I’ve always been a person that thrived with routine. I don’t know if it’s the Capricorn in me coming out or what, but somehow in the midst of the artistic chaos that is the rest of me, the floor is always based on some sort of routine. I always wake up the same time every day (unless I’m sick) usually even without aid of an alarm clock. I typically stick with a rotation of foods for breakfasts and lunches and try to take my vast numbers of supplements and medications at the same time and in the same manner. I also have certain days for certain chores which includes shopping days.

Wake: 6:30 am (I am currently in sinus hell-worse than normal-so I may or may not get out of bed when I wake up)
Nose spray
Dog walk on the bayou
Feed dogs
Make breakfast

-avocado and orange
-berries and almond yogurt
-sweet potato and egg
Take pills
-Vitamin D
-Vitamin B
-Flax Oil
Mid Morning
-Oregano Oil
-leftovers from dinner
-whatever else I can rustle up in the kitchen
Take More Pills
-Vitamin D
-Mucinex D (depending on how bad the sinus is)
-Piece of fruit or almonds for snack
-cook at home at least 5 days a week (one night vegetarian-everyone eats it)
-Eucalyptus steam for the faceholes
Take More Pills
-Other hormones

Do y’all have a daily, weekly, monthly routine?


18 years ago I spent my birthday miserably pregnant with horrible “morning sickness” that lasted all day. I was anxious and excited at my not so distant future life as a mother and couldn’t wait to meet the little person I was carrying inside me.

18 years later and I’m still anxious and excited but for vastly different reasons. I know that little person now, only he’s definitely not so little anymore and hasn’t been for some time. I have been trying to adjust to all these changes as best as I can, but frankly as much as I love the man he’s become, I still miss my little guy. The end of this week is final call for ordering his cap and gown. We get mail from Art Institutes, Culinary Academies and the military all jockeying to own a peace of his future. He will be registering for selective service this year. He will be graduating high school this year. It will be his 18th birthday in 5 months. He’ll graduate in 6. And that graduation is on the 20th anniversary of my own graduation from high school.

This year holds BIG changes and BIG milestones…just like 18 years ago.

I can scarcely believe we are here already.

in 2013 I’d like to

I’ll admit to having high hopes for this coming year…mainly because the past two years have been an utter crapfest. Please let the streak end already, universe, okay?

These are not resolutions or goals or anything so strict as that but rather a bunch a things I hope will be accomplished or will occur this coming year.

*New table for the entry way, move all mail processing to that table and off the bar/buffet thing, including the paper recycling. Get cute bin for the paper recycling and move boots out there plus shoe basket for by the door.

*Paint entry way area a different color.

*New rug for the living room. Already picked out, just go to Ikea and get it already.

*Paint guest bathroom a different color

*Rip out the last of the nasty carpet in our bathroom. Build a vanity solution ourselves since there is no such thing as a stupid L-shaped vanity in normal society anymore (UGH HATE) tile the floor (GET THE BLASTED TILE OUT OF THE GARAGE FINALLY) and paint the walls.

*Continue my acts of kindness. Once a month (at least) on or around my birthday day (so the 14th) do something kind for someone, anyone, to promote good.

*Meal plan, shop accordingly and maybe hate cooking dinner a little less? I hate cooking dinner. HATE COOKING DINNER so much right now, maybe this will help. Also have family meeting to get boy input on what they would like to see on the menu. Cook from cookbooks at least once a week.

*Travel more. This is always on my list, will always be on my list, I am a happier person when I am going elsewhere. Fact. But I’d like to add “travel with FRIENDS” this year. I miss people. Simple truth.

*Camp. The weather was utter shit last year (and the year before) and I really would love to just go commune with nature a bit and if we could do it with a group? All the better.

*Get back to yoga. I need it.

*Start the weight training my PT wanted me to do months ago. I am all out of whack again and I really need to address it before I need to start paying $90 a visit to get him to put me back right again.

*Have a game night with friends.

*Get out more. I have been a hermit due to the years of suck and it showing in my general stress level around the general public.

*Related: date nights with my husband, more time with friends and loved ones.

*Related (and via Twitter last night): beach house/lake house/hill country house rental with friends, play Cards Against Humanity

*Get at least one tattoo…more if I can.

*Work on the photo business/my skillset. My business is off to a bit of a slow start and it’s easy to get defeated so…I really need to just buck up and keep putting myself out there, trying harder, improving myself.

*Get a new car. My car, she is old and giving us LOTS OF TROUBLE and I’m OVER IT. We need to have that money pit behind us. As soon as the bills/husband’s car/money situation allows, we are getting it handled.

*Purge, organize, streamline, live with less. We need to pare down the junk in this house. I can’t take the clutter. CAN’T.

*Get a guest bed solution/room/office situation sorted so people could visit and stay here if they wanted.

*Overhaul my wardrobe. I did the “wear your shit” last year and now I have a good idea what I have that I love and what I have that I hate and what I have that I don’t even touch. Now it’s time to get rid of stuff and buy only stuff that I KNOW I love. I also have identified what “gets me” so it’s easier to buy things right the first time.


a few things

It’s been a week since I launched my site and in that time I’ve also set up a twitter @JustE_Photo and as of today a FB page either of which could use some love so feel free to follow/like if you so desire.

Friday we bought Sprog his first car. Holy crap y’all. As much as it worries me and as much as it stresses me out that he’s driving on his own? I am so happy to never look at another car posting on Craigslist again. I’ve referred to Craigslist as Walmart in writing and OH MAN is it ever. I swear that looking at those listings was simultaneously making me dumber and threatening to make my eyeballs bleed. SO AWFUL. And the cars? For what they expected people to pay? Can we just say delusions of grandeur? People be huffin paint or hittin the crack pipe.

This is his baby

It’s a ’94 Honda Accord which would be one year older than he is and has manual windows and door locks. It also had the lowest mileage (102,000) of anything we read about or looked at, with close to perfect interior and minimal body issues. The trunk does seem to be leaking and it looks like it’s been popped in the butt (which is causing the trunk leak) but everything else is structurally sound (knock on wood) and he is super excited about it so that is the good thing. It passed state inspection with flying colors and the boys spent all weekend working on it. In fact we all did as a family. I scrubbed the interior out with a bucket of hot water and bleach as well as cleaned all the windows and helped Sprog Armorall it after its disinfecting. The boys changed out a non working interior light and reverse lights, removed the moldy trunk liner and checked out some stuff under the hood. I helped Sprog recondition the headlights and then on Sunday my softhearted husband bought the kid a new stereo system and back speakers since the old one wouldn’t work with his iPod and one speaker was blown out.

Today we are headed to the courthouse to try and get the title/registration so he can finally drive it. It’s been sitting since Friday and it’s making him CRAZY.

Next week is my last insurance approved PT appointment and my therapist and I will sit down and evaluate if we will be going back to the insurance to extend or if they will end. I am really worried that insurance will fight me on continuing…my headaches are SO MUCH BETTER now that I am worried what will happen if I stop and the last two visits my collarbone has been out again so I’m wondering what is going to happen with that alignment once he’s not there forcing it back into place every week.

Finally, I haven’t even started decorating for Halloween this year. I KNOW. I would like a break from stress for a moment so I can get my creative back, please.

let’s get physical (therapy)

It’s been almost 10 visits to physical therapy now, so I figured it was time to bore y’all with an in-depth update on how it’s going.

First, a little update on cost/how this is hitting ye olde pocket book. Insurance has cleared me for 20 visits with a $50 co-pay. We have a flex spending account with the amount of our deductible in it ($500) because we planned on me having my colonoscopy this year (um and last year, neither of which has happened) for my digestive issues. Instead, that money has been going to covering these appts. Originally, I thought it was going to cover my MRI but in the grand wisdom of insurance this year’s MRI didn’t cost me anything, when last year’s MRI cost me $500. I don’t get it. So anyway, I have like 2 more visits before we pay anything more completely out of pocket.

We had a little “State of the Jess” discussion at my last appt because my therapist needs to send an update letter to my PC.

Things I learned in that discussion:

Overall, I’m healing fairly well.
My “pelvic stability” is greatly improved and my hips have remained in alignment for the last two visits so that’s really good but I drop them when I walk so I am working on learning to properly control those muscles now (this is really effing hard, btw)
The original dislocated rib isn’t so much an area of concern even though my back continues with it’s firey escapades more often than not and probably will continue well into the future…over time it should continue to decrease in intensity
I can now feel it when my spine is shifting and pop it back into place myself which is disheartening and strangely liberating at the same time.
The new areas of concern continue to be problematic in that my collarbone (upper most rib on my left side) is out about every other visit (this hurts like hell to get wrestled back in place, btw. it’s a very inconvenient rib location) and my neck is out pretty much every visit. He chalks this up to the fact that I carry every single bit of stress in my shoulders and neck (HI this has been my ENTIRE LIFE) and in his opinion is largely responsible for my headaches. He spends a good portion of the beginning of every appt just trying to release my shoulder muscles and I spend a lot more time at home trying to stretch them out.

I probably would do well to take up yoga again and remove even more sources of stress from my life but unfortunately I am stuck with some of them. I need to figure out some better coping strategies.

I take far less advil, excedrin migraine, insert whatever over the counter pain medication I could get my hands on here, than I have in YEARS since I started this whole thing and honestly I feel like physical therapy is one of the BEST things insurance companies could pay for in regards to the health of their patients. Read $50 is way too high of a co-pay for this to be easily accessible compared to the benefit it provides.

it’s been 11 years this august

and at some point, I thought I would stop waking up thinking I was pregnant only to run my hand over my belly and miss the baby that will never be there.

I hate those dreams…the ones that are so real, they leave me with an all day ache I hardly feel able to discuss. The ones that leave tears tugging at the backs of my eyes for a life that is never going to happen…for an acceptance of a situation that is done… IT’S DONE and over…but apparently is never fully going to get here. Will I be a wrinkled old woman, bent and grayed and still wake with these dreams?

My hand feeling for that phantom swollen belly like soldiers with their aching amputated limbs?

I thought I couldn’t bear knowing that I would never have another pregnancy…but what I really can’t bear is an entire life being haunted this way.

and just like that, it’s back to real life

Lately we’ve been sort of social, demented and sad but social, right? (movie quote can’t help it)

With “hermit mode” the normal MO around here hasn’t really been all about getting out much but since The Blathering we’ve been this crazy old-timey version of ourselves. The ones that actually have social type plans outside of the house with people other than each other.

The hubs has had work happy hours. I’ve had volunteer work (more on that later). We had friends over for game night, met them out at BW3 and babysat the adorable daughter of one so they could all go to that Breaking Dawn POS (No offense to y’all that like it but my opinion will not be swayed 😉 )

Yes, I will do this dorky crap in public
I’ll do near anything to make a kid smile
Including finding The Fresh Beat Band on Netflix and plying her with Nilla Wafers

We’ve both done dinner with a former elementary school pal of my husband and his wife that he reconnected with at the Halloween themed wedding and who happens to live like a a mile away (which I totally stressed about the potential awk of but turned out to be really enjoyable). We did our traditional trip to Santa’s Wonderland the day before Thanksgiving.

It’s of course very old-timey and Texas themed even with the lights everywhere and they aren’t all about the vegetarians (baked potato was cooked in brisket grease served with bacon even though I said no meat and the BBQ sauce had MEAT IN IT, OMG) so this is what I had for dinner
A giant S’more. They have a fire pit and roasting forks and you get to make them yourself. I also had a huge bag of Kettle Korn and some coffee. Healthy up in this piece.

On the way out the door, we ran into my brother’s ex with our nephew so the boys were able to play for a little bit before we headed home.

Thanksgiving was SO MUCH FUN that I was drinking Jack Daniels Honey over ice at mom’s later. We had to hit both families in the same day so our day was 12 hours long, required 2 hours of driving and I did cooking on two days so that I could bring things to both houses but at least be able to eat dinner at mom’s.

Nieces and nephews were cute as always.

Although I didn’t get any pics of Luke and Connor from T-day because they were off playing at the park when we got to mom’s and I was too busy helping with dinner when they got home.

Saturday I had a wonderful 4 hour brunch with Andrea who had come into town to see her folks. It’s so nice to get to hang with a blogger, because that never happens here, but even nicer to hang out with one and seem to get along so well. I felt bad talking her ear off, though, like I should come with a “BIG TALKER” warning label.

We had big date night-ish type plans the rest of the weekend and were thwarted on Sat night because I got a monster headache and Sun because the hubs thought he was coming down with the dreaded man cold. This weekend is Santa Pub Crawl and our first ever attendance to that particular drunken festival so that should be…something.

And now I think we are reasonably caught up AND I used a whole lot of words and pictures to make up for my absence. Score!

Accent Vlog

Here is my accent vlog, apparently it’s make a whole bunch of videos week around here :-)

36 is never too late to learn

Every house I’ve lived in, I’ve always required a gas stove because I figured I could always cook when we inevitably lost power during a tropical storm or hurricane (we used to get those a lot, now we are in a drought so bad we are draining lakes to have water, WTF?).

The other night we had a storm and it actually rained! HUZZAH! Not enough to really make a lick of difference in the whole wicked drought thing. BOO! Unfortunately along with the rain came a crap ton of thunder, lightning and wind and so our power went on and off multiple times. The dogs freaked out, Maddie convinced it was the end times tried to bury herself into Sprog’s couch or bolt out the back door again because the UPS beeping scares her so badly or maybe it was my insane cussing from the kitchen that was doing it this time. See, I was mid baking of one full loaf and 8 mini loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread AND I was broiling up some nachos for dinner.


1) In pitch blackness broilers like to burn things, like chips, cheese or oh hey YOUR ARMS as you try to get the damn pan out of the oven.

2) The oven is DIGITALLY CONTROLLED so if the power stays off, there goes the oven and the broiler and OH YEAH YOUR TIMERS, YOU DUMBASS-good luck on knowing how long your baking had left.

3) Hey what temp is the oven when the power comes back on? YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE! HAHA!

It was 10 rounds of restarting the oven, 10 rounds of me screaming and cursing the heavens all the while trying to calm the dogs, rescue the burnt/burning nachos, yell at my son to get out of the damn storm and tell him no he was not chasing the storm on HIS BICYCLE UNDER THE POWER LINES AT THE BAYOU. Meanwhile, Wills is trying to find the candles and the matches and the lights are cutting in and out like a damn discotheque from a german stereotype 80’s show. UGH.

The power did finally come back on and stay on and the loaves did finish baking and seem none the worse for the experience

Mini loaves

but I can’t say for certain because they already were a bit unusual being eggless, so I had a lowered expectation from the outset.

Projects and cookery

Over a week since I posted last? I would love to say it was because I was off on some fabulous vacation, or hell ANY vacation, but that isn’t the case. I’ve just been spending my days doing chores, babysitting the nephew
Nephew playing the Wii
making stuff for the shop

(but then not actually getting it really photographed and posted-feh)

making yummy foodstuffs
and working on some small projects around the house
Our song, for the gallery wall

I’ve also been trying to swim daily. It seems like so much stuff but really I’ve been fighting head and allergy problems again so I feel like I could/should be doing so much more. Plus we had a huge problem last week with Sprog’s dentist and it really messed a lot of stuff up (still not resolved unfortunately) so I’ll need to get on that this coming week.

Tonight we are going to Pasadena for a niece’s b-day and I need to get her gift situation sorted. Her party is actually tomorrow but it’s being held at 3 pm OUTSIDE in TEXAS in JULY and there is no freaking way with all my head issues that is going to happen. I think I would probably just pass right the eff out from heat stroke. Plus we FINALLY have Sprog for our whopping two whole days this month and we want to get to spend time with him doing what he wants to do. Going tonight instead is hopefully a good compromise, I don’t want her to be disappointed.

I hope everyone is enjoying flip flop shopping! Have a great weekend.