Yesterday was quite the adventure for me. I had an appointment downstate with a doctor and it was set for 3:15 pm.
It didn’t matter whatever else got done, as long as I could get to my doctor appointment on time. With a two hour drive to get there, and my disdain for early mornings. I knew the window of wiggle room was between nine am and eleven am. Lunch was it’s own “must have” somewhere within this day.
So off we went! South again! We stopped in two towns for little “pop-in’s” before the rest of the drive became a blur of blacktop and trees. (I spy…. vertical log. Tree! Okay, your turn).
First, Oscoda! Need sustenance. McDonalds will do.
Second. Tawas. I like a certain flavor of Jelly Belly and The Village Chocolatier carries the individual flavors for some jelly beans that I wanted.
Next, Standish. I had the pleasure of meeting the Shopper and self described “fluffer” of stuff for the Forward Corporation in Standish. She was super nice. I tried convincing her to buy my book to carry at her gas stations. Then I found out she’s part of the fourth generation of that corporation and does more than just “fluff”. We’re still looking into adding my book to their inventory.
Next stop, The Electric Chair tattoo and body piercings in Bay City. Naturally Charlotte was with us and it was too hot to keep her in the car, we all went inside.
For a bunch of burly, stereotypical men and women, one little pooch can sure make a difference in the atmosphere. She was quite the star. Anyway, I got a new piece of jewelry and we were on our way.
Starbucks. Enough said.
If you don’t know me, Starbucks is my kryptonite. If you do know me, venti caramel macchiato.
It’s time to go home, but now I’m hot, and uncomfortable. It’s muggy and 80°+ and the windows in the car do little to block the sun.
I’d guess 75% of folks would be comfortable in that scenario. But not my body! No way! I know this because I had a bit of a “spell” by four pm.
I hate to sweat, but I was sweating. I hate to feel out of sorts, but there was no semblance to what my twitching, head bobbing, speech slurring and overall “out of it” countenance was doing.
Maybe I had done too much.
Maybe I hadn’t had the right kind of fuel.
Maybe it was just too humid.
Maybe it was because it was a Tuesday, in June. I don’t know.
I just don’t know. This is what makes traveling or planning anything almost impossible. My body is so random at what it will cooperate for that I hate making plans, or leaving my lair for any length of time.
It’s been twelve hours and I feel like a whole other body or person now. But I’m at home in my air conditioning, next to my husband, in bed.
I just don’t know what else I can do to find the place in my life that will let me feel normal again. I’m discouraged, disappointed and hurt. I’m not living right now.
My overwhelming question for this past weekend is, was it worth it? And to that I have to say yes. I learned so much about what to bring expect and prepare for. Ya know?
WHAT TO BRING?
2. Extension cords.
3. Electric plugins (both pronged and usb)
4. WiFi of your own somehow. We relied on my mothers mifi pack.
5. Square credit card processors
6. Something to do. The flow of the customers isn’t always “there” so find a way to be busy. (Crafters were making more of their wares to fill up their inventory.)
7. Water. Keep hydrated.
8. Decor. Keep it classy though. Sometimes too much is just too much.
9. Product cleaner. No one likes a dirty or dusty piece. Keep those doo-dads sparkling!
WHAT TO PREPARE FOR.
A. Anything and everything.
B. Weather. We had torrential downpour and then beautiful breezes. Luckily we were indoors but when others get wet, your stuff gets wet. It can also cause humidity and warmth that you just can’t breathe through.
C. Rare and odd pieces for sale. I saw a full coyote face stretched out over a vintage ladies cap from the 1920’s. Very scary.
I bought a drum, necklace, backpack and body spray.
D. The kindness of strangers. There were so many different times that I was able to count on the the honesty and care of strangers. I started to feel sick in a quick downward spiral and the next thing you know, people came out of no where to find me water and give me a bathroom break, manage my booth and give me a smile.
E. Different payment methods. Some by credit. Some by cash. Some by product trade. Some by candy. Regardless it opens up a whole new world of conversation for you.
F. In my case, prepare to learn a lot. Learn about electric engineering. How to dry things off that have been saturated with coffee. Learn about the importance of scissors, fishing line, tape, and zip ties.
G. Certain types of massages are better than others. As long as your body is ready for the Toxin Dump. I had a great spiritual Etheric Massage and it sent me zinging! Oh boy did I zing! And then the toxins she released started to zing. There was a potty break immediately after. And then within three hours, there was a very necessary ride back to the hotel.
H. Being ignored, humored and used for your blinky rings. Neither of these reflect on a book about Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism.
I. No matter where you are, after you have explained everything to the nth degree; you risk having them say “ oh, hunh. Thanks.” And walks away. It it a bad idea to fall to your knees and grab onto their knees while begging “ Why?! Don’t you want to buy my ___________?!” Or growl as they walk away. First of all, they may have a friend hanging out in the back ground watching your response who is all too eager to “tell” on you. Bottom line, be resilient. Smile. Think to yourself it’s ok. Their truth might be different than yours and they just need some time to process your truth.
When it’s all said and done make sure that your helpers know how much you appreciate them and all that they did for you.
THANKS MOM AND THANKS RON, YOU TWO ARE THE BEST! 🙏
It’s official! I have lived away from “home” since 2003. I packed up my life in Phoenix AZ, stuffed it into a 1997 Ford Taurus and drove it over 2,000 miles to NE MI May 30, 2003.
I wish that I could say it was for a singular significant reason but it was for a million little reasons. I once told an inquiring mind, who asked, “What brings you all the way to MI?” I replied “Sex.” Only to find out later that the inquiring mind was the local Priest. Oh boy. When I saw him later that day, I apologized profusely for being such an ass. (Turns out he knew I was kidding, thank goodness).
Seriously though, why did I move here? Was it because…
1. My mom and her husband spend six out of twelve months here?
2. My favorite dog had moved here to be safe from the Animal Control in AZ?
3. I met a new friend who had adopted my dog?
4. The change of scenery?
5. The four seasons?
6. My inner spirit screaming for independence?
7. A fresh start?
10. Getting away from the cross hairs of an ex-fiancé?
11. Simple living?
12. Mayberry vs. The Jetsons?
13. Combination of the above?
14. The wildlife?
15. The Northern Lights?
16. The fresh air and room to move?
As it turns out, without whining or complaining about AZ and it’s inhabitants, the answer is 13 multiplied by a million.
Arizona was a whole other lifestyle. Everyone had a pool of some sort (above or below ground). We all walked around with chlorine treated hair and sun tans (burns). You only wore pants if you worked somewhere with those being a part of the dress code. The highest temperature it reached when I was there was 122°.
Outdoor Christmas decor consisted of ornaments and fire retardant lights on the palm tree in your front yard -assuming that you had one in your Lunar Landscaping. Running out of water was always a concern, so few folks had lush, grass and trees for landscaping. One could smell citrus blossoms every Winter in the downtown area. There are malls everywhere and a Walmart on every corner. You could get food delivered to your door. You could also get burns on your hands from driving if you were parked in the sun. Arizona took a special kind of person to find it beautiful and enjoy the one season. I was/am not that person.
I can think back as far as Third Grade for wanting to move to a different state -Maine, to be exact. Why Maine? My Third Grade Teacher (Mrs. Bazell), had us do a report on our favorite state for a Geography/ Social Studies project. I did some minor research and decided that Maine seemed ideal. It had a beach, four seasons and was as far away from AZ as one could be. I made that poster board with any and everything that I was sent form the Chamber of Congress. I was in love. No one in my family was interested in moving there, so I was stuck in The Valley of the Sun and Grand Canyon state until I turned 18.
As you know Michigan is the furthest North East that I have ever visited or set up stakes (so-to-speak). But I love it here! I don’t regret moving here; even though it’s not Maine.
The booklets from Maine’s Chamber of Commerce are reminiscent to what I have now…
• Four Seasons.
•Leaf color change.
•Strong history in the Country’s foundation.
•Small Towns with Rustic Charm.
•Norman Rockwell and Mayberry mentality.
•Unique museums and venues.
If asked in the future as to why I moved to Michigan from Arizona, I can safely say, “For love”. My dog (Number 2 & 3) led me to my best friend who later became my husband. We are indeed, living happily-ever-after on our seven acre wooded property, in a beautiful home only seven miles away from fresh water and beaches. Besides Maine May have an abundance of lobster, but Michigan has Vernors, the best ginger ale.
I still go back to AZ for family celebrations, holidays and surprise visits. That’s it though. I don’t know that I could live there 24/7/365 again. Maybe when I’m older and fall out of love with cold weather. Ha! Like that will ever happen!
Side note, I always took French as a second language. My father used to insist how impractical that was because AZ is so close to Mexico, and they speak Spanish. Well Dad I now live super close to Canada where they speak FRENCH. So there. Not so impractical now is it? 😊
As I have rolled myself into “adulthood”, I have discovered that I prefer flowers in their semi-natural beds. A lot of people, and I mean A LOT of people, in my town, are Master Gardeners. I figured that growing my own flowers would be a nice hobby.
Plus, I would have a reason to go outside and get my Vitamin D too. Win, win!
I decided to try gardening. The key word here is try.
I now understand why gardeners threaten trespassers with their lives. The frustration and anger of one little, beautiful and helpless flower being stepped on is a legitimate defense – or at least it should be.
Dear Master Gardeners, I apologize for dancing on your Daffodils and ignoring the placement of your Irises.
Day One: First we (me, husband, mother). had to weed and Roto-till the spaces for the separate areas for the different beds. Within ten minutes we voted and all chipped in to hire the neighbor kid to do it. He did. Whew!
Day Two: Cover all exposed areas with black paper…. “hey neighbor!”
Day Three: My mother came over to help me roll out pre-seeded lavender bed rolls ordered from Groupon. I supposedly had 50,000 seeds so at least one seedling had to work.
Create amazing decor for the flower beds: ummm… skip.
Maintenance: Keep checking on the Groupon guaranteed Rolls. Luckily I could look into my garden from the air conditioned living room to check on it daily.
Water: We still have our timer from Christmas lights, that will work. Or so I thought… Ok not really… my garden was flooded by; oh I’d say five days into this. We now had quicksand.
I could see the neighbor kids’ foot prints in the sand puddling with water. I simply needed to turn off the timer… Done.
It was supposed to be a very rainy week anyway.
Weeds: The weeds grew and grew. They were taller than me and had nothing to do with or about the water or lavender.
I have NOT seen even one plant of my Groupon 💯 guarantee. My neighbor kid is going to be so mad when he comes back from Boot Camp!
All involved read the directions from Groupon carefully…
My mother and I re-read the directions… no lavender.
hoped that there would be a “💥🌿🌱💜 Sea Of Lavender 💥 💜 🌿🌱💥 ” in my garden, and it was going to be beautiful. Alas no purple waves, no sea, no see.
Would you believe that there isn’t anything resembling lavender in their area???
What did I do wrong??
Well… it wasn’t until I realized that I physically couldn’t do much more than trap my neighbor kid, tell him how sick I am, get him to do the hard stuff, and then flood everything while he was in boot camp; that maybe I was a bit overzealous about my new hobby.
I couldn’t muster up the energy to be a gardener. I am just too sensitive to temperatures, brightness, bug bites, bending over and everything it takes to grow flowers purposefully.
I had one job. One ☝️. Discover and create a beautiful garden. I failed. My husband knew how upsetting it was for me. He took me to the cute little store in Bay City and I found a bunch of fake flowers (lavender of course) to purchase and enjoy at home.
Sometimes mental health is brushed aside when a physical task fails. I mean, who goes through the fuss and anticipation of a project wanting to be a failure? It’s a tough pill to swallow. His actions, my mom’s help and of course the neighbor kid were here working their butts off because my symptoms made me miserable while the heat only exasperated them. They did all of that in my best interest. So Thank You!
I guess my body health (brain included) needs some more time to hopefully heal. When it will let me know; remains to be seen.
It was a nice afternoon and I was hungry. The lunch time commercials had just run their course and I wanted to whip something up right away. I remembered an infomercial or maybe a cooking show that had some fancy bacon recipes and ways to “style” bacon. I was feeling extra brave, like I had pancake flippers for hands. Watch out world I’m making a BLT (kinda).
Aside from not having any bread or lettuce, I could use other substitutes. We did happen to have five cherry tomatoes and fresh bacon though. I was set to make a Creative Chef Decision I will use what we have and work it out as I go.
I used: plain bagels
fresh extra-thick Bacon
sliced cherry tomatoes
to make a sandwich (?.?) Right? Who needs lettuce and bread? Ha!
I knew that the bacon should be cooked in a circle, I had seen bacon wrapped shrimp and bacon wrapped filet mignon. I just need something to wrap the bacon around and toothpick it. Hmmmm.
Okay, I can totally do this. My husband recommended the muffin tin; but, I had just deemed myself a Goddess of all things cooking. I wanted to surprise him with a tastey lunch! This was so exciting! (Dude I am so creative, I should have my own infomercial, show or commercial!!!!!)
Anyway, I got the bagels in the toaster, sliced the tiny tomatoes, pulled out the deli meats and found three toothpicks for the bacon. And that’s when it hit me!
I will use my muffin tin upside down on a cookie sheet -on the burner. Round bacon conundrum SOLVED!
The smell of the bagels burning in the toaster got my attention. My darling husband offered to help at this point… he could smell the bagels too. The bacon was doing it’s sizzle, pop, sizzle, smell good thing. I had wrapped the upside down muffin tin with the bacon and tooth-picked the strip ends together. It’s almost time for them to be done.
He came into the kitchen to check out what I was doing. I told him that it was all under control. I was wrong, so very wrong.
I turned away from the bacon contraption to put mayo and turkey on the bagels. I figured that the bacon was pretty much done, because of the smell… this is where I realized that this lunch was not going to be all that I had hoped.
The bacon was sticking to the muffin tin cups and they were burning. The smoke was filling the room. I started coughing and my eyes were tearing up horribly. I took the pan outside and dropped it, actually it was more like, I threw it.
I couldn’t breathe or see; and I’m not exaggerating about this part. Everything was now being turned off and stopped. I needed to be outside for fresh air. I looked over to the cookie sheet and muffin tin slowly melting into each other. I was mad at them -traitors. Teflon was dripping and melting between the two pans and I had been/was inhaling it.
We made do with what we had left over -five sliced cherry tomatoes, and kept the house open all night. It needed to be aired out. I was still coughing and my eyes were watering once in awhile. My husband experienced the same symptoms as I had. We were quite a sight, I’m certain.
Here’s what I don’t understand,
I can’t cook. I have some friends whose families swear by their generations of recipes and home cooking. I had a super dinner the other night, it was all garden fresh and I just couldn’t get enough –at a friends’ house.
Back to the Teflon melting within my cook ware. I didn’t freak out too much until I woke up the next day. I remembered someone, somewhere had mentioned something about Teflon being a bad thing. Time for some research…
“…The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy group, advises that consumers avoid even the newer generation of nonstick cookware and kitchen utensils, favoring stainless-steel and cast-iron pots and pans…” (Teflon)
“No matter what you use, ventilate your kitchen while cooking to minimize inhaling fumes (no fumes are good fumes).” “…And keep in mind that nonstick cookware is just one source of fluorinated chemicals…”. (Science of Teflon)
I had two pans which were non-stick, teflon treated and they had some sad looking bacon stuck to them. The pans had gotten so hot on the stove top that they were cooking themselves into themselves. Plus the smoke from the bagels and bacon were all inhaled by yours truly. Did you know that,
Cooking with Chemicals
Over the decades, it’s been reported that the fumes that result from heating these pots and pans to very high temperatures (over 660°F) could cause temporary coughing, fever, and a sore throat—what’s been referred to as “Teflon flu” (or medically as polymer fume fever). The fumes have also been responsible for killing many pet birds, which have very sensitive respiratory tracts. Though temperatures can reach up to 500°F or so under normal cooking conditions, the problem occurs mostly when a pan, especially one without any food in it, is left unattended on the stove, since that can greatly increase the temperature.
The moral of this story is that I am not built for creative cooking. Creative Writing, that’s great. I can handle that. I suppose I can make anything heat-and-serve. But when a recipe or full meal which takes hours to prepare yet 15 minutes to eat, I get angry. Yep. Angry. For me, cooking is difficult and chances are that I really didn’t want to be responsible for your intestines or health for the next 24 hours.
If I show up to an event where the invitees are supposed to bring a dish to pass, I’m the one with a container of cookies or a bag of chips and dip -realize that I put a lot of heart and soul into that choice.
However, I am also good for cereal, fresh fruit, Yoplait Yogurt, coffee, tea and a toasted English muffin with cinnamon sugar.
For the time being, the Creative Chef is busy debating on replacing her kitchen wares.