My newest anthem

Shake It Out
Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn
And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around
Our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
‘Cause I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
I tried to dance with the devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn
(Oh whoa, oh whoa)
And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
I just heard this song for the first time tonight on an episode of 911 and I shazaamed it (one of the greatest apps). I liked it because of the sound of the music, I couldn’t really hear many of the lyrics as it was mainly background music other than the chorus which isn’t the lyrically potent section. Once I got the name of the song, I googled the lyrics and really related to the lyrics and they are extremely relatable to my life right now. It is exactly what I need as my “I am woman, hear me roar” anthem and the “I will prevail, I will overcome” anthem. And I love the video as well. Oftentimes, I love songs and then am disappointed by the videos. The videos are often not in any way how I would have envisioned them, were I the one to create a video for those specific songs. This particular video was beautifully put together and I think captures some of the meaning of the lyrics quite succinctly.

Sometimes darkness, can show you the light

The Light
Like an unsung melody
The truth is waiting there for you to find it
It’s not a blight, but a remedy
A clear reminder of how it began
Deep inside your memory
Turned away as you struggled to find it
You heard the call as you walked away
A voice of calm from within the silence
And for what seemed an eternity
You’re waiting, hoping it would call out again
You heard the shadow reckoning
Then your fears seemed to keep you blinded
You held your guard as you walked away
When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light
An unforgivable tragedy
The answer isn’t’ where you think you’d find it
Prepare yourself for the reckoning
For when your world seems to crumble again
Don’t be afraid, don’t turn away
You’re the one who can redefine it
Don’t let hope become a memory
Let the shadow permeate your mind and
Reveal the thoughts that were tucked away
So that the door can be opened again
Within your darkest memories
Lies the answer if you dare to find it
Don’t let hope become a memory
When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light, beautiful
Sickening, weakening
Don’t let another somber pariah consume your soul
You need strengthening, toughening
It takes an inner dark to rekindle the fire burning in you
Ignite the fire within you
When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light
Don’t ignore, listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness
Can show you the light
I absolutely LOVE this song and this video. It is so inspiring and such an anthem for me to find my strength within my darkness. Dark matter and black holes are only a portion of the vastness of the expansiveness of space. I am not only the sum of what I have experienced in life. I am much larger and much longer than that.

Just a spoonful of applesauce makes the medicine go down…


I. Can’t. Swallow. Pills. I’m a grown-@ss 40 year old woman and I can’t swallow pills.

Of all of the psychological damage my Dad pulled on me when I was younger, this is definitely the most pervasive and the most over-all traumatizing. It is something I have never been able to get over and it is something I have to face every single day of my life. I start my day with it. And even if I don’t consciously think about, that is engrained in my physiological being. Even if I have accepted it as my way of life in my brain, it still pervades my psyche in ways that I don’t think I even realized until just recently.

When I was 6, my Dad decided that since the bottles of medication said 6 year olds could start taking medicines that were swallowable, that it was time to start making me try. So he got me one of the cups at some point, like the one in the picture at the top of this post, and had me start trying to swallow pills. Whenever I couldn’t do it after those first few times (at whatever point he deemed it to be ridiculous that I should be able to by his own timetable), he began to yell at me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. that it didn’t happen. He never stopped to think that the split uvula that I had (which they knew about), could have affected this.


(Sorry for the graphic grossness-don’t worry not my actual mouth, lol)


I never had any trouble eating, but my voice does sound nasal, and it was particularly nasal when I was a child. But my Dad doesn’t think outside of himself for a hot second. All he could see was the inconvenience and the failure of his daughter to achieve something so simplistic and commonplace. Then again, had he have figured out back then that it was due to my split uvula, it would have only given him more fuel to the genetic fire to blame my shortcomings on my genetics, since he was my adoptive father, and boy did he love to point out all of the things he disapproved of in me and pin them on my genetics. So maybe it was for the best that he never figured that one out, because it would have never turned in to a reason for compassion anyway.

My split uvula causes me no troubles with normal eating because I can chew my food up as much as I need and then swallow whenever I am ready to. But it does cause a horrific gag reflex for me. Which is the problem it causes when I try to take pills. And then add in the psychological damage my Dad added in to that, and it was a recipe for disaster. The only way I can take pills now is to take them with a spoonful of applesauce. I can even put multiple, large pills in one tablespoon of applesauce. But it is the function of the spoon to hold my tongue down and force the pills and applesauce which masks the feel of the pills to the back of my throat. I can even take a very small pill if needed in a teaspoon of liquid, it is the spoon that is the key, to hold down my tongue. When they need to swab my tongue if they are doing a strep test at the doctor’s, they HAVE to use a tongue depressor or they absolutely can’t get the swab done because my tongue will snap up in the back every. single. time. Because it makes me feel like I am gagging. When they made the mold for my top retainer with that huge metal tray, just wow. What a horrifying feeling that was.

I’m sure that swallowing pills would have been hard for me no matter what. But I’m sure that with patience I would have figured out a way to get around it. But the psychological damage is so deep now that it causes anxiety if I do try. When I decided to look for this cup shown at the top of this post a couple of months ago, when I was thinking about it, I wasn’t prepared for the reaction it would bring when I found it. It actually caused a mild physical panic attack.

Whenever I go on vacations, I have to either pack applesauce and a spoon or remember to buy it if we are going to a grocery store. I have a spoon packed in the car and in my purse so that I can take my migraine pills in a spoonful of liquid anywhere I am (they are small). It invades my life that much. And it is a constant reminder that I was a failure at something so commonplace that most people on the planet are able to accomplish at some point in their life. Every morning when I am taking my pills in applesauce, my 10 year old daughter (who could do it at 8) is swallowing her pills with water. It is all just a constant reminder of how I can’t beat this, of how I can’t overcome, despite how much I have survived and how much I have worked myself through on my own. It is a daily reminder that even though I have succeeded in life where many people would have ended up in a straightjacket with some of the circumstances I’ve endured, that I still can’t fix this aspect of my life. It is beyond disheartening. No matter how many psychology books and articles I read, no matter how much I educate myself on all of these topics, no matter how many other traumas I have risen above throughout my life, I can’t seem to conquer this one. And it makes me feel so weak, no matter how many ways I spin the information in my head logically.

Now if you’ll please excuse me, it’s time for me to go take my spoonful of meds…


Restaurant Catering


From the time I was pretty young, it always bubbled underneath the surface. Eating meat felt inherently wrong to me. If I stopped to think about it, I quickly fell down the rabbit hole. While I’m on the topic of rabbits, it was even so apparent that anything that looked like an animal would get under my skin. I used to save alot of my chocolate bunnies at Easter time because I just couldn’t eat them because it made me think of eating animals in some strange way (even though I intellectually knew it was just chocolate), but because they had faces on them, and I knew I couldn’t control eating meat at that point in my life, it seemed like something I could have some control over in some ridiculous way in the mind of a warped 8 year olds mind.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to finally try being a vegetarian to lessen some of the guilt I felt in my life (guilt is a real issue for me). I made it several months without eating any meat at all. But there were certain situations that made it very hard. And because of those situations, I have modified my diet in to what I call (thanks to a former student of mine for coining or passing along this term) a Flexetarian. I eat animal meat on certain occasions but try to refrain when I am just at home on a day to day regular basis. I eat meat on special holidays that involve traditional meals such as Thanksgiving. I eat meat when I am at other people’s houses so that I don’t have to imposition anyone, or make anyone feel uncomfortable due to my own decisions in life. My husband also is more of the chef in the family and he enjoyed making specific meals and was very disappointed when I chose to become a Vegetarian because it would mean missing out on sharing those meals with me, and I didn’t like seeing him disappointed or feeling as though we were losing something we enjoyed doing together (including going out to eat and often sharing meals etc…)

Which brings me to my last reason for modifying. I am a picky eater. And it was often hard to find things at restaurants that I could eat or modify or that would be satisfying beyond a side garden salad. I really feel that restaurants need to implement a couple of different universal standards in their menus. There are certain groups that I think they should have options available for as the numbers within these groups increase. I think there should be some options that are peanut free, as this is a life threatening allergy that has increased exponentially. There should be options that are gluten free. There should be options that are vegetarian and/or vegan. And I think for those 3 categories that the options should be meals that are fairly base standards that could please a good majority of people or could be added to should others want extra flavor, like a build your own pasta type options.

And then I think for kids menus there should be certain standards in every single restaurant. I was honestly ASTOUNDED when we went to the Be Our Guest restaurant in Disney World, a place that caters to children, and even though they are looking to have a hoity toity ambience, their selections on the children’s menu were all abominable for a child who is a picky eater. And my child is a picky eater, not because I’m a bad mom and wouldn’t refuse to be a short order cook and gave in to her and didn’t force her to have what we were having, but because she has Asperger’s Autism, and textures bother her and smells bother her. She’s even picky about types of pizza. There’s only about 2 places she’ll eat pizza from. It’s not because she’s a spoiled brat. She’s very sensitive. I think every restaurant should have the following on children’s menus: (and no, these are not all things my kid eats, but things I think would cover almost all bases)

Hamburger/Cheeseburger, Chicken Nuggets, Hot Dog, Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Pizza Slice (Cheese or Pepperoni), Spaghetti (with option of meatballs or meatsauce or just sauce).

Forgive me if I am forgetting another large category of “special eaters” out there. That isn’t my intention. I hope that I do not come across sounding like a Veruca Salt spoiled brat that feels like the world needs to bend it’s ways to everyone. I just feel that these groups of people have either health issues or a world philosophical reason that is worth having a standard menu that can be counted on being at any restaurant they visit, and then hopefully more available within that restaurants particular cuisine as well for each subsection. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but then again, I’m not in the restaurant business. And maybe I am a stuck up food snob that is perpetuating some of the rigidity that is rampant in the world today. But my parents were the type that made me sit at the dinner table till I finished everything on my plate and made me eat everything they ate (the only thing they spared me was the liver-thank God). But, everything my parents made me try as a kid that I didn’t like back then, I still don’t like as an adult. The only exceptions to that are that I like some of those things of they are prepared differently than how my mother cooked and prepared them (ie: caramelized onions (which I now like) vs. onions just thrown in every dish raw and cooked in the meal- or raw onions in my tuna fish sandwiches-which I despised). So, that method didn’t do anything for me. I liked what I liked…Period.


Rainy Day-Foto Challenge


Rainy Day and Rainbow. Today’s foto challenge from Cee is rain and rainbow and my 10 year old daughter just HAPPENED to have already drawn and colored this picture earlier tonight, which encapsulates both. She chose the rainy day subject because she got out of school early today due to the freezing rain, and she will now be off of school tomorrow as well due to the wintry mix/snow storm headed our way. And she just takes after her mom who loves to draw and color 🌈 rainbows (even though we don’t have a valance on the window she was drawing, that was purely her imagination.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

You never believe me…


We are really struggling with this one. Particularly point #5 at night when she is supposed to clean up after herself. Tonight’s excuse….she has a headache…and when questioned, she goes in to a tirade of how I never believe her….and there she sits, up in her room blowing away on her recorder….too much of a headache to clean up but perfectly fine enough to toot away on a recorder….RIGHT!!! But when pushed to complete those demands, the meltdowns and attitude that accompany are out of control. Some days are better than others. On those days she will concede no questions asked. Some days she will even dust things for me for no reason. But then there are days like today, where everything has been going well, attitude has been in check and to argue about this and end on a bad note just doesn’t seem worth it. It’s not slipshod parenting. It’s not the easy way out. It’s not letting her get her way, or teaching her she doesn’t have to clean up after herself. Parenting a child who has Asperger’s Autism, and then Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) on top of that is a total different strategy. She did end up coming down the stairs and I called her out on the fact that this was a perfect example of why I question her constant “reasons/excuses” on many nights for not cleaning up. Because her claim of having a headache, which I do believe, but that it’s obviously not bad enough for her to go right to sleep and that she can be up there playing her recorder and doing things she wants but that she uses things that may be real problems to get out of things she doesn’t want to do, though they aren’t bad enough to impair things she wants to do. It worked well that she came down in to my turf. If I would have gone up to confront her it probably wouldn’t have gone as well. But since she was down here, she conceded and “volunteered” to clean up. I called her out on it, didn’t tell her she had to, so it became her choice essentially. But I pointed out the flaw in her claims and turned her PDA strategies on it’s head. PDA parenting win tonight!!!