angela_n_hunt: (Me 2014)
*Because as the desceandet of a band of Southern California Indians, the Luiseno Indians, I am not deaf to the cries of my ancestors slaughtered by conquistadors. Currently only the Rincon Band of that tribe survives, and owns a lovely casino.

So, in the BiGJAM House, we do not celebrate on Thursday. It's a tradition that started in my twenties, when I discovered that two of my friends had sat home alone on the day, and had not sat down to a handmade warm meal in gods knew how long. That first Friday, I went to Andronico's, bought half a cooked and stuffed turkey, (thank you, Andronico's!), the makings for a traditional meal, came back to the duplex and tried to teach myself how the hell to make a Thanksgiving dinner. I had only ever been on kitchen duty growing up. My mother never taught me how to do any of it.

I won't lie. That first dinner was barely adequate. The potatos were lumpy, I think the stuffing was Stovetop, and everything else was just passable. An excellent first attempt.

And it is, to this day, one of the best memories of Thanksgivings dinners that were full of warmth and love and too much food followed by pie. For a day, I helped my friends, and especially myself, feel a little bit more at home in the world.

That's a big deal in your twenties.

Needless to say, ah, you could say I've improved from that day. (And that would be a screaming understatement LOL)

What started out as a dinner between friends, became an open dinner for anyone who was alone and needed company that day. A day where even if I hadn't met you before, from that day on, you were a member of my chosen family. Because the people that would turn up with established friends, always turned out to be as dear as the ones they came with.

What started out as cooking on the day of, over the years gained a day or two here. Because as the number grew from four to at its highest 35, I started to teach myself more dishes and refined my techniques. Now I start prep a full week before the day of dinner.

Yes, you read that right. A full week.

There's good reason for that. The annual menu now includes the biggest fucking turkey I can find that year (24 is ideal, but I'd really love to get 30 pounder some day, CACKLE), the usual sides, AND chicken and beef liver pate, cakes, banana bread, pies, cookies, and if I end up having five minutes, a cheese and veggie plate and deviled eggs. And people still bring food if they want to.

So let that sink in for a minute.

Because this year is different. This year, I knew and know that I could not do all the work that I did before. There was no way. I just can't work like that anymore. So for the first time since that first dinner, I've cut back and streamlined. Dropped the pate, because I don't currently have a working food processor (that alone was a huge gain of time, it's a complicated dish), dropped the cakes, and only made two batches of chocolate chip cookies, versus my usual raft of dozens of those, sugar, peanut butter, and whatever new cookie recipe had caught my eye.

Yes, I was fucking nuts.

And it made and makes me stupid happy to do this every year. I can't even tell you. This is one of the great touchstones of my life.

Cutting back was really fucking hard for me, because I felt like I would be letting everyone down. Don't worry, Sane Anji pointed out that I always make too much fucking food, and there was a good chance no one would even notice, let alone care. The priority was to do the dinner without murdering my sanity and mood.

So here we are.

Final prep day.
I’ve got volunteers for help and I’m going to make sure that I take every offer of help that shows up tomorrow, even if it is for something as simple as, "would you please refill my glass?" (never cook sober) Or "watch this while I go to the bathroom? Thank you!!!" Simple stuff and it will make everyone feel good to help, instead of me chasing them out of the kitchen all the damn time.

I get the lesson now, Lady. Trust people to help when they actually show up to help, and know that I can’t do everything on my own. Except if no one shows up, figure out a way to do it by myself. Don’t let their lack of support or apathy drag me down. In short…

Fuck the crab pot.

Yeah.

Fuck the crab pot.

Roger that. I copy loud and clear.

Now understand that yesterday, I did not take timed breaks and ended really hurting my right shoulder due to recalcitrant ancient flour and an equally ancient flour sifter. Don't ask. It was an ugly three hours. So by bedtime, I was in fucking pain. Well, cannabis to the rescue.

Between taking a serious hit before bed and having the Husband put the Whoopi & Maya cannabis salve on my back, I am tender today, but not racked in pain. I've been diligent about setting my timers and sitting often and taking Advil and my dose frequently, Oh, and mostly use my left hand for heavy duty. (Thank Crom for ambidexterity)

So far. So good. I am not in great shape, but I'm nowhere near yesterday's stupidity. (Dude, it was boneheaded.)

So far, I've got one pie in the oven, and just walked away to take my break from slicing apples for crumble and pie. I'd call the experiment a success.

But all of this spawned some heavy thinking this morning. Specifically...

Man, the fucking arrogance of “Let nothing stop you.” Yeah, if you are completely healthy and able-bodied, and/or are born with enough support and care, you totes can go balls to the walls. There are people behind you who will catch you if you fall.

Then there’s the rest of us, who I’ve joined and didn’t understand and couldn’t believe when they said that they couldn't do things, because frankly, I saw how much it was a lie when it came out of my mother. I just missed that that piece of data was specific to her. You can’t help someone who won’t help themselves.

It wasn’t a universal.

So, yeah, some grace and compassion for myself. There’s no way I could have known any of that. A) I was a kid in a hideously abusive household and B) I was a fucking kid! Jesus Christ, give myself a fucking break, guys! We don’t expect that kind of cognitive burden from a child! It doesn’t matter if they’re a prodigy! (And I wasn't) That shit will burn them the fuck out.

I didn’t know and I couldn’t know.

I know now. And knowing what I know, I can take this knowledge back to the world of the abled and finally explain in terms that they can understand what it’s like to be caged by disabilities that you have no control over and that on some days, make you just want to scream with rage, pain, and frustration. How everything in your life requires a work around, life hacking every minute of every day for the rest of your life. Because for some of these things, there is no cure and in some other cases, they would refuse a "cure" because y'know what?

We're not broken.

We're just different.

I can tell people that. I can do that.
Yes, Lady. I can do that.

Yeah.

Lots to be grateful for. And grateful for you. Especially you. You keep me breathing.

* I had a footnote in mind earlier, but it has gone walkies. Oh well! It's gone now! :)
angela_n_hunt: (Me 2014)
The Magician
The Magician - Tarot Apocalyptica - 11-2016

No. I wouldn't fuck with her either.

Serendipity. When it hits, it hits, and you pray to be in the right place, at the right time, with a working camera. This counts as the Arrested Moment.  This is what I was waiting for.

The Magician
Mistress before Gods or man. You do not doubt her mastery or her power.   The suits obey her and her Will is total and complete. Her war rig awaits, the Wheel in her hand. The World is laid at her feet.    
Now.    Pick up what you can carry.   And run. *

*I still don't have a REVERSED meaning, but I'm sure it will come to me in time. For now, this is the card meaning.
 
* * *
Okay, this one is gonna get REALLY long.

Tell the truth and shame the devil. )
angela_n_hunt: (Me 2014)
Magician Crosses
Magician Crosses - Tarot Apocalyptica - 11-2016

I want it put down officially for the record that it was the Mouse's idea to go in the water. I didn't even bring it up. So we went down the embankment and she walked into the shoals of the Los Angeles River.

This was the last shot of the shoot. Daylight dying by the second around us. The sound of the sunset chorus coming from the songbirds. Far away, the distant hiss of traffic from Burbank Avenue and the 405. (Yeah, this place is right between the arms of them. Crazy innit?)
There is such an introspection and peace to this image.  Last light. Last look.

Time to head home.
* * *
So leading up to the shoot we had a Black Moon while all of this was going on. Second New Moon of the month, which happens as rarely as the Blue Moon does. (Imma gonna get all woo woo on you.) Apparently really prangs the energy, and actually made sense why I was feeling so sideways to the world.

In other news, being October with my birthday, anniversary, and Samhain coming, I realized I had no energy to carve pumpkins, let alone decorate. I was just too damn tired and had no motivation or enthusiasm to do it.

Luckily, this is where the Bean stepped in. I let her decorate the house with the regular things to her great delight. Delegating! I can haz!

And I told myself not to stress.

Yeah.

That went as well as you think.

* * *

And currently, as of today, I find myself thinking of my father a lot. Which is normal. We're coming up on his death day. My father tried to teach me so many things that I am only now starting to understand. Gods above know why he thought a six-year-old was going to grasp this shit, but hey, it made an impression and I'm apparently figuring it out now.

He used to play this game with me. He would say, you can make any rule for the game. So, I'd make up something silly, like stand on one leg. Then it would be his turn, and he always said, "I make a rule that I win."

And I would lose my shit, well as much as a six-year-old can. But every time, he'd point out that it wasn't cheating. I had not made a rule that said you had to win by a certain metric. (Yes, I'm quoting.) He never said as much, but I think what he was trying to say to me is/was: we make our own rules. We are the masters of our destiny. Not our churches, not our governments, not even our peers. We decide what our moral or immoral center is. And one of those choices can be, to win. But you have to choose, and you have to abide by those choices. Be willing to take those consequences.

Quite the lesson packed into so small a game. It's up there with his, the sky is red thing that he'd spring on me from time to time.

So.

I make a rule that I win. It’s not cheating. The parameters of the game are that you can make your own rules. One of those rules can be, I rule that I win. Done. No. It’s not fair. But life’s not fair, and anyone telling you differently is selling something.
My rule is, I win.

And you can too.

* * *
You ever have one of those days where you just wonder where you are? Not literally. Not physically. Just...at what point am I in my life? Where am I? Who the fuck am I? The Universe is vast and uncaring and yet...likes Life. Endless life in endless combinations. Infinite diversity.

I forgot my meds yesterday. No bueno, but I also didn’t pass out around three to get a nap. Something to think on. I don't know if it's happening because the Wellbutrin is wearing off and the Prozac takes over, and the Prozac makes me sleepy. I took my regular dose this morning. We'll see what happens. (Yes! I am my own test bed!)

My hand remor was bad this morning too. Thing is, I don't notice it anymore unless I'm trying to do fine handwork, or someone points it out. I've just learned to work around it.

I can't decide if that's good or bad.

What else?

I feel good today, if in a bit of pain, so painkillers before I head out to Costco. Pray for me.

What else?

I’m really not all here today. I am just drifting out of my body, wordless and floaty.

And last night was rough. I had a whole raft of difficult and painful emotion come up that I kept trying to process on my own and that was rather stupid. Then the light bulb went on and I thought, how about I just...sit with the feeling. Stop trying to fix or resolve it. Just let myself feel the pain, the hurt, and the disappointment, and let myself grieve. And eventually, all the pain and hurt processed and drifted away.

I wish I could retain this lesson better. It keeps getting taught to me and every time, I act so damn surprised. Gah.

And that's it.

What's next?
angela_n_hunt: (Me 2014)
Magician
Magician - Tarot Apocalyptica sides - 11-2016

Okay. Yeah. I can kinda take a pretty damn good photo.

Another accident, sorta. I was trying to get detail of the hair and crown and the Mouse just stayed in character.

I had a shred of light left from Golden Hour when I shot this and it shows.  I have cropped and done some burning, along with the usual color correcting that I like, but other than that, that's it.

This one is going in a frame and going over my desk. I think it's the best photo I've taken of her in years. The Husband's comment was, "Ooo, yeah. That's Arya Stark."

Fuck yeah.

* * *

Continuing catch up...

Along with the relapse of really bad depression, I also caught both a horrid cold AND an ear infection. No, I don't know how I managed it either, other than the fact that depression literally depresses your immune system. I'd just never experienced it before. Holy fuck, that SUCKED. And dude, I haven't had an ear infection since I was a child. I will not regale you with TMI of what I had to do to get over it and clear that eustachion tube, but fuck sticks, that was awful.

The rest of the time, I just felt in limbo.

Never mind that September the 27th rolled around, the day that my Uncle-in-Law, Albert "Bud" Wheelon died, two years ago and some change. It hurt this year more than last. I'm hoping that someday others will illuminate his legacy as things de-classify. Maybe it will be me. I don't know. I just know that he shouldn't be forgotten by history or America. I don't want to see him suffer a Hamilton, and get forgotten for two hundred years. It's not every day that you find out that you are related by marriage to the first Mayor of Area 51.

Then October hit. My birthday month. And then the long slide into the holidays. This year flew by. They keep doing that. But whatever. I keep working. I keep writing. I keep making cards.

During all of that, my self-talk was pretty poisonous.  Sub thoughts rolling around in my head about how I was nothing and haven’t amounted to anything in my life. How everyone I know is more successful than me and doing more than me.

Which is bullshit.

And then I started to improve healthwise. I had moments of feeling moderately happy and content, even if the poison thoughts ran in the background. I got my skull rivets back, (someone had walked off with them) so I went back to work pounding rivets on the Magician's belt and corset.

I was working.

But I was fighting myself every Gods-be-damned inch of the way.

angela_n_hunt: (Me 2014)
Crowned and Thorned

No, I don't know how she does it either. To be honest, I just point the camera at her and come along for the ride.

The Mad Model, everyone. Worship her.

* * *

I am having a gigantically good evening versus yesterday and this morning. Turns out that one of the meds that my neurologist gave me that we thought might help is doing a ton more than I thought. I was out since day before yesterday and while I never went into full on migraine, I've felt on the edge of one for over thirty-six hours. Until I picked up my meds at noon and took them.

Oh look. I feel like a new human.

Man, better living through chemistry.

So, instead of sending in an update next month, I'll need to go into the office to see him. This is what we call a significant data point.

On top of that, I have done a mighty thing today that I can only be vague about, which sucks, but trust me, it's fucking mighty and I am gleeful and happy that my skill set is being used for good. Though every once in a while I do think that certain fields lost out on me that I chose to follow the moderately good path, rather than go total dark side.

The truth is, I just lack the commitment to be a great super villain. S'truth.

And that's me.

*flexes*

*poses*

*roars*
angela_n_hunt: (Default)
Most excellent and awesome news from the orthopedist: not only no nerve damage, but absolutely no ligament damage either.

Thank you, everyone. Thank you, dear sweet gods.

Thank you to Denison for getting her to the ortho and thank you to the MiL who also has been helping watch out for Barrie this week. We survived yesterday with no big whoop, as while Barrie is still crutching around, she can now at least manage the kitchen and getting herself to the teapot. This is a big deal. Now if only small children would get with the program and be a wee bit more helpful.

Have started application of lots of Arnica Montana both going in and as topical ointment. Topical is doing huge things already. Her feet have ceased to be purple color and are doing that gorgeous rainbow spectrum that bruising goes through as it productively heals.

Again, please keep the prayers/energy/good vibes coming. She's already moving around so much better just in the last 24 hours. At this point, it's any rotation movement that's causing horrible agony. Keeping the feet straight, she can almost pretend to be okay.

Bills still en route, but I think we're only waiting on the last three now. Print sale and art show deals are still in full force and effect and will stay so through the end of October.

All the details are here in the previous post:

http://quennessa.livejournal.com/249681.html

Again, I love you all. If ever anyone needs proof that there are good humans in the world and not all need be lost, I am trotting all of you out as proof.

Y'all are awesome.

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