Have You Any Guilty Pleasures?

I find guilty pleasures amusing.

Yes, I know those secret sins could involve someone with a very serious addiction, ruining his life behind the back alley of the strip club while his family suffers starvation at home. Obviously I do not find that situation funny.

What I do snicker about is the idea that a person sneaks around for a mild pleasure. You know, something like “Encounter in the Alley,” a story I wrote based off Stephen’s prompt last August.

All right; I may be alone in this.

But humorous or not, guilty pleasures are indulgences we can understand. Maybe we can even relate to them because we have a few of our own…

I have. Most of mine involve food. Like, that one time I purchased a char-grilled hamburger and french fries for just myself and enjoyed every dip of fry sauce while the kids were in school. Or the night I ran to the store for groceries and treated myself to a Reese’s Sticks candy bar. Or when I recently added a $1 frozen pizza to our groceries whilst on bed rest and savored all the crispy badness.

The non-food indulgences are still related to being alone: reading the last dregs of a novel in the closet, writing a blog post in the safety of my car, or snickering quietly over a clever quip I read online.

By myself. Just me. Alone.

So, maybe that’s the secret. Maybe a guilty pleasure is one we feel we ought not to enjoy but do, and therefore indulge in when others are not around to judge.

What do you think? Have you any guilty pleasures or know others who do? Besides the …more disgusting ones, are you willing to share?

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—————-

I’m about 16 days behind on reading all my favorite bloggers and have 10 extra house guests this week, but here’s what I accomplished so far:

Wednesday, June 19: Wondered: “Are Food Cravings Always Specific?

Thursday, June 20: Entered Anisha’s raw poetry contest.

Friday, June 21: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Nitin!

Saturday, June 22: Announced the 31st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is the political views of rodents. PLEASE ENTER!

Celebrated the second birthday of this here blog!

Sunday, June 23: “Adult Swim,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, June 24: Shared a quote I read over at C.S. Boyack‘s site about blogging compared to writing a book.

Tuesday, June 25: Nothing.

And, posted “How to Break the Cycle of Abuse Within Your Own Mind” over at The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health Blog.

Wednesday, June 26: Today.

I also sort-of posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “No One Likes the Dentist, But Some Kids Have Special Needs,” “Where Do We Sleep on a Road Trip with Kids??,” and “The Most Loving Sight.”

 

Photo Credit:
Thomas Kelley

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Are Food Cravings Always Specific?

I’m currently pregnant. If you didn’t know that, you do now.

As such, I’ve gotten a lot of well-meaning questions like, “Have you had any funny cravings?” and, “D’ya know what you’re having?” These are often accompanied by a figurative elbow nudge and *wink-wink.*

The answer to both is, “NO!” -definitely so to the first, because I get very very very very very very very very very very (etc.) sick whilst pregnant. I haven’t had to get a feeding tube and I have amazing resistance to losing my lunch, but -Ugh.

When I do crave food, it’s more of an intense, five-minute demand for one very specific taste. Say… nachos from the Maverik gas station. Or, a croissant sandwich from the local deli. Or, pickle ice cream.

K, not really on the ice cream.

But all that is on par with when I am not pregnant -except for the being sick part. When I am hungry for dinner during normal times, I imagine the taste of something I had before. I want it precisely like that, down to the last rosemary leaf.

Which led me to wonder: does everyone crave food that way? When you want chocolate, is it a certain brand or flavor? Is it just chocolate? Does your taco have to be the one from that over-smiley dude on 5th? Can it be Taco Bell, instead?

Do tell. And, do share some of your favorites.

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Grab some chips and check out what went down this past week:
Wednesday, June 12: Announced Baby #5 in “Really Big News of a Non-Writing Kind.”

Thursday, June 13: Tanka Tuesday. On a Thursday.

Friday, June 14: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb Whittam!

Saturday, June 15: Announced the 30th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is to pick a number and repeat it ad nauseam. PLEASE ENTER!

Also shared that I won second place in the Annual Bloggers Bash writing competition.

Sunday, June 16: “Many Hands Make Enlightened Work,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, June 17: An inspirational quote by Denzel Washington.

Tuesday, June 18: Nothing!

Wednesday, June 19: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Rainy Days and Mondays Don’t Have to Get you Down” and “A Pregnancy Poem.”

Photo Credit:
Jason Leung

That Liebster Award Thingie

Many thanks to Peregrine Arc for this here Liebster Award.

Liebster Flowers

 

In answer to her questions:

  1. Why is blogging called blogging? Why isn’t it called ejournaling or something similar, you know?
    *Ahem* It’s a portmanteau of “web” and “log.” In the old days, before you young’uns even had a microwave death trap for yer food or a cellular cancer ray fer yer textin’, a person who wrote online kept a web log.
    I blame the rising generation, George Orwell, and the Germans for the term.
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  2. If you ever actually came across a ghost (yours to invent) what would your honest reaction be, as far as you can tell? 👻
    That’s easy! I’d scream like a banshee (also a ghostly apparition) and run away.
  3. If an animal talked to you, would you respond back? Or would you run to the nearest neurologist? What’s the animal and what did it say to you?
    Assuming an animal spoke English to me, I believe it would be like Gary Larson’s Far Side of the dog translator: a bunch of mutts saying, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” I wouldn’t tell the neurologist anything; they charge way too much. And, dog is the first animal I thought of.
  4. You’re on stage, accepting your dream award. What’s the award and what did you do to deserve it? Who do you remember to thank in your speech? And, here’s the kicker: is there anyone you blow the whistle on? This is your chance now to start some change…
    I am so boring. I don’t even know of any awards besides the movie ones and that Nobel thing. I’d really just want to be extremely rich and famous, but for the best reasons. So; no, I wouldn’t be blowing any whistles -except on those idiots who don’t know how to use a roundabout.
  5. What do you think should be done about me-monsters? You know, those people who just rattle on about themselves at dinner parties until you bend your fork into a boomerang so the investigators can’t find the murder weapon?
    A boomerang fork is highly inventive! I’d go with that, or a laryngitis-shooting secret ring.
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  6. If you could have one book unpublished (as in never published and removed from time) what would it be and why?
    I would unpublish every single serial book that is crap (and all the movies, too). Yes, that counts as one.

And again, here are a list of sites you ought to read and follow. I try not to repeat people I’ve suggested from past nominations (here, here, here, and here):

PK Adams. Writes about running, religion, and life.

Bruce. The best at writing bad endings for his characters; recently taken to composing songs and sharing them.

Roberta Writes. She lives in South Africa and writes some creepy (and good) stuff.

John L. Malone. John’s about quick punches, short stories, and the nonsense that makes them.

Michael B. Fishman. Michael is funny, and a fantastic terrible poet.

Nominees, here are your questions if you wish to answer them:

  • Would you rather sleep in on Sunday, and would a cat sitting on your face change that answer?
  • Given an infinite number of monkeys and typewriters, how soon before they realize typewriters are outdated and they’ll need to learn sign language?
  • What is the best paper airplane design?
  • Who would win in a duel: chocolate volcano cake or bananas foster?
  • If you could choose one magical power, what powers would everyone else have?

 

According to P’Arc:
What is the Liebster Prize?

“The Liebster Prize is an award that exists only on the Internet and is awarded to bloggers by other bloggers. The first case of the award goes back to 2011. Liebester in German means sweet, kind, kind, dear, charming, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. It really is an excellent way to meet other bloggers and gain more visibility in the community.”

Use the links below to follow the rules and find the submission page:

https://theglobalaussie.com

Submission Page

Official Rules

 

Photo Credits:
Image by suju from Pixabay
Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

Mystery Blogger Awarded

Thanks to Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Masterfulness for nominating me last week; and on my birthday, no less!

Here are my answers to Beckie’s awesome queries:

  1. Do you collect something, if so, what?
    I just might have a problem collecting books. Yes, I can quit when I -okay; no, no I can’t.

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    may have more than this.

  2. Other than writing, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you enjoy?
    I am a mother and housewife (and regular wife, and taxi, and….) “other than writing.” *Sigh* As such, my other hobbies need to fit between the cracks. They include reading, running, camping, and artsing.
  3. What is your most embarrassing moment in public?
    I puked on several kids at our choir concert in fifth grade.
  4. If you had your choice of sleeping on a bed of nails or eating chocolate covered ants, which would you choose, and why?
    I seriously think this question needs more parameters. I mean; if I only had to sleep on the nail bed for ten seconds, that’d be fine. If I only had to try one ant, that would also be fine.
    Mostly I don’t think I would be able to sleep on nails or chew insects.

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    Cute; but, UGH!

  5. What is your worse pet-peeve?
    I’ve been thinking about this one. My worst pet-peeve is people being selfish, especially at the expense of others. Seriously, people, have some manners if you can’t have empathy.

Some of my favorite posts I giggled to myself over include “Encounter in the Alley,” “Silent but Tardy,” “Everlore,” “My Muse,” and “A Spoonful of Limericks.”

Any stragglers-on to my blog know I’m not a huge fan of this chain mail thing, so my nominees are more a list of blogs I follow that I highly recommend you all check out. If they want to answer the questions, more power to them.

Len of Len’s Daily Diary. Brilliant mind, touching observations, and excellent story-teller.

Treeshallow Musings. She’s a gifted poet and word-painter.

Geoff. If you haven’t read Mr. LePard yet, that may be better for your health.

H.R.R. Gorman. Also an excellent writer; delving into a little sci-fi, a little horror, a little fun.

Beverly Hughes. One of my favorite people. She writes moving and insightful posts about mental illness and her journeyings.

Official Nominees: you may choose to answer my questions:

  • Is there anything chocolate cannot solve?
  • Are fabric softeners really effective?
  • Who is your favorite Disney princess?
  • Which storybook villain would always win a limerick competition?
  • If you could vote for anyone to be leader of your respective country, who would it be and why wouldn’t it be Girl Scout Tagalong cookies?

If interested, here are the rules and such:

Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  4. Answer the 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).

Photo Credits:
Susan Yin
mi_shots

The Cure for Depression: Eat Healthy

Good morning/afternoon/evening/midnight/snacktime everyone! I am ready to very professionally talk to you about one of my favorite subjects: food.

Fruit smoothies in glasses topped with pieces of fruit and marigold flowers

I just spent ten luxurious minutes searching for food pictures, and now I’m hungry. There are so many pictures of food! WHY are there so many?

Duh. Food is life.

That, and it’s delicious. During one of my no-sugar diets, I sagely told a friend, “I’ve decided the problem with chocolate is that it tastes good.” I hope I come up with better quotes when I’m not dieting.

So…. why bother monitoring what we stuff in our faces? This is one of those answers that we all know, like how we ought to be getting outside more, or exercising. We know that eating well is better for our health.

Anyone with food issues like me also knows that an entire bag of Snicker’s ‘fun’ size is really appealing at depressive moments. As appetizing as a picture of odd fruits with flowers (why flowers?) is, I’m apt to choose something meatier and fattier and baddier.

Oooh yeah. People don’t believe me when I tell them I like meat and have issues in general, because I periodically diet and usually exercise. And if random good behavior keeps me looking passable, then you have my personal assurances that such a plan will work for you.

First, let’s list why eating well is such a great idea:

  1. Vitamins, minerals, nutrients, madeupwordients are ESSENTIAL for complex creatures such as us. They’re our fuel.
  2. Eating the right things really helps to not get sick often.
  3. A balanced diet definitely helps with mental illness. Seriously, Google found me so much proof -like on a Harvard Health blog.

Hmmm… I probably should have put #3 first. I blame not eating breakfast yet.

“Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood” (Harvard Health Blog).

Oops. I’m just gonna hide this bag of …Snicker’s. *crinkle* *crinkle* Hey, look at this beautiful picture of a salad!

Right-o. We know that good food is good. Most of us know that, from our childhood years of basic nutrition education. If not -hey! I taught you something new!

The tricky part is application. Take one little tiny baby step with me here:

You don’t have to starve yourself and only eat rabbit food.

In fact, if weight loss alone is your goal, you can eat only McDonald’s and still shed pounds. McDonald’s, even the salad, is NOT healthy; just so’s you know. Processed foods tend to not be. And, you have to put up with only Mickey D’s for six months which would be hell for me.

I likes my variety, and you can too!

Rambling point: Small Step #1 is to eat less* overall. You can feed your OCD tendencies if you have them and write down how many calories if you wish. Use a website or app to estimate what your daily calorie burn is, then eat less of that each day. Eat a little less; we’re not encouraging any anorexia here.

*Eating less than what you burn leads to weight loss. Ignore this advice if you are already at a good weight. In that case, eat close to what you burn in order to maintain.

Small Step 2 is when you eat. Your body will burn calories or hang onto them differently at different times of day and different times of year. Generally, avoid eating after 8:00 p.m. and/or two hours before sleeping. Eating later not only helps the food stick around, it makes you less comfortable and more depressed.

On the same page, make sure you are stuffing your face at regular mealtimes. I also need to eat between meals, like a hobbit. I keep the calorie count low (see Step 1), but don’t starve.

Step 3 is what you eat. If you consider lettuce a food fit for hopping creatures, that’s totally cool. I especially understand if you only ever eat iceberg lettuce; that crap is just water. Get yourself the more green and leafy varieties like Romaine, wrap your protein in it, and salt and pepper the thing.

Everyone has some foods he/she likes that he/she knows are healthy. If not, buy some of your friend’s favorites and sneakily eat them in your closet. I won’t tell. At the end of such an experiment, you will have a few that you can stomach.

Use the old internet for searches like “low-calorie recipes,” “healthy snacks,” and “edible and appetizing ways to prepare kale.” -Okay, that last one was a joke.

I recommend AGAINST anal counting of minerals and vitamins and whatnot because it’s a very tricky process that is probably not entirely accurate. Fresh foods have a different value than ones that have been canned, dried, frozen, or covered in chocolate to actually make them taste good.

The advice I follow myself is to lower sugars and white flours and rices, keep the calories low, and include a treat in that count. If you’re following my earlier advice to exercise, you’ll need the extra calories.

A good Step 4 is to cut out stimulants and booze. Ya know, like coffee and alcohol. I think this is a great step, but I don’t touch the stuff myself and therefore wouldn’t presume to lecture you on how to do so. There are plenty of internet and local areas to help, however. (Like, the addiction national helpline, if it’s that serious: 1-800-662-HELP [4357].)

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but I thought the same thing when my paid friend told me she hadn’t consumed sugar since 2003. She still has valid ideas in many other categories, so I’ll probably keep seeing her.

As a final note, I don’t even have to be an expert to mention a vital consumable related to eating well: drinking well. As a human, you need water.

Water is life, more so than food even.

I live in a desert environment, and even I skimp on the “recommended amount.” That’s because I don’t like using the bathroom all day. I’ve been told that regular, consistent drinking of water should make that problem disappear.

Wherever you live, make sure you drink water. It improves skin, helps organ function, helps singers sound better, and keeps you from dying.

So, class, let’s get started today. Keep your diet tasty, consistent, and manageable. Drink your water. These simple steps will help you be better able to fight those depressive tendencies.

This has been a part of our Cure for Depression series. Tune in next time, and we’ll talk about joy.

 

Photo Credits:
Brooke Lark
Haseeb Jamil
Vitchakorn Koonyosying
Lacey Williams
Yasuo Takeuchi

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Half-Priced Valentine’s Love

I’m a bit late in posting this, but I wanted to write my final love poem of the (last) week to my favorite holiday in February, Half-Price Chocolate Day (February 15).

I also write this in response to Carrot Ranch‘s weekly writing prompt.*

Excuse me, ma’am, I know it’s bright,
My coming here at break of light;
Yet, may I guess you’re here to mark
Down hearts and cards within this cart?
‘Yes,’ you say? You’ve made my day!
-But, wait! What of the wall this way?
The bags and boxes here, you know,
Are why I woke up, braved the snow.
They’re why, my diet I’ll ignore;
Why, really, I came to this store;
And why, no joke, my world still turns
For what my beating heart still yearns:
My meaning, purpose, lifetime vice
Is V Day choc’late, sold half price.

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*Carrot Ranch’s official rules:
February 14, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 19, 2019. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Photo Credit:
Pixabay

Sunshine Blogger Award Thingie, Again

I’m not a fan of the award thingies, mostly due to the whole chain-mail idea of them; however, I am a fan of sharing people’s sites and connecting and learning more about everyone.

So when Len over at Len’s Daily Diary mentioned my site, of course I answered …a few days a week later. He is just the sort of upright, intelligent, honest, kind, humble, and great writer you’ll want to follow, anyway. So check out his stuff.

Here are the questions he posed to me, with my answers:

1.What is your fondest memory of childhood?

As an adult, I feel my childhood images have blended into a kaleidoscope soup of random feelings and sunshine moments. Trying to pull one, fondest shard is a daunting task. I do know that I’d pick from amongst my family vacation moments.

My parents took me and my brother and sister on a vacation every year. The funny thing is that I know we were absolute jerks pretty typical children, yet I only retain the happiness I felt in new adventures and experiences shared with the people I love.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/view-of-empty-road-1537979/

If you think this looks idyllic, add at least three underage voices SCREAMING death cries to a background of loose objects being smashed against car and human body parts.

2. If you could write your obituary, what would it say?

How morbid am I that I’ve thought about this more than once and am under the age of 50? (In my defense, I seriously considered it after helping my aunt edit the one for my grandmother.)

I’m not going to write it out here, but let’s just say that it will contain a hidden message or two and at least a passing reference to HG2G -all written in verse.

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3. Do you prefer turbulent waters or the stillness of the desert?

I definitely prefer the desert over deep water. -Don’t get me wrong; I love turbulent things. I just have a sort of terrible thalassaphobia.

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4. What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream?

I have more of a favorite brand or type than flavor, because I’ve gotten to the point where I’m picky about the depth of creamy taste and luscious thickness of quality ingredients.

So, a darned good chocolate variety works for me.

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5. Who do you most admire from history?

Distant history? Pretty much anyone who survived all the diseases and tooth decays and no hygiene; and still lived, reproduced (gah! tooth decay!), and made himself better in the world.

I admire those who had great difficulty; they are real people to me.

 

Thanks, Len! If the rest of you are still with me, here’s my nominees/people you should go check out:

Bladud Fleas: An extremely excellent writer, superbly talented artist, and …well, I don’t really know much else about him. Go visit, though.

Wilton Sugiyama of Wiltoons: He’s a dude I met through my motherhood site who draws cartoons about life.

Thru Violet’s Lentz: An excellent writer of many genres.

Ruth Scribbles: Another excellent writer who mostly dabbles in poetry.

Bereaved: My short name for A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. Long name; hilarious and touching posts.

All y’all can answer these questions if you feel like it:

  1. How much chocolate is too much?
  2. Who would really win: Batman or Superman?
  3. Why is it always the last place you look?
  4. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen European swallow?
  5. Where would you go to find The Meaning of Life?

 

Photo Credits
Pexels.com
Sandy Millar
Greg Rakozy
Pexels.com

Wanda Witch

Wanda Witch sat frowning.
Her cauldron sat a-bubbl’ng.
She’d wanted to concoct a treat;
The recipe was troubl’ng.

“Eye of newt? Skin of dog?
Dead frog’s toes and liver?”
The thought of even touching one
Made fingers shake and shiver.

She called her faithful crow;
It came, it perched, it said,
“You need a diff’rent recipe
With yummy things, instead.”

Nodding, Wanda looked around.
The coast was clear and so,
Adding this and stirring that,
Formed a tasty, sug’ry dough.

The cauldron sat, still bubbl’ng.
The crow flew to his rookery.
The witch removed a steaming pan:
Howl-een chocolate cookies.

bubble-2022390_1280

 

Created and simmered for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

Pity Party of One, Please

Some days even an entire bar of Symphony chocolate doesn’t help.

Not for lack of trying, mind you.

I ate the first row to move past the constant pain in my lower gluteus region. The second went toward a HAZMAT-type situation regarding dirty dishes. The third disappeared sometime between telling children to sit back down at dinner and get back in the shower; you’re still soapy. I removed the fourth row of toffee-filled delight from the wrapper when the husband and I had a loud ‘discussion’ just before bed.

Problem is, I just found out that I wasn’t a finalist in a writing competition. I’d allowed myself to think I had a chance.

And there’s no fifth row of chocolate.

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Mondays and Memories

The pictures people post of life are beautiful, artistic, happy, and well-framed. They are also less than a second of time, and 4×6 inches of a multi-perspective panorama. Better make them the best, right?

So, when you see this pile of mess I’ve included, you may wonder where the beauty is. Why would I post this?

For the story. For the reality.

This pile is what was left after my two youngest (ages 7 and 4) mixed and baked a chocolate cake completely by themselves. They did so after making grilled cheese sandwiches and (somewhat charred) tomato soup for dinner.

I’m not certain why the “cakes” boiled over into the oven since I was returning from martial arts at the time. My twelve-year-old suspects they severely over-measured the baking soda. My husband was with them and told me how excited the six-year-old was for me to come home to a surprise dinner and a whole cake!

If I were aiming for artistry, I could pose the bakers’ chocolate-stained faces in front of a symmetrically-messy counter. I could write that my darling, budding chefs made dinner and dessert. Then I could elaborate, saying we ended the evening singing songs of family unity and went to bed before sundown.

The problem is that the evening did not end with dessert and singing. The problem is that I tried to clean up the remains of amateur baking with the oven’s self-clean option. That method didn’t last long.

As I sit in our smoke-scented house and listen to the roaring fans downstairs, I can’t help but consider how much easier this day would have been if I’d not allowed them to create their dessert surprise.

Then, I remember what my husband said about our budding baker. “That was so sweet of you!” I tell my six-year-old as we tuck him in. “I am so impressed that you made dinner and a whole cake by yourself!” As he swells with self-pride I suggest gently, “Let’s make it together next time.”

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