seek and find

Friday, July 22, 2011

binge & PURGE

Somehow, in two years, I have acquired an enormous amount of stuff. Really cute stuff, but stuff nonetheless: shabby chic furniture, beautiful dishes, unique frames, brilliant lamps, funky yet functional desks, a rad vehicle from the 1970s, clothes, linens, you name it, I've probably go it. And now, I'm selling it. All.

Everything but, of course, Nugent and the Peugeot.

It is raining and dreary outside, adding fuel to my packing-for-flight-fire. I'm headed south for the summer/fall/winter/ever and am very happy for it. Its times like these that I realize the true extent of my luck, of my blessings, of my awesome life, and find it hard to believe that not long ago I considered taking it. As you know, these last 3 years have been some of my worst. But, in those dark, dreary dreadful moments comes light. The warm light of family ties, of friendships, of distance and closeness, of the incalculable importance of feline/canine companions, of true love and loss; most importantly, of self. The years have been hard on me, but they've been harder still on others, and in my hard times I find the best thing to do is binge a little then purge a lot. I'm lucky to be able to do so.

I'm selling my beloved car, or, at least, I'm trying to. I'm selling my furniture, my clothes, some shoes, lots of stuff, and with everything thing that leaves these doors, I feel a little bit lighter. I could, in all honesty, pack my books, my cat, my bike and some radishes and be okay for a little while. Enough, surely, to get me through a few weeks in the sun. Then, of course, I'd start looking and smelling like these foolish beings I so loathe in Olympia, the white guys with dreadlocks, the hairy-legged ladies who refuse toothbrushes, too, the trustifarians who know what they've got and exploit it and those with little for their own high (unplucked and gross) brow memoirs that they'll surely be writing when they have 2.5 kids and refuse to hire any "illegals."

Oh how time changes us. I hope it continues to change me for the better. I've made some mistakes thus far, cut some ties I regret, been stubborn enough to allow bosses to harass and crazies to affect... alas, time changes us and right now is a great time for some change.

See you on the other side of the Rockies. I'm so ready to purge and head east!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

i'm trying so hard, seemingly in vein, to stay chipper; 
the weather here on June 11th is cool, dreary and unfit for its sprightly season. 

stay sunny
although i do not miss the sweltering suffocating heat of the Texas summers, nor do i miss the exhaustive dry heat of the Sahel, i do miss the feeling of warmth wrapping my body, sweat forming on its own accord and none of my own, cold water having an alleviating purpose, the scent and feel of sunscreen, the touch of sun's delightful yet damaging rays, the golden glow of my sun kissed locks. 

i do miss being warm. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, otherwise, its just a hole

Saul Schalit in Salida, CO

for the love of

in a previous post i lightly addressed the sad fact that my sweet friends, Wendy & Chris Walters, lost their newborn babygirl, Lila Jane Walters, unexpectedly. she was only about a month old and had already made a lovely, warm and sweet impact on their little family. the news of this tragedy came to me while sitting, lonely and sad to be leaving colorado, at the denver airport, loathing the lonesomeness, the illogicality of it all, and truly questioning my decision to leave salida, leave colorado, once again. having had a phenomenal trip home, some time to catch up with my former and with many of my dearest friends, made me truly wonder - what i am doing with my self? alas, i sat in the airport, weeping, making fellow travelers uncomfortable and yet encouraging them to express openly their support for a fellow being. touching my shoulder gently, wordlessly sitting nearby just for the warmth of spirit. two little birds came and perched by me, too. actual little birds. that was pleasant and comforting. i was able to spend some quality time on skype with my best friend, residing in europe, staying up late so as to help me conquer the panic attack that was overwhelming me {unassisted with meds which were, comfortably en route to seattle}... 
anyway, just like those strangers and those strange birds, giving a little time, a little effort, or even just a sincere smile can truly and genuinely change a persons life. even if just for a moment. 
in LilaJane Walters' honor and in support of Wendy, Chris and Devin (their toddling son), the following community support systems have been set up. i figured i'd pass this along and encourage you to write, to donate, to support. whether you're in salida, in colorado, or a complete stranger, these are simple ways to help someone find a reason to smile. 

{if you do, indeed, participate and to avoid creeping anyone out, it would probably be best if you noted that you found this information via Sydney} 

An account has been set up
Lila Jane Walters
Bank of the West 
146 G St Salida 81201

Community Sale June 5th at 1112 F Street at 10:00am. 

If you can cook please sign up @
Last name: Walters
Password: Lilajane

A card, flowers, or something for Devin (boy, age 2) can be sent to their home 
348 Poncha Blvd.
Salida, CO 81201

remember, a smile, sincere eye contact, even just a bright flower, can truly change a person's day. imagine what we can do for a family in mouring, with a note, a floral arrangement, a smile... 

a hermits life for me

as i test the waters of the dating world i find myself pulling back, further and further, into my shell; sleeping longer hours; eating less; enjoying Nugent more; finding solace in books and writings than in the company of others; especially strangers. 

i figure if the best face i can put on is one mustered with (even just slight) intoxication, i should maybe hold off for awhile longer. 

the wounds are too fresh; the scars still visible; the warmth still there. although i know my ex has and/or is trying to move on, i guess i'm just not ready yet. and that is just fine with me. i'm happy for him, for Fisher, for what is next in his life. i hope its full of good things; less drama; more sun and smiles and a lot less of the Crazy. i hope that, too, for his new ladyfriend. sincerely. 
oh yea, and dating in the rain is the pits! 
thanks Olympia for keeping me snug as a hermitty bug in my precious, warm, dry and kitten-friendly home. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Texas Texas, Yee Haw
i met a fellow Texpatriate last night after spending some quality time with a few other southerners this past weekend & realized how thoroughly i miss Texas, Texans & the largess therein... 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

i whip my hair back, but never forth... that is just asking for trouble

there are friends and then there are loved ones. its a fine line in my world; a line that gets hopped and scotched and botched and respected - it depends on the weather, and whether or not, it nearly always ends in tears.
happy tears, sad tears, remorseful tears, joyful tears.

in the past 72 hours i've been reminded, many times over, just how much i am loved and, more importantly, how much i love.
that i'm selfish: still trying to grow into my 26 year old skin, still trying to maintain my priorities, to not step on toes, to keep smiling as much as possible and to make myself a better person. my friends, my loved ones, my family, they've shown me great things this weekend. including the fact that, whenever, where ever, how ever, if you love and you are loved , you are indeed alive.
looking forward.

i was given a piece of chalk; a piece of white/grey chalk, that only i and my little friend Fisher received, that is to remind me to own my intentions, to make my decisions, to own my days and to be my best. the piece of chalk was bestowed upon me to assist me in my journey through the "dark forest" {oly-based-hippie talk for "your late twenties"} - where self reflection, self inspection abound; where selfless and selfish are arguably interchangeable.

i was given an investment into my photographic future.
i was given a book of correspondence, of beautiful, artful attempts to further ignite passion through prose, poetry and profound colors.
i was given an antique painting of a little girl being bucked from a bronco; it was given with a smile, a wink and a proud hug - "i'm glad you're back in the saddle, Syd."
i was given handmade feather earrings, hugs, cupcakes, smiles, sweetness.

i was given some tragic news, halting all the goodness and happiness: the death of an infant, of an innocent. the notion of it takes your breath away, the knowing of it takes your heart more than a moment to recover. the reality of it takes... well, forever to comprehend, to ingest, to realize.
my heart aches, breaks, for you my friends the Walters, and everyone else submerged in sadness over the loss of this lovely little lady. my hands are open to you, to yours, and will always be for you. 

to my sweet and lovely friends and family in Colorado, thank you for the sunny homecoming, the warm smiles and welcoming hugs; for the alley-way talks and the long-overdue looks. some interactions overshadowed others, some were under-appreciated and others still, overzealous, but, and i say this with complete confidence: i would not have changed or exchanged one interaction for another.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


- hello all friends, family and formers -

today i turn twenty-six. 
today i enter my late twenties. 
today the rain is torrential 
and the friends are plentiful 
and freedom is mine. 
all mine.

thank you all for putting up with me, for loving me, for openly caring for a stranger, 
for adoring a strange version of myself.

Friday, April 29, 2011

keep the South(erners) in mind today

keep the South in mind, today, as you complain about exes, overcooked burgers, scream at customer service agents and accidentally bleached trousers... hug your kids, your moms, your dads and friends a little bit longer today - do it for the South.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

comin' up roses

so maybe everything isn't quite coming up roses, but it sure does seem to be headed in the right direction. although my night terrors have been much worse lately, causing some minor injuries {namely self made bruises, cuts and bloody noses, whilst deep in slumber}, they have made me aware of my progress on my path to PTSD recovery. 
thanks for the goodness,
here are a few of the things i've come to know to be true:
  • whether i'm in a city, in the desert or in a small mountain town, i'm happiest when there is sunshine, smiles and loved ones nearby.
  • that a good day of work, be it physical, mental or healing, can brighten any day and lighten any evening with that peculiar sense of accomplishment and joy.
  • i've learned that what i want isn't necessarily anything different from what i had; its just that now i can see clearly and then i was looking, frantically, through a haze of anxiety, shame, pain, suffering, and loss. then, it seemed a poor fit. now i know that it was tailor made. {sigh}
  • i've met some people that make me appreciate my time spent alone, spent with my cat, spent with my podcasts.
  • i've met others that help me to realize that good folks are everywhere; patience and persistence with a reasonable sense of goodwill will always triumph.
  • i know that everyone is on their own path, their own process and hopefully maintain the direction of progress. we all fall, though, and whether its in love or off the path, its always worth the time, effort and lessons learned.
  • i know who i love, why i love them and how much it means to be able to freely, clearly and lovingly let them know.
  • i know now that i have more patience than i ever knew; but that much of that patience is wrought with an insatiable persistence and stubbornness. 
there is so much more to be said but the sun just started shining here in Olympia and i if i don't go take advantage of it right now, it'll be gone!

ps: there are wild daffodils and tulips everywhere! i'll wear a raincoat to go see those, any day.

you know who you are & you know why this is sweet & awesome


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

two years ago, today, tomorrow...

just over two years ago, i was involved in an absurd, painful & sad event, dampened further by my severe weight loss, illness & fatigue. just over two years ago, something happened to me that would change my outlook on life, many times over, only to bring me to today, two years later.

today i am healthy. today i am healing. today i am grateful. today i am better.

tomorrow, i hope to be healthier still, a bit more healed, a bit more grateful, a bit better, too.
in my near future, i hope to have the chance to thank those who deserve it: my parents, Ryan, my brother and siblings, my friends, my frenemies, my teachers, my books, my coworkers, my pets, my pets, my pets.

two years ago, my life changed & although i didn't know it then & i wouldn't believe you if you said it yesterday, it changed for the better.
for my better.
i am grateful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

come fly with me, lets fly! lets fly away

courtesy of

waking up to the hallow & hollow calls of seagulls can make for a wonderful morning... without mourning.

as my job gets better & better, my social life begins to blossom, my kitten gains independence whilst still demanding to sleep under the covers, my book finds its rightful place in my daily list of to'dos, my running shoes wear thinner & thinner, my kitchen finds itself clean & clear of clutter.

my life - from the outside -
seems to be finding a balance -

i know better, though. i know now that what i thought i wanted - what i demanded from so many is, in fact, a personal lesson in patience.

courtesy of

as some of you know & others have gathered from this weblog: i am awesome at persistence but i lack the gumption for patience. it seems as though it is coming to me, slowly. the tact & forethought to allow patience & persistence to make their moves while i make mine & eventually fly me to that place in the hills where we watch the moon & stars & meteors while the dogs run about & the children sleep soundly.

patience & persistence: a dynamic duo i'm corralling.
~ i promise.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

in light of the darkness

as i get further and further away from my issues related to Peace Corps [namely my issues related to PTSD],  the closer i find myself being able to handle the memories, both good and bad, untainted by the shock, by the pain, by the tug of remorse.

as i get more and more emails from soon-to-be Peace Corps Volunteers, who find my blog, my name, on a some website, the more i look into the events of the past, the events leading up to those events and everything in between.

            the breakups. the breakdowns. the broken bones and broken memories. shattered by distraught Nigerians, by poor bus drivers, by women anticipating forgiveness whilst grappling with remorse, by people pushing for changes in a changeless circumstance. the good, the bad, the glorious, the horrific.
with these inquiries, which range from questions specific to my experiences to those more general to life in Peace Corps itself, i find myself being forced further and further into the depths of some of my darkest nights. both the beautiful, magical, loving dark nights, like the night of the meteor shower that lit up a love life; mid December 2007, and dark, dreadful experiences of one solo night in early March 2009.

in light of the darkness revisited - thanks to those questioning my experiences in Mali, as a PCV, as an engaged female in West Africa, as a believer in the spirit but not in the action of the Peace Corps - i’ve found myself sitting on a lot of well documented, tragic and terrific experiences and information. also, i’ve found myself more inclined to justify what’s happened since the attacks…
since my hope and my spark were beaten out of me,
since i lost the love of my life,
since i let some bullies run me around,
out of town, down down down.
since i let my life slip away…

i've been through a lot. some of the events of my recent past i don't even remember… until i go through my journal [and eventually to my blog wherein i can actually decipher the scratch that i call script] to rediscover the truth, the depth and the awe that was.
i am forever grateful to those who’ve been with me [and against me] along this path, for it is because of those and my reaction to their efforts, for good or evil, that i am who i am today and who i will become tomorrow.

sitting on this mound of emotion, of photography, of memory, of righteous pain and prospect, i find myself seeking those i’ve lost. Dabi. Ryan. Fisher. Tati. Skittles. Wurdia.
to name a few. in light of the darkness of loss there is a lesson; i hope my lessons show their light soon. i hope dampened sparks are reignited; i hope forgiveness and compassion and laughter and love come back to my life.

i hope i quit having these thoughts and conversations and revelations by myself.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

pictures of my pity party [for 1, but guests are welcomed]


getting back to my roots

we tend to seek happiness when happiness is actually a choice

bloody nose, check. ruined cookies, check. dirt laundry, check. dank wine, check.
it must be Valentines day.

slushy sundays make for scrumptious scramble

well well, guess what? its raining in Olympia... again. these days where i find myself waking early, staying in bed, watching Glee and reading Steinbecks, have brought me more than up to speed in tween-life and English literature, respectively. they've also brought me around to the glory and goodness of a well rounded, colorful, healthy breakfast tradition: the scramble.

today's adventure in bruchtime culinary creations includes: eggs, garlic, kale, sweet potatoes, pepper, greek yogurt, spinach, boiled chicken breast and, my go to for every dish these days: olive oil for cooking, golden raisins for a splash of sweet and cheddar cheese for topping.

simple slushy Sunday scramble:

  • saute the sliced garlic with pepper, once soft add the fresh kale and spinach, then the (pre baked) sweet potato slices (or cubes, chunks, whateve), golden raisins and bits of boiled chicken
  • in a separate bowl, whip the eggs (i normally only use on yolk, regardless of the amount of egg whites) with two spoonfuls of greek yogurt (plain!)
  • in a skillet, over low-medium heat, warm a table spoon of olive oil, pour in the egg/yogurt mixture
  • add the greens to the eggs
  • once done, add the cheese atop and let melt
easier than pie, healthy as can be and a good way to start any Sunday, slushy or not. 

really and truly, after a breakfast scramble like this - who needs lunch? i just need more Glee!

a) whYMCA?; b) no plug-ins during your powerup; c) i'm off to read & eat... mabye i'll drive

a) the lonely get less from exercise: this explains my lack of interest in the Y of Olympia ... maybe.

b) cafes restrict patrons to hardbounds and paperbacks: no plug-ins, no problem. i'm still using a flipHone.

c) i'm off to read & eat, in a cafe. maybe i'll drive ... (nah).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a truly great forty-eight

February 6; 5pm Central Time

When you’re happy, you find yourself in a bubble of warmth, of comfort, you smile without knowing it, you laugh without hesitation just like you breathe, you touch and are touched by people who are touching your skin and your heart and it’s the happiest, sweetest, truest touch. Hugging Patrick, Andrew, Joe, Lauren, some of the best of my bests, was as sweet and loving as holding a baby or petting a puppy.

When you’re happy, happy in its truest purest form, you are a walking light. You emit and radiate warmth. That warmth, I can tell, as I sit at the airport, drinking a Firemans4, watching the pre-game shows, amongst complete strangers, will stay with me, will not simply linger but maintain for a while to come.

And thank god for it.

I’m so lucky to have the family I have, to have the friends I have, and to know that I truly have all of these people. Of course, they are not mine to have, but we have bonds, connections, memories, aspirations, transitions and laughs that are mine, are theirs, are ours and I have them as friends, as family, as a part of me.

I’m beaming. It’s been a wonderful forty-eight hours in Austin, Texas. Two days full of hugs and tears, beers and laughs, sunshine and flurries. It’s actually been the best.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

even 70s hairband rockstars have to get their beautysleep...

while cozied up to my tea... atop my table... in my kitchen... hmm.



Syd'SweetPotatoSunday Bread
1 cup honey
.3 cup sweet potato water (from the boiled sweet potatoes)
1 cup boiled/mashed sweet potatoes
.5 cup chopped pineapple
.5 cup apple sauce (or veg. oil)
2 eggs
banana chips
.5 cup sugar
1.75 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
.25 tsp salt
.5  tsp cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins

combine honey and apple sauce, beat well. add eggs, beat well. separately, combine all dry ingredients, mix well. mix wet and dry ingredients, mix well; add boiled/mashed sweet potatoes. 

pour into muffin tins, mini bread tins or a loaf pan - oiled and floured - bake at 350F for about an hour. 


these turned out so well, i would even recommend them for next Sunday, February 6th, SuperBowlSweetPotatoSunday! 
they'd make a great addition to any menu, especially if baked in a mini muffin tin or sliced and served with orange marmalade or something equally fantastic. 


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

thank heaven for twenty eleven

Last year I think I made every possible mistake that came along my path. It’s ok, now. I survived it all, and with some perspective, feel that I’ve learned quite a bit; a lot, in fact. And, I only lost my way a few times. I stuck to my guns, stayed true to what I felt was right, for me, for everyone, and even though I got slapped around, what with all the health issues, a tyrannical and somewhat comical reign, a confidence killing habitat blindside, some family crisis’ (mostly averted) and the breakup(s), I still survived... 

I have stitches: inner ear and theoretical, too. I got my jaw fixed (thanks, brother) only to find I had put myself in a situation where not only did I lose my appetite but also any desire to smile. I tried red lipstick only to learn that I’m better off with eye drops and rosy cheeks. I tried to justify the insanity and insatiable rants of a self-inflicted broken-hearted horse-woman (you know how horsey folk can get), I tried to prove my worth to someone who sees only the worst, through a veil of self righteous delusion. I tried, I tried, I tried, until I found myself fading into it.

I moved, I cried, I jumped too many guns and held back in the times of forthrightness.

I don’t know. I guess nothing lasts forever, although, I will always love the one I loved last year, I will always love the son of the one I loved last year. I will always stand by my parents, be proud of my family and be strong willed and selfish (hopefully not to a fault).  I will keep moving forward and even when I’m static, I know I’ll at least jump up and down. I plan to take this world by the horns - but not by the balls. I plan on telling the ones I love them, whether or not they are willing to hear it, because, as those Fruit Bats say: when you love somebody and you bite your tongue, all you get is 


To the One I said “yes” to - I’m always going to love you. Seatbelts.
To the One’s little one - you’ve always got me to come to.
To my Parents, who stood by me, through highs, lows, tides and snows - you’ll never have to fear for me the way you’ve done these past years, I’m getting stronger, better, every day. Because of you, because of me.
To the Friends, You know who You are - you’ve been distant, you’ve been near, and no matter where we are, geographically, you’ve got a hand to hold, a shoulder to sniffle upon, an ear to whisper to and, always, a friend in me because you kept me Me.
To the Dogs, the Cats and those in between - kisses to your filth faces.

Lucky for us all, I don’t have that trigger-happy finger that some do; the one that spouts off the “I love yous” and the “I hate yous” and the “I ate x, y and z emails.” The obvious and frank statement email-writer who guess-ti-mates that if they are having that good/bad of a day, everyone must know or empathize or even want to hear about it…

But, since this is MY blog and you are still reading it…

I get to say this: I guess I’m just feeling free, free from the crazy lady that I was becoming, free from the sicknesses that plagued me for three years, free from the oppression of joblessness and the equal discontent of an oppressive boss, free from my feelings of guilt from the attack (although not free from the flashbacks… not yet, at least), free from my self. It’s a sweet and liberating thing, and it doesn’t come daily. But today - today I felt free. And since I was free and loving and thankful, I thought to myself: if I bite my tongue, all I end up with is a mouthful of blood.

Touché indeed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

hindsight is always 20/20

i cannot bring myself to watch this episode, however, i encourage you all to expose yourself to this; not for me, not for them, but for yourself. for when you see the tragedy, not of the attack, not of the rape, but of the   lack of concern and lack of humanity that the Peace Corps shows its bravest volunteers (believe me, i'm not patting myself on the back), it will encourage you to listen closer, to feel deeper and to understand more, the plight of abused women worldwide... and next door.

please also note that, even though i had little help from the Security Officer serving in Mali, once the Peace Corps Medical Officers (both African, both female) and the Director of Peace Corps Mali (a delightful American man) caught wind of what had happened to me (albeit it 4 months later), they acted and they acted quickly. not to seek justice but to assist me in seeking refuge. in the arms of my beloved parents and family, my (then) fiance and to begin the uphill battle that is American medical insurance.

one more thing: if i could go back tomorrow - i would. maybe not with the Peace Corps but to Mourgoula. to Mali.

thank you all for your support, knowing that people read this blog, that the earlier parts of it actually helped others through similar situations and that reading it now brings some sort of solace to the situation, warms me in this cold, wet climate.

thank you. sincerely.

the best saturdays

start with a reminder of loved ones, of being loved once, with a kitten's purr and a cool breeze, with a hot and strong coffee, a glass of bubbling carrot juice and with a sweet potato and broccoli omelet.

hope your saturday started off as sweetly as mine...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

wee v. gorgeous, the pony battle

my attempt at a pony tail... progress isn't always pretty
Pilli, showing off her locks... from Europe

Monday, January 10, 2011

whenimsixtyfive (@#arrows etc)

i'm considering a twitter account... to go with a new phone... to go with my new attempt at living a modern life with succinct and timely thoughts broadcast into the universe.

alas, i'm worried i'll get lost:

i found this on the worldwideweb but cannot remember where! if you know, let me know (please) so that i can properly attribute its ingenious to the proper owner/creator. thanks!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

fried tomatoes & a familiar face

me and my new bangs hit the town early today, 
taking (yet another) new route and 
finding some sense of self along the way. 

seems trite and easy (to remedy), the ways of my world, to me and possibly to you as well, but mornings like this morning help me to realize that not only am i important to myself (an oddly constructed phrase) but also to others. as many times as people tell you that you're important, that you are deserving, that you are someone to love, it can often take only one or two remarks of the opposing side of that argument to knock someones self off the shelf. my self has been off its shelf for months, sadly, maybe even years. but glimmers of hope come from moments like the ones that filled this morning.

as i watched Nugent sleep atop my laptop computer, case closed but still emitting warmth, i focused on his sweetly smiling face, his tightly shut eyes, the slight rise and drastic fall of his belly and breath, his comfort and confidence in his surrounds and consequentially in me. this threw me into a frenzy of thoughts of my future, my future family, not what they'll look like or who they will be but what it'll be like to see a belly rise and fall, to see a sweetly smiling face with tightly shut eyes, comfortable and confident in me, all these things familiar and familial.
love at sight, first and last. 

then i thought: my folks, they've got it together. they might drive one another nutty, sometimes batty other times, down right crazy at best, but they've got kids, grandkids, friends and family who adore and cherish their every move. lucky for me, i get to hold that adoration daily in my hands and my heart. someday, i want my little ones to feel that for me; but first and foremost, i've got to get it together, too.

life. my life. my health. my happiness. my mind. my self. these things need to be aligned in some forethought, with respect to my past and present. someday i'll have a lovely family, children for sure, whether i bore them or not, i'll have a house full of precious little people whose bellies i can watch rise and fall in comfort of slumber and confidence in me. someday i'll have someone who drives me nutty, batty and crazy; who i'll love and who'll love me, exactly how we need it although not necessarily how we want it.

i left the house in a bit of a frenzy, running out the door in purple and black, bangs and curls, blond and black, hitting this town that, for a few wonderful hours today, gets to sit in the sun today. as i walked on my new path into town, i had a destination in mind but once i got to a street corner full of awkward fools, i took a turn down a hill and into a mindset of fight or flight. lucky for me, and the fools on the corner, they were off to the bar and i was off to breakfast with my book.

it amazes me that a Steinbeck novel can inspire introspection beyond anything biblical; as i walked, now far from my intended destination, i ended up at a little cafe with really awesome heaters, stellar coffee and insanely good hollandaise sauce (which, to those who know me, is KEY to a happy breakfast). outside was a beautiful bicycle, making me miss mine (which has been in injured retirement since june, although, with this many random days of sunshine that could be used to cruise, it may have a triumphant return from retirement sooner than later) and inside was a familiar face.

i'm going to let that sink in - familiar face. in olympia? crazy but true!

once, when sick like a dog and lost in a part of town i'd never seen before, i met a girl (clean, nice, friendly), Amy, who too was lost and who too was lost due to an unjustifiably altered bus route. questioning our own judgement lasted for a very short time and we both ended up on the phone with customer service, complaining that we had gotten on a bus that took an alternate route and had dropped us off 6 miles from our destinations (which happened to be very near one another) and as we both overheard the other's conversation, a kind bald man pulled up in a city truck and told us that all the routes were running 1.5 hours behind, that no, he was not joking and that if we wanted, he could take three of us to town. we both offered for the elderly people to board with this bald man but as every one of them turned him down, we smiled at one another and hopped into his extremely warm truck. after a little way, we discovered that we commute to Shelton on the same bus, i, however, take the early bus and she takes the 9am; the return trip was just the opposite.

the relief of knowing that someone who isn't a Vietnam Vet also rides the #6 brought us both to laughter. she was let off not 4 blocks from my stop and until this morning, we haven't seen one another since.

she immediately recognized me, and i her, and we began that funny chatter that happens with coincidences. it felt really good to be recognized. and happily so. i ordered a killer omelet with blue cheese, bacon and granny smiths with a side of fried tomatoes, sat and read some more of my Steinbeck and felt genuinely happy, content and warm, inside and out; for the first time, i felt like this city and i, we might work out. me, my self on the right shelf, and Nugent

Friday, January 7, 2011

my new motto 

there is a Cookie List

you'd better hope you're on it.

a marathon of sorts

today, with the rain falling, consistently and at an angle, i stayed inside, cooked myself some very delicious and healthy snacks and i watched every episode of Party Down (seasons 1&2). 

a twinge of nostalgia, a tear of sweet memories, a twinkle of fun and tremendous laughter - at one point, i even woke my cat up from a nap. this show comes highly recommended. 

oh, and, it's best back to back.

a published, although not paid, photographer

franz lake fauna, taken en route, just outside of Salida.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

to the point of feline frustration

sleep is normally a place i do not wish to visit too often; generally, sleep is not a source of rest for me, but is, instead, a horrifying look into a future i do not wish to see or a ghastly look at my past, through cold loveless lenses, obscured to relive only the painful moments of my life; artfully avoiding the beautiful, love and laughter filled days, countless if ever numbered. 

sleep is normally something i must do rather than something i choose to do. alas, with mono, the last 4 weeks have been very different. most days, i've slept at least 15 if not 18 hours. no matter the weather, my condition, my company or the state in which i lay, sleep has overcome me in ways and places i didn't know were possible. 

for those of you who've suffered through the long and arduous plight of mono, your empathy is welcomed, although in many ways, undeserved. from the stories i have heard, my bout with mono has been an easy one: exhaustion, lack of appetite, poorly timed fevers and a weakness beyond weaknesses. aside from the Cat Scratch Fever, i fell to no other illnesses common to mono-sufferers, and, as one pointed out, its probably due to my inability to dehydrate: for i am an avid if not addicted water consumer. keeping my body well hydrated and consistently flushed probably helped me ward off other common co-conspirators, such as the flu, canker sores, and congestion.  all that being said, the sleep and constant exhaustion kept me down and out but only a few times busted. 

i can't help but wonder about the state of my dreams when i'm in a state of despair. often times, when my heart aches for my friends and loved ones, i dream of them; when my body aches from a day of (actual) labor, i dream of africa, the village, the huts, the family, the hills, the walks, the eyes. 

naps these days come often and with purpose. with little warning, i'm out. and with even less, i'm up, usually around 3 hours later. its amazing - my days have flown by, in fits and feverish flurries, with sad tears flooding my face and happy smiles overwhelming my body, the last month has gone and with it, seemingly, so have some of my night-terrors. i do hope that they stay gone, at least until i'm well again. 

when i am sick, however, i seem to dream of nothing. 
i just sleep. quiet. still (unless feverish). and very hard. 

it doesn't matter that my odd, older and eery upstairs neighbor, julien, the small and pudgy indiscernible odorous asian man in the apartment directly above mine, plays his movies (one of two genres: copper flicks and carey grant pictures) loudly and with his own voice-overs soaking through his floors. it doesn't matter that my kitten, Nugent, is pawing my nose or purring my belly or biting my toes, i'll flinch and reposition, but i almost never wake up... except to go to the restroom (from my lack of dehydration comes a nightly trip to the restroom). other than that one, now robotic movement to the room across the hall and back, i sleep long hard hours, to the point of frustration to Nuge. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

i'm not afriad and neither should you be... for now

it is a new year, or so says my cell phone, and although the events surrounding the bringing in of this year were fun and spirited, i still find myself incapacitated by depression. flipping through pages of magazines, reading books and even walking about town, i see that, even on my good days, i'm sad and i'm lonely.
no need for pity, here. its just what "is" right now.

there are options in the future, there are changes that i can make to my life, both professional and personal, to fix these issues, there are actions i can take and others i can refuse, in order to align myself, my self, with happier days, brighter people, more conversation and many more smiles.

taking those steps is a bit frightening; fore, regardless of how hard one tries to ensure that no one is left in the wake of their, seemingly small, life decisions, life - in it's infinite wisdom, doesn't seem to care. its terrifying - the connection of things, the convenience and corruption and the overwhelming (and often time upstaging) sense that you actually matter in the grand scheme of it all. worse yet, the overwhelming and very much center-stage notion that you, in fact, as once suspected, do not matter in the grand (or less grand) scheme of anything.

however, since those dueling drama queens are battling for center stage, i'm going to follow advice that i've been given my whole life: do your best, after all, that's all you can do. for whatever occurs outside your head, outside your intentions and outside your conscious, you have no control over - so why fret?

i'm going to force myself to smile today. that's "step one to a sprightlier sydney" in this new year.
that and playing with my new (self cut) bangs.

although i dream of great moves, big decisions and long strides towards my full grown, big girl self, i know that every teeter on this balance beam and, just like that, i have a conniption fit (or something similar, depending on the scene and the players). you can't make big moves if you're not willing to lose some luggage. you can't take long strides if you're not willing to hit a puddle or sticker burr bush along the way. and, really, its not that i can't hand a rocked boat, a gruff neighbor or a bit of debt. its that i can't handle it the way i used to, with grace and strength and ease, the way i handled everything before peace corps and the attacks and my broken heart.

i guess, really, what i'm saying is that i'm not afraid and neither should you be - we've got smiles, cupcakes, sunrises and raincoats to help strike that balance, help find that idealistic notion that when you are sad and lonely, read books.

my take on Morning Glory muffins...


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups spaghetti squash
  • 1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup of mango puree
  • 1 egg 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cranberry-apple butter (or plain apple butter)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil muffin cups, sprinkle with sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, (cranberry)apple butter, apple sauce, mango puree and honey.
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Stir in spaghetti squash, apples and golden raisins. Stir in apple butter mixture until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 375F for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed.

Once cooled, top these sweeties with leftover cranberry sauce or 
cream cheese with jelly, serve with coffee or mulled wine, 
depending on what time of day... or what type of mood you find yourself in, 
add cocoa powder to the dry mixture to enhance the seasonal flavors (like the bite on the right)
and enjoy.