Theme Song – “Dare You to Move”

Well, today in the Health Activists’ Monthly Awareness Challange, I’m supposed to come up with a theme song for my blog.

This is challenging, for many reasons, but primarily because the focus of my blog is so splintered. I talk about MS, seizure disorder, the paleo diet, the Tao de Ching, and my life… but the focus of the blog is supposed to be about living well with any disorder.

Those of us with chronic illness are constantly doing the best we can.

I think I’d have to choose Switchfoot’s “Dare You to Move” as this blog’s theme song. It talks about picking yourself off the floor, which so many of us with MS and seizure disorder and depression have to do on a regular basis. It’s all about fighting against the negative and continuing forward.

I hope you enjoy it.

Well… that was awkward, but necessary.

So, earlier this week, I set up an audition with a band who is looking for a female vocalist. (yay! right?)

Or I *was* trying out for a band as of last night. I’m not sure if they still want me now that they know that I have a seizure disorder. They acted like it’s no big deal, but it felt like a horribly big deal letting them know that the reason I can’t drive is because sometimes I shake uncontrollably.

*sigh* And that wouldn’t be such a big deal if I weren’t auditioning to be the front person for a band. But what does being a front person mean? It means being in front of a lot of flashing lights. It means cameras flashing. It means strobe lights flashing on stage — the same ones that made me go into a simple partial seizure the other day on the table at the doctor’s office, even with meds in my system.

It means I’m fooling myself, thinking that I can be a stage performer that tries to “make it” anymore. And that’s a hard truth that I have to accept. Maybe I can be in a cover band that plays for fun, but that’s about it… and it sucks to admit it.

But it doesn’t mean that I can’t song-write, because I already do that anyway.

So now, I just have to figure out how to get a new Mac so I can record my songs in demo form in Garageband and those songs to the right people.

And I might know a couple of the right people, come to think of it…

Ah, music publishing: where all the big money really is, anyway, coming in 5.3 cents at a time, even though it really should be 7.1 cents at a time… I never stop being glad I that studied you.

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday, party people!

What’s new with you? Not a hell of a lot going on here. I know that this week has been bereft of entries, and sometimes that happens. At least when I do post, I try to make it quality.

This week, overall, has been a good one. It’s definitely had its ups and downs dealing with PTSD, though.

I think that its safe to say that there’s no comfortable way to tell someone in your family, who you care about, that they have triggered you, and not to engage in a particular activity around or with you again. You’re already neck deep in awful, so anything that comes out of you is going to be noxious.

And there’s certainly no comfortable way to say you’re sorry to friends when you’ve acted out, as though the false reality were real. It’s just a big ole helping of humble pie with a side of “fuck you.”

Fortunately, I know what humble pie tastes like and am okay with admitting my wrongness the moment I realize how totally not-right I am in situations. The unfortunate part is how frequently it happens, surrounding the economic climate, politics, and utter catastrophization of our future.

So I avoid politics now. I avoid political discussions, especially with Republicans. I avoid the news, which is really just set up to scare people about things they have no control over. I use a credit union, and I’m not scared of my birthday this year. 12/21/12 (Woo!)

I try to focus on the things that I do have control over, like the food that I eat, the people I hang out with, the jewelry I make, and the pets for which I care. There are better things to think about, like what to make for dinner.

Positive attitudes are crafted by choice, not by chance, and things only improve with a positive will.

I knew when I woke up this morning, I was gonna have a good day. What about you?

Freakin’ Ahhh-mazing Paleo Chili (You Make Me Hot!)

The Donna’s have a song called “You Make Me Hot” that I believe is the appropriate soundtrack for this entry… thus I give it to you here… 🙂

So this chili right here – it started out as a World Championship recipe that I found on the internet. We chose to ignore the brand names on the spices, and to no one’s surprise, it remained fantastic. It was something Adam and I made (often with shredded cheese and hawaiian bread) for years and loved… and now we make it paleo, keep the serrano seeds in and serve it over diced, steamin’ hot baked potatoes to temper the heat with sweet and the sweet with fiber.

Now, usually I give you an ingredients list, but the fresh spices matter more than the exact ingredients on this one. You’ll get a feel for this one real easy. I’ll bet it rocks hard with game meat.

Rae & A’s Chili

That's good chili!

That's good chili!

Serves 6-8

  1. Brown 3 pounds of meat. (You don’t need to thoroughly cook – just get a good sear.)

    We like to use 2 pounds of beef (whatever is cheapest and on sale – stew meat, london broil, chuck – or whatever. Adam prefers marbled meat, so it shreds easier, but I honestly don’t think it matters much, since you’re cooking it low and slow.) and one pound of ground pork. Sometimes we’ll swap out one of the pounds of beef for a pound of lamb if we’re really doin’ it up nice, but there’s not a monumental difference unless you have a sophisticated palate, so if you’re trying to save money, stick with the beef.
    We also like sometimes to have 1 or more of the pounds of meat be ground, just for textural difference.

  2. Add:
      8 oz Tomato Sauce
      14-1/2 oz Chicken Broth
      1/2 tsp. – Cayenne Pepper
      1 tbsp. – Light Chili Powder (California or New Mexico)
      2 – Serrano Peppers (seeded – or not depending on your heat preference)
      14-1/2 oz. Beef Broth
      1-1/2 tbsp. – Onion Powder
      1 tsp. – Ground Cumin
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Remove the peppers and add the following:
      3/4 tsp – White Pepper
      1 tbsp – Corriander
      1/4 tsp – Salt
      3 tbsp – Ancho Chili Powder
      1 tsp – Garlic Powder
      1 tbsp – Ground Cumin
      2 tbsp – Light Chili Powder (California or New Mexico
  5. Adjust liquid with remainder of chicken broth or water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the following:
      1/4 tsp – Maple Syrup
      1 tbsp – Light Chili Powder (California or New Mexico)
      1/4 tsp – Habenaro Hot Sauce (Or other hot sauce of your choice)
      1 tsp – Ground Cumin
  7. Reduce heat and simmer/cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Adjust chili – final taste for salt and front and back heat.
  9. Serve atop baked, diced sweet potatoes or yams – or another sweet root vegetable, and Enjoy!

I hope this chili rocks your world as much as it does mine!

Paleo Pad Thai, Kittens, & New Help – Looks Like a Good Day To Me.

Today is going to be a good day. I’ve determined that already, even if it’s going to be work to get there.

1.) I have my first appointment with a new psychologist — the one I’ve been waiting 4 months to see.  I’m excited about that.  Excited, because I do, genuinely, need, deserve, and want the help… but I can’t honestly say that I’m looking forward to going through my entire life story with another stranger-who-cares.  It’s damn painful to go through all the muck.

2.) Today, I’m going to apply with the Romeoville Humane Society today to be a kitten foster momma again!  I have been missing kittens like crazy ever since we moved from Burbank. It’s like a gaping hole of love missing in my life, not having kittens around to care for. Nothing makes me feel more capable, or like I make a positive difference in the world like helping to rescue sweet baby cats, and training them to be good companion animals. It also helps me not feel so alone at home.

3.) I keep finding new music that I like on YouTube.  Like this group… The Pretty Reckless.

4.) I keep finding new paleo recipe sites with great recipes! Here! Allow me to share one that sounds freaking AMAZING, Paleo Pad Thai – courtesy of The Clothes Make The Girl

Paleo Pad Thai

Ingredients, per person
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup snap peas, slivered
1/4 onion, sliced thin
1/3 c. grilled chicken thigh or breast, diced
1 egg, scrambled with 1 t coconut aminos
coconut oil
1 batch sunshine sauce

Sunshine Sauce (w/out water)
2 tablespoons Sunbutter (organic Sunbutter contains ONLY roasted sunflowers seeds)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic paste
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
2 tablespoons coconut milk
pinch dried ginger

-Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor to make Sunshine Sauce!

Preparation

  1. Heat some coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat; I use about 1 teaspoon. Sauté the onion and snap peas until crisp-tender. Not too long! Then set aside.
  2. Heat a little more coconut oil in the pan. Pour in the egg and let it spread out into pancake. Cook until the egg is set and beginning to brown, then flip to lightly brown the other side. Cut the egg into strips and set aside.
  3. Heat a little more coconut oil in the pan. Add the spaghetti squash, snap peas/onions, egg, and chicken. Stir fry ’til heated through.
  4. Add the sunshine sauce and stir fry until everything is well-blended and hot.
  5. Top with any or all of these:
    chopped cashews, almonds, or sunflower seeds
    chopped scallions
    chopped cilantro
    a squeeze of lime juice

I hope that this entry helps raise your spirits. Just writing it has helped raise mine. 🙂