Beauty, balance, creamer and crow…

… I can’t drink my coffee black.  REALLY long-time readers might remember that up until that Christmas Eve a few years ago when I told the Knight I wanted a Keurig just because he needed SOMETHING for that insane holiday habit of his (last-minute shopping), I didn’t like/drink much coffee at all.

v00660I still am a tea-drinker.  I love tea, and am trying to work green tea back into the rotation.  If you have a favorite green tea blend, please share.  Sadly, my tea cupboard is lacking in the greens these days.  However, for my morning commute, I brew a 16 oz. travel mug of coffee and slosh some non-dairy, flavored creamer in it.

For those following along… that’s not lower-your-cholesterol-diet-friendly stuff.  In fact, I got rather turned off reading about the lard that basically is non-dairy creamer.  Ick.  Does anyone splash soy or almond milk in her coffee or tea instead of the good ol’ moo juice or the … over-processed but yummy gunk?

I love stumbling upon new blogs/products/recipes/shoes…  oooh, shiny!  (Shocker… wild crows don’t collect shiny objects.  Who knew?!)  If it sparkles, I’m distracted and want it.  So, while my brain is fried from another busy week at work, book-ended by firehouse elections and some League meetings at night, I’ll toss a few more nuggets from bloggers who are capable of stringing together coherent thoughts in a rather grand fashion.

I found Cranky Fitness through Fit Bottomed Girls.   I’ve mentioned FBG before; they have a very realistic, supportive approach to finding one’s one healthy lifestyle groove.  Cranky Fitness’s link happens to be to her give-away, because that’s how FBG introduced me to her AND because I know y’all are readers and many of you like some non-fiction reading too.

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Young adult me, supported by my grandmother circa 1990

As a bonus, Cranky introduced me to The Great Fitness Experiment’s post on the cure for not being good enough.   I was blessed to grow up with plenty of folks assuring me I was awesome and the world was my oyster, and I’m not sure I’ve lacked self-confidence more than a few isolated moments here and there, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never looked in the mirror and thought or said mean things I would never even THINK about a friend, just to give one example.

Again, those of you who read here regularly know I don’t believe in coincidence, so it’s not by chance that while I’m sitting here with my feet propped up, wishing I wasn’t so drained on a lovely spring evening, I tripped over these two blogs, these two posts.

Here’s something a lot of you don’t know about me.

I’m a fraud.  One of my theme songs might be “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” and definitely, Miranda’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” suits me.  (If you didn’t click over…  Go and fix your make-up/girl it’s just a break-up/run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady…)

Life is hard, but for me, it’s harder when I wallow.  For me, balance comes faster when I pull up my bootstraps, hide my crazy, and smile.

So… yeah.  Life is hectic.  But I landed on my feet and can honestly say I’m now in that really special place where the adage “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” applies.   I broke one of my golden rules and brought work home this week.  I forfeited a snow day because our shop is running VERY short, and I knew my co-workers were going to brave the weather, so the least I could do is go the extra mile with them.

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The JLC Holiday Parade 2011

Likewise, being an unintentional two-term president of the small but fierce JLC hasn’t been a picnic at times either, but the rewards have exceeded the personal cost.  I’ve missed some sleep.  I probably have risked frost bite with those parking lot meetings after the meetings.  I’ve had to trust the Knight to take care of Sissy’s eye drops FAR more often than I’d prefer, but see her post; she’s her sassy, fine self, and she and her Dadaw both survived a triple-purpose trip to the vet today.

BUT…

Here’s one thing I’ve learned over that two-year journey that is coming to an end; appearing unflappable isn’t always a good thing.  I had a crying jag after a 2000 mile round-trip sprint to deal with my mother’s final arrangements – and snow in the deep South?! really?! – and informed the Knight that just because I wasn’t a puddle of mess, it didn’t mean I didn’t need support.  Other women are watching me cope and juggle and do it all, and I was honestly chagrined for all the wrong reasons when one of the women I’ve worked with in the League at the highest level for YEARS now was shocked to hear a dirty word escape my lips, under my breath, just last month.

Sorry Nana; I wasn’t embarrassed BECAUSE she heard it, but rather, because I thought she knew me better than that.  Come on, folks.  I do try to be a class act, but I work in the fire service “service industry” and was basically raised by an old Marine/former fire chief/mechanic.  Do you REALLY think I say (or think?!) “darn!”?!?!?

Anyhooooo, the point of this ramble is that I’m going to continue to fake it ’til I make it when life is hard, because it works for me.  I’m happiest when I’m problem-solving and making the world a better place, but that works for me because I have the Knight and some of the best friends ever, with whom I can be snarky and critical.  It’s how I vent.

Well… that and logging Sissy miles, and miles.  Even on a bad walk where Sissy has pulled like a freight train and Gretchen Greer has bounced all over like a paddle ball, I get home feeling restored and ready for the next round.   My faith is renewed when I’m in nature.  There’s just something about being in the woods – or on the beach – that puts it all in perspective for me.  (Go endorphins!)

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14 comments on “Beauty, balance, creamer and crow…

  1. gmariesews says:

    What a great post! I’m off to look at your links because I was honestly feeling defeated today. I’ve been doing everything right all week – with no results. Not sleeping better, not losing, nothing. I probably ate more than I should have today – but you know what – I journalled it all. So even though I was wallowing – I mostly stayed the course and you know – I’m proud of myself. I didn’t throw in the towel and give in to the evil voice that says I can’t. Totally and completely off topic from your post – but apparently it spoke to me 😉 Happy Friday! You are an amazing and awesome woman – I am so honored to call you friend. g

  2. Susan says:

    Stash tea has a good Green Chai. I have it as a loose tea, but they probably have it in bags too. I tend to shy away from Republic of Tea because their bags are gauged for 6 oz. I have never fixed a 6 oz cup of tea in my life, so end up using 2-3 tea bags at a time. Not being a delicate little flower, I want a MUG of tea!!!

    Feel better. Spring is coming.

  3. nancytimber says:

    A wonderful post! For years, I’ve shown the world a different side of myself, put on a brave face when hurt, or exhausted, or simply sad. I don’t do that as much anymore, but the thought(s) are still there, “will this person still like me if I let the real me emerge?”

  4. Mary says:

    Well, you certainly know you need not put on any face, but your own, with me. I recognize the need for all of us to put up a front with others in the various dimensions of our lives (e.g. for folks who don’t like us to step out of their preconceived notions of how we should behave, dress, speak, etc., etc., etc.). But really? Pish posh (..although you know those particular words are not really what I am saying/thinking…)!

    Just do what you have to do to make it through the day. Or In the immortal words of Dr Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.”

    Oh, and I use skim milk in my tea. If I put no (real) milk in my tea my British mother would have called me a foreigner. And yes, ditch that non-dairy creamer stuff. Deadly.

    Love you, Kiddo.

  5. AlisonH says:

    I love that picture with your grandma! Can’t help you on tea–cocoa and chocolate, definitely, and a little real cream is far better all around than the fake stuff. Or if you’re used to skim, 1% feels seems creamy.

    And I’m chuckling, remembering the time when circumstances were such that I used d–n in a sentence and a LYSO friend looked at me, shocked: you’re Alison! You’re Mormon! You don’t SAY such things!

    Well, not usually. It’s okay to add being human to that list. (Besides, I’m a Daddy’s little girl too.)

  6. kathy b says:

    ugh oh. I love creamer.. Its L A R D ??? Really …that may help me get off the stuff. I thank you Channon. Hooray for dog walks…the are so therapeutic.

    You keep on doing what works for yOU! I find you inspiring and wonderful in so many ways Channon.

  7. Marjie says:

    I hate creamer. I use nonfat milk. One of my daughters uses soy milk or almond milk. That’s too weird for me, despite the fact that I do love almonds and almond extract. Harney and Sons has a wide range of green teas, and I love their tropical green tea (I think that’s what it’s called).

    I’m too good at making everything look easy(ish) and hiding when something is wrong. My nurse daughter was beyond stunned when she went to the doctor who first diagnosed my herniated disc, who asked how I was doing. My daughter responded, of course, that I was doing better, a year after the surgery, although I had waited 4 months to have it fixed (for good family related reasons). The doctor was stunned, and told my daughter, “Your mother is the toughest woman I ever met. She had been in agony, and it had to be agony given how bad her back was, for 3 months before she saw me, and didn’t get it fixed for another 4 months? Wow.” I took that as a compliment. I always figure, don’t whine. No one wants to hear it.

    Hope the League elections come up soon, so you can get yourself a little down time. When working for the in-laws, you could take yourself a little time if you needed it; it’s got to be a lot harder now.

  8. Sue says:

    I’m more a coffee person at least early in the day. I tend to change over to tea later. I take them both black much to the dismay of my English friends.

    I hear you about the other. I’m much harder on myself than I should be. I have spent most of my life trying to fight the urge to tear myself down. It ain’t easy.

  9. You know I too am a coffee drinker, Channon but, I do find Stash tea Green Tea a good choice for Green Tea. I have never bought it myself but I have a friend who serves it all the time, lol..(someday I should break down:) I haven’t uses creamer in a long time. I would rather “waste” my calories and cholesterol watch on something way more yummy!

    What ever you are doing it is working. As long as it keep you on the path to wherever it is you want to go/be. I give you tons of credit. Do remember the down time though. Oh so important for you and your support system:) Thanks for sharing, Channon…

  10. Jessica says:

    The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has a Strawberry Cream Green Tea….YUM!!! Depending on which batch you get, it is either Chinese pan-fried green tea, blended with flavors of strawberry and cream…OR Thailand green tea blended with strawberry and cream. It is amazing!!

  11. Nichole says:

    I’ve been hooked on the lard, er, flavored non-dairy coffee creamer for years now……. I can never do black coffee.

  12. Katherine says:

    I’m a tea drinker now but when I drank coffee it was black. When I was a young girl my dad thought he could keep me from becoming a coffee drinker by telling me I could only have coffee if I could drink it black. So I drank it black! Yep, I’m determined but a softie inside. I hum You’ll Never Walk Alone a lot!

    Be good to yourself. The grieving process takes time.

  13. Thank you so much for including me in your post!! That means a lot to me! And I totally agree with you about their being something especially rejuvenating about just being outside:) Your grandma is ADORABLE!!

  14. Kathy says:

    I’ll tackle this post subject by subject. (hanging my head 😉 ) I’m a coffee addict and I must have creamer…flavored creamer and I no longer care about the health stuff associated with it. I worry about that with other food stuff….lol

    Good for you! Love this post. I pull up the boot straps but as Katherine (above) stated, I’m a softie so when it hurts, it hurts deep. As I age (ahem) Life is much too short and I’m developing an “I don’t give a d*mn” (oops!) attitude about most stuff and I worry that may not necessarily be a good thing but it’s what keeps the stress/drama and just plain negative stuff at bay.

    I’m off to grab the knitting and coffee with creamer 😀

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