Friday, May 30, 2008

Back to the Simple Life

Even a magazine is devoted to "living simple." I'm trying. As gas prices continue to rise here, I see two reactions - one is I don't care, here's my boat/RV-fill 'er up - the other is to create action plans and implement them. A person can only work so many jobs to make ends meet before collapsing. Before I went to Wyoming I was working full time, had a part time job (web design), and going to school as well. And the economy was better then than it is now.

Our local newspaper has featured a special place on the web to help with cutting living costs. Some of the ideas featured are grocery price comparisons at stores (no, Walmart is NOT the cheapest), where is the least expensive gas at the moment, free entertainment, grocery shopping tips, etc. Check it out!

How am I cutting back? Using white vinegar for carpet cleaning. Consolidating trips - placing most of my errands into one day to save gasoline. Attempting to get my family to turn off the lights and TV when not watching it. Careful grocery shopping. Minimize eating out - its better for us to eat home cooked and cheaper. I've started cooking more "from scratch." I've put in a small garden. Toothpaste, soaps, etc....I'm buying bulk. Clothes - bare minimum - of course I am not working, that helps my wardrobe needs. Shopping at Target for the boy's clothes. Using the library. We have a well for yard watering. Streeeeeetch out haircut timing. Also, I'm only taking half of my maintenance meds. Wouldn't advise that unless one knew what they were doing. Afternoon movies instead of evening. Exercise equipment at home instead of gym membership. I know there's more - we'll find it.

I'm used to doing without "frou frou" stuff, well sort of, I sure do like pedicures - my daughter gives me her old perfume (which is still good) - I inherited other daughter's underpants since my old ones got bigger, (its ok - hers are cute, I admit I can't tolerate the thongs though - I don't understand the purpose of them either), and we're carefully reviewing our house payment thinking about refinancing if its feasible and will save money.

Dang powers that be in their greed will find out what we're made of won't they?

Anyone have any others ideas that I haven't thought of?

I think as I keep weeding stuff out here, my mind will feel more peaceful too. This evening I'm organizing greeting cards into categories.....and vowing to go to that box before I go to the store for a card.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

We gathered at son-in-law to be's house for Memorial Day feasting and swimming. My daughter & grandkids came from out of town to meet prospective son-in-law. All ex-son-in-laws were not in attendance. You can tell by the photos - we did feast and we did swim. Well, some of the we's did - I ate one rib and just sunned - but it was nice until the two sons of prospective son-in-law started fighting over grandkids. Interesting family dynamics there. I tell ya, combining these two families dynamics may well create a new type of bomb, even better than the notorious "A Bomb."

I'm finally feeling better - had quite a round of flu the past few days, the kind that seals your eyes shut, only to be opened with a wet warm cloth applied gently in the a.m., eyes that looked like red marbles, oodles of green snot, barking non-productive cough - all this despite antibiotics for seven days, but improving some today. I made a giant potato salad while sneezing into the crook of my elbow and massive hand washing. Then survived a piano recital and a baseball closing ceremony. Worse yet, while applying lipstick, I noticed the left side of my face drooping considerably.

My mind, despite much positive thinking progress the last few months, went into a Bells' Palsy mode. Luckily today, my face had snapped back to being fairly level once again. That was a real bit of fun.

Had to postpone the nerve blocks in the back a bit - something about a fierce cough while having needles inserted into the spinal canal did not turn me on one bit.

So, tonight, home safe and sound from all these fun fetivies - oops festivities, I, at midnight. sit here blogging away. "H" has decided to pray every night with me, get a calendar and write our schedules down to improve communication, and I'm wondering if he'll ever get it and ask me what would work for me as well.....but does it even matter any more? Maybe he's wondering what I've been up to on those mysterious trips across town when I've claimed to be at the doctor? Anyway, mums the word - I ain't giving up info on these doctors' trips no matter how much he prays.............whooooo hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who Are We?

One of my favorite people is OPRAH! She has overcome tremendous adversity to become a powerful, wise, kind, generous, influential and down right classy woman. And, of course, beautiful.

I've long been an Oprah Watcher. I've watched her through her Color Purple days and even before that I empathized with her in her rough childhood. I've watched her overcome prejudice against woman and against race. I've watched her survive incredible rumors and disasters. What a woman.

I've also watched her jump on so many trendy things I've lost count. That's ok - I'm the same way - gotta new trend, give it to me baby, I'll work it up.

However, for the first time in my life, I'm finding myself disagreeing with her a bit. But that's ok - she's still a number one woman on my list. I watched her go through her Tolle phase (I'm still reading his book in small doses) and just finished the latest issue of Oprah magazine which features a lot of great interviews on body image. Oprah's statement in that magazine is that we are not our bodies. She refers to Tolle as part of her realization of that.

I don't agree, do you? Our body is not the sum total of who we are, but it is an integral part of who we are. My body is unique - its temporary, of course, as I am reminded of that every day now. But no one else has this body - it is part of our identity. If I am nothing but spirit out there who will know me, but God? How will you identify me? Can we make our bodies to reflect who we are, to help you identify with who I am? Yes, I think so. Now, I'm reading that Oprah is starting a new 21 day diet. She's been on more diets than me, that's a lot of diets. If we are not our bodies, why bother? I think I know what she means though. She's a pioneer in helping us to accept our bodies I think.

Tolle started many looking at their "ego" - I've known about that "ego" or "flesh" ("flesh" referring to the un-regenerated part of humanity - unenlightened perhaps) for a long time...that cranky, negative part of us that would ignore everything but our base instincts, that would lead us away from understanding of who we really are, that would drive us to fulfill our wants willy-nilly regardless of our connection to others or the world.

Note: But perhaps that ego is necessary - it may have been given to us for survival, to constantly think - to anticipate danger - but I noticed in my religion and many others we are constantly urged to CONTROL that ego/instinct. So back to my main thought here:

I will not toss away my body - heck, I am just discovering it. Discovering that I have a responsibility to it - to maintain it as best I can, to decorate it as I will to express that part of who I really am. Discovering that I like it - tall, knock kneed, long in the midriff - narrow shoulders - not bad boobs for an old gal, big bones and all, etc. I am making friends with my body and doing my best to integrate it into myself, my "me." I am discovering my body is a great sense of pleasure - it feels the warm sun, it digs in the dirt, it loves a good massage, it tastes food, it feels kisses (and other things!), it smells flowers and perfumes, it is like a canvas upon which to work art.....

I think going through life trying to ignore my body or act like it wasn't me at all damaged me spiritually and mentally. It made me overweight. It made me ignore need for rest and vulnerable to chronic illness, weakened my back and knees, and then after I drove it to the ground, I despised it for not looking like it was sixteen and airbrushed and fit for Victoria's Secret modeling.

No more ignoring it - forgetting to water it, or feed it correctly, or move it about so it will function properly, or abusing it either by ignorance or deliberately - like eating that cake when discouraged - would I put poison on a plant in my garden that was struggling? No, I would feed it something good. No more despising it because it doesn't look like an airbrushed unreal babe from the magazines. Thank you Oprah magazine for depicting "real women." Thank you Oprah for being a real woman in public - trendy, emotional, nurturing, giving, strong, fat, thin, no makeup, makeup. I think you are off base in some things, but you have guts - you say what you think, what you believe.

Thank you bloggy girlfriends who are so beautiful but think you aren't sometimes - your worth is more than you can ever imagine.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One more reason I love Florida

Just think - I could be living here now. For only $90,000 plus lot rent. Pretty, isn't it?

Just thinking about reasons I am grateful to be back in Florida. I had almost forgotten about the brown dust clouds back "there" until I started coughing so hard this week.

I have a monster cold, Feel like poo poo. Its cloudy today, think I will crawl upon my mat on the floor, and mindlessly watch TV - my eyes hurt too badly to read. And sleep. I had to soak one of them open this morning.

Grandson has a choir presentation tonight which I wouldn't miss for the world, but I'm wondering if it would be entirely too rude to go there coughing like I am. Maybe I could wear a mask - and embarrass him - no that won't work. Graaaaaaaackkkkk. Hack hack.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nutrition Guru of all Time

Addelle Davis, Pioneer in Nutrition.

Candy had a wonderful post on May 18 about crappy food in restaurants and healthy eating. I related to it as I am picky about food too. Have been ever since my hippie days. I was a big fan of Adelle Davis and my kids were raised on her recipes and theories. She was considered kind of crazy by the medical establishment of the day, but from that era resulted a huge industry of preventative health and healing through nutrition.

In Wyoming trying to find decent food, especially in a restaurant was difficult. The only place was at a grocery store in a town 125 miles away which had organic produce and other organic foods. Going to restaurants was a practice in choosing which hamburger one wanted, chicken fried chicken, or chicken fried steak. A nice piece of broiled fish? Well, if one were really lucky - it would be trout, but with some kind of oil on it.

I remember in Costa Rica how delicious the food tasted, from the markets and from the restaurants as well - the same foods supposedly that I was eating in the states - but not. These foods were bought in by locals who raised the foods. What were the fruits and vegetables fertilized with? I decided not to ask - I didn't care if it was organic and washed well. Exquisite eggs, mangos, everything edible. This experience made me realize that what we eat in the U.S. from the grocery stores closely resembled cardboard and plastic.

Being so nutrition concious has been a pain at times, because if I get ill, I often think it had something to do with what I was eating, and that I can cure it myself by correcting that eating.

This is not always so - a person from church contacted me as they had heard I was "healed" of Crohns disease. I don't know if I was healed or what, I still take my mesalamine to prevent relapse, but I haven't suffered for years badly with it. My major progress occurred when my almost son-in-law took me to an iridologist and the lady "read my book," physically and mentally, and put me on a regime of supplements and changed my eating patterns. A miracle occurred. The woman from church wanted to hear that I healed myself by eating "the right things," but I had to tell her it was a puzzle of many things coming together that bought me out of a dark siege of horrible illness. Prayer, diet adjustment, medication, supplements, unfortunately I could never rest, and just sheer grit believing I would get well. She didn't want to hear that.

I know what made me ill, besides a genetic quirk lurking and waiting - a lifetime of stress, and never resting or taking care of myself. I ate well, but rest was not a luxury I would allow myself, nor would "H." I laid myself down for a long nap today, and caught myself feeling guilty, thinking that when "H" came home, I needed to be up and working so I would get "the lecture." No. I rested. I sensed God smiling, and saying "she's getting it."

Eating well is a foundation - the rest of our life is the house. When the foundation fails, so will our bodies. I still take medicine, but I also back it up with everything I can nutritionally.

I get offended when I go to a restaurant that has a $15.00 plate (and that is not as much as many restaurants charge) and it is badly prepared. Sometimes I send it back, other times, stir it with a fork and pay for it and leave and never go back. Do not give me canned string beans that have been cooking for three hours, no way. There are plenty of good places to eat without putting up with sloppy food. I'm with Candy, my idea of a gourmet meal is not noodles with an oily sauce and rubbery shrimp. I can get that at home in a Michelini's $.98 box from the freezer.

Staying with my grandma spoiled me. I would wake up to the smell of cooking bacon, toast and eggs and homemade waffles. She would be in the kitchen washing clothes in her wringer machine and the house smelled so fresh and clean. For lunch, we would have leaf lettuce from the garden, cucumbers, yellow squash, fresh corn, and tomatoes and whatever ever other produce might be in the garden and maybe lamb chops. The table would have a vase of luxurious sweet peas draped onto the table. We might then walk two or three miles to town to shop or see a movie. Grandma lived very simply, and if we shopped, it was something she really needed and couldn't be recycled from something she found somewhere. I like my food fresh, not genetically engineered, sprayed with poison, cloned, or otherwise altered.

Adelle and grandma live on in me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I am mindfull of my friend, 4D, who has a tendency to post when he is snockered. Tonight I am snockered. Ugh. Went to the beach today, and then to an art party tonight, wherein I did get snockered. Posting more tomorrow when un-snockered.

More Gardening

Don't I grow great mushrooms?

The real story: the hard worker behind the gardening

The "bush butcher" has struck again - poor palm has been dissected from the bottom up

I never saw an aloe vera plant bloom, have you?

Despite its injuries, palm is putting out new g

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rainy Day Woman 1 and 2

The results are in on the MRI. I have a very severe and complex set of problems from mid back to where my tail bone begins. Next week it looks like I'm going to have several injections into my spine to reduce nerve inflammation (hopefully). Doc says he doesn't know how I'm getting around as the "stenosis" (narrowing of the spinal canal) & disc problems are so severe. I've always been able to tolerate a lot of pain. And, thanks to other Doc., Doc. Lovely, I am getting around, but I want a normal life. Normal! And, now, my right leg is starting to give out under me.

Note: Please do not lift heavy things - get help - especially if you are a woman. Women can have a macho syndrome as well as men (Yah, I confess! I've lifted washers and dryers, worked out with weights way too heavy for a woman) and, believe it, men suffer back damage too. Also, never settle a car accident without an MRI of your back. X-rays show me to have a healthy back. Xrays do not tend to show herniated discs or problems within the spinal canal. You only get one spine for one life. I'm discovering quite a lot as I search for solutions and ways to live with or fix (if possible) this.

I think I found a surgical center in mid-Florida that does non-invasive back surgery. It is necessary to do several for very severe back injuries and the other myriad of spinal problems, but recovery time is a few days compared to months to a year for the kind of surgery that is recommended for me. I'm trusting God to lead me to the right place for treatment and to provide for me so I can have the treatment/surgery or whatever is required.

The good news is, I have now lost 44 pounds. I'm edging on down, its getting a bit more difficult now. The photo is recent - in fact, I'm deep in thought over the back thing. Ha, my tell-tale white door - no, its still not completely painted - one of these days, I'll get it done, along with the windows.

I have changed since coming back from Wyoming. I find that plans are only sort of "maybe maps" for the future. Planning is good - but thinking that everything should go exactly according to "plan" is not so good. Plans need to be made as do goals, but plans also need to be as fluid as goals and we need to retain the ability to readjust when necessary.

So very rainy today, but its kind of sexy out there really. Unless there are tornado warnings and I had better check the TV as it is getting VERY dark out there. UPDATE: I'm editing this and right now am looking out at SUNSHINE and lots of it.

I have a good book about raising independent children and plan to curl up with it, then go to the store for orange juice for the sick boy and some snacks. I'm also out of coffee - that's REALLY unacceptable!

Worse yet, its an incredibly bad hair day!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Freedom Rider

Sitting here at the computer
Looking out at the palm trees now
And its really too dark to see
The wet painting sits behind me

Parrot awaiting his feet
With too many dark circles
Under his eyes

I feel loved tonight for
No particular reason I feel
The darkness cuddles me
Paint colors dazzle me with pleasure

And I love
Doc Lovely, my friends, my Kids & progeny
The smell of oil paints and turps
Seeing my new body in the bathroom mirror

My sister, my cousin and so many, so much
I love
Thank you God for making me

........Lousy poetry, but I had to sing tonight....a bit, I did

Lazy Day with Wistful Wishing

The view out my dirty window - that was one of the main reasons cleaning lady was hired - to get the windows cleaned up from the hurricane 4 years ago - or was it 5? I think I am just going to have to tackle one a day or something like that. What will remove four years of grime, plus well water minerals, plus a paste made of housing insulation from the hurricane? Vinegar, brillo pads?

Maybe next time I'll hang around while she cleans and then say, would you help me with this? No, the poor thing is 7 months pregnant - jees. Although when I think of I what I did when I was pregnant - I worked with one of them even into several hours of labor and stocked groceries through my 7th month with the last. And carried groceries to the pickup for the macho men of Wyoming. (My theory about work, is to work at anything reasonable until you find what you really want, therefore I've had a lot of really different jobs.)

Being tall, most people assume I am also part horse and much lifting, pushing, carrying was demanded of me in younger days (on the home front too) until my discs were crushed.

I put on this big pot of red chili this morning - grandson went out and picked more peppers and also the first yellow squash. So he had yellow squash lightly browned in olive oil for breakfast and the chili is in the crock pot.

"H" invited me to lunch today (yes, what IS cooking?) and I acquiesced, however lunch with a panic attack is not so fun, although it was fabulous food, what I could eat of it. Anyway, I have enough left-overs for two more meals. Now, I'm wondering if it will soon come up that I need to pay him back or if I'm home free. I keep waiting for the papers to show up, but he's acting like he's on his second honeymoon. And, after seeing all this, my youngest daughter is still intent on getting married? Oi.

I'm going to change clothes and paint as daughter is asleep in the living room, and grandson is bunked out watching cartoons - but I'm going to make him turn them off and then read his school library book the rest of the afternoon. Allowing him to continue to watch those things long after he's been told to shut them down is teaching him to not obey. He is not mature enough to make good decisions about how much TV to watch or what to watch. I think I need to go to Barnes and Noble for a day and read some books on how to get your child to do what you want them to do. Not that he's my child - but who knows, it might come in handy for the future.

Speaking of my nanny life, Dr. Lovely is advertising for an executive & personal assistant/nanny/cook/ that is into speaking Spanish and Italian, for three teen age boys. fast can one learn a few phrases? Three teen age boys - oh, they look like Dr. hard could that be. Never mind. Silly me to even ask, right? But still, three days a week.......oh heck, I can't whip my own house into shape...sometimes I wish I had know, those kind.....and Mary Poppins I am not, just a very determined granny....still, to have a house on the bay, an SUV to run the boys in, Dr. Lovely coming home to a gourmet dinner - - - woo hoo. Wonder what he needs assistance with? Oh, just joking....I keep meeting these honorable guys -

Speaking of, I met Joerg from the Tall Women Website he administers. What an adorable kind of guy. We had a nice visit over a cup of Starbucks, and I wonder what makes this guy adore tall women so? And I mean tall - 5'11", 6'4", 6'7" & higher. No ego problems there.....he's found shoes, tall sizes, medical resources, friend resources, and other stuff to aid us women who run against the norms of society. We do get treated differently sometimes - but at least we can drink out of the same water fountains and pee in the same toilets as those of average height...oh boy I am on a roll tonight, best get busy with the paint brushes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Georgia O'Keefe

The all time sensual flower painter - also known for her skulls and bones and Southwestern landscapes - she is photographed in several poses almost as if she is protecting her heart. A pretty woman, later in life, she was a most gorgeous woman - I would have liked to have met her - living there in the dessert like she was a queen who owned everything as far as her eyes could see and her paintbrush could touch.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sensual, Sensual Spring

One of the greatest pleasures in my life is to watch things grow. The top photo is the first harvest of peppers. These would make a great painting I think. The bowel is one that I did hand building clay, glazing and firing.

The next two photos are my day lilies - they finally are blooming after two or three years off and are being generous with their blooms!

Then, the orange tree has finished blooming and the tiny oranges are coming on - I'll be alert this year and spray them with an oil to keep the bugs away and buy a tent for them so the birds won't peck them.

Sex, sex, everywhere. I find it amazing and awesome that God created us with so much connection to the earth's plants - the soft folds of flowers, the alert pistol of the plant - all for reproduction...and I dare say, our viewing pleasure. I think of Georgia O'Keefe, master painter of flowers, out there in the dessert, painting even skulls and bones with a softness and visual allurement.

I watch the blooms on the squash plants and the cucumbers begin to form into the vegetable. I'm thinking too, as well, God made those not only for pleasure, but for purpose - like we are made - I wonder if they experience pleasure in their reproduction and growing?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy Mother's Day & Stuff

This is the second attempt at posting today. Its been a busy day. I cleaned house until I couldn't move anymore only to have it demolished when everyone arrived here toward the end of the day. Oh well, what is more important? The people!!! The people within the house. Homes aren't museums, but people-holders, right? Ideally, people havens. Right? Right.

Anyway, last night was so much fun. Grandson's school had an Arts and Literature night combined with a spaghetti supper. I was asked to bring some paintings and one in progress to work on and give a demonstration. There were potters, jewelry makers, and other artists and the kids all had a ball.

I had made some headway for several days on Parrot. Some of the children would stand watching for a long time. I would ask if they would like to paint some strokes. Of course they did. They respectfully stayed in the areas I asked them to, and one little boy did stray - but he was a little boy genius with the paint brush. I let him work on the banana stalk and the parrot beak. He later came by to check to see if I had changed his marks (I hadn't - they will stay there forever.) Later his grandmother shared with me that he was "obsessive-compulsive" and had a great deal of difficulty in school because of it and whatever could make him feel good about himself was appreciated. I told her she really did have an incredible child as far as painting went and to encourage it. So many labels for children anymore......

Was able to spend some time with grandson's teacher and meet his little boy, well, not so little. His daughter had done an incredible pastel drawing of a dragon. I have never seen such an outstanding public school....I wish our boy had the chance to go there a couple of years earlier.

Sunday I plan to meet a friend from up north for a bit of grown up time, and another artist friend emailed and has been missing me - I am so bad when it comes to friends and things outside my four walls...tomorrow going to the beach and sitting in the sun and letting the waves and water sounds soothe sounds like a winner - grandson wants to see Ironman, the movie. That's a lot for one day.

Mother's Day is Sunday - having my kids and grandkids doing well is present enough, and I will treat myself to a nice lunch of diet food. Maybe a new pair of capris. The two interim pairs are sliding down my hips, woo hoo, some more - Dr. Lovely - here is a big kiss for you! I'm beginning to think the medical establishment/pharmaceuticals/government are getting big payoffs to keep us fat and sick. Doc Lovely swims upstream against the flow and pioneers away.

Anyway, its getting HOT here - well, not hot, but in the 80's. Southerners get cold when it gets humid, but I start cooking - to me its like a steam bath. The fewer clothes the better. So anyway, it'll be another day, Mother's Day, but then I've had some fabulous ones at beach condos and given a golden ring with precious stones for each child's and grandchild's birthday sign and wined and dined - I'm content to see what God brings me for the day.

Younger daughter is engaged and I find myself involved, or rather sharing in her plans. We picked out a wedding dress yesterday. She thinks its the dress - we'll see. But she's secretly dreaming of a Las Vegas Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding - I told her I bet we could come up with one given enough time right here where we are. Wouldn't that be fun!

Anyway, all you mothers, whether to kids or cats, have a great day, ok?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bad Man Speak

I am currently busy writing a new language translation. It has been a life long work.

Examples of phrases and translations, hidden meanings depending on cultural assumptions:

"I am not gambling." "I don't know how that betting magazine that arrives in the mail got my name."
Translation: "I've lost too much money."
Hidden meaning:"No you can't have $5.00, we can't we afford a chicken for supper for the kids"

"I don't remember."
Translation: "Shut up."
Hidden meaning: "I really slipped when I told you how much I wanted someone else while we had sex."

"I didn't say that."
Translation: "Oh, no, she caught me."
Hidden meaning: I was mad over spending $50.00 on some medicine for her and went and told everyone I was dumping her. They were really impressed because of all the difficulties she's had the last year and one half, so they called her and gave her a warning."

"I don't lie."
Translation: "I don't know how to tell the truth, therefore I don't know I am lying."

"I can't talk to you like I can talk to her, I can tell her anything."
Translation: "I won't talk to you because I am terrified of intimacy, but I can tell her what a rotten wife you are."
"Hidden meaning:" I spent $800 buying dollhouses from her because she needed the money and then gave them to my children for Christmas presents, never mind they didn't ever in their entire lives ask for dollhouses for Christmas."

"Oh, those boxes and stacks and more boxes of books, CD's and DVD's, and magazines, and periodicals, etc. don't cost me anything."
Translation: "Oooops, I didn't think you'd notice."

"You spent all the tax money, you irresponsible B-----."
Translation: "I need more money for bills now that I've had a gambling loss, etc. and I'm really regretting buying you that new outfit."
Hidden meaning: "Uh, what do you mean the tax rebate hasn't arrived yet?"

Entertaining, yes? Best seller material? Definitely.

Note: One must spend many years with Bad Man before understanding the Speak, therefore the new translations are a ground breaking new book!

Ok guys, I know you are going to trump me one..........I'm waiting.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Birthday from the Shark Pool to my Sister


Wish you were here - we'd go down to the Jellyfish Bar and Boogie. We would. Or wherever they boogie nowadays. Florabama? There we could not only boogie, but sling some mullet!!!!