Skimmed Eggplant Italian Style, the Dump way.
This is how is all begins----
Basil - Preferably Fresh
Any veggie you choose
Salt and Pepper
Notice, there is no cheese in this for caloric intake. However, you can always add it at the end and maybe stick it under the broiler. If you are like me, the crusted cheese is the best part..... Who can't do with a little cheese now and then..... Yum.
So, as I was saying.... I wondered if I could continue the "no unknown in my life attitude" once I started purging everything that seemed to represent my life.... But amazingly enough, I feel immensely freer. Even discarding items that I thought meant so much to me, hasn't attributed to any feeling of loss. Of course, there are some items I couldn't yet part with as they either are part of my son or my parents, but departing from everything else, feels like a cleansing. And some important items went to people that are special to me, so that makes me smile.
Time is getting closer and closer for a major change in my life and I look forward to the new adventure. Okay, so I'm a little slow but better late than never.
Recently I became aware that although most people believe me to be an extrovert, I am actually and outgoing introvert. Very different animals, but what a light it shed on my personality for me and for people around me. I am NOT anti social as some co workers have joked. As a matter of fact, if you meet me in a different surrounding, such as the dance studio, I can be EXTREMELY social. An explanation from the "outgoing introvert" list is that I am not anti social, I am SELECTIVELY social. Yeah, that's it.
More enlightening is that the outgoing introvert is very comfortable being alone. I always have been, hence the delay in moving on. That, of course, is not to say I like being alone all the time. I've just enjoyed the choice of when and where and how often. NO, I'm NOT controlling... Okay, well just a little. (At least with my own life and choices).
But as the world changes with the wind, so does my life, and I welcome it. Namaste...
Yes, it has been quite some time ago since I wrote a new post; and even longer ago when I felt this kind of a 'new beginnings' excitement. My first post here was in March of 2011, but I had been separated from my ex husband for 3 years by then. It is now 2015 - over 7 years has passed.
I have gone through so many emotions and life experiences in that time. Some expected, some not. ie. disbelief, anger, hurt, resentment, happiness, elation, freedom, insecurity,aging and all that comes with that puppy, menopause, confusion, being in limbo and limbo and limbo......
When my ex and I separated, I had no sense of self. Although we didn't have a great marriage, my life was wrapped up in it and all the drama. I, like most people, didn't know what was best for me, thinking I needed to try to save a marriage that was really not a marriage at all. Even after 27 years I can now say that I truly believe we should have parted ways years ago. We have a fantastic son through that union and we can always be thankful for that.
Once I started to spread my wings after the disbelief and depression, I reveled in my total FREEDOM. I enjoyed my private time, loved my social life out with my wacky gal pals and friends, lived for dance and learned so much about myself and life from new relationships. I enjoyed this time so much, I fought like a banche to keep it. "I don't need anyone, I am meant to be alone, I don't want to commit to anything or anyone, no one else's decisions are going to affect my life," were my mantras.
That time of having no sense of self, did a complete 180. I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted. I wanted to be a totally free and independent women, not having to rely on anyone else to live and be happy.
Some of that has not changed. But my mom used to tell me all the time when I was young, "No man is an island, kid." (Yeah, I had that independent rebel spirit in me all the while from when I was very young, I just kind of lost it for half a lifetime)
Now though, "There is a place where dreams are born and time is never planned. It's not on any chart, you can find it in your heart."
My heart has brought me peace. Whether in a relationship or not, my heart knows that the only time we really have is NOW. There is no tomorrow and there is no yesterday. Just now. And in that now, the heart creates peace, love and guidance. If I stay quiet and still, I can actually feel my heart smiling and sending that calmness to my brain. The heart penetrates all the limbo, limbo, limbo and feels the now, taking away all the anxious trembles of the unknown. There really is no unknown in the now, therefore there is no unknown in my life.
To be continued.......
So here’s my story
My love-hate relationship with skin care Okay, so I’m getting old… and now that I am in menopause (finally, I might add), I have noticed a great deal of aging in the last few years. I have spent so much money on skin care products, I could probably buy a small island. Every time the latest and greatest thing comes out, my hand digs deep into my pocket to try it. I am not going to waste time talking about the pros and cons of those products. Let it suffice to say, some worked better than others but NEVER, EVER did I see a big enough difference to continue spending that small fortune on either drug store or specialty market brands.
I was resigning myself into “growing old gracefully.” Ha! NOT…. I began searching for what, I didn’t know. I came across some websites and reading on natural products. I researched how many so called “100% Natural” products are no better than their synthetic counterpart. Most of these miracle creams actually aid in making our skin age faster due to their synthetic and toxic preservatives and other additives. Just because we are not ingesting some of this stuff does not make it safe or nontoxic. Our skin is the largest organ we have and it only takes seconds for the products we put on our skin to enter our blood stream. Don’t believe me? Do the research…
Anyway, a few years ago I discovered Coconut Oil as a healthy oil for cooking. Now, I find, it is also a healthier way to moisturize skin, unless you have a sensitivity to it. My skeptical nature never totally believes these things work so I started whipping up just a small amount of the stuff with a little vitamin E and used after every shower. Was it oily, yes? I was concerned about that at first until I realized how quickly it absorbed into my skin and made it feel so soft. Then I tried it on my face after I cleansed but only on occasion since I still wasn’t sure about all this. I found using it after cleansing with a store bought product still left my face feeling dry once the oil absorbed and in its plain state, let’s face it, it wasn’t pretty to look at. Okay, Okay, for those that know me, you know that’s important. Remember, presentation is everything.
I researched further and found a great recipe for Lotion Bars; added ingredients for when I needed a little more moisture. Shea and Mango Butter as well as other natural oils and wax made it more convenient and pretty to package and somewhat less oily. Remember though, the short time these products feel oily is well worth the reward. Now I was somewhat happy with how I was moisturizing, but what about cleansing.
I looked into several options and found one that has worked out wonderfully for my skin. Oil Cleansing…. I read that this can work on all skin types, even oily, because oil breaks down oil. I found that there are several carrier oils and not all of them are nourishing. Some are drying. I read up on essential oils and their benefits in health, healing and beauty and that these should be handled and dispersed with care, depending upon their usage.
Luckily, I also read that once you start on the oil cleanse journey, it can get worse before it gets better as it seems to really clean out your pores and, as usual, it may not be for everyone. For my skin I came up with an oil blend, with pure products I was lucky enough to have in my kitchen.
So I began. After about a week, I thought, “Oh this may not be for me.” I thought my skin looked dry and crepey [not a word, but accurate]. I wanted to use up the mix I had already made so I went another week and boy am I glad I did.
I am not even sure how it happened but now, my skin feels and looks nourished all the time… If I could only stand on my head and reverse gravity, I’d be ecstatic!! I’m working on that… LOL Seriously, now I cleanse my face with my oil blend and I moisturize with another type of oil with an essential oil mixed in. Sometimes, I may use additional moisture with my lotion bar or a face cream I mixed up.
My Night Routine:
Cleanse: Use very warm water and wet a wash cloth. Hold it to you face for a second or two. Take a small amount of the oil cleanse blend and rub in a circular motion all over your face, eyes, neck, chin. [Remember Oil takes off make up so there is another product you can do without] Wet the wash cloth again with very very warm water, wring out and hold to your face to steam for a few seconds. Then use the wash cloth to rinse and wipe away excess oil.
Moisture: Dab a few drops of the moisturizing/wrinkle release oil blend onto you face including under and around the eyes, lip, neck and forehead. It will absorb in a few minutes so you can enjoy a great night sleep.
My Day Routine:
Cleanse: I do exactly the same thing in the day. But to be honest, if it is the weekend and I’m going nowhere, I may skip it. On occasion I also use raw honey for my daytime cleanse, but more on that later.
The large pores that I have always had have decreased immensely, the wrinkles have softened, the roughness on the top of my nose and between my lower lip and chin which I think came from small whiteheads have now almost gone, and the redness around my nose has diminished. Pretty amazing considering no other store bought product or gadget could claim those results for me.
If you are embarking on this journey with me and I’ve sent you some products to try, please use them faithfully for at least two weeks and let me know the results. I am also just beginning to make some products so any feedback would be welcomed as to how the products react to your skin, if you would like firmer, oiler, or more scent. I use the essential oils sparingly as many are sensitive to smells and because I am only starting to familiarize myself with their properties. I have made a body butter that I LOVE but it has to stay below 75 degrees so I didn’t want to make it travel.
My label/logo: I have always used for business and that is my dad’s birth name, Vito. Hence, Vitolae Naturals. [Pronounced like Frito-Lay]
You know the verse... And as a player we get to create our own production. It would seem likely, then, that we could leave out of our production any sadness and misery. Yet, I find, although there is no doubt that we create our reality, sadness in that very reality is unavoidable.
I have always known deep inside whether something was right or wrong for me. I haven't always followed those intuitions correctly, but I've known. This is the first time, however, that I am actually, consciously choosing the route to sadness because I am finally following those intuitions. On the one hand, I feel extremely exhilarated and powerful on the other, my heart hurts.
How many years had it been? For years I would travel back east in the Winter or Summer but the last time I was actually there experiencing the creative pallet of Autumn, I can't remember. Air travel seems to be the choice of most, especially for time saving. But there is nothing like the freedom and control of riding across America on wheels. Sure there are cons to travel in such a way, but if one has the time, there are many things to combat the others challenges. One just need to think out of the box and be flexible. Especially when traveling with a three and a half pound chihuahua. She does come first after all.
Here are a few pictures from our journey... Makes me want to become a gypsy, responsible to no one.... What do you think?
Well, it's time to admit no one is twisting my arm anymore. Is this my most favorite activity, no, but I enjoy being active and outdoors and sometimes, it seems like it is the easiest to put together. Organizing a day of dance activities for the two of us when classes are structured at given times and days, is more unlikely for us currently with our schedule and moods. And-- given the choice between household chores, sitting around being lazy or hiking (grueling though it may be at times), I'll taking hiking in the beautiful outdoors. Especially now that we are going to start taking more pics so I can endulge my artistic nature and practice painting. Of course, if you know me, things can change - QUICKLY-
January, 75 degrees in Joshua Tree, unheard of and a sin to miss out on, so although we haven't hiked since July, off we went (please remember we are OLD and in our years 6 months hiatus is like 5 years). Not to mention by the time a certain someone got out the door we didn't arrive at the trailhead until 3PM.
Okay, so 4-5 mile hike around West Side Loop in Black Rock Canyon. No prob, right? Beautiful sky, clear, no wind, the joshua trees and desert scape seem to have a glow around them. Trail not bad, "Hey this is going to be too easy, I want to climb up"... Who said that? Yep, it was me, stupid me. You'll see why in a bit.
Why is it that a mile in my home neighborhood seems so quick and easy, I can see from one end to the other but a mile in the hills NEVER, NEVER ends? Okay, I'm feeling it, legs are getting heavy, back somewhat sore, but hey we're almost done, right? The sun is getting very low and we can't have much daylight left... Okay, here we go, up. NOW we're going up and up? Jim says, "Yes, lets look at the map.... we're almost half way" WHAT, What you say, not even half way? "No, you are wrong, can't be. We've been going for a long time...."
So off I go feeling kinda proud, I'm making it up all the hilly part but thinking he's wrong we are almost done.... Still enjoying the three D scene. Came across an awesome tree! We had to stop for a moment and capture it. Yes, a dead one but look at it, to me it still exudes so much spirit. I can't wait to try to paint it. Yeah, that's me hiding in the branches. Look closely, can you see. I'm still happy.
Doesn't look like we're going up, does it? Well, trust me we are still on the back side of the loop, I think.... I really can't remember. Oh well you get the idea. Anyway, we keep going and now I'm really getting tired. Up and Up and yep, Jim was right, we still had a LOOOOONG way to go. Hey, where did the sun go, hey wait, we still have a long way and it's almost getting DARK! Okay, dark is not too bad, I have my trusty headlamp after all.
DARK! DARK! Wait a minute, dark doesn't just me dark as in "no light". Dark means strange animals, WILD ANIMALS! Okay, tired, hell no. We've got to book it out of here.... Whew! Just about the time I was really going to panic, we see the town and the lights and the camp site below. Okay, thanks God, made it through another adventure.... Enjoy the pics.
Various Pics along the way.... Do you get the idea I like dead trees..... hmmmm
For my friend - you know who you are...
When my ex first left, I was desperate to fix things. I wrenched my heart and taxed my brain in all the ways I could have (tortured him) done something differently to avoid the outcome. The relationship always had problems (his, okay both), yes, but maybe, just maybe if I had…..
I know several men and women going through this same emotional berating experience, seeking counseling, taking actions to rewrite history all the while stomping on their self-image and emotional balance leaving them less able to focus on what really matters at the point of heartbreak.
If I had it to do over again, (once is enough, thank you) I would do my best to do - nothing. So much of my agony was self –inflicted by what ifs, and should haves. Many of the actions that came from frustration, lack of control and a need to “show him”, only led to more hurt and pain than if I had just chosen no action at all.
Friends suggested counseling when my “doing something’s” became volatile or erratic, but in truth, my relationships with friends and loved ones could have helped me more, had I the hindsight and strength of character to take their advice . People are transparent and, for me, a counselor couldn’t tell me anything more profound than my friends and loved ones since they could see the issues quite clearly.
I finally decided (mind you I say again, this happens when you are ready) to do nothing and let it be. That is when I found myself again. I stopped prolonging the agony, faced the truth and began to heal.
It is hard to be the one left without control and I am a firm believer in as long as there is life, there is hope; however, I did have control of one thing, myself.
Whether or not there was still hope the relationship would heal, I gave away my personal power by not doing “nothing”, trying to re-write history and creating more drama and pain. I can’t change another’s actions or feelings but I can change my own to grow stronger. I learned to love unconditionally, it’s an immense high. Unconditional love does not mean putting up with adverse situations but accepting what is without regret.
A never ending quest.
EITHER we don't have a meaningful job or a job at all and plenty of time to express and create and yearn for more meaning OR We do have a job that takes up a minimum of eight hours of our day, usually more and then we don't have time to play, express or create and yearn for more time.
EITHER we crave love and companionship and are tired of being alone OR We are in a relationship and we crave solidarity and space
EITHER we eat what we love without a care for calories, fat or sugar OR We are constantly struggling to eat healthy and the right amount of calories to meet the criteria of the hoi polloi for health and beauty
EITHER we have a job we love and others say, "Oh you have it easy," no matter how hard you work OR We hate our jobs and join them in their negativity.
Can we ever get away from the battle of life's either or's? Where is the balance, the peace, the sanity? Can it be that with balance comes boredom so the either or saga is self created? Hmmm, an interesting concept.
For me, when parts of my life are balanced, others are in a frenzy! We strive to find balance and peace, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, romantically and financially. Does anyone ever get ALL of those together at once? If so, that must be Nirvana. What do you think?
~signed The Wacky Ex ~
Heaven on Earth
Google Images of Balance
Well, all DID NOT go well so no hike this week. Instead, I made these wacky healthy pancakes. I can't give you an exact recipe, so the wacky ingredients are:
1. Whole Wheat Flour
2. Oat Flour
3. Baking Powder
5. Protein Powder
6. Almond Milk - unsweetened
Well as usual, I never measure or make anything the same twice, so experiment. These were fantastic...