Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Time I Cooked Something From Scratch and It Didn’t Suck

There are days when cooking nutritious foods seems impossible. Between my food allergy, migraines and bipolar, the thought of doing anything more than microwaving a hot dog is overwhelming. But I do my best to cook my own food when I can and I get a lot of satisfaction out of making something new that tastes good. I’ve been feeling queasy the last few days, not real sure why and I really wanted soup to help my stomach. Sure I could have opened a can of Campbells’, nothing wrong with that, but I really wanted to make soup from scratch, like my grandmother does.

I should preface this section by saying I’m a lousy cook. I can make a few good meals, and that’s it. I’m also not a nutritionist so sometimes the things I eat are less than healthy (see above referenced hot dog). My grandmother worked for 40 years as a sous chef, and sadly I did not inherit her skills. But I am adventurous, so I decided to give making my own soup a shot. Here’s the ingredient list of what I used:

1 quart sized box of chicken stock (Rachael Ray brand- gluten and MSG free)

10 oz of diced chicken breast

approx 5 oz spinach-egg noodles (gluten free)

2 bouillon cubes

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

a few sprigs of dried parsley (grown right here at the farmstead)

I started by pouring stock into a large pot and added in the chicken, bay leaf, parsley, bouillon cubes and pepper. I cooked the noodles separately in their own pot. I let the soup simmer covered for about 30 minutes and then added in the noodles. I let the soup with noodles simmer for about another 10 min. To make up for condensation during cooking, I added in another cup of water.You can add in more salt or pepper to taste, but keep in mind between the stock and the bouillon cubes, you already have a hefty amount of sodium. Also note that I did not use carrots, celery or onions, which of course you can do. I just don’t care for cooked carrots or celery and I was out of onions. You also don’t have to use nearly as much chicken or noodles, but I prefer a heartier soup so it is more of a meal. I imagine adding some gluten free flour would thicken the soup a touch more.


Pardon my pepper mess

One other important note: as I said before, I am not a nutritionist. I assume if you follow any kind of gluten-free, vegan, paleo diet, you already read labels. Just because something states it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s calorie, fat, sodium or bad stuff-free. I was really happy the soup tasted quite good. The spinach egg noodles are a little squishy for my liking, so maybe I won’t cook them separately before adding to the broth. But it did sure boost my confidence knowing I’d made something good by winging it.

Do you have any recipes you created by winging it/being creative? If so, share them with us!!

Filed under: gluten free Tagged: domestic, farmstead grown, gluten-free, homemade, recipe

Reality is biting me

I am smothering again. Stress, problems, dealing with people (including my own kid) struggling with moods and anxiety and depression…

I have a hair trigger temper these days, which is at odds with how numb I feel. And it’s not a good numb, it’s that “end of the line” numb where you have just had all you can stand of reality and the minutae that comprise life.

Today it’s a desktop computer that keeps crashing. Yet no virus or malware is turning up and if it does i will be shocked considering the wifi card won’t even allow it to access the net 90% of the time.

I need to get a lithium level done tomorrow. I hate going to the hospital to use the lab. Hate it.

My kid won’t stop talking, she absolutely refuses to entertain herself, she has to be glued to me at all times. UNLESS her rude little friends come around then I don’t exist.

The friends have me ready to drink bleach. All summer they would stay for hours. Now they knock on the door, play with her for five minutes then go play with other kids and leave her hanging. It doesn’t stop them from demanding food then leaving or getting a snack then leaving. They do this multiple times a day and it is making me insane. I have started putting the kibosh on play times, but they still come back to the door over and over in spite of being told not to. I hate those kids with a burning passion and it makes me feel shitty to say it but it is what it is. I have tried so hard to be patient and tolerant but at some point you get enough shoe prints on your back you retire as welcome mat.

I keep wondering though what happened. I dealt all summer with more grace than this. But I was manic from the Cymbalta and the mindset difference is astounding. It’s like I spent the entire summer happy drunk and am just now sobering up and seeing things for what they are.

Cripes, I didn’t take my lithium with food and now I have nausea from hell,  Morning sickness nausea has nothing on this shit. Time to go find a cracker or something.

I think I am losing my mind. Honestly. Cracking under the pressure. And it pisses me off. I have done everything I am supposed to do, tried so hard…and still the mental illness wins and reality bites me on the ass.

I no longer enjoy life, at all. I spend more time dreaming of the day when my number is up. That;s sad.

But at least I’m too depressed to do anything about it.

Maybe the new shrink next month will have some ideas. I won’t hold my breath though.


IMG_2226 IMG_2227Allo lovely folk out there!

My knitting has suffered this week; I’ve done pretty much nothing. I’ve got some booties on the go as a filler project; I’m slowly trying to learn how to knit in the round, and that’s making me not want to pick up my needles. But I did finish my hat, so obviously, I’ve got to share the pictorial evidence of this. :)

Past that, I’m still dragging and blah… but I’ll tell you guys more about that later this week. For now, back to drooling on the desk!


The post Snuggly! appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Bravery, Strength, and Intelligence

For maximum effect, please read this post while listening to Coldplay’s “The Scientist.”
“To my lovelies:
If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…
there is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is even if we’re apart…
I’ll always be with you.”
My Nanna, my mom and I all having these matching bracelets. On the surface, they express some pleasant thoughts, but as with most Winnie the Pooh quotes, they reveal profound truths in their simplicity.
While curled up in bed evening, I looked over at my bedside table and saw this bracelet. It would be easy to dismiss its words. I don’t feel particularly brave, strong, or smart right now. I feel awful. But maybe that is the bipolar talking. Maybe I need to readjust my perspective and think about the mental illness context of these words.
For me, bravery is not fighting a lion or starting a revolution. Bravery is fighting to end my cycle of codependency, trying to make new friends, and going to class even when I feel like hiding in my bed.
For me, strength is not running a marathon or lifting great weights. Strength is taking my medicine even when it makes me feel a little sick, getting rid of items I used to hurt myself, and writing instead of cutting.
For me, intelligence is not acing every test or always having the right answer. Intelligence is communicating my strengths and weaknesses with others, sharing my feelings, and adjusting my study schedule to accommodate my mood swings.
I am braver than I believe, stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think.
You are, too.

Part of me feels isolated and depressed

Something is not right with me today. I feel very sad and alone and as if no one cares or sees it. I don’t care about what tomorrow is going to be like because today is a huge black cloud. But I am not selfish. I am not going to put my depression on those around me. I won’t let it ruin my man’s day but I am so hurt. I don’t get why. I feel so hopeless and like hiding. I’ll probably go to my parents tomorrow and just leave my phone on silent. This too shall pass….or whatever.

Spa Sunday Goes Organic

A few months ago, I won a giveaway from and Nourish Organics. I got quite the haul- body wash, body lotion, body butter and hand soap all in their Lavender Mint scent. Nourish Organics bills itself as “concern free”- it’s gluten free, vegan, no animal testing and eco-friendly. The lavender mint scent isn’t overpowering. It also isn’t your grandmother’s lavender. The mint helps it stay fresh rather than cloying as lavender scented items can sometimes be.

The body wash does smell a tiny bit different from the body lotion. To me it smells like the air after a rainstorm.  I’m still using the products, though I have used their body wash in the vanilla almond scent previously. I really like the body wash. It doesn’t foam up like most commercial body washes do, but it does clean effectively. The body wash is non-drying and leaves skin very lightly scented. The body lotion doesn’t hydrate quite as long as I’d like, but I’ve got severely dry skin due to a side effect of a medication I use. I found the body butter worked better for the dry patches on my legs and it made my hands feel velvety. The first item I used was the hand wash. It has a great scent, rinses off easily and doesn’t dry out your hands.


It’s obvious I really like Nourish’s line of products. I also like the fact that they are a small company, they have quality items and gorgeous packaging. They recently released an argan oil line and facial skin care line that I’m eager to try. I also appreciate their “concern free” policy. SInce I must avoid gluten, it’s great to find an effective line of gluten free products. Nourish is certified organic by Oregon Tilth and it’s nice to know they do not test on animals. But concern free doesn’t mean they skimp as far as anything else is concerned. You’re still getting excellent products and they’re reasonably priced.

Check out Nourish at, also available thru!!

Filed under: gluten free, natural-organic beauty Tagged: beauty, cruelty free, gluten-free, Nourish Organic, organic, product review, vegan

Banging my head against a brick wall

I can't be responsible for someone else's actions, can I? I am a mother and as a mother I will always feel partly responsible for what my son does even though he's not a child anymore but I can't tell him what to do. So why do I feel like it's my fault, the fact that he's fucked up again. He was doing so well. Everyone said so. The truth is he wasn't doing so well and I should have realised it. I knew it was too good to be true for him to stay drug free after years of being an addict. I should have insisted he had some sort of professional help. No one can be addicted to heroin for years and be expected to cope in the real world without proper help.
My sister rang to say they'd found prescriptions for methadone in his room. They weren't in his name. He obviously couldn't manage without and has been buying the stuff. My first thought was that he must be back on the heroin. So he's let everyone down and lied to everybody again. Why am I not surprised? He's now broken the trust of everyone who has bent over backwards to try and help him. My sister and her husband won't have him to stay at theirs now, no matter what he does....and I can't blame them. He's going to end up homeless again and I know what that means. If he's not using heroin now then it's only a matter of time before he does. If he's homeless he'll seek help from the very people he needs to stay away from, the dealers and other addicts.
I've managed to talk to him once. He's blaming everyone but himself. He swears he hasn't used heroin. He says he was under so much pressure to get off the methadone quickly, start work and prove himself that he felt he couldn't tell anyone or ask for help. He said he couldn't cope with his moods and methadone was the only relief. I feel sure that he has some sort of mood disorder, like me. Maybe bipolar, maybe not. I've tried before to get him assessed but it's impossible while he's still using. I'm sure he's self medicating but it's a vicious circle. How do they differentiate between mental health and substance abuse and how one thing affects the other? I do feel for him. I know what it's like to have everyone thinking you're fine and telling you how well you're doing, when really you're in bits. I can understand why he kept it all to himself but at the same time he should have been man enough to talk to people.
I haven't been able to contact him again. I have no idea if he is ok. I don't know what to do. I don't know if there is anything I can do. I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I feel helpless. I just want him to be alright.

When Doctors Discriminate: Please Share!

Reblogged from Pride in Madness:

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"At least 14 studies have shown that patients with a serious mental illness receive worse medical care than “normal” people. Last year the World Health Organization called the stigma and discrimination endured by people with mental health conditions “a hidden human rights emergency.”"- Juliann Garey, Aug 10th/13

When I was 13 years old my Dad took me to the ER at a hospital in Oshawa, one city over from our town.

Read more… 417 more words

I was denied pain medication after a major surgery (fusion of two intervertebral discs in my neck) because I wrote “Xanax” on my list of medications on the pre-op sheet, and it was assumed that I was a drug addict (a nurse told me so.) This was in 1987. Ever since then I have omitted my psych drugs when filling out a drug list, and have paid out of pocket for psychiatric care so it wouldn’t be on my records. Recently I stopped doing that because I take so many of them that it would be dangerous to mix certain of them with anesthesia drugs, and I have been treated markedly differently by hospital staff (“crank”) and doctors. In fact, doctors missed a major diagnosis, assuming that chronic diarrhea was “irritable bowel syndrome” when in fact I had none of the symptoms of that, and turned out (after I demanded genetic testing) to have a rare form of Cystic Fibrosis. I pick and choose which doctors I tell about my psych diagnoses on a “need to know” basis, because the stigma causes them to immediately assume that any symptoms I have must be “psychogenic” and therefore dismissed, or else I am denied pain medication on the assumption that I must be a substance abuser, which I am not and never have been. There is a study (I don’t have time to search for it right now, but if you need me to I will) reported on Medscape for physicians documenting that people presenting to hospitals with chest pain received different care if they disclosed psych diagnoses than people who didn’t, had longer waiting times and increased morbidity and mortality as a result.

Your Story, Part One – Who the hell did I marry?

Reblogged from Don't Tell Me To Cheer Up:

My main goal for this blog right now is to share the stories of people that are suffering from mental illness in many different ways, and from many different angles. The following was written by my husband:

"When I was 18, my idea of marriage was living with my wife, struggling through school, freedom from those tyrannical parents, eventually having kids, and then someday retiring together and dying of old age.

Read more… 1,465 more words

This is it. This is me. This is us. The saddest part is, I don't think my husband will ever understand...

Making a Place Called Safe

“A Public Health Case for a Safer Injection Facility in San Francisco, CA”

This is a film that highlights an issue that most of us would rather not think about: the day-to-day lives and the moment-to-moment needs of intravenous drug users. In the film, we learn that drug users are people too, with their own set of special needs. The chief of these needs is a safe place to shoot up, without having to worry about unsafe conditions.

It tugged at my heart that many of the IVDUs (Intra-Venous Drug Users) who were interviewed voiced concern about shooting up in places where they might be seen by children, families, pregnant women….it affected me in two ways: first, that the IVDUs were really concerned that they might cause trauma or other harm to these groups that they identified as vulnerable. Second, it is clear that they feel that they are a potential source of contamination, just by seeing them, and that makes them a lesser person. They feel like lesser people who don’t want to contaminate the “professional people,” as one man said, simply by being who they are: junkies, crackheads, meth freaks…..PEOPLE. So there is a grass roots movement run by former and present drug users to create safe space for IVDUs to use their own drugs without haste, using clean equipment, in a respectful, nonjudgemental atmosphere. I’m for it. As one man in the film said, drug use is not going to go away. The “War on Drugs” has been a dismal failure. I am SO on board with this. If my life circumstances allowed it. I would be right there, right now.