December 28, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: A Year in Review 2017

[Image description]  Words reading "Things I Love Thursday," in three slightly offset layers each in a different color.  Light purple, cream, and brown.
    This year has been stunted, temperamental, and difficult to plan for; filled with melancholy, disappointment, and fear.  I did a great amount of waiting on others for administrative work.  I had to leave my home for weather and then come back to clean up.  My depression and my anxiety have not been assets this year.  This summer one of the opportunities I had dearly hoped for shattered.  But out of it I have gained a new goal, because things should be accessible.  So that is a silver lining.  As for having to leave home to get away from the hurricane I got to meet someone I have a lot in common with and trade recipes and favorite teas.

December 14, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: December 14, 2017

[Image description]  Words reading "Things I Love Thursday," in three slightly offset layers each in a different color.  Light purple, cream, and brown.
    It has been a month since my last post.  It has been busy.  I got to spend Thanksgiving week with my best friend and her family.  After that it was a lot of prep for art markets I was signed up for this past weekend.  And then the last few days have been a combination of recuperating and cleaning.  How busy has the past month been for you?

November 16, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: Bees. I like bees.

[Image description]  Words reading "Things I Love Thursday," in three slightly offset layers each in a different color.  Light purple, cream, and brown.

    This morning I wrote 777 words for my morning pages on  I also feed the cats, prepared food, and took my vitamins.  Good morning so far.  How is your morning progressing?  Is there anything this week that you are grateful for?  Here are some of mine.

October 19, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: Hopping Back on the Self-Love Train

[Image description]  Words reading "Things I Love Thursday," in three slightly offset layers each in a different color.  Light purple, cream, and brown.

    It has been 30 weeks since I last practiced gratitude lists.  I think it is time I got back to it.  Are there anythings that were good for your mental health that you stopped doing?

October 16, 2017

A Shiny New Look

    One of the projects for my blog I had planned this year was an overhaul.  To change up the look and to make my own banner.  But with life and summer classes this got shoved to the back burner indefinitely.  Well I've started working on it again and I've decided to just go ahead and start changing stuff over.  So things around here are going to be changing as I find something I like.

    I want something pretty, that says me,  but I also want something that is legible for people like me who have difficulty reading standard print.  I also want to try and make sure that all my images have alt text for people using text to speech and other such programs.  I have been trying to do that for some time now, but every now and then I miss an image.

    If there is anything else I can do to make my blog more readable please let me know.  I want to be accessible.  I am dyslexic and that gives me some ideas of what to work on.  However, I can't speak for the experiences of others.  So if you see something I can fix or know of something I can do please let me know.

Until later,
Lilian A Brennan

October 4, 2017

I'm Back

    Last month was my blogiversary.  Four years of Petticoat Pedaler.  A lot of changes.  The last two years have been rough.  A lot of challenges and losing some of my independence.  The last year in particular though has been rather painful.  I have taken some time to think about what I want to write about.  What I want to work toward.  I still feel like I need to figure some of it out, but I have at least a couple things I want to work on.  I want to talk about more spoonie stuff.  I want to look into accessibility for the print disabled and if there is more of it than what I know of or if it can be improved.  I want more kawaii and cute in my life.  I have been so tired lately and I do not feel cute a lot of the time.  But I also want to study.  I want to improve my skills.  So I am back and I hope I can write often.  But I also want to write better.  I hope to see you around.  Let's see where we go from here.

See ya around,
Signature reading Lilian A. Brennan

July 17, 2017

Lessons In Baking: Smell the Ingredients

   Yesterday I made brownies.  And they failed.  They came out smelling like play dough.  Weird.  One of the braver of us reported that they tasted like the stuff too.  Eww.  So why?  I make them from a box.  It’s one of the few things I use a box mix for and it has been a hit for years now.  So was the mix old or maybe a bad batch.  That is what we were thinking until I thought to smell the oil I had used.  Sure enough that was it.  So today's lesson in baking is to smell your ingredients.  Have you had any baking fails or wins lately?  
Lilian A. Brennan

April 14, 2017

#spoonie: Learning to Sit Down

    I have these little ticking thoughts in my head quite often.
“If I run a load of dishes tonight there will be less to do in the morning.”
“I haven’t moped this floor in a while.”
"These things need to be put away.”
“These things really need to go somewhere else.  If I clean out the tea cupboard I could fit them up there.”  
    A lot of the times it is chores.

    And there will be no end to the chores.  It is especially bad if someone is coming over.  Now cleaning the home and keeping it organized are good things, but there will always be more work to do.  And my body can’t take too much work at once.  I have to remind myself to sit.  I have to remind myself to rest.  But there is always that ticking in my head.  That thought in the back that thinks I could do just a little more.  Even after a full day where I am so tired and exhausted.  My body is aching and my mind is slow.  I think about doing more work.

    Sometimes it is comical the way I have to tell myself, “Lili you are a spoonie; sit the fuck down.”  Luckily I have good friends that understand and don’t hassle me about needing to rest.

    Maybe I should try affirmations for the thoughts.  Work to reprogram my mind.

    Do you ever have this problem?  What do you do?

Till Later,
Lilian A. Brennan

March 24, 2017

How Do I Learn about Bills & Laws?

    As a teen I would ask adults "How do I learn about the laws I need to follow?"  I did not get helpful answers.  In fact the answer I remember most often getting was, "You wouldn't understand them."  Gee thanks adults.

    Now I figure they gave me this answer because 1) I was still a minor, 2) I was a girl, 3) they did not understand the laws or how to learn them, or and most likely 4) a combination of the last three and other aspects that I am not yet aware of.  

    For a long time I have only had access to the information that the news gives me on bills that are coming out and often I don't see them linking to source material.  But in the last year or so I have finally figured out how to find that material.

March 9, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: Sporadic, but Still Here

Image description: A star filled space scape with the words, "Things I Love Thursday," made visible by sparkles that are spreading out from behind the words.

    It has been a while since I have posted a things I love Thursday and I have a had a few brilliant moment that have inspired me to share so here goes with the gratitude!

March 1, 2017

#spoonie Learning to Say No and I Have To Stop

    I am a gamer.  D&D, or any table top RPG I have gotten to try so far, are exciting and fun.  Even the LARPs are things I have loved.  But when it comes to activities with other people like that I am pretty terrible at saying when I have to stop.  I have been fairly good about saying when I can't do something because of the dyslexia.  For example, the game is done for the night and we have all leveled up.  "Can't level my character right now guys I can't read anything."  But as for actually stopping the game when I need to either because I need to take an emotions break or because I am running out of spoons all together.  I am pretty terrible at that.  And this last Saturday kicked my ass.  Hands down.   I didn't mention that I needed to stop and sleep, because we were in the middle of a dungeon.  Hell I knew I needed to at least take a break before the dungeon because of emotions and potential bleed, but I didn't say anything.  So by the time we finished I couldn't even sleep for a few hours because I needed to wind down.  I then slept for most of the next day and a half.  I couldn't do anything the next day.  I had to just go back to bed.  Even after my sleeping for a day and half it took a few days before I recovered.  I am still not sure how recovered I am.  I am really bad at this.

    I know I have build up this bad habit due a lot in part to people expecting me to push myself.  Not just shit people either.  You know those abusive and toxic people that you meet that expect everything out of you.  No not just them.  The whole society seems to push this notion that we should all push through everything.  It is even in the narrative.  The starving student.  Work your way through college on nothing but redbulls and ramen noddles.  That ain't healthy.  And you are going to do damage to your body in the processes.  I have met older people who lived the hard life and warn against pushing yourself too hard and spreading yourself too thin.  But in the work place that is what is expected and even among friends.

    I have a better friend group now.  but even then you can't just erase a lifetimes worth of the pushing yourself narrative overnight.  I need to actually learn that it is okay to stop and take care of myself.  But I am not totally sure where to start and I am not sure if I even trust enough to let the people around me know when I need it.

    So here is a question to all the more expedienced spoonies out there.  Any advice?

Please excuse the messy writing style and grammar.  Just sort of throwing my thoughts on the page haphazardly.  If anything doesn't make sense just ask.  Dyslexia makes for some interesting mistakes now and then.

February 18, 2017

Learning to Accept That I Only Have So Many Spoons

    I am not okay.

    The last few weeks and really this whole year so far have been really hard on me mentally and physically.  I have had more than a few days where I have had so little energy or been in so much pain that I really couldn't get anything done.  These days have forced me to start accepting that yes I am a spoonie.  And I am not so good at planning my energy.  

    Planning my time and energy has always been an issue for me.  But on top of that is overestimating what I will have the energy for.  This is probably due to knowing that other people can do that much and having people rub that in my face.  It can be really hard to turn off the internalized ableism that is playing over and over again in my head.  It also does not help that my metabolism is so high that I can be fine and energetic one minute and suddenly famished or drained the next.  

    I feel like I am a lot luckier than a lot of the spoonies I know.  I usually have more energy than them and I am usually stronger.  I am not bed bound as often as some others.  But my bad days can hit several at a time and like I said my metabolism makes it really difficult to tell how long I will have energy.  I need to sit down and reevaluate my goals and start portioning out the energy I should have and not the energy someone else should have.  I also have to account for the fact that I have a reading disorder and that means it can take a lot longer to do things.  

    And even now my mind is resistant to accepting that yes I am a spoonie and that I need to be more careful with myself.  I always have this fear that I don't belong somewhere.  I am always afraid that I am not wanted.  It is complicated, but health and mental health is like that.  It just ain't simple.

    Tata for now.

Lilian A. Brennan

February 4, 2017

Books I Want To Read In 2017

A photo of a shelf of books edited to look like it has been painted on a canvas.

    Whoot!  I have already finished two books this year!  “All My Friends Are Dead” and  “All My Friends Are Still Dead,” which means they were short picture books, but I read them.  They were morbidly adorable.  I highly suggest reading them, especially if you have an Addams family sense of humor.  And thanks to Bookshare and other resources that help me read more efficiently I am planning to read a lot more this year.  I already have a handful of books on my tablet just waiting their turn to be read.

    Here are some of the books I am excited to dive into soon.

February 2, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: A Day Job

Image description: A star filled space scape with the words, "Things I Love Thursday," made visible by sparkles that are spreading out from behind the words.

    So I have a day job now.  YAY!!!  I am so happy.  It has been some time.  I am starting to look up the info on bento lunches again to refresh myself and learn some new info.  I am hoping the day job will work out well.  In the mean time here are some other things that have added a sparkle to my week.

January 31, 2017

February: More than just Valentine's Day

Vintage art of two children making sweets with a heart themed border around the image.
Image from The Graphics Fairy

    The stores have long been brimming with chocolates, roses, and cards.  But romance and chocolate aren’t the only things to celebrate in February.  And they are by no means the only things to do.  This winter month has so many different holidays and challenges to keep you active through all 28 days.

January 26, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: 5 Cute Things

Image description: A star filled space scape with the words, "Things I Love Thursday," made visible by sparkles that are spreading out from behind the words.

    Between all the terrible news and running around trying to get a day job I've had to make sure to take care of myself.  This means a lot of things.  Making sure to take my medicine.  Getting enough food, sleep, water.  But it also means trying to do things that will make me happy.  So I have been taking time to indulge in things I love.  Today I have five things for you that are cute, kawaii, or just bring me joy.

January 19, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: Taking Time to Clean

Image description: A star filled space scape with the words, "Things I Love Thursday," made visible by sparkles that are spreading out from behind the words.

    The last two days have been busy.  I am applying for jobs and I have been doing stuff mostly for that. I am not going to college this semester so I am going to try and to make some money.  The last year was a rough one with no regular paying job.   I am so grateful for friends that I have been able to lean on.  I have been able to help them with some things too, but I am so grateful to have a home and food.  Sometimes the things we are grateful for are big and sometimes they are small.

    The house does look a bit like I have been too busy.  I can't even use the desk in my room there is so much sitting on it and the chair there is currently holding the clean cloths.  I still have some work to do today, but I think I am going to dedicate a good bit of it to putting things away and cleaning.  What are your plans for today?

January 17, 2017

A Month of Letters Challenge is Coming

Image from Antique Images
    For several years in a row now I have participate in the Month of Letters Chalenge during February.  There are only two rules to the challenge.
  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch. 
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items. 

    Do you enjoy writing or recieving letters?  Are you tired of just getting junk mail and bills?  Snail mail may be slow, but it can also be fun and is easy to personalize.  I love sending and reciving letters, but with the fast pace of life I often forget to sit down and enjoy things.  Will you join me and many others in sending and recieving mail this next month?

January 12, 2017

Things I Love Thursday: And My Goals For 2017

Image description: A star filled space scape with the words, "Things I Love Thursday," made visible by sparkles that are spreading out from behind the words.

    Hello there everyone,

    I am so glad to be home.  I have also taken some time to think about what I want to do this year.  I have set up flexible plans for several differnt areas of my life and work, but I have also sat down and really thought about what it is I most want out of this year.  I came up with three things that I want most of all this year.


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