Thursday, March 29, 2012

Voodoo Doughnuts

Almost every list I've found of the things that must be done when in Portland, has included a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts. Not too surprising since they've been featured on a lot of national TV shows and in magazines from Food & Wine to Playboy. Which of course begs the question - what's so great about these doughnuts?

Maybe it's the urban legends that have built up around the no-longer-available-flavors-by-order-of-the-health-department, NyQuil glaze and vanilla Pepto crushed Tums. Maybe it's all the other funky (but not in the health-department-needs-to-get-involved way) flavors like the raised doughnuts covered in all your favorite cereals or the maple bar that comes complete with slices of bacon on top. Maybe it's the irreverent names like the Gay Bar (full of "luscious cream" no less) and the Maple Blazer Blunt, a perfect way to cure your munchies.

We've driven and walked by the original Voodoo location a few times, but there is always a line out the door. Seriously. And you know what one of my least favorite things to do is? Wait in a really long line with two children who can't stop whining about how they want doughnuts and when is it going to be our turn and why are you pretending you're not our mommy? Waaaaaaa! Seriously.

Then the magical oracle at our house - otherwise known as the Internet - informed me that there is another location! Well technically there are two other locations, but I'm not driving to Eugene for a doughnut. But I might go out of my way while driving through Eugene.

Early one Saturday morning after dropping Monkey Man off at the airport, I took the boys to Voodoo Doughnuts Too to see if we could get some of the doughnut magic without the line and the whining and the me pretending those two aren't my children. Of course getting there required me to drive in circles through an unfamiliar part of town while being teased mercilessly by the sweet scent of doughnuts somewhere nearby. Which led to me driving like such a doofus that I made a public apology to all the other Portland drivers on the road that morning.

And here is what we got for the effort...

Cha-Cha, the family baconinator, went for the bacon topped maple bar, I had a Raspberry Romeo, and Quake had a Voodoo Doll, complete with raspberry filling, pretzel "stake", and a horrified look on it's face. You may also see evidence in this photo of Quake's first doughnut, a Dubble Bubble, which I'm sure he ordered just to see if I'd gag.

I guess it's no surprise that the next time we had to make a morning trip to the airport the boys begged for another trip to Voodoo. This time there was cereal and M&Ms involved...

And I actually got a photo of the now much beloved favorite Voodoo Doll before it was half gone!

At least this one didn't look scared so much as just confused. And look! There was another Dubble Bubble! I hate it when they order things I'm not willing to eat the leftovers of. Now if I can just plan a trip there by myself so I can order a Cock-N-Balls without the need to explain it to their shrinks in 20 years...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have so much to write about and nothing at all to say, but I felt the need to post to remind you (or maybe just me) that I am still here. The currents in my life (or maybe just the ones in my head) have been tossing me about lately; I am spending too much energy trying to find a calm spot to anchor and either laughing at myself or berating myself for supposing such a place even exists.

Maybe winter has finally caught me in her grip, although a long afternoon spent at the park in brilliant sunshine yesterday suggests this is not the cause of my discontent. Maybe the upheaval of the move is finally catching up with me. Maybe the magic of the latest drug combination is fading like all the others before it. Maybe this is just another turning inward, a resting point on the journey.

All these years, through all these struggles - it seems like I should understand my own moods better than I do.

I'm a bit behind in The Burning Question series, but I hope no one minds if I go back to add my answer to one that's been spinning in and out of my consciousness for the last two weeks.

What would you like to stop doing?

I want to stop indulging in shadow comforts when what I really need is true comfort. I want to stop fighting the flow - of life, of my moods, of the words that knock about in my head wanting out. I want to stop feeling guilty about giving up the things I no longer love to do. I want to stop putting up with 'good enough' - expect when 'good enough' is 'perfect'.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Letting My Thing Find Me

Finally got around to listening to an interview with Danielle LaPorte that's been sitting in my inbox for longer than I'd like to admit. It's part of Tanya Geisler's Thing Finding Thursday series (you can listen to it or read the transcript here) - something that appeals to me greatly even though I started telling myself that I've given up on finding My Thing. Of course I tell myself all sorts of ridiculous things.

As usual, Ms. LaPorte's words managed to be exactly what I needed to hear.

She suggests that you let Your Thing find you by letting go of the demands you have for Your Thing and focusing on working in the zone. I, for example, have always wished for My Thing to strike me like the proverbial lightening bolt and then pretty quickly lead me to making a million dollars without it ever feeling like work. Because when it comes to the big questions in life, I am apparently still 15 years old.

Actually when it comes to the little things in life I'm still pretty much 15 years old.

But the last two months I've been doing exactly what Ms. LaPorte suggests.

I've been following my creative urges and listening intently to my own internal rhythms. One week I made 7 pieces of art for the house just because I I felt the need to create (here are 4 of them). One Saturday I spent 12 hours making scrapbook pages, barely stopping long enough to eat. I recently stayed up late writing 4 pages of a story, the original idea for which came to me in a dream. And I've already admitted to be being obsessed with creating outfits for my Pinterest.

Are any of these (or all of them) My Thing? How can I possibly manage to make money from any of these things?

It doesn't matter.

Maybe one or all of these are My Thing. Maybe not. Maybe one or all of these things will somehow make me a million dollars - or at least a regular income. Maybe not.

It doesn't matter.

What does matter is that I'm doing work that I love. I am finding myself regularly in that zone where the work feels effortless, where time becomes meaningless, where who I am and what I'm doing become the same thing.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scrapbook Pages

I wanted to share a couple of the scrap pages I did a few weeks ago. Don't be alarmed at the sight of my boys' faces. They do actually have normal faces. Most of the time.

None of my scrap stuff is original - I scrap lift all of them. I have the images I lifted taped to the back of each page, but I don't have the original publication information. If you recognize the layouts and have the information, please send it to me and I'll be happy to add it.

A friend has requested a quick lesson on the process I use for scrap booking. So in the next week or two I'll take some photos as I put some pages together and post it here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More Fashion

Just wanted to share a few virtual outfits I put together this past weekend. At least this way my obsession doesn't just disappear into a black hole. Otherwise known as the "back-up drive".

I've been trying to experiment more with color although if you saw all my files, you'd notice some obvious favorites. Kind of like the aquas and purples above.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Boat Do You Need To Burn?

Once again Danielle LaPorte's Burning Question Series has sent me a little blogging gift. And just after I told a friend that I already had 2 blog posts written for the week! I must be on a roll. Which probably means you won't hear from me again until after summer.

Or maybe I just found the boat I need to burn.

Much of my life has been spent in the same cycle:

1. Drop a thread (forget the homework, miss a workout, don't do the dishes)
2. Drop three more threads (skip class all week, binge, don't do the dishes all week)
3. Drop all the threads (fail a few classes, gain 30 pounds, only eat take out)
4. Despair
5. Resolve to change everything and never fail again
6. Repeat entire sequence

As life grew more complicated, I found myself less and less able to keep from falling into step 4. So I made my world smaller with fewer threads to weave, fewer ways to fail, fewer reasons to despair. It wasn't what I really wanted for myself, but it kept me sane enough to be a decent mother - the only the thread I refused to drop.

Then my husband asked me how I might feel about moving to Portland.

My life got infinitely more complicated just a few weeks later. The last 9 months I've been holding my breath, waiting for any thread I drop to start my downward spiral. But it seems a strange thing happened on the way to Oregon. I've managed to swing between steps 1 and 2 without ever getting to step 3. And most recently I've found myself at step 5, completely skipping steps 3 and 4, trying to make good changes but doubting my ability to stick with any of them.

But things are different this time.

I am not attempting to overhaul my entire life in one week (or one month or even one year). I am adapting plans as I go. I am refusing to see one dropped thread as failure, refusing to see myself as a failure no matter how many threads I drop.

My world is started to expand again.

I am looking over my shoulder at the smaller space I was living in and thinking about how safe I felt there. It was comfortable, and I knew I could manage it. I wonder if I should keep it with me just in case. But it's time to say "thank you for being what I needed then," and burn it away.