A Series from My Mind’s Eye: Part one.

Today happens to be my father’s birthday. March 5th. He would have been 89. Happy Heavenly Birthday Daddy.

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “Mine”.

Memory. All alone in the moonlight. I can smile at the old days. I was beautiful then. I remember the time I knew what happiness was. Let the memory live again.

I’m hoping, you recognize the lyrics from the Broadway Musical, Cats. With this series of posts, I am going to be reminiscing about a piece of my life. A portion where My memories are few and more often than not, memories of others. The memories of my Father.

Why are my memories the recollections of others? Quite simply, I was six years old when he passed away. I have about six memories that are genuinely mine. Some are not memories of my father specifically, but the circumstances surrounding his death and the days that followed. They play in my head as though they were a compilation video of Super 8 film home movie recordings.

The bee sting~ I recall being in our back yard. There were more, Violets, Clover and Creeping Charley than grass. Daddy was weeding in the flower beds. I can remember keeping track of him in my peripheral sight line. Feeling as though, if I couldn’t see him, I would then be “lost”. I was busy collecting clover blossoms. I was making a bouquet for my mother, which I knew would be placed in a tiny vase and set on the kitchen window above the sink. Just as had been done numerous times before. As many of you know, if there is clover, there will be bees. Busy little bees, collecting the pollen and nectar they need to survive. Also, I hate shoes. So, little me, took them off to be able to feel the sun warmed grass under my feet. As I wandered, I stepped on a bee. I must have made a terrible noise. Daddy came running. Scooped me up. Bolted into the house and called out to my mother. They worked in tandem to fix my foot. Daddy’s kisses and Mommy’s medicine (what I would grow up to learn was a baking soda paste).

Learning my address and phone number~ The summer before Kindergarten, my parents taught me my address. My father was an elementary school teacher, and my mother a former children’s librarian. So, of course, I was an early reader. My father had a package of “tag board strips” (not sure if that is the correct name. Think of poster board thickness). They were PINK. Anything pink could hold my attention. He carefully, wrote out our address, in “teacher” handwriting. Then, on another strip, delicately inscribing our phone number. I recall being enthralled with the penmanship. Together, He and I used masking tape circles on the back of the tag strips and put them on the wall next to the telephone.

I’m finding it difficult to close this post. Perhaps, because these thoughts are as precious as diamonds. Some are very basic. Others, will be more detailed. I hope the reader can feel the love and affection I have for my Father. Stay tuned to Honestly, Carrie for a few more views from My Mind’s Eye.

Honestly,

Carrie

Balance.

How does a person determine the “important” things in life. Then, how does that person prioritize the important things? How do we achieve a balanced life.

I’m fairly certain that most people have heard or seen a presentation of “Life in a Jar.” There are several versions, this is mine.

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A person is presented with a jar. It is determined to be “empty”. Golf balls are added to the empty jar. These balls represent the necessary parts of our lives ~ God, Family, House, Food, Job, Car… etc. A question is posed. Is the jar full? The common response, Yes. It is full of golf balls. The demonstrator then adds sand to the jar. The sand fills all the visible space within the jar. Representing the second tier of what we determine to be important to us, mostly recreational things. The things that take up our spare time… etc. The question is posed once again, Is the jar full? Again, the common response, Yes. The demonstrator then takes a glass of water. Pouring it into the jar with the golf balls and the sand. Effectively filling the jar by filling in the space between the sand and golf balls. Cementing an image of a full and complete life. The demonstrator, then proposes the idea that even though we feel our lives are full, with just the balls and the sand. There is always room for our soul. That, we quite often forget ourselves, when listing all the things that take up space in our lives.

Within the “first tier” of the importance ladder, I think I’m doing well within the parameters of expectation. I have a personal relationship with God. I have an amazing family, both immediate and extended. A comfortable home. “Life” is pretty darn good. It’s the second and third tiers that have me walking the tight rope.

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So what are my second tier items? My “recreational” things. The items in my life that bring me joy. The short list (in no particular order): Honestly Carrie, Crochet/knitting, Recipes- 2 projects: A hand written recipe book for my daughter. A recipe book that chronicles multiple recipe boxes that belonged to my mother. Topping off the list is Camp Carrie, my in home child care business. Which could be accounted for in my first tier, but I like doing it, so second tier it is. I enjoy all of these things. However, I’m having trouble bringing any of them to fruition.

I asked my husband how he would go about completing multiple projects. His suggestion was to do the least enjoyable item first. As well as, concentrating on one project at a time. Doing each project to the best of your ability. He is a pretty level headed guy.

I’ve decided to take his advice. One at a time. Now, how to “rank” them? I don’t have any that would take the prize for “least liked”. As I look at this list, there are a few pastimes that could earn income. Camp Carrie, Honestly, Carrie, and crochet/knitting (maybe on Etsy). These projects, logically, should take precedence. Camp Carrie, let’s be real. I get to play with and watch these little people learn and grow. Not to mention the perk of a steady source of income. Honestly, Carrie and crochet/knitting both hold a hopeful possibility of generating income. That leaves the two recipe projects. I have to ask myself if one is more important than the other. I started the handwritten book first. It is only right that it receives my attention first.

Tier three. My Soul. This is the easiest to ignore. To push aside and not make time for. I am learning beginners yoga and meditation. I pray and spend time listening for God. Every now and then, I go on a mini shopping spree. As I try to describe the things I do to enrich my soul, I find that the projects from tier two and the “necessary” items of tier one, all help to keep my jar full.

I feel it is important to have the mixture of all the things contained within the three tiers. To successfully balance them is a tricky undertaking. By finding that balance, we can live full and complete lives.

Honestly,

Carrie

Overwhelmedness – fighting depression and anxiety.

Do you ever feel like you have too much going on? I have been feeling that “overwhelmedness” lately. I realize, if I were to compare “My Stuff” to anyone else, I would probably feel ashamed. “My Stuff”, can barely hold a candle to a lot of people’s “Stuff”.

Did you notice the negative thing I did in the introduction paragraph? One of the most frequent and harmful things I tend to do is, minimize the importance of… Me. I tend to say things to myself like, “My Stuff” can barely hold a candle to other people’s “Stuff”. Effectively, minimizing the significance of “My Stuff”. “My Stuff” are pieces of the whole. Without which, I would not be who I am. I have emotional “Stuff”. Mental “Stuff”. Physical “Stuff”. Last but not least, the “Stuff” that falls into the category of daily life. All of this “Stuff”, has an effect upon each individual aspect of the happenings in my life. Whether it is taken in the daily aspect or in a greater length of time. None of which is easy to manage on a singular plain. Of course, we all know, all of these “parts” must be dealt with together. The magic pill is finding a method or path to “handle all the “Stuff“” at the same time.

I acknowledge, that each individual person, must find their own “magic pill”. All I can offer is the manner in which I am approaching the juggling act, that is my life. I will also make the statement; NO ONE wants to feel the way that anxiety/depression makes them feel!

None of the following is easy.

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First step, acceptance. I am built differently than every other person… in the world. My “normal”, the ability I have to juggle the “Stuff” is… okay. I don’t mean “okay”, as in “so-so”. I mean there is absolutely nothing wrong with my juggling. When I am able to feel great about the methods I am using, on a day by day, all the balls are in the air. Life is Great.

If I feel things are “good” not “great”, I have trained myself to recognize that there may be an impending decrease in my self-worth. I take a look into my bag of tricks – the coping methods I have learned throughout the many stages of my “Self-healing”. I start with “Grounding”, a minute by minute. I literally stop what I am doing. Recognize that my feet are solid on the ground. I can feel the air moving through my nose to my chest and back out through my mouth. I tell myself, “I am safe”. I can pick up the dropped ball, and move through re-incorporating it into my routine.

I use my faith as an opportunity. I pray. I ask God to take the “stuff” I am struggling with from my plate. Enter the phrase – “Give it to God.” (This should be the first thing I do.) I try to “hear” what God wants me to learn. Sometimes, it is obvious. Sometimes, it takes a while until I figure it out. Sometimes, I never get it figured out. I have “given” God my problem(s), then turned around and taken it back. I’m still working on that. It is hard to leave what has been a “piece” of me behind. Even if it is negatively affecting me.

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I take medication. Not a viable option for some, but it works for me. I go to a therapist. I have recently been able to begin easing into exercise (Ugh). I have modified my outlook toward food, setting myself on a nutritionally healthier path. I’m learning to meditate. Quieting my mind is proving to be very difficult. I look at the anxiety, and I purposely do things that stretch the limits it has set for me. I practice self-care.

What is self-care? When this was introduced to me, I associated it with, “What I would want a person who was beginning to date me to do.” “Little” things… like a twix bar, flowers, go to a movie (by myself), other cute things like that. I sometimes blare my music, and dance around my house. (Even if there are other people home.) I also do “big” things for myself. I write this blog. Pushing the boundary the anxiety has set for me. The vulnerability pressing “publish” on each and every post brings, helps me grow into “The Better ME” that I am striving for. I stopped labeling the anxiety and depression as “Mine”. It is “the” anxiety, “the” depression. Not My anxiety/depression. Reducing the debilitating hold it can create.

I have also turned to logic. Example: I make a new recipe for dinner. No one likes it. I let myself feel like they don’t like me or the effort I put into making it. As Mr. Spock would say, “That is highly illogical”. Nah, they love me. They acknowledge the energy it took to prepare it. When I am able to take a step back. It is easier to not be offended and hurt. So what if they don’t like the food. Who cares?

If there is ever a time in your life, that you feel less than _________ (fill in the blank) or the balls you are juggling are dropping like flies. Please take a moment. Put your feet on the floor. Take a breath – in through your nose – out through your mouth. Look at your issue from a different angle. Realize you can get through it. What can you learn? Figure out the “magic pill” that makes all the “stuff” manageable for you.

Cryptic Apology

This past week I did something I am not proud of. I owe an apology to one of my favorite people.

This person did a very brave thing. My knee jerk reaction to a situation that developed in association with the bravery shown, fell short of the goals and ideals I strive for. As well as, putting them in an awkward position.

The development had nothing to do with this courageous person, but with another’s response in support of them.

The frustration I feel, is held for another of my favorite people. Who has been hurt.

I am sorry. For any and all negatives I caused you.

I hope you know you can still, always, count me as one of your biggest fans. I think you are one of the most awesome people I will ever know!

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

I love you Kid. I’m sorry.

Honestly,

Carrie

February 15th

February 15th will be my 42nd birthday. This will be a day overflowing with mixed emotions for several reasons. 42 ~ I’m going to be 42. (Is that middle age yet?) My oldest child is essentially, the same age I was when she was born ~ wierd. But the most difficult emotions, are going to center around My Mom.

I was born on my Mother’s birthday. Growing up, this is something I would brag about. I felt so special. It was something I shared with her, that no one would ever be able to take away… until she passed away. It went with her.

For eight years, that special thing, feels as though it has simply… vanished. Now, the bond we shared specifically on that one day every year, re-opens the wound that her death left on my heart.

Several weeks ago, I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. One of the million thoughts racing through my mind was my upcoming birthday. First reaction. Ignore the day completely. Just another Friday. Second reaction, “Wait, I’m supposed to be fighting for happiness.” Then, BAM! 42.. 21 x 2 = 42. Now, I realize this is a simple equation, but it has a bit of a hidden meaning. When I turned 21, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, and sooo very ill (all nine months, but that is another blog post all on it’s own). No big 21st bash for me. So, why not double up and bring 42 in with a BANG! I smiled and fell asleep.

Several days later, I was getting ready (brushing my teeth), and it hit me again… 21 x 2 = 42! I’m going to have a 21st Style Birthday Bash! Only… better! I have commissioned my nieces and eldest daughter with the planning process. I have given some guidelines, but they are doing the leg work.

I am actually looking forward to my birthday. The first time in eight years. I know my Mom would not want me to continue to commiserate on OUR birthday. This year, February 15th falls on a Friday. I am planning to have a quiet day and let myself have whatever emotions I choose to feel. My Bestie is coming around lunch. Closing the day with my Husband and Children at dinner. Saturday, we will have a late supper and then, those who are of appropriate age, will hit the town for the 21 x 2 Bash.

As much as I miss her physical presence, I still share February 15th with her. It can’t be taken away.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Honestly,

Carrie

Always better when…

The recent plague of Iowa’s winter has brought forth several “snow days”. I have reflected on some of the things I loved as a kid.

Back in the not so distant past. I loved snow days. A day when you didn’t have to go to school. A day for sledding. Getting super cold, followed by blankets and hot cocoa. Always better when you’re a kid.

It was on one of these precious days, my son asked me, “Would I make him a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”. — He is 17 — insert eye roll emoji. Well, instead of being exasperated by such a “trivial” request, I proceeded to make the sandwich. I asked him, “What kind of bread?”. He responded, “Wheat.” I asked him, “Crunchy or Creamy Peanut Butter?”. He responded, “Creamy.”. I asked him, “Grape or Strawberry Jelly?”. He responded, “Grape.”. Then, he added my favorite phrase, “Please and Thank you.”

On a regular basis, I preach “preperation”. I want my children to be able to sustain themselves when they join the “Big, Bad World”. So, why did I fulfill this simple task? One that easily could have been accomplished by the 17 year old? There are a couple reasons. Firstly, “My Baby Boy” will be leaving the nest in a very short, fast flying, year and a half. He won’t physically be here to make such a request. I won’t have the opportunity to spoil him with the “simple things”.

Secondly, I envisioned myself requesting such things from my Mom. Most of the time it was when I would walk past her, sitting at the kitchen counter. Eating something she had prepared for herself. Complementing and asking all in the same phrase – “That smells so good! May I have a bite?” Or, she would have made herself, what my children affectionately refer to as “peanut butter toast” (She always used “Just the right amount of PB). I can vividly remember her expression. The “You are 17 years old and you are still asking for bites of MY food!” (Insert eye roll emoji). She always, always gave me a bite. More often than not, she would offer to make me my own. Which, of course, I would accept her offer. Everything was always better when my mom made it.

As I delivered the PB&J to my son, who was reclining on the couch. Before, I handed over the requested sandwich. I told him the whole back story. “Because food was always better when my Mom made it for me.” He rolled his eyes at me as my voice cracked, and a tear threatened to trace my cheek. With a genuine smile he said, “Thanks Mom”.

I didn’t make him a sandwich. I made two.

Honestly,

Carrie

The Moments He Gives

A couple weekends past, I was able to attain some much needed “Girl Time”. Time spent with some of my favorite people. **I need to give a shout out to my daughter, C@$@(!&3. She was my co-pilot, navigator, food/snack distributor, deep thought provider, and most importantly – DJ. Keeping the drive(s) short by playing the music that defines her, and surprisingly – myself as well.

The weekend began on Friday evening, with a drive to my home town ~ Waverly, Iowa. Approximately, an 1 hr 45 min – 2 hr drive, from where we live now in Gilbert, Iowa. We ended up arriving at my Bestie’s home around 8 pm. We proceeded to sit and enjoy each other’s company, for at least four hours. We talked about… Crocheting, the happenings in my daughter’s life, and had a running commentary on the television show that was playing (in the background), and several other topics in that short time span. Then, realizing what time it had gotten to be, responsibly, we hit the hay. I think we were all ready to turn into pumpkins.

Saturday morning we attended Trinity United Methodist Church’s “Spirit Spa”. A time where women lift each other up in the spirit of Christ. We were offered a Continental Breakfast, Lunch, Devotions and a Program discussing: Organizing our lives, discovering the things that hold us back, and clearing the clutter. Guiding us through a materialistic life, in a spiritual approach. Kathy Traetow and Karen Platte, gave logical and practical advise. Applying passages from the Bible and the spiritual guidance within them. (I’ll write a much more detailed account of this time in another post.)

It was during this event that I had some of the most powerful “God Moments”, I have experienced in my life. I was blessed more than once during the few hours of the “Spirit Spa”. Before we ate the wonderful lunch provided, We informally experienced communion at our given table. I was blessed to have the honor to offer the Body and Blood of Christ to both; my daughter and my bestie. This struck my heart. It humbled me. My presence at this event, gave me the opportunity to personally offer my daughter the sacrifice of Jesus. To impart upon her the pure love available from God. This alone would have been “enough” for my experience. But no, God didn’t hold back. You see, my bestie is currently pursuing the call God is showing her. She is enduring the arduous process that is required to live the path that has been set before her. She has served me communion multiple times. To be able to offer her the gift that Jesus gave us… indescribable.

Again, as if those moments weren’t enough. I spoke with a woman, who by sharing an experience she had with my father, blessed me. (Back story – my father passed away when I was six years old. I don’t have a lot of clear memories of my own. So, when someone imparts their experiences/memories, I embrace them.) The particularly profound memory shared was, my father giving a lesson on floral arrangements to her 4H group. She remembers him saying, “It doesn’t matter if others like what you have made. What is important, is if YOU like it. That is all that matters.” This statement. It rings so clearly. I believe this was God, using my father’s words, to tell me that I am enough. I do not have to wait for anyone to approve of what I create. HOW AWESOME IS THIS!?

Following our time with these wonderful women, C@$@ and I began our second leg of our girls weekend. Again, she fulfilled all of the roles previously mentioned. DJ C@$@ selected the music. In particular, she played “Let It Go”, from the Disney movie “Frozen”. Immediately followed by “This Is Me” from the movie “The Greatest Showman”. It was all I could do, not to “Ugly Cry”. IF, you haven’t listened to the message within the lyrics of these songs, OR haven’t seen the movies they are in. Please, take some time and do so. They are powerful and freeing.

We arrived at our destination, Iowa City. Where my eldest daughter and one of my nieces, attend The University of Iowa. We spent some time at my niece’s apartment, then ended our days travels, at my oldest daughter’s apartment. We ordered pizza, abating the “hangry” feelings we were all experiencing. We relaxed and chatted. Each participating in the humor of the “sassy” back and forth. Imagery: Tennis or Volleyball match. Again, we stayed up way too late.

Sunday. We slept in later than we planned, thus our day and the plans within it were delayed. This day’s itinerary included lunch at the local mall’s food court. Followed by s e v e r a l hours of shopping. The goal of the shopping: to obtain an outfit for my upcoming birthday – and all of the frivolity that is planned for such an event. I will say, the shopping excursion was a success. My daughters and niece all have impeccable taste. Leading me to believe, they should open a “personal shopper” business. The atmosphere of our shopping was, unceremonious. Relaxed not rushed. Simple.

The final leg of this wonderful journey, the drive home. We had traveled about 30 minutes, when the snow started to fall. We had at least 1 1/2 hours left. Fortunately, only about 1/2 an hour was white knuckled. (It will always amaze me, how quickly people lose all ability to drive properly at the glimpse of a single snow flake.) We made it home safely, on the wings of angels.

I concluded my “Girls Only” weekend by touching base with my son. Then relaxing with my husband. Watching the 10 o’clock news and crocheting. Heading to bed, (I missed my own bed) at a not too absurd hour.


I’m so grateful for the people in my daily life. For those who enter for a 20 minute conversation. Those who bring laughter, companionship, and comfort. For those who present obstacles, with the growth they bring. The drop in the ocean, that creates ripples, to have an effect on my life. Thank you God, for all the blessings you give.

Honestly,

Carrie

Passion

“Living your passion.” How do you find your passion?

As a young woman, my ideal life was to be married and have a family. I didn’t aspire to be anything other than a Mother. What I perceived to be an important “career” choice. I achieved that goal by age 20 -21. I found my passion in raising my children. I am still passionate about my children, step-children, nieces and nephews. To be that one person, when everything is falling apart. Helping them gather the pieces, rebuild and support their dreams. To be the “Mamma Bear” and defend or discipline them as necessary. As my children have grown from childhood into teenagers and young adults, my passion has evolved, ever so slightly. Now my passion is to prepare them to face the world out side the reach of my arms. To cheer them on from a distance. Even if it means they are possibly going as far as Africa (insert bawling emoji).

A sampling of my favorite people.

I’m now “middle age-ish”. Forty-two, in about three weeks time. I’m realizing that I need to tend to the seedlings of new passions. How do I go about, “finding new passions”? Well, I have been tinkering. Dabbling. Trying out my abilities in different addictions… I mean, activities. Crochet/Knitting, painting, cooking and of course, Honestly Carrie.

My Awesome Mother-in-Law started me on the knitting and crochet path. She knits washcloths. Every so often, I would drop the hint that I would gladly accept a new washcloth. To which she would, in short order, produce and bless my kitchen with her beautiful creation. With the last request, I said, “I should just have you teach me how to do this.” “Then, I wouldn’t have to bother you anymore.” Well, it took several visits to the farm, for me to remember soon enough within the space of our time together, to sit down with her and have her teach me. I did OK for the first half of my “beginners” cloth. Then I totally screwed up on the back half. The cloth would do the job it was designed for, but it wasn’t pretty. So, because I knew it was going to be a while before we would be together again, I watched a Youtube video. Found where/what I was screwing up. I then proceeded to make these wonderful little creations; in BULK. Toward the end of September I decided I was going to make enough wash clothes, that I could give ALL of my siblings and adult nieces and nephews, two wash cloths at Christmas. I did it! The stack of knitted wash cloths was nearly one and a half feet tall.

The accomplishment of my mountain of wash cloths, spurred me to learn to crochet “Granny Squares”. Again, Youtube came to my rescue. Within ten minutes, I had created my first ever Granny Square! (There is sentimentality when it comes to this particular crochet pattern.) I was over the moon with excitement! I immediately started coming up with people I could make blankets for. Perhaps… Just perhaps, I could sell them for an extra bit of income. I am currently making one of my children a blanket. I will make one for all of them. Who am I kidding? I’ll make one for all of my nieces and nephews too… then, I will make some to sell. I have discovered a new passion.

My first Granny Square Project

The next “new” activity would be painting. My Father painted. Shucks, my Father could do tons of creative things… I can only dream of having a mediocre percentage of his artistic talents. I try. I have played with acrylics and water colors (I was shown water color pencils – love them). I have painted a few that I am proud of. Some I am, “happy with”. A lot that ended up in a fit of frustration. Followed by the garbage can. I find myself being far more timid in regard to painting. I aim to continue to explore this creative outlet. Perhaps the passion will come to fruition with a bit more time and practice.

Photo by Emily Hopper on Pexels.com

Cooking has been an interesting and continual development. I enjoy trying new recipes. They don’t all work out… it’s a growth process. My Husband graciously abides a new dish. The children, are a smidgen, less welcoming to the redesigned menu. In all honesty, I am inviting their critiques. I lovingly accept the thumbs up or down. I classify cooking in my “passion category”, because it is something I will always carry with me. It has ties to my original passion, my family. I have adapted a new way of determining what I put into my own body and by default, changing how my family eats. Setting my family on a path to better health. I also get to teach my children how to prepare food. Show them what it takes to create an inviting meal. This also includes our favorite comfort foods. ‘Cause sometimes you just need a touch of “home”.

Bringing up the rear, is Honestly Carrie. I am a little surprised by how much I enjoy writing. The forum of this blog has given me a space to lay out some of the thoughts that run rampant in my mind. A place to brag. A location to blurt out my frustrations. But most importantly, it has given me a venue to process the previously mentioned thoughts. I have begun a post or two, stuck in an state of exasperation, only to work through and feel more positively about the given topic. Honestly Carrie has given me the passion to put my well-being first. To practice “self care”. Doing things that I enjoy, allows me to be a better version of, Carrie. Again, linking into my initial passion, being the best Mom I can.

Honestly,

Carrie

Censored

It may come as a surprise (or not) to those of you who have been reading Honestly Carrie, that I have encountered censorship. Yes, in my meager 9 posts, there have been people who thought they could dictate what I have written or continue to write. Let alone trying to twist my words to support their agenda. So, I am sitting and typing. Finding myself writing and re-writing sentences. Doing my utmost to not offend… anyone. This is leading to a block in my writing process. Immensely frustrating. In an effort to “take a step back” and assess this issue, I’m going to begin with the definition of “censor”.

Dictionary.com gives the following definitions:

  • an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams,etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political,
  •  military, or other grounds.
  • any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.
  • an adverse critic; faultfinder.
  • (in the ancient Roman republic) either of two officials who kept the register or census of the citizens, awarded public contracts, and supervised manners and morals.
  • (in early Freudian dream theory) the force that represses ideas, impulses, and feelings, and prevents them from entering consciousness in their original, undisguised forms.

Upon dissection, I feel that points 2, 3 and 5 are applicable. Point 2 has standing, as the “Adult” reaction/suggestion. It has been adults in the requested feedback roles of my daily life. Those who have, made requests or I have solicited suggestions, on the content of Honestly Carrie. Point 3 is relevant due to the nature of the dissenting censorship. People who determined in their own minds that I was specifically writing about them. Or, contorting my words to fit in a way that depicts me to “look like the bad guy”. Point 5 is pertinent in the manner of my reaction to the previous points. Affecting the flow of my writing. Censoring myself and the method in which I write. I am careful to not say, what I want to say, in an unfavorable light.

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My response to those who have issue(s) with what I have written:

To the person who thinks I am singling them out. I have, from the start, not specifically named individuals. IF, I ever name a person specifically, it will be with their permission. Only the people who were present at a given event would know of “whom” I may, or may not, be specifically referring to. There is usually more than one person whose behavior I could be alluding to.

To the person who twisted words of one paragraph, in one post, to fit their own frustration of a particular event. If you had read the post to understand what was being said, as opposed to, applying it to your anger. You may have been able to better identify with this writer and comprehend the points being made on a different level.

These persons read the portion they assumed depicted them or the situation. Put blinders on, and I feel, completely missed the purpose of the entirety of the particular post.

If you are still offended, after re-reading the complete post that vexed you. I suggest that you look more deeply at the portion of the post that you believe to be about you or the situation, and look in the mirror. Perhaps you will see, there is something about how you behaved or continue to behave, that reflects poorly.

Alternately, you may still feel affronted. You do have the right to your feelings and opinions. Just as I do.

Finally, I am going to refer to the statements at the top of every single post.

My honest opinions.
Day to day life, and how I go about handling it.
An outlet for creativity.

I will give my honest opinion. I will continue to write about the happenings in my life. As I proceed, I will use this forum as a means to creatively express myself. If you don’t like what I am writing. Don’t read it. No one is forcing you to do so.

Honestly,

Carrie

My Keto Diet Experience… So Far

Nearly six months ago, I had a routine visit with my doctor. It revealed I have several health issues that a.) I needed to get control of immediately, and b.) I needed to re-evaluate my lifestyle, to postpone inevitable diagnoses.

I researched the many, many types of diets that I could choose from. There are so many, and they all have variations. I discussed the multitude of options with my doctor, and together, we decided on the Keto Diet. I have been following the Keto (Ketogenic) Diet for two and a half months. I have lost 15-20 pounds (it fluctuates). I feel like I have more energy. My clothes fit so much better. It appears this diet/lifestyle is working the way I need it to.

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Now, having said the Keto Diet is working, I know in my heart that this is not a completely permanent change. I am using it as a means to an end. When I have achieved my goals, I will slowly reintroduce the foods I have cut back on. I feel this will help me maintain my “new lifestyle”, and keep me from becoming a “yo-yo” dieter.

What is this “Wonderful” Ketogenic Diet? It follows the principal of high (healthy) fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. In the first couple of weeks, I felt like there was nothing “good” I could eat. I was very frustrated and (I’ll admit) moody. By the third – fourth week, I had a grasp on the method and felt more in control of what I was putting into my body. I have eliminated unhealthy carbs like chips, and cookies. The majority of sugars disappeared with the unhealthy carbs.

I know many of my readers are saying I should be eating “a balanced diet and exercising”. “Keto” is a balanced diet. It is simply reorganized from the normal idea of “balanced”. A reason I needed to adjust my lifestyle, is due to back issues that have kept me from exercising. I have recently (two weeks) been cleared by my doctor to begin “light exercise”. Yoga, walking and core work – like planking.

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I have reported the “positives” that this diet has brought. So what have the negatives been? Carbs. I LOVE CARBS! I miss carbs…. and starches. In all honesty, I should say, I miss eating carbs.. all day long. There are also, no “cheat days” allowed. However, there are variations that allow for that. I am constantly drinking water, not because I know it is good for me. I drink because I have terrible Dry Mouth. That probably means that I have nasty breath too. I have begun to seriously read labels when I am shopping. Label reading, literally extends the amount of time I spend in the grocery store. The most difficult piece for me to manage has been sodium quantities. A lot of the “Keto Approved” foods are very high in sodium. High sodium can exacerbate some of the health issues I am on this diet to improve. I am on constant vigil to maintain healthy levels, of… everything.

All in all, I am on a path to a healthier me. Accomplishing one spoke of the wheel at a time.

Honestly,

Carrie