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These past few weeks have been an exercise in cravings, delayed satisfaction, impulsive choice making, setting aside, procrastination, misplacing my mojo, re-discovering my mojo, percolating, marinading, and popcorning ideas, thoughts, theories, plain silliness, deep convoluted thinking meanderings and missing my blog. 

What I have been up to and the revolving re-occuring topics in my head have included, but have not been limited, to:

the hour and minute combination of 11:11 and the significance I have ascribed to this time

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Spring Fever, which morphed into Sunshine Fever, which changed to Restless Life Syndrome

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loving my job, total dissatisfication with the same job, searching for new job, applying for new jobs

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retirement preparedness, freaking out that I have failed, as in utterly, to formulate any such plan,

vesting, vacillating between commitment to stay for 3+ years to wear this retirement vest, back

to freaking out at the thought of such a long term commitment

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health issues, tipping over, milestones in sleeping upright, off low sodium plan, back on,

yo-yo eating plan

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poor body image, hating, shameful feelings, attempts to embrace my physical self

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vacations, destinations, monetary commitment toward vacations, gratitude for abundance

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Setting aside, walking through, moving around, navigating life’s detritus, waking up, being amazed,

feeling flummoxed, groaning disappointment, side-splitting hilarity, tears of pain and surrender,

loving and receiving affection

Man alive!  No wonder I have been absent.  That there is whole hella lot of living. 

Yes, indeed. 

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Take two ibuprofens.  Drink them down with big gulps of water.  Do it quickly lest you be oxygen deprived due to inabilty to breathe through your nose and only your mouth.  Keep a goodly supply of Puffs with lotion tissues nearby.  Apply Neosporin to painfully irritated raw nose. 

Do all of the above throughout your day and night.  Allow the common cold to run its natural course.

Oh I almost forgot to mention, give in to food cravings and allow yourself to be comforted by a steaming hot cup of tomato soup.  Sodium milligrams be damned.  One’s spirits must be buoyed and nurtured during times of physical illness in order to quickly return to health.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

As you may have guessed by now, I am being visited by a headcold.  I realized that this is the first cold I have succumbed to in over a year.  My memory timeline includes such mileposts as my daugher’s birth year and her age at any given point in my adulthood.  An example being, when did I date the woman with the long flowing blond hair with those deep blue eyes?  Well let’s see, my daughter was about 7 years old so I would have been 26.  Another memory milepost is when was the last time I was able to sleep lying down?  Well let’s see that would have been toward then end of January 2011 so about 13 months ago.  And I haven’t had a head cold since then.  Oh the meandering places my mind does travel when my head is all stuffed up… 

Life is good even with the raw nose and achy muscles.  One cold in over a year just isn’t that bad.  Right?  Nothing that taking two ibuprofens won’t help.

Napping is good.  Whether the nap is taken sitting upright or lying down, either way, it’s all good.  I opted for such goodness yesterday afternoon and was rewarded with rich and varied dreams.  The extra interesting dreams may have been somewhat influenced by my lunch.  The lunch that was slightly, meaning well off, my current low sodium plan.  Can you say a foodie’s salty heaven?  Not to worry, I do not intend to continue veering off the diet forever.  Sometimes though, a triple decker turkey club sammie on lightly toasted whole wheat bread is worth this high risk behavior. 

Yes.  Either way.  Horizontally or vertically.  Napping is a good thing.  All snuggled up in one’s down duvet with loads of fluffy and firm pillows for added comfort. 

Did I mention yesterday was an overcast cold winter’s day?  It was and I did.  Nap. 

All good.  Way good.

My recent medical diagnoses has required me to change my eating habits. Drastically. As long as I can remember, salt has occupied its very own food group at the base of my food pyramid. Other foods were mere vehicles for my favored and craved after salt. I now take in less than 1000 milligrams of sodium daily. So as one might imagine, this shift in diet has not been without some grief and overall loss of appetite.

The change in diet and my faithful following of the doctor’s orders has rested solely on fear. Fear of being permanently plagued with the unbearable vertigo and the loss of what has been up until recently, very keen hearing. My desire to not lose my ability to hear and having endured severe bouts of vertigo for months on end have been the impetus and motivation, which in turn has fueled my robust adherence to this new eating lifestyle.

Changes take some time to grow accustomed to. That, along with the immediate revocation of my loved longed for and lusted after salty goodiness, basically stopped me dead in my tracks when it came to cooking anything tasty for myself or wanting to cook for myself. When cooking for others, I continue to cook with salt and have not required my friends or families to adhere to my strict new diet needs. But when it has come to my cooking to sustain myself that is exactly what I have been reduced to ~ cooking and eating to live and to survive; forget the thriving and enjoyment.

Up until this weekend that is. Today I am cooking a pot of white bean soup that is much lower in sodium than I would have formerly prepared but still has more sodium laden ingredients than I have been allowing myself. I think this is okay. I didn’t go hog wild ~ just enough to make the soup tasty enough to make me want to dip my spoon in more than once or twice.

The delicious savoriness is enveloping my little abode while the soup perks away in my slow cooker. Chunks of bright orange carrots, carmalized yellow onion bits, diced fresh shiny green jalapenos, a bit of browned salt pork, two dusty green bay leaves and a healthy dose of deep red cayenne pepper mingle with the white beans, all bathed in a splash or so of beef broth. I tossed in a dash of ground nutmeg just for kicks. So far, smells delisio.

Comfort.
A reclaiming of my kitchen.

If you were here, I would ladle you up a hot bowl of white bean soup.
Comfort.
Comfort with a spicy kick.
Oh yeah, baby, time to get back in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the idea of creating time in a box. My post today includes additional notes I jotted down in my personal journal to help me toward creating my very own time in a box ~

On Joy the Baker’s blog, she posted about her time in a capsule project that she and a friend undertook. They each placed several mementos in a box with attached notes about the item and then wrapped the box and tied it with twine to be opened 7 years in the future. I like this idea. And have been thinking about it for a couple of days.

What is keeping me from creating my time in a box? For it is clear that something is preventing me from doing so. I get excited; feel the excitement viscerally and then… nothing. I put on the brakes. Get stuck. Glued in place. Paralysis sets in.

A very familiar process that has been repeated multiple times in multiple ways throughout my life but with the same result ~ a stymied creative spirit, a damming of creative juices and subsequently a pervasive depressed soul.

So what can I do that can move me toward action, if only a baby step or two?

Time Box Items

1. A lock of my purple hair to remind me that even in my 50’s I still have a sense of stylish fun;

2. A copy of my paystub so I can remember where I was working in 2011;

3. A photograph of my living room or a portion thereof to help me remember where I called home;

4. A photograph of my art supplies on my long birch art table to help me remember that I was an artist even when I was not producing any tangible pieces;

5. My adoptive Mama’s salt shaker, the clear glass one with blue paint circles and metal cap to remind me that this was the year in which I made a major major change in my diet and went super low sodium;

6. A self taken photograph of me so I can see how I have changed in the ensuing 7 years;

7. A photograph of me with my daughter, the grandkiddos, and the rest of my clan to keep safe in a box for 7 years even though I cannot guarantee their safety in the world outside.

So here is proof of artistic life.
One baby step at a time.

You know that old adage ~ when life hands you lemons, make lemonade? Well in my current case that saying could be applied with one caveat ~ when life hands you lemons, make lemonade and make sure it is sodium free.

Say it ain’t true.
Please oh please.

But yet it is.
True.

My favorita food group ~ salt ~ has been all but eliminated from my eating plan.

All in hope of making my body such an inhospitable guest home that my Bastard Buddy Vertigo will move on. As in stop mooching a free and dizzy ride. As in flee his not so happy home.

But hey Buddy V before you go, have a glass of sodium free lemonade. On the house. After all, you did supply the lemons.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I realize that lemonade is not typically made with salt ~ that is unless one is mixing up a batch of lemonade margaritas.)

So I took a little poetic license ~ sue me. Why don’t you take a load off and have a sip or two of my salt free lemonade. Supplies are limited.

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