It's been a pretty quiet birthday around here. Ronald had to teach this morning and evening so he stopped in for a quick lunch and then he was back to work. We got two gluten-free cupcakes from a bakery to share so that was fun. He is still working but should be home in about an hour.

I miss R a lot and feel really lonely. It seems like things have been so busy we hardly have time together these days. With my concussion, I couldn't drive or do much of anything today. So I just rested. I wanted to bake my birthday cake but didn't feel up to it. Hopefully I will be able to tomorrow.

I am a little blue as next week Ronald starts this big work project that happens every year and lasts for a month. He has to work most weekends and 16 hour days. So I will have a lot of time to myself and I just hope my mood cooperates so I can get through it alright. I guess I am just a bit nervous about it and how I'll hold up.

I still have a headache from my concussion, I also have lightheadedness, a very bruised forehead, and I'm really tired.

The pups have been super snuggly today which is cute. :) I think they sense when I don't feel good.

Saturday R and I are going on a birthday date. Should be nice.

Sorry to be sort of blue today. I am kind of ok with being 29, and am so happy to have three adorable pups to cuddle, and a very lovely freckle-faced husband. :)

xx, C


..and then I got a concussion

Sorry for the picture of my swollen forehead. I think my forehead is huge normally, and now it is even bigger. :(

I was such a klutz today and crashed my head into the front of our apron front sink in the kitchen while getting the garbage ready to go out. Lovely. About ten minutes after it happened the room was still spinning and my head was hurting so bad, I also felt extremely tired.

I told Ronald and he came home right away to keep an eye on me. I called a nurse and they set up an appointment for me to be seen. I found out I have a mild-concussion. It's hours later and I still have a headache and a little dizziness. I am also sleepy beyond words. I have to be with someone for the next 24 to 48 hours. 

Tonight Ronald has to wake me up every two hours to check on me. Then when he goes to work in the morning, my mother-in-law will come spend the day with me. 

This is really no fun. I can't believe I hit my head as hard as I did! And the day before my birthday no less. Oh well...

All I can say is take care of your noggin!

xx, C

What gets me through

This song has been helping me get through the worst moments. Take a listen, maybe it will help you too.


morning thoughts by an almost birthday girl

I saw this at Marshall's yesterday and fell completely in love. Once I got close to it I saw that it was a cork board! I have been looking for one for a long time and this one was perfect! So I snatched it up as my birthday present to myself. ;)

These hyacinths are filling our dining room with the fragrance of Spring. 

Puppy dog Valentine craft from the kids section at Target. I am going to make a garland with them.

Winter morning view.

More valentine decorations

daffodils as a birthday gift from my in-laws. :)

Blurry roses. I love the color!

My slowly growing hedgehog collection.

In therapy yesterday I had a few breakthroughs. One is that I need to feel safe being home alone. I am almost always out of the house during the day, or if I am home, I am cleaning or sleeping. The reason is I am afraid to be alone with my own thoughts. I'm afraid I will hurt myself if I don't stay occupied, so I avoid being at home or quiet at all costs.

This isn't healthy for me and is keeping me from being creative and resting. It makes so much sense that this would happen. The many years Ronald and I were living in apartments, I would start panicking being at the apartment alone because it carried so many bad memories of me struggling with depression. When I started feeling unsafe being there, we would just move to a new apartment. 

Well, now that we have our own home, we can't do that. So instead of facing the real issue, I have been avoiding it. I don't want to be a person who has to stay busy because I am avoiding my feelings. That isn't me at all. So I have to get used to home.

My therapist suggested that I turn on calm music, get some tea, and just sit and be present. Don't worry about what might happen, just live in the moment and tell myself that I am okay right that second. If I start to get nervous to come back to the present moment and just live in it. I am going to sit on our old deck in the back yard and look at the weeds and broken down redwood picnic table from the 60's (that I have strangely come to adore), and our lovely mountain view, and just be okay. 


Tomorrow I am turning twenty-nine! Ronald has to work that night, which is a huge bummer as we won't even have time to blow out candles on the gluten-free cake I'm going to bake from scratch. :( Oh well, we will celebrate on Saturday. 

I want to get dolled up for Saturday. I bought a dress that I have yet to try on to see if it works, and I got some adorable ballerina flats! I want to do my nails, trim my bangs from side-swept to straight across, and re-color my hair. I have been so self-conscious I haven't wanted to take care of myself. Even at night I can hardly look in the mirror to brush my teeth and a lot of times I go to bed with all my makeup on because I can't look in the mirror (I know how unhealthy that is for my skin). It makes me sad. I just bought new skin-care stuff since my skin is so sensitive and a huge mess partly due to fibromyalgia and the medication I'm on, and because I haven't been taking care of it. I really need to get okay with myself. It's so hard sometimes though. 

Anyway, I hope you have a nice Tuesday. I'm going to try to enjoy, and be ok in the moment.

xxoo, C


meal planning gal

buy the book here

Being gluten-free takes some planning. It's weird how much gluten/wheat we eat without even realizing. Did you know many ice-creams (even vanilla) contain wheat? Also, some juices use gluten as a thickener! 

I found the above meal planning guide right before I went gluten-free and I'm so glad I have it! This is my first week planning all my meals and snacks and I think it will help a lot. 

I'm also a big fan of the book Gluten Free on a Shoe String. It has so many easy recipes! My birthday is Wednesday, so I'm going to try to make this gluten-free chocolate cake from the book. I will let you know how it is.

Do you plan your meals (gluten-free or not), or do you just eat as you go?

xx, C



I'm not doing well. I thought the depression was lifting there for a bit, but now it is even worse. The weird thing is life just goes on. Even when I feel like I am at rock-bottom. I still have to eat, move, go places, smile. 

I think I had hit a false bottom for a bit. Like a loosely taped cardboard-box bottom I fell through to the basement floor. And this is real, and horrible.

I'm so sad. It's incredible how much sadness a person can feel.

I feel so sick and awful, but unlike a cold or an illness that presents physical symptoms, I still have to do normal things. But right now I feel like I can't. 


morning details

I woke early after dreams that Ronald died in a terrorist attack. Bad dreams stick to the roof of my mouth like caramel, haunting me all day.

It's cold and rainy out. I'm not sure what to do. I have so much I want to do in life but my emotions and aches keep me from getting close to them. I have tried for years to get there. To write, create, paint, read, do all those lovely things. But they are so far off. I'm surviving, not living and it has been that way for all time. I hope one day to get to the red greasy center of my pain filled heart and make it better. Maybe it is just a flip of a switch? Or maybe a transplant? I'm not sure.

Regardless. It is morning. I am breathing. Maybe that's all I have, and maybe that's enough.

xx, C



Field Report- Circle Drive

"Leftside sidewalk hospital circle drive walked this way twice a day, back the other way two times,

They got you wrapped up in guilt like an aftermarket cancer quilt and I don't know the names of the people on the patches,

And they ground you down to calcium and road salt and pressed you into piles of pills they cut with ashes."

Field Report- Circle Drive


I really, really love this song. Click the link above to hear it on YouTube. 

Last night I had pretty much the worst panic attack of my life. Luckily Ronald was with me, but I got so low, I think the lowest I have ever been. It's scary to hit the bottom, scary and awful.

I'm hoping to get some strength today. I feel totally spent, slumped over, done. But I need to shore up so I can get through the week-month-life. 

x, C



It's Monday afternoon-evening-ish time. The sky is turning that pale-hesitant-farewell-to-the-sun white and I sit in my cold/warm house, on the soft/hard couch, thinking about this damn-hard/alright life.

Lately it all seems monstrous--this living and bungling. I try to drink tea and breathe, I try to smile and look sort of held together, but really so much is going on internally, I don't even understand it all.

I do know I feel faint and exhausted, genuinely fatigued, depressed, okay, depressed again. I feel my skin getting older and drying out. I feel my knees and shoulders aching. The afternoon headache, the pills bulging from their little plastic slots into my mouth each morning, afternoon, and evening. Do you know what I'm saying? This is my life. This is all of it. And that is all too terrifying.

I don't know. I just know this life isn't at all what I imagined. And I know I'm not supposed to think that way, but oh my god, when I do, I am completely numb and panicked. Seriously, I could scream out in pain and devastation and that wouldn't even express it.

Sadness is so...well sad. Disappointment and frustration are too. As well as pain. Sometimes it hurts to be alive, and sometimes I wonder why I am still in it, but then I just keep going because that is what people do. We go and go even when it hurts, because that's it. That's all we have.

So I go and I guess I could say I am heartbroken. We all have this promise that life will be ok for us, that we will be ok, and safe, and healthy, and in some way we will be happy. What do you do when you realize that isn't really true for you? For your life? What do I do when I realize this isn't true for my life?

The thing is, I thought I knew what to do...but I don't.

xx, C



Iphone wristlet option one

Iphone Wristlet option two
Hello Darlings,

Yesterday Ronald and I upgraded our iPhones. It's been fun setting them up. I love the floral case I found and want to get a little phone clutch too. I always keep my phone with my keys and it started to get scraped up. These are my two favorites so far. They are both on sale which is nice. I searched so much yesterday for more inexpensive options, but they are such horrible quality I wouldn't want to waste my money. I think I will save up and get one of these. I really love the bright pink one!

Last night I had horrible dreams. One was that R and I went to San Francisco for my birthday and I had to cross the bay on a tightrope and almost died! I often dream that the Bay Bridge is a tightrope or has holes in it that we have to walk across. I am afraid of bridges so I guess that makes sense.

Do you have recurring dreams? I definitely do, but they are all nightmares. Maybe because almost all my dreams are nightmares. :(

I wish there was a pill that would make bad dreams disappear. At least when I wake up I realize life is ok, which is such a relief.

Love, C


a few things

Not sure if I showed you my new glasses. I love them, and it's nice to have the right prescription so I can actually see!

This here is Kitt. I bought her on Thursday afternoon. I was so sad that day and just found out I needed to go gluten-free. I was totally overwhelmed. I saw her on a shelf at the market and fell in love. Isn't she so cute? And yes, she is tacked to the wall above my desk. Otherwise our pups would think she was a new toy!

I realized last night that I can't eat normal cookies, cake, fried won-tons, spring rolls, potstickers, naan bread, or pizza! It made me entirely too sad for my own good. Oh well...

Today is a home project sort of day. Then we will upgrade our iPhones to the iPhone 5 (we have the old iPhone 4 so an upgrade will be nice!). I also need to take my desktop computer to the Apple Genius Bar as the hard drive has been recalled. At least they will fix it for free...

What are you up to?

xx, C


oh gee...I'm going gluten-free

So yesterday my psychiatrist/therapist recommended that I go on a gluten-free diet. I have a lot of tummy troubles. I basically get stomach sick every day. For some reason it never occurred to me that what I eat may be causing it. Fibromyalgia causes stomach issues, so I thought there wasn't much I could do.

After my session with the doctor I went to Whole Foods to get some things I can eat. Mainly brown rice, black beans, nuts, any veggies, and any fruit. I also need to keep my diet pretty bland and low in preservatives until my tummy calms down.

This morning I had puffed brown rice cereal with fresh strawberries. It didn't have much flavor, so I might try some different combos to make it taste better, maybe add raisins.

Today is a day for cleaning and I might stop at the market to get a few things I forgot to pick up yesterday. Tonight Ronald and I are having our first official gluten-free dinner. Fajita bowls with brown rice, black beans, homemade salsa, sautéed peppers and onions and cheese. I think it will be yummy!

Are any of my readers gluten-free? If so, what are your favorite things to eat?

It's Friday...enjoy it!

xx, C


A little organizing & cake notes

I decided to set up our cubby room divider in our living room a little differently than before. Before I had it filled with books but I thought I would change it up. I found a whole bunch of magazine holders at Ikea, and put the books I want to go through in them which makes it look less cluttered.

Yesterday I made the buttermilk cake I mentioned in a previous post. It took a while to make and was pretty intensive, but it turned out yummy. The chocolate buttercream frosting is divine, and the cake has the zest of an orange in it and I was surprised how much the orange flavor came through. It gave a nice tanginess and was great with the frosting.

I learned a few things while making the cake. The main thing is that I need to cream the ingredients for my frosting longer to make it light and fluffy, I was always worried about beating it too long, but the recipe recommended beating it for four to five minutes and it came out perfect. The other thing is how important it is to have the ingredients at room temperature.

Today I have therapy. I am dreading it as it is always so challenging to work through my emotions, but it will be good in the long run. This morning I am going to do some crafting to get rid of some of the therapy-bound anxiety.

Hope you have a lovely Thursday!

xx, C


"you can tell god I'll be fine"

I cry a lot these days. Sometimes a feel like a faucet. I think I have had a life full of tears and I'm only in my twenties. I try to explain how I'm feeling to Ronald, but words lose their strength and come out like brittle seashells. So most of the time I keep it to myself. Of course Ronald knows what's going on whether I speak or stay silent.

I have been sick for years. I really think my whole life. My childhood was a fraud, there wasn't any bit of truth or good or reality. I feel like I faked the whole thing because I had to in order to survive. So here I am: hurt, hurt, hurt. I don't know how to express the disappointment in the fact that I ache constantly (both physically and emotionally). That my dreams and hopes and wants are on hold because I can't function enough to get to them.

I try not to think about what I wanted my life to be. That I want to be a mother more than anything. That I want to not hurt and be sad every day, or take a myriad of pills, or have to worry about razor blades in the shower and sharp knives in the kitchen.

So I hold onto little shards of hope. Sometimes they scrape my palms. Sometimes good things hurt too. Because I realize that is all I have. But it is, and that's it, and it has to be enough, because that is all there is.

So I wake up, I get out of bed due to habit and have-to. And I smile and wear a thick paper-mache' mask, delicately formed to my pocked and broken face. I talk calmly, and try not to explain too much. Because it scares them, because I don't want to seem like a baby, because I don't want to seem crazy.

And there I go, into a big brave marvelous world. I am the broken thing that hobbles down streets trying to look normal.

xx, C


wrong wrong wrong

Seems like things just keep going wrong today. 

Here is a list: 

I was so stomach sick this morning, and had so much pain in my hip I was crying. 

I went out to get some houseplants but became so sick I had to come home (still brought home a plant or two). 

I had a meeting to go learn about different insurance options at 11:30 but couldn't make it due to the pain I am having.

I laid down for a bit and couldn't fall asleep or get in a comfortable position. 

I got up and was going to bake that buttermilk cake I mentioned in a previous post but I forgot to buy one ingredient! 

I had a different post almost ready to publish here but the formatting became wonky and I had to scrap it. No matter what I did the margins wouldn't even out. Sometimes blogger does that to me and it is weird and rotten.


Can I cancel today? Ok, good. Glad we had this talk. 


Monday is ok, even when it isn't

Weekend faces 

 New shoes!

The weekend flew by! I actually don't despise Mondays. I have therapy in the morning which helps me get a little focused for the week, and then I go grocery shopping and pit-pat around the house trying to get things sort of ok looking.

I'm tired today though. My pain medication isn't making any difference yet. The pain is bad, bad, bad but I'm hanging in. I am watching Downton Abbey and taking a rest, then I will clean a bit and put the kettle on for some tea.

Tonight I'll make a comfort food dinner, and we'll watch Mad Men, light the candles, and build a fire in the fireplace. Sounds perfect.

xx, C



I found these books on sale at a discount store and they are both wonderful. Craft A Day is full of simple but adorable crafts for every day of the year! Each week there is an ornament craft which is great because by the end of the book you will have 52 ornaments to use on your Christmas tree or as little gifts for friends throughout the year. Also, the crafts are very inexpensive to make. I think the most costly thing would be embroidery floss, and chalkboard paint, and some card stock. Most everything is made of felt, craft paper and toothpicks! I'm really excited to pick up some supplies and get crafting!

The One Girl Cookies book is full of fun recipes. I am going to make the buttermilk cake and apricot granola this week. The cake looks amazing and I think the buttermilk will keep it from being too dry like a lot of homemade cakes seem to be when I bake them. I think I just haven't found the right recipe, but I hope this is it!

I bought both of these books for under $25 total and am so happy to have found them. 

Yesterday was interesting. We had fun at Ikea. We bought a nice printer stand with drawers, and a tall bookcase with cubbies. The printer stand went together fine, but the tall bookcase broke as we were putting it together! It was so disappointing. The problem is it is half put together, which means it is too big to put in a car to return, and Ikea wants it to be in the original packaging! Kind of ridiculous if you ask me. We have never had problems with putting Ikea furniture together before. Yes, it isn't amazing quality, but it still stands up pretty well and most of our house is furnished with Ikea stuff. 

Ronald and I were both so disappointed and annoyed after the bookcase debacle. I decided to make a cake to comfort us. ;) It was a boxed cake and as I was getting ready to put it in the oven I thought it looked really liquid-y so I checked the box and realized I put in three eggs instead of two! So that made things worse and I dumped it all in the sink in frustration. 

The rest of the day we watched Mad Men and I pouted about our bad day. 

Things are better this morning. I am still in a lot of fibromyalgia pain. I am taking the new pain meds but it seems to wear off pretty quickly for me, maybe I just need to get more in my system. 

Today Ronald is back to school. He is getting his masters degree in engineering and it is all online which is great. But on Sundays from about 11:30 to 3:00 he has an online lecture that he has to participate in, so we don't have as much time together. I'm glad he is in school and continuing his education, but it isn't always easy when things are so busy.

Anyway, I hope you have a nice, cozy, bundle-up, hot tea day.

xx, C