Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dead and Gone

I have African violets, I’ve been living in B’town for just about 4 years, and they came with me from the city. Why they are still alive no one knows… I don’t like to garden, which is a shame because my parents have a great group of flower and vegetable gardens and always offer me a patch in the spring. I don’t like to dig in the dirt, there’s no desire to plant a small plant and watch it grow into a flower (and then die). I don’t like getting on my knees in the dirt and pulling weeds. (This whole attitude led to badness when my roommate left her window box garden in my care post university (sorry.)

I like to take pictures of flowers. I like to cook with whole vegetables. I appreciate the work that goes into it and know that some people really enjoy it.

There’s an obligation to look after them when the opportunity presents itself. Right now, I’m perfectly happy to walk into the grocery store and pick out my green and red peppers from within the rainbow of a shelf.

I am the spawn of all that is evil; I know.

The reason I bring this up is that my violets were looking pretty bad, I’ve kept up with watering them; pretty much, but I’ve left all the dead leaves on for a very, very long time.

And I wondered how this reflects in my personality, leaving all the old leaves, all the dead ideas on my soul, when the new stuff is trying to shine through. Will it take some of the weight off my shoulders if I trim some of that away? Am I allowed to do that or do I keep holding on, just in case?

What is dead and hanging on? What is new and trying to shine through?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brand New Day

bagged the laundry
tossed the stain remover
had eggs for breakfast (not cereal and milk)
and felt a lot better
bring on the job interview

Go Home

My boss told me at 3:00 I could go home. I started at 12, so that’s not good. I said no, this can’t win. Frankly, I’ve worked through worse; I just wanted to complain a bit in case it did get too bad to work.

I wasn’t fazed at first, I’m back to fighting the mornings, and since I usually go to bed between 12 and 2 I’m pretty lenient on when I get up. I went to bed early so I could get up for a run and I couldn’t do it. Then about 15 minutes before I left I sat down and blog hopped, first to my regulars and then to new ones that I couldn’t wait to sink my eyes into. I said to myself “see good things happen in the morning when you’re awake."

When I did get to work,#1, who I miss dearly after #1.5 leaves between 3-4:30 (yes, those are real nicknames; I will answer to 1.75 if it’s yelled in a crowded room.) Looked at me this morning and commented that I looked like shit. I said I felt like it and still blamed it on the morning. But being around people always brings me out of my cocoon and I realized this was more than what a second cup of coffee could fix.

There are 3 big “events” this week that could lead me to being this ill. Where my legs shake and feel like jelly. I was dizzy and pretty sure I was going to lose my patience, but I don’t think I did.

1.I use environmental cleaners, I’m environmentally sensitive, but don’t mention it or suffer from it because I keep it under control. In the need to save some of my favorite shirts from pesky little stains I bought, what I realize now, is the strongest stain remover I could. In my defense when I’m home and have to wash cloths in moms “sunlight” I have no problem wearing the cloths once.

On Monday I wore my favorite brown shirt and couldn’t even talk right. 1.5 would ask me random questions just to hear what I’d come up with. (The 3 of us have worked together for over a year as a team, we say almost anything to each other, we’re blunt and frank, but we know each other’s boundaries. I think it’s ok to say we’re at a sister status. And I don’t mind someone getting a good laugh because laundry soap makes me dumb, I’d rather we laugh about it in a group then be isolated because people don’t understand.)

2.My favorite milk changed its package and now says “may contain wheat” on the side. I was going to keep drinking it until it was all gone and then switch companies. But maybe my sister will take the two boxes I have left.

3.I poured my heart out in a letter Tuesday; my friend triggered the world that I disappear to when I’m all alone, the fantasy world that I hide in. And I explained it to her; I will probably never tell anyone ever again, I may never need to. But a weight was lifted and I thought maybe today my body was still exercising the demons. Telling my body to deal with the world in a whole new way.

4.Maybe it was all three combined.

On the upside after I had lunch at 4:30 I felt better and worked my way through the rest of the day. Had the strength to ask a Team Lead about his wife being a dietitian, because I want to make sure that with this lifestyle I’m not being tired out by what I don’t eat, and if I want to know I’m doing everything right.

My cousin is a dietitian too, so whenever I find the courage I found this afternoon, I’ll talk to her too. I’m not sure if a dietitian is the right type of person. I’ve also had a naturopath suggested to my friends in their struggles with food and environment and I may be in a place where I go beyond reading about my issues in books and try again to reach out to real people. In the past reaching out to real people was a fight, it needed to be done. Right now, I’m sustaining myself, so it feels like help is not something that is urgently needed; except when I’m as sick as I was today.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We worked hard and deserve a gift and we can’t look for it outside of ourselves, for someone to give it to us, we will never be satisfied. We need to look inside. Just randomly give ourselves a gift, no matter what anyone gives us or takes away.

Big Words

Told some secrets to the secret keeper. Sorry, they can't be shared. Here's a pic instead. Maybe a tune...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Image Walk

Whenever someone says they’re having issues, and they can’t seem to find the end of it or talk it out, and they ask me for advice I tell them to write it out. My Jr. High School English teacher taught us what she called “Freefall writing" and when Julia Cameron (Artist’s Way) told me to start doing morning pages it was a natural progression.

Like Julia, I tell people to do three pages. It’ll probably start out with how stupid this idea is, but I tell them to keep going because eventually something will come up. I’m not sure if anyone has ever taken me up on this and when I told this to my sister once she barked at me “But you’re a writer, that’s what you do.” I couldn’t fathom anything else being effective, I used to draw pictures all the time, but it never said anything to me, I didn’t look back a week later and say, “oh yeah I drew that because I felt down and now because of that picture I can move forward.” I’ve never taken a photograph and gone back and say, oh yeah that’s how I felt that day.

This week I could see the world a little different.

I think, because Freefall was entered into my mind at a influential age, I can sit and write whatever comes into my head, line after line, and then I go back and spend hours over days moving the words and ideas around. This week I was curled up in bed or on the couch or somewhere and full images came into my mind and I translated and said this is what they mean to me right now. I imagined people and windows and sights and colours and ponds and flowers and wrote about that (I sucked at drawing ten years ago and have a huge censor denying me the right to pick up a pencil and paints) but I could see these other ways of processing emotions and actions and ideas. And I wrote these images I saw.

Now instead of words creating images, images were demanding words.

The writing of these images is scratchy and dirty and I’m not sure where to put the adjectives and what is too much and too little. But it’s new, another option, a new way to see the world and writing and processing; a new way to talk to people about it if they ask, or I feel like sharing.

My aim when I took part in the “Kelby Worldwide Photowalk,” on Saturday was to look at what was in front of me and ask myself how the shot made me feel, how to put that out there in the picture. Of course, I forgot all about that when I got out there, the photos just found themselves; maybe next time.

Ok this one is all humor

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Star Thrower

~Loren Eiseley

There was a man who was walking along a sandy beach where thousands of
starfish had been washed up on the shore. He noticed a boy picking the
starfish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. The man observed
the boy for a few minutes and then asked what he was doing. The boy replied
that he was returning the starfish to the sea, otherwise they would die.
The man asked how saving a few, when so many were doomed, would make any
difference whatsoever? The boy picked up a starfish and threw it back into
the ocean and said "Made a difference to that one..."
The man left the boy and went home, deep in thought of what the boy had
said. He soon returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping
the boy throw starfish in to the sea....

I hope when I'm washed up on the beach I will be one of the starfish chosen to be thrown back into the ocean. I can probably safely say I have been thrown back a few times. :) Until then, I'm going to do everything I can to keep swimming.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jen’s Creamy Basil and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Compliments of Sarah Kramer
La Dolce Vegan

Pasta for 2 (I use rice pasta)
8 Sundried Tomatoes
1 300g pkg of Silken Tofu
2 Cloves Garlic
¼ Cup Fresh Basil (I used 1 tablespoon dry: nope no fresh basil in B’Town)
½ tsp Salt
2 Cups Broccoli

Boil Pasta
In food processer blend tomatoes, tofu, garlic, basil and salt
Steam broccoli
(drain water)
Mix all ingredients in bowl
Simple and Yummy

Don't let this fool you, I had brownies for supper tonight, this was earlier in the week...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My New Car

I totally don't drive...

I have a lot of useful skills and I still have the rest of my life to learn more...

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'll Take the Shovel

Remember when I moved the piano? Well, I played it once, but this weekend I finally cleaned the corner (and the rest of the apartment.) I mention this because I did more than clean some shredded paper and the dust that had collected in the past month. I collected three garbage bags of cloths (I’m ready to get rid of the cloths that I had before I lost the weight this winter. I also removed 3 years of empty cardboard boxes that I thought I just might use and I organized some other shit. Now maybe it was because I got into dirt that was four years old, but I felt noxious all night and today, writing myself my own e-mails on my work breaks and being back at my desk very late from them, I realized I did more than just clean my apartment but also worked on my insides.

I was angry for a long time. Part of this week, this year; this part of finding out who I am is knowing that I didn't have the correct tools.

I didn’t know the correct way to regulate my time. I did everything I could and got overwhelmed. I didn’t know the correct way to regulate and process my emotions. I didn’t know how to be as strong and independent as I wanted to and still let friends in. I didn’t know how to eat the correct food to make me healthy. I didn’t have the correct mix of medication to function correctly.

Over the years there have been gifts from friends who have said “read this” or “do this.” There have been feelings “I have to walk into this bookstore right now and there will be answers.” There have been connections with people that have worked and others that haven’t. And slowly I have acquired some of the tools to: make it through the day, to be dependable at work, to trust myself enough to offer my friendship to others. I have permission to be on the hunt for the tools that will make me a better person, a stronger person, a happier person.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


My desk is an abyss on Sunday. I come in late in the afternoon, the people “beside” me, but still seats away, come in early and leave early, and it’s just me. Usually I’m ok with that, but last Sunday I wasn’t. So, when Tink came in I sat by her. It was "sit by a friend or go home day." People who didn’t usually talk to me stopped and chatted and there was a flurry of conversation around me. These people weren’t used to working around me and the fact that I could listen, but couldn’t really answer. So I felt awkward for a while, and knew that it was my responsibility to get the e-mails done, and I was the person they knew would be able to focus and get them done. So that’s probably the last day I’ll sit somewhere else, but I enjoyed their company and their chat immensely. I did more e-mails than if I had gone home.

Sometimes, Iguess, you have to step out of your norm to realize why things have worked so well for so long. There’s a reason the e-mailers sit in the abyss. The people sitting around me know I’m like gopher; I stick my head up every so often, say something, and go back to work, listening to the rhythm of friends around me.

The rest of the week was spent doing e-mails, training another person to do e-mails. There were job interviews, but I haven’t had mine yet, haven’t even heard if they want to interview me yet. But “Number 1” who is the person who has been part of the e-mail team the longest is now a sup, so changes have been, and are, in order.

It was all about changes this week, there were tears, frustration and we each needed to have our friends make us feel good and get things off our chest. There was laughter and going to random parts of the room on breaks to see how friends were doing. There were many mornings when I said, if there weren’t all those e-mails waiting to be done I’d stay home and just collect myself. And I wouldn't need so much time to collect myself if there weren't so many e-mails. I won’t say I’ll never do overtime again, but I won’t do as much. I’m sure one day this week I’ll do my overtime. But there will be more time for me. I know how important it is.

Friday, July 16, 2010

That's What She Said Salad

I went through my inbox at home, and there was a letter from my friend, and she was still on Facebook. Unlike me, she works on Fridays and I looked at my watch it was her break time (1:00) I was still in my pj's, needed a shower, hadn't even thought of lunch and my writing hadn't become coherent yet (not sure if it has at this point in time either which is why I will stick to food). I needed lunch; protein and veggies. It's a variation of the good old Frosty Duncan salad (my "macaroni and cheese" if you will)

1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 bag julienned carrots
1 can chickpeas
some organicville sesame tamari dressing

Yep, I cheated on the dressing, next time I mix these veggies together I'll try to come up with something unique.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Writing Soon

out for a run, working on what to say on a job interview, and still putting in time at work, writing soon

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Pig and The Puppy

Our pig and puppy
For sale at the fair
And my daughter cried
She understood
The destiny of her pig
And she had grown
To love the puppy
The last of the litter

And when the puppy was
Held by someone distant
The innocence in her eyes
The freedom in her face
Began to tell stories
Tag in the back yard
That she was old enough
To take walks alone
Along the sand
The whole litter in tow

Her eyes lit up when she told
Stories about a life that
Excited her
Her world was in front of her
For a moment the stranger
Is honored to hear the stories

Such a way to say farewell
To a puppy
To a piglet
The sweet carnival
Cotton candy
And the hay
Tangled in her hair
This world
Where you never meet
A stranger twice


photos from:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dinners Were Old Standbys

I slept in this morning; I’ve slept in all this week. I haven’t worried about fighting the morning, or being productive or writing a poem, or a great idea, or a blog. If it was there I grabbed it, and when I was ready, I went to work. Whatever my body needed, I let it do, and then I put in some overtime.

Dinners were old standbys, I ate the same stir fry all week (my favorite) and there’s still enough stuff to make a cauliflower soup this weekend. I read my favorite blogs during my second lunch and talked to my friends when I needed a break.

I’ve trained a new person to be part of the e-mail team and said goodbye to a good friend at work. The four of us in the little corner would tell stories on good days and support each other on bad days. She was more than just a team lead she was a friend.

She’s always had parties at her house, and she loves doing parties but I never went. They were “Twilight” parties, which I’m not interested in, but love that my friends get so happy when they talk about it. There were also parties for her team at work. Although I was not part of the team, she did invite me. But I felt like I didn’t belong. I still stick by that decision, and have gone out with our group and had fun at other times. I hope in the future there are chances for our friendship to grow outside of work and there will be visits when I will feel more comfortable. Was the visit more important than what the party is about?

At work, we started head strong and focused, sure that if we worked hard and did what we were told things would get back to “our normal” (thanks “B”). But now, we’ve realized it will be like this for a while, and it will be a while before we catch up. So we’ve had to switch modes and insure we take time to make jokes, laugh with and support our friends, and of course, to assist the people coming to us for help.

It’s the weekend now, I’m going to curl up with a book and let it lead me down another path of self expression.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Down a Little Road Called Disassociation

not my photo

Let’s talk about disassociation shall we? Let’s talk about doing 100 + e-mails a day, while your friends around you, or on the other side of the room take call after call and you start to lose yourself in the work. First thing to do to get your brain back is to whisper secrets to your friend who is equally stressed and you laugh so hard you want to cry and find out you’re not alone. She makes you feel so much better you actually want to stay at work just so you can keep laughing. But she needs to work and you need to go home.

Then you wake up early to get stuff done, have a nap, a long nap, a good nap and realize that after four or five days your brain can not only make sentences in can, sorta, make paragraphs, although not very well. Then you look at your stuffed toys and decide that you want to go to Australia. And you forget about all the stress and have half an hour of floating on the Sydney harbor and walking in the streets of Paris just to yourself and your imagination.

Alas, you must come back to real life and to the e-mails and the phone calls.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

World Traveler: From my Bedroom

I would like to travel; but money and time are issues. On the weekend I was in a second hand store and I stopped to look in the stuffed toy box (looking for koalas) I found a little kangaroo. I knew she would look good with my Koala’s. I bought her with her baby in her pouch for $0.75 and then I thought about my pull to have these things from Australia in my bedroom. I thought maybe I could allow myself to dream about Australia and learn everything there was about it, so that if I did get the chance to travel, I would be ready.

So there’s Australia and Paris on my wish list of places to see. I can look up blogs by people who live there, I can read websites and travel books (I haven’t had time to read real books lately), collect pictures and stories in my goal journal.

I was also invited to Washington DC to visit my cousin and I can research that too. It’s like being allowed to ask for more. To say I want to go traveling and these are the steps I can take to prepare myself.

Even if I don’t go I will be researching a passion and when someone asks: Where would you like to travel?” I’ll know where and why.

Frosty Duncan, world traveler…

Friday, July 2, 2010

Second Breakfast

Last week, I wrote to my sister and asked “guess who just drove by my apartment while I was waiting for a cab?”She asked: “Why were you waiting for a cab?” She asked because she, and the rest of the family, had dropped me off before they went to do some errands. If I had asked them they probably would have taken me to Wal-Mart- where I was heading. I thought I broke my MP3 player (which I’m listening to right now) and I was looking for a highly recommended I Pod shuffle. I can’t get the shuffle to work with the speakers yet.

For me, I had to go there by myself. It didn’t matter that I could have gotten a drive or that I could have had company. I needed to look at the little boxes on my own. I needed to search the shelves for a copy of Atonement (which I didn’t find), and any other movies that may have caught my interest. I needed to look at the cameras and all the shelves. Once the little pink I pod was mine, I needed to look through the cloths and explore Staples across the street (It’s not a real staples, just a “Baby Staples”). It wasn’t about going in there and getting the I Pod and getting out. It was about going there are breathing and being me.

This weekend, because of the changes at work, I worked overtime yesterday. I learned (because I don’t do overtime) that with the hours I work, in order to do an hour overtime, I would have to be there 1 1/2 hours because it’s mandatory to have a second lunch (like the hobbit, 11sies and second breakfast and such). So I was at work longer than what I ever wanted to be and was beyond tired when I came home last night.

And today, to recover, I didn’t call my best friend and say let’s go get groceries and talk. I needed to be by myself to recover. I did write my friends and we talked about what’s going on and we made each other laugh, but it was distant. I needed to be alone, watch some downloaded TV, listen to music, get a cab and get some groceries and watch The Young Victoria. About an hour ago I started to feel normal.

I’m a self person, that’s who I am. It’s something to think about.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Because I Can't eat Another Bowl of Chili

So in my aim on the 29th was to write about what actually happened during the day and not some sort of mental angst: I got all muddled, lost my direction. Who am I without mental angst?

There are so many people who take part in my day who don’t blog and I don’t want post their lives in my blogs and have them wonder if what they say or do will end up in my basket. Plus anything that needs to continue with them, when we’re not in the same room, gets hashed out in other forms of communication.

I’ve shown up in a few posts though and thought “hey, that’s me :)”

Last night, I was watching things change at work and the RTA yelled across the room that my boss wanted to talk to me. I was actually excited to talk to her, usually when someone in a senior position wants to talk to me I think “this is it; they’re finally firing me.” I wanted to know what was going on in the next 24 hours and she had the answers. We agreed that I would come in two hours early and my only aim was to do e-mails. They had to be done by midnight. Then my cousin asked if we could get together tonight. I wanted to visit with her and (social situation) was scared out of my tree, what if we just stared at each other?

Because of all the changes happening at work, and I can’t really go into it, it was stressful. I was pretty sure I could handle my task and if I didn’t I would stay late. I typed, listened to and asked people to tell me what it was like on the phones, rather than let myself get upset because other people were upset.

Then there were more e-mails then I’d ever seen in my life. A team lead, and friend, sat down beside me and said “Frosty, one e-mail at a time.” (See previous post.)

I tried to get a hold of my cousin, making this guy read her phone numbers off the computer, while I dialed the phone across the room. (He thinks I’m nuts I’m sure of it.) But I couldn’t reach her.

I left work in my cute shoes and with my pink I pod shuffle, reached my house, and dug through my whole book bag. No keys. I went back to work and dug through my locker no keys. I came back home and I got the shirtless landlord to open the door and then when the keys weren’t in my apartment, asked him to let me borrow the spare set. I called work and put out the word that my keys were lost.

I called my cousin and she was recording stories from my grandmother onto the computer… way cool. She’s going to put it on CD. Way cool again. But no face time.

Somewhere in there I ate two spoonfuls of chocolate soy nut butter.

My team lead, and friend, called and asked if my keys were the ones attached to the Swiss army knife and Winnie the Pooh keychain. Well of course. And I could relax. Except that I needed to have supper and I wasn’t hungry and couldn’t stomach another can of chili. So I made a stir fry and didn’t mess it up. The trick is to stay optimistic and let your friends help you, the way you help friends.

Did I mention Tink? She made me laugh, kept my spirits up and told the girl who spent two days doing floor support where to find the answers on a system that I will be my main focus; even though everyone else has gotten a head start using it. Tomorrow… or the day after I will get to use it… for now there’s still a lot of e-mail in the in box.