Family · Health · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · writing

Time to Start Writing Again

I will soon be another year older, and I am not trying to freak out here, but this past year and some change has been a very harrowing journey filled with health crises (mine and baby’s), financial burdens, a beautiful baby, and not enough time to blog about it.

I probably should have been writing about it.  I’m sure it would have made me feel a bit more sane.  Can’t change the past, must keep looking at the present and future.

SO.  Here I am.  Writing again.  Hopefully, this blog will make a come back.

Austin · faith · Future · God · home · Religion · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · TX · Uncategorized · writing

It’s Been a While…

And no, I’m not talking about that song by Staind.

I have gone a lot longer without posting, but usually, November is the month that I amp up on writing.  This November is a little different.  I am not doing NaNoWriMo formally this year.  I am opting to write with Rob on a project we’ve been talking about for years now.  It’s very loosely based on our first year of marriage.  There’s a lot of misunderstanding and love involved.  And that’s all that I’m going to reveal for now.

At this moment, I feel full of hope for the future.  Weird, given the global climate of the country, and the state of things.  In spite of the trauma and despair that the world is going through, a lot of things that are personally happening have filled me with joy.  Rob and I have been steadily getting rid of unnecessary things, I’m getting closer to feeling like heaven is my true home, and all this material nesting stuff that pottery barn has told me that I needed is really just crap.  I’ve been really trying to weigh the value of the stuff I have.  Asking myself, do I really need this?  I am minimizing, while also storing up those treasures for heaven.

We’ve been living in 390 square feet of space for the past two years. We originally wanted to build a tiny house, but we moved into this efficiency apartment to see if we could live in a small space and still stand each other.  It was a great move for us.  Not sure if the tiny house thing is still going to happen because we’ve gotten real comfy with our situation. We have two cats and a dog, and moving is just hard on our critters. With the rise of property costs in Austin, we’ve been resting in the present, while also staying mindful of the future.  If we do have to make another move, it will likely be in the home where we root and raise a family.  Austin might be our home, but heaven… I’m keeping my eyes fixed on it.  Not worrying about my current living situation because I am well taken care of at the moment.

Animals · Art · Austin · Camping · Family · Fitness · Friendship · Health · Literature · Love · Nature · Outdoors · poetry · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · Texas State Parks · Theatre · TX · Women · writing

Oh, a-Camping We Will Go…

During spring break, I spent a day with my friend Sarah.  We’d gone to breakfast, and decided to get out of town for the rest of the day, and we went to Pedernales Falls State Park, in Johnson City, TX.  It was my first time at a Texas State Park, but it won’t be my last.

IMG_8160IMG_8167I really needed to get out of town for a while and have some reflection in the great outdoors.

There were trees and deer, all kinds of plants and birds, and rivers and I felt like Henry David Thoreau:

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life! To put to wrought all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover I had not lived.

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We had an adventure, crossing water, getting our feet punctured by the tiny rocks in the water, almost getting eaten by mountain lions, losing cell phone service and having little to no light, but we managed to make it back safely.  And since then, all I can think about is going camping.  So, I’m doing something about it.

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I’m going to go camping. Tomorrow. It’s not going to be primitive camping, but it’ll be satisfying this call of the wild inside of me.  I’m going to hike, and swim, and eat some s’mores, have some weenies and burgers to roast, and spend time with my hubby and my dog.  I might write something new, play some new songs, and get a tan.  I’m not too far from technology, but I’m going to try to be somewhat electronic free.

Scheherazade

In other news, I am also going camping metaphorically.  You see, I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ve got two cabin mates already.  I already have a project– a script of a play called Scheherazade.  It’s about a queer woman of Middle Eastern descent who must tell stories to save her life (and possibly the lives of others).  It deals with Islamophobia, refugees, and current political events.  It’s actually a collaboration between writers and actors. I’m not the only person writing it, all of the cast has been composing and devising for it.  Another writer and myself are forming the script from their writings and devising.  The play is set to go up in June… so finishing the script is going to be really important!  I’m so ready to get camping.  Happy Trails, and I’ll report back in April!

Art · Austin · Camping · Dance · Death · DIY · Family · Food · Friendship · Future · God · Health · Love · Music · Nature · Outdoors · Religion · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · TX · Women

33

Growing up, my family always had a big party for my sister and my birthdays.  Our birthdays are four days apart, and it was always easier to have a big party for the both of us, so I’ve grown accustomed to having big birthday parties.  I won’t lie, I’d love to have a big celebration, but I also have one big fear.

What if I throw a party and no one shows up?

I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a legitimate worry that I have, so I usually try to do several events.

Here are thirty three ideas that I have for birthday events.  I’m not going to get to do all of them, but at least there’s a starting point.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Ice Cream Social
  3. Birthday Breakfast
  4. Birthday Lunch
  5. Birthday Dinner
  6. Tres Leches Cake Tasting
  7. Karaoke Room
  8. Picnic Party
  9. Swing Dancing
  10. Wine and Cheese Tasting
  11. Board Game Party
  12. Escape Room
  13. Make Art
  14. Make a Movie
  15. Pool Party
  16. Tea Party
  17. Mall Rats Scavenger Hunt
  18. City Scavenger Hunt
  19. Blazer Tag
  20. Food Crawl
  21. Build a Bear
  22. Lush Treatment
  23. Get a Massage
  24. Rock Climbing
  25. Rent Bikes and Ride
  26. Cocktail Crawl
  27. Musical Marathon
  28. Crazy Outfit Thrifting
  29. Cupcake Decorating
  30. Amusement Park
  31. Costume Party
  32. Day Trip
  33. Birthday Blessings/Prayers
Love · Religion · Self Discovery · Self Improvement

Goodbye Spring Break, Hello Spring

So this year, spring break actually took place before spring, but that’s the way the school year is.  I had a pretty good spring break.  Restful, but also I have this general feeling of being lost in life.  Not sure what I’m doing.  Feeling a bit purposeless. And yet I’m not too concerned about it.  I’m sure that something will shake things up.

The days move on, and suddenly, it’s spring.  We move our clocks forward.  A new season.  With new allergies.  I hear the birds chirping, and I hear the sounds of my thirty third birthday calling.  I feel old, and I don’t.  I am alive.  I am well bodied.  While the general world may be in chaos, I am not.  I am surprisingly well. I am thankful for God bringing me to this place, for my family, and for provision.  Though I feel the desire for more in my life, what I have is very good.  It is well with my soul.

Hello Spring. I’m happy to see you.

Art · Conflict · culture · Film · Finance · Friendship · Future · Money · Music · newsies · Self Discovery · Self Improvement

Seizing the Day

I’ve been watching and listening to my Newsies soundtracks lately, and its brought back a resurgence of a group of fans known as the Newsies Mailing List.  I’ve been looking back  on some of my posts from 1998-present, and it’s chockfull of memories of youth. While some of the posts I made are cringe-worthy and full of awkward adolescent babble, other posts… they were from a version of myself that was full of life. I loved Seize the Day.  It was my middle school anthem song- my fight song, as you will.  I would burst into the song and was ready to take down giants.

Looking back on my past… it makes me feel so OLD and TIRED. Where is that girl who burst into song?  Where is that girl on a mission?  My exuberance for things seems to have gotten lost, and I am grasping to get back some of that life.  I have been so bored and sluggish in a lot ways.  My life feels like Belle in the Disney animated Beauty and the Beast- you know, the scene where she is out in the fields in her desire for the adventure in that great wide somewhere, and she picks up a dandelion seed plant, and she sings, “I want so much more than they’ve got planned!”

Being an adult is hard. I’ve lost friendships, gained friendships, had broken relationships that crushed me like a bug, went through some real life experiences that have tried to flatten me.  I feel like I’m drowning in financial insecurities, yet I am embracing the joy of creating art that I love while feeling the sorrow of not being able to live off of it.  I am trapped in a world where money equals power, and it sucks. I don’t know if I can carpe diem.  But I’m not going to just tuck my tail between my legs and call it a day.  Maybe I need a new anthem song.  Maybe not Seize the Day or the Belle Reprise, but maybe a mixture of both.

Art · culture · Death · DIY · Food · God · Health · History · Holidays · Religion · Self Improvement · Women

Holy Hamantaschen!

Chag Purim Sameach!  Or Happy Purim, Y’all!  I’m not Jewish, but I like holidays.  And this one strikes a particular chord because it’s the story of Esther- the “foreign” queen who saves her people from genocide.  Yaaaas, queen!  On a side note, can we please have more celebrations of women who do awesome things?

In honor of this day, I made some hamantaschen.  What is that, you ask?  They are cookies that symbolize the holiday’s origins.  You see, Haman was the evil dude who wanted to get rid of the Jews.  So he bribed King Xerxes, but Esther helped to save her people, and Haman was executed.

Some say that hamantaschen are supposed to be “Haman’s Pockets” as in the money that he bribed King Xerxes with; others say it’s “Haman’s Ears” as in the cutting off of criminals ears which happened to Haman, as well as being executed (?).  I didn’t do a thorough fact check on this, so forgive me if that’s incorrect.hamantaschen

Now, I am on a very particular diet, which is grain free, gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free, alcohol free, gmo free, cage free, organic, grass fed, wild caught, fair trade, and a lot of other hippy dippy stuff that limits what I can eat. So I’ve had to look up ingredients from every where and modify my own hamantaschen recipe.

ANYWAY.  COOKIES.  YOU WANT THESE COOKIES. Here’s what you’ll need:20170311_101705-1 20170311_104556-1 20170311_175735-1

1 & 1/2 cups of almond flour
2 tablespoons of xylitol (can be found at whole foods/natural grocers/wheatsville)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon almond extract (or vanilla, I prefer almond)
Circular cookie cutters
Jams that you like (with no sugar added)
Parchment paper
Baking Sheet
Time

Step 1: Mix your dry items together in a bowl.  On a slow speed (if you’re using a mixer), mix in your wet ingredients.  This is the order I mixed it in: started with butter, then milk, then extract, and lastly coconut oil. The consistency may seem crumbly at first, but if you mash your finger into it, and it seems soft and doughy, then it’s good for the next step.

Step 2: Get two pieces of parchment paper and roll out your dough between them.  You can make them as thick or thin as you want, but thinner dough is a little bit more difficult to shape them and cut without it crumbling apart (because almond flour is not as sturdy as regular).  Then refrigerate until your dough is firm (30 min-1 hr).
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Step 3: Once your dough is firm, using circular cookie cutters, cut out your dough.  My first attempt, I rolled it too thin in spots, and the dough would crumble.
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Step 4: Set your oven to bake on 350 degrees, and add your jam!!! Now, I’m not going to tell you how much or how little to put in your hamantaschen… that choice is yours.  You might want to test. I put in one spoon for the smaller ones, and two spoons for the bigger ones.  The choice is yours.  Oh, also, you might want to do a test run of folding them before you put all your jam in them… because I ended up getting jam all over my arms, but eventually found a way of folding the dough into triangles that worked for me.

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Step 5: Bake for about 8 minutes, let them cool off for about 5 minutes, and then eat and enjoy!!!

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Art · Conflict · culture · Food · Health · poetry · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Women

Why Women Hate Men

You look me up and down
SIZE me up.
I wear anywhere between 6 to 10 in jeans
if that’s what you’re wondering

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

You tell me not to eat those kinds of foods
Say that you feel guilty for letting me eat this way
Or that way
I can’t even eat a bag of chips without feeling guilty
About what I eat
About how I look

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

This is my body
I can exercise if I want to
This is my life
and I can lie down
Or sit on a couch and watch Netflix all day
IF I WANT TO

DO NOT TELL ME
what to eat
what to wear
how to dress
how to do my hair
what my body should or shouldn’t look like

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HATE MEN

culture · Dance · Friendship · Future · Love · Music · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · theater · Theatre · Ukulele

Living the Dream

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To living the dream. To moving across the country to be able to pursue that dream. To finding opportunities to use my gifts in acting, singing, dancing, and playing ukulele. To being paid for those artistic endeavors.

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To being validated, and seen for who you are, however artistic and strange that may be. To working on projects that don’t make sense and don’t need to make sense.

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To working with artists who make an effort to represent diversity in a real way- who open their hearts and share their stories, and make you cry with their pain and laugh with their moments of joy. To being heard loud and clear without speaking a word in English. To singing about the injustice and making the truth known.

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To writing something and see that writing from page to stage. To dreaming and seeing that dream continuously deferred, but it finally happening- small and unpretentious, but it took place.

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To making an effort to bring life to the small parts in big casts, and to sitting through the long and tiring rehearsals to finally make it to opening night.

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To looking forward to the artistic journey you are embarking on and to be excited about the future projects that are awaiting to be seen.

To never giving up on that dream, no matter how many times you get knocked down or are told not to waste their time auditioning because they aren’t looking for your ‘type’. To living the dream you’ve had in you since you were young. To reach for it again and again.

Art · Conflict · culture · Future · History · Self Discovery · Self Improvement

Next Time

The Injustice.
There are past experiences that wake me in the night– negative memories that send adrenaline and anger coursing through my veins. I see the people that caused my pain and made me rage.

Where I come from, ignorance is limitless; mediocrity and indifference to the suffering of others is a standard way of living. How can I make them see if they are blind? I could not change them. I failed, and I was powerless. They keep doing what they do.

Next Time.
I have changed. I have forgiven them. I have forgiven myself. Next time, I will do better. Next time, I will be better. Next time, I will continue to use my words, my voice, my body and all of my being until I am heard.