29 May 2013

Advice from a teenager

My biggest weakness, by far, is self-doubt. No matter how great other people tell me I am there's always a voice in my head telling me I'm not good enough, I didn't try hard enough, I screwed up, I'm not worthwhile, I'm not creative, I'm ugly, I'm inadequate, I'm gross, I could go on but you get the point. I have a tendency to overly criticize myself.

I used to attribute this to low self-esteem, but Prescription for Nutritional Healing has me convinced it's due to depression. The book discusses a "chronic low grade depression called dysthymia." Harvard Medical School's dysthymia page sums it up well by writing, "The Greek word dysthymia means 'bad state of mind' or 'ill humor.'" It lists a variety of symptoms and a few that stand out for me are: disturbed sleep, low self-esteem, excessive guilt.

What I don't like about this page is that nowhere will you find the words nutrition, nutrients, food, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids, or anything of that sort. So let me go back to Prescription for Nutritional Healing. I have the fourth edition and on page 352, it explains: 
Foods greatly affect the brain's behavior. A poor diet, especially one with a lot of junk foods, is a common cause of depression. The levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which regulate our behavior, are controlled by what we eat, and neurotransmitters are closely linked to mood.
I'm making a concerted effort to control my mood through diet and while I feel better, I still have a tendency to excessively look for (and invent) faults within myself.

I digress.

This was a bit of background information for the story I actually want to tell. 

Today at work while we were pricing new products in the back, I was talking about how nervous I feel regarding this important thing that may or may not happen in my life. I didn't realize I was talking badly about myself but our newest employee, Beth, who is 17, walked in the back and shut me up quick! "JEANNETTE! You better knock that off! You're awesome, you deserve great things and great things will come to you. I better not catch you talking shit about yourself again!!" Then she walked back onto the floor.

When I got home from work I called her to thank her for talking me down from a ledge of negativity. I tried saying, "I can't help myself. I should've ____ and I shouldn't have ___ and I probably ____" but she immediately cut me off.
Jeannette, you better keep those negative thoughts away. Don't even let them linger! Listen to your friends and family. Everyone is telling you, "You got this!" Attract what people are saying to you. DO YOU WANT THIS!? (me: Yes!) Envision it. See it. You got this, girl!
Advice from a teenager
Actual notes I wrote during our one-minute phone conversation.

A couple hours ago she sent me a text, "Just keep remembering you can have anything you want in life if you are willing to let go of the belief that you can't have it."

Pfft, teenagers. What do they know?


24 May 2013

Stuff on my phone

I want to write about a lot of things at the moment, but my blog doesn't seem the best place for such personal thoughts. 

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past, analyzing the now and looking toward the future. I currently feel a bit mumble-jumbled inside, so I present a photo montage from whatever I find immediately meaningful on my phone. Probably all of these have been posted online somewhere before, so explanations feel unnecessary.


ps - I'm still listening
to that same song
by the Country Teasers - I'm a New Person, Ma'am.

14 May 2013

Make Dirt

Composting is so easy that I find myself getting frustrated and sometimes angry when people do not. I can certainly understand feeling overwhelmed by it, as the one composting book I've ever bought made me feel unqualified to bury food.

Three years ago when I bought my house I didn't care about any of this. My dad immediately noticed a spot in the yard where there had been a pile for composting. I wasn't sure how to do it so he gave me simple instructions.
Use a hoe or some other tool to make an indentation. Put vegetable waste in that hole and cover it up with the dirt or organic material, like grass clippings or leaves (to keep the flying bugs away). Water it. 
That's it. Make sure that spot is in the sun. It's so easy.

Makin' Dirt
Dirt + vegetables, fruits, breads, grains, egg shells + sun + water + time and bugs and worms and it seems like magic but it all = dirt 

My goal is to create the right conditions for dirt to happen so I can plant seeds in said dirt, then transplant the plant into my garden. If they can survive all that, I hope to nurture that plant so it will grow food for me.

Until this year the only seeds I've sewn were outside: corn, quinoa, okra, peppers, spinach, sunflowers, hollyhocks, hyacinth. This year I've started a variety of foods and have easily killed 2/3 already though none have been outside.

I especially don't like paper cups because I can't find a healthy balance between drying out and molding over. It's difficult. I don't want to start my food in plastic, so I have to search for a better alternative. But for now, random plastic containers with holes poked in the bottom are working a lot better than paper cups.

Started seeds

I'm amazed at how delicate plants are when they're inside compared to being outside in the elements. On one hand it seems like sheltering, protecting is a good idea, but when I actually do that - a lot die. Plants need stress. I want to make their life easy but by keeping the light, temperature and moisture at a constant, any little fluctuation in one seems to cause my seedlings to stress out and die. I'm not sure how farmers do it.


A few weekends ago I went over to Christopher and Roxanne's for a vegan dinner. We first went on a woodswalk to forage for wild edibles, then brought home our harvested greens, cooked some and ate the others raw.

Vegan (organic) Dinner

The stemmy green things mixed in with the beets were harvested that day. I thought they were "spicy mustard greens" but when I google-imaged that phrase, I didn't find anything remotely like what I was looking for. I'll have to update this. Dogfooooood, what were you feeding me??

In any case, while growing my own food led me to a higher experience, foraging for wild-grown food took it one step farther. They understand the value of composting so their rule is to return all the unused food back to where it was gathered. It was an uplifting experience so I sent them a Thank You postcard. I love Roxanne's reply "I'm not sure what you're thanking us for...."


The circle of life. It's crazy, man.

12 May 2013

Precisely 24 hours ago from this very moment

...Ethan (my future nephew) was playing with my phone and here's the video he took!

Oooh, Girl, Oooh

I just found a draft blog post. I don't save drafts; I sit down and write something and delete it if it sucks. I never start to write a post and then come back to it for later revisions, so I did not notice this draft and have no idea how long it's been sitting there. I could guesstimate by looking at the dates on these photos but I don't feel like it. 

I'm posting it exactly as I found it, goofy ass title and all.

Circa: Sometime in 2012

Oooh, Girl, Oooh

I love taking pictures of those nothing-moments that no one else would care to chronicle. It's a documentary about me, for me, by me. I know feet pictures are popular to some and questionable or annoying to everyone else, just like food photos, duck faces and so on.

Not in the foot fetish way, but man, I get feet pictures; I look at a picture of my feet later and a memory comes flooding back. To everyone else it's just an old pair of Chucks, but I think of me sitting behind the health foods store on my break, eating damaged produce and thinking about how dumb I am for being so silly and confused over a boy.

It's a little hard to tell by this picture, but I'm eating a tomato right now.

But really it's just a picture of my feet.

And then I think of a different picture of my feet, where I'm at a new job and working with someone new, fourteen years younger than me, who a year later would be one of my closest friends and my roommates girlfriend (they're recently broke up, ugh).

Day 152: Cashier Number One and Cashier Number Two

And for some reason that photo reminded me of Teresa.

Small Shoes

06 May 2013

Tower Grove Park Photo Op

On a whim I called Jessica and thirty minutes later we were at Uncle Bill's. I thought I'd eaten there before, but the inside looked completely unfamiliar to me. Anyway, here's the window we sat next to:

Impromptu date with Jessica

We went to Tower Grove Park for a while; it's my absolute favorite park in St. Louis. Don't get me wrong, Forest Park has a great Art Museum, History Museum, Zoo, a lake with paddle boats, multiple golf courses, soccer and baseball fields, the Muny, the Jewel Box, the planetarium which bridges across I-40 to the Science Center, miles of trails and I'm sure I'm forgetting a variety of other amenities. But the place is HUGE - 1371 acres - and surrounded by interstate and crazy busy streets... kind of segregated from the community in that way.

Tower Grove Park is just under 300 acres, in a residential area surrounded by houses, two and four family flats, apartments, a bicycle shop, grocery stores, schools. It has soccer, baseball, kickball corkball fields, lots of paths and trees and each pavilion is more interesting and ornate than the next. It's my kind of scene, man.

Impromptu date with Jessica

Impromptu date with Jessica

In any case, we stopped to walk around for a bit near the ruins. I wanted to climb to the top and asked Jessica to take a picture. I only knew she took two of them but of course later I discovered she took seven different ones...

I guess this one was a test, to make sure she knew how to use the equipment.
Impromptu date with Jessica

But THIS photo?
Impromptu date with Jessica

Extreme Close-Up from the picture above.
Extreme close-up

02 May 2013

Last Chance!

Today's the last day I'll be able to respond "Thirty-Four" if someone asks how old I am.

A night at The Legacy

While I'll miss dividing my age by 17, I do look forward to an entire year of dividing my age by five. And to think, a year ago today I wrote about dividing by eleven!

I'm not even sure why I care about dividing my age by any number when my faulty math has resulted in one $65 pizza and another time where I invented "future money" while trying to split up a dinner bill. Between two people.

I've never been good at calculating math in my head. I've always wanted to be one of those people but I'm just not. The other day I bought a kombucha and after my discount plus tax, it's $2.82. I handed Dexter a five, he rung it out and then I handed him two pennies. He looked at the pennies, then me and asked, "What's that gonna do?" I thought about it and wasn't 100% sure of the answer so we just laughed and pretended I did not retroactively hand him any pennies. It takes a level of effort for me to get the answer.

I want to envision:

- 2.82

But in my head I see it as words and a sentence, not numbers.

Five dollars minus two dollars and eighty-two cents plus two pennies.

I'm not even sure why I'm posting any of this and actually taking time to create links. I was supposed to do a simple day-before-my-birthday post.

My dad was right.

Listening to: Country Teasers - I'm a New Person, Ma'am


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