Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Author: eviljoyspeaks (page 2 of 52)

Staring at a Burning Candle

I just spent 10 minutes staring at a burning candle. Breathing and staring at a candle. Trying to keep all the random, crazy, sane, not so sane, and mundane thoughts from taking hold as they popped into my head. It wasn’t hard, just awkward. For the first time in forever I was aware of how many thoughts are flying around in my head constantly. I didn’t fight the “I need to pay for dance,” or “I need dry my gloves,” or “Why am I doing this?” thoughts. I didn’t focus on the random words or calls to action but just acknowledged and … let them float off. All the while watching a candle burn, focusing on calm, slow, even breathing.

I have always dealt with pressure well. It’s when the pressure is off or the storm is over that I fall apart. This last storm – my husband having surgery – triggered my (I thought long resolved) PTSD. In addition, I fell snowboarding, bumped my face – not hard at all – and set off a series of weird events. A few years back I took a baseball to the face and ever since when the weather has extreme shifts or I get a particularly bad migraine, a portion of my face will go numb. After my husband’s surgery and a small fall, half of my face went numb. Right down the middle, including half of my tongue.

Then half of my face felt like it was in fire. And life was hell.

I was exhausted at the end of the day. Trying to concentrate over the fire or numbness in my face took so much energy. I had a constant headache and wore sunglasses non-stop for a month. Honestly, I thought I was going nuts. I just waited for each day to end so I could go to bed and try to find a comfortable position and … not sleep.

After seeking help from a chiropractor, who sent me to a medical doctor, who sent me to an ENT, I had a two hour long MRI. As someone who is mildly claustrophobic, this was one of the most awful  experiences of my life – ranking right up there with having meningitis.

They found no source for any my facial nerve pain. Thankfully. The list of things they were looking for … seriously scary stuff. Thankfully they found nothing out of the ordinary.

STRESS.

Once again, stress had kicked me. I thought I was dealing well after seeing my doctor about PTSD. I thought I had a handle on things. Evidently my body disagreed. Stress has a way of finding a weak spot in your body and reminding you you’re human. This time stress found my facial nerves.

This week, things are better. I’m feeling more normal. After fielding a million questions about wearing sunglasses inside during the day, including one comment that floored me (“I wondered if she was high or something?”), I am hoping today I will only need my sunglasses outside. Or at least wear my normal glasses when others are around. While I still have a daily headache, it’s mostly manageable and slowly improving. I can focus enough to read a book and watching television isn’t totally awful…I’m on my computer and able to think….

I’m done avoiding stress through busyness. It’s time to address stress and how I deal with it. Taking the time to do the things that make me happy and calm is a priority. Snowboarding as much as I can, running more, drinking extra water, giving up diet soda…..and staring at a candle each morning.

…..

What do you do to deal with stress? Let’s start a conversation….

 

PTSD Sucks

My husband had surgery in mid December. He got hurt snowboarding. I didn’t deal well with any of it.

PTSD sucks. 

Seeing him semi-conscious pre-surgery with a nasal cannula, hooked up to an I.V., with blankets covering him to his chin put me back to a place I never want to return. His eyes were closed, his breathing was slow, and I was helpless.

It wasn’t the same thing. He was going to wake up and be just fine. Not have to learn to walk again. Not have to be in the hospital for weeks. Not come home and be helpless.

PTSD sucks.

My behavior was normal. Completely and totally normal. My mind remembered the fear and anxiety and my body reacted. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was testy and OCD about the house being tidy. I made sure everything was done and done properly and then would sit in my closet with the door shut and sob uncontrollably until one of the kids needed me. Finally my husband told me I was scaring the kids and needed to go to the doctor. That statement, “You’re scaring the kids,” punched me in the gut. The kids have always come to me with their problems and fears. Always me.

PTSD sucks. 

I went to the doctor. She assured me I wasn’t the awful human being I, in that moment, believed myself to be. She explained anger can be extreme anxiety. That my body was using muscle memory of a traumatic event and that was why I hadn’t been able to eat more than a yogurt a day in over a week. She told me….it was time to go back on anxiety meds for a little while. I sat there and cried, relived to hear I wasn’t going crazy, I wan’t going to be like this forever, and that I wasn’t an awful human.

PTSD sucks.

The sun didn’t shine in my world for a while. I was still upset and testy. I worried incessantly about my husband, his interpretation of rules, and his recovery. I quickly learned to keep that to myself as he’s an adult and unlike last time, he’s just fine. I was trying to control a situation that wasn’t mine to control. Letting go was, and is hard, but necessary.

Last week, I felt like myself for the first time since he got hurt. I didn’t plaster a smile on my face and chatter out of fear of anyone seeing through my act. Those closest to me knew better but respected my need to attempt to act normal. I smiled a real smile. Laughed without forcing it. I went snowboarding without guilt. I found my happy.

PTSD sucks.

You just have to see it through to the other side.

The Tree That Shed….

This year we had the tree that shed….all of its needles.

Our family tradition has been to drive to a local, nearby tree farm, cut down a tree, and drive it home. Drag it inside, set up it, and by then my family is over helping with the “experience.” Asking, pleading, and prodding ensues in order to get the lights and ornaments on the tree.

This year amidst the hustle and bustle we decided to stop at a big store and buy a precut tree. After a movie we walked among the cut trees.  They looked fine. They looked okay. The two Littles gravitated towards a particular type and we chose one they were in love with.

At the tree farm, the employees tie the tree to your vehicle. At this place, WE tied the tree to the truck. And it was comical and took about 15 minutes to make sure it was secure and wasn’t going to fly off and cause a Griswald kind of Christmas experience. We got it done and headed home.

I noticed immediately the tree wasn’t “shaken” as they do at the tree farm. A few more needles than we were used to fell as we set up the tree and let it sit for a bit to settle…and to make sure it wasn’t going to fall over. Our stand is a little …. lacking.

Success. Onto adding lights, ornaments, tree skirt, and train underneath…because we’re all cute like that.

It started slowly. The needles fell in small waves.

Check out this video I took of the noise it makes…. Stick with the video to the end…….

And by the time we got back from Bridger Bowl, the sad tree looked like this…..droopy and forlorn.

After we removed the lights…..it became the epitome of sadness.

And the death zone of danger was created for anyone not wearing shoes.  Note my carpet is beige.

 

Next year we shall get our family fresh cut tree from the tree farm.

 

 

Elevate The Season with Bulletproof Coffee

Winter is upon us here in the midwest. Snow is coming and the colder temperatures along with it. While many dread winter, I love winter above all other seasons. For me winter means layering up in snuggly clothing, warming my feet and hands by the fireplace, seeing holiday lights twinkling through the snowfall….and of course, snowboarding.

My family plays together in the winter in ways we don’t the rest of the year. We ride in the snow and bond over tough mogul passes, laugh with each other during epic wipeouts, and help one another through difficult passes in the trees.

As ‘snowboard season,’ as we call it, approaches, it’s easy to forget about self care. I pick up an extra job, continue to work hard, and play harder than I do any other time of the year. This year I’m making a point of meeting my needs. I’m going to take time to ride and work on skills I want to work on…not just the ones I need to work on. I will rest when I need to, remembering to feed not only mind and soul, but also my body.  I’m going to #ElevateTheSeason.

I snowboard to fuel my soul. I drink coffee to fuel my body. Until three years ago, I didn’t really understand or ‘get’ the love of coffee. I started out by drinking ‘foo-foo’ coffee as my friends called it – drinks loaded with sugar and flavorings. I essentially had a small bit of coffee product with my creamer and additives. As the years have passed, my tastebuds have grown up.

As a type ll diabetic, I’ve made a commitment to being healthier. For me that means paying attention to what I eat and where the food I choose comes from, including the coffee I drink. I learned about adding butter and other things I wouldn’t normally add to coffee from a neighbor and had to seek more information. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d even like it. The thought of butter in my coffee seemed….wrong. But I tried it. I brewed whatever coffee I had in my cabinet, took a dollop of random, grocery store stick butter and a scoop of coconut oil and threw it in my blender.  It was okay. I ended up adding honey. It couldn’t be what I’d be hearing about. I decided I needed to know more.

Taking that need to know more, I started educating myself. I quickly determined “Bulletproof Coffee” was the thing I needed to understand. To begin my research, I looked up ‘ghee.’ I had no idea what it was although I’d seen it in stores and in the homes of multiple friends. It’s clarified butter and Bulletproof Ghee is this amazing, grass-fed, unsalted butter. Then I educated myself on Brain Octane Oil. What is this stuff? By definition Brain Octane Oil is a a purified form of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. There are these things called carbon tails on MCTs. Brain Octane Oil is a pure C-8 MCT. This means it is nearly odorless and tasteless, it can be quickly be converted to energy giving you a boost, and it helps burn fat. It’s one of the main ingredients to the perfect Bulletproof Coffee.

Next up, coffee beans. I didn’t know anything about how high quality beans different from lower quality beans. Low toxin, high performance coffee beans are key to healthy coffee.  Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Beans are carefully grown, harvested, processed, and roasted to ensure the best possible quality. Lesser quality coffees may contain mycotoxins – damaging compounds created by molds which grow on coffee beans (and other things as well). I searched mycotoxins (you should too!) and now that I’m aware of the difference in coffee beans, I’ll be paying attention! Anxiously, I started checking the mail for my shipment of coffee.

My Bulletproof Coffee arrived. And grass-fed ghee (aka the clarified butter I mentioned above). And Brain Octane Oil. I made the coffee per the directions, added the appropriate amounts of Bulletproof Ghee and Brain Octane Oil and put it in my blender. No sugar, honey, or cream. Just those three ingredients. It frothed up and was gorgeous looking – all creamy and latte like.

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It tasted amazing. My husband wanted to try it. He took a drink and walked away with my coffee! I had to make more …. for each of us. I’ve taken to waking up each morning thinking about my coffee. Today I added a high quality cinnamon and it was just lovely. I faced a somewhat dark, gloomy morning with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. The snow hasn’t arrived just yet, but it will come. This morning I was able to see the beauty in the clouds and rain, relax and simply enjoy my coffee while my family started their day.

I’m looking forward to taking my Bulletproof Coffee, ghee, and Brain Octane Oil with me to the mountains next month. I can’t wait to wake up, see the amazing sunrise, and sip my coffee while preparing to snowboard in an breath-taking place. I will do my utmost to Elevate My Season and Bulletproof Coffee will help me along the way.

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Below are links for you to use. Check them out. Read more about Bulletproof Coffee. Educate yourself and jump in. There’s a starter pack that is a great way to try it all out. It would make a great gift for someone special in your life! Or #elevatetheseason and buy it for yourself!

 

Find Bulletproof Coffee on the web, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

#elevatetheseason

#bulletproof

#bulletproofcoffee

 

 

This is a sponsored post. I received Bulletproof Coffee, Ghee, and Brain Octane at no cost.

 

Bumpy Days….

This time of year is full of bumpy days. I haven’t written much about it this year (year 5) because I don’t know what to say. Most days I’m totally fine and then something will smack me in the face – a sneeze, a siren, driving by Regions – and make me cry. But those things are fewer and further between than they’ve been in the past few years.

Life is so good. Life is awesome. I’m so very lucky. 

So this year rather than trying to explain my feelings – good and bad – I’m going to tell you what I’m thankful for. If Brent hadn’t gotten sick, this whole thing wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people – Teri, Jennifer, Beth, Alyson, Molley, Jessica, Jen, Anne,…the list is endless. ENDLESS. I wouldn’t know about BlogU and the wonderful experiences to be had there. I’d have never run a half marathon – flying out to meet a woman I hadn’t met in real life (I won’t say I didn’t know because by then Teri and I were fast friends) – on the East Coast. I wouldn’t have run a marathon with Brent – he asked when I was still in the “I’M THANKFUL YOU’RE ALIVE AND I’LL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO- INCLUDING RUNNING A FULL FREAKING MARATHON” stage. I wouldn’t be a published author. I wouldn’t have snowboarding.

The last few years have forced me to grow up. I had to face the potential of life as a single mama of four. But I didn’t have to face that reality. What I had to reconcile is the guilt that comes from the fact I considered that as a possibility (and as sick as Brent was it was a very real possibility). And that after all was said and done I realized I’d have been okay. There is guilt in that – for me – anyhow.

I learned to say “no.” I learned to stand up for myself, navigate all the parts of being adult I avoided. I learned to be honest and forward – not all the time – but I’m working on it. I learned who my family is and how friends become part of your family.

Back to snowboarding for just a minute. By now if you don’t know I LOVE IT – you’re either new here, you’re a bot, or you just don’t care. I’m not great at it. I’m competent. I have a lot to learn, but guess what? I will learn it. I’ll keep working at it and working on myself along the way. Riding has been a huge source of self discovery for me as I push the edge of my fears almost every time I go out. (Breaking multiple bones my first ride may have a tad bit to do with that.) Watching my kids master a box or new trick inspires to me push myself on the skills I need to learn.

I wouldn’t have any of this if Brent hadn’t gotten sick.

Life is full of twists and turns. Ride it out because the other side of each one holds something amazing if you look for it.

The new Prime Photos Family Vault makes it easy for family members to store and share their favorite moments! Plus an opportunity to win a $500 gift card provided by Amazon.com

We take a lot of pictures. That is probably the understatement of the year. Individually, each of the six of us take several pictures. Combine those photos together and you have…..countless photos. Now there is a way for us to easily combine, organize and share those photos with each other.

Prime Photos – free for Prime members!

We can pull up those pictures from that snowy day where we rode trees or from that amazing 14 mile hike this summer quickly and easily.  On our next adventure we no longer will worry about running out of memory when that one photo opportunity presents itself! You can free up space on your phone using Prime Photos. As a Prime member there is free, unlimited photo storage,

Amazon has launched an all-new Prime Photos experience with Family Vault. Now, Prime members can share their benefit of unlimited photo storage with up to five family members or friends at no additional cost. Prime Photos is free for Prime members and makes it easy for family members to safely store and share all their favorite photos.

Additional new features include: Image Search, People view and Places view.  I love that photos are organized by location – we have so many adventures that the locations and exact times sometimes run together. I can quickly locate a photo and determine if that was from spring break or holiday break.

Prime members can now order photo prints, cards, photo books, and calendars directly from their Prime Photos account. I can’t wait to make gifts for family and friends from our pictures!

Download the new Prime Photos app here: www.tinyurl.com/PrimePhotos

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own. Amazon.com is providing the gift card prizes. Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

#Sponsored

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#AmazonSpokesperson

 

Use Your Words – November Style…sort of…

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now……..At the end of my post, you’ll find links to the other amazing posts. Check them out. Some pretty amazing people let me participate in this challenge and I’m always excited to read what they write.

I had a post written 7 days ago for this challenge. It was scheduled and ready to go. This morning it didn’t post and I can’t find it. So …..I give you the following from my brain. I can’t seem to form coherent thought structures this week. So come along with me on some stream of consciousness writing…….

On a typical day, anyone that knows me well knows I may well be at “0 miles to empty” in whatever vehicle I’m driving. I know exactly how far it is to the nearest gas station – 2.56 miles – and how far it is to my gym – 5.65 miles (and there are two gas stations right along the way to the gym.) Keep in mind that I live where the temperatures can reach a balmy -15 degrees Fahrenheit for a HIGH in the winter. With winter’s approach eminent, I promise, on the threat of having to sit on bird poo daily, that I will not let my gas tank go below half full for the next 5 months. (But as there are few birds around that leave much poo in the winter, and most bird poo is semi-snow colored, I anticipate it will be difficult to follow through on my self-imposed threat because the reality is I’ll be lucky to keep it up above a quarter tank.) Because running out of gas in the winter in Wisconsin is a tad different than running out of gas in Texas. I’ve not ever hit that point….(searching for wood to knock on….)

This weekend we are taking our oldest to a Hawkeye ballgame – I think….. I’m mentally preparing for the traffic jam that will occur while we try to find parking. There will be a bazillion people there and it’s pretty awesome. There will be food vendors galore, merchandise to shop, and of course FOOTBALL. There’s something about a night game in Iowa City at the stadium. As a kid, I spent a lot of time there and I love it deeply. I got engaged in Iowa City on the bridge and love visiting that spot. But now I’m not entirely sure which combination of people will be going….keep reading…..

Going to football implies we’re heading to my parents’ house. My mom always buys the kids all the foods I don’t buy for home. There will be Eggos and syrup. Fruit Loops and juice. I am just hopeful we don’t have the same thing as last time….my OLDEST spilled maple syrup and my YOUNGEST walked through it and tracked it all over the wood floors. Luckily I’m good at cleaning so……

 

Right at this very moment I’m craving some comfort in some form or another. My dog had diarrhea all the way from the spot in front of my son’s bedroom door, through the family room, the base of the steps, all up 8 steps, on the landing, and up all remaining 8 steps to the main level. As I cleaned it up, my Littlest started throwing up. So there’s that. I’m not really hungry because … gross .. at the moment … but comfort food like clam chowder bread bowls … implies warm, cozy, barf free situations. And calm. All the calm. And no bad smells. (enter me, standing in tree pose – something I do when I’m just overwhelmed…..)

Is it too early to have an adult beverage?

 

 

——

My words : Run out of gas ~ spill maple syrup ~ ballgame ~ traffic jam ~ sit on bird poo ~ clam chowder bread bowl

They were submitted by: http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

 

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.bakinginatornado.com

Southern Belle Charm                            http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Not That Sarah Michelle                         http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Spatulas on Parade                               http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

The Bergham Chronicles                         http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver        http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                    http://dinoheromommy.com/

Climaxed                                         http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Confessions of a part time working mom     http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch

On the Border                                        http://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/

Evil Joy Speaks                                     http://www.eviljoyspeaks.com

 

 

Blessings of Change

I haven’t written a poem that has the seen the light of day in YEARS. YEARS. But today, fueled by a friend and her challege, here goes …. but first – here are the links to the other participant’s poems. If you didn’t figure it out already, the theme for this month is very fittingly, Blessings.

Enjoy….

 

Karen of Baking in a Tornado : Blessings

Diane of On the Border: Blessings

Lydia of Cluttered Genius : Hidden Blessings

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles : Blessings Overflowing

 

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Blessings of Change

If you can find the sunshine in the dark – you can find the happy in the sad.

If you search for the sparkle in the mud – you can find beauty in the mess.

If you seek joy in the tears – you can reap thankfulness in the end.

When the days were dark I found people to lead me by the hand – kicking and screaming the entire way – to a brighter place.

As the days were less dark I began to find my way to that brighter place a little more easily – taking the offered hand – showing me how to get there.

Then the days became brighter and the place I found myself going to each day glowed with brilliant light.

I didn’t need anyone to show me the way, I found it.

Changes happen swiftly and loudly. And quietly and slowly. But they happen.

Be ready to find the blessing in the change.

 

 

Shaking the Tree .. Or Not.

Who’s ready for Tuesday to come and go? Actually, who’s ready for Wednesday? Wednesday we should know who will be the next President of the United States.

THANK GOD. I’m over this election season. More than ever I am ready to see it complete. I’m done with the negative campaign ads, the controversial articles, and MEAN PEOPLE.

I’M OVER MEAN PEOPLE!

So I had this whole post written under the above statements. It was pretty middle ground and nice. Because honestly, I don’t feel I get to force my opinions on anyone, ever. (Except my children – because I’m raising them to be adults I’d like to see in our world – they have to follow my rules – but they can form their own opinions as they grow up!)

Instead of writing about which candidate I think is better, I want to focus on humanity and how we treat each other. On Wednesday after all of the votes are counted, we still have to go to work together. We will grocery shop, attend school, go to church, and live our everyday lives with people around us – not necessarily knowing how they voted. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…all the social media inputs have granted people the platform to show who the support – or the option not to voice their thoughts. While my view of some may be affected by what was posted on social media, I hope to focus on people and how they live their lives, not what they shared on Facebook. As my friend said, “everyone wants a better world for their children to live in. Just in different ways. I can’t hold that against people.”

Before anyone starts in on me, know this : I believe in the good in people. I try to find the silver lining in almost every situation. There is something positive in most things and given time to reflect upon the situation, I’ll find it. And I’ll hold on tightly to good. Some call this idealistic. Some call this foolish. I don’t care. My life is mine as theirs is theirs. My finding the joy in things doesn’t affect them finding less than that.

The sun will rise Wednesday. Someone will win the Presidental Race and someone will lose. Of course I hope my candidate wins – as does everyone who is invested in the race. Nevertheless…. We will find a way forward. That’s the thing about this country.

We will find a way.

 

Happy HalloHoliday

I wrote this a while back but as I get out Christmas lights in preparation for tomorrow’s decorating…it seemed appropriate to hit “Publish.”

 

Happy Halloween! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Christmas! Happy HalloHoliday!

Yup, I did it. I mentioned Thanksgiving and Christmas prior to the strike of midnight on Halloween. I committed that sin. Through the years, I’ve been a staunch supporter of acknowledging only one celebration at a time, the next not allowed prior to the completion of the current. Meaning No Thanksgiving Until Halloween is over and No Christmas until Thanksgiving is done. And certainly, NO CHRISTMAS BEFORE EITHER HALLOWEEN OR THANKSGIVING!

As I’ve gotten older, my holiday acknowledgment rules have slipped a bit. I’m a planner. Today is Halloween. Last Monday, 26 October, I completed 90% of my Christmas shopping. In one trip. All local businesses downtown. And even better, a lot of the stuff I bought comes packaged up nicely so I don’t have to wrap a ton of stuff. I’d guess you can say I ran rampant over my holiday rule. But you know what? I’m going to relax and enjoy the snow when it comes and focus more time with and on my family instead of shopping myself into exhaustion.

I work a seasonal job in the winter. My time becomes more limited than normal. I have ridiculous expectations for myself. Any little thing I can do to ease the stress I do. If that means shopping for December in October, you bet your arse I do it. I was able to pick gifts thoughtfully and calmly. My girls and I took advantage of a day off school and made the most of our amazing local businesses. We do get gift cards for out of town family as exchanges are hard if something doesn’t work.  But for the most part this year we accomplished my goal of shopping local.

We put up our Christmas lights as soon as we can. Normally it would have been yesterday but we all needed a break so maybe next weekend. I live in a part of the country where Halloween can mean 70 degrees and pleasant or feet upon feet of snow like the “Storm of 1991.” Doing it early just means less frostbite later.

This year we host Thanksgiving. I will attempt to decorate for Christmas before everyone arrives. Once Thanksgiving is here I typically am full steam ahead with my seasonal gig and lose my decorating mojo. I try to make Christmas magical for the kids and that means not losing my shit over decorating last minute.

So here’s my advice. Because I know you want it. Let people be what they are and embrace what matters to you. Just make sure not to complain about the constant playing of Hallmark movies in my house when you’re here. I love them and you’ll be dead to me if you rip on them too much.

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