Monday, March 31, 2008

What's Happening Here....

The kitty is our Psycho cat when he was an adolescent. His cold continues and one other cat has it mildly. The vet said to watch them, but mostly it was like a human cold but not interspecies transmittable. Isn't he cute - just makes you want to kiss his little cat lips (until you remember where they've been).

Sunday I sat on my haunches and dug weeds and planted some vegetables in the flower garden and some herbs, fertilized, babied existing plants, and watered. I managed to get up but could not lift my feet, so I shuffled in, and spent the next 18 hours in bed, afraid that it might be permanent. Turning over was excruciating. This morning I am up and better. Well, I can't totally walk upright, but I can walk without pain. It was so much fun being in the warm sun and earth, I couldn't be moderate.

All the sorting and getting "rid of" that I've been doing for a year is starting to show - today I walked in the house and there was a quiet, sort of serene atmosphere and I almost cried I was so thankful. That lasted two hours, the kitchen table is covered again - ahhhhhhhhhh. The pantry is back intact after the bug wars, with snacks in clear plastic containers (thanks, W.C.).

Have hit the 35 pounds mark in pounds lost - the scale didn't move, and didn't move, and didn't move - then two mornings ago, wow! I was happy. Am happy. Except I'm finding a bit of baggage I don't remember having when I was younger and my clothes are fitting even worse - but not complaining, not complaining.

Daughter just called this a.m. and the medical trip is off, instead I think I will drive to Doc Lovely's and spend a lot of time in prayer for her and her family. Supernatural help is needed when raising teenagers - true! She says a storm is coming this way from Birmingham - we'll see - I feel adventurous! I'll pick up fresh strawberries from the farm.

Forty days of negative thought fasting continues - the dailies are coming so fast, they are hard to keep up with, let alone blog them. I may give a summary a bit down the road. Spring break here and no classes - so I feel free as a bird for a few days.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Trapping Aliens

Having awakened two nights in a row to sounds of breaking glass, splashing noises, and a mess to clean up, I came up with a brilliant idea to catch the midnight counter top marauders.

We heard little smacking sounds as they landed on the tape, then "thump," when they jumped quickly off! Within two nights they decided they don't like walking on places that are sticky. We can now place a vase of flowers on the counter top without having to clean broken glass mixed with water and flowers. They won't even brave the tape for their usual food raids........They wouldn't stay long enough for me to get photos of their gleaming little cat eyes in the dark. They know enough not to jump on top of the stove - so I think they will remember the icky tape and desist.

Jocelyn's date showed up one night and asked why we had upside down tape all over our counter tops. With a serious look on my face, I told him we were catching aliens. It was so much fun to observe his face.

What a week! Tuesday I prepped for happy sleep tests as the docs want assurance of no internal bleeding. I was pretty much out of commission for at least 24-36 hours. I don't know what kind of drugs these guys use, but I was begging for the anesthesiologist to come by my house at 10:00 p.m. nightly with his needle and bottles. However I was informed he had been propositioned by many so I would have to get in line. Actually I've been pretty tired since then, so I wouldn't want his cocktail EVERY night. Everything was fine - I knew it was, so back to the blood doctor to figure out why I seem to be short of the stuff, though the tests were better for a while, but most recent one somewhat depleted. How could that be so fast?

Then - we found little Miller-like bugs in the pantry. That wasn't the worst of it, upon investigation, we found them in every step of bug development. has taken three of us since Tuesday evening to unload everything, inspect it, wash it or throw it away, wash inside of pantry, and then put everything back - well, I still have two large boxes to inspect, sort, and put away. I was so tired by this afternoon that I started watching "Dead Man Walking" with Sean Penn and fell asleep during part of it sitting up. I will never make remarks about old people sleeping while they sit up again.

On my list of to-do's are "the oranges." They have dark spots on the skin. I need to take them to the nursery and see if they are edible. I already cut a few and they are delicious, but don't want to feed my family some exotic fungus, if that is the cause of the spots.

Oh well, the price of living in paradise.

We all have colds or allergies, even the wicked cat, Psycho. He is sneezing, eyes watering and sleeping next to us at every opportunity, rather than terrorizing the neighborhood rats. Ms. Meowi and Big Meowi were clobbering each other today. Better be no abscesses or I will get them jobs to pay vet bills.

I've had taxes done for quite a while, but "H" doesn't trust me and wants someone from H & R Block to review them - and I'm freaking because the deadline is getting really close and the folder is still laying on my desk. TaxAct software is a breeze - even handled my quirky transactions last year brilliantly.

Day 12 of Negative Thought fasting - I have to get back into the right frame of mind. I'll hop on over to everyone's blogs after I get the boy to bed and try not to be negative. :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Strawberry Fields.....forever?

The Easter weekend was way too short. The boy's and my short trip to Alabama was wonderful. The strawberry fields are producing, the green of the countryside is intensified against the foreground of intricate still-bare pecan trees that have not yet leafed. Thousands of azaleas are blooming in dazzling color, and the weather is "perfect."

The strawberry fields we have watched and eaten from the past 20 years reflect life's cycles have shrunk in acreage to a bare minimum planting. Instead of overflowing boxes for sale, each small basket is full of sweet large berries, but in less amounts though no less delicious in their freshly picked glory. Things change. The hurricane changed things forever here - many things will never be the same.

I had a good visit with my oldest daughter and my older grandson. My poor granddaughter was in bed in pain. I put my cool hands against her throbbing head and prayed for her. If only love could make people well! Today, I will make phone calls to help "M" find a surgeon for a second opinion. Her chest wall is pressing upon her lungs and heart. A major surgery has been recommended. She has already been through so much with the other surgery.

Today's fasting from negative thoughts: Get rid of "Grasshopper Thinking." This is the mentality that tells us we are tiny and ineffectual grasshoppers in the face of big problems. Another surgery with a long recovery time is a big problem for her to face. And, really, when those you love suffer, the pain is in you as well - I would gladly have the surgery for her if I could. We all have to put on our armour so we can surround her with strength and faith and courage and love. We have a higher resource upon which to draw all we need.

I wish now for the agreement and power that a couple can have when they stand together. I wish for strength for the kids and grandkids that could be a rock for them if it weren't for selfish ego. Reality does not present that option, so I reach for my God's hand and wait eagerly for that yoke that will take some of the care off my shoulders.

The rest of the weekend went too fast. "J" had to work 17 hours from Saturday to Sunday in a long stretch, so she arrived at Easter services in her hospital clothes looking dazed and bedraggled. We then went home so she could clean up for lunch at the Olive Garden and a Dr. Seuss movie. Out of the four of us "who" went, two napped through the movie. We still haven't dyed eggs. Maybe tomorrow. The boy and "J" woke up with very sore throats this morning. I had planned to take the boy to the beach for a buffet, but we had a good time and Olive Garden is always high on his list!

I had dropped a pretty good bunch of pounds yesterday, but today, probably because of salty soup, salad, and a piece of key lime pie, (why did I do that), I am back up. However, if the pattern follows, it will fall back off within a day or two and I will be very close to the next ten pounds. I pulled out my clothes to find something to wear to church and they all looked like gunny sacks - very baggy - which was good - but bad, in that I had some decent looking clothes that I can no longer wear without looking pretty silly. No sense getting more clothes than the bare minimum if I have more pounds to go, and I do. I found one black lightweight suit I could wear - and, for Easter, I looked rather goth against others in their bright spring clothing. I'm still waiting for that sewing machine - I think I can alter a few things....

Have had two and one half nearly pain free days with my back which I needed, because I was feeling sick all over from the pain. Yay!

I'm going to go now and try to get a couple of miles in on the elliptical, take a shower, and get myself presentable for the day before lining up early dinner for the boy so he can eat before baseball practice.

Time flies!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter. I always think of sunrises with Easter. For me there is always hope in a new day. The sarcastic part of me wants to say, "Yeh, well, you are slow in getting it aren't you?" The "good" part of me looks outside and sees the creation and feels like it is a gift each day, just being able to see it, smell it, touch it.

Fasting on day 6 from comparing myself with others - why wasn't I born financially comfortable in a family that loved education and each other and their children, why can't I run like the wind? In high school it was "Why do I have to be so tall and have curly hair?"

I'm a realist most of the time and know that people don't walk around without their own burdens that they live with everyday. Burdens we don't ask for. So mine are not so hard despite of how I "feel" sometimes. It is interesting as well that these daily reminders have made my mind alert enough to take control and stop the negative thoughts more quickly each time they come. Having spent more than a few years in the counseling field, I'm interested in watching this process proceed. I don't think negative thinking will just disappear, no......but rather that life will become easier to live free of fear and poisonous thought darts as this 40 day "fast" proceeds.

Tomorrow I'll probably take the boy to church, probably stop and make sure he gets a nice meal. I'm not cooking - daughter here will eat candy, and "H" will continue on with the sausages and I would eventually end up throwing it away and I can't stand waste. Then boy can do his backyard Easter Egg hunt. For him, competing with 100's of wildly excited children for eggs at a traditional hunt is not his thing. Today there is no ballgame - they are fun - but this will be a nice respite.

In relation to day 6 - I look back when the graduating grandson was a baby, "H" and I were both in school, and we were all poor together - both families - and we would go to Barnhills (ugh- but Barnhills is very affordable) for Easter buffet after we got out of church. I miss it. Things move on. Nothing stays much the same in life - our expectancies and what we really live with will change. I learn another thing to day - don't compare with the "good ol' days." Take the sweet thought of nostalgia as the gift it is, but don't compare. That is life. That is sunrise and sunset.

The uniqueness in this Christian holiday - is that the Christian God came as human as well as God, and then after death, rose from death showing that the followers of Christ will also have this eternal life. Take it as truth or myth - but what have we to lose? Again, the comparisons get us - we look at what other people who represent themselves as Christians do or have done, and let ourselves miss out because of them.

Well, if you celebrate Easter, I hope your celebrations are sweet as well as fun and you arrive at Monday rested in heart, spirit, and body.

I have dragged out my old bread making machine and also hope to fill the house with the smell of fresh baking bread tomorrow.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rubber Chicken Chronicles

Ooooh! Day Four of the Negative Thinking Fast. I've already been sorely tested. Day three was to abstain from thinking "I'm Overwhelmed." The antidote: To understand that being yoked with God as applies to the reason for a "yoke" - so one can pick up the burden when the other falters. I need to see myself yoked to God and with that yoking I can handle whatever comes my way (with help).

Day Four came THE TEST: Day four was to abstain from thinking something bad might happen to me and my family. When enough bad things and tragedy have fallen upon our lives, we tend to begin to expect it. When we expect it, we bring it to ourselves. We have to STOP! Orrrrrrrr, for an analogy.....we create a "Catch 22" situation......we get in bed with the bad thinking and wonder and obsess on why we wake up pregnant.

My test: A huge fight with "H" - when I asked for him to bring home a chicken for supper. I got a nasty, berating answer. Which meant no, but also no, and you are a rotten person for asking when I work so hard for that 4.58 that a chicken would cost and I don't have because of YOU! I, AGAIN, lost my cool and lambasted the ball back to "H's" court, and of course it ended up back in my court to stay as I am the one to blame for "everything." Then, it started...."the thoughts." After a while, I woke up as if out of a dream realizing that I was replaying this over and over and wandering how, considering my circumstances, I could divorce him. Finish it once and for all. The awful part was I realized that in my head was a constant conversation playing labeled "Resentment and Fear and Doubting Myself." It messes with my head - he acts to the outside world as if we have a perfect marriage and, of course, there is his library of boxes and boxes and boxes of books on marriage. I was obsessing trying to figure this all out and make some sense of it. (Here, see Tweety's post - there is no sense.) But probably I wanted to justify to myself that I'm not nuts.

Screeeech, halt, stop! I will never figure it out. Just stop! "STOP! STOP NOW."

How? I played some music that was uplifting for me, and just refused to think on THAT stuff anymore. Did it work - not right away, but I was persistent in talking to the alien thought pod planted in my brain. (Attempt at joking here). I then would bring my thoughts back to the worship music.

Back to Day Three COMBINED with the thoughts of Day Four - "I'm overwhelmed." I had, in that negative thought festival because of a dead chicken, assigned myself to an assisted living facility as the ONLY solution by the time I had reached the top of the nasty thoughts ladder. (But free of the constant cement block around my ankle - or so I told myself.) Ok, you are probably laughing - I am smiling now after seeing the totally ridiculous paths that the trails of our thoughts, if left unbridled, will take us. It's also amazing how they will take us over and consume us. I felt helpless - but I prayed the prayer that God always answers: "Help me!" Then I had the strength to say "Stop Now" loud enough and long enough to make a difference.

I'm excited to find out if 40 days of fasting from all these thoughts will change the paths of the neurons running through my brain. Will 40 days kill the default program? We'll find out.......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Refusing to believe I Can't...........

Ms. Meowi in the twilight. She was still having trouble loosing fur, then looked like she was getting really bad bites from the other cats. Yesterday we went to the vet (which cost more than the specialist I saw today) and discovered she has fleas and had scratched herself and had some infection. I'm glad to know it wasn't the other cats chewing her up. Anyway, I had to cough up gazillion dollar bills for the visit and the meds, but already her eyes look more joyful. Psycho doesn't give a rip. And Big Meowi is concentrating on mainly getting more of those small cans of "wet" food. They all got doses of the flea meds and I have to buy some Borax to treat all our soft surfaces. That time of year I guess.

The clothing arrived today and I take back most of what I said about Victoria's Secret. (And vow to quit believing everything I read on the "net" pending more research - I learned that in marketing and forgot.) The underwears feel wonderful and everything was excellent quality. I got a lot for what I spent because everything but the racer back bra was on a super sale, which I wouldn't have spent had I known what the vet would cost. Service was superb. Now, I don't know about those slave labor claims - the underwear were from Israel.....

Anyway this leads to Day One of the 40 day negativity fast - abstaining from "I can't." At first I thought, this isn't me - there is nothing that I can't do if I want to do it. I've proven that. Then I began to think.....of the limitations I have with my back, the circumstances that I have to work around, and other "I cant's......." Why do I keep SAYING - I can't ????? I am a believer that if we say something long enough - we get it. Dwelling on "I cant's" will eventually bring one down to the pits. Dwelling on the "I can's" brings me to higher places and makes me happy instead of sad.

Day Two dealt with lack - lack and lack of faith that my needs will be met. I have continually seen my needs met - why would I want to think so negatively? Of course my needs are met. This is so tied in with "I can't." It is so true that our decisions are controlled by our thought life. If we stay in the negative we make decisions based on the negative and fear and the decisions will bring about the very thing we fear!

This ties in with the vet trip and my doctor's trip today after buying a few clothes. Does God say I have to make a choice? Where is that coming from? The belief that it's my cat or me....can't have two doc bills in one week, don't deserve clothes that don't fall off the shoulders or slide down the hips - my goodness no, the world will crash. Will it really - of course not! The money won't drop in my lap from the sky - but it will work out, I believe it will, and I CAN! These things are needs, not wants.....I can manage - of course I CAN!

These aren't the sum of the daily email, but what they spoke to me.

Night, all.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Have a Fabulous Weekend!

The joyous weekend is here! The sun is bright and beautiful. I have options this afternoon - "H" offered to take the boy to baseball practice so I can have the afternoon for whatever I want - that is so unusual! I can paint or I can garden! Or both! It will soon be sunbathing weather! Spring Vacation! Easter! All joyous times.

Hattigrace sent me an email about starting 40 days of positive thinking and a fast from negativity. Then another friend sent me a forward that was perfect along these lines as well! I think I will print that one for my bathroom mirror! I prayed last night for help in this area. Interesting, yes?

No, it won't be easy, there are lots of things that seem overwhelming and impossible to solve. But I'm giving it a go! Will fit in well with my '08 program - might has well heal the mind as well as the body.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Know a Secret

Wow. I just finished ordering some stretchy yoga pants which I figured would accommodate two more size losses. Then I ordered some underwear and two tank tops because summer is very near in Florida. All from Victoria's Secret. (I hate to go out of my house to shop - and V.S. has tall sizes.) I was even feeling a bit like a sexy ol' broad for a moment there and was wondering how to hide the package when it came from "H" so as not to induce a cholesterol ridden heart attack. For either of us.

Well, hindsight is better than foresight, I started idly googling through Victoria's Secret.

I found out they are not very nice people or a very nice company.

First, encountered report after report of rudeness about larger sizes (in whose eyes?) - so why then do they make double D cups? Either they hire clerks that aren't annoyed by double D cups, or they need to quit manufacturing double D cups. (Ain't coffee, guys)

Next, many posts were about difficulties returning items, and then:

The grand mal part of the expose' came in:

1.) Bob Dylan - oh, you old fart, you sold out, allowing your image to be sold cavorting with teenagers and very young 20's girls in underwear, that's supposed to prompt the largest marketable population to purchase?????

and next,

2.) Exploitation aka Slave Labor I can't vouch for the truth in this blog where I found this information, but it raised red flags with me - big time. It is worse than the regular sweat shops.

And what is this about J.C. Penny's new "America" branding - I called them and told them I was so proud of them having an American made line available and I thought they were going to choke. They never did tell me where these items were made. Marketing poo poo.

As expensive as things are now, why can't we just pay our workers in the U.S. rather than foreign workers to manufacture our goods....yeh, yeh I've read all the books, the U.S. is in the "Information Age" not the "Manufacturing Age." I didn't know this information age was going to go up to $4.00 a gallon for gas and milk. And the poor cows do not even have a gentle set of hands tugging their poor sore udders. Come on Victoria, how about some soft, cooling, udder bras and fair working conditions for humans? We promise we will stop giving the milk cows steroids and growth hormones, etc., so their boobs won't be a distasteful size for your sales girls.

I do really like, although there I things I don't like, Obama's "college for everyone" if certain stipulations are met. I really don't want to see my kids have to move to Bangladesh for jobs. Go to school young man. Go to school young woman. Or old men and women, since the majority of our jobs are obsolete now. Its never never too late. Well, almost never.


Lay Around Day

Hanging around the house today. My back had me crying last night, it hurt so bad. I'm going to call some docs today about getting some routine things taken care of and out of the way and some refills. Also lay around with an ice pack and hope for relief. Boy has a game this evening, maybe will go for a while, but sitting in bleachers may not be possible either.

Need to wash clothes and poison those weeds, but just can't bend, not today.

And the social security office - you know, that program we pay into all our working lives in the U.S. in case we become disabled and can't work ?? tells me - yes, you are disabled, but you can still work - huh? (is that what the old Indian saying of speaking with "forked tongue means?") - they think I would actually like living off their pittance? Yet, it would buy groceries. I would like that adjudicator to try to sit all day at his/her desk with a couple of busted discs in their back. Divine justice. I think about surgery -

People should be careful - my beautiful granddaughter was hounded so by the principal at her school because she was absent so much that she finally just went to another school for the year. He found out what it was like to be sick - he had a stroke. But she can now go back to her school without snide remarks. That was a side note - to the revelation that surgery does not always turn out so perfect and also people should not make judgments until they walk a mile in the mocassins. What a mean man.

She'll be 14 in April. She has two steel rods up her back because of scoliosis, and another condition, pectus excavatum (something with her chest) causing large problems now. The surgeon said the scoliosis surgery would be a breeze - but she has suffered constantly since the surgery. She had to give up her dance and lost her heart to paint. Constant pain is a thief. She writes woeful poetry and still plays the flute, but that is getting harder because of lack of air to her lungs. She is one of those people that has so much talent poured into them.

Thinking a lot about art. Like getting busy with it. Wonder if that's possible. I love working with clay (photo above of a flower I did) but it takes a lot of bending. The metal smithing keeps one bent over a bench. Painting, drawing - yes, can do, can get up and wonder about and then go back for another dab here and there. One of my favorite artists is Frida Kahlo - the brave woman was so consumed with painting that she did it from her bed. She was physically damaged in a bus accident. You don't see this spinal picture in many doc's offices!

Wish it were just a little warmer - I would get a blanket, go down to the beach and hunker down and let the warm sun beat on my back and body. (LOL, between icing it.) I just got an offer on line for 3 nights and 4 days of free lodging at a resort in Cancun...looked up airline prices - its do-able because it isn't too far from here really - takes much, much less time to get there than to Wyoming. I'm too practical though I think to do it. Still daydreaming aren't I?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Passion, Mad Passionate Love

After the initial shock of learning a new medium - I can usually pick up most mediums and will flow with them in a very short period of time, at least passably so - the metals were, shall I say, a challenge and will continue to be.

Today, on a whim, I cut the wide silver ring in half to make two smaller width silver rings. The stone I have is a bit like the one in the photo - but I am wrestling with whether I should use a piece of Chinese turquoise instead of the pyrite - or make two, one with the pyrite and one with the Chinese turquoise. I have to think of a design as well, the teacher's prerequisite was not a plain ring, but to create a design on the ring circumference. I rather like the elegant sleekness of the "plain" ring above. Perhaps I will make the pyrite ring plain and the turquoise ring with an Indian design on the sides of the stone. I had better get myself into the studio off hours if I do that.

Each time I learn something new I dread it - any additions will require learning the dreaded "rolling machine" that flattens metal so one can make round metal or square metal strings to soften with a torch and shape. Now, I have to master "bevels." A bevel is the little seating that the stone fits (or is supposed to fit) into. We are learning "double bevels."

All said, learning to use tools and torches has been a hoot...and has given me confidence regarding tools. I got out my set of screwdrivers, took the entire sweeper head from my vacuum apart in the last two days, repaired it, and put it back together. Then I oiled and cleaned the motor in the vacuum. I won't tell you how ridiculously long it too me, but -it now works! I also used my jewelry tools and repaired the little award stars that lost their tips for my grandson to put back on his baseball hat.

Today, one of the guys showed me a metal he had made from an old 1600's Japanese method of mixing silver with copper. Soshu - something - it was rustic and beautiful - how intoxicating is that? It's like digging up your own clay to make pottery, maybe more exciting - like picking your own berries to make wine, or growing your own flowers to make essential oils.

I always thought my fingers were too big to work on tiny things. No - I am doing it. Sometimes with difficulty but I'm doing it. I'm in mad, passionate love with metal smithing. Can't wait to move on to the bigger stuff - boxes, etc. Times like these I am so happy inside and I feel fulfilled, excited, and then life becomes too short for everything.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drug Cocktails, Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper and Snack Time Too

What would you do if you knew a company or a person was in your yard pouring a number of hormones, psychiatric medications, antibiotics, steroids, and other prescription medications into your water pipes? According to new research that is pretty close to what is happening world wide in developed countries.

So, we are packing steroids into our bodies and wonder why we have a difficult time controlling weight? Autism has increased tremendously, but pregnant moms and their children are drinking drug cocktails daily and we wonder why autism has increased? Uh, don't they send athletes to prison for taking steroids and "performance enhancing" drugs? Well, now its nice to know they don't have to have shots - they can just drink tap water. Then who do you prosecute?

Your child is ADD/ADHD? What is in your drinking water? The biggest insult of all, is that most treatment plants don't think we have the right to know about the pharmaceuticals in our water. Huh? Who is paying for that water coming through our tap? If we don't pay, watch where the water goes.

So we have a world where kids drink urine and feces contaminated water out of muddy puddles and streams. Then we have a world where kids drink a cocktail of drugs out of their taps. And we wonder why, with all the medical knowledge we have, we are feeling worse and worse in our minds and bodies? Hmmmm.

Now here's the response from the establishment - the deformed drug ridden fish that are being tested - well, the fish are probably just super sensitive to the drug cocktails in the rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. Humans - oh heck, uh, don't we have some kind of magic filter that filters these things out of our body? Not that I know of.

Thank you AP - for blowing the secrecy surrounding this one!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame.........

The "Braves" won - 9 to 1! I'm not a sports fan at all - but give me a live baseball game (not on TV) and something goes off in me. Add a hotdog and all is well in the world. And a beer if the temperature is on HOT.

Doesn't grandson look like a real pro? This has been so good for him - his coaches are stellar and the kids on the team are great. They all cheer each other on and get along really well. So far so good! He was one of two boys in Montessori, so this last year has been great he-man stuff for him. He has a wonderful guy teacher too, the best.

Three blankets, a winter coat, a babushka head scarf, and two cameras - we survived the wind and chill. I put two T-shirts and three shirts on the boy - its a wonder he could bat.

Then, one of his classmates had a birthday party at "Fun City" - oh no, more cold! So off we went for three more hours. I still haven't been able to get warm. He had a time riding all the rides and wanted me take take him to the Monster Truck Show as a finale. I had to tell him that I didn't think I could climb the stairs to the stadium, let alone spend four more hours sitting on cold steel in the cold evening temps.

After I got him settled, I crawled into daughter's bed (she was at work) under her winter weight down blanket and watched "Awake." It was a good movie with a plot that hadn't been beat to death. We slept in this morning and I've been cleaning what I can, changing light bulbs, oiling door hinges, and other maintenance things that have been let go for a long time. I need to get to the ceilings somehow - XSL and "H" dismantled all the smoke alarms while I was gone. I'm not comfortable with that, but climbing to cathedral ceilings on a ladder with balance problems isn't getting me all that excited about that project quite yet. The boy was catching up on homework, the cats curled up in whatever pile of down they could weasel their bodies into.

I missed Downtown Gallery Night, but there will be more this year and Hattigrace told me the best place to go look so I can still see the best of the best.

So it was a great weekend and went by much too fast. Hope ya'll had a good one too.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Being in the Now

Odd photos for the caption, I know - but let me explain. There is a small, very small island in a bay here. It used to have a big mysterious house on it until the night of the hurricane. It's gone now. There was no way to get to it except by boat. I always wanted to boat to the island and see the house.

Today, while driving around the bay to pick up grandson from school, I noticed the sign - "Island for Sale." Now for a daydreaming person, that is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. I stopped the car, took some photos and sat and daydreamed for a while. For a house - no - but for a treehouse - wouldn't it be grand to have a tree house on that island in the most humongous tree you could imagine? To spend the night in, to go swimming the next day when it turned hot, to lie high up in the branches and watch the clouds - -

I went to school with a boy who was a boyfriend for a short time - ever notice how short those beginning girl friend/boy friend things are? This kid was sweet as they come. Anyway, I ran into him at our 10th high school reunion. He had become a National Geographic photographer. He said he owned an island. So he said. He wanted me to go there with him. I said no. I should've, maybe. No, I shouldn't have - he said he was living with a woman but implied she was less than adequate - can't remember the terminology. That's why I said no. He could've said "Yes, I have someone, but let's just do it anyway." That would have gotten a maybe. No, no it wouldn't have - - but truth be known I have always wondered "what if." And I wonder what had changed his sweetness I guess.

Maybe I should get a small business loan, buy the island and devlop it. (you would laugh if you saw the size of the island) Buy it and have a tree put there, and a treehouse built and rent it to friends and/or lovers who want to get away for a couple of days and nights - to feel the damp air, listen to the birds and gulls, throw a pole over the floor edge into the water, cook breakfast on a camp stove - "Your Dream Getaway - Tree House Vacation."

The next pic is the silver ring - the image of the stone that will go on it didn't turn out well. The stone is cut pyrite and is black with silver running through it - as if the silver is almost melting through it. If it turns out really well, I might give it to older grandson when he graduates soon.

'Nuff said for now. Except the "nows" seem to hold the "thens" and the dreams for tomorrows within them, don't they? So maybe the ring picture is appropriate after all, the ring is a symbol often for eternity - and that is what the thens, nows, and dreams of the future are.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Super Day..........

Had a wonderful day today. Took time for myself - went to see Doc Lovely in Mobile and came back through the back country roads - stopped at the outdoor veggie market - drove by strawberry fields and cotton fields. Cotton fields are awesome to see. I was sorry I didn't take my camera so I could share the sight. I got lost even though I've traveled that road hundreds of times. But it was a delightful "lost." Beautiful countryside - and so many spring flowers.

The meeting at Doc Lovely's was great, it is nice to have support in health improvement endeavors - sort of like art classes - there is a generating of focused corporate energy that makes things happen. At least I get off the "army rations" and can start to eat some manner of "real" food. I was discouraged going over because older daughter was too tied up to see me so I didn't get to see her or the grandkids this trip. Discouragment decided to eat at the Cuisine of India buffet. I worked myself up into a real desire for green, red, and yellow curry - and when I arrived at the restaurant the sign said "Open" but the doors where locked. Saved! I drank my unsweet tea and ate my army ration on the way home.

I read Doc Lovely's Libido and Sex Transmutation book for men as well today (haha, couldn't put it down) and was that an eye opener!!!!!! I am understanding some dynamics that have heretofore been unknown to me as men do hold their secrets. Things every woman should know about men - and things men should know about men (and women) too! His research is pretty amazing and I believe holds a key to a fulfilling life years past what we ever thought possible.

And speaking to me in jewelry class is a cute little woman. Tonight she told me she was 75 - I about fell over in unbelief. Then another older guy there laughed and said, yeh, this class is the cheapest Senior Day Care in the State. (Foks over 60 get free tuition to college - at least in this county.)

Class tonight was not on the agenda because my back has been so painful since my trimming binge in the backyard I can hardly move or walk, I'm glad I went...we laughed a lot. I gave in and fished some old pain pills out of my purse and halved them. They killed the nerve pain for an hour each time I took one half, but the spasms are so painful they didn't leave. I did make it through class.

I burned my hand with the torch again - it is beginning to look like barbecued hand. BUT the the solders went perfectly! I discovered silver melts whereas copper, brass, and nickel will take a higher heat. Finishing the ring without melting it will be a delicate balance. So far I have an unfinished pendant, an unfinished copper ring, and an unfinished silver ring.

The guy next to me was working with silver that he made from old coins. He has a coin shop at a nearby flea market. He's interested in making Native American jewelry - I love the turquoise and silver too but would never aspire to the craftsmanship I have seen in squash blossom necklaces and other beautiful native jewelry. I mentioned to him I always wanted some Buffalo Head nickels - and did he have any. Yes, he does and he said he would just give me some. Yay! I will make them into some jewelry.

Enough - more tomorrow - maybe pics of the rings.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Crazy Weekend and/or Love in Slow Lanes

Spring is springing 'round here. I requested of "H" that the ample crop of rising weeds be poisoned. However, neighbor has not given permission for weed poison yet, although all the nurseries in the area say, "It's time." Instead, "H" is chopping up the palms. I like palms in their natural state, and also the privacy that the natural state of bush-i-ness gives us from the street. The not-so-subtle message I'm receiving is "I'm (and Neighbor) are in control here, now shut-up about weeds and go do your share of trimming."

So, today I will go to the weed poison store and do it myself as the Little Red Hen in the nursery rhyme said.

So, I bit my lips to keep silent and went to - the bushes in the back. Done, except I couldn't pick up the limbs because of the bend over, pickup business. I'm thinking of inventing a compost machine that takes ground up stuff from the garbage disposal, and also sucks all the mucky, junky stuff from the winter yards and incorporates it, then spews it to the flower beds for fertilizer and mulch. Anyone want to invest?

Church Flirts:
He gets up and goes to early church. I get up and get the boy and myself off to church late, so the boy can have at least one "stay up" night a week. "H" is either ashamed of me, or has someone that attends the early service that he likes to flirt with. I suspect it is the thin gal I met when he did take me with him once in the third row of choir that has a thatch of long, bushy white hair that looks witchy, but she obviously thinks its cool.

I took "J" to church with me. She looked stunning - she's super skinny now, had on spikey red heels, a black pencil skirt, and a red blouse with a black thin waist tie - matched her red bangs and black hair. A nice looking older man sitting in front of us turned around during greeting time, lit up like he was looking at a Christmas Tree and gave daughter many compliments on her red bangs and her height. (She said, "No, he said my hair was so bright.)

Trading Women:
She and I had a terrific giggle about the old(er) men who are nuts about her hair and tattoos, including Dr. Charming (age 55 - no that's not REALLY old at all, but older than her by nearly two decades) who she does not see anymore because after a two year separation from his estranged wife, he went back to estranged wife. After estranged wife found out someone else wanted him, she dumped her much younger live-in-lover and decided she wanted Dr. Charming back. But Dr. Charming comes up to hospital to tell "J" hello, "I still love you darling, yada yada..." and finds out how she's doing. Any guys out there care to take a stab at explaining that one? Or maybe "J" is just a great marriage counselor. I told her in the future, I don't care how long they haven't lived with the "X to be," RUN if they can't show the divorce paper - RUN far, RUN fast.

After taking inventory she has noticed that doctors sometimes have many wives. They just keep trading in. Of course they have to stay gone at work longer and longer to pay all the alimony and child support as they continue to trade down to younger and younger wives.

Nursing life:
She had one 70 year old patient who said she wore too much makeup and critiqued her down to her socks, and when she did the intake and asked if he had any tattoos - he said that if one were tattooed, one would go to hell. Well, she quit thinking he was a darling little old man at that point. Then, a week later she came home gagging, showed me the newspaper - the old fart had been picked up for exposing his limp ol' thang to children. Three different times. And tattoos are a sin? Anyway, she thought perhaps it would be good for all nurses to run a criminal background check on these very old, very demented scruffy patients that come on to them, and if they are perverts, they could give them a really fantastic catheter job. Whoooooahaahahahah.

Nurses have it rough - here they have twelve hour shifts and are often called in to work one or two extra shifts a week. Just yesterday, a nurse fell asleep driving home from her last night shift, ran across the median and was killed in a head-on collision.

Why would He trade?
Yesterday at the ball park I visited with a lady - had a wonderful time - yacking up a storm. Her husband is usually there for their grandson, but she said he took off to have intestinal bypass surgery. I thought he was an awful grouch, I would smile and say hi, and he would look away and move to another seating area. Now, I'm not a forward woman, I haven't flirted since 1979, well, practically, so he surely couldn't have mistaken, "Hi" for a flirt.

His wife and I chatted on, she said he has lots of money, is an engineer. Figure now after meeting her, he's just a silent guy and can't get a word in edgewise! Or, he's afraid, very afraid. Her friends told her that when his weight was off, he would trade her for two twenties. I looked at her - she was attractive and lively - and I said, "What on earth for?" She said she let them know that just in case they had something in mind, that she had a very good lawyer and she didn't think the two twenties would have a very good time with a homeless man. Anyway it sounds as if they enjoy each other and their life, so why do people have to throw in those monkey wrenches?

Next, I go to check my email, and get two emails from Dr. Lovely - now why is he sending me studies of methods to restore "Libido" to males and studies of prostate treatment? Don't have one, don't want one - prostate that is! Detailed studies. A short note about the availability of a book he wrote on restoring male libido. "Hey, Doc., what happened to the emails of 365 Health Strategies?" Then I doubt my course I've plotted to get my health back....If I grow a prostate, I'll demand my money back.

Ahhhh, "H" just came in to actually speak more than two words - he is discussing my anniversary present - he's going to get me hurricane shutters. With his 401K money. "Why?" I ask, sitting in here in my baggy clothing, dreaming of an Alaskan Cruise to see the Northern Lights. But actually would chose the practical road of taking it out and putting it under a mattress since the stock market is loosing most of it anyway. Really, shouldn't thirty-five years be celebrated with something REALLY special? So, the answer to that is: Weeeeeeeeeeellllllll, its really hard to put plywood up. Ok, I got it. He doesn't like to carry the plywood out and clip it to the windows once every three to seven years in the event of a hurricane warning. Then he tells me that he can get a government grant for half of it and I can have the grant to pay my on my car. (Besides, Neighbor suggested it.) Maybe that part would be the anniversary present, except after thirty-five years, does he think he's fooling me? I remember the tax return that he said was mine last year to pay off my bills, the tax return of which I never did see. I will never see that car money - he talked me into co-mingling our car insurance to "save" money - it came out of my account, (how slow am I?) and has he paid me back...nooooooo. Hey, how about an above ground swimming pool - any grants for that out there?

Next full moon I'm going to sneak over and sew Neighbor's lips shut so he can no longer speak. OR, "H" could borrow enough from the 401K to put up a 12 foot fence?

Then I ask him where all the paint, sandpaper, etc., that I purchased to do the trim around the front door and the door is? It disappeared after a couple of weeks of me working on the door. Ya, I'm slow. It wasn't where I put it in the garage so I could return to the job. Well, for an answer, he let me know all I have to do is take off the door and spray paint it. Neighbor said that is how to do it.

I look at him like he's crazy, "Well, with my back, that's not an option for me is it?" He turns around and walks off. Come to think of it, a younger woman would be nice to have around, maybe she could work like a man like I used to and would be more easily fooled....I would even cook for her. Heck, if she got out and worked a job as well and paid the auto insurance, I would even iron her shirts. Maybe the polygamists have something going there. Although the grandkids are my heart, after 46 years of raising kids, not counting my little sister - add another five to that, it would be kinda nice to not have to while I still got a couple of years left in life where I could do some things. So any ad for a co-wife would stipulate..."must be unable to bear children."

The boy's "dad" has been calling me up cussing me out because he can't come over and spend the evenings here every night and all day on weekends. I finally had to hang up on him, it seems to me to be reasonable not to allow him to upset me. He has been given hours he can visit, but no, he wants to be in control. It really is not up to me to provide him a home life.

He has to have supervised visitation - and I don't want to babysit a 40 year old all weekend and week nights. And I'm "so rude" - I don't always answer immediately when he calls. The nut case thinks its his right to spend all the time he wants here (we have air conditioning and cable TV) and the child won't thrive if he adheres to some visitation schedule. Is that why the poor kid was two years behind in school because of "dad" taking over my (at least 1/2 mine) house while I was gone? (They PROMISED me his visitation would be supervised, but lied...this is why I'm here - the child deserves a fighting chance.) Remember the mouse poop and smell in my study and the garage because he was breeding mice for the snake in my house while I was away.....? (I didn't mind the snake - it was the mice that stunk so badly.)

He says he's a perfect parent, yet he messes with the poor child's mind. He promised he would be at baseball practice, but never showed up - it crushed the boy - he kept looking for him. Then he told the boy it was my fault because he tried to call me. My phone keeps record of missed calls, there were no calls. I had the phone on me, it did not ring.

If he were the perfect parent he claimed to be he would stay out of jail, and act 40 instead of 4. He embarrassed the poor kid to pieces - he climbed the tall chain fence at the ball park and was rattling it, saying "Hey, boy, hey boy, can I have your autograph?" "S" was cringing. When I told him not to embarrass the boy, then he sets up a situation to make it look like its my fault he chooses not to come to practice.

He wants to play with action figures rather than help S with homework or his responsibilities. He says its not fair if the boy has a set bedtime. Which is really none of his business when its on my watch (babysitting). He comes over and opens candy, toys, etc. and throws the trash (& his dirty socks have stayed on my porch until I've finally thrown them away) in my floor and gets angry when I tell him to pick them up. Anyway, its all about control and I know that - but its almost like having a stalker - you don't ask for this, so why do you have to deal with it?

Dear Lord, I am supposed to learn something for sure from all this - could I have it in text-book form please? And a written test? It was kind of a rough weekend to be truthful. But hey, Dr. Lovely's regime has relieved the anxiety and I'm off prozac - if I am anxiety free after all this, then Dr. Lovely is one notch down from God as far as I'm concerned.

Well, there is meant to be some humor in this on the challenges of just livin'. If you've made it this far through this post, thanks for listening. The cat's said they were just tired of me. Just livin'.