Search This Blog

Sunday, December 30, 2012

relief is coming!

So many things to write, so little time. Given the time restraint, let me jot down thoughts on what I want to eat before allergy elimination diet 2013.

1. Ice Cream!
2. Steak=n-Shake milkshake (Can you tell I'm having a dairy craving these days?)
3. Zaxby's
4. KFC
5. Bread. anything. Bread. (But I met a lady that makes yeast free, gluten free biscuits. yea!)
6. Tulum fresh Mexican
7. BBQ
8. Chicken ramen noodles
9. Popcorn
10. Pizza
11. Circle B Smoke Sausage
12. Nachos
13. Hot Wings
14. Chicken Fingers

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

almost a mat

Tonight, my intention became to exercise for 15 minutes, just a little something to get me back? into the practice of something. I haven't been inactive lately. Tae kwon do, some supportive yoga, 2 nights per week or so at the gym. But I ache, I"m tired, and I'm just not well. Also, I'm in limbo on rather or not I am going to keep my gym membership. I'm waiting to hear back from my doctor on rather or not she is going to grant me a handicap tag for my car. I'm not going to walk 25 stairs per night to exercise. Anyhow, my 15 minutes became 30 minutes, my 5 minute stint on the treadmill did not occur. Gentle stretch, gentle stretch, gentle stretch. A little yoga, a few sit ups, some breathing. It felt good.


Monday, December 3, 2012


Cleaning off my computer. Finding things I forgot about.


I told you I love you
You told me you love me too
I told you I wanted to marry you and sale corn bread sandwiches off the back porch of our beach house
You told me I made you nervous, that commitment was too much
Then you told me you wanted me to move 300 miles from my family to be with you

You sent my head spinning, girl
You and your disbelief
You and your ambivalence
One day you're hot, one day you're cold
Every day I'm in love waiting for you to love me back

I volunteered to live the starving artist lifestyle with you
I volunteered to do all the work
I volunteered to leave my sick father for you
I volunteered to love your cat
I'd give you my everything girl, but you only gave me mixed signals

I gave you options and choices
You told me you need more options and choices
I gave you space and time
You said you needed more space and time
I told you I didn't like all the space
You said they're be less space... again
You said we'd grow closer and in that you'd know if you should stay or leave
You told me, you told me
I told you I love me

I'm cutting you lose girl
Except I can't 'cause you're in my heart
You're in my mind, my intentions, my thoughts, my very breathe
You've left me wrecked girl
I see him but see you too

I told you I'm leaving
You told me you're relieved 'cause you don't have to make a choice
I told you I still love you
You said nothing

I told you I love you, girl
You told me you love me too
I told you I love me, girl
Can you please do that too?

by Amy, 2010

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm sad

The pain, the health questions

The house, the mess, the disorganization

Hand and wrist used every hour


Cant use sick leave to rest when you need to go to the doctor, Cant use sick leave and look like a punk

Tired and frustrated

At times, sad

So much, so much

Thursday, November 15, 2012

a nation divided

Today, I lost a friend. Really, I've probably been losing him bit by bit during this past election season. I knew early on that he was a Mitt Romney supporter but we're all entitled to make our own bad decisions. On Monday, he posted this image:

with the caption "We're going to rise again".

I tried to not jump to conclusions... maybe this is one of his "confederate flags aren't about hate" and "Rednecks aren't racist" things. No justification from him. He said I can unfriend him if so desired.

Goodbye Chad. You are one of the few friends I made in Jackson. You had no social tact but seemed to be you in innocence. Perhaps out of that ignorant fear that people sometimes operate out of, you have taken the "white people gather together because this black person (black people/group of others) are trying to take over. We MUST unite and fight". It's a lie and I hope you one day see that clearly.

Funny thing is, I almost asked him to co-lead the Small Town Progressives group I created. I guess the Universe had me hold off a bit for a reason; perhaps this?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1 week moving

Day 1: Friday, October 26th. Tomika and I moved. My nephew, cousin, and two of my cousin's co-workers came up to be our muscle. Something like 5 hours to load a truck, go to storage and unload some things and load others, and then to arrive to the new house and unload. Fatigue was seen, things were stacked wherever instead of the most appropriate room for their content. Part of the issue with the move that wasn't fully anticipated is that new house is like 30-40% smaller than old house. Boxes sat places comfortably at old house. Boxes made it difficult to walk in new house.

Day 2: Saturday, October 27th: We unpacked for about 4 hours that morning then drove to old house to shower and get ready for my aunt's suprise birthday party. I should have went with my first mind and left the liquor and mixers at old house for easy access. I went with second mind and traveled to Memphis with self and girlfriend. Bev's party was AWESOME. It was Tomika's first time seeing my family in their element. It was good. Bev was so surprised; she cried. I'm glad I went down instead of listening people that told me to stay in Jackson and unpack.

Day 3, Sunday, October 28th: Our big cleaning day for old house. 5 hours but didn't finish. Seems crazy that it took that long. Tomika spend that entire time in the kitchen. I knocked out 3 bedrooms and a bathroom.

Day 4, Monday, October 29th: Relief. Our hope was to get a massage after we were done with moving our items into the new house and cleaning the old house. We wanted Halloween; we knew we would be done by then. Monday was the only option for the massage therapist we wanted. Relief. Somehow, my 5-6pm massage ended at 7pm. I can't really complain about that :). Good company. Tomika and I followed that by shopping for a microwave stand and learning that stores don't really keep them in stock.

Day 5, Tuesday, October 30th: Finished cleaning old house. Thank God. New house looks:

We have a love seat to sit on at least. Wasn't so on day 1. Also, the steps got better; we can go up them.

Day 6, Wednesday, October 31st: Finally done with old house. Went over to pull out a dresser I wasn't going to keep. We left the keys and garage openers. Last look around. Goodbye, my love.

Day 7, Today: Now we can focus on unpacking new house. We can find a home for our many, useful items. Organization can begin.
  The shape of the living room has shifted many times. Things are unpacked and stored. New things are brought in. Things are unpacked and spaces begin to form. Things are pushed together to allow a passage way for something else... like a microwave.

I was able to get upstairs to clean out that space. 
Mostly, it needed to be swept and mopped. Not
too bad, unless you count the dirty, dirty water.


Our bedroom windows suck. Window sealant, garbage bag, and a blanket to help us stay warm.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

5 days left

Friday, I relocate. To a smaller house 2 blocks away from a repeat rapist according to the sex offenders website. 1 mile from a university. 1/2 mile from a hospital. next door to an elementary school. Right next to a field of kudzu. I hope this move is a good one. It's definitely $300 less per month compared to where I am now. As long as Tomika is there, another $300 cheaper still. I know why I'm moving; I hope it goes well.

Today is Sunday. Here's the current state of my house:

Some food is packed; much of it is not. 
 I've been eating to thin out the cupboards :). 
I've gone through piles and piles of paper to avoid going through crap on the other side of the move. Here are the piles untouched remaining:

 My living room. Bookshelves (2) mostly bear.
 Both bathrooms look something like this:
 My closet. 

Not many options remain for what I will wear this week.

And most rooms have stacks like this. Boxes for days. 
Packing has refocused my attention on a goal I made at the beginning of the year to get rid of 150 things. I'm over 75% there and mostly from the packing. As much as I dislike packing, I do appreciate how it helps to focus on what I need, want, and ignore. It always inspires me to do something in the coming season to have less and perhaps avoid such an arduous journey next time. For 2013, I will give away, throw away, or recycle at least 60 items. I hope to make that an annual focus.

Thanks so much to the "Packing genie" that has helped me get so much of this done. We worked for over 5 hours yesterday. Now all rooms have bout everything I can pack before "the last minute" packed. And I have an aching back. The cost of lowering costs.

Seize the day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10 days left.... :S

If interested, you can see more on my packing progress at  Check out my goal on getting rid of items and on packing.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Channel 7 News:

Police Charge Liquor Store Robbery Suspect

JACKSON, Tenn. – A Jackson man has been charged in connection with the robbery of a liqor store, Thursday.

According to Jackson police, Tyler Hayes Mills, 21, faces two counts of aggravated robbery, a charge of felon in possession of a firearm and evading arrest. He is accused of robbing Ridgecrest Cellars just after 5:00 p.m. Thursday.

After the robbery, police believe Mills ran from the store into a wooded area on Malone Road. After he briefly came out of the wood line, officers quickly arrived and set up a perimeter. A police dog and helicopter were called in to help with the search.

After searching for over two hours, officers arrested Mills, 21, in a wooded area off North Royal Street near Henderson Road. Officers reported finding the the stolen money, cell phone and gun.

Investigators learned that Mills has felony convictions for aggravated burglary and theft in Henderson County and aggravated burglary in Chester County.

Mills is scheduled to be formally arraigned Monday at 8 a.m. in Jackson City Court.
I read this and felt blessed. I read it and thought, "THAT STORE WAS ROBBED RIGHT AFTER I WALKED OUT!" Then I realized it was robbed the day after I was there. So incredibly close even with that 24 hour difference. The tiniest choices separate my first thought from reality. My Wednesday experience fed amazement and gratitude concerning the Thursday incident. That store was booming when I went. There weren't 12 us in there at once but someone was leaving when I pulled up, someone came in while I was there, someone pulled up as I walked out. That kind of busy. Constant. Apparently, people go to the liquor store after work. But this young buck, wow. I've seen nothing about anyone being hurt. I don't know if that means that things lined up just so that no customers were present during the event, or if it was simply done without gun fire. Whatever the details, I'm grateful and look squarely at the grace that shielded me, the employees at Ridgecrest Cellars, and perhaps other customers trying to unwind from a day of hard work.

SN: I'm trying to create a yummy mai thai recipe. suggestions? My first two attempts were too sweet for my opinion.I hope to find the napkin where I wrote down the ingredients given by a bartender..

Friday, October 5, 2012

22 days and counting

We have found our new/next home. We plan to have a big move day on October 27th and have just begun searching for movers. I'm mostly down with using UHAUL but hesitant because of the upstairs and needing to carry things up. Tomika leans not UHAUL because it'd be less work on our part. Our new place is also a 3 bedroom, though smaller than the current. Hardwood floor throughout. Sadly, the washer/dryer is outside in its own room instead of inside the house somewhere. There's a bit of fear in leaving my current landlord but I'm going with a big real estate company so hopefully things will be okay. I was honored when my landlord called to see if there was anything he could do to keep me-- lower my rent $200-$300? Yeah, I didn't think so. So again, I look to new beginning. Time will tell what the future holds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

dishwasher scratches

More and more, I pull out chipped or scratched dishes out of my dishwasher. Tonight, I searched for ideas on how to stop this madness!


  1. Tips for Avoiding Scratches

    • 1
      Scrape food off of plates with a plastic spatula instead of a metal one or metal utensils.
    • 2
      See if the protective coating on silverware has come off. If so, the silverware must be replaced to reduce scratches.
    • 3
      Place dinner plates in the dishwasher away from the silverware rack. During the washing cycle, the silverware may be rubbing against the dinnerware and creating scratches.
    • 4
      Put a napkin or rubber lining in between plates when you stack them. It might be a good idea to have two sets: one for the cabinet when they're clean, and one for stacking them dirty by the kitchen sink awaiting wash.

    Removing the Scratches

    • 5
      Make a thick paste with the baking soda and water.
    • 6
      Using the soft cloth, rub the paste in a circular motion on the scratches.
    • 7
      Wash with warm water, and repeat as needed.

Read more: How to Avoid Scratches on Dinner Plates |

So what shall I do?
1. Ease up on the sani-rinse cycle
2. Use a rinse agent
3. Switch back to an eco-dish detergent?
4. Get new silverware
5. Put more space bw plates if needed
 6. Make sure I've knocked off all of the food I can before depositing the dishes into the dishwasher
7. Make sure not to use extra dish detergent

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nash Vegas

This past weekend, I went with my 3 nieces, 1 nephew, & 1 mom to Nashville for family vacation. It was fun playing tourist to Nashville on Friday. I dated someone that lived there for so long that I never thought of Nashville in that way.  On Friday, we went to Opry Mills mall and Opryland Hotel. Neither were first experiences for me but again, it was the first time I viewed Nashville as a tourist. We had dinner at a restaurant called Rainforest CafĂ©. That was new… and odd in a scary way. I question, who thought it was smart to put a bunch of scary animals and a thunder storm in one way and invite people to come in for dinner?  They take your picture and then try to sale it to you for $10 + they have a gift shop right outside the restaurant. They make money by being a unique looking place to eat. The cuisine is American.  That night, we went to the African-American Festival. It reminded me of Juneteenth in Memphis with slightly better vendors.

On the riverboat ride at Opryland Hotel. 
Inside the Rainforest Cafe
Trio at the A-A Festival sporting the new glasses they all bought

Saturday, we went to Adventure Science Center. I took the kids about 2 years ago and they loved it. It was the reason I suggested Nashville once we realized Pigeon Forge was not going to work for us. The best part of that for me was having  friend Cynthia and her son that’s now 9 come out. I hadn't seen them in 2 years. They spent the entire afternoon with us at the Science Center, then ate dinner with us at Monell’s. That was truly a ridiculous amount of food. Good, but not great. An incredible amount.  I think we all left satisfied.

Sunday, we returned home. They dropped me in Jackson, where I took a brief nap before driving to Memphis to celebrate the twins' 10th birthday. Now, I am back, cozy in bed and ready for sleep.

The gray sky of this trip was the rental van we used. It was the only time I’ve been embarrassed to travel in a rental vehicle. Besides being ugly, missing all knobs from the radio area, and having a broken CD player, the dang thing wouldn’t start on Saturday. Apparently, Vans2Go last changed the battery in 2006. Mom ended up dropping us off at the Science Center and having to spend over 2 hours getting the van serviced. Stay far away from Vans2Go Memphis. They seem like shady characters and their van sucked.

Cheers to my first (immediate) family vacation.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

and the point of it all was art

Lately, life has been incredibly busy:
(1) Work is busy. For the past several weeks, I've been in my office about three days a week and my case load has expanded from 15 to 25 over the summer. There's a lot to do in general. Accomplishing it in 3 days-- eek.
(2) I've been shopping for a car. Turns out it's not an easy thing to do leisurely; thus it became something I did every possible moment for 1.5 weeks. In the end, I bought a Hyandi Sante Fe but 8 days after signing papers and making a down payment, I still don't have my truck. A key feature I wanted was a sunroof. This truck didn't come with one so I'm having it added. The completion date has traveled, a day at a time, from Thursday to Monday.  When I called on Friday to check on the progress, I was told it should be ready on Saturday by 9am.  Saturday, a Hyandi manager looked at me like death had happened and expressed disbelief that no one called to tell me my truck wasn't ready. I practiced assertiveness and got a Sante Fe on loan and the "promise" that my truck will be delivered to me at home or work on Monday. We'll see. They've changed the completion date so much I don't have much faith.
(3) I participated in an art fair.The show was called Art at the Market and was organized by a quasi-friend of mine in Jackson. The entry fee was only $5 and I regained that at the event. I was no where near reclaiming the $400 spent preparing for the event, supplies only. I attempted to utilize PhotoShop (failed), transfer images to wood (poorly done), and made frames from craft sticks and bottle tops (beautiful) in addition to printing fresh images. I also had magnets and bookmarks created whenever I did the last event. I had 2 images blown up to 16x20 and framed, making them appropriate for hanging in a living room or utilizing for some other main wall piece in one's house. I feel I learned some things/made some commitments this time around:
1. Work on art year round. Staying up to midnight/1am, working art 4-6 hours AFTER coming home from a day job isn't for me. I'm proud of myself for pulling it (with the help of a lot of Dollar Tree energy drinks) but I'd like to need it less next time.
2. Art should be part of my monthly budget. I may still end up spending $400-$600 towards a show but it won't hit my account at once. I can slowly add to my supplies.
3. I should buy a hanging rack. It should decrease my fear of someone breaking something and make it easier to display my work compared to trying to represent everything on a couple of tables (I think).
4. I might gain more of my money back per year if I do many events per year. I felt a lot of anxiety about putting out new images because I had the same shots, for the most part, at Art for Hope 2011 & 2010. Today, there was a new audience but I wanted to make sure I had something new to offer in case anyone that has already seen my pieces showed up. Doing more shows allows for more opportunities per year to sell the 6-12 new poses I might opt to put out in addition to the poses from years before.
5. I will take a class on photoshop. I utilized online tutorials and got my sister to do the same but either my software is broken or we are missing something. Mostly, I just want to remove extra people that are in a frame (e.g., the person's hat on the front row of a show).

Today's excitement is that I met Valerie June's mom. She walked up to my table and asked, "Do you know that woman?" I gave my typical spill about who VJ is and she said, "I know. That's my daughter." Small world! She's a painter. I gave her a shot of her daughter. She "earned" a shot of my turtles and said she's going to paint them and send me the image. Cool.

Another contributor of recent business (#4): I'm shopping for a new place to live. Tomika and I are trying to use 1-2 days per week to view housing. Another way to save on cost.

And today (#5), surprise, surprise, my hot water tank burst and drowned my kitchen and living room. Turned out to be a blessing that we left the chairs at home when we went downtown to set up at the art fair. Tomika returned home and discovered the mess. It's a nightmare. My house looks like a natural disaster hit it. I came home while someone watched my booth but Tomika insisted I return to the fair and see what I can sale instead of packing up to help clean. She cleaned up the water and removed things from the soaked areas while I was at the art fair. After posting this blog, I'll spend some time cleaning the living room in an attempt to move things towards normal.

Boy am I sleepy! I've been going like mad for weeks now. I pray that my body (illness) does not catch up with me. Blessed be.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rock-A-Billy Festival 2012

Rock-a-Billy is said to be rock-n-roll before it was called that, a fusion of rock, country, and blues. The word is rock (& roll) + hillbilly. The music started right here in Jackson, TN with a quick spread to Memphis, TN. This week, Jackson held the Rock-a-Billy festival, an annual tradition.

I was impressed with the dancers. I can't line dance.

My friend Monica went "in style". Rock-A-Billy Monica:

Musical acts were okay. Some sounded like that man that stays on the mic at karaokee or might be invited to sing at some local event. Others were really good and I'd go to see them again. My favorite was Jerry Lee, Barry, & friend but I don't have a picture of them. My second was that Swedish girl with the taking, sexy voice; oh my!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Today, I have another migraine. I think it started yesterday. It's not as bad as many migraines have been but it's also not kind. This time, I'm at the doctor. Tuesday, I ate some ramen noodles that resulted in an allergic reaction. Friday, my right eye is still swollen. Hence, the doctor's visit. I'll also ask for loratab while I'm here. We'll see what happens.

I'm in the blog reviewing my migraine dates so I can discuss frequency but I'm surprised at how infrequent I've recorded feeling this way. Perhaps I don't get them as often as I think? Still, we'll see what happens.

In one month, I have an art show. Perhaps today I'll start working on new pieces. I have my photoshop instructions book so I can get cracking. We'll see.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I just heard a line on the radio that I deem worthy of remembering, a good quote:

"She say love is free, just expensive to shop"

Song: Take it to the Head

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

bug bite, leadership, and the pursuit of love

Explanation: This entry was started 1.5 weeks ago. Forgive the inconsistency in time expressed.

Today (1.5 weeks ago)  was the last of the three-month leadership class I've been taking at work, main campus. I shouldn't say this because there are human trolls that watch everything for inappropriate remarks but, damn was my teacher looking good for class number 6 (or 8?). Ya'll, that lady is cute. Fine. I studied her the first two weeks to see if I thought she liked girls. I swear a wedding ring popped up that second week. lol. I chatted with her one day; it was a test to see if I've ever learned to talk to pretty girls. I...well, okay. Anyhow, she wore a form fitting top that made her lovely breast look ginormous and again, a nipple was perky. That's all.

I did include "leadership" and not "lust" in the title but I think I'll end there. I mean, if I post what the class itself was about, those human troll scouts just might find me ;).

In other news....
Two Wednesdays ago, I took a homeless woman to search for housing. This is common with my position. Unfortunately, many apartment complexes have off site management so you call and they come over. On that day, we arrived many minutes before management. It didn't seem too terrible because it gave us time to call some folks from craigslist to inquire about their options. But, it involved being bitten many times by insects. One, fatal. Or not, but damn painful. Wednesday, I was biten. Friday evening I could barely walk. Saturday, I knew I had a problem. Sitting was even an issue. In this midst of this new burst of pain, a tooth started falling out chunk by chunk (Friday evening). Saturday morning, I learned it was a mixture of a filling and my toothe. Abscess, root canal needed, crown. blah. But it came with antibiotics. So, I took the amoxicillian prescribed by the dentist, used the hydrocortizone cream recommended by my love interest, and grunted through the pain. Tuesday, aka day 5 of level 10 pain, I couldn't take it anymore. Hell, I was probably about there on Monday but I wanted to give the antibiotic at least 3 days before deciding it wasn't helpful. My dental work was scheduled for Tue so I thought I'd go to the doctor on Wednesday. Due to pain, I did both on Tuesday. The doctor and I didn't discuss what bite me, but that is the question on everyone's mind. Again and again I explain, I only cared about getting rid of the pain. The bite grew into a tendor spot about 6 inches long and 4-6 inches wide depending on the spot. I was prescribed a stronger antibiotic and told to continue with warm compresses, hydrocortizone cream, and to add neosporin. UPDATE: The knot has shrunk small enough that having it lanceted isn't recommended... I hope that's right. It seemed to be hiding when I saw the doctor so he didn't really feel the true size of what remains. But I'm counting this issue as resolved and pray it stays as such. I'm not going back a 3rd time about a bug bite.

the pursuit of love
The new one is black, queen-sized but treats me as if I'm the queen. Warehouse work, own apartment, own car. 39, like my sister. Same name sometimes. (weird funny) Been dating 6 weeks now. Met on She wants to spoil me. I warn that I'm easy to be spoiled and then there's no going back. She met the bulk of my family Saturday but I don't like how that went. I've heard no complaints from them and there were moments when she interacted with others. She'll be with a smaller segment tomorrow for 4th of July. My sister and her 5 children + Love Interest are coming to Jackson for BBQ. The kids are staying until Sunday, when my mom will pick them up after going house shopping with me. SHE lives in Memphis, like my folk and several ex's. Actually, she lives down the street from Tammy, who lives 2 streets down and over from Memphis. New one I like but don't know how long it will last. Maybe a while. She isn't 100% on must have/can't stand but she has good traits I never thought to imagine. My insides aren't running.

Friday, June 8, 2012

must haves & can't stands

This is apparently what I marked for my must haves/can't stands when I signed up for compatible partners:

Must Haves:
  • Communicator... I must have someone who is good at talking and listening.
  • Chemistry... I must feel deeply in love with and attracted to my partner.
  • Ambition... I must have a partner who shares my desire to achieve high financial and/or career goals.
  • Spiritual Acceptance... My partner must accept and respect my spiritual beliefs, whether they share them or not.
  • Shared Politics... I must have someone who has political beliefs which are the same or similar to my own.
  • Verbal Intimacy... I must know that my partner is sharing their deepest emotional thoughts and desires.
  • Affectionate... I must have someone who is comfortable giving and receiving affection.
  • Industriousness... I must have someone who is willing to work hard at whatever they do.
  • Kindness... I must have a partner who is gentle and kind.
  • Tolerant... I must have a partner who is able to hear and appreciate divergent viewpoints.

Can't Stands:
  • Pessimism... I can't stand someone who always sees the glass as half empty.
  • Rude... I can't stand someone who is belittling, impatient or hateful to people in any situation.
  • Anger... I can't stand someone who can't manage their anger, who yells, or bottles it up inside.
  • Cheating... I can't stand someone who takes advantage of people.
  • Vanity... I can't stand someone who is overly interested in their physical appearance.
  • Dependence... I can't stand someone who bases their happiness on me.
  • Racist... I can't stand someone who believes that any particular ethnic group to which they belong is superior to the rest of humanity.
  • Lying... I can't stand someone who lies to anyone-especially to me.
  • Judgmental... I can't stand someone who finds fault with everyone and everything.
  • Gossip... I can't stand someone who loves to talk about other people.

Monday, May 21, 2012

photography contest

i need a place to save this info:

2012 Dawg Daze Street Festival Art and Photography Contest

by Milan Dawg Daze Street Festival on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 10:46am ·
Aug 25, 2012

Professional & Amateur Entries Welcome – Numerous Awards & Ribbons
$5.00 per entry - maximum 5 entries per person
(Children up to ages 11 – Up to 2 entries – Free)

All entries must be delivered to:
brandy kemp Photography, 1042 S Main St, Milan, TN  by Monday August 13th 10:00 AM– 1:00 PM.

(If special arrangements are needed please call 731-234-1390.  LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED BUT COULD HAVE AN ADDITIONAL ENTRY FEE!)
All Entries must be original and taken or done within the last two years
Nudes will not be accepted
All Entries must be framed and ready to hang or a way to showcase your work.
Size Limit – 20 X 24 INCLUDING FRAME.
Each Entry must have an identification card attached to the Back with the following information;
Name - Address - Phone Number - Email Address – Title - Sale Price or Not for Sale & age for children up to age 11.

20% of the proceeds of any sale(s) will go to the Milan Chamber of Commerce.

The show will be open Aug 25th 10:00AM - 6:00PM
At brandy kemp Photography, 1042 S Main St, Milan, TN
Awards & Entry Pick-up -Monday August  28th 10:00 to 2:00 PM
(If you can’t make arrangements for pick up call 731- 234-1390)
Entry Form – Please complete and bring with your entries on or before August 13, 2012


Phone #________________________________Email Address___________________________________________________

Entry # 1 – Name________________________________________________________ Sale Price_______________________

Entry # 2 – Name________________________________________________________ Sale Price_______________________

Entry # 3 – Name________________________________________________________ Sale Price_______________________

Entry # 4 – Name________________________________________________________ Sale Price_______________________

Entry # 5 – Name________________________________________________________ Sale Price_______________________


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Microexpressions I

Microexpressions are now on my lists of interests. More so than microexpressions, I'm interested in learning to read people. I work with liars. It'd be good to have a science behind me on pointing out bull. And giving me reason to sympathize instead of missing a person's sincerity. Below is one article on microexpressions, a general info bit that has interesting tid bits. Things I learned from it include (assuming his statements are accurate):
1. Hand movements are not microexpressions-- with his statement, I suspect he's also implying that hand movements cannot be used to determine true from non-truth. I don't know if his implication is correct.
2. Microexpressions only cover 7 emotions: anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, contempt, fear, and surprise. He says there is not one for guilt; I think Lie to Me leads one to believe that there is.

The Truth About Microexpressions

There has been a lot of talk lately about the idea of microexpressions. TV shows like Lie to Me and Psych include elements based on the concept of micro expressions. The problem is that a lot of the material out there is wrong. I wrote this post to help explain what microexpressions really are, and to help separate some of the fact from fiction that is floating around the web.

What are microexpressions?

Microexpression DefinitionFirst of all let’s get a proper understanding of what constitutes a micro expression.  A microexpression is a very brief (1/2 a second or less) facial expression of one of the seven basic emotions: anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, contempt, fear, and surprise.
There are a few key things to note:
  • Micro expressions are facial expressions, not movements of the arms, legs, hands, etc.
  • In this context micro refers to duration of the expression, not the degree of movement.
  • Micro expressions are limited to the basic emotions. Basic emotions are emotions that have been scientifically demonstrated to be associated with specific facial expressions. 1
The last bullet point represents a very common misconception. If someone tells you about a microexpression for something other than a basic emotion they are wrong. 2 This means that there are no microexpressions for things such as guilt, scorn, disbelief, etc.

When do microexpressions occur?

Micro expressions can occur when a person attempts to conceal an emotion. This is true if the attempted concealment is intentional (suppression) or unintentional (repression). 3 In this sense microexpressions are a form of leakage. The microexpression “leaks” (reveals) information about the emotion the person is attempting to conceal.
A classic beginner’s mistake is to assume that people are constantly displaying microexpressions. The truth is that microexpressions occur much less frequently than most people realize. Here are a few of the reasons why:
  • Many people who try to conceal emotions focus on what they are saying, not the movements of their faces (or bodies.)
  • Microexpressions are more likely when our emotions are intense, such as in high stakes situations .
  • Some people just don’t display microexpressions when they are concealing an emotion. Science hasn’t figured out why this is, but research has shown that roughly 50% of people don’t. 4
Finally don’t forget that facial expressions are an important part ofcommunication. 5 This means that the more you express with your face, the better you will communicate with other people. So it is often in our best interest to display, rather than to conceal our emotions.
For example the angry glaring look you got when you forgot flowers on Valentine’s Day — Trust me, there was no attempt to conceal. That facial expression was definitely meant as communication.

What do microexpressions mean?

When you see a microexpression all it means is that the person was likely trying to conceal an emotion, and failed to fully do so. By itself a microexpression doesn’t tell you much at all. Like any form of a nonverbal, you need to consider the context in which the microexpression occurred. The next section goes into more depth, although remember these three things:
  1. Seeing a microexpression does not tell you who or what caused the emotion
  2. Seeing a microexpression does not tell you who or what the emotion is directed at
  3. Seeing a microexpression does not tell you what a person is thinking

Does a microexpression mean someone is lying?

This question represents the all-time biggest misconception about microexpressions. Here is the answer:
Exclamation PointMicroexpressions in and of themselves do not mean that someone is lying
A key thing to keep in mind is that microexpressions are about emotions, while lying is about the truthfulness of a statement. To see an example of how these can differ, assume a person is suspected of stealing money from the company safe. Here is part of an imaginary dialog:
  • Interviewer: “Did you take the money?”
  • Suspect: “I did not take the money from the safe!”
The classic beginner’s mistake at this point is to think “Aha! A microexpression of fear, the suspect must be afraid of getting caught. The suspect is guilty!” All the microexpression of fear tells you is that it is quite likely the suspect experienced some form of the emotion of fear. Remember: a microexpression does not tell you what someone was thinking. The suspect could easily be innocent and is afraid that no one will believe them. Maybe the suspect is having an affair with the office manager is afraid their “indiscretions” will be discovered. :roll:

How can I learn how to spot microexpressions?

Microexpression training is offered by Dr. Paul Ekman (METT) and Dr. David Matsutomoto (MiX). I’ve taken both sets of training, and have found them both to be effective.
The caveat with any microexpression training is that it is not a “checkbox”. Even one hour can make a big difference, but if you are serious about accurately reading the face, you need to practice on a regular basis.
Fingerprint: B8770AEA4CC8BBDFA8A07240C1BA0F78
Related posts:
  1. Three Mistakes People Make about the 7 Basic Emotions
  2. Practical Examples of Deception Detection
The above article came from  This post was originally going to be about the degree of (in)sincerity I think President Barack Obama had when affirming same-sex marriage, but how I appreciate him saying it anyway. Obviously, I decided to go a different direction.

Seize the Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

church in the desert

For years, I have struggled to find a spiritual body where I can grow and not feel condemnation from a mile away. The last place where I fully connected was Rock Bridge Christian Church in MO. In Mphs, I had a stint at Galloway UMC and then Prescott Baptist but neither place was quite where I needed to stay. I went back home (to Mphs) with hopes of First Congregational being the spot, but it just didn't "feel like home". Today, again, I have hope. Phoenix Christian Church in Wildersville, TN. It's 30 excruciating minutes from my house (I like things to be 15 minutes or less) but what other open and affirming church is there in West TN? I'm surprised to find this one-- and in Wildersville of all places! Population of 3600 according to city-data (2007). And, without asking any questions, I can tell that at least 1/2 of the adults there are lgbt. I suspect that it might be more like 90%. Taking this in and having a minister from Holy Trinity UCC in Memphis bringing the message today, I thought back to how I visited Holy Trinity but knew I didn't want to join because I didn't want to be at a "gay" church I still don't want to be a member of a gay church. Like with The Stone, I'd love to help Phoenix grow to be a church diverse  in age, race, sexual orientation, and gender (not that I ever did that with the Stone). But unlike when I was in Memphis, I have an even more radical call to be gay and Christian and involved and help others find that place. If the base work for that is a predominately gay church, so be it. Spread the news. Calling Lexington and Surrounding Areas-- our church is here. Our meeting spot is here. We can assemble, pray, plan, pray, and charge! I won't promise that I'll stay at this church forever and ever but boy george, do I plan to go back! I feel happy. And loved.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

natural food tracking

I haven't given up my indulgences. I wonder if I can pick myelf up and go into the control stage then an official gluten test by the end of next week. This morning, I ate 2 individual cheese things with tortilla chips. I've gone a long while without my nachos. I felt fine then noticed a small odditity in my mouth where the teeth and gums meet. Also, it gave me a sore throat and made my throat sensitive to touch, unless that happened because of something else (sinuses?) Possible known triggers: corn & dairy. Dairy I know to be positive. Thankfully, it wasn't bad. The fact that I'm tired right now, well that's another story... ;)

I need to take my car to the shop but don't feel like it. I want to nap instead. I showered and dressed thinking it might help. Nope. But I need to go now so not to ask for help from a co-worker during the week. I was gonna see a doctor today but did I mention not feeling like leaving the house or doing anything (Sleepiness, not illness)? Mom thinks I should skip Physicians Quality Care, find a new PCP, and go there.

Oh my Gaud. Let me tell you the deal with my latest PCP. I called to request an appointment first of March. The first available was mid-April. She was FABulous on that day. She took a swab of this spot that appeared on my skin in late December. I called her office 2 weeks after my visit to inquire of the results; they didn't have them. I called them the following Friday and left a message for her nurse. Tuesday I left another message. The following week, a third. Nada. No communication on what is going on with my body and this freakin' spot itches and has been there for 4 months at that point and I'm freakin' tired of it. I wrote the PCP a letter to inform her of my concern and ask that someone call me. In my letter, I asked if I should continue to use the over the counter products I've been using for 2 months or if there's something she'd like to prescribe. No communication for her. Instead, I got a voicemail from K-mart stating it's important for me to pick up my medication ..... what? Yeah, she called in an antibiotic that I picked up yesterday. It would have been nice if her office called me, told me the results of the swab, and informed me of the prescription. It can kill me. It says not to take it unless nothing else will solve the problem. WTF? Is this my punishment for being an assertive, inquisitive, I give a fuck about my health patient? This warning comes at the TOP of the information sheet for the med, not under caution or side effect. I looked it up online to learn more about it. The site I visited has its warning at the top of the page in a yellow box. Is my skin spot really this crucial? Was there nothing to try between over the count and possibly lethal prescription? So, I take my 4 turquoise pills per day and pair it with probiotics since the danger has to do with nasty bacteria growing on my insides. And pray/hope. And wait. I need a new doctor....

A semi-medical tid bit: I had a 15 minute massage on Thursday and it didn't hurt! The process felt good; there was no after effect unless you count my increased notice of how my tight my shoulders were. I bought some snagmob deals for 25 minute massages. They are about to expire so I had to fit them in best I/they could. So, I scheduled a 5pm appointment knowing it would be hard to make even without knowing how far away this office is from my job (15 minutes, far by Jackson standards). I got there at 5:05, she gave me way too long to undress, esp since I tried to while she was standing there. 15 good minutes is what resulted. I go again Monday but will have a different massage therapist. We'll see.

Friday, May 4, 2012

more natural food tracking

First off, let me say that I haven't seen a Burger King option board in a minute. It was shocking.

Dinner: Whopper with lettuce, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup; French Fries; Strawberry Milkshake (shall we discuss indulgence?)

After Effect: that thing in my mouth that affects the spot where my gums meet my teeth. Also that string in the mouth.

We know that dairy and nightshade plants are a bad thing. Gluten too?

Sadly, the food wasn't at all impressive. The burger was okay but not outstanding; it was the best out of the bunch :(.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

diagnose me!

My symptoms:
*Frequent headaches accompanied by nausea for almost 2 weeks now. Symptoms come and go. Often appears after eating.
*Tonight, I ate a small bag of popcorn then the symptoms came. Now, eating things makes me seriously want o vomit, not just simple nausea-- I'm not gagging but I can't continue to eat. I can eat pickles. Drinking chicken broth seemed good for about 5 swallows.

I'm sick of having this happen so often

Monday, April 30, 2012

unexpected food reaction

Headache. Nauseous. Not feeling like doing anything.

It came directly after dinner. Catfish fried in corn mill (with pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder).... ooh, I used seasoning salt instead of plain salt. Could that be the trigger?

I don't know WHAT it is but I know that it is. In addition to the headache and nausea, there's an unpleasant sensation in my mouth that I've had before but never been able to determine why. It's where the gums meet the teeth on the inside of the mouth. It feels similar to being stuck right there but that's far from an accurate description.

Corn is an obvious possible trigger. It may have been a mistake to go on this Mexican spree I'm on. Catfish beginning today-- more corn-- and planning to finish the week with nachos-- corn again.

Perhaps these reactions without intentional testing will eventually make sense to me if I faithfully record them. Tag!? Mystery reaction. lol.

SN: My house stinks, like fish. It was my first time frying catfish. It came out pretty well.

lab work

My red blood count is a little low. It's 4.12. It should be no less than 4.2. I can't donate blood. Again. What can  I do about that?


    • Exercise regularly. Your body needs more oxygen when you exercise. Therefore, exercising on a regular basis sends messages to your body to increase red blood cell count. This allows your body to deliver a larger amount of oxygen during subsequent exercise sessions.
    • 2
      Make sure you consume proper levels of iron. Hemoglobin relies heavily on iron to help transport oxygen to your cells, so not having the proper iron levels decreases red blood cell count. Normal iron levels will vary according to age and sex.
    • 3. Consume the proper levels of Vitamin B-12 and folate. These compounds are important in the production of red blood cells. Thus, if you want to increase red blood cell count, you won't want to skimp on the fish and fortified breads. As with iron, proper vitamin B-12 and folate levels vary according to age and sex.
    • 4
      Train at higher altitudes. Oxygen is less abundant at higher altitudes, so your body's natural response is to increase the number of red blood cells. Doing this increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to your body's cells.

      Lack of iron in the diet leads to iron deficiency anemia. Sources of iron include red meat, organ meat such as kidney and livers, beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, dried prunes, dried raisins and egg yolks, according to MedlinePlus.

      Iron-Rich Foods

      Iron is a mineral needed by the body to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps carry and store oxygen in the body. Lack of iron in the diet leads to iron deficiency anemia. Sources of iron include red meat, organ meat such as kidney and livers, beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, dried prunes, dried raisins and egg yolks, according to MedlinePlus.

      Folic Acid-Rich Foods

      Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is a B-complex vitamin that helps the body make new healthy red blood cells. Patients with low levels of folic acid often develop anemia. Patients can increase red blood cells in the body by consuming foods rich in folic acid. Examples of foods with high amounts of folic acid include enriched breads and cereals, green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, dried beans, peas and nuts.

      Vitamin B-12-Rich Foods

      Vitamin B-12 is a B-complex vitamin that is important for the DNA synthesis and production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Low levels of B-12 lead to abnormal cell division in the bone marrow that results in large immature red blood cells known as megaloblasts. Patients with megaloblasts suffer from megaloblastic anemia because the abnormal red blood cells cannot store or transport oxygen to tissues. Vitamin B-12 is naturally found in a wide variety of animal foods and is added to some fortified foods. Sources of vitamin B-12 include beef liver, fish, red meat, eggs, milk, dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts.

Well, I take a b complex daily for adrenal fatigue. I have some B12....

I like red meat,beans, lentils, dried prunes (with cream cheese. dairy!), dried (?) raisins, and egg yolks. I can eat them. However, I'm trying to eat a few less egg yolks because of cholesterol. I also like nuts.

I will exercise (aerobic) more.

The foods listed that are removed from my diet during allergen elimination stand out to me. But I was not practicing the diet when I did this lab work.

I used to take iron but couldn't remember why so I decreased my consumption, then I stopped (ran out). Perhaps I should again take an iron pill or two per week.... or not. My face frowns when I think of that. Too many pills. Plus the doctor hasn't contacted me about being concerned about my labs.

My next slightly low reading-- chlorine. What is that??

A chloride test measures the level of chloride in your blood or urine. Chloride is one of the most important electrolytes in the blood. It helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of your body fluids. Most of the chloride in your body comes from the salt (sodium chloride) you eat.

Why It Is Done

A test for chloride may be done to:
  • Check your chloride level if you are having symptoms such as muscle twitching or spasms, breathing problems, weakness, or confusion.
  • Find out whether you have kidney or adrenal gland problems.
  • Help find the cause for high blood pH. A condition called metabolic alkalosis can be caused by a loss of acid from your body (for example, from a loss of electrolytes through prolonged vomiting or diarrhea). You may also have metabolic alkalosis if your body loses too much sodium or you eat too much baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

Dag. Another symptom of having kidney problems. I reject that notion... or maybe I just weep at the thought. That being said, we know I have adrenal problems adrenal failure). I'll accept the low reading as being just that. I got a 95 with "98" being the low normal.

Also, it's an electrolyte, much like potassium, which I'm consistently low in (if unmedicated).


Hypochloremia (Low Chloride)

What Is Hypochloremia?
Hypochloremia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of chloride in the blood.  The normal adult value for chloride is 97-107 mEq/L.
Chloride in your blood is an important electrolyte and works to ensure that your body's metabolism is working correctly. Your kidneys control the levels of chloride in your blood. Therefore, when there is a disturbance in your blood chloride levels, it is often related to your kidneys.  Chloride helps the acid and base balance in the body.
What Are Some Symptoms of Hypochloremia?
Causes of hypochloremia may include:
  • Loss of body fluids from prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fevers.
  • Drugs such as: bicarbonate, corticosteroids, diuretics, and laxatives.
What Are Some Symptoms of Hypochloremia To Look For?
  • Many people do not notice any symptoms, unless they are experiencing very high or very low levels of chloride in their blood.
  • Dehydration, fluid loss, or high levels of blood sodium may be noted.
  • You may be experiencing other forms of fluid loss, such as diarrhea, or vomiting.
Things You Can Do If Your Blood Test Results Indicate Hypochloremia :
  • Make sure you tell your doctor, as well as all healthcare providers, about any other medications you are taking (including over-the-counter, vitamins, or herbal remedies).  Do not take aspirin or products containing aspirin unless your healthcare provider permits this.
  • Remind your doctor or healthcare provider if you have a history of diabetes, liver, kidney, or heart disease. 
  • Keep yourself well hydrated. Drink two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can cause you to have electrolyte disturbances.

Kind of interesting that my doctor's office didn't mail me information about these things, yeah? Maybe I'm close enough to range that they weren't going to mention it. I know the results because I requested a copy of my lab results. There are more areas out of range but this is enough for tonight.