw cream cheese is made from yogurt I was just floored. That made me think, what else can I make?
Recently I was looking for notes on making tinctures. My son and I will be making at least one over the summer and I wanted him to read up on how to do that before we start. I have done this before, but thought it was good for him to have an idea what we will be doing. On the website I was getting that from they had information on making a Mother of Vinegar. The name explained what it did, but I did not read too close.
Last night though when I was trying to think of things I can start making at home, I decided to look this up. Do you know how easy it is to make vinegar? Apple cider vinegar is so good for you, and white vinegar can be used for so many things and I realized I could make both for a few dollars a year.
So from here on out I am going to make all the yogurt, cream cheese and mayo in this house! Once I get the things needed I will make a mother of vinegar and I will start making apple cider vinegar and white vinegar! I will also experiment with not just peanut butter, but any other I can think of. I already know how to make real butter, and I may start keeping that in the house too.
Right now my biggest problem is containers to keep everything in! I guess next payday I will get some more glass pitchers and food storage stuff. The best part of all of this my kids get to help make it, and they will learn how to do it as well! Okay saving money is a pretty good part too!
Well school is out, and the kids are home with me full time again! I am so happy!
This means we have been really busy too! Setting up bedrooms, writing up chore lists and deciding what we will work on over the summer.
I am actually pretty happy! The last week was stressful though, and I should not have let it get to me. I was so busy living in the future that I never took time to center myself. Now that they are here though, all is well…
I am no longer waiting for my real life to began…
Lately I have been working on finding deals/sales and coupons to help cut the food budget around here. With two teenage boys I know it can get rough for us. I am not worried though. I refuse to stress. I will just do…
I did find a really cool blog tonight though, and I am combing through it now. Pounds4Pennies has been a very interesting blog so far! Tomorrow I am trying at least one of her recipes. There is a few that I know I will try at some point. Her posts on making your own yogurt and Peanut butter are the ones I am most excited about!
Anyway so this is not a real post… just more of a joyful exclamation of things I am excited and happy about!
PS: I am also making some really cool reusable swiffer pads too! I am crocheting them. I will post pictures when they are done. I know I want at least two.
I set some writing goals for myself.
I actually found a really cool thing that someone made for NaNoWriMo, and have altered it a bit to fit my needs. If you like to write you should check out Svenja Liv‘s Word Tacker. I of course downloaded the fairy one!
The First day I hit my personal word goal of 1,500 easy. The tracker suggested 2,333 words a day. I decided to take it’s advice. I hit the goal and a little over! I also filled out most of the notes that come with the tracker. It has all the ways you can document characters and plot notes. It really is better organized than any of my old notes. Yesterday though I got 0 words to my goal but I also worked a crazy long shift. I was scheduled 10 am to 8 pm but really I worked 9:30 am to 11:30 pm. I am not complaining, because that is more money into my household, but left no time to write. Today I work 11-3 (I gave away some of my hours so I could sleep in too).
My hope is once I am out of work and pay rent, that I can sit an write.
I recently read a thing about the benefits of drinking lemon water. My allergy medicine really dehydrates me, so I thought this may be a good way to help with that. But WOW it actually is pretty good! It gave me energy (which I really needed yesterday), made me feel good and helps flush the system. I think I will be reading more into lemon water, and you may see a post on that soon.
Today I am filling myself with gratitude!
I am thankful I have a job and am able to pay my rent on time, in full this month. (This has been a struggle in the past.)
I am thankful for my home, my pets, my family!
I am thankful for music, art and literature!
I am thankful for trash day!
Really this list could go on for pages, so I will stop now, but if you read this, I am grateful for that. I want you to know that where every you are, that you are sharing this human experience with me!
My problem with it, and I am sure others, is the practice. I understand it in theory. It makes complete since. It also reinforces things taught in Buddhism. In reality it is all things that I already know, but do not let myself put into action.
Everyone is always their own stumbling block in life. If you can not see this, you are most likely lying to yourself. I realize this. I try very hard not to lie to myself. I try very hard to put these ideas into practice.
That is the problem though…I try…I do not do.
In my practice of studying Zen I have been working a lot more with just letting go and accepting things the way they are. This has helped me in a lot of ways. I get upset less often, I get stressed less often and I am sleeping better at night. This is only half of it though. I forget the part where I need to let go of the self, and learn to accept more.
The last few days I have been trying (I know there is that road block again) to add what I know of the Law of Attraction to what I have learned from Zen Buddhism. Today my goal is to just let go and be.
Today I will conquer myself. If I don’t today, I will do it again tomorrow.
I will be a writer today. This means I need to write.
Life has been busy for me, kids finishing up the school year, working all the extra hours I can get, and well facebook…
I always tell myself I will not log on anymore, but I do. And since I have been logging on less often, I am spending more time so that I can catch up. I follow mostly inspirational stuff, and sometimes it can be hard to stop reading inspiration, but to go and do.
You can click “like” on something all you want, but that is not really doing anything. It changes nothing.
So this is me, decided to to be a writer again, and really acting on and doing.
One can only call themselves a writer if they have written. Steven King recently said he writes at least 1500 (I think) words a day. I can do that too! I have written emails that long! My goal is to write 1500 productive words a day. What I mean by productive words is writing something of substance. This will not include facebook post, texting, my certain blog post.
Blogging is real writing, but only sometimes. Like this is not a real post. This is more of an update.
Note to self: Make a real blog post soon. I need new writing samples anyway
A long time ago I read two books to back that changed my life. Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuk and Siddhartha by Hermann Hess. This may seem like an odd or unlikely combination, but if you read them you may see the connection.
Siddhartha is a very good book that I think has been often over looked but Hess tells a parable of a man who in some ways is very much like the Buddha, but also very different. It is set during the same time as the Buddha’s life, and while searching for a teacher he even meets the Buddha but sees that the Buddha does not really teach enlightenment, just a path. He learns that you can not be taught enlightenment, only learn it.
When Siddhartha meets the Buddha in the book he talks of his movements. He says he can see the enlightenment in every movement. He is in awe of him, and enjoys watching him because of the great peace that comes off of him. This has always stuck with me. Now the book itself is a work of fiction, but is a parable that teaches some amazing lessons in very few pages. Since Hess himself never met The Buddha I always felt he wrote how he imagined it would be to meet him. I agreed that it would be much like he described, but there was some artistic licence to it. I found it hard to think of a person so filled with peace and grace that you would know he was enlightened just by watching him walk. He later describes a simple ferry man in the same way, and it is with him that Siddhartha finds enlightenment.
Recently at work I had the same experience, and I thought instantly of Hess’s description of Buddha. Maybe Hess did meet an enlightened man at some point? I work at a fast food place. My job is to take the orders and to bring the finished order to the tables. While standing behind my register taking orders I noticed a man walk in. This is not uncommon and part of my job. Something about this man was different. It was not the color of his skin, the way he was dressed, or how groomed he was that I noticed. All I could see at first was how he moved.
From the moment this man walked through the door I just knew this man was different. I knew he must be a spiritual man for that just radiated off of him. As he ordered I could since his joy and happiness. It made me smile and joyful as well. Part of me wanted to say something, to acknowledge it, but I really did not know what to say. When I brought him his food I had a chance again but could not think of the right words to say. So I smiled and he returned a true and honest smile.
While waiting for his food a girl came in, ordered and sat down near him. He seemed to know her and after a while moved to the table with her. I could tell they were having a deep conversation but both were smiling. I did not listen in, because that would be rude. I just could not help myself watching this man move. I found his very presence inspiring.
After they had been there for a while and both finished their meals they continued to talk. This is common, I know the people I work for strive to create an environment you want to spend a lot of time at. Most of the people will spend an hour or more after they are done eating. While cleaning the tables around them I saw that the woman had pulled a Bible out of her bag. They sat together discussing it, reading it, and it looked like he was teaching her. I could see him explaining things as she nodded paying close attention.
Later they had closed the book, and were sitting back and there seemed a lull in their talk. I was sweeping near them. I still wanted to say something, but found it hard. I turned and said, “Okay I do not want to sound weird, but I see you have a Bible on the table so maybe this is not too weird. I could tell from the moment you walked in here that you were a spiritual and holy man.” I was afraid he would think I was nuts, but looking back I do not know what the source of this fear was. If I was right, he would see this as a good thing, and maybe even see something in me.
He was smiled, and thanked me. He said he was indeed, and that I could see that meant he was doing something right. The woman smiled as well and kinda laughed. No one seems uncomfortable in that moment.
I walked away with goosebumps feeling blessed.
This man was no doubt a Christian, but I know that enlightenment can be found in anything. Jesus taught love, compassion, joy and moderation. That is Dharma, no matter who teaches it. The man who came to my work was no doubt an enlightened man. I feel blessed to have seen him and more so for talking to him.
I am not the person to say that this man was a Buddha, but I am also not the person to say he was not a Buddha. I now understand Hess’s description of the Buddha on a deeper level. I hope I see this man again, but if not, that is okay too. I was lucky enough to recognize the light in him the first time.
Because I feel Siddhartha is such an important book I looked it up and found a free PDF copy of it. To the best of my knowledge the book is free domain, and this is a completely legal copy of it.
I also think that Fight Club is a very good book. In fact many of Palahnuk’s books speak great volumes to me. Now his books are not free domain. The fight club movie is not exactly the same, you really do need to read the book. I am posting a link to it for the Kindle (my preferred reading option). Chuck Palahnuk is a brilliant writer and his books are worth buying, but if you really can not buy it, most libraries will have it.
I am not doing well….
Depression has been sneaking in and it let in schizophrenia.
I am working too many hours too, but it is hard to turn them away because I need the money. Tomorrow I am getting my first day off in a very long time. There is nothing they can do to make me work. I need this day off.
My few moments alone I am trying to find time to meditate, and when I can it helps. My real problems are the mental illness. It is hard to meditate when there is a voice in your head telling you how worthless you are.
I have been reading Dharma, and listening to Dharma and Zen talks and teachings in the mornings, and they help a lot. Yesterday should have been a good day, nothing bad happened and work was not bad. The people are wonderful,but I managed to let the crazy slip, and I just kinda lost it. After working over 12 hours I collapsed in my mom’s front yard and just cried for a little while.
As it stands I can not get an apartment, seems I owe $8,000 that I do not know I owe. Once I get an itemized bill I will look over it, but I really do not know how I owe so much. Yesterday,knowing I could do nothing about it, I did not let myself worry about it.
This morning after a troubled sleep from taking too much allergy medicine by mistake, I find that yesterday my daughter did not do her homework and my son only did half of the dishes.
I was at work, there were lots of other people here. This is the 5th time my daughter did not do her homework this month. Since I am in town my Mom and James have been leaving a lot of that kind of stuff up to me. I get that, and I am not complaining. I can not do these things while I am at work. I got back after bed time, I trusted that other people would be doing things.
I trusted my daughter to get her homework done, I trusted my son to do all the dishes. I trusted James to make sure this was done so that my mother would not yell and scream and maybe kill us all.
Somewhere something has to give… I can not do it all. I did the dishes but there is nothing that can be done about the homework. In about a month I will be homeless. If worse comes to worse I can get a motel room, but that will cost so much it will be impossible to save up anything.
My mother dose not care that she is triggering my schizophrenia, and if I ask for any help I am greeted with uncaring comments and more negativity. I just want a little help… Something… I feel alone, and lost, and I can not even get someone to make sure the kid’s homework done while I am at work.
I am not suicidal, but I am getting to the point where I just can not do it anymore…
Life is starting to get to me…
I work very hard to stay positive, be mindful, and to fill my actions and thoughts with loving kindness and compassion. For the most part that is not so hard. Once you make that a part of your life, it just seems wrong any other way.
I woke up in a good mood, and carried that to work. All day I kept a genuine smile on my face. The owner of the company was there and he seemed happy with the way I worked.
An employee got fired, due to never coming to work on time and calling in all the time. I offered to stay late to help cover that time. I also agreed to pick up her shifts on my days off. I have no idea when my next day off will be. I do need the extra income and I do want to help where I can.
Then the day took a turn down hill. My register came up 5$ short. I know I did not steal it, and I do not think anyone else used my drawer. I did not verify the drawer before I used it, ans was not there when it was counted down. I accepted that it could be my own human error and was told I have to pay it back. I do not take money to work, because I know I do not need it there. They said I can just pay it back on payday. I am bothered by this, and do not blame anyone. I believe it may be my fault, and upset that I may have made such an error. I always double check my change, but stress of life has been making me very frazzled lately.
It turned out that everyone except the girl that was fired was off at 2, and the kitchen emptied out fast. I do feel compassion for the situation the manger was put in. She was left with no cooks, and only one cashier. She could not do it all. Another girl agreed to stay late to help. That is why I never want to be a fast food manger again. I have dealt with that before, and do not think the stress is worth the small raise. I told her that I needed to eat something since I would be staying late and asked for a brake long enough to do so. She got mad, and another employee joked about brakes being offered.
I was offended by this, and still upset from the missing money. I informed her that I was doing her a favor by staying late. Yes I do need the hours but she needs me to be there more, and that if I did not eat there I would not have time. I have plans with my family this evening. She let me have lunch, but was rude about it. While on brake I tried to take some time to center myself, to calm down and to feel good again. I am not sure it really worked. I was also trying to hurry because I did not want to be gone long, and well you can not hurry a Zen feeling.
Once back to work, I was put into a position that I am mostly unfamiliar with. I made mistakes and apologized for the mistakes. Because of work stress, being away from my boyfriend, and the stress of trying to find an apartment. I had a bit of a schizophrenic moment.
This boss knows that I have this disease, as we have talked about our mental illness and past problems.
To help organize my brain, I said a few things out loud, because I could not think well. Some of this was acknowledging my mistakes, and saying that I was sorry. The other was notes to myself so I do not make the same mistake again. I vocalized it because I was having a schizophrenic moment. I could not trust the thoughts in my head as real, and by saying them out loud I could tell what was real, and what was not.
It seems this bothered her and she accused me of trying to be right, although I am not sure how that works. She said, “Why is it always something with you, why can you not just say okay.”
I tried very hard to explain that was just my way of understanding it.
She then told me I needed to stop and that it annoyed her. I told her that it was because of my schizophrenia and that was just how I was. She is not smart, but I am used to people not being as smart as me, and it is fast food. You should not expect them all to be smart. I just accept this and try to not upset them.
I do not think she understood my explanation of what was going on. I think I just offended her more. This is not the first time she has said this to me. I blew it off the first time. This second time it is harder to do. She sent me home 5 mins after that.
Part of me wants to bring this up to the higher management, because I do feel that it was out of line to say that, but the other part wants to just breathe deep and move on.
I am getting to a point where life is just getting heavy, too much more and I will collapse. I ask for help and never do not always get it. My boyfriend dose what he can but that is hard from so far away…
I miss him so very much…