Pineapples & Protein


 In keeping with the theme of my Second-Day Soreness & Cinnamon post, I was inspired to write a post about the kinds of recovery foods that are best to eat immediately following a challenging workout.  I wrote a Top 10 List especially for BlogHer’s site: 

10 Effective Post-Workout Foods That Aid in Recovery

I encourage you to go over there, check it out, and share it! 

 Speaking of good sources of nutrition, I’m very excited about how my pineapples are doing:IMG_1752

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A Plea for Help!


Yesterday, someone asked me: What makes life meaningful for you? Essentially, what is the most important aspect of your life?

My initial answer was: Writing.  That’s a selfish and self-indulgent answer, yes, but currently, it’s what keeps me going.  Writing provides me moments of liberation from illness. Moments of clarity.  

Writing has provided me an identity outside of .  It helps me set goals, plan for the future and cope with the mercurial nature of Bipolar Disorder.  It softens the edges of virulence; it gives me focus, purpose, and passion.   

Those moments are best utilized in creating some of my best work.  That work isn’t always professionally published.  A lot of pieces of which I’m most proud have been rejected with the most frequency.  Some websites simply are looking for what’s going to be popular with mainstream readers.  Some websites prefer comparatively editorial pieces.  

That being said, writing sometimes comes at a price.  I’ve just begun to get my feet wet in the realm of article freelancing and it is really hard.  The competition is vastly talented and experienced, the ratio of work to writers is seriously unbalanced, and, unfortunately, you’ve got to make some errors in order to learn the process.  Online query etiquette can be tricky and inconsistent across the industry.  

Part of “selling yourself” to editors is through social media and many times that can mean connecting through your blog to redirect your readers to your professionally published articles: the better an article performs (i.e. more shares, likes, tweets, etc.), the better.  Blogging is sometimes a big part of that.  Maintaining a blog for updates, portfolio content hosting, and service listing is also vital.  

But lastly, and I think most importantly, the personal blog remains the place to emotionally decompress.  

There are no guidelines to necessitate tailoring a post or article to meet certain requirements or check off boxes on a list.  It can be abstract, simple, instructive, or editorial.  There’s still the opportunity to create quality content through updates, musings, and honest divulgences.

That being said, running and hosting a blog does cost money.  My domain name and blog hosting package are set to expire in mid-June.  I’m issuing a plea to my readers to help me raise funds to keep the blog open so that I can continue to provide you with interesting, thought-provoking content.    

Are you a reader who enjoys my words regularly?

Here are a number of ways you can HELP SUPPORT THIS BLOG and keep it going.  The first suggestion will have the most on supporting this blog.  The rest will be a help over time as funds are not paid out until a benchmark is reached.  

So here we go, the absolute classiest bulleted list you’ll see on this blog, I’m sure: 

  • DONATE THROUGH PAYPAL: Make a one-time contribution or set-up recurring payments by clicking the PayPal button on the Top Right or Bottom Right of your screen or you may***DONATE HERE***

  • Affiliate Links: I get fractions of pennies if anything is purchased when readers click on any affiliate links or banners on my site.

  • Purchase any of my self-published for $2.99 (note: Best of S&P 200+ pages coming this Fall)  

You may support this blog by making donations through the PayPal Donation buttons found on this site.  All contributions are welcome and appreciated.  Even $1.00 will help go to the cost of the domain name and host service. Thank you!

***DONATE HERE*** Alternatively, you can donate through Paypal’s website directly and send to:

Now & Then


Do you ever come across photographs from just a year or so in the past and think, this couldn’t possibly be the same (fill-in-the-blank) that I am looking at today? 


Well, I happened to be looking for something completely unrelated, but I came across these pictures of my grapevines from sometime during 2015.  It would have been early in the year, say January or February, when everything was still dormant from the winter weather.


The side yard has had some pretty incredible changes, too.  Pretty dramatic, huh?  


I miss Rennie so, so much.  She was a sweet baby.  This Memorial Day weekend will be one year since she was taken from me.  


I was going through a dangerously low period around this time last year and while I can say that I still have a really bad day every 4 days or so, I am in a relatively better head space now.  I am more functional, productive and forward-looking.  The changes in my grape vine pictures are similar to the changes in my outlook: they are stretching upward and outward, towards light and life.  I have too much writing to do to die.    


On that note, I have another article that was published by The today and 6 more that are coming out over the next two weeks or so on:,,, and  

If you’d like to check out the article, here’s the link: In the Mind of a Person With Rapid-Cycling Type I Bipolar Disorder

make sure to “like” it and share it on facebook, , and Pinterest!  


What photos have you recently come across that have demonstrated a dramatic change in something in your life?




Grammarly Gets it Right! Product Review


This post is sponsored by Grammarly, Inc.

I’m not one to arbitrarily post product or service reviews very often.  In fact, I believe the very last one was back in January or February of 2015!  Not only that, this is my very first post sharing an affiliate review with you!

What this means is that I’ve teamed up with Grammarly to share what I like best about using their writing-enhancement resources, and how it is helping me become a better, more efficient writer.  What I wrote in Home Base was sincere: I don’t want to waste your time with blow-off posts; I want to offer you, and all my readers quality content that has a purpose, focus, and meaning.

In most jobs, the ability to write clearly and unambiguously remains an essential skill.

-The New York Times

Because I’ve found Grammarly‘s service to be so helpful, I’d like to list just a few of the tasks it does for me as I write, without any extra work on my part!

  • Instantly proofread your texts, correcting over 250 types of errors:  I use semicolons where I should use commas!

  • Improve word choice with context-optimized synonyms: They’ll tell you when You’re overusing a word!  I am so guilty of this!    


  •  Avoid plagiarism by checking for originality and generating citations: Make sure you are not inadvertently regurgitating somone else’s unique ideas!

  •  Perfect your written English and become a more confident writer: You will be amazed at your efficiency!

I’ve noticed that Grammarly finds a lot of spelling and grammatical errors that WordPress misses.  I was shocked at how incomplete most of the spellcheckers are on other programs!  I’ve gone back into old blog posts and been completely embarrassed at all the mistakes that have shown up!  I’ve been misspelling judgment for quite some time.  Note: it is not “judgement”.  I know Grammarly is not going to be happy with me typing that!

It’s so neat because it corrects in real time, as you write, and it fixes your errors everywhere.  Who else can say they’ve misspelled all kinds of words while commenting on Facebook?  I know I have!

I highly recommend this product.  Now that I’ve been using it, I don’t know what I ever did without it.

And it’s so easy to sign up for the free trial!  Just click on the banner above this post and it will take you directly to where you want to go!

The trial is completely free, requires no obligation to sign up and you can cancel within 7 days.  I guarantee you, you will not!  

Ready to get started? Click on this link and get 20% off a new subscription plan when you decide you can’t live without this writing platform!  

Grammarly Gets it Right!

You might be surprised at the number of corrections Grammarly identifies to improve the quality
of your own writing.


What’s keeping you from signing up today?  Check it out!

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Growing Your Own Stevia At Home


I’ve done posts on Stevia previously, but it’s been a while and, since various versions of the sweetener seem to be available just about everywhere, I thought I’d write a comprehensive post on why it’s best to grow your own.  If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a quick run-down: The Stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) produces sweet-tasting, calorie-free leaves which can be crushed or dried to sweeten foods and beverages naturally.  Stevia can replace sugar in TONS of recipes and is perfect for consumption because it is not metabolized by the body.

Stevia grows best in warm conditions similar to those preferred by Basil.  I live in Florida, so it’s an ideal climate for both Stevia and Basil to proliferate.  Bonus for me, because I’m a fan of both:   

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Second-Day Soreness & Cinnamon


One strong indication that I haven’t been challenging myself in my fitness routine is the distinct absence of the occasional D.O.M.S. or Second-Day Soreness.  D.O.M.S. (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is the result of athletes engaging in workouts at a higher intensity than which they are conditioned.  

It happens when one goes out of their comfort zone…and when it comes to fitness, and life, in general, that’s usually a good thing.  The body needs to be continually challenged and surprised.  Muscles can actually become lazy and apathetic if they become too comfortable and accustomed to one specific workout, and it could be a precursor to injury. Continue reading »


Luck Be a Lady…Bug


Hi! Happy Friday the 13th!  I’ve never really been a big believer in Friday the 13th being unlucky or in superstitions in general.  

In fact, I discovered three LUCKY ladybugs working diligently in my garden today to keep the nasty, destructive bugs away.  

IMG_1819 IMG_1816IMG_1817IMG_1821

Another lucky thing that happened is my article on The Good Men Project went live.  Please go on over and check it out.  Give it a “like” on their site, if you would, also.  I would be very grateful. 🙂  


And lucky thing that happened is .  Please go on over and check it out, also. Give it a facebook,  or social media share directly

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Flight of Ideas


If I were one to utilize the Facebook status composer more often to update how I am feeling, the current answer would be agitated.  Actually, no, modern language is oversaturated with the application of this word, so I’ll go with unstrung, instead.  

Incidentally, neither agitated nor unstrung is available on the list of autofill emoticons, so I guess I’ll have to pass.  Also, is not Roddy, in case you were wondering.  

Unstrung is not a comfortable place to be, and I can attribute it to being overwhelmed and overstimulated.  I’m taking my medication regularly, but I’m not sleeping well.  However, it’s difficult to say which came first, feeling overstimulated or not sleeping regularly, as they usually go hand-in-hand.  

The problem with all of this, too, is, I have several different writing pieces I am working on at once, and I am trying to focus on them, and just get them finished for God’s sake, but I can’t get my mind to shut off, and I keep thinking of different projects and pitching new ideas and committing myself elsewhere when I haven’t even followed through on the first bits.  

Here’s the problem:

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When it Rains…


When it rains, it pours, right? Or so the saying goes.  It actually did finally rain a great deal this week, and the garden saw that it was good:

IMG_1744 IMG_1776IMG_1748IMG_1752

Yep, that’s a real live pineapple you see right there, and I’ve got six of them.  They are all the product of table scraps.  Amazing, right?  I will show you an easy how-to guide in an upcoming post so that you can grow your own pineapples at home.  

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“The Parent-Pleasing Trap”



My mom is first and foremost a Pragmatist. 

Straightforward and matter-of-fact, she doesn’t typically let emotion distract her.  I have to assume that these characteristics are innate, for this has been her nature as far back as I recall.  Compounding that, it could certainly be argued that 14-plus years of raising severely Autistic children has necessitated an intensified level of efficiency and practicality.

 To the nth degree.

From my own perspective, these traits can sometimes seem remote or standoffish.  If I am in a particularly emotionally raw state, her straight-forward manner can feel critical and disapproving.  I need to emphasize that this is How I Experience our relationship, and may or may not be accurate.

 My relationship with my mom is complicated and confusing.  Landmines, just under the surface of our 33-year connection, threaten to erupt at every interaction.  I am her first-born.  And her only girl.

Naturally, there is the implication that dreams in the realm of “feminine” glory or success are my responsibility to fulfill.  How could it not be intense?  My mom wanted so much for me.  She has done so much for me.

 As her firstborn, she literally made me the center of her life from the very beginning.  Looking through my baby books, her devotion is apparent; milestones and other details are painstakingly recorded in beautiful handwriting.  Thousands of pictures are neatly labeled and arranged.

She guided my educational path by teaching me to read as well as supplementing my classwork with workbooks, tutoring and other resources.  During elementary school, she advocated I.Q. testing so that I had the opportunity to enter the Gifted and Talented program.

I became, and continue to be, an avid reader and capable writer as a result of my mom’s influence.

She encouraged and supported me in the undertaking of any extra-curricular activity in which I demonstrated an interest.

She taught me morals and ethics.  She read me The Bible and brought me to church.

Through the years, she created homemade Halloween costumes of professional quality and indulged my childish whims.

Together we drew, completed projects, took walks and baked cookies.

My Mom is a really amazing person.  A really good mom.  However, as a highly emotional, rapid-cycling Bipolar, Eating Disordered adult-child, I struggle with a lot of internal, self-imposed pressure in relation to our dynamic.  Regardless of how objectively successful or unsuccessful I happen to be, I have always felt as though I haven’t pleased her.  Fallen short of the mark.  Without exception.

 The underlying concern that I am “not good enough” isn’t a recent sentiment.  I didn’t begin feeling this way during my recent and significant struggles with physical and mental health.  It didn’t start when my marriage dissolved, I claimed bankruptcy, lost my job and fell into legal trouble.  It’s not a neurosis stemming from angst-riddled teenage years or even from middle-school.

 This desperate desire to “perfectly please” my Mom has been with me always.  I remember the anxiety in elementary school, in pre-school even.  I probably was a stressed-out, high-strung baby.

One particularly traumatic memory from 3rd grade demonstrates both the longevity and irrationality which characterize my fears.

My teacher, Ms. F, had administered a pop-quiz in which students were to complete sentences utilizing appropriate punctuation.  Apparently, the teacher was having a bit of an off-day because her reaction to the less-than-stellar performance of the class was over-kill.  In a loud and (what I remember to be) intimidating voice designed to humiliate, she listed the students names who had failed to use periods at the end of their sentences and would, therefore, be receiving an F-Grade.  I remembered being terrified to go home that day, dreading the inevitable confrontation in which I would have to present my mother with such a shameful abomination of school-work.

 I suppose this was my first experience with failure, and I was unprepared to handle it. Ridiculous as it sounds, that experience shook me to the core.  The terror in potentially disappointing my mom was sufficient to remain in my memory to this day.

From that moment on, my subconscious had become altered.  My preexisting anxiety to please became augmented by the new knowledge that I possessed the capability to disappoint.  The sheer inevitability of it was overwhelming.

I felt as though I was defective, somehow.  

 At age 33, there’s a part of me that remains overly reliant on her for validation and approval.  This is an entirely different type of acknowledgment than that of which I seek from the ever-evolving relationship with my father.  With my mom I feel childish and stunted, as though I’m still earning gold stars to stick onto one of those achievement poster boards lining the sad, fluorescent hallways of any school, Anytown, USA.

I am the first to admit that, given my genetic predispositions (Bipolar I, Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder diagnoses), I experience the parental dynamic at a higher intensity than others.  However, I am not alone in the seemingly uphill battle that is parent-pleasing.

 A very dear friend of over 20 years recently sent me a message containing this excerpt:

So my dad was here for the week. He asked about you and we were reminiscing about that trip to the Keys. He loved telling everyone that he would wake up before dawn to go out and monitor your runs. I think I joined you once and then just kept sleeping the other times. Haha. And that wretched barracuda encounter while snorkeling. He is so fond of you and really wishes you well. Isn’t the father-daughter dynamic so strange…I am still constantly trying to impress him and win his approval even at this age. (Husband’s name) teases me about it. I tell him to remember this for his own two daughters – he needs to give them constant praise and approval.

This, to me, demonstrates that no one’s relationship with their parents is perfect.  No one is exempt from the desire for parental approval….and (sometimes) the feeling that it’s just out of reach.  

The truth is, I haven’t failed my mom.  Not at all.  Even at my rock-bottom, my mom has loved and supported me unconditionally.  Yes, she may scowl, speak sharply  or give me the silent treatment.  But it’s less about whether I have achieved that all-so-elusive state of “success” (whatever that is) and more about her wanting “more” for me. No matter what, she wants more. More for me. And more for my brothers.

Because she loves us, she wants more.

More than anything.




Hey! Like my writing?  Do you wish you had access to all of my password protected posts and other content that isn’t available online?  I have other work!  I’ve published !  It’s nothing crazy; they are about 50-55 pages each and cost approximately $5 each depending on what country you are purchasing from.  Each ebook consists of a , mental illness, family dynamics, social anxiety, and other awkward shit that happens in my life.  It’s relatable, honest and raw.  Oh, and there are pictures in titles like  & .  You’ll probably like it.  Or not.  What the hell? It’s $5! 

***If you have previously purchased Amazon downloadable content, please note that the ebook content has changed.  Some previously available titles have been updated and contain more essays, pages, pictures, etc.  If you have specific questions, please email me directly @