by Lillian Csernica on February 28, 2018
April is coming. That means the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Those of you who joined me last year may recall my theme was Art Nouveau jewelry. We had a good time with that, I think. Lots of people said nice things. I began my life of Pinterest joy and now I’m up to a dozen different boards.
So here’s my question to you: What do you want to see this year?
I’ve covered writing terms, sword&sorcery movies, all things made of chocolate, and yes, the art nouveau bling.
I could go with a steampunk theme and tell you strange tidbits of technological history and the men and women behind them.
There’s a world of info about Japan I could share.
We could go for classic monster movies, the Golden Age of Universal and the everlasting talents of Karloff and Cheney and Rains.
Give me your ideas! Tell me what you want to see me tackle. I live to amuse you, so bring it on!
Filed under Art Nouveau, artists, bad movies, Blog challenges, chocolate, classics, creativity, editing, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, Goals, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, research, steampunk, sword and sorcery, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on October 3, 2017
Holidays at my house are always a bit out of the ordinary. We don’t do ordinary, or normal, or any of those just-like-everybody-else words.
My boys are too old to trick-or-treat these days, but they do love dressing up in costume, and they will never say no to treats.
My older son does not eat by mouth. He has a g-tube which feeds a liquid diet directly into his stomach. He loves toys, games, arts and crafts, so non-food treats are fine with him.
My younger son is allergic to peanuts. They are EVERYWHERE, especially when it comes to candy. There are a lot of safe candy options, as well as healthy alternatives and non-food items.
For the past four years I have been careful to have two bowls for trick-or-treaters. One has a mix of chocolate and non-chocolate candy. The other has a variety of non-food treats such as Halloween-themed bubbles, stickers, baby Slinkies, and glow sticks. I also keep a supply of prizes I give out to individuals and/or families who have created costumes that I think are really special.
Two years ago, I discovered the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Families like mine all over the country (and quite possibly the world) face the dilemma of wanting their children to participate in Halloween and enjoy all the fun the other kids are having. When you put a teal pumpkin on the porch, you send a very bright and welcome signal. You tell families like mine that you get it. You are aware of food allergies and related health problems and you are prepared. Come one, come all! You have goodies to suit everybody’s wants and needs.
This Halloween I look forward to putting my teal pumpkin in a prominent place on my porch so everybody will know when they yell “Trick or Treat!” at my house, they won’t go away empty-handed. On the contrary. We usually have so much that by the end of the night I encourage the older trick or treaters to take a handful.
Please support the Teal Pumpkin Project. Let’s make this a safe, happy Halloween for everyone!
Filed under autism, charity, chocolate, classics, cosplay, creativity, doctors, Family, family tradition, Food, frustration, Halloween, Horror, neurodiversity, parenting, special education, Special needs, therapy
by Lillian Csernica on September 28, 2017
Now that I have entered the fifth decade of my life, health concerns have become more of a priority. I had no idea how much work would be involved in simply gathering the information I’d need to make sure I’m doing all the right things. This week is a good example. Four separate appointments!
Sleep study I have obstructive sleep apnea, so my neurologist prescribed a CPAP. It’s done me a lot of good. For one thing, it got rid of the nightmares I’ve had all my life. Turns out they were caused by my brain screaming at me to wake up so I’d breathe properly. Having now lost seventy pounds, I no longer have so much tissue in my airway. The new sleep study will determine if I still have apnea and/or need any assistance from a device.
Psychiatrist With the quality of my sleep improving, I’m hoping I can start weaning myself off of at least one of my insomnia meds. In a perfect world I wouldn’t need any of them, or the anti-depressants. One step at a time, right?
Therapist Once a week I see my MFT, who helps me deal with the ongoing stress in my life. Coping with the depression is a priority, along with dismantling the behaviors that fuel my emotional eating. I keep the weight off, and everything else improves.
Weigh-in at the medspa Also a weekly event, the accountability is important to keep me following the program. Because the diet is high protein, no carb, with limited fruits and veggies, I also get a B complex injection. There are handouts, recipes, refills of the supplements I take, and advice from the nurse who has also been through the program.
Did I mention the constant effort of convincing myself not to order pizza, buy that jar of Nutella, have just one potato chip, or drink anything that has caffeine? Oh yeah. If mental wrestling resulted in actual muscle, I’d make Mr. Universe look puny!
Filed under chocolate, Depression, doctors, Food, frustration, Goals, Humor, Lillian Csernica, Self-image, specialists, therapy
This isn’t just an Instagram aesthetic. It’s actually really good advice for us. If you’re unfamiliar with self-care, it is the simple act of caring for ourselves. We deserve it, not because it makes us better for others or for our lecturers or for our flatmates, but because it makes us healthier for ourselves. […]
via Self-Care isn’t Selfish — the married millenials
Filed under bad movies, cats, charity, chocolate, Depression, dogs, Family, Food, frustration, Goals, Humor, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, nature, parenting, Self-image, therapy, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on August 1, 2017
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Whether you’re a writer or a gamer, a graphic novelist or an historical reenactor, The Writer’s Spellbook will give you step by step guidance in making the crucial decisions that will bring your fantasy world to life.
Filed under cats, chocolate, classics, creativity, doctors, dogs, dreams, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, Goals, historical fiction, Horror, hospital, housework, legend, Lillian Csernica, love, nature, parenting, publication, research, romance, Special needs, steampunk, surgery, sword and sorcery, tall ships, travel, Uncategorized, veterinarian, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on July 3, 2017
Lard Lad Donuts. A cardiologist’s nightmare.
When we’re at an amusement park, Chris and I have to make John eat. He gets so excited he just wants to move on to the next ride or show.
The heat was in the 90s, so I made sure we had water bottles that we refilled frequently. Anywhere we saw a restroom sign, there would be a water fountain close by. This was very helpful knowledge when bottled water was selling for $3.49 each.
I’ve already mentioned the supreme delights of Butterbeer. Available at Honeyduke’s is the magical ice cream that never melts. I’m not sure that we really tested the truth of that “magic.” John ate it rather quickly. Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor also offers many chilly treats.
The Giant Donut — This is, if anything, an understatement. We’re talking about something roughly the size of the front wheel on a child’s tricycle. The GD is most commonly available with either bright pink frosting dotted with multi-colored sprinkles, or chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles. I’ll give you one guess which one John chose.
Minion Cupcakes — Red velvet cake with a good inch and a half of blue frosting swirled on top. From there you could choose the Twinkie Minion version, or the round, flat, yellow disc decorated with white eyes and black details. I’m not a fan of Twinkies. Neither is John, thank God. By the time he was halfway through his cupcake, his lips had turned cyanotic blue. When he was finished, he stuck his tongue out at me. One of my nicknames for John is “Puppy Boy.” With that blue tongue he could be a Chow!
Here we have the Chicken Thumbs meal available at Cletus’ Chicken Shack. The coleslaw is all right. I like a lot of pepper on mine, but that’s just me. French fries aren’t on my diet, and John had already eaten all of his, so I offered the fries to the four Australian gentlemen sitting nearby nursing their pints. They were happy to accept. Throughout the park the French fries are dusted with a seasoning mixture that will make you even more in need of a cold drink. They are tasty!
The second night we were in the park we had dinner at Luigi’s Pizza. For a cafeteria-style restaurant the food was quite good. Pasta or pizza or even pizza-by-the-slice, plus a small Caesar salad. The desserts were what you’d expect in an Italian restaurant, featuring huge slices of a six layer chocolate cake edged with mini chocolate chips and topped with serious whipped cream. You do get your money’s worth at Universal Studios.
Filed under artists, bad movies, chocolate, classics, creativity, dreams, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Food, history, Humor, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, parenting, perspective, research, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on March 21, 2017
Once again I shall be celebrating the arrival of Spring by participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. This will be my fourth year, and I look forward to even more fun and meeting new friends.
In past years, my themes have included Travel Adventures, Unusual Items Made of Chocolate, and Bad Sword & Sorcery Movies.
This year I will be bringing you eye candy taken from another one of my secret passions:
Jewelry, housewares, and a few other surprises, at least one for every letter of the alphabet! I’ll be looking forward to your comments!
Filed under artists, Blog challenges, chocolate, creativity, fantasy, Goals, history, Lillian Csernica, romance, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on February 2, 2017
Answer: Fourteen pounds in fourteen days. Yes, that’s right. I’ve lost on average one pound every day since I began the program.
This is not a testimonial or an infomercial. This is a celebration of overcoming a problem I’ve had since I was ten years old.
I like eating vegetables. I like cooking. I can’t remember how I got into the rut of relying mostly on fast food or microwave dinners. When the kids were little I had to eat fast when I had a free moment, sure. The boys are legal adults now. It’s high time I abandoned the old instant gratification pattern for long term health and well-being.
All this without a specific exercise program. I’m still wearing the knee brace. There’s a communication problem between my doctor and the physical therapy people. I am in the middle, trying to get that sorted out. Until I know what I can and can’t do while my knee recuperates, I have to be careful.
Meanwhile, let me just say that I love Quest protein bars. So many flavors to choose from!
by Lillian Csernica on January 24, 2017
One: The rain has stopped. The sun is out! The creek that runs along our property is back to a reasonable level. The wild stormy weekend made the creek rise several feet, biting off chunks of our back yard. All the trees that fell, fell away from our house.
This is a huge relief.
Two: Today I saw my cardiologist. Thanks to my brief period of radioactivity during my previous appointment, my doctor is now satisfied that no plaque is lurking in my veins waiting to cause me a serious problem. This means no angiogram! Another serious relief.
Three: I’ve been having problems with my CPAP equipment. I stopped by SleepQuest today for some troubleshooting. Turns out the 90 days have passed and my insurance covers a fresh set of equipment. The tech on duty (a delightful lady) set me up with everything I needed.
Four: By this time hunger pangs set in. On my weight loss program I have to make sure I don’t let myself get too hungry. If my blood sugar drops, I tend to stand around staring at things and I can’t make decisions quickly. Given that my drive home meant going over Hwy 17, lunch became a serious priority. Trader Joe’s to the rescue! I spotted one and discovered a number of tasty items on my You Are Allowed To Eat Very Little Of This list.
Five: I made it home before the after school rush, thank God. Between the clean up after the latest storm, the road crews filling in all the potholes, and everybody getting out into the sunshine, driving was hectic enough without all the grade school parents picking up their kids and all the teenagers with cars spilling out of the high school.
Here I sit, preparing to edit a fresh short story. The hardest part of this weight loss program is giving up chocolate during the first stage. I sincerely believe chocolate fuels the imagination. Oh well. I seem to be surviving without my usual Mocha Coconut Frappuccino from Starbucks. If I can write without caffeine, I shall be a new woman!
Filed under chocolate, doctors, Family, Food, Goals, Lillian Csernica, nature, Self-image, specialists, worry, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on January 18, 2017
Tonight I consumed my last pint of Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra.
Tomorrow morning I begin a medically supervised accelerated weight loss program.
When I was ten years old, my parents took me to see a dietician. I was already 5’6″, and already 152 lbs. Not good. Now I’m forty years older and 100 lbs heavier. Time to stop kidding myself about the health problems that are right around the corner if I don’t do something about my weight problem RIGHT NOW.
This is not a New Year’s Resolution. This is me deciding to act like a grown-up and stop indulging myself while blaming the depression, the difficulty of my life, some writing setback, or whatever other chaos afflicts me at that moment.
I have a plan. I have professionals backing me. I have a guidebook and a journal and a food scale and the necessary supplements. I’m going to do this.
There are so many stories waiting to be written.
There are so many birthdays and Christmases and personal triumphs ahead for both Michael and John.
There are so many places in the world I have yet to see, just in Japan alone!
There may be setbacks. That’s OK. I know how to deal with setbacks. You just take a deep breath, focus on the next indicated action, and start moving forward again.
I can do this. I will do this. For me, for the kids, for my writing.
Filed under chocolate, Christmas, Conventions, Depression, doctors, editing, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Food, frustration, Goals, Japan, Lillian Csernica, parenting, perspective, publication, research, Self-image, special education, therapy, Writing