Lil’ Girls N Curly Twirls

I’m a dress up doll!

When I didn’t grow hair as a child? My 4 year old inner princess wore a towel as my ‘wig’ because my neighbour friend had gorgeous ginger curls I was jealous of.

I’ve had hair ever since that is thin. Lacks in luster.

When I was in Winnipeg? I was PRINCESS! I adorned hair pieces. I loved pretending I have hair. It was fun! In Alberta? I gifted my wigs to a twelve year old who was so grateful she cried.

Now, I’m in BC. I have ‘dollar store, hair dyed, trailer park, pony tails’! It’s all good 🙂 I’m okay with it.

However.

I was in the mall yesterday. ICING by Claires. I was getting a wallet but I walked over to the hair stuff. Looking at their cheap faux hair clips, etc.

A mother was there with two girls. One girl in her teens and very interested in everything glamour. The other girl in her soccer uniform showing obvious disgust but kinda secret interest in the things her older sister was looking at.

The younger one grabbed a clip on pony tail and said , “Who would even wear this?”

I smiled her.

“Ya, know? The most fun thing about a pony tail you can clip on is that it can come off!”

She had this short little bob cut. I asked her if it was okay to show her and she agreed as her mom smiled. I took her to the mirror. When I pulled the lil’ bob cut back? Shaved under.  I just smiled.

“So, you have short hair and it is shaved underneath. I bet you play a lot of sports. And I bet you can make a Mohawk outta this hair cut!”

“Is your hair shaved underneath because you like the air? You’ve got thick hair.”

She said yes to both of those!

“Do you want to know why girls like your sister wear these crazy hair thingy’s?”

Yes, again.

I got a quick ‘nod of approval’ from mom before I pulled a hair tie out of my pocket and pulled back her hair. Her hair matched the color of the clip in pony tail perfect. I put her hair up, clipped in the fake hair and grabbed a tiara.

She laughed and danced in the mirror. And I told her, “Some girls wear FAKE pony tails because short hair is easy, but long hair is fun. You can have both.”

You’ve never seen a prettier soccer princess in your life. She hugged her sister. Mom got her both the pony tail and the tiara! I think I helped make a girl into a princess 🙂

 

 

 

Ultrasounds

Over the course of my surgeries and disability issues I have been for so many tests. US’s, CT Scans, Barium Swallows (I’ve had 5).

I went for ultrasounds yesterday. I read the requisition so I knew  they were looking at my stomach. I regurgitate a LOT. The last time I had an US was in Winnipeg. It showed my small intestine was herniating into my stomach. My new doctor likely just wants to check in on that. The other part of the req? My lower belly. I have scar tissue. Lately it has been growing and painful, so my doctor put that on the requisition as well.

Two things.

I tried to calm myself about the whole procedure when it started to get long.

Why?

She took WAY MORE pictures than on my requisition. Stomach and lower abdominal were on the requisition. When she moved over to my spleen and asked about my gall bladder? I knew she was off the path of the requisition.

I re-focused by asking her about her job.

I asked her how she came to be a US Technologist. It takes years. She started out in X-Ray and general radiology but decided to specialize in Ultrasound. I asked if she loved that she got to tell people about their babies? NOPE! Worst part of her job and she tries to stray from obstetrics.

We talked and laughed about how she developed her career. She asked about mine, how I lost that part of my life and came to be on her ultrasound table that day.

Seems like a whole lotta talk for two scans, right?

Well…  as I suspected, and watched, as we chatted? She scanned it all. Liver, spleen, both kidneys. I saw the scan labels as they popped up with each picture. She was very thorough and I am very grateful.

Something I learned about Ultrasound, compared with other radiology specialties? US Tech’s have more ‘diagnosis’ involved. Other scans (X-rays, CTs, MRIs) show everything and most doctors can read/understand it in a general sense.

Ultrasound techs? They see things as they are taking pictures and take more pictures if they see something they question. They take it to the radiologist, who takes it to your doctor! But it’s the US Tech who catches it. Heroes!

I can’t say I’m not freaking out right now. She took so many more pictures than on the requisition because (from talking to her) she feels sense of being thorough about her job!

She saw something. I jumped with pain at one point. Her face softened, she took a bunch more scans than on the requisition, she became soothingly calm in her demeanor; a change from the first point of the exam. And she told me my doctor will be in touch right away.

My doctor will be in touch right away?

Okay. I have anxiety as one of my health issues. Kinda in full blown panic today. WTF did she see? She scanned all of everything she could.  I saw the pictures with their labels. She had that face of deep concern as her demeanor changed from ‘technologist’ to someone who cares and sees something wrong and sad.

And because I a prone to panic, also going through other issues (family deaths, etc) I am trying to calm myself by questioning my judgement about what I saw on her face.

But I didn’t see anything good on her face. And she took so many extra pictures. And she told me my doctor will be in touch right away. And I’m scared.

I’ve been dealing with my health issues, without doctor supervision, for several years. Now that I have a doctor again I am kind of scared about what this neglect has done. I’m going for my tests. I’m doing what I need to.

But it seems even ultrasounds scare me these day!

 

 

Hanging Out With Jeff

I met Jeff about a year ago at one of the park parties. He was a guest of someone in the park. He remembers being at the party, but not me. His first memory of me was the next party (the Spring Fling). I was walking up the roadway in my tan dress with Ham N Asparagus Rolls in my hand .

Dreamy, eh?

Before we ever started ‘hanging out’ I heard through other people in the park that Jeff had a trailer to sell. A motorhome. I wanted my ex to have something other than a tent. So Jeff and I wheeled n dealed on it .

It had been stored a long time and was a bit run down to begin with! And old. And Jeff likes my smile. I made a really good deal with him! Very reasonable price with an extended payment plan that suits my income. A generous offer.

Since then?

Jeff used to work in collections. So he’s keeping close to me until I pay off the motorhome. Well, that’s the excuse. 😉 But we hang out as friends now and he is maybe the most kind person I have met in a long time.

My payment plan? $50/month for 6 months (yes, he sold me the motorhome for $300)

But! Big but. Jeff has taken me under his wing of friendship and kindness. For example? He buys a ton of groceries. I cook them up and package them into freezer meals. I take home a third. I tidy up, do laundry. He pays for wine and weed.

When I make my ‘motorhome payment’ each month? I give a bit extra. Because when it comes down to it? He is spending hundreds a month to collect that $50 payment!

Before anyone gets it in their head that this is anything more than a friendship? Or that there are other intentions?

I sleep on his couch when I am at his place. He’s always made it known his intentions are to ditch me by December. Once the motorhome is paid. We talk ‘smack’ to each other all the time. I’m downright cunty to him sometimes and he takes it.

It’s this odd kind of friendship I never expected.

He wants nothing to do with love or relationships. He sees I’m hung up on my ex and has already told me I am too much drama 🙂 I find it refreshing he sees that and respects it. I feel like I can be emotionally raw around him because he expects NOTHING of me.

Jeff is a very good friend to me right now. People come and go in life. But he’s a keeper friend! Gonna have to find a way to make him stick around after the motorhome is paid 😉

 

 

 

The Too Much Woman

This is taken from another source but it is one of the most inspiring pieces I’ve ever read. I want to memorize it as a dramatic monologue.

There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.

There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes.

There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous.

She is dangerous.

And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much. She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself. She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness to fiery passion. All eyes on her, thinking she’s hot shit.

Oh, that “too much” woman. . . too loud, too vibrant, too honest, too emotional, too smart, too intense, too pretty, too difficult, too sensitive, too wild, too intimidating, too successful, too fat, too strong, too political, too joyous, too needy—too much.

She should simmer down a bit, be taken down a couple notches. Someone should put her back in a more respectable place. Someone should tell her.

Here I am. . . the Too Much Woman, with my too-tender heart and my too-much emotions.

A hedonist, feminist, pleasure seeker, empath. I want a lot—justice, sincerity, spaciousness, ease, intimacy, actualization, respect, to be seen, to be understood, your undivided attention, and all of your promises to be kept.

I’ve been called high maintenance because I want what I want, and intimidating because of the space I occupy. I’ve been called selfish because I am self-loving. I’ve been called a witch because I know how to heal myself.

And still. . . I rise. Still, I want and feel and ask and risk and take up space.

I must.

Us Too Much Women have been facing extermination for centuries—we are so afraid of her, terrified of her big presence, of the way she commands respect and wields the truth of her feelings. We’ve been trying to stifle the Too Much Woman for ions—in our sisters, in our wives, in our daughters. And even now, even today, we shame the Too Much Woman for her bigness, for her wanting, for her passionate nature.

And still. . . she thrives.

In my own world and before my very eyes, I am witnessing the reclamation and rising up of the Too Much Woman. That Too Much Woman is also known to some as Wild Woman or the Divine Feminine. In any case, she is me, she is you, and she is loving that she’s finally, finally getting some airtime.

If you’ve ever been called “too much,” or “overly emotional,” or “bitchy,” or “stuck up,” you are likely a Too Much Woman.

And if you are. . . I implore you to embrace all that you are—all of your depth, all of your vastness; to not hold yourself in, and to never abandon yourself, your bigness, your radiance.

Forget everything you’ve heard—your too much-ness is a gift; oh yes, one that can heal, incite, liberate, and cut straight to the heart of things.

Do not be afraid of this gift, and let no one shy you away from it. Your too much-ness is magic, is medicine. It can change the world.

Don’t believe me? Check this: All of your favorite women, the ones who’ve made history, the ones who’ve lent their voices for change and have courageously given themselves permission to be exactly who they are, are too much women.

So please, Too Much Woman: Ask. Seek. Desire. Expand. Move. Feel. Be.

Make your waves, fan your flames, give us chills.

Please, rise.
We need you.

Author: Ev’Yan Whitney

Gone Like The Wind

My ex is gone. He’s left the province.

The news of his departure was a shock to me. We had agreed we were friends and amicable. I was taken aback when a  friend of his showed up at my door to say Mojo was gone without a goodbye.

I don’t have a lot of details about his leaving. Some people say he’s gone on an extended walkabout, others speculate more darkly about is departure even questioning if he has decided to take his own life. The details I DO have are uncertain and I don’t feel a need to add my own concerns to all the speculation because I have no idea what his choices will be from here.

What I DO know? He isn’t dead. I’m pretty sure I would feel that in my soul.  But he’s left for a long while. I know he will be in contact with me when he is ready and able, I just feel that. But in the meantime? I know he is troubled and anxious.

Everything else is left in the unknown at the moment.  Where he is. How to contact him. What he is deciding to do from here. When he may be back.

I’m used to sending him messages throughout the day. I’m used to emailing him funny pictures I see or videos of my cat that no one else would appreciate. I’m used to him. Just him. Being here.

I have this huge hole in me. It was one thing to be fighting or seeing less of each other to help heal. It’s another thing entirely that he is GONE. Without a way to contact him. He’s been the one I lean on for so long. Even when we have been apart he’s my source of strength and my strongest cheerleader until now.

I feel alone. I feel lost. And I’m a bit scared because I have no idea what this means from here.

Visiting A Friend

It was a couple of months ago, at one of the park parties, I challenged myself to meet some new people. It’s a difficult challenge with my social anxiety but I did meet someone (A Goal Met ) who is becoming someone I consider an important and special friend in my life.

He doesn’t actually live in the park, his mother does. He’s had the opportunity to visit her several times over the course of the summer. Each time he has been here we’ve had the chance to visit once or twice.

He’s been a refreshing friend! I always make sure to ask about how his summer is going, and his girlfriend, etc. He asks a lot about my personal journey and sooner or later the talk has turned to everything from paganism to addictions. Our discussions have been so open but without any judgement. We’ve only seen each other every couple of months but every conversation picks up right where it left off.

It was such a nice surprise today when the knock at my door was him. We visited for a little over an hour before he had to run off. Talking with him is like therapy. It was comforting to tell him about all the things going on in my life in the past couple months. It was a nice distraction from the news last night of my dad’s passing.

He leaves in two days and will be gone a much longer time this time.  It’s too bad. But I know I’m already looking forward to the next visit with my new friend.

 

Goodbye, Richard

Richard and shaunda

Richard Wayne Warren Sr. was my biological father. I have fond memories of my earliest years when he was in my life. Even when I was a toddler he would take me into work with him. He was a proud daddy, I’m told by anyone who knew him back then. He left when I was quite young but somehow I always knew he loved me.

He was gone from my life for a very long time. I had long forgiven him when the first letter arrived. He wanted to apologize and repair our relationship.

We were writing letters. In the past three years I have received pictures, stories about my family, connecting with my sister and healing for Richard and I.

I found out today that he passed away. He’s been sick for a while and I knew I wouldn’t have much longer with our letters but I was really caught off guard by the news.

I’m going to miss his notes and pictures. I’m going to treasure the gifts he gave me. Like a connection with my family. And his favorite gardening book that he wrote notes in for me and sent me with seeds from his organic farm. His beets and beans and carrots are what I have in my garden.

Rest In Peace Richard Warren! I loved you and I wish I knew you longer ❤

Richard

Water Balloon Volleyball With Irene

Last night was the park’s Fall Meet N’ Greet! The park owner provides the booze and main course for everyone in the park. Others bring appies, salads and desserts, if they can (I took Caramel Pecan Cheesecake). It’s always a fun time!

I made a concentrated effort to participate in activities. I want to be seen as someone who takes part in their community. I ended up playing water balloon volleyball. Two people per towel, three towels per side, tossing and catching water balloons in their towels.

I lucked out by being hooked up with the most awesome woman here… Irene!

Irene is the kind of woman I always wanted to grow up to be. Mother, grandmother, wife, gardener, neighbour….  she’s one of those ‘keeps quiet’ but everyone should recognize her because holy heck is she an amazing woman!

Irene is strong. She is small (fun-sized) but I see her take control of two big dogs and they obey! She walks EVERY day. She takes the dogs or her granddaughter or all and walks kilometers every day. She washes the family vehicle two or three times a week. She gardens. She is planning the local park garage sale and taking care of all the detail s for everyone.

I truly admire her. She is the kind of woman that is inspirational! I love her spirit. I cherish her kindness. I see her quiet example of kindness to all.

And, damn, if that gal can’t play a mean game of water balloon volleyball! The two of us together had so much ‘snap’ to our towel toss. No one was keeping real score but I think Irene and I were the winners last night!

 

Making Amends

My ex (Mojo) and I had some people come into our lives when we first arrived to the island. This couple was very familiar with our past situation and they have mutual friends with us. We looked each other up online and started to become acquainted.

I really like the husband as a friend to us. His wife was more someone I tolerated because I enjoyed the budding ‘couple’ friendship and potential for community. But we butted heads. We are very different people.

When Mojo and I separated they are the people who took him under their wing. Her and I had some very belligerent online conversations about all that and I know I offended her deeply.

If I want/need to see my ex? It’s better it happens where he lives.  So I go there. However, even though I am allowed to be there? She is so upset by my very presence and it taking it out on him.

It’s time for the apology. I know I’ve needed to find a way to make peace with her and I’ve come to realize the things that were my part in the situation. So here it is. It’s being hand-delivered shortly!

Dear (name removed),

I’m writing this note to hopefully bring some peaceful amends to our current situation.

I know I sent you some messages that were awful. I want to apologize for talking to you the way I did. I was trying to communicate my own problem and instead I attacked you personally. I used the worst verbiage, swearing and name-calling, as my mechanism of self defense. I apologize for using inappropriate language and personal attacks on you. I’m getting healing and trying to communicate better.

I appreciate any of the ways you have helped me in the past. I am grateful for the way your family and community continue to help (my ex). I think you have a heart with the best intentions.

I want to live peacefully with all my community, especially the people who have (my ex) there. I want to be around him without making conflict for him in his community.

I am still healing. I know I am not ready to TALK to you about this. But I am open to a dialogue online. In the meantime, there are things I can promise as my effort as peace and reconciliation:

  1.  I will say hello. I won’t ignore you. I can be polite and cordial.
  2. I’m not looking to disrespect you or throw my presence in your face. I will be discreet when I am invited to visit (my ex). And, again, polite and respectful if we so happen to see each other.

What I am cautiously and respectfully requesting?

Please don’t confront me. I’m asking if you NEED a face-to-face discussion with me please respect I’m still in a very delicate place of healing. Let me know you need to talk and I will prepare myself to be ready for open discussion instead of being put in a position of defense.

You can choose to forgive me or not. Regardless, my apology is sincere and I hope it brings some peace to BOTH our homes.

From the heart,

Shaunda

Beet Soup

beet soup.JPG

Today, when I started to feel like I am not doing enough for my own I healing I chose to face that LIE by making Beet Soup.

How does making Beet Soup help me face untruth and recognize I AM moving forward?

Most of the ingredients came from my garden. So as I cut them or prepare them I am reminded they are the fruits of my labour. It reminds me I am not as “on my couch” as my mind tries to tell me I am. I made those vegetables grow, I harvested them and now I am preparing them. None of that was done from my couch!

Other ingredients came from other people’s gardens. The garlic was a gift from my ex, the onions from a neighbour, the carrots from a friend. But all grown with their energy and shared with their love. That reminds me I am still getting out of my shell. Despite my anxiety and my hibernation? I still engage with people and I create relationships where people care about me enough to share their gardens. It means I’m doing enough where I am at. I shouldn’t bash myself for not socializing. Obviously I AM doing enough. I have friends who share with me.

I made a choice to eat healthy! I made enough soup to eat some, freeze some and give some away. But it represents three to four meals that have the vitamins and nutrients my body really needs right now. I thought about that purposely as I made it. I know I put healing energy into it.

So? I made Beet Soup today. I feel very good about the things I am moving forward on in my life.

How I made it today?

Recipe:

From my garden?

  • Four small to medium potatoes chopped very small
  • Two LARGE beets peeled and grated
  • Two medium tomatoes chopped (put in all the seed and juices)

From others gardens?

  • One  HUGE carrot cut in quarters then diced.
  • One small onion diced
  • Half a bulb of purple (I think Russian) garlic chopped fine.
  • One handful of fresh chopped Parsley.

DIRECTIONS:

Put all the ingredients in a 2 quart slow cooker and add water until 3/4 full then one can of chicken stock (the small kind). BEFORE stirring cover the top with a layer of fresh ground seas salt and fresh ground three color pepper.  Turn it on HIGH and stir it every once in a while as you remember it and smell it. Turn it on low once the veggies are a bit soft. Keep it there until ready to serve it. It freezes well and also tastes even more delicious with cabbage!