Life happens!

I’ve been up and down and actually pretty busy for the last few weeks.

I found out a couple of months ago that my landlord was putting the condo I live in on the market.  So for the past two months I’ve been on this anxiety ride.  I’ve been going crazy looking for places to live that I could afford AND that would allow pets.  I have several after all.  Needless to say, living in Miami sucks if you are looking for a decent and inexpensive home.  Everyone renting seems to think they are renting you a palace and seem to want to charge for one.

Trying to take it all in stride, I began working on art again.  After losing the passion for it shortly after losing my entire portfolio filled with drawings and photographs during Hurricane Andrew back in 1992, I finally found it again.  I picked up my sketchbook and began working on drawings and working on developing my own style again.

Things are looking up.  I made three sales since last month, and have two commissions in the works.  I also found out my condo is no longer on the market, as my landlady called me and said she just wasn’t getting the right offers for it.  So, with the pressure off, and knowing that I can leave on my own terms next year like I had planned I’m a little more relieved.

If anyone is interested, my ETSY page is here.

https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/ArtworkByNuria/dashboard?ref=si_ys_dd_shop_dashboard

Alone on the long road.

 

Sunday afternoon, and I sit pondering of what will come next. It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I live in a constant state of worry. At this point, it’s second nature to me. I cannot control it, I don’t really know how. I know this I a mental state. I know that there are things you can do to keep the worry at bay, but even when I try to take my mind off of what is worrying me, I always, inevitably go back to the comfortable place, of worry. I say comfortable, it really isn’t that. It’s painful, it’s annoying and it is like a drop of water in a constantly overflowing glass.

 

I am alone. I have family, I have friends, but I am alone. I live alone, with my pets, and the few friends I have in town are all married, have kids, and their lives are moving alone at a steady pace. I sit here alone. I have not been in a relationship for a little over ten years. The one relationship I was in really wasn’t fulfilling to me. After five years I ended it, knowing that it wasn’t right for me, and while at the time it began it was what I needed, as the years went by, I realized I wanted more, so I ended it.

 

I had one boyfriend that I lived with when I was 22 years old. That ended just before I turned 25, and it ended badly. I have never really had anyone in my life in that way again. And even that relationship was a struggle. I was the one working, I was the one keeping things going, trying, paying the bills and just barely making ends meet. I don’t want that again.

 

So hear I sit, at times feeling numb inside. If it wasn’t for worry, would I even feel anything? I have small bits of happy here and there. I do love my pets. It is because of them that I wake up and get out of bed some mornings. It is because of them that I just keep moving alone, hoping for things to finally “get better.” I know, I am not the only one in this “funk.” But, it’s my funk, and it hurts, and it’s been where I have made my home for way too long.

 

When I was younger, I wanted to find someone to fall in love with. Someone to marry, buy a home with, have children with. That never happened. It was only when I turned forty that I realized, children would never happen. I still thought maybe they would, but after forty-five I really knew it would never happen, and while I don’t think I really wanted kids, I still wanted them, if that makes sense. Be it because society expected it of me, or because of some part of me just wanted to have a child so that I would no longer have to be alone.

 

I have a sadness inside my soul, I cannot explain fully. I don’t even want to try. I put the mask on daily, and I keep moving forward, in the hopes that the sadness will quiet down, go away, leave me to better things. But then, I sit and realize, I’ve been moving forward for more years than I care to admit here, and still the sadness won’t go away.

 

I see myself, in this dream, in a house. With a small yard, my cats happy, healthy. My dog sitting quietly in the sun, as I sit on the couch drawing, waiting for my love to serve me some tea. It is a dream I am afraid it will never happen, I truly do. And I hate admitting that, because in the back of my mind, I fear that admitting it, will make it a reality. The reality I am living in now.

 

Amy’s Breakfast wrap

I haven’t been feeling well the past few days.  I know it’s because I’m not eating well. I’ll admit, I take the lazy way out in the morning.  I don’t make breakfast at home, because more often than not, I’m already running out the door late.  I usually stop at the grocery store and get a bagel and just toast it when I get to work.  Not the most healthy of morning starts.

Tired of feeling like crap, I decided I needed to find a vegetarian breakfast that I could just pop in the microwave at work.  I found Amy’s Breakfast Wrap/Burrito.  Follow the link and find out more about this company and their products:   http://www.amys.com/products/product-detail/burritos-and-wraps/000048

The instructions say to put it on high for a minute, then turn it over and put it in for 35-45 seconds.  Well, it was frozen solid, so that wasn’t going to work.  I put it in for about 4 minutes in total on one side, and then just 30 seconds on the other.  It came out hot all the way through and thankfully, none of the ends of the tortilla were the consistency of cardboard.  I was afraid I may have heated it too long, but I didn’t.

This tasted heavenly.  The tofu made in such a way that it substituted the egg very well.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and have a great alternative for that bagel.

Amy's breakfast scramble

 

I give this a definite 4 tuna cans!

This stuff rocks!

Prompt 2: Fix your father.

I belong to a closed writing group.  Now and then I’ll post a few things here.  :)

 

Monday, April 7, 2014
Prompt 2:

The phone rings. It’s your mother and she’s upset. “What’s wrong?” you ask. “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn’t: 1) This is your fault and 2) you’re the only one who can fix it. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” Write this scene.

 

Fix your father:

Molly woke up to the loud ring of her phone. She’d stayed up way past her bedtime the night before working on a case. After realizing that her machine wasn’t going to pick up the call, she slowly reached her arm over to the night stand and picked up the receiver.

“Hello,” she said, her mouth muffled by the pillow.

“Oh, good morning dear,” said her mother.

“Hi mom.” Replied Molly

“Dear, I’m sorry to bother you so early, but there’s a bit of… um well there’s a problem with your father,” said her mom.

“Hmm?” was all Molly could muster in her half comatose state.

“Oh goodness, I suppose I may as well just come right out and say it. Your father is frozen dear.”

Molly’s eyes popped open and she sat straight up. “Frozen? What do you mean frozen?”

“Frozen, as in he’s just sitting there not moving with a goofy grin on his face.”

Molly covered the receiver and rolled her eyes, “Christ on a pogo stick! Walter!!!”

“Mom, is he just stiff and can’t move or is he frozen cold.” Asked Mommy.

“I don’t see what difference that makes, the man can’t move!” said her mother in exasperation.

“Okay, okay, I’ll be over in a bit,” from behind Walter came flying into the room, literally…flying.

“What’s going on?” asked the large crow.

“It’s dad, he’s frozen!”

“CRAP!” exclaimed Walter.

“Who are you talking to?” asked her mother.

“Walter,” said Molly

“Oh, say hello from me,” said her mother cheerfully.

“Mom says hi,” said Molly as she looked at the crow. “Okay, we’ll be over in a bit.” She said and hung up the phone.

Molly hurriedly put on her yoga pants and a blue sweatshirt with a picture of a cats butt on it, that said, “Talk to the butt, ‘cuz the face don’t want to hear it.”

“So what’s going on?” asked Walter. Walter was a crow with an enchantment. Molly had found him near death at the base of a hill she’d been gathering some herbs from. She took him home and nursed him back to health; only to find out he had lived for many years with a witch. She had died and Walter was left to fend for himself, and had been caught off guard by an eagle trying to make a quick meal of him.

“Apparently dad is frozen. Mom said he can’t move and he’s just sitting there with a stupid grin on his face.”

“Is she sure he’s not just constipated? I’ve seen him like that before you know.” Answered Walter.

Molly looked at Walter and adjusted her glasses, “I don’t think ex-lax is going to fix this.” Molly walked to the kitchen and went through the cupboards. She was looking for a small red bottle. “Aha!” she exclaimed when she found it. “Got it.”

Walter looked at the label and began to laugh.

“It’s not funny,” said Molly.

“The hell it’s not. How did your dad get your hot flash cocktail?” asked Walter.

“I left a bottle over there when they were out of town last week. He must have just thought it was orange juice.” Molly threw the bottle in her purse, and waited for Walter to perch himself on her shoulder and then got in her car and sped to her parent’s home. When she got there she let herself in and immediately went into the living room where her mother sat waiting with her frozen stiff father.

“Ah, there you are dear. Are you hungry? Do you want some breakfast?” her mother hugged her and pet Walter on the head.

“No thanks, mom, maybe just some coffee.” Replied Molly.

“I was talking to Walter.” Said her mom.

“Some crickets would be nice.” Said Walter, as Molly’s mother smiled and nodded.

Molly shook her head and sat down next to her father as she opened the bottle.

“Okay dad, I’m going to pour some of this into your mouth. I’ll have to tilt you back a bit, so just let it run down your throat.” With that she eased her father back and poured some of the liquid into his mouth. Within seconds her father began to relax and move.

“Fucking hell!” he exclaimed. “What the hell happened?” He asked, and then looked at Walter. “Oh hey there Walt.” Walter waved a wing at the man and continued to stare at him, waiting.

“Dad,” she began in a whisper making sure her mother did not hear, “how many times have I told you, don’t drink anything you see in my green containers” Molly stood and watched her father as he himself stood and stretched.

“I forgot, and I was thirsty, so kill me.” He began shaking his arms and legs to get the circulation going. As he did so, Molly’s mother returned with a small plate of dead crickets.

“Oh, you fixed your father!” she exclaimed happily.

Molly’s father smiled and began to beat his chest, “Yup, as good as new.” He then frowned and stopped, and looked down.

“What’s wrong?” asked his wife.

Walter began to eat his crickets hastily, as though the proverbial shit was about to hit the fan and he wanted to make sure he ate his breakfast before all hell broke loose.

“Dad what’s wrong?” asked Molly.

“I HAVE TITS!”

Never say never again.

Last year I dove into the world of animal rescue.  Head first to be exact!  After coming home and finding a flyer posted next to the elevators at my condo complex, stating all stray cats would be trapped and taken to the shelter.  The shelter here in Miami is a high kill shelter.  They recently stopped taking in cats, and any strays brought to them are killed. See what I did there? I didn’t say euthanize.  That’s because if you take the word by its meaning, they you will see that you really cannot euthanize a perfectly healthy animal. No, our shelter kills, and it kills a lot.  Sure, their numbers have gone down, but only because they now ship dogs and cats to other shelters and sometimes work with rescues.

Anyway, when I saw this I knew I couldn’t just leave those cats to that fate.  I’ve been covertly feeding them for a couple of years and really knew nothing about where to take them for help.  I took to Facebook, and began my journey.  I hooked up with some good and caring people.  These people had been in rescue for years and knew the ins and outs.  I was able to make some connections and found out there was a program in my area that would help me in getting these cats spayed and neutered.

I was able to find a home for one cat that was feline leukemia positive, as well as four others.  At one point I had ten cats in my apartment.  Yes, ten!  I have six of my own, so the additional four was quite frankly a nightmare.  Of the four, two were about five to six months old, one was shy but the other was quite feral.  At one point I was keeping them in my spare bathroom and the feral one got out.  She gave me a hell of a scratch before she got into the carrier.  The other two were about four months old.

With some help, a home was found for the two older kittens, and I kept the smaller two until a home could be found for them.  This was eight months in the making.  I have had these two girls with me and while I will tell you it has been incredibly stressful at times, I absolutely adored these girls. My journey with them ended last night.  Today they are on their way to a new life.  I can’t even express the sadness I felt knowing that I had to let them go.  It was as though part of my soul was being torn from me, and I think it was.  They took a little piece of me with them, and in turn they left a big piece of themselves with me. Their impact on me will last until I take my final breaths on this earth.  I never wanted to foster, because I knew how hard it would be to let them go.  But they taught me that as hard as it is, when your part is done, you let them go.  You let them go because it was your job to prepare them, to show them how to trust and what it means to be loved.

As sat there in my car with my foster girls, Isis and Astra, and who I eventually came to call Smudge and Mochie, I said to myself, “I can never do this again.  I can’t allow myself to feel like this again.” I could very easily have been a foster failure, but my space dictates that I cannot bring any more cats into my home permanently.  Permanently being the key word here.  You see, as I was saying good-bye to my friend who is taking the girls on to their next stop in their new life, she asked me if I could foster a little kitten.  A tiny baby not even six weeks old yet, until the end of April or mid-May.  I smiled and didn’t even hesitate.   I hope to welcome my new charge this week.

 

Smudge and Mochie

Smudge and Mochie

Smudge Mochie

NEW Morningstar pizza – Baja Black Bean Review

I am always wary of microwave pizza.  That “crisper” rarely works well, at least for me, and many times I wind up turning it from a potentially tasty treat, to something I can make a shoe out of. But, I decided to give this a try.

1

I wasn’t sure about black beans and corn on a pizza, but it was either this one or the one with the garbanzo beans (Mediterranean Chickpea).  I love garbanzo beans, but on a pizza seemed more odd than the black bean combo.

So, here goes.  On the tray, for 3:45 minutes in the office microwave.

2

Looks like this when it’s out.

3

And now for the best part.  Tasting it!

4

It’s actually quite delicious!  A little spicy, so it’s got a bit of a kick to it. And guess what? It’s crispy!!!  I really really loved this.  Now I want to try the other one.   The price comparable to other single serving pizza’s on the market.

Here is some of the nutrition information.

5

 

I highly recommend this.  It’s vegetarian, tastes good and the price won’t kill you so you can buy a couple and have them for lunch at work, or dinner at home.

I’ll give this a resounding 4 tuna cans!

small tuna cansmall tuna cansmall tuna cansmall tuna can

 

Where do I go?

Honestly, I don’t know where to go.  Don’t know what to do, don’t know what I really WANT to do.  I have an idea of what I’d love to do with my life, but I have to be realistic and admit, there’s not much money in what I want to do, and I need to support myself.  Right now, it’s all just a dream.  A dream I hope so fulfill someday.  For now, I find myself still on that treadmill.  Running in the same place, and getting nowhere really.

I’ve stopped actively looking for another job. It’s been over three years of searching and still nothing.  So yes, at this point I’m just quitting.  There’s just so much rejection one can take until you just admit to yourself you aren’t going to find anything.  And as I finally decide to just stop looking, it is now that my company will likely lose it’s largest client, thus now would be the perfect time for me to actually look for a job.

Depression is something I am dealing with still.  I do have good days, but the bad days still creep up on me.  I have to force myself to write. I HAVE to.  I used to be able to write every day. I wrote and loved it, and I do believe I was quite good at it.  Now, the though of sitting down and writing something makes me cringe.  I know a lot of that has to do with just not  being happy with my work life.  I can’t help but let it affect me in my writing.

I had a dream last night.  I started my volunteer job.  I went to the hospital, but couldn’t find my way to the department I was to work in.  I literally walked that entire hospital, until it turned into night, and couldn’t not find the department.  I finally found it at the end of the day, and cried and told the woman I had gotten lost.  She smiled and laughed a little and said something but I didn’t understand what she said.  I guessed she just told me to come back in the morning.

Very symbolic, that in my dream I still wander.