Quick Update

Things I haven’t drank since July 1:

  • Cow’s Milk
  • Coffee beverages
  • Alcohol

Things I haven’t eaten since July 20:

  • Fast food
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Refined sugars / sweeteners
  • Artificial colors / flavors
  • Processed foods

Things I haven’t experienced since July 1:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Self-loathing

Things I have experienced since July 1:

  • Meditation
  • More energy
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Easier time falling asleep
  • Weight loss

Always In the Stars

Right this daytime minute, the stars above are below as well. Under your feet! On the other side of the Earth! Whatever you’re doing right now, you’re doing it in the midst of stars. Wherever you are on the pale blue dot — in Australia, in Alaska, in Guatemala — stars surround and cradle you.

Peer through the blue squint at the clouds, nod your recognition to all that star-filled space behind them. Seeing no end, sense how precious small you are. Settle in, cherish the flesh that embodies your tiny piece of all that magnificence.

Sometimes you’ll forget where you truly spin. After all, the gauzy atmosphere of Earth has its own allure and learning, and birds bring you near to yourself in a fashion more intimate than stars. But when you remember the wider view and pump your perspective hard, you’ll work the muscle that buffs you multidimensional, and makes you a spirit athlete.

Switching your view back and forth, out to in, from stars to birds, builds a giant alignment. Stamina! You can do anything. Courage! You can go anywhere. Suppleness! You can talk with anyone at all. For you belong to the clan of creators, we who whirl in the stars aware we are surrounded and cradled in radiance.

Susa Silvermarie 2015

Guinness Crock Pot Stew


  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 3# beef chuck
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) beer
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • 1 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1# round red potatoes, halved
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into quarters (optional)


  1. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish; add beef pieces. Toss to coat each piece evenly. Reserve remaining flour mixture for later use.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet; cook and stir coated beef, working in batches, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer cooked beef to a slow cooker.
  3. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until golden, about 5 minutes. Add beer and garlic; bring to a boil for 1 minute. Scrape browned bits of food from bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour onion mixture into the slow cooker.
  4. Mix beef broth, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves into beef mixture in slow cooker.
  5. Cook on Low until beef is almost tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Sprinkle in the reserved flour mixture; stir well. Add potatoes and carrots.
  6. Cook on High until potatoes are tender, about 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  8. Arrange puff pastry on baking sheets; pierce each piece several times with a fork.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Ladle stew into individual dishes; top each with a pastry square.

Another Eye Appointment Complete

Since my last visit, my right eye has gone from 20/100 to 20/70, while the left eye stayed at 20/30. My color vision (what I call “static”) is still not great, but doc says it’s one of the last things to return. He did remind me that the fact that I can see so well that I can pass a driver’s test without any need to list any impairment is a huge improvement.
This has been a crazy thing to go through. And, I’m still going. It’s so hard to be optimistic when it’s something I can’t ignore. I “see” it all the time, no matter what I’m doing.
I’m trying to remind myself that he started the first few visits by telling me, in so many words, “this could be as good as it gets, keep an eye on the steroids.” I’m feeling optimistic that he instead called me the Energizer Bunny (i just keep going).

Making Changes

I’ve made a few #vaguebook posts lately, and I do apologize for that, but suffice it to say I’ve been working through a lot of things over the past year.
I’m reminded of something my parents said when I was little: “You are an average of the five people with which you spend the most time.” I remember being angry with them back then for what I thought was judging my friends, but what they were really doing is not wanting me to inherit bad habits. They wanted me to be around people who were “good” for me. However, if the same quote can be applied to my friends, then in my parents’ eyes maybe I was good for those friends they were concerned about.
In the end, I’m happy to say my parents taught me to love everyone no matter who they are and to create friendships with a wide variety of people. I can see this to be true because, like my dad, I’ll strike up a conversation with a stranger and give it no second thought.
Events have happened in my personal life over the past year that have made me wonder about who I can really trust, who I can really call a friend, and what exactly is the value of my time. It makes me consider reining in my openness with others and to be pickier about who I choose to share my time. This thought didn’t become crystal clear until about a week ago, after my day of doctor visits that ended with a trip to the ER. The fear that whole day put me through brought that straight home. I’ve been considering how I spend my time and just what really feels worthwhile and important to me. It made me take notice of those who truly care, who drop literally everything to help, and those who couldn’t care less unless I’m available to do something for them.
I feel very one-sided with some personal aspects of my life, and I feel the need to make changes. In truth, I’ve already started.
Note: Any relationship that feels one-sided is no relationship at all.
TL/DR: If you find that you’re in a relationship, any kind, that makes you feel tired, drained, exhausted, or taken advantage of, then take a moment to step back and evaluate the situation. It’s not a bad thing to let people go, but it is a bad thing to expend so much energy on a person that you yourself feel worse for it. Life is just too damn short to not have love. Show love for yourself by remembering how valuable you are.