50 Years Ago: The First Lunar Landing

IMG_1603.JPGSpace travel is one filled with wonders that only a few people around the world have had the privilege of enjoying. Fifty years go the the first lunar landing happened when Neil Armstrong stepped off the Apollo 11 lunar module with Buzz Aldrin following. Above them Michael Collins orbited above them in the command module. Below them, millions cheered as Mission Control took a sigh of relief, celebration, and tears as they realized their goal was completed.

The journey to the Moon was not an easy one. There were many people who made sacrifices and put time and energy into making the historic moment on the moon happen. There were many people who doubted we could put a man on the moon. There were many accidents, tests, and near-misses that lead many people to doubt the mission of NASA. Never the less, the astronauts and thousands of people persisted to make their way to the Moon.

IMG_1616.JPGThere is nothing like watching a historic moment that generations will talk about over and over again. I wasn’t alive back in 1969 to watch the historic moment Neil Armstrong said,”That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for man kind.” But, they have been heard throughout time inspiring generations to explore what is out there beyond Earth.

This whole week television stations, newspapers, and ceremonies went on to honor the Apollo 11 astronauts. The journey to the Moon happened to the delight of people around the world. The Moon landing is one that won’t be forgotten as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins go down in history. But, not forgetting those on the ground who ensured they made it to and from safely.

Food, Food, Food

IMG_9612.JPGAh yes, food one of the many things people love. No one can live without food. However, when I am experiencing PMS and I am menstruating I feel my eating habits change. Yes, this is another post part of the period series.

Whenever I am encountering PMS and my period I find myself craving double bacon cheeseburgers with pickle and onions, buffalo chicken pizza, and shrimp tacos with black beans, avocados, and rice, and of course chocolate. Whenever I feel like I cannot get enough of these I know that my period is right around the corner. Unfortunately, my cravings aren’t too healthy.

IMG_9985.JPGYup, period cravings for junk food, at least for me, are the worst. After I eat one too many burgers I feel sick and bloated. Yes, I know that being bloated is part of having a period, but it feels different. I find it hard at times to resist all of my cravings during this time. At times I do find it easier to give in and have at least one burger, pizza, and/or taco. Not at the same time, but it does help.

I find ways to keep healthy when I am experiencing these cravings by eating fruits and vegetables and well balanced meals. I find going to the gym, yoga, walking, and swimming in the summer as a way to help take my mind off what I am craving. While, I do watch television, at times I get up during commercial breaks in order to avoid one that feature fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King and chain restaurants like Red Lobster and Pizza Hut.

I believe that one of the toughest things, other than cramps and feeling sick, is dealing with food while menstruating. I am not saying to avoid burgers, pizza, tacos, and other junk food during your cycle, but trying to find ways to lessen the cravings and have a healthy diet during your period is important. Personally, I believe that it is okay to give into your cravings every once and a while. Trust me, I don’t know what I would do with out bacon cheeseburgers, shrimp tacos, and buffalo chicken pizza and chocolate. But, my cravings during PMS and my period tend to get a little out of control leading to a need for a little bit of control over what I eat.

75 Years Ago Today

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75 years ago today Operation Overlord started in Normandy, France. The day, known as D-Day, happened on June 6, 1944. This invasion marked the beginning of the end of the Nazi tyranny in Europe when brave men from: The United States, The United Kingdom, and Canada stormed the beaches by air and sea. Many of them did not survive the first day. Around the world there were memorial services for the men who gave their lives this day seventy-five years ago. There are videos and photos of D-Day Veterans returning to Normandy to for these services and to visit their fallen brothers in arms in the cemeteries. June 6, 1944 is a day that continues to live on as the men who gave their lives are not forgotten.

Stuffed Portabello Mushroom Recipe

MushroomTonight I decided to make stuffed mushrooms for dinner. I was googling Stuffed Portabello Mushroom recipes. However, I found that I didn’t have all the ingredients from different recipes. So, I decided to make up my own!

Ingredients:

3 eggs (beaten)

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 Tbs garlic powder

1/4 cup olive oil

3 T Parsley

4 Portabello Mushrooms

Salt and Pepper

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven is preheated grease a cooking pan. Remove stems from mushrooms, then place them in the pan. Sprinkle the salt and pepper in the mushrooms. Put the mushrooms in the oven for 20 minutes.

While mushrooms are roasting mix: garlic powder, parsley, eggs, olive oil, and bread crumbs. When the mushrooms are done roasting spread the mixture in the mushrooms evenly. Then place back in the oven on 350 for five minutes.

After this, sprinkle the Monterey Jack cheese on top of the mushrooms. Place back in oven heated on 350 degrees for five minutes. Then eat and enjoy. But, don’t forget to turn the oven off!!!

In the Blink of an Eye

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The month of May has been a busy one for me. This is a mere update on the month of May that has flown by in the blink of an eye. I’ve been meaning to write more and keep you guys updated, but the months lately have a way of just flying by.

On the bright side, Spring is ending and Summer is starting. With everything I have going on this Summer, I am sure it will go by quickly. My younger sister is getting married the end of August. So, your’s truly has been planning a bachelorette weekend and filling in all the jobs the Maid of Honor has. Recently, my mom threw a bridal shower for her. Not that it is taking up most of my time, but it is a lot of work.

This upcoming Summer is filled with plans of joy and fulfillment. Between my sister getting married, a family trip to Arizona, and just enjoying the joy summer has to offer I don’t think I will be slowing down any time soon.

I do plan on returning to write another post as part of the period shaming. I am not sure what yet. To be honest I thought it would be easier, but I found that doing research and hearing voices from young girls around the world who deal with shaming on a daily basis takes time. I do hope to keep writing and being more active on here once things slow down.

The Right to an Education

IMG_2394.JPGThe month of April slipped away from me. I have been meaning to write this post after doing some research for some time. I do admit, I had trouble with coming up with the name for this article. This next post focuses on going to school while menstruating. Over here in the United States of America, young woman and girls are encouraged to go to school even when they are menstruating, but in some parts of the world they are encouraged to stay home.

Early on in my research I came across an article about a twelve year old girl in India who had committed suicide in 2017 following period shaming. This young girl had just started to menstruate leading to her clothes being stained. Unfortunately, the teacher decided to point this out in front of her entire class. The humiliation and embarrassment this young girl felt caused her to take her own life.

IMG_2393.JPGWhen I was in middle school there is only one time where it comes to mind when a leak happened in a classroom. I remember my fellow classmate returning to school the next day. But, everyone in my grade knew what had happened. “So and so had her period all over her chair,” is what was said among my classmates for the rest of the school week. I remember I had a class in the same room that she was just in. The janitor was inside cleaning up the chair while my class entered. It wasn’t until lunch when everyone had found out what had happened. Everyone knew her name. I felt bad for her as having a leak in middle school was the worst thought on my mind. But, never the less she returned to school the next day and for the rest of the year.

The thought of being encouraged to miss a week of school because of a normal bodily function is horrifying to me. There is no reason a girl should be forced to feel ashamed because of her period, whether it leaks or not. When reading up on period shaming in India, there are some parts where young girls are dropping out of school because they can’t keep up with the work. They don’t receive past a middle school education because they fall behind. Education for women is something that has been fought in various countries across different eras. The right to an education is a birth right, nothing more nothing less.

IMG_2389.JPGKnowledge is power, a strong notion that has been shared for years. Young women and girls are being encouraged to not receive the knowledge they crave. Sadly, they are encouraged not to go to school. The thought that a young girl, even wearing a sanitary product, to be considered unclean and dirty among her classmates mortifies me. There is no reason a young woman and girl should feel ashamed to go to school, even when she is menstruating.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41107982

Chhaupadi links

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In my last post I wrote about Chhaupadi, the ritual in Nepal where women are forced to live in a hut while they are menstruating. For some reason I had trouble posting the links the articles and videos I had looked at for research.

Please note: I do not own any of this material. This is just a smidgeon of what I looked at for the article and future ones. The ownership belongs to those who posted.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208260

Chhaupadi

IMG_9148.JPG No, Chhaupadi is not a celebration. Chhaupadi is a tradition that is honored in Nepal for women when they are menstruating and post childbirth. Instead of staying home, they are shunned and forced to live in a hut where they are vulnerable to the elements around them.

When researching Chhaupadi I learned that the women who are left in these huts are unprotected. They are vulnerable to rape and sexual assault. In one of the interviews I watched a young girl stated that she became pregnant while partaking in Chhauapdi. She was forced to leave school with her child at the age of thirteen. She detailed being alone in the hut when the man stepped in and forced himself on her. Due to the rape she was shunned and shamed by her community for something that was not her fault.

Sexual assault may be one of the most horrible things to happen during Chhaupadi, but it is not the only problem these girls and women face. On top of losing out on an education, they have to find alternatives to get food and clean clothes. There are some cases where women do not receive the necessary living essentials for a week away from home. In fact, some women are forbidden from touching kitchen utensils on day their period starts. Not only are they finding ways to make meals, they need to find alternatives to make for cleaning themselves.

IMG_7520.JPGWomen are considered “impure” during their period in these parts of the world, hence the reason for the hut. When watching videos on YouTube and reading articles the young girls and women showed they have to do things entirely separate. They have to find a way to bathe and wash their clothes. In one of the interviews, a girl stated she didn’t understand why she needed to take drastic measures during her period. She stated she felt that as long as she is able to keep herself clean, it shouldn’t matter whether she stays at home or not.

In 2005, Chhaupadi was outlawed in Nepal. However, the “tradition” still takes place today. It has been slow to outlaw and leave behind. In parts of the interviews and articles women stated they felt that it was necessary to partake in Chhaupadi because it is how they had been raised. Even, a young women who admitted to being sexually assaulted felt that Chhaupadi is the best way. There have been men and women who have stepped up to end Chhaupadi. But, sadly Chhaupadi continues today.

The Dad Factor

IMG_6770.JPGThis next post was not an easy one to write. In fact, I thought this would be the easiest post to write about my period experience. This period post is dealing with Dad. I have a loving father who has always been supportive of me. But, I will say it was kind of odd having to admit that he found out I had menstruated for the first time.

I remember it was a couple of days after I had received my first period. I had to take a shower in the morning and he came in to remind me to take one. After he told me that my mother had informed him of me receiving my period. I shot up out of bed asking him how he found out. It was early in the morning and he told me that my mom had told him.

IMG_9645I do admit it was a little embarrassing. I mean, my mom is a woman and my dad is a man. I didn’t tell him at all that I had menstruated for the first time. My mom is the one who had told me what a period is. I never had the talk with my dad. But, never the less my dad had found out.

You see, the problem I had with my dad finding out about my period is that he never had one (biology I know). I didn’t know how to talk to him about it. I was told it was a “women thing.” When I traveled with him, I didn’t want to tell him about it. When it comes down to buying sanitary products, I depended on my mom to get them. I never looked to my dad. I never depended on my dad for a product like this.

IMG_6633.JPGBut, never the less there have been times when my dad has realized that I am menstruating. When he notices he doesn’t judge me. He doesn’t look at me funny or weird. He just doesn’t bring it up. Ultimately, I was worried about my dad finding out about my period because of these feelings I had.

While I am thankful to have a dad who is supportive and understanding during “my time of the month,” but there are problems I still remember encountering. How do I tell my dad I need to take an extra long shower? How do I let him know that I need Advil? How do I tell him I need “products” when we were on vacation together? When I was a teenager, these were the questions that I would have to ask myself.

The only way I was able to overcome this was by learning to trust my dad. I had to learn to trust that he would be understanding. Now that I am an adult, I don’t need to depend on my dad for such things. But, when I was younger in high school and middle school I had to learn to trust my dad for help in those situations. I was able to confidently confide in my dad when when I needed something for my period. It didn’t happen often, that much I will admit. But, trust was the main factor.

The moment my dad told me that he knew that I had my period it felt off. I didn’t understand why my mom had told my dad about this. But, I did learn why, quickly, when I was in a situation and my mom was not home. You see, there is no real easy way to deal with dad. In fact, that one of the reasons this post is coming later than I expected. I never talked with my dad about my period. But having a dad who had no problem telling me he knew about me menstruating for the first time helped break the ice.

IMG_6771There is no easy way to close out this blog post. My dad and I do have a close relationship. I do understand there may be confusion and awkwardness for letting your dad know that you are menstruating. I went through it and I am pretty sure every girl has gone through it. There is no easy way to say how to deal with your dad on your period. Everyone is different when it comes down to letting a man know about your period, even if it is your dad.

Period End of Sentence Documentary Review

This past Sunday the Oscars were on television. The coveted award that so many dream about winning had graced across our screens. But, the one part of the Oscars this year that grabbed my attention was the winner for Short Documentary. The winner was Period. End of Sentence on Netflix took home the golden statue.

I had heard about this documentary a couple of weeks ago from a friend who knows that I am blogging about my period experiences. She encouraged me to watch the quick twenty-five minute film on Netflix telling me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. Lets just say I wasn’t, the whole reason why I am blogging about my period is based on research I had read about in India.

The movie starts off asking young girls about menstruation in a small town in India. When the men are asked about menstruation they talk about it like it is a disease. There are stories from young girls and women who leave school because they are ashamed of bleeding. These women did not have the proper access to sanitary products until a man came in making pads for them.

When the women were introduced to pads for the first time they were completely entranced. They went into the factory to see how they are made. They asked questions about pads and their function for periods. The look of shock and awe came across some of their faces as they realized that they could use something that wasn’t just a rag.

Before the movie had ended several of these young women had mentioned the new access to period products had given them a new sense of independence. The filmmakers then went into Delhi to discuss the production of pads for young women who are just starting to bleed for the first time. The message they have across the men and women featured is hope that the usage of pads will encourage young women and girls to do what want during their period.

Watching Period End of Sentence reminded me of why I am blogging about my period. I have received some backlash regarding writing about it after noticing a woman being harassed. The more I think about it, I realize that this particular happened a little over a year ago. Since then I have been reading stories from women around the world who have similar stories to the young girls and women in this documentary. Period End of Sentence justified my reason for continuing to blog about my menstrual cycle.

Photo link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6939026/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1