Friday, December 31, 2010

Where does the time go?

My hubby is at his new job applying for his gaming license. You have no idea how excited I am. Even though it's not the jobs he's used to, including hours and pay, we're so excited. He's been a Stay at Home Dad for a year and a week now. It's apparent that he's had some good times, but overall that wasn't what he'd had in mind. However, in a terrible economy even highly educated people with lots of experience have a difficult time finding a job. With this new year, comes new changes to our lives and daily routines. It might get a little complicated here and there, but we're willing to make it work.

On this last day of 2010, I think about resolutions. I have the usual ones everyone has. Eat less and more healthier, drink less, exercise more, read more, work less, save more money, and make more money!! I hope that in this new year, I can spend some more time with my son. It's great to watch him learn and grow while teaching him new things. He's most attentive when I teach him new things. I'm not sure why this is so, but it's true.

Last night was the first dry night Talon had. He woke up in the middle of the night to go to the potty. I'm so proud of him! At less then 2 and a half years old, he's potty trained. We've been working on it for the last 6 months, but all of the hard work has paid off, and soon we'll even be free of diapers overnight. It's the little things that excite me, folks.

On another note, I must get ready for a balloon drop play date at Little Sport. I always find myself making a plan, but then I get caught up with tasks at home. For instance last night I had plans to get a drink with some of my mommy friends, but cooking got into the way. The grilled octopus took way longer than I thought to stew... Hence the tortilla soup came out better with a longer stewing time as well. There will be other nights... It's unbelievable how messy and dirty a house can get when you have two adults, one toddler, and two dogs. I can hardly do anything at all. I suppose the dirty house will wait for me, but now I've also sacrificed showering before we go out today. I suppose there's always time for that later too. Another resolution could be to plan my time more efficiently.

There are more original resolutions that have been flowing through my head that I'd like to share. We'll be doing more Organic gardening this year, but there are a few different things that I'd like to try. Heirloom seeds are what I'm hoping to get to start my own seedlings instead of commercial GMO seeds. Then I can collect my own seeds, and have them ready for seedlings next year. Vertical gardening will also be employed in this years gardening adventures since our space is small. My neighbors are going to love the tall PVC pipes with holes cut out of them and plants sprouting out of them in the small back yard. Hopefully we'll be composting too, and we can start using our own fertilizer. In addition, my goals are to utilize as much local food as possible. We'll be visiting 7th heaven farm on a regular basis to purchase our local grass fed meats. Perhaps I can persuade my family into eating more goat and lamb. Maybe goat is pushing it. We're also going to continue using our CSA Organic farm share despite the spike in price. My determination is to act globally by shopping locally. If I can help other people to do so, I will. Please ask me if you have any questions or want to do some gardening together. These hobbies excite me. I love cooking and good quality food in addition to trying to lessen my carbon footprint as much as possible.

Although we're not doing anything special in the adult department tonight, I'm satisfied with being home. I'd like to wish a Happy New Year to everyone out the in cyber world. Im not sure if I'll even be able to muster the energy to stay up to midnight when the ball drops. It's been years since this old lady has done that. There's always next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Home, home on the range

This traveling tattoo mom is home again, but I've been on the road so much that it hardly feels like it. Every time I go on a guest spot, I have such a great time. Then I want to move there, however it's not that easy. "Home is where the heart is", and my two hearts are in southern New Jersey.

Those two hearts presently have some kind of virus that's causing them vomit amongst other things. They've been in the clear so far today, but who knows if germs are still lingering in their systems. Besides food shopping this am, I'm probably staying in with the family until I have to work on Sunday. That actually sounds good to me even though we had some other exciting plans that had to be cancelled. I can cook and clean, and perhaps organize this toy cluttered house of ours. Domestication is so pleasant for me. Cooking (and eating) is on I'm trying to get creative reinventing a large pork roast into dishes for the family so it doesn't go to waste. I also purchased a thawed octopus at the market so I'm wondering what the heck to do with it. Over linguine sounds nice, however, we'll see. I might be the only one eating it.

On a good note, my husband is applying for his gaming license tomorrow. If he passes the rigorous background check of all of the last three years bank statements, jobs, parking tickets, underwear drawer etc, then he'll have a new job as a Security Manager at a local casino. Cross your fingers for us, kids.

So good riddance to this past year. It had it's up and downs, but I'm not looking back. 2011 here we come!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Not so merry Christmas Eve

This trip is bittersweet. So far the money has been good, and I had a fantastic time at the parks yesterday. The Wizardly World of Harry Potter was great despite the insane crowds. You had to get a ticket to come back for an entry time. I got my ticket at 12 for 3:30pm. Wish I would've had the "heads up" on that one. I even got tattooed last night by my old coworker. The work days have been long, and I'm tired from a long day of partying. Universal is a magical place. Even though I went alone, I ended up chatting with some people.

On the flip side, I miss my family dearly. My husband planned a Christmas dinner at our house, and I'm not going to be there. It's like buying dinner for a bunch of people and not going. Ah well I hope they have a merry time. I really do, but I'm jealous What a bummer. Then I tried to video chat with my son, which has never been successful. Of course he didn't say a word the whole time. Then he proceeded to turn his head and not even look me in the eye...

Originally I was supposed to stay until Wednesday morning, but the schedule comes out week to week. I'm waiting to hear back from the manager to see if I'll be on the schedule Tuesday or I'm coming back then. Or Monday. I don't want to stay any longer if I don't have to. It's fun getting in some "me" time, but I've been on the road so much lately that I could use some family time.

We shall see. Until then, I'm going to attempt on getting some fancy Christmas Eve dinner by myself...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

I know it's only the 20th of December, but it's our big day of celebration in the Beyer house. So that makes last night our Christmas Eve. The work day dragged due to a cold attacking my immune system. My second client could not make up her mind. Well she would, then she'd change her mind and repeat. After sending her away to digest on the different images and ideas, I ended up escaping a little early.

We attempted to have a home cooked meal, but a low sugar halted that to a stop. My husband was out of it so we trekked over to our local wannabe country restaurant equipped with a train that circles the dining room. After putting the excited little tyke to bed, we sorted through the many children's gift's, and I even opted to remove some from the repertoire to my husband's dismay. Although after everything was opened this morning he gave me reassurance that he was in agreeance.

Now that I've used the word "agrreance", let's side track a little bit to rewind in time. A few years ago when I was a big bellied pregger, I used that word in a sentence while in the presence of my my mother in law and husband. They lol'd at me for an extended period of time telling me that the word didn't exist and as if I was making up I know the word. Little did they know that the word wasn't my own invention. It's an oldie, but it's out of date since the 1700's. However, it's still widely used in Australia and New Zealand. Now after reading the urban dictionary I'm not sure it's actually considered a word presently... Discuss in comments, please.

Anyway back to our Christmas Day. Talon had a great morning merry go rounding on each toy or some combination thereof. Josh and I exchanged only a few gifts, but he did good. On the other had, I always feel like my presents to my husband aren't adequate enough. Not that I don't know what to get the man who has everything, but he's a giant that's practically impossible to buy for. Seriously, he's almost a foot and a half taller than I am. I want to buy him lots of things, but in duress of ordering him the wrong size I digress.

Tomorrow Ill be working at Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co, Universal Studios Citywalk, Orlando, Fl. Come on over and say "hello" if you live there!!!



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Christmas Eve is tomorrow.

That means Santa's coming to town a little earlier than everyone else. We have VIP passes this year since I'll be all the way down in sunny and warm Orlando for a guest spot at my former employer, Hart & Huntington . I'll be there Dec 21 - 28. Let's hope that weather is warming up since it was colder there than here in South Jersey last week. Although I'm in no particular mood for it to be summer hot and humid, some nice weather is welcome to warm my lonely spirits that week.

It seems like taking a gamble this time around. If it's slow, paintings will be made. Body Graphics Portside Parlour is having a "Brotherly Love" themed art show next month, and I'm determined to create at least one for the show. I'm not a big gambler so hopefully I get lucky and make some bank next week. I'd love to do some girlie stuff like flowers and victorian fillagre stuff, animals, pin ups, portraits, birds, names, stars, whatever.... Email me at if you want to get tattooed.

I'm going to miss the heck out of my family. I already miss them just thinking about my absence for eight nights. This is going to be tough, but it'll surely be easy to get some much needed "me time" in. Perhaps I can even get some rest through the night. I'm going to set up my hubby with his ichat account stat so I can keep in close contact.

I also wanted to mention that my full night appointment cancelled tonight at No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo, so I'm wide open from 5pm - 12am.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Yesterday was one of those days that I wished that I could've cancelled my trip. The traffic was miserable from NJ and New York. A usual 5 hour trip took me 8 hours to make. I had to reschedule my first appointment, and then my last appointment too. I did have fun tattooing besides my back hurting after a while and then my stomach began to get upset. Then after work I began dry heaving. A hotel room was acquired so as not to get my twin expectant hostess and her husband sick.

Today I got to do it all over again except in the opposite order. Tattoo, pack up, and then drive. There's been talk of snow on the television, but I'm too lazy to look out the window. There's also a head light out on my car, and I have to get it fixed since it's too difficult to get to. It's difficult to muster the energy to get out of bed. There's a full plate ahead of me, but I don't know if I have it in me. Well I can't sleep anyway since there's a few people speaking loudly in a foreign language in my hall for the past 10 minutes...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Turkey Day revisited

Finally today I got to recreate the turkey left overs into new dishes. First, I threw together some turkey croquettes and fried them up for lunch. I also got to break out the vaccuum sealer which was exciting. Second was the Turkey pot pie including a home made butter crust still baking in the oven. Lastly, I whipped up some curried turkey salad with dried cranberries. I'm not sre if anyone will be a fan of the last dish, but I sure will. In fact, everything on that list is palatable to me. It's tough pleasing a toddler and a "meat and potatoes" husband, though.

Last night my mantra was "living clean". There were good intentions of exercising and eating healthy especially since hubby and I spent two consecutive nights at sporting events - The Flyer's vs Bruin on Wednesday and the Eagles vs Texan's last night. We ate copious amounts of junk food and drank a bunch of beers. Then today I decide to whip up some high calorie and fattening comfort food. Oh well. The only exercise I got today was cleaning the house, pulling 135 lbs of children around the yard on a boogie board, and walking after my son who is now tricycling up and down the street quite fast. I surely broke a sweat, but didn't get to use the new to us elliptical.

The Holiday decorations have started to creep out of hiding, and we're slowly decorating the home. Of course I had to clean it first since it was a disaster after the week of hellish travel, work, and play. My husband put up the outdoor lights so the holiday mood is taking over. Hopefully we can go pick out a tree if my son decides to wake up from his 4pm nap... However it's already 7:21pm.

It will be sad to actually miss the holiday due to my guest spot at Hart & Huntington at Universal Studios Citywalk, but we'll do our own thing. It's only a date anyway. Now let's hope I can make a bunch of money while I'm away so that I can purchase some nice gifts for my family and myself of course. Things seem to be looking up since my other half had an interview the other day that seemed to go well. He also has another one planned on the 16th. There also seems to be other opportunities for him arising at this time. Let's just hope and pray that he lands a job, and I can finally take a break for a little while. I miss spending consecutive days off with my son and going to play dates. I miss my mommy friends. Hopefully soon I can be in the loop once again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tegan's Traveling Tattoo Extravaganza

Finally there are a few minutes when I can actually sit and write a few words. My traveling schedule has been comparable to a trucker, and the mileage is racking up. Six hundred sixty miles up and down to NH which was traveled twice in two weeks. Then hours later after arriving back from the last work trip from Jim's Tattoo, we departed again to a relaxing destination in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay.

The past four days have be spent relaxing to the maximum. We had to escape to an island with a population of maybe 500. My laid back in laws live there. It's gorgeous, and there's nothing to do if you want to be busy. Well you can fish, boat, or ride your bicycle around the island if it's warm. We did none of this since it was pretty chilly out there, although I walked around a little while my toddler tricycled around. I ignored emails and texts until this morning. I didn't call anyone on the phone. There was lots of eating, gaming, gazing, movie watching, cooking, and massaging. I had a great massage at a local fancy shmancy spa with my Step MIL. We also steam bathed, drank tea, and took our sweet time showering and such. My family took home a bounty of gifts including some oysters that I'll be steaming soon for dinner.

In less than 13 hours, I'll be putting the pedal to the metal again. I'll be hacking off about thirty minutes but hopefully more with my new guest spotting stint at Good Mojo Tattoos in Beverly, MA. Sunday and Monday will be spent tat zapping up a storm thanks to several ink aficionados. I know that this location will be more accommodating to most of these friendly clients. Some of them will travel a mere fifteen minutes or less to get to the studio. It'll be nice to be in a new atmosphere with friendly new faces. Tomorrow night I'm also excited to spend some QT with some old friends, who are expecting twins next year. Although it'll be a rough drive there and back, the time in between is really what I look forward to.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Bisque

This morning I've been in a whirlwind. Vacuuming, steaming the floors and a part of the wall, and cooking. It's always an appealing challenge to go into the pantry and "root cellar" and devise something to eat with what we have. Usually I try to use items that are on the verge of spoiling because wasting food is a travesty especially in this present economic hardship. We still have an abundance of organic butternut squash from our farm share, some chick peas, avocado, and canned coconut milk. Therefore some avocado/ chick pea hummus and a delicious soup were manifested. I'll only be sharing the bisque recipe here, but if you're interested in the hummus, let me know.

  1. Butternut Squash
  2. White wine
  3. Coconut Milk (one can)
  4. Onion (one cup chopped)
  5. Garlic (3 cloves)
  6. EVOO for sauteing (2 tblsp)
  7. Curry powder (2 tsp)
  8. Fish Sauce (1 tsp)
  9. Cayenne Pepper ( a dash)
  10. Broth of your choice

Saute the onions and garlic in a dutch oven over medium heat in EVOO until translucent. Add chopped squash and some white wine and fish sauce and burn off the alcohol for about five minutes. Mix in the can of coconut milk and add about a cup of broth. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on until squash is softened. Usually this takes about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally since the coconut milk tends to congeal on the surface. When the squash is tender use an immersion blender or food processor* to blend the bisque to a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with cilantro if you desire. Serve immediately.

* If you use a food processor, blend the soup in small batches. Be careful not to burn yourself! If you don't have a hand held immersion blender, I highly suggest you invest in one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daylight Savings saved me

While life has been leading me to dwell in the pit of eternal despair lately, I've decided to take some new steps towards success. With open arms, I'm going to embrace the positive - exercising, diet, and frugality as much as possible. Perhaps I've had an epiphany. At least I finally got to release some pent up tears which seemed to be building up for quite some time. I might as well fix my life rather than gloat in the negative aspects and act a fool.

The other night I reminisced while googling on the computer about the positive aspects of my past that have somewhat been put into remission. I used to be more involved in the tattoo scene by guesting often, doing conventions, getting pictures of my work and myself into magazines, and promoting more.

While I haven't completely stopped all of those things, I've focused more on being home as much as possible to be with my son. It's a double edged sword. I love to travel around and go on adventures, work at new shops, and meet new people. It helps me to evolve my own style, learn new tricks of the trade, and recharge the inspiration battery. On the other hand, I miss my family immensely.

The reality of it is that if I can make good money while traveling, I should do it now since it's slowed down in Philadelphia and South Jersey. My bookings used to be full for three or so months at a time when I worked at Lightwave. I suppose 4 years of networking and busting my ass will do. Therefore my days are always booked when I head up to Jim's Tattoo. I'll be making it up there three weeks in a row this month. Hours are dwindling at my present job, and I have mouths to feed. Being the sole bread winner has its pressures, but I have a newfound confidence that I can make it work.

Also in the past I worked out like a mofo. It used to be a part of my routine for most of my adult life. I was into hiking, snow boarding, skiing, cycling, weight lifting, and yoga in my early twenties. I got bored. Then in my mid twenties I was an avid trail runner and was still cycling when I lived in Rockport. I got bored again,. Then when I lived in Salem, I was seeing a personal trainer, spinning, and hitting the Salem Healthworks, an all female gym , many times a week. I was running 5 or 6 miles, doing Pilates, Spinning, and still cycling when I lived in Florida. When I got pregnant the exercise dwindled and the pastries and soft serve ice cream wer top priority. Don't get me wrong, I still did some prenatal yoga, and cycling up to 4 months or so. Post pregnancy I somewhat got int working out again, but never on a regular basis.

The recent epiphany has inspired me to work out at home via Comcast On Demand Exercise TV per the suggestions of a great friend, Michelle. She is my hero right now due to the fact that she's completely changed herself inside and out. She's always been my cheerleader, and I love her like a sister. I look up to her even more since she's reached goals that I now have.

Perhaps this all began after reading a quote my husband sent to me the other day;

Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

One track

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mac N Cheese

Yesterday I embarked on cooking a dish for 75 people. It was Perfect Macaroni and Cheese or so Martha said. Well It was an adapted version due to the expensive price of Gruyere. It probably would've been fine with three times that recipe, but I multiplied it by six since it said it should serve 12. Anyway, not even one tin was devoured when I left at around 8pm. The 75 people didn't show up, and I was wondering if it had to do with having the wrong address on the evite or if they were just rude.... Anyway it was my MIL's retirement party. She was happy. That's all that mattered.

Now I have some mac n cheese in the freezer for Thanksgiving at the FIL house on a remote island in MD. And so does someone else.

This is certainly my favorite time of the year due to the frequent feasts and celebratory libations. My figure and my head the next day suffers, but it's all worth it. The weather is now bearable, but I must find my family some winter clothes.

After our party, my visitor from the Northland made some Halloween decorations, and then we drew and then painted which was unsucessful. I do love my pumpkin though. My husband just saw a pic of the "throwing up" pumpkin this year. Therefore I decided to pay homage to the sick pumpkin and put him on display amongst my "emotion" ghosts. My son and I made them from old milk cartons in hopes of teaching him the names of emotions. As a being of the male gender, I believe it's necessary to let him know that it's okay to express his feelings. Tomorrow we shall fill the jugs with orange glowing lights, and give out candy to the neighborhood children. That is after we get our own collection first!!! Mwahahaha!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Here's how the costume looks on the little man. He wasn't too keen on wearing it at first, but changed suit once he realized that you received candy if you wore it.

I'm glad the final product worked out. There were many hours of painstaking cutting, measuring, and glueing. It was a lot of fun. The crowd reaction at "Boo at the Zoo" was self satisfying. Although some people didn't quite get it. A few people actually thought it was a hawk or a turkey or one person just said, "bird".

Another home made adventure was completed today. Don't be alarmed, it's not an animal brain. It's a vanilla cupcake with home made buttercream frosting with parchment paper piping. This technique apparently needs to be perfected. Hopefully by the time my son is all grown up, I'll have mastered the art of decorating desserts. Baby steps for now. First we did the monkey cake and cupcakes for his birthday. Now the brain inspired ones for Halloween. We'll have to plan something Epic for Thanksgiving. We'll be bringing these sweet treats to a play group Halloween party tomorrow. I hope they're not to unappetizing.

I can't explain how happy I am to have some time off with my family. Nothing makes me more happy. My head is clear. Although I felt somewhat crappy from the fatty foods I ate yesterday - foie gras on a burger and pork belly for dinner. Blech!! All I'm in the mood for is light and fresh foods. Perhaps a spinach and feta brown rice crusted quiche for dinner will be a little lighter, and I'll feel somewhat lighter. Two more days of fun planned, and then I'm only working two days this week. I'm feeling rejuvenated for now.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Time and time again I go back and forth in my mind about having another child. The reality is, I would if we could. Due to our present circumstances, its not the best time for us to produce our own child since I HAVE to work. My husband has been effected by the horrible economy yet again and is unable to find work. His unemployment runs out in 6 weeks not like I'm counting or anything. The company he's been working with has been unable to find financing. Things are looking bleak for him. I will work my little tail off to support our family.

Besides thinking about having our own child, fostering one has constantly been in my head. I was a foster child for a brief time, and I'd love to give a child a safe home. Josh and I have been going back and forth on the subject, and finally he's agreed to look into it. So I filled out the contact form this morning, and I patiently await a call back. I'm so excited to see what happens.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moving right along - HQ - The

foot loose and fancy free

The muppets said it best. I'm trying to keep up with the positive pace. 7 days in a row I worked last week. Yesterday was mostly spent driving home so It didn't really feel like a day off. However I was happy to spend some time with my family. We went to the Indian buffet, and my little man and I napped together. My husband made a baked whole chicken for dinner which is leaps and bounds for him. Although he cooked it upside down.... I was carving it, and thought "this is the weirdest looking chicken with barely any breast meat." Then I turned it over, and there those luscious chest muscles were.

Anyway there's been some intense and hard living being experienced by myself, and I'm over it. I'm running myself into the ground. Everyday including working, drawing, driving, tatting, eating, sleeping, or some similar combination of the above. The intense lifestyle has been overbearing and aging, and I'm ready for some change.

Occasionally the work itself is emotionally demanding. The other day I tattooed a portrait of this gentlemen's son who took his own life at age 15 a little over a month ago. It was such a sad story to hear, and it seems all too common these days. Suicide is an epidemic right now. I feel the pain for this noble father. Despite his broken heart, he was being strong yet honest for his family. A few times I almost teared up. The best part of my job is when I can help someone's healing process by making art for them. In hopes that he can find some peace someday, and I can make a difference in his life.

Thankfully, there's a break in the near future for me after this Saturday. I only have one appointment on Monday night until Thursday and then Saturday. That's all the work I have to do next week. The excitement is boiling over. There's many things planned in between. My husband and I have an anniversary to celebrate. He had this huge and fancy plan, but I asked him to cancel and settle for a quiet night at home. I just want to be at home. There's so much to do. We have so much food here. I want to cook and relax and watch a movie, hang out with our son, and go to the zoo in the morning. I want to stretch my legs because my ass has been planted on the tattoo throne or my car seat way too much lately. I want to go to play dates and feel like a mom again. Ride my bicycle and toddler trailer again. I'm all cramped and stifled and miserable and depressed. I need to get out of this funk. Saturday can't come soon enough.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rummage sailing

Yesterday morning was just like the way old days from my childhood when my Canadian/ Ukrainian grandmother used to take my sibling and I out for shopping. At the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings, we were pirates yard sailing in search of treasure among everyone else's junk. My memories weren't all that fond except when we did find a nice toy. Yesterday I went out extremely early before I even brushed my teeth and found some useful and inexpensive goods that were on our wish list. I'm now a proud of being meager in my middle age.

There must be a frugal gene within my paternal family's bloodline. I've been fighting it for years, but these days I can't fight the internal prudence that lives inside of me. My father has certainly taken it to the extreme. There was an article in his local paper about his behaviors. The reality is, no one is more thrifty than my yard sailing grandmother. There's no doubt that she hold's the title for Pismo Beach, CA.

I'm all about trying to get the best quality for the smallest amount of money. You can't always get what you want on a short budget with instant gratification. This is completely against the present American way in which you want something, you have immediate access. We've begun to use some patience in our purchases, and sometimes you haveto keep searching until your item pops up. There are so many sites that can help you to do this on the internet. One of my favorites is, but you can also try ebay or freecycle too. There are too many to name. Yard sailing can be very disappointing, but I was as happy as if I was shopping at Nordstrom. Many things of my wish list turned up at the best price. A toaster for $1, a floor steamer for $5, corning wear, brand new 440 thread count sheets, a coffee grinder for $2, a Krups espresso maker for $10, and a 50 cent retractalble sword and Home Depot Ride in Digger for $3 for Talon. Not to mention an unused sandwich press for my husband for a whopping dollar. The saint of garage sales was on my side. I can't imagine what we would've bought those thing directly from the store, and some of the items were unused too! I'm still buzzing on the high of the penny-pinching high.

PS Check out my new reading glasses....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumn Harvest Gravy

On medium heat saute a couple of minced onions, garlic, celery, peppers, and a chopped butternut squash with some olive oil in a sauce pan stirring occasionally so that they all cook evenly. When the veggies begin to soften up, add a couple of tablespoons of champagne vinegar or something of the like. Cook off for a couple of minutes. Then add blanched tomatoes with the skins removed or a couple cans of stewed whole tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, and then fill the tomato paste can with water and add that too. Spice it up with some sage and a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir well then reduce heat to simmer after it begins to bubble. Stir every 10 - 15 minutes checking on how much the sauce is reduced. After about an hour, it should be ready to add some fresh basil , thyme or whatever you have around the house. Remove the bay leaves. Then with an immersion blender or food processor, Blend the marinara into a smooth consistency. Serve with pasta, tortellini, lasagna, etc, etc.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coffee makes a world of difference

My veins have been bereft of the sacred java been juice for a couple of days now. I've been lagging, and my energy has been at an all time low. Earlier this week I napped with my son and went to bed at an early hour. Yesterday I skipped the naps, but still couldn't keep my eyes open past 9pm. Perhaps this is due to the sun setting at 7pm. This tme of year the lack of sun messes with my head. This morning everything changed with two cups of coffee. The Energizer bunny has posessed me causing me to multitask before work.

After a morning of errands out with the whole family, cooking commenced. On the stove is some multi veggie red sauce including butternut squash. In the oven is an meatloaf with onions and peppers, and I also roasted some eggplant earlier for freezing. My three days off are over, and I accomplished more storing and cooking for the winter. However there's still piles of vegetables to work through - a seemingly endless supply of a plethora of squashes, potatoes, and peppers. As per the suggestion of a fellow following blogger, I'm going to make Sofrito (or my husband offered to do it...). After observing that the recipe uses ample amounts of peppers, I'm on it.

This work day starts yet another working marathon of 6 days in 3 states. Today 6.5 hrs in Philly, Friday and Saturday 20 hrs in NJ, 10 more in Philly, and then Monday and Tuesday in NH. I know that these days will be rewarding, but the anticipation is the worst part. Once it's over on the drive back, I'll be kicking myself once again. At least I won't forget to drink the java the to help me through it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Regardless of the tumultuous times that burden my existence, being creative can give a little relief. Well or drinking a gazillion drinks, but using my idle hands is the best way to forget. Be in the now.
With Hallow's Eve right around the corner, there has been a costume project taken on by yours truly. An Owl costume for my 26 1/2 month old son. I'm pretty excited with the outcome so far, but there's still some more hours that need to be out in. If I get it out as fast as possible, I won't lose interest. I gotta get it out so I don't get bored. Being impatient, I need to see that finished product asap. Check those pics out of my latest creation thus far.

I need a little patience.... ahhhhhhh.... ahhhhh... just a little patience.

It seems with a lot of things, I'm losing my patience. Then I blow a gasket, and the steam subsides for awhile until yet again a gasket needs to be blown. I wish I could be a calm, cool, and collected kind of folk. That's not me when I'm at the end of my rope. I can be nasty when I'm angry. The sharp words roll off of my tongue like butter. Then I have to deal with the damage I've done and help to rebuild the ego that I just crushed. Oops.

It's best I get back to my project. Maybe I'll yell at it for awhile and tell it how frustruated, overworked, and under relaxed I feel and why. But you know, I don't think that costume will give a HOOT!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mission complete

Well the head cheese experiment is finished. This morning I slid the molded delicacy onto a plate. I realized that the lard had collected at the bottom, so I removed it. The next step was the taste test. I sliced a piece, put it on some toast with mustard, took a bite, and spit it out. I almost threw up. After the long and tedious process, I knew what this was made of. Another bite was taken, and I mustered the courage to chew and swallow. That was it.
Tomorrow I'm bringing it to work for some brave souls to try it. One of my coworkers and a client seems excited to partake in trying it. I might experience this once again with company. We shall see.

While I'm glad I have the head cheese making notch on my belt, I probably won't be doing it again. Expanding my pallet is certainly one of my goals. Its nice to try things that most folks think that are gross. Adventurous eating has always been one of my favorite past times. I enjoy trying new things even if in the end I'm completely disgusted.

I redeemed my taste buds this morning with another batch of pumpkin muffins. While they didn't come out as good as the last batch since we were bereft of some key ingredients. Despite the substitutions, they were pretty good. I'm not sure what's in store for my next culinary adventure, but it won't be involving the head of a pig anytime soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Today was the last day of my unofficial vacation in which I had to cancel. Needless to say, I still had fun. My husband took my son to the zoo with his Mimi, and I got to do whatever the heck I wanted all by my lonesome. I didn't even clean. I painted some of the flash pictured. There's much work to be done espcecially on the blending on La Catrina. There needs to be a couple more little drawings added as well. This page doesn't seem to be going as smooth as the first one, but I'll be doing more work on it tonight. It's been nice to paint things that I want to paint. No one is telling me what to paint, and this feels great. It's also nice to experiment with another medium.

Well there won't be any artwork done until after I finish with the head cheese. I didn't have to do any sawing or cutting. Thankfully, porky pig fit into one of ours pots. What a relief that was. I thought it was done, but when I took it out the meat wasn't quite falling off of the bone. However, the snout is gone, and I can see the skull. Guess who'll be using that in a painting soon??? I just hope that this comes out good. It's become quite the process. I also have a pork belly in the fridge that I need to cut up and freeze. Yay, me. More work to do. It's taking a lot longer than expected.

More pics to come.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making lemonade

Last week was a scary week. I would go into detail, but I feel as if I don't want the public to know every gorey and depressing details of my families life. Who knows who's reading. Let's just say that I felt like we reached a bottom. On top of that occurence, the reality set in that my husband is on his 10th month of unemployment with only a limited amount of unemployment benefits left. We never thought we'd be in this position in our lives since we'd always done well for ourselves. What a shock we've had.

Because we cancelled our vacation this week due to lack of funds, I had some time off to clear my head and take care of some loose ends. Some stress was relieved by painting up a storm the past couple of days and nights. Also cooking, hanging out with friends, going to the farm, and taking pics of nature and animals.

Today I made pumpkin muffins and spiced apple juice. The house smelt like fall, and I loved it. I always think it's weird that most pumpkin recipes require canned pumpkin. I make my own dang puree. It's mucho easy, and I don't eat out of cans anymore. Well we sometimes use glass canned products. We rarely eat anything that's pre made.

The other day when I was working, my husband bought a pre frozen meal and cookies. I was admittedly a little ticked off. It gives me the idea to utilize the freezer more, and make some our own home made frozen food for him to heat up. It's way too expensive to buy that crap. Not to mention it usually contains sub par ingredients and preservatives.

We're saving money in many ways, but I figure our health is nothing to cut corners on. We will always buy the cheapest, local, Organic products. I'd rather starve then eat poisoned food. That's why I'm psyched on the Organic farm share and buying our meat in bulk from a local farmer. Ideally, we would grow all of our own, and raise our own meat, but we rent a townhouse with a tiny yard. That's not even close to being feasible. We're cutting out hair cuts, trying to use our gas guzzling truck less, trying to sell the bike, and mending broken clothing to mention a few. I want to cut the TV out as much as possible too. We might potentially come to a point where we really can't afford it. This is the best way we can manage.

Tomorrow is perogie making day. I'm still working on utilizing our whole vegetable food share and storing it properly so that we don't waste food. The perogies will take up the potato collection we have going. I'm also debating on ways to preserve the patty pan and butternut squash, green peppers, and sweet potatoes. Maybe I can precut sweet potato "fries", and freeze them?? Or sweet potato perogies?? Or just freeze pureed sweet potatos? Seriously, what do you do with 20 green peppers before they go bad?? This share has been extremely cost worthy especially if you can't use everything right away and store it for the future. I recommend checking out Growing Home Coop if you get a chance.

My father is an extremely frugal man. He was even given the title "The biggest cheap skate in Charlotte" from a local paper for saving so much money. He's takes it to another level. He catalogs all of his finances, bills, gas and energy use, budget, etc. Perhaps I should be inspired by this, but numbers aren't my thing. I do what I "feel" is best as a victim to my left brain. What I do know is that the trips to Whole Paycheck are lessening, and that means we're spending less.

Thankfully my funk has been somewhat lifted. The only thing is, I'm afraid to go back into my regular routine of working to the bone again. At least my mind will be in a better space with a recharged battery.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No joke

The autumn weather has decided to bless us with its awesome beauty here in South Jersey. It's even come to Philadelphia just in the nick of time. Despite the fact that life has been punching me in the face, this weather can rescue me from a depressing slump.

F* it!! I'm still well and not starving. I have my family here with me everyday. We are poor folks trying to make the best out of life. I'm going to work a ten hour shift today, and then I have some time off this week.

There will be a large effort to make the best use of time in the next 5 days. There are perogies to be made, squash to be vacuumed packed, and head cheese. You read it right! I'm going to embark on a disgusting project of making a gelatinous and meaty delicacy called Head cheese or souse. Perhaps I will vomit during the cooking or eating process. But come hell or high water, I'm determined to make it. I will be strong. If I'm going to eat meat, I've decided to try and use most or all of the animal. We've purchased half of a local, pasture fed pig. It was sent to the butcher to be processed last week, and we're picking it up on Friday.

I don;t even know how to make head cheese. I've never even tasted it. Call me crazy. It doesn't sound like the best time.

This tattoo mom might be sawing a pig's head in four.

Removing the eyes and brain.
Cooking it down in a huge pot with vinegar and spices
Removing the meat from the head and collecting the gelatin when it's done cooking.
Wrapping it in a cheesecloth, and hanging it for the night.

It sounds disgusting all around. However I've heard that head cheese is a lovely tasting treat. We will certainly see very soon. Pics to come!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Calming down

Cooking always makes me feel better. I just blanched some tomatoes for a marinara sauce that's stewing on the stove top as these words are being typed. There are eggplants roasting in the oven so that I can freeze them or make a little baba ganoush for enjoying at work tomorrow. It's gives me a piece of mind to save the bounty of our summer Organic farm share. That way we can use it through the winter. There's only two more weeks of produce pick ups. Then it's back to Wholefoods, or whole "pay check", until next summer.

There are a couple of urban indoor gardening methods I can apply through the winter. Perhaps I can experiment with some hydroponics. I'll certainly have to start up the sprouting again. It's so easy. I know my husband would never go for the sprouts, and neither will my son. We'll see. I'd like to start enforcing salads in this household on a regular basis.

There are also navy beans soaking in the crock pot. While I work the cooking will continue in that pot, baking beans with molasses and bacon inspired by some recipe from Boston.

The temperature is still close to 80 these days, and it doesn't feel like fall. Yet I'm preparing for the winter. I'm praying for lots of snow so that I can be forced to stay at home, relax and enjoy some of these things I prepared. We will have all we need even if the power goes out, we can light a fire. And we will have each other.

Please buy this

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

From bad to worse

The drive home from my quick guest spot took all of the life out of me. A scary sound from the front of my car presented itself last week. It didn't cause me great worry until the ride home. I had to demystify this mysterious noise, so off to the dealer I went. It was an expensive diagnosis. Over one hundred buccaroos for an oil change and to tell me that the wheel bearing was about to stop moving at any unsuspected moment. Yet I drove onward, about 30 miles, until paranoia settled in. I worried about the wheel getting stuck, the car spinning around, and then an unknown demise would follow me. If I was lucky then I would survive unscathed, but the worst case scenarios burdened my mind. They always do. I was now determined to turn around, and get it fixed... Spending another $500 is positively worth me living. The time wasn't wasted since it was spent with some extended family members, and we rarely get to see each other the past couple of years.

Now the car seems to ride as smooth as silk. It might be dented all about, but that's only superficial to me. In our present shaky financial situation, I'm satisfied with a dented up, stinky, stained, less than fair looking yet smooth driving car.

Then hours later, I took the long ride. My mind raced the entire time. I'm helpless against my own thoughts. Trying to keep a positive outlook while peering out of the windshield into the rainy fogginess was virtually impossible. My poor friends that lent their ears to my hemming and hawing while I drove. It keeps me from sinking deeper. Then I hang up and am drowning in the desperation of my mind.

It didn't get better after arriving at home. Although today is a new day, adn I'm excited to spend time with my son. Except I can't find the glue. For when he wakes up from his afternoon slumber, the plan was to make a wreath of construction paper, autumn colored hands. While my young one rests and my husband is diligently searching away on his computer, I have no idea what to do with myself but write. Being wrapped up in all of this work and traveling has caused me to lose myself.

There is hope that I'll find myself again. Something will present itself, and I will come out of the funk. Perhaps a conversation, a bottle of wine, some cooking.... Drawing, painting. There are so many ideas, but I'm unmotivated to do anything including relax. So here I sit in utter anxiousness and on edge.

Monday, September 27, 2010

ATT&T said it best....

"You should've called." That I should have done. My trip planned to NH has complicated since Jim is on vacation, and his room is locked. The tattoos on Sunday all went well. 3 hours each after a 5.5 hour drive.

My two other dudes I had to cancel on aren't quite happy with the mishap. I texted Kelly the other day, and it seems like ATT&T didn't get the text through. SO when I sent her the message again that I was coming, Jim was already gone to his anniversary vacation in Texas. The room is locked, and I'm on a coup;e of people's shit list.

Now yet another trip is planned for two weeks from now. Or three. I can't count. I'm so tired and waiting for my early bird appointment. We're using Kelly's room before she gets in to work. My friend is now 2 minutes late. My fingers are speed typing to get this all out.

I'm tired, but I do it for my family. It's not like I'm away hooting and hollering and having a relaxing time. Believe me, I'd love to. After this, I'll clean it up, pack it up, and drive my little butt back to South Jersey. 6 hours of rainy yuckiness in the car through big cities where I'd love to stop in and explore, but I have to drive to my home. It'll be nice to cuddle with my little man and be woken up all night by his cries for mama. It's all exhausting, but it's worth it in the end. Bread winning, making some sick tattoos, and being tired as hell is my life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lord grant me the serenity

To make it through the next 5 days, I'm going to need a lot of caffeine. I'm working 3, 10 hour shifts back to back - today in Philadelphia at No Ka Oi, and Friday and Saturday in Pennsauken, New Jersey at Body Graphics. On Sunday morning the 330 mile journey to NH will begin at 6am. Then I'll be working at Jim's Tattoo the next two days, and driving home promptly after cleaning and packing up. Starbucks here we come.

In tough times. this is what I do. It's difficult being in a reverse role of the norm. My dreams are to be a SAHM, but this isn't in the cards for now. I envision that things will work out with new business ventures of my spouse, and there will be a change soon.

Alas there is a break in the near future. We're venturing into the White Mountains of NH, where I lived for 5 years, for 4 days or so. There we'll visit some of my best friends. It'll be so nice to breath the crisp air and see the deciduous delights. Good times with old friends will be happen. Maybe we'll hike, bike, or see a bear or even a moose. It would be fantastic. Four days doesn't seem like enough time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't call me a hippie, I'm just old fashioned

This morning I'm especially in the mood for autumnal activities. Thankfully , there's plenty to do. My husband bought a freezer the other day per my request, and now we have to fill it.

Taking up space in the new appliance will be easy. Tomorrow we're purchasing 1/8 of a grass fed cow. In a couple of weeks, we're buying 1/2 of a pig. I also plan on freezing some of the bounty from our Organic farm share. We have an uncountable number of squashes in different varieties, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and onions. Figuring out how to store some of things has been interesting. Some preserving techniques are better than others. While certain vegetables are more palatable if cooked, roasted, or blanched prior to freezing.

Many many moons ago, I actually had a home made root cellar type contraption. We hung heads of cabbage in the mud room and stored carrots in saw dust in a trough. Presently we don't even have those vegetables.

Sometimes I'm baffled at what to do with the produce. I love the Farm share, but we can't manage to eat everything we get week to week. Not that I'm complaining since we're certainly getting our money's worth of $185 for 11 weeks of produce. I just don't want it to go to waste. Some of it certainly has. We acquired so much Kale and din't even touch it except one week. Please pass on any delectable recipes including Kale. Also recipes for patty pan squash are appreciated.

Other chores aren't as fun as cooking. We are organizing our nests, getting ready for winter, and putting summer clothes away. Getting all of our ducks in a row and hoping for a snow filled winter.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Everything happens for a reason

Yesterday morning we booked a room to visit the Jersey Shore for their bike week called "Roar to the Shore". Too bad that we didn't actually make it. Shortly after we started our ride there, I had to stop for a bathroom break. As I stepped off of the chopper I lost my balance from a heavy back pack and gouged next to my knee with a sharp decorative part on the fender to the right of this paragraph. It was pretty bad. You could see the fatty tissue and it was a pretty big wound.

My husband's step father picked us up so we could venture to a local ER. A good looking Dr used seven stitches to sew me up. After a tetanus shot, we were on our way. We decided to make the best of the day and hit a few local bars for food and drinks.

I'm totally bummed because now I have to heal this awful laceration, and it's going ot make my life difficult for a couple of weeks. The one good thing is that now my hubby has decided that it's a good idea to trade in the chopper for something safer. The chopper is custom built with a sleek and many extremely sharp parts. It's better to have gouged my knee than to do worse to my husband. And I officially get my way.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kick ass Zucchini Slaw Recipe

Apparantly this was a hit today at a play date so I decided to post the recipe. Zucchini is such an easy vegetable to grow, and we've had an abundance of it from our Organic Farm Share this year!!


6 med. zucchini or 1 large - grated

2 tsp. salt

1 lrg. carrot - grated

1 med. red bell pepper - seeded, julienne (I didn't use this but I would've if I had it)

1 rib celery - minced

1 sm. onion - minced (I used a red onion)

2 Tbls. chopped fresh parsley ( I didn't use this but I would've if I had it)

2 Tbls. chopped fresh dill weed

3/4 cup mayonnaise - low-fat okay

2 Tbls. Dijon mustard

2 Tbls. red wine vinegar

1 Tbls. olive oil

1 Tbls. honey

1/4 tsp. black pepper

raisins (optional)

-Combine zucchini and salt; toss well.-Place in colander and let stand for 30 minutes.

-Rinse under cold water, drain, and squeeze out excess moisture.

-Place zucchini in bowl and add carrot, red pepper, onion, raisins and celery; toss well.-Sprinkle with parsley and dill.

-Combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, oil, honey, and pepper; stir into zucchini mixture.-Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pink eye

Since this past Wednesday morning, Pink Eye has been plaguing me. First it began with redness in the left eye. Then it slowly progressed into a red, painful and mucous mess. On Thursday I went to the Dr's where she told me to use black tea bags on it and call her the next day to see if I should be prescribed antibiotics. She doesn't just like to dish them out at the drop of a hat, and I like that about her. However, I didn't call her on Friday because I thought it looked somewhat better yet still contagious even though I still had the persistent head aches and sore throat. Here it's Sunday morning, and I can't work... again. The eyes look as horrible as ever. I started using some drops after chatting with the Dr again via the emergency line at 8am. I'm really starting to feel somewhat useless and bored. I'm so angry because I got sick only about a month ago with a horrible respiratory infection.

I really need to kick start my immune system and get back to good health. I feel like I eat healthy, but I guess not healthy enough. I also did quite a bit of exercising this week, and then boom... Sick again. I can't seem to win.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Addicted to True Blood

My name is Tegan, and I'm addicted to anythign related to True Blood. I've recently started book 2 after reading book 1 in less than a week. I couldn't even wait a couple of hours to borrow the book from a friend that I had to pay to download it off of the internet onto my Sony Reader.

That is all for now.

Becoming green

Certain thoughts permeate in my head over and over again. One of my main worries has always been the environment, and how we're altering it from being a suitable place for the present life here into a less compatible one. Everyday I try to think of ways that I can lessen my family's carbon foot print. How can I consume less energy, recycle more, waste less, and pollute less.

One of my proudest "act local" global deed is belonging to a CSA. We purchase a share of vegetables that comes during a 10 week period through the summer. The produce is grown about 50 miles from here on Organic farms. So we pick up a grocery sized bag every week, and then figure out how to use it all. This is the biggest challenge although I enjoy being given ingredients and getting creative with them to make an enjoyable dish. It's especially tough since we're acquiring most of the same vegetables every week with a gradual change. I suppose this is due to what's local and what's in season. Mostly I like it, but unfortunately Kale has been in the mix every single week. Mostly it goes to waste. I tried putting it in Zucchini fritters. I cooked up Kale chips. The best thing I've used it in and thought was ok was in a fruit smoothie in the morning. Otherwise, I'm out of luck. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated for this Kale unfriendly family.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brithday Celebrations Day 2

What a crazy weekend it's been. Saturday we saw the Phillies. It was a great time, however, we got home extremely late around 1am. I woke up on Sunday, August 8th with a raging hangover that lasted all day until I finally retired around 10pm. Mind you, there were endless tasks to complete yesterday since it was my son's second birthday. We had a family party to plan for, and of course it was my idea to make just about everything home made. The menu included two different salsas, smoked brisket, sausage, chicken and ribs, 2 decorated Monkey cakes and almost 50 monkey cupcakes, dip, iced tea, potato salad, and cole slaw. I'm not sure if I'm leaving anything out.

Today is the kids party. Thankfully we're ordering pizza out, and the baking is done. The urge is there to start whipping up miscellaneous things for everyone to eat. It's in my nature to nurture so I think that making a ton of stuff is the way to go. Now I can fully relate to how people who work in the kitchen feel. What a crazy job. Kudos to you all! Really, I need to relax. So after I jump up off of this computer, I'm going to try and chill for a bit before the craziness begins again. Everyone is napping so I'm going to take full advantage.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer is flying by so fast

It's difficult to believe it's already the first week in August. I thought about this over coffee this morning as I contemplated how little we've used our pool membership. It was so darn expensive, and it's been so darn hot this season. Now I'm publicly vowing to go everyday that it's not raining. This summer has been productive, but we need to get out and have more fun.

Hopefully by next season we'll have our own house and pool. Then we won't have to pay the outrageous fees to join. Also our friends can save some money and use the policy, "Mi casa et su casa". Pardon the spelling. Owning our own home would be a dream come true.

We've been patiently awaiting my husbands new business venture to kick off. He's selling this new technology that can truly help lessen the carbon foot print on this planet. Now he hasn't always been a "Save the Earth" hippie like me, but he's a great sales and businessman. I'm so proud that he's gone from developing fast food franchise's and pharmaceuticals to this Green venture. The waiting is killing me, though. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, and send us some positive vibes that something happens soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Birthday

Well Talon is turning two this Sunday. I can hardly believe it was that long ago. Slowly the pain of the experience is fading away. I love my child so much more everyday, and I still wish to stay at home with him. He's the best thing to ever happen to me besides my husband.

We're planning two birthdays - one for the family and one for his friends. I must be crazy to take on this responsibility. In addition, I'd prefer to make as much home made food as I can from scratch. Cooking and sharing my food with other people is one of my life's delights. So the menus are planned. Now all I have to do is write a list for the ingredients, shop, get party favors and decorations, cook, and heck that's it. Thankfully I'm not working so much this week so that I might be able to do these things. lol

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Be the Change you wish to see in the World.

Recently, I've been having some pretty strong epiphany like ideas going through my head. I've always been environmentally conscious since I was a young child. The thought of destroying the perfect environment on our Mother Earth has always appalled me. It's stayed with me through the years. Now here I am raising a family, and I'm still wondering how I can be more active in spreading the word. I've tried to be as low impact as possible, but it's very difficult to discern what is the best thing to do to save our planet.

As I mentioned previously, these realizations have been profound thoughts that have been consuming my thoughts. Several questions come into my head about how I can live all aspects of my life while still benefitting the good of our society as well as our habitat. After watching "Low Impact Man" last night, one of my recent ideas have been confirmed. My goal is to work harder on this. I'm going to pass the word on by creating a blog to help inform my peers as to what they can do to be a more Green.

Until then I'm researching some topics.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I'm not going to pretend right now that anything is remotely ok. Yesterday after 20 lovely months, I finally got my friend back. My emotions and hormones have been raging. My mind is racing. Josh and I are arguing. I have some time off, and all I want is to have some peace and quiet. Actually I don't really have three days off. I have side work going on, need to rearrange some appointments, draw, go in to do some barter pieces, get my licensing requirements for two tattoo state tattoo licenses. I can't even spell the word, license. Ok there I did it. The house work is piling up too. There is constant cleaning of the downstairs, but the upstairs is disgusting. I can't remember the last time the bathrooms were cleaned, and I think the grime in the toilets is evolving into a new species. There's so much to take care of, I can't even focus on one thing.

Thankfully I made a list. Hopefully writing this I can start to prioritize, but then wouldn't that mean making another list. You know you're caught in a funk when you start doing writing and revising list rather than actually doing anything.

I'm going to talk my way through this. I need to take some deep breaths. In and out. In a nd out. Ok I'm off.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby brain continues

I never thought I was flighty or airy until the end of my pregnancy. Then one day, it began. I forgot what I needed to do that day, who I had plans with, and other everyday things. It was to my knowledge that this went away after pregnancy, but I still have these symptoms. I forget what time there's a play date at my house, that I need to renew lisences, pay the meter, etc. Do I have to set an alarm for everything? I need to figure this out. This can't be the new me.

Perhaps I just have too much going on. Working full time and balancing a schedule at three different studios in three different states. Tattooing just takes everything out of me. Then that doesn't include the extra time I put into drawing, commuting, pumping breast milk, and ordering supplies. Top that off with taking care of my husband who's recovering from back surgery and a male toddler who demands 100% of my attention except when he's playing in his sand box. Let's finish that off with the endless house keeping, cooking, and food shopping. My plate is overfull. I'm losing my mind.

I need to find time to recharge. Writing helps. Doing nothing at all helps. A vacation would be absolutely fabulous! Looking at art, enjoying a good book, getting a massage, cooking a fabulous meal, or dining out. These are all things that help me fill my creative battery. Some of the time when I find myself losing my mind, I can't even relax since I'm worrying about all of the things I need to take care of. It's a conundrum.

Well today I'm working towards change. My husband understands that I truly deserve a break so he insisted that I get some R&R at the salon/spa. He got the ok from the surgeon to pick up our son again so he'll be taking over his Stay At Home Dad duties once again. I'm sure this will relieve some tension. Therefore this afternoon I'll be enjoying a massage and a bang trim today. Afterwards my plan is to cook a fabulous meal and do some drawings over a bottle of wine of course. Let's see if I can stick to it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Recovery

Well the surgery went well last week. We got in there on time, got Josh situated, and then I walked nervously around the city. I walked about 2 and a half to 3 miles that day. Maybe more... I got a pedicure, went shopping at LUSH and Juicy (and spent way too much money on a jacket at Juicy), ate lunch, pumped in the car, had a drink, and napped while sitting up in the family surgery waiting area at the hospital before I was allowed to see my husband. It had been 6 hours, but it felt like an eternity. I was in the midst of a terrible cold with a stabbing head ache that lasted for two days so this added to my anxiety levels. The surgeon had called me after the procedure to tell me what happened and that everything went smoothly. That was the biggest relief. I hadn't been as excited to see Josh after surgery since we first started dating and were still living in different states. Now we're in recovery and a whole slew of new obstacles have been presented before us.

The first ten days to two weeks will be the worst. During that time, Josh isn't allowed to do anything besides occaisionally walk. He can't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. He can't do bend or twist, drive or lift his own son. Will he do this being the stubborn man he is? I caught him folding laundry the other day. His mother doesn't help. She thinks he should be given small tasks to make him feel important. I think he should do nothing. Thank God she helped out, though. With me being the bread winner, I have to work. At least now it's Monday, and I don't have to work until Friday. I can keep an eye on him, and yell at him if he doesn't obey the rules.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Back Surgery and memory loss

My husband's back hasn't really gotten any better. After a visit to the surgeon, we've agreed to put him through it even though I don't have the best feelings about. Surgery scares the crap out of me. The convincing point was because he has a piece of disk that broke off and cold potentially be lodged in his spinal column. Apparently he's cleared to have the surgery per some pre operation tests. Next Thursday is the big day.

On another note, I was very excited for a day off from work. I took Talon to First Steps Gym for some pay time, and then we went to Monsoon Indian lunch buffet. Let's note that he was pretty good during that lunch since he was into the rice with raita, pakoras, and Tandoori Chicken. Then I distracted him with ice. After our fabulous meal, we hopped in the car to go home and relax when I saw a message from Body Graphics on my phone. They weren't happy with me since I was on the schedule to work from 12 - 10pm. I'm not usually on the schedule for this location, and I didn't even check it. My bad... I'm never a "no show" so this is embarassing. Not to mention I missed out on three walk ins earlier in the day. I collected some supplies from my storage at home since I left everything in Philly and rushed Talon over to his life saving grandma's work. Now here I am at work waiting for a touch up to come in. Hopefully some more people will venture in here to get something done. It can really be hit or miss here.

So no day off for me until Tuesday. I'll be at No Ka Oi tomorrow. I'm going to NH on Sunday and Monday. At this point, I'm feeling a little burnt out and wishing I could get a break. It didn't help that I went out drinking with work buddies last night. This partying would've been skipped if I knew I was working since I'm no longer a big fan of tattooing hung over. Thankfully Josh and I are getting out on Tuesday night, but I'm not sure what we're doing yet. The more I work, the less I know what to do with my spare time because I feel like I should be working.

What I really want to be doing is getting ready to cuddle with Talon and rock him to sleep. Then fall asleep with him in my arms. I could've made some Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars or Monster Cookies today. I could've had some more time with my young son. Woe is me a working mom. If only I could be a SAHM again.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow day... again

We're on the fourth snow storm of this season. In South Jersey this is a record season. Considering last year we got less than one inch of snow, I'm in shock. However I feel more at home being from New England. I'm also lucky since my chivalrous husband refuses to let me shovel despite his crippling back condition. So now I'm stuck inside on my day off.

Let's just get this out of the way.

It's getting overwhelmingly annoying that everyone I run into is suggesting we have another child now that Talon is 18 months. No one can understand that one child is enough for us right now. Unless we surprisingly get pregnant, we're not trying. I'm still breast feeding and haven't even gotten my "friend" back yet. I think I'm going to breast feed forever. I wonder if the prolactin hormone causes me to think this way. We can't make up our minds if we want more children, but as of right now it's not a good time considering the situation we're in right now.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I consider bearing another offspring. This especially happens when I run into a pregnant friend or relative or see another newborn. It's usually a warm yet fleeting feeling shot down once the baby cries or I hold it. I can hardly remember Talon as a newborn. He's becoming more and more independant. He's starting to tantrum. How could I have a tantruming toddler and a newborn at the same time? Then I think to my self, "You people with more than one child are crazy!!"

Perhaps there will never be a good time. I'm starting to feel fine with that because I want to be able to go on extravagant vacations with the family and be able to afford to splurge on things we might not be able to do with two children. Not to mention I'm still traumatized by the pregnancy and birthing process. Hours of therapy might help me to get over this, but I'm not sure. I can't relate to the many women I meet that love being pregnant and giving birth. It's incovienient, uncomfortable, debilitating, and gross. The only good outcome of the gorey experience is that your gifted with a child. We're pretty satisfied with the one we got.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm back

Times have changed at the Beyer house. My hubby is recently unemployed, and it seems like he's been sending his resume out into a black hole with this poor economy. He's become a Stay At Home Dad. I call it a SAHD pronounced "Sad" since it's not his ideal situation. He's the type of guy that likes to be the bread winner because he was raised that way. While I love that about him, I want our son to grow up thinking that that's not the only way. A mom can be the bread winner and support the family too. I'm trying like hell to make that happen. Not only because my husband is unemployed in a tough economy, but his herniated disks in his back is causing him so much pain lately. He can't sleep let alone even go to work at this point, and we're waiting to hear back form the surgeon to see if he's a candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

Therefore I'm back to work full time. Mostly I'm in Philly at No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo on 4th and South. Then a couple of times a month, I'm traveling to Jim's Tattoo in Seabrook, Nh. Also during the week I'm available at the New Jersey Body Graphics location. It's exhausting, but I love it. I work long hours in Philly, try to cook, clean, and spend QT with Talon and my husband when I'm off. It's tough to balance it all, but it's my reality.