New profile I have posted: I love words so I write them. I’ve been doing that since I was old enough to read. I am a published literary writer and I was an adjunct English professor at Northern Michigan University for many years. I write and live and love off the grid on 35 acres and a trout stream in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with my son, Joshua, who has Down Syndrome, and with an English Shepherd dog named Maggie, and with my husband when he can make it here which isn’t often.
This blog started out being about my work, and it will continue to be. (I’m working on a novel about premonitions and dreams.) But this blog is also about living off the grid and about my experimentation with diet—most recently the Carnivore Diet. I started on the Ketogenic diet, but have moved into Carnivore. How long, I don’t know. At least until the end of November when I have my physical and blood work done. But I’ve become interested in the effects of diet on not just my health, but on creativity. And I’m interested in the effects of the diet on my dreams.
Dreams. The day before my son was born, the day I went into labor, my mother “dreamed” or was told my son would have Down Syndrome, something she told my brother ahead of time. I’ve never known what to make of that. So I’m interested in prophetic dreams, lucid dreaming, creativity and dreams, night terrors. I’m interested in Freud and Jung and Einstein’s theories of time and how their ideas inform our reality: I’m interested in mining a deeper relationship with a dream world not confined to daytime experiences, and how the night might inform a more fully imagined daytime “reality.” And vice-versa. Which is the dream?? I’m exploring. Come explore with me…
Pictures inside my camp, including my drying rack (dog puked on bed liner yesterday). I love it here. Next year we’ll add a sauna which will attach to the house and the year after the downstairs bedroom with another bath, all open with windows on north/secluded side. I’ll use more corrugated metal, wood, and copper.
-4 cans Sparkling water plus one glass filtered (can’t seem to get more down, but I drink a lot of Swiss process decaf, so I get a lot of fluid)
-5 slices uncured bacon
-1 cup beef bone broth
-12 oz. ribeye
-4 oz. sautéed wild caught shrimp
My son, Josh, will also have some mushrooms, maybe a small garden potato or an avocado if it’s ripe enough. Josh has done pretty well on Keto, but did have a birthday dinner of burger with bun a few days ago.
Observations: As I haul in more wood for the day–it’s not covered presently due to some concrete work for my sauna and has to be hauled in often to dry out from the continuous rain we’ve had–I am pleased at the silence. My neighbors who have been building a new camp/outbuilding have not been here since I returned and the silence is deafening and welcome. I don’t think they are building a full time home. Snow drifts lazily down as I load the leather wood-carrier. It’s not sticking except on the car and picnic table, but portends some that will stick soon. We get over 300 inches of snow, some of the most anywhere in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We have a very long, unpaved drive in, and I’ll need to tune up the snow blower this weekend.
I can’t wait for that first steaming cup of coffee, first cup black, second one will be laced with heavy cream. It steeps in the French Press as I check for the invasion (maybe a faint trace of scat on counters/sink, definite improvement, but I hear them in the walls upstairs here, probably in the attic, and as I write this my dog seems to be scurrying around down there like she smells or hears something somewhere near my white storage pie safe in the back hallway. We had a new roof put on last year and so far, though, we’ve kept the squirrels out–something to be grateful for).
I stoke the fire, blow on it with a blow poke. It’s rare I have to restart it after 8 hours–I love this stove.
I will do my 20 minute warrior-made workout, make breakfast, then get researching, followed by a nice bath before dinner, for us both.
It’s a good day.
I have been on this diet seventeen days. I imagine you are wondering if I’m getting tired of eating meat. Not at all. The longer it goes, the more I seem to crave it. But I seem to crave steaks more than other meats. I was unusually hungry this a.m. so ate a lot of bacon. I wanted to avoid eggs and sardines for a couple days to see if either of them bothered my esophagus a bit or made my eyes puffy–which happened a day or so there when I was eating hard boiled eggs. Feel better today after no eggs.
I will do another weigh-in, picture day/photo shoot on my face Monday, but I feel like I continue to lean up.
But I will have some baked and spiced chicken wings and shrimp on Sunday on game day. (Go Lions, do NOT go Packers, Vikings or Bears). I also have some spiced pork rinds to have then and some turkey jerky. I still plan to work some liver into a meatloaf soon, but have to get some good grass fed liver.
I order grass fed meat from Butcherbox and it’s on the way, delivered tomorrow. Mostly assorted steaks, some pork chops, ground beef, a few whole chickens–I do love a roast chicken in the colder months. Uncured bacon. I am thinking of both a medium sized turkey and a beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce for Thanksgiving this year. Will make sides for the rest of everyone. And I will likely sip some wine or some tequila. 🙂
I hope you enjoy seeing life here at camp. It wasn’t a good fly-fishing year for me with all the health challenges of my father (Parkinson’s and heart issues) and my youngest son (testicular cancer). But just being here (we only shut down a couple months after the holidays) is therapeutic. Excuse so many parentheticals.
Dreams: I was just researching dreams and creativity. Appears more research is needed according to them, but as a writer, I can promise you dreams add to creativity. This author (McFarland) tries to distinguish between that twilight area between dreams and sleep that is more creative and full on dreams. It is different, he says, than a full on dream where creativity is less likely to happen. Perhaps. Yet I can promise you I go to sleep with a literary problem to solve and solve it in some phase of sleep, sometimes overtly, where the actual dream appears in my work (like the time I wrote about some of my comedian dreams–a recurring dream state of mine). Sometimes I wake and make notes on a pad next to my bed. But I maintain, it’s as my mind becomes free, when I begin to drift into dreams, that most of my creative ideas originate. Driving down the road is good as well, but different phases of sleep are crucial to my work–as is synchronicity. Sometimes I just wake with the answer…
I’ll be writing about Freud, who obviously did a lot of work with dreams. Freud is an interesting figure these days, being reinterpreted by my pedagogy post-structuralist colleagues in the English dept. where I taught, as the origin of our first concept of the “other,” leading to the reinterpretation of classic works to postmodern/post-colonial/post structuralist interpretations and proclaiming the “death of the author,’ (and soon the novel), and even the demonization of language itself. Lacan and Foucoult, of course. As a writer, this concerns me. But I’ll be posting some things about Freud’s vs. Jung’s views of the function of dreams as the days progress. I’ll stick to the more fascinating topics about dreams rather than talking much about literary theory and the roads it is headed down in academia. so never fear. Who wants to hear about that, eh??
Last night…I don’t remember my dreams at all, a rarity. I spent a lot of time inviting my mother and grandmother to my dreams, but no luck so far.