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when you let in love

For so long…

You’ve kept your heart guarded, you promised yourself that you were going to work on you. You were going to work on being stronger because that’s what your kids needed.

You have stayed away from letting other people “in”, even friends because at the end of the day you can really only count on yourself – and even then you often let yourself down.

You did most things alone for long enough that the ache is now dull enough to ignore.

You told yourself that it’s easier because exposing yourself to possible hurt and harm again isn’t worth it. Being loved, that is, is too dangerous.

You became used to sleeping alone; though you hate it. It’s something you’ve trained yourself to become numb to. Waking up alone, going to sleep alone. Waking up in the middle of the night and having to go back to sleep alone.

So when it crept in…

You were not expecting it.

You didn’t notice.

It wasn’t the first time these questions were whispered; do you want to keep being numb? Do you want to keep going without?

the answer this time though, surprisingly – No.

Love is not designed for the cynical.

Let it happen.

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The Lioness

The thump of her heart was loud in her ears as she continued to run. The lioness in her raged through every muscle fiber in her legs sending the signal back to her brain with the instinctual message; 
Run.
The only other sound was her fevered breathing, the volume seemed amplified as if routed through a microphone and replayed for her through a loudspeaker back into her own ears. She tried to squint at what was ahead as if she concentrated on another sense, it might drown out the thumping of her heart and the sound of her breathing, but it only seemed to make it worse.


Run.


Her head whips backward over her shoulder with worry, checking the shadows behind her for the things moving in the unseen shadows – perhaps they would reveal themselves. Sometimes, a faint glimmer would seem to ripple and catch her eye and make her believe something might be there… forcing a stumble. Her feet suddenly slip on something causing her to look forward again at the path in front of her.


Run.


Again, she’s distracted by some fast jagged light. It almost blinds her as it casts rays of yellow and gold over her face. She brings an arm over her eyes as if to hold the light up off her, the weight of it heavy against her. It shimmers and twinkles, feeling perhaps hopeful as it stops for a moment to decide that it might float away or melt into the ground past her and leave her alone undisturbed.


Run.


Her chest lifts, the light pulling at her arms and feet as they fly across the ground. For a moment she doesn’t hear the sound of her heart in her chest and the thump in her ears. She moves her arm to the side and the light caresses her face. For a moment. 


Stop.


Almost as quick as hope shone on her, the gift of promise and warmth upon her face, it is darkened once more. Her feet are met with what feels like rubble, causing her to lose her balance and footing. Her heels slip out from under her, the light now is daggers in her eyes sharp and harsh. Her breath is stolen from her chest as her back hits the ground, her whole body slamming into the cold stone earth. Her heart rattles around her chest feeling as if it will shatter. 


Stop. 


The pain reeks on her body like a stink, the smell permeates her nostrils like a gas emitting its gross tendrils through her skin, down her neck and over her arms and legs. The feeling of the sweat from her exerting run pooling between her breasts. She inhales despite the pain. Her arms fall backward and push up, even though she dare not open her eyes. For she might see the blood on her hands. She might see the dirt on her body. She might see the mess of her life.


Get up.
Run.

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Queso!

Queso is surprisingly easy to make from real cheese. This comfort food makes great nachos!

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Tomato Soup

This warm and quick soup will pair well with your favorite grilled cheese!

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Keto Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust

For the filling

  • 6 8 ounces pkg. full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 C Confectioners Swerve, or reduced-calorie sweetener of choice
  • 5 large Eggs room temperature
  • 8 oz. Sour Cream room temperature
  • 1 TBS Vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 325F. Adjust the rack to the middle of the oven. Combine the crust dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix in the butter.  Pour the crust mixture into a 9-inch x 3.5-inch springform pan and press halfway up the sides using your fingers. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. If you use a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.
  • Add in the sweetener a little at a time (about 1/3).
  • Add in the room temperature eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
  • Finally, add in the vanilla and room temperature sour cream and beat until just incorporated.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crust and even out the top.  Bake in the preheated oven. Check after 50 minutes. The top should no longer be glossy and the center should still be jiggly.
  • Turn off the oven and crack the door.  Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven run a sharp paring knife between the cheesecake and the pan (this is to ensure the cake doesn’t stick.  Do not remove the springform). Let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • Remove the springform pan sides, decorate the top, and serve.
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Instant Pot Mac N Cheese

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. macaroni or pasta of choice
4 c. water
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk
3 c. sharp cheddar
2 c. irish cheddar or fontina
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
salt & Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Add macaroni, water, butter, salt, mustard, and to the bowl of your Instant Pot. Secure lid, and set to manual on high pressure. Cook for 1/2 time directed by pasta instructions minutes.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s guide for quick release, making sure to wait until the cycle is complete before unlocking and removing lid. Stir in evaporated milk and cheeses and stir until melted and fully combined. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
just

“Just” … a thief of intent.

“Just” get a job.
“Just” try harder.
“Just” be positive, it will work out.
I’m “just” a streamer.

Just is a thief of value. You say “just” to pretend not to mean what you are saying, to soften the comment, to steal the intent of your words. Somewhere we developed a gray area between being humble and getting stepped on. We started adding “just” in front of our sentences. It’s almost like we feel the need to apologize so we throw in the word “just”.

Part of our human nature is that we’re sensitive to being devalued or undervalued. We don’t like feeling underappreciated. You don’t want to be the comeback kid. But we don’t seem to have any problem telling ourselves we’re unworthy of something. We shouldn’t do it to other people either.

If you’re a teacher, you’re not JUST a teacher.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you’re not JUST a stay-at-home parent.

No matter what your words are, leave out “just”. You don’t need it. If you are going to tell someone to “Just” try harder. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by softening the blow in encouraging them to “Just” get a job. You are being a jackass. If you are telling yourself you are “just” anything but awesome, you are stealing your value, and you JUST need to stop it.

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Positivity Sucks

I read a great article today about positivity, and how it’s pervasive and aggressive smear campaign is garbage.

Honestly, I was all at once struck at how much relief I felt that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way. I’m generally a pretty nice person. I try and be kind, in all things. Which should not be confused with positivity. There’s a huge difference in being nice and being positive. There are huge differences in two. I can be kind to you, show you love and be a friend without always being positive.

Forced positivity is gross. Every time someone tells me to “just be positive!” I want to punch them in the mouth. It’s so unhelpful. How is stuffing my feelings and replacing it with just “positivity” going to help me in anyway-whatsoever?

Let me feel my rage. Let me feel my sads. Let me feel my grief.

Instead of covering it in fake positive vibes, ignoring your feelings – come and sit with me and acknowledge your feelings.

Where does your body feel hot? Hurting? Tune into what you want to say, but don’t. Just sit with your thoughts. That might make you uncomfortable. But you know what? It’s not fake. You aren’t pretending to be positive when you aren’t really feeling it.

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Next week, She Reads…

Next week I will start a new stream during the week during the day called “She Reads” where I read a public domain book to the stream.

I’ve selected a few books and put them on a shelf on good reads and need your help to choose the first book!

What’s your favorite on the list? Here’s the selection on Good Reads – be sure to click through to see the whole list and tune into the stream tonight to vote!