Eating Dirt

When I was young, I ate dirt. I actually remember it. I think I was probably four or five, can’t imagine remembering it any earlier. It came to mind this week as I was searching the web for help eradicating Candida and came across a blog touting the health benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.

“What the hell is that?”

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That’s what I said too.

Basically, it’s fossilized algae and it’s made up mostly of sharp little silica tubules and it is purported to have some super sweet health benefits. I’ll let you know what I think in two weeks.

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This week I think it’s meaner than Candida, I’ve been the most miserably bloated person all this week, until today, that is. Today I feel human again.

In all honesty, there isn’t much I wouldn’t do to get rid of Candida. So, after a 44 year hiatus, I ate my dirt. And it was as delicious as I remember, that’s the weird freaky true part. I remember very clearly, warm sun beating down on my head, my bare toes in the dirt, the velvety leaves of strawberry plants. As mom crouched across from me, pushing the plants aside and selecting red, ripe berries, she’d pass one to me every now and then. A delicious, juicy strawberry, she would wipe off the dirt on her polyester slacks and hand it to me with bits of earth still clinging from her fingers. I licked the grit off the outside, sucking the berry clean before chewing it while she watched from under her wide-brimmed straw gardening hat. She’d go back to picking and I’d pick up tiny clumps of dirt enjoying the grit and strawberry juice.

Later that same summer, she caught me eating it by the handful and slapped my hand. It was the same summer I watched my older brother eat dead flies out of the windowsill, an uncontrollable wrinkle on my nose as he picked them up by their wings and they disappeared down his gullet.

“Ewwwwww!” My younger sister complained from behind me.

At the time, I wondered which was worse, dirt or flies.

Flies, definitely flies.

 

I need to read more

So, with this long weekend (5 day) that we had off school I…

Cleaned the Laundry room, sorted out winter clothes for the girls from boxes, went to the new Reacher movie (no, I haven’t read that book either though I’ve read a lot of the Reacher books), cleaned off the dining room table, went grocery shopping, added the Jefferson curl to my new exercises to ignore list (though if I had a trainer and he looked like that…..), listened to Tim Ferriss a few times, Can I just say here, holy shit, Jocko Willink! I couldn’t stop listening, took my girls to the local pumpkin patch fun zone, did laundry, wrote, cooked,I may have picked up a book, but only to move it, oh yeah, I cleaned out both litter boxes correctly for the first time in too long, and checked out the sexy cowboy’s Snapchat from
Amsterdam, he was naughty boy.

One of the things that working a traditional job has made me too lazy for is reading. As a writer, reading is imperative.I really believe that. I don’t read enough, not nearly. I don’t mean just novels, either. I mean pins and tweets and FB posts as well. If I’m not reading I’m not communicating. If I’m not communicating I’m not connecting. If I’m not connected then no one knows anything about me.

Especially the important parts.

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Living in My Head

We are a good solid six weeks back into school. A good month and a half of getting back into routine and a good month of catching every stinking germ that goes through a school of 400 kids aged 5-11. I know our locality isn’t the only that’s been hit hard with the viruses, but it seems early for as many kids as have barfed in class or the lunchroom, sneezed on me and wiped a snotty hand on my pants or shirt as I help them.

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So last weekend, as I crawled into bed at 8:30 on Friday night, exhausted and achy, I laid my congested head down and silently apologized to all the dirty places in my home that were not going to get attention that weekend and wandered through that doorway in my mind that takes me to another place.

Many years ago, in junior high, I read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber for the first time. I remember a distinct discomfit at how well I, a fourteen year old girl, understood this pitiful man. I was alarmed that an adult would need to escape in their head, indeed, I was looking forward to adulthood and the opportunity to live in the real world. It never occurred to me that it was a comedic short story.

Fast forward a few decades and there I sat on another Sunday evening, having spent most of the weekend living in my own head. Knowing, in part, that it was because I’d been unwell, and in part because I spend so much of my week in face to face contact with kids, teachers and bosses, and it takes a lot out of me. But as I took a hot shower, I felt my throat close, felt the tears burn as I wondered if I’d ever allow myself to live out loud again.

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Until recently, I thought it was how most people coped. I was sure everybody thought about their actions, played out every possible scenario in their heads, practiced their conversations, indulged in their fantasies, all in their own heads before acting on them. Imagine my surprise when I realized, no, most people simply do what they want, say what they want, when they want. It’s shocking!

I’ve done that twice. Two periods in my life where I let go and lived. The first was a complete disaster, a nervous breakdown, a move from the United States mainland. The second, while much more successful, showed me things about myself that disappointed me and sent me scurrying back to the safety behind my eyes. And here I stand, a step inside the shadows, biding my time, knowing the moment is almost here that I step back out of my head. Excited, nervous, trying hard to be patient, trying not think too much about how many years it has taken.

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Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel by Liz Durano — Love, Sex & Other Dirty Words

Liz Durano has known me since I started putting my writing out there in the world for all the scary people to read. She is a talented writer, a tireless researcher and a busy mom. Please take a moment and join me in celebrating her new book Everything She Ever Wanted.

Congratulations Liz!

Everything She Ever Wanted (A Different Kind of Love Novel) by Liz Durano Early Release Day: October 12, 2016 AMAZON | IBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO Sign up for Liz’s newsletter and be the first to be notified of releases! http://www.subscribepage.com/lizdurano Join Liz’s Reader Group on Facebook for early news on books, chats and […]

via Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel by Liz Durano — Love, Sex & Other Dirty Words

How do I love thee?

Me and my kitty muse.

Well, if writing is the kitten….you get the idea.

I love writing. I really, really, really, LOVE writing. So why do I go through these periods when writing can barely tolerate me?  There are always stories rattling around in my head and inappropriate but funny crap is bound to fall out of my mouth on a daily basis in conversation. The question then becomes, why can’t I string three words together when I sit down at my computer screen?

 

I have a co-worker whom I love to tease. He made the unfortunate mistake of blushing when I made a borderline inappropriate joke at his expense. He went home and brushed up on all his comebacks and I’ve never known a moment’s peace since. It’s become a challenge everyday in the lunchroom, who gets the last word because the other can’t get that rapier out quick enough. Today, he scored first blood by casually asking me what I was going to do without him around to harass next year.

I had nothing, not a single word came to my defense. He won. Hours later I hit on the perfect reply but it was too late. There is no new battle till Monday. In the midst of that chaotic lunchroom, he got the best of me in a match of wits.

The sad part is, I already knew he was planning a transfer, he had mentioned it weeks ago. I’d even thought about it a time or two, how terrible next year would be without him to joke with. A job I’ve tolerated because it’s a good job, turned into something I looked forward to because of friendship, but now I’m faced with the realization that it will be back to something tolerated very soon. That realization left me inarticulate today.

 

I know there are many authors who have written their best novels under onerous conditions, circumstances far worse than my own. Even so, in the past year I’ve come to realize that I need, space and quiet and room to let my voices talk to me, if I want to write.

I don’t like saying that out loud because the first thing I think is oh aren’t you the precious one. Poor little girl can’t write AND work, poor lazy thing. 

 

It’s my mom’s voice, I hear it in. Not that she ever said those exact words to me, but it’s heavily cloaked in her inability to sit still with her own thoughts. She never just sat in a chair and daydreamed, if she sat down without handwork in her lap, it was to nap, never to dream.

 

I grew up in a hardworking home. Only after the chores were done, the meals taken care of, the younger children put to bed, the showers taken and the pets and plants watered, the last dish washed, dried and put away, only then were we left to our dreaming. By that time of night, you fell into your bed and were unconscious in moments. I’ve realized that daydreaming is my stories lifeblood. I’ve come to understand that I need quiet places and undisturbed hours to tempt my characters out of their corners.

 

But here I am, counting down to bedtime on Sunday night because I’m back to work tomorrow morning. I’ve managed to string a couple of words together today, yay for me! I’d love to hear what you do, how do you balance writing and the work you get paid for? In the meantime, here’s to another week of being able to buy food!

Magic Men, A Month Later…

They’re still making me smile.

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I’ve lived in Salt Lake City, a few different times in my life. It was the closest big city to where I grew up and I’ve always had friends and family there.

Enter, the Magic Men Live Tour.

Three weeks ago, I was on the phone with my youngest sister, who lives in Salt Lake City. We were talking about having a girls night with, well, the girls, two other sisters and two sisters-in-law and invariably the talk turned to Magic Men. You see, they were coming to Utah. My sister was hoping I’d jump a plane and come down and we’d go together. It would have been a blast. She looked up tickets, this was three weeks before the show, and was shocked that in conservative Salt Lake City, all the good seats were sold out.

She said- Who’s buying all the best seats?

I said- Good Mormon girls, that’s who!

Much laughter ensued.

I follow Magic Men on Snapchat and let me just say this, if you love the Magic Men and you don’t follow their Snapchat, you are missing out. Big time. They are hilarious and sexy and hilarious. A deadly combination.

Last night they Snapped about some social media rumors going around about the show. You see, their appearance coincided with the twice yearly LDS Men’s General Priesthood Meeting, held at the Conference Center across the street from Temple Square. The Magic Men were performing at the Salt Palace, half a mile away.

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One comment in particular had me in stitches, the men go to priesthood meeting and the women go to Magic Men. I’m still laughing when I read it.  There were also several misguided comments about church tribunals and even excommunication if a woman so much as touched one of the Magic Men at the show.

Now, to clarify, a woman in the church would not be excommunicated for touching a male dancer. No matter how much her God fearing husband might wish it so. I was raised a strict Mormon and truly, you really have to be a serious screw up to get kicked out (or gay, or like to talk a lot about the church on social media, but those are other, far less fun, posts). So when I saw this Magic Men snap this morning,

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Yes, that’s another girl on the floor behind him. They don’t call him Chocolate Boy Wonder for nothing!

 

then this one…

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Nom Nom

I laughed hard enough for the girls to come check on me. Thanks guys, for the big smile before I even got out of bed this morning.

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Their humor is infectious. Do yourself a favor, give yourself the gift of a little laughter, stop taking yourself so seriously and follow them! They’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

 

Adult-ing

It’s been almost a year since I’ve had any contact with my father.

It’s a long story, but the short version is that when my mother died my father didn’t handle it or his children well.

I suspect this stand-off has much more to do with my current writing funk than I’m willing to admit.

One of the lines I wrote to him was, We’re are all adults now, we all know why you rushed to get remarried.

I must have re-read that line fifty times. It wasn’t the most shocking thing I said, or the most difficult but it caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. Never in my life did I foresee a day I, as an adult woman, would feel the need take my father to task. In fact, I don’t remember ever thinking about being an adult much at all.

I imagine this he pictured something like this as he read.

I think that because when my sixteen year old son snaps at me, I see this…

None of this changes the fact that what I said, truly, desperately needed to be said. Nor does it mean I could have said it any differently. It’s hard when your parent disappoints you. It’s heartbreaking when you must explain it to them.

Like all uncomfortable lessons, it has ingrained in me the importance of listening, of paying attention, of the necessity that is communication.

I’ll learn from my dad’s mistakes so that someday I’ll have the pleasure of picking up a little boy who looks something like my own, and enjoy the company of my adult son.  I’m not perfect, but I take seriously his trust. His teenage years are giving us ample opportunities to practice disagreeing, being mad, and resolving our problems almost like adults.

I wish I had it in me to be more appreciative of this particular phase of my education.