10 years

I almost missed it. Late yesterday evening I remembered it was 10 years ago that I had my nephrectomy. 10 whole years is pretty damn amazing.
My life is so different now that it was 10 years ago. I don’t mean in the major ways. I’m still married to the same man, still live in the same area (albeit in a different house,) still have the same lifelong friends.
But, so many other things are different. I am so much more self-assured. I have embraced my 40s and I’m happy about who I am.
In 2008, I was much less likely to tell you how I felt about things. Now, I pretty much lay my feelings out. You don’t like it? You’ll get over it.
Life is too short to not take chances. I faced down the possibility of dying from cancer, the real risk of dying on the table during my nephrectomy, at 33.
I put my feelings out there. Sometimes it blows up in my face, but I’m tough, I pull it together.
I love harder now. I tell my friends I love them. Between the cancer bullshit and losing people, I need people to know they are loved. You never know if you will have tomorrow to tell them.
About the time ten years ago they were wheeling me into my room, I was on the municipal pier tonight waiting for the boat parade with one sister, and three of her children.
I was getting hugs from the kids and happy even though it was cold out there.
Katie was only a Mom of two back then. Boo was a baby. Two of her kids I would have never met.
10 years is so long. In the average lifetime, that is almost 1/7 of a life.
I have become stronger, made so many amazing friends all over the country, and the world.
I became a photographer (literally, I didn’t take many pictures 10 years ago, Tony always had the camera. Nor did I have an idea I would have won two VPAs.) I was still years away from buying my first DSLR.
10 years and a few hours into the next day.

Well Hello End of 2018

Wow, I have neglected this site so much this year. Sorry folks, when you are writing for multiple entities for a living you don’t often have the time, or words, for personal stuff.

I’d like that to change. I write on Facebook quite often, today was one of those days where I poured my heart out all over it over my depression issues. It’s a fact of life, I suffer from depression.

I have been medicated in the past for it, I will very likely need medication again. Right now there is no depression medication in my life. That could change tomorrow. We’ll see then. For today, the little bitch I call “darkness” has been sent to the corner for the night.

I am blessed with so many friends who have my back from my oldest friends to my newest I have so many people that are truly friends. They have my back, they boost my spirits, they light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

The worst part of all this is I just had such a great vacation away from here with my KoLumbus friends, but now the little bitch is having a staring contest with me. I won’t let her win, but man, she is a damn persistent little thing.

Last night I dove into the shower and sat there with the water running over me for a long time. Water has always been one of my answers when I am sad like this. Either immersing myself in it or watching it. Right now it is too cold and rainy to enjoy the river so the shower it is.

In fact, I think I am heading there now.

So, an entry before Holidailies happens. I got this.

Different looking.

A friend of mine posted about how women are still valued for looks over their talent and skills, how homely women are expected to no embrace our looks but to follow the rules of making ourselves more like the beauty standard.


I am not pretty or beautiful.

My mirror isn’t busted, I can see what my reflection looks like. I am odd looking.

My nose is too big. My face is round and would be even if I was skinny (seriously, I just have a round face.) My eyes are covered in glasses.

I have nicely shaped lips. My eye shape is fairly nice, too, but overall I am an odd looking woman.

As a woman with two gorgeous sisters, this is tough. I fit, and this same friend discussed this some time back, the idea of a handsome woman. My face isn’t horrifying, but it isn’t what you would ask for in any place.

On top of that, I am fat. Yep, really fat, not “oh god, I gained 8 pounds, kill me, fat,” but actually faaaat. While, yes, I am working on it, I am fat. I accept that I will never have a size 6 body.

I wear makeup, but it is too please me. I like color on my face, I enjoy learning how to do makeup. Lipstick makes me happy. I do not follow all that weird contouring shit because who the hell has time for that? Besides, contouring just makes your face look odd oftentimes.

My clothes are not fashionable. There are no fashion rules according to me. Dark colors are not my friends. I wear bright colors, jewel tones. My spring and summer wardrobe is all bright big patterns, many of them florals. All things fat women are told not to wear because it makes you look fatter.

Oh, fuck that. I’m fat. Wearing dark colors is not going to make me look skinny.

I am weird. Yep, I get that. I realized that in fourth grade. I wore what I chose to, I made some of my own clothes out of older clothes. My teacher treated me like shit about it.

This is also the same teacher who made fun of me for being poor. The same teacher who stood me, and another poor child, in front of the classroom and asked why we were able to buy ice cream once a week (it cost a whopping quarter,) but were on the free lunch program.

More than 30 years ago and it still angers me so much.

Anyway, I knew I was the weird kid then. I was too smart, I read too much, I liked weird things.

Nerdy and weird and not pretty.

I have come to embrace all of this now. As an adult, I get that I am a nerd, I am weird. I am not beautiful.

I am however a fierce friend, a good wife, damn good at my job, smart, and stubborn enough to learn whatever I put my mind to.

I am an incredible aunt, my niblings tell me so.

So what if I’m not pretty. I am so much fucking more.


I have resolutions for 2018. I never do these, but here we go.
Be more positive. Look at things from the side of happiness. For too many years I have let depression steal my joy.
Ignore the haters. I work in a job where some people are pretty damn awful to me. It seems they forget that the person they are downing is their neighbor. Or a person that supported them a lot in the past.
You know what? I can ignore them.
Do things I’m afraid of. Go up high, try something I’m likely to fail it. Learn things that I have always wanted to try.
Failure is okay.
Write more personally. I did a lot of writing that was published nowhere this year. Things that were just for me. pages and pages of writing that worked through so many things.
I want to do more of that in 2018.
Take more pictures. 2018, daily pictures. They may not get uploaded every day, but they will exist.
More portrait work. I like doing them a lot. I plan on focusing on portrait work in 2018.
I also want to be faster at my editing turnaround. Unfortunately, I need more time in the day to do that or to figure out a better workflow.
Lose more weight. I’m down over 80 pounds now. Other than the past two days (stress, dammit) I have been eating on plan. Tonight? I’m in a shit ton of pain.
Which means the eating plan is working. Vegetables, fruits, superfoods, lean protein and I feel so much better. When I veer from this, I hurt.
Back to plan tomorrow and on into 2018.
Any plans for your new year?

Learning to live normally

Weight loss content. If not interested, move on, please.
I just baked six varieties of cookies including my absolute favorites chocolate chip.
I ate a clementine instead of cookies.
I haven’t weighed myself recently, but I feel fantastic. Seriously, I feel better than I have in 10 or more years.
My pants are fitting better and pants that were too tight now slide over my ass and onto my waist.
I am exercising on a daily basis and adding minutes each week.
And again, I feel better than I have in years.
I am learning how to do this. Like last Sunday I went to the closing of JarrettThor Art Gallery. They had all sorts of yummy food. I ate light the day before and after so I could have some of it.

For the average person that is common sense. I know that. People with food issues have to learn to eat like this.

People who grew up poor and have food issues really have to learn this. Growing up money was very tight. If something really good came into the house, you ate it as fast as you could so you got your share.

I never got over that. Even as an adult who is doing better than my parents did I still have issues with eating free food until full, or overfill, and to never ever wasting food.

Prior to the past few months, if there were leftovers in the fridge that were getting close to going bad, I would eat them. It didn’t matter if I were actually hungry, it couldn’t go to waste.

Now, I’m learning to cook in smaller quantities (Still working on that one) and if I am not hungry and it is not on the plan for the day, it doesn’t get eaten.

Again, this is revelatory to someone like me.

This week I am eating lighter even than the past few months so I can eat dinner at my parents on Christmas Eve and then dinner on Christmas day without guilt.

Thanksgiving was a test. I cooked all the carb-filled heavy food plus several kinds of vegetables. I made my sweet potatoes with just baked sweet potato. No sugar, no nuts, nothing like that.

I ate small portions of some of the food, but I kept it small. Again, this is all new to me.

I have binge eating issues. I have for years.

Since I began eating better this time I have only binged once.

I’m starting to think I can really do this. Instead of a diet so much, I am really doing a lifestyle change. I have changed what I buy, what I cook, what i even think about putting in my body.

There have been no potato chips in my mouth for months and months. And, I love potato chips. Seriously, they are a food group to me.

Slowly, but surely, it is working.

Now, I just have to ignore the cookies until they are eaten. I may very well just have Tony put them up out of my reach. I mean even as good as I am doing I only have so much willpower.