The Sweet Truth for a Sweet Tooth.

Ok, so here is the stevia blog that I did a while back. I hope it helps you in you search for the sweet truth for your beverages of choice.

Smooches!

NOT ALL STEVIA IS ALIKE

Stevia has gotten so much hype and has grown so much in popularity that you don’t have to visit your local health food store any longer. Most grocery stores now carry some kind or brand of Stevia. But before you just grab up a package, make sure you check the ingredient listed on the packate. Many brands have added ingredients that are harmful. Today I’m focusing on the white powder form, usually found in little packets. That’s what I use to sweeten my tea.

Ok, stevia is not technically a sweetener, it’s an herb that just happens to be sweet. And since Stevia is not a sugar it does not affect blood sugar levels, in fact it is proven to regulate blood sugar and is also known to help lower blood pressure. I know, why didn’t we know about this before?!

 Choose This:

SweetLeaf is the only chemical-free, zero-calorie, zero-carb, zero-glycemic index, 100% natural sweetener there is. It’s made by taking the highest quality leaves of the Stevia plant and extracting their naturally sweet taste with only cool, purified water. No chemicals. No alcohols. No additives that cover up the great taste nature created. It has been said that Stevia may help individuals improve insulin production (great for diabetes sufferers) and can help with hypertension (high blood pressure).

Do not choose this:

Stevia in the Raw – has Dextrose and Maltodextrin listed in the ingredients. There are other bad choices on the market, including Whole Food’s 365 brand ( WTF?? I KNOW!) so make sure you check the ingredients before purchasing.

Why do these companies ruin such a good thing? Here is their explanation, of why Stevia in the Raw is using these ingredients. (www.steviaextractintheraw.com)

What is dextrose and why is it added to Stevia Extract In The Raw?

Dextrose is a natural carbohydrate derived from corn. Many sugar substitutes in powder form contain dextrose because it is a natural ingredient and does not change the flavor of the sweetener in the blend. In our packet product, dextrose is used to dilute the very potent Rebiana extract to make it measurable for consumers; it does not alter the naturally sweet flavor of the Stevia.

What is maltodextrin and why is it added to Stevia Extract In The Raw Cup For Cup?

Maltodextrin, like dextrose is a natural carbohydrate derived from corn. Many “cup for cup” sugar substitutes in powder form contain maltodextrin because it is a natural ingredient that does not change the flavor of the sweetener in the blend. In our cup for cup product, maltodextrin is used to dilute the very potent Rebiana extract to make it measurable for consumers in cup for cup sweetening equivalency as a sugar replacement; it does not alter the naturally sweet flavor of the Stevia.

The truth is that both of these ingredients are harmful for us. I could write a whole blog post on just this topic, but for now I’ll just give you the skinny version.

Dextrose – Dextrose is simply a form of glucose. Some food packagers like to use “dextrose” on their packaging instead of “glucose” because consumers have negative associations with glucose. Dextrose is derived from starchy food ingredients like rice, wheat, or potatoes but it is usually GMO (Gentically Modified Organism) Corn.

Maltodextrin – It is produced from rice, potato or corn starch. It is known to contain MSG and it doesn’t need to state that on the ingredient label. It is also known to affect blood sugar levels and cause tooth decay.

I also do not recommend Truvia because it is a blend of Stevia, erythritol and natural flavors. Erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are sugar substitutes that are either extracted from plants or manufactured from starches. Sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed into your body and therefore can cause gas and bloating.

Hello, this is why we get gassy when we eat sugar free candy.

The process in which manufacturers make erythritol is usually by fermenting sugar inGMO corn. Nothing processed like this is good. Remember we are trying to get rid of the processed crap. Now they are dressing it up like the good guy and hoping that we are not smart enough to understand what they are doing.

So, my view on this is why consume something that will effect our bodies in a negative way when we can simply choose to enjoy the benefits that Stevia has to offer? Remember, it’s all natural, and should be closest to nature as possible. You CAN grow your own stevia and harvest your own leaves. If you don’t have time to do all that….please take an extra couple of minutes to read the box. Stevia that is as pure as it can be is the one you want. You don’t have to eat chemicals. Well….you don’t have to eat as many. :)

Time to open our eyes and live, y’all. Know yourself, fix what is broken if you can. Love yourself through all of it…and make better choices for yourself. It’s all about the love, and that love has to start with self love.

Smooch Out…and don’t eat anyone’s crap today :)

http://www.susanrushing.com

 

 

 

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Oh Sugar. Why you gotta treat me so bad?

Hello Love Bunnies….I hope you have all survived the holiday season and are moving back toward the normalcy of regular life. I have been on a Detox program to help with the trembles and shudders of lack of twinkle lights and glitter. It’s a “one day at a time” kinda thing, but I’m getting through it.

I am blogging today to tell you a little story. I kinda feel like I need to, because what happened to me scared the sugar right out of me. (and by sugar, I mean poop, y’all)

Last November I had a little dental issue. I was on some pretty serious antibiotics. Because of the combination of dental procedure and medicine, I got pretty sick. I was out of commission for a full two weeks. After I started feeling better, I started to get what I thought was a standard urinary tract infection ( which shall be referred to as UTI from this point foward)

So I called the dentist and he called me in a prescription for the UTI. I was drinking cranberry juice and tons of water mixed with drink packets. I don’t love the taste of naked water. I swear I can taste every fish bowl I ever had as a kid, in every swallow. So, if I am going to drink a bunch of water, it needs to have something in it. These packets are tasty and sugar free.

Image

They look like the ones above. I didn’t always drink Crystal Light. There were some other varieties of store brands as well.

Now, I usually drink a thirty two ounce jug of water with one packet in it, twice per day. When Mr. UTI came on, I started drinking with a different cup that was 20 oz. It had a lid and a straw and it was cute…that made me feel better. I started drinking four or five of those cups filled with water and a packet. It took about a month and a half to get completely rid of the UTI. So, I just kept on drinking the same amount of water thinking that it was a good thing….a good thing with tasty a packet of flavor.

A week ago, I had a sudden onset of heart palpitations. It was completely out of the blue. I thought maybe it was stress from the holidays or maybe because my mom was having some health issues. The palpitations continued for several days. I was starting to get wiggy about it. The only thing that would settle things down was to drink a Coke. Odd, I know.

So, I did what we always do when we have an issue that is scaring the sugar out of us…we get on the internet and look it up. We found this article

http://www.livestrong.com/article/489577-effects-of-aspartame-on-the-heart/

Turns out that aspartame is a vaso constrictor. That means it constricts our arteries that allows our blood to flow as smoothly as Santana plays his gitbox.

Shortness of breath, heart palpitation, weakness, they are all symptoms of high aspartame use. Sounds like poison to me, boys and girls. I don’t know about you, but I am sick to damned death of people trying to poison me. OH MY GOD! Just when I think I am doing something right….BAM…some money grubbing non carer has taken advantage of lack of knowledge and my blind wanting to get it right. Gah…..makes me crazy.

I stopped drinking those packets and went straight back to naked water. It has been three days. Day one so some improvement. Day to saw a marked improvement. Day three…today, I have had like a couple small palpitations, but am pretty much back to normal.

So, I am drinking the fishbowl full time. I suppose it is my guilt that I really taste. Guilt from chasing those goldfish around the bowl and picking them up when I was seven. I may have kissed them too. I’m not swearing to that one though.

Artificial people and artificial ingredients are killers, y’all. I am taking the bull of my life by the horns. If I don’t know how it was made, I am not eating it.

Who’s with me?

Smooch out!

http://www.susanrushing.com

Sock or Stocking? Regional or Familial? Who knows? Just bring it on!!

So, today i am at the Phoenix and Dragon. The store is jammed packed with holiday shoppers and I am slip streaming through the customers in my spare time to pick up some “stuffers”.  “Stocking Stuffers” that is what the majority of the world calls them. That name has always been a little funny to me. Stocking stuffers were legs. You see, where I am from, other kids would say to other kids: “Whadja get in yer sock?”  I know you just thought, “Your Sock?!”   Yes, we all got Christmas socks.

ImageThey looked like that. Red fuzzy with white fur top, except mine had “Susan” written in silver glitter on the white fur part.

Christmas socks of my past had nuts in the shells, and big navel oranges and some apples too. They may also have contained some Barbie clothes and pencils or maybe some crayons. If you were lucky, you might get a couple cans of Play-Doh and a coloring book. On Christmas morning my sock was a lumpy bumpy bundle of happy. It was the final ritual of the “opening of presents event”, signaling to everyone that it was time to clean up the wrapping paper and get some breakfast. I was always smiling at this point of the morning, so whatever was in my sock was gonna be just fine and dandy with me. A brazil nut, that I was never ever going to be able to open without help, even seemed like a blessing. 

When I grew up and thought about Christmas socks vs Christmas stockings, it really made me wonder if it was a Kentucky thing to call a stocking a sock. It must be….I moved to Georgia and they are stockings here too, just like Santa Hats are not Santy hats. They look at me like i have an extra head, sometimes. It’s okay. Santy stuffs my sock just as magically as Santa stuffs their stockings.

So. I ask you…and please tell me….what is hung by your chimney with care? What are your quirky rememberings of this time of the year? Share your magic. I want to hear your stories. Send pictures…..I will post a good one tomorrow of my days gone by. 

Have some fun today! Glitter something, already!

Smooch Out!

http://www.susanrushing.com

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be carefully taught. <=== this is the link to click!

This woman says so eloquently what I try to wrap my country head around everyday. I am grateful that I read this. Go back in your little kid head and walk with her on this pathway of learning how to loath her body. It really starts with us, as mothers of daughters and as mother’s to ourselves to stop this behavior. It might be easier said than done. However, I think it is important to try.

Loving us all through it

Smooch Out

http://www.susanrushing.com <===link to my website.

Chilly Dog? Say I love you in the warmest way!

Chilly Dog? Say I love you in the warmest way!

Ok…if you have a shiver monkey, like we do, you are going to want to dress the pup up. I know that Jasper goes nuts running around the house whining if it is too cold. We have heated beds, space heaters and sweaters ( lots of sweaters, to be generally exact) to combat the issue. So I thought it might be nice for you crafty girls to see how to use those ugly sweater dealios everyone had to have for holiday partying this year. Hack that thing up and make a little love offering for the one who loves you without condition. Follow the link ( that is the blue chilly dog sentence up top)  and follow the directions. It looks pretty simple. I made one for Jasper out of two different sweaters and it looks pretty swanky, Have fun and keep your babies warm! It doesn’t take a pet psychic to tell you how much you will be appreciated!

Nothing says love like a warm kiss from a warm pup.

Smooch Out!

http://www.susanrushing.com

Put it up, Light it up, Dress it up….Bottoms up!

dentree

O Tanninbed O Tanninbed

….ok I know that’s wrong. It’s Tannenbaum. I’m dreaming of a not so white Christmas…that is the dealio for realio. Mother is PALE, boys and girls. Really…the glow in the dark kind.

Anyway, here I am again with another listy thing for our BIG FIRventures! I see so many people posting pics of their trees on the Facebook. I love to see them. They make me happy. Not as happy as a dog in a Santa hat picture, but really close. I love that we share our Christmas trees with one another, just like we share pictures of our children and our dogs in hats. Our Christmas trees hold memories of our lives. They are like twinkling, shiny memorials of our happiest days. We have three trees this year. I know, excessive. I am not entirely sure that I am not filling some Christmas void. I’ve got to be compensating for something, right? BUT they are all fabulous. They are all happy making. They are all stressful. Well, all but the den tree. That is the one at the top of the blog. that tree is named Douglas. Douglas is my gay son Christmas tree. He is sparkly and fabulous and is hardly any trouble at all, once we got him raised and out of the closet. Even though he is sparkly to the max, he’s a little shallow and very thin. He is the least stressful of the bunch. We will talk about why in a minute.

The other two trees are precious. Here they are together.

treesThe small tree is Cookie. She is a cheap ass little Walmart Christmas tree that I got for twenty bucks. She sits in my kitchen and is country to the core. She has burlap garland and cookie cutters all over her. Cheap and cute. i love her. I lit her with white Christmas lights in sections so I don’t have to unravel her next month.

The big tree in the back is the Momma tree. She holds the memories. My ornaments, Sondra’s ornaments, ornaments made by my daughter and the first footprint of our little man dog, Jasper. Momma needs to be a little full figured to hold all of the love that she will have draped on her. She has a ton of Christmas decorations that represent all of our years together and the ones apart, but they are all memories on the path to where we are today. When I put on those decorations, I often go back into the glow of the lights of Christmas trees past to and revisit those times with loving retrospect. I remember the love and the mistakes and it helps me to be more grateful for where I am this Christmas.

This big Christmas tree was my big stress this year. We usually get a real tree for the living room, but decided this year that we hated the mess of it and would get a fake one instead. Holy Crap are they expensive. I went from store to store in sheer panic that I would not find a tree in our budget that I would feel good about putting in our huge front window. Last week I finally gave up and was ready to slide Douglas into the big front window after one last shopping trip. Defeated, I began make my way home, passing a local thrift store. Someone in my head screamed “TURN IN TURN IN TURN IN!”

I didn’t want to, that thrift store smells like stale cigarettes and dirty laundry.  The voice in my head wouldn’t stop. So, I back tracked through an alley and the parking lot of a closed up tire store and pulled in. To my surprise and excitement, they were unloading a truck full of Home Depot demo trees. I bought one and took it home. It is beautiful! I bought it for under half of what the store sold it for and I got a bonus. When I was pulling down the branches, out came a small glass angel with a gold halo. There is some validation for ya, folks! This new tree is beautiful and even though she is new, she is charged with holding the memories and the energy of Christmas past. When I decorated her, I revisited those times and the people who have moved on to the other side, and it felt warm and good. She has a big job and I am thankful that she handles in glittery gladness. That night when I said my prayers, I said a special gratitude for our new family member, Big Momma. My guides said quickly, ” It is unnecessary to become so distraught over such things, dear.” They are right. So….I’m gonna share my new list for trees. I hope it helps in some way.

1. Pre-lit is fab. If you don’t have a pre-lit, make one. Put your Christmas lights on your tree in sections so that when you take it down, the lights stay on. No more tangles. No more ouchy fingers. Of course if you have a real tree….sorry bout it.

2. Do only what you feel you can. If you can’t manage to put up all fifty five of your trees this year, so what? Commit to what you can commit to. But I will advise you to do a little something. Put a little shiny somewhere  in your house. Make your own merry. Do what makes you smile. Glitter makes it all better, baby.  🙂

3. If you can’t do it yourself, ask for some help. My mother, who lives in the far away land of Ohio, wasn’t going to put up a tree, because she couldn’t. She mentioned it to a woman that she knows and the woman comes every year and helps her put her tree up and take it down. She doesn’t decorate like she used to, but she has some merry in the window. That makes her smile.

4. Make some Christmas decorations out of nothing. I try to do something each year. We have ornaments made out of gourds, thread spools, cookie cutters, felt….make a memory with someone you love. That is what big momma’s are made of. Don’t stress about it. Get on pinterest and find something easy. OR….ask a kid, they have great ideas.

5. The secret to Douglas is Shrink Wrap. Well, we say shrink wrap, but we mean heavy plastic wrap. Last year, he was so pretty that we decided to wrap him up tight in plastic wrap and duct tape it together. I put a trash bag over the top and the bottom and ducked taped them together. It wouldn’t have worked if he wasn’t so damned skinny, but he is. We carried him out to the barn and that is where he stood until we brought him out last week. A box cutter and a little fluffing was all he needed and he was ready to be plugged in! I will probably do it to Cookie too.

6. If you have wooden floors or tile floors; felt stickers on the bottom of the Christmas tree stand makes any tree easy to move. Comes in handy for real trees and watering.

7. Don’t get stressed out like me. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t really necessary. It damaged a potentially wonderful night with my little family. I was ridiculous. I hope when you read my story you will say to yourself that Susan Rushing is crazy …don’t be crazy. Christmas is about love, not crazy. I did wear my cookie pants. That helped.

So, that is my crazy list. I hope you find a small nugget in there. Happy tree making. Happy Memory making.

Deck your halls, y’all…and don’t forget that mistletoe

Smooch out!

http://www.susanrushing.com

Ho Ho Ho in some Stretchy Pants today!

Happy Holidays Everyone! I mean that, I really do. I hope everyone who reads this blog will have a warm, wonderful, twinkly, sparkly, glittery, tasty, tape ripping time this year. I am going to try to do the same.

My last blog was a little depressing….ok….growth is painful I KNOW…but let’s have a little fun today. 

I feel so perky, mostly cause I am feeling pretty happy with myself over my TWO days in a row on the treadmill. Feelin myself and hoping surly Suzy won’t step in tomorrow and kick happy perky Suzy out. Fingers crossed girls!!

Anyway, the Ho Ho HOLidays are upon us and if you aren’t ready for it and are already stressing and starting to get overwhelmed….I want to help. 

I love making lists. So, I thought I would make one for us that could help us BEGIN to get ready for the craziness of the most wonderful time of the yeeaar.

Now these are just some starting points that I find helpful. Please feel free to add or subtract in any manner you see fit. It’s your party baby.

1. Go to Target or Wal Mart or wherever you love to go…and buy a cheap pair of cookie pants. You are gonna eat the cookies…just buy the pants. What are cookie pants? Well….cookie pants are any variety of pant that has no zippers buttons or snaps. ELASTIC is KEY. Yoga pants, sweat pants, maybe a nice ponte knit for parties…you know SCHTRETCHY PEEYANTS! Don’t fight it. You know you are gonna eat extra, you can’t really be held accountable. You can however, be comfortable. Judge me now, thank me later. You’re welcome.

2. Start moving a little more than usual – I have started a stretching routine and I am getting on the treadmill. I promised myself that I will do this three or four times per week. That should counter any cookie damage. I may not lose weight over the time of this season, but at least I won’t be doing so much damage. …and I can so wear my stretchy pants!

3. Buy socks. You can totally do it when you buy your cookie pants. Feet get cold. If you haven’t had socks on since this time last year, get some new ones. Those old socks are as tired as you are. New socks lessen the sting of winter just because you got something new.

4. Put lotion on everything….all the time. Put lip lotion on. Put foot lotion on. Put body lotion on. It’s all getting dryer by the minute in the furnace air. Grease yourself up. Your stretchy pants and socks will hold all that moisture in and make you a soft pale goddess. 

5. Tell yourself that it is okay to be pale. Start looking at pictures of Meryl Streep and Isabella Rossellini. Start telling yourself that pale is sophisticated and classy. Buy red lipstick and black turtle neck and a leopard print scarf. Ok….old Hollywood is way more Holiday.

6. Make a list of what you want for Christmas. Don’t think of anyone but you. Get it all out of your system. That way when you go shopping for everyone else, you won’t be surprised by all the things you find for yourself. You already made that list!

7. Make a JibJab.com funny video with you and your favorite people. It will put a little jingle in your step and a giggle in your speech. That is some holiday alignment to be sure

8. Watch new Christmas movies on Lifetime. They are corny and badly executed, but there are some magic makers in the set and prop departments! They are like Halloweentown for Christmas. Well, without Debbie Reynolds. 

9. Get a box of Christmas cards and send them out. Keep the postal service in business. Write a wisecrack inside. Spread the love. Make a joke. Let someone know that they are on more than one of your lists. 

10. Make alternate lyrics to Christmas songs. For instance, it has always been my thing during “Holly Jolly Christmas” when Burl Ives sings…”kiss her once for me”, I say instead, “kiss her butt for me”. I did this the weekend before Thanksgiving while shopping at Sears with my daughter. Even after 23 years, she still busted out laughing so hard that people turned around and stared at us. That shit never gets old. I have more…but they aren’t as shareable. 😉

11. Last one. Love yourself. Don’t agree to it if is going to make you unhappy. Don’t say yes unless you have the time and the money and your house is already clean. Don’t overextend yourself in any way….except to hug someone else in their stretchy pants. Oh…and don’t give a crap about what other people think you should be doing for the holiday. Let them concentrate on their own version of happy, you concentrate on your own. If that means stretchy pants and a crazy holiday sweater and a mouthful of cheeseball, then ride it till the wheels fall off and have the happiest of holidays in a love filled relax-a-thon. Remember it’s really a love fest, not a stress fest. Eat Drink and be Merry or Mary or Murray or whatever version of that fits you best.

So, I hoped this list helped a little. If you need any help with extra listy things…just let me know. I’ll be sitting right here in my cookie pants and comfy socks putting glitter on something. 

Love you meeces to pieces!

Smooch Out

http://www.susanrushing.com

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What doesn’t kill you….

Life’s a mill and I been through it – Dolly Parton"9 to 5:  The Muscial" Press Conference

Me and Dolly, we got more in common than big boobs and fake eyelashes.

They say what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I haven’t always agreed with that. I have been through some  ugly things in my lifetime. Big ugly things. Ugly things that weren’t always self inflicted or came by way of bad decision. Although I have been through those kinda ugly things too. Most of the big ugly stuff in my life came by way of the ” shit happens” road. And considering what I have dealt with over the years, I do feel the need to say that the Shit Happens Road is not just a road, but really, a six lane highway that can handle heavy trucks.

Before you think I am feeling sorry for myself and writing a pity blog, I am not. I totally could have just a day or to ago, but I refrained. So before you start rolling your eyes at me, let me say, “I had an epiphany this morning”.  I wasn’t even at Walmart. So, this is no roll back price epiphany. Oh no…It’s a full price epiphany.  I want to share this epiphany with you. Mostly because, that is what i do.

This week I had another hard thing to go through. It was rough and I was sick and had to spend a ton of money and it looks like a ton more will have to be paid out before it is over. It isn’t a big thing really. Nothing crazy like a legal issue…it was just a health issue that got out of hand and needed some repair. It’s fine, but it really upset me. It set me down for a week and I couldn’t work. So, big money out and no money in makes Suzy a panic laced baby. I am grateful I had the money to cover it. I am also glad that I have parents that don’t like to see me cry and send care packages laced with green, and I ain’t talkin’ beans. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus.

So, this morning I was looking out the window and looked at one of the big oaks in our yard. It’s a pretty tree. We have ten on our property and none of them under fifty years old, I am sure. I wasn’t doing this to ponder at the God given beauty laid out before me.  I was mostly doing an eyeball calculation of how many times the leaves are going to have to be cleaned up before they are gone for the year. Anyway…

I was noticing the colors and thought about how all the rain effected the color change this year. The trees are more vibrantly colored  and there are still bright green leaves on the majority of the tree. I thought about Sondra telling me she had hoped that the tree roots would go further into the ground after all the rain we had this year. Dry spells make tree roots sit on top of the ground looking for water. If the roots don’t dig in deep enough the tree can topple. Nerve making when the trees are very near the house you just bought.

I looked at the tree outside my office window. That tree has been through some shit, y’all. It has been struck by lightning. It’s had a couple bacterial infections, parasites and it’s had major limbs hacked off of it. It has had storm damage and throws a ton of the things it grows to the ground every year. People have put nails in it to hang pots. ( ok not me, i put twinkly lights on it) It’s seen some crap, and I mean how. Through all of it, there it stands; tall, beautiful and doing its job. The storms and the rain make it dig its roots into the ground. The hard weather causes it to stand stronger and straighter. It doesn’t care if there is threat of dangerous weather. It stands there feeding the birds, housing the squirrels and holding up my twinkle lights without complaint and in complete beauty. It wears its battle scars like a lovely patina that shows it’s strength and its age in unadulterated “it is what it is and i am still here” grandeur. I respect the hell out of these trees.

I need to respect the hell out of me. Whew…there is an on the spot epiphany. Bargain day at the epiphany mart.

I don’t need to cover my scars. I just need to respect where I have been and who I am and do what is best for the standing straight of me. I guess this the wisdom of getting older. I am taking it, Jesus. I am taking it.  It’s not about the outside as much as it is respecting the inside…the outside will follow suit if it is meant to.  It’s deeper than surface and deeper than inside…it is deeper than we can imagine. I respect myself as I respect my God, for God is in me as he is in everyone of those trees out there. Distractions be damned. It is the most important thing in any life. Respect Aretha…and it starts with me.

My friend Caroline Brown wrote on Facebook yesterday about how pain is necessary part of every life. I wrote back to her that you can’t be born or grow without it. I know that is true. Even though I feel like I am five in the middle of some if it…I am growing.

So, as I sit here growing 🙂 ….I just wanted to share with you, that even though it seems like what doesn’t kill you makes you sadder or meaner or just plain tired-er… there is something deeper going on.

Your roots are growing deeper and stronger, so you won’t topple over onto someones house during the next big storm.

Love yourself through it. I am doing my best to love me though this. I have already thrown a great big crying fit…so I am ready to move forward clear-headed. I get it. I see the changes. They are good. They won’t be easy, but if I can stay in this place of respect, it should be a little easier.

Smooch out everyone….love yourselves, be easy on yourselves…and keep a little extra cash in the savings account 🙂

Tucked Penis Envy and Canned Ego

I’m in that place again. I am fully revelling in and completely overtaken again. It’s my drag queen addiction. I have it bad.

It started when I was just a baby, really. A small town girl of 19, in my first year of college. I was a music major. I loved theater. My high school boyfriends wound up coming out of the closet a full decade, a wedding and a baby before I did. The friends I made in college were all theater majors and most of them gay boys. They took me out to gay clubs and we danced and we danced. Then one night at a bar called 1470 West, I saw my first drag show. I was hooked. Sequins, Make-up, Wigs, Trashy humor and LASHES…big lush thick gorgeous LASHES….and feathers. I can’t forget the feathers…and did I mention the sequins? Yeah, sequins.

I was hooked. Hooked on drag. I wanted to be a drag queen. Big, fabulous sparkly people with razor sharp wits and confidence overflowing. They held attention and glamour….They held secrets. They get to be someone they really weren’t…on a regular basis. It’s like theater without the script and direction…and with cocktails. It’s a brilliant sparkly party. God knows I love a brilliant sparkly party.

I’ve known lots of drag queens personally. Most of them had lives as drama filled as their acts. Crazy addictions, crazy fights and crazy self esteem issues. Up close, I loved them as much as I loved their drag characters. A few of them were grounded and stable and understood that being a drag queen was entertainment, a theater piece and not the basis for their actual life. It was a delicate balance, emotionally, financially, socially and mentally. Taking the best and  the worst qualities of being a woman and blowing them up a thousand times. It’s a hard life, but really great entertainment.

I am still friends with a few of the queens of my younger days. I backed away from the drag scene as I got older, but I never backed away from my love of the glitter glamorama. I suppose I got too old to wait for a midnight show to begin. Drag time is always a few hours later than straight time. I just can’t stay up that late anymore, even with a disco nap midday.

So, these days I sit and watch my secret obsessions on LOGO and on YouTube. They remind me that life is a party to live everyday, and not to take myself SO seriously. It is a wonderful part of my gay culture and I appreciate it. Many of the queens I know had absolute toxic wits, but beneath those snarky barbs beat a huge heart and a bunch of hurt feelings. So, I am reminded that being mean doesn’t fix you, it just breaks someone else. We are all in this together, but it is sometimes, every man for himself. That is a delicate balance. Compassion vs. Competition….now there is a fine dirty line. I guess you might as well walk it in some Christian Louboutin’s, right? I know I can’t afford them…but you can get a fine used pair on Ebay in your dollar range. 🙂 just sayin

So, here is to the Queens. Thanks for feathers, lashes, sparkles and wit!  No Tea No Shade!

Smooch Out! ….you better werk.