07 July 2019

Taco Pasta

I was telling my friends that I made Taco Pasta last night and they all looked at me funny. I described what I had done and the cocked heads and furrowed brows all changed into looks of hunger so I thought I would share the recipe with you here.

It is super simple to make and the entire meal only cost me $8 so you just can't beat that. While it's just Pokey and I, we have plenty of leftovers but even with Hobbit home we would have gotten a full second meal out of it. Enjoy!

Taco Pasta Recipe
1 lb of ground beef (I use 97/3)
1 16 oz package of noodles (whatever floats your boat)
2 cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 16 oz jar of salsa (heat and brand is up to you. I use Publix brand mild)
2 tbsp of tomato paste
Spices (season to taste) - cayenne, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper

1. Brown your ground beef with the spices and drain. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. Add jar of salsa, half a jar of water, and tomato paste. Mix well and let simmer on medium heat.
3. Cook noodles per package directions, leaving at al dente firmness, drain.
4. Mix beef and sauce mixture with the noodles and combine well so all noodles are covered.
5. Mix in one cup of cheese until melted and well blended.
6. Sprinkle additional cup of cheese on top of mixture and bake for 8 minutes or until perfectly melted.

As you can see, I drizzle a bit of ranch dressing across it because I love how the coolness of the ranch compliments the heat of the salsa. It is so delicious and I promise, you will love it too!

03 July 2019

Thank you!

This image is so perfectly me in every way!
Thank you, all of you, for allowing me the time and space to work on things that needed attention. I appreciate all of the emails and messages, both here and on other social media platforms, inquiring about my well-being and making sure everything was okay. I was moved by all of the offers for help, even without any knowledge of what I was going through.

The crafting community is one of love. Selfless love. We reach out to help and don't even care what the challenge may be. We just know that someone is hurting and needs to be lifted up. I was most certainly lifted - with love and support from what others might call complete strangers. I would never call you that. You aren't strangers... you are my family that I just haven't been able to meet in person yet... and I am so blessed to have you. There were days where I turned to your messages for comfort and inspiration to make it through the day. There were days when the only smile came from your words. I can't even begin to describe what y'all have done for me these past 4 months.

Things are better now. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of love, and oh so many prayers but things are improving. Aspects of my life had to be broken down so they could be rebuilt - better and stronger. I learned a great many things about myself this past quarter and I hope to continue to learn as the year goes on. What transpired is not what I was envisioning for this year but in a way, I'm glad it happened because what has grown from it is blooming into something even more beautiful that what once was.

I know I sound cryptic and I know I usually share openly with you, my online family. This situation, this one is one that I will keep to myself, at least for now. It is still delicate and fragile. It needs to be protected as it heals and the roots take hold. I know you understand and I know you will respect that because you have already shown that me.

I just wanted to take a moment and let you know that I heard you and I saw you... and I appreciate you so very much.

02 March 2019

Chase your joy

I have decided that 2019 is the year that I chase my joy. Life is too short to do things that don't bring you joy... and I am supporting others with the same mindset. To that end, let me introduce you to John.

John is the brother of a dear friend of mine. If you run around Ravelry and spend time along the corridors of a certain castle, you know her as Stenojoz. She has the most caring and giving soul that you could ever dream of knowing. It doesn't matter what is going on with her - and trust me, life has tossed her some pretty craptastic lemons - she is there to make sure everyone around her is okay. Her kind and generous nature must be a family trait because her brother shares it... along with her crazy creative spirit.

So when this sweet family asked if would be willing to lend a hand in getting his little creative endeavor off the ground, I was not going to say no! Look this art he created... and it speaks volumes that he gets how much knitting and crocheting truly are healing tools that keep us grounded. I always say that my number one anxiety medication is knitting.

The shirts are generously sized and so very soft! He sent me a 3x because that is what I always get but honestly, I think I should have gotten just a 2x. It is soft, roomy, and just the perfect color for me. Purple is Pokey's favorite color so you know he tried to steal it from me. I told him the minute he crafted me something, I would share.

John is waiting for you to come and see what all he has waiting for you. You can follow him on his Facebook page as or on Instagram to get a sneak peek at all his crazy new designs.

As an added bonus, he was sweet enough to give y'all a discount! Just check out his shop, order your shirt (or mug, or bag, or sweatshirt), and use the code "MYTHERAPY" at check out to receive 12% off your order!! This code is good until Mother's Day, May 12th but don't delay. I know that I see a bag in my future, as well as my mama's.

09 February 2019

Cattle calls...

Don't you love going somewhere in a large group - meaning roughly 10 people - and you have to do a simple meet and greet. It is a short affair. You are told to stand up, say what your end goal is, and why you should be the one to do it. Every anxious introvert's dream come true, right?

But you do it because this project is important to you. The first person doesn't follow the directions and gives a long dissertation that doesn't even answer the prompt. The second person, who is wearing jeans of all things to a gathering of professionals, gives a summary of her life which also doesn't answer the prompt and sits down.

You are next so you stand up, state your name, declare your end goal, and give a concise answer as to why you should be the one to do it.

The other members of the party continue on the diatribe format that does not answer the question but you are smiling and pretending to be engaged. You are mindful that your face doesn't say anything out loud that it shouldn't. You are faking interest and confidence.

Once it is over, you are reminded to turn your ringer back on so that you can receive their call back with an invitation to their assessment. You head to your car, turn your ringer on, and head home.

Almost 24 hours later and no call. So what is the take away here? Screw the directions and give a diatribe next time the situation presents itself? Your personality is rubbish and everyone disliked you? You orator skills suck and you should just give up?

I honestly don't know but I can tell you that it is disheartening to see how following the directions given is not what they actually wanted. All I can do is believe that I was meant for something else. I won't give up and I won't let it get me down. I have faith that what I am searching for is out there and will be arriving soon. I was simply meant for more.

Next time, though, could you just do this over the phone and save me the two hours of driving?  Thanks!

04 February 2019

Believe them

I have this amazing friend who is so very wise. She also has some of the best sayings and on occasion, I can hear her in my head. Lately, she has been reminding me that when a person shows you who they truly are, believe them...

So I am.

I am believing them and moving on. My husband one time told me that he was amazed at how I will take a moment to process or grieve the events and then I make a plan. I have processed and I have grieved. I have also put a plan in motion and am beginning to see the little sprouts of my seedlings breaking ground.

I hope to have an update by the end of the month. I am confident things are now on the proper track.

Time will tell... But at least I can tell my friend that I believed them.

24 January 2019

Random musings

I promised myself I would write more because I love writing. Not stories, per say, but writing in general. I just enjoy the act of putting pen to paper - or in the case, fingers to keys - and letting whatever random thoughts flow from my brain to the paper or screen. I laugh at what comes out because a lot of it is just random nonsense but sometimes, creative ideas come from random utter nonsense. I'm going to consider this multi-tasking and write my musings here...

Why are my glasses always dusty and why can't you simply blow the dust off? Why is it when you try to wipe the dust off, it becomes a smeary mess that required special wipey things to clean off properly?

When I was little, they didn't have the special wipey things to clean glasses so I would hand them to my mama when we were out - because I can't stand smudgy glasses - and she would lick the lens and use her shirt hem to clean them.

I have been known to do the same without thinking.. because thinking about doing it is just gross but in the moment, doesn't bother me at all.

I have been wearing glasses for 40 years.

I should design glasses for people with small nose bridges but full cheeks - the plight of my life in the bespectacled world.

I love my house being clean but I begrudge cleaning it because I know that Pokey and Hobbit are going to mess it up. Not on purpose or out of spite, just by living life. Messiness doesn't bother them like it does me. Messiness makes me physically mad. I think the phrase "living in a refugee camp" came out of my mouth last week - and I wasn't kidding because that is how it felt. I made Pokey help me clean it all up before he tucked into his game on his day off. Now I'm just trying to maintain it but working nights makes it harder than I thought it would since I am constantly exhausted.

I am not naturally a night person.

I applied for a new role. I meet all the desired qualifications, which are above and beyond the required qualifications. I hope I get it - though the interview process scares the snot out of me. Hi, I'm a random girl with social anxiety so let's spend the next 30 minutes to an hour focusing on me and what I have done in my life because that's not an area of life I suck in.

My off day outfits seem to simply consist of things I can't wear to work because of the guidelines. Today's ensemble: Twenty One Pilots grey tshirt with Trench yellow graphic of daisies and my black leggings with glittery gold Mickey head icons all over it. To me, it 'matches' and works... it's the gold that ties it all together.

I'm a boring cook. I have chicken thawing for supper and I have no idea what to do with it. Probably just going to bake it and slap BBQ sauce on it. It sounds good to me. I have the taste-buds of a toddler. I really want to eat at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants one day but I don't like poncy food so I would need to get a burger after we leave... because burgers are the world's most perfect food.

So, yeah... this is an exercise I try to do just to keep me writing. It is so easy for me to let my relaxation things go but in the end, it is those things that help keep my anxiety at bay. Writing, knitting, taking pictures - most anything I do creatively keeps me grounded and calm. I work in a role that is honestly a bit stressful so it is important to keep a balance, especially when you are in mandatory OT that has you working super long days on a schedule that is opposite of your normal body clock. It can all pile up until you feel overwhelmed so be sure that you take time for you... and now, a gratuitous collection of things that I have recently completed because no post is complete without a photo or two...

13 January 2019

I'm sorry... what now?

This is getting ridiculous. I am not going to ask forgiveness or apologize for the color of my skin - just as I would NEVER ask anyone else to do so. I am not going to seek out designers based on the color of their skin - white, black, brown, purple, or green. I am not going to seek out designers based on their physical or mental abilities either... or their age... or where they live... or any other non-issue factor because when you do that, you are still being discriminatory.

I base my decisions on the product at hand, on the beauty of the design, and on the price versus quality for which the product is being offered. Those are my deciding factors. I don't need to know about anything else, just as the seller doesn't need to know those things about me.

Can you imagine walking into a store and asking if the maker of the product was of a specific ethnic background? Would you ask if the designer of the product had any physical or mental challenges? Could you even fathom asking about what the person did behind closed doors in their own bedroom? I should hope not - because those things have absolutely no baring on whether or not the product that caught your eye is worth the price they are asking for it. The item is something you want, you have the funds, then purchase it. Plain and simple.

If you like it, buy. If you don't, don't buy it. The rest of the story is not something that has any weight in the process. Buying from a person because of the color of their skin is just as disgusting as not buying for the same reason. You show honor and respect for the item which, in turns, bestows honor and respect to the one who created it.

I grew up in Alabama. I know racism. I have seen it first hand. This is so not that. Stop it... and while we're at, stop apologizing for things out of your control. I have no privilege. My husband and I work our tails off to afford our little apartment and our cost of living bills. We have decent jobs with decent benefits. He has been working his backside off since he was 16 - 30 years grinding it out to get where he is today. I went to college (paid for by grants, scholarships, and student loans which I am STILL paying back), earned my degree - with honors because I worked hard for it, and have spent the past 25 years working nonstop. I am not yet where I want to be but I know what work that needs to be put in to get there and I am dedicated to doing it. No one has handed me anything. No one has handed our kids anything or my husband anything. We WORKED for it and we are WORKING for it.

I know this post has more than likely ruffled some feathers but I needed to get it off my chest. The events of late have ruffled mine. It is like the world is constantly looking for ways to be offended. I would rather look for ways to celebrate. Seek out the beauty in the world and if you can't find it, create it. The only way things will be as those who are causing this mess wish for them to be is to actually stop calling attention to the aspects that do not play a part in any of it - instead of looking for a black/brown/green/purple/white designer, just look for a designer. Instead of looking for a gay/lesbian/transgender artist, just look for an artist. I know you may think you are somehow rising above all when you call out these aspects of an individual but in reality, there is no need to call them out at all.

A person is a person. A designer is a designer. An artist is an artist. 

No one cares that I am a married, heterosexual, middle-aged, white woman with a mental challenge who earns just enough to keep her outside of the Federal poverty lines. When I step outside my door, I don't introduce myself as such - and neither does anyone else. We, as a society, need to stop pointing out every little thing and simply look at the bigger picture. A person is more than the sum of their parts. We seem to have forgotten that and spend the vast majority of our time and energy now dissecting and shining a spotlight on the parts instead of viewing the beauty of the whole person.

Race doesn't matter. Sexual orientation doesn't matter. Religion doesn't matter. The quality of the craftsmanship, the beauty of the design, the value of the product versus the price... this is what matters.


10 January 2019

Ten days in and...

I have mixed feelings about this new year. One the one hand, it is a year full of possibilities and wonder... and on the other it is 355 more days of the same old same old.

I don't buy into the whole "new year, new you" garbage that is thrown at you this time of year. You are you. Be you. Embrace you. Enjoy you. Celebrate you. You don't need to change or become the societal version of whatever norm they deem normal this week. As long as you are happy, healthy, and aren't hurting anyone (including yourself) then you are aces!!

Everyone at work has jumped on this one particular fad diet bandwagon and I did not. I don't do fad diets. I don't do diets, period. I know my body type and what it needs. Cutting things out of your diet is not healthy for you. All things in moderation. Moderation is the key to everything in life. Am I the societal version of whatever norm they deem normal this week? Oh heck no... but the flip side to that question is do I care... and the answer is still oh heck no.

Even my year of (mostly) selfish crafting got off on a strange start. I cast on a Sockhead Hat, a pair of Susie Roger's Reading Mitts, and had to start a baby blanket for Pokey to give his boss who is expecting a child apparently next week. I admit to being less than gracious about gift crafting in January when I had just declared that this year, I was going to be (mostly) selfish - I even farmed out a sweater for my husband to my mother to finish! I was serious about it this year!!

So ten days into this year and I can say that my first FO of 2019 was indeed selfish! I finished my Sockhead Hat the other day while waiting on Hobbit from one of her appointments. I love it too. I've worn it a few times and thankfully, the temperatures are going to be low (for Florida, that means in the 40s when I get off work) for the next week at least.

I really do love the colors. It is so cheerful and the weight of this hat is honestly perfect for most of the year here in Florida. I can wear simply because I love wearing hats! I also have my mitts about 75% completed as well...

I finished one completely on the 2nd or 3rd and I put it down to finish the hat and now, I picked it back up again the other day because I didn't want "second mitt" syndrome to kick and these babies are made out of merino and cashmere so you know they are delicious to work on and wear. I got to just before the thumb gusset at work yesterday...

So now, I am thinking I can finish that blasted baby blanket with a bit more grace than I started it with. Here is where I am as of right now...

I have toddler feet, I swear. That skein is about halfway done. I am not sure how much bigger it will get but I have five colors to go. It appears to end on the dark green which I think will give it good balance.

How has your new year started out? Anything amazing in the works?
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