Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh, deys Eggplants!

Yup, these are backwards, but I have a feeling I have a big day ahead, so's I'm not going to rearrange them for the post. Aren't those eggplants beautiful?

It seems like the word, eggplant, will either make people gag, or say, "yum."

I love them - stuffed or in Eggplant Parmesan. I invented my own EP recipe - and threw in okra to make it southern and because I love okra. So, I made the sauce from scratch, poured it over the crisply browned eggplant which was rolled in egg and flour, put a slice of mozzarella on top, lightly sprinkled with Parmesan, melted the cheese over all, and served with hot pasta and garden veggies. Grandson thought it was scrumptious. Future SIL ate with no compliment - but he's not the complimenting kind - eating it, being he's also a sausage man, was compliment enough. No one else would touch it - not even with a "ten foot pole." But it was fun. I ate some. Afraid to weigh today after this weekend spree. I haven't touched the Krispie Kremes though - hey, they are now using "healthy fat" for the decadent things, or rather I should say no trans-fats, which are the killer kind.

Went to art party last night - and blew a dud again - I am so uninspired.

Perhaps have an appointment with Dr. Lovely today - I don't know - soon will make phone calls. Lots of paperwork to do, and the "kids" - are moving back in here until their house is built - oi - Grandson is lost in a summer of play with a neighbor boy - that is excellent, next year he will be twelve - nothing better in childhood than long, long days of summer play, bikes, sleepovers, cold watermelon on the front porch, late sleep in mornings . . . .

SIL-to-be informed me we were having his family for the 4th of July - oi, again! Well, he barbecues and I can start my famous potato salad early, and I also make a deep dark chocolate cake with orange frosting for the 4th. If they don't like a house that has only narrow paths in which to traverse, tough. Perhaps it will be good to have towering (I don't feel tall with the "boys" around) raucous relatives - they do stick together......

I'm asking my missionary friend to come translate to the south of the border cleaning ladies who do not speak English and attempt to get a work permit out of them. I am so pain-in-the-whompess fixated on doing things "right" - which usually gets me in more trouble than "overlooking" things that are on the edge or over the edge...ok, ok, ok, I guess maybe in the fall, I will look into learning some, at least, rudimentary Spanish...ya never know when you'll need it. What is it they say? "Don't fight progress?" (Or, the lack of...)

And, I am starting my trip to Nepal. I decided. Don't know when. But I wrote it down. It will happen. I'm making a "dream it into reality board." How will I explain a photo of Bruce Willis on a motorcycle to "H"? Oh well, I have pictures of gorgeous women I am gluing on as well - Candy and Stagg have inspired me - collage, here I come! The images - ? It is the concept - of being fit, active, looking good, happy, achieving far flung, even far-out dreams. Gonna do it. I went through a list recently while cleaning files that I wrote years and years ago - even seemingly impossible dreams have been why not?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lazy Saturday Stress Reduction

We rousted ourselves out of bed early this am, Grandson and I, and headed for the open air fruit/plant/craft/art market that has become a success in downtown Martin Luther King Jr. park. Then I took him to a buffet breakfast where he snacked on raw spinach, lettuce, tomato, a huge piece of chocolate cake and water. I had an omelet, no cheese, but we'll see what damage that does - it felt heavy. Well, ok, confess, I ate a sausage too.

We purchased eggplant, string beans, yellow squash, cucumbers, a new creeping native ground cover plant, a bouquet of flowers (above) and a hand made leopard cat with a saucy personality. I am excited to make Eggplant Parmesan with spaghetti for dinner tonight and sides of steamed squash, string beans, and cold sliced cukes. A feast!

The red flower is a bloom from my hibiscus. It's glorious, yes?

Last, but not least, is an every day, several times a day occurrence....I bend over, my back catches and I drop a bunch of stuff. I just wait until someone comes by and picks it up, or I get on my knees late in the day and crawl around putting it away. It makes me want to cry. But, hey, I can crawl - what if it was a wheelchair!!! So, I can say I'm lucky I can get stuff picked up -

Hattigrace called me this a.m. and I felt really good about something I'd been pondering for a long time after talking with her. Will report on action taken when something starts to happen. Friends are better than diamonds or gold, any day. Also lots of encouraging comments to my last post...thanks, folks.

Happy Saturday................!

Friday, June 27, 2008

"And the Two Shall Become One?"

Impending job loss, daughter's wedding, chronic health problems, daughter and grandson moving out soon, a bit of a list of stress sources I think.....but every day things people live with all the time. I just don't do stress well anymore, whereas I used to be the queen of "bring it on, I can handle it!"

Yesterday, my daughter asked if I would look at the wedding dresses she has picked out. I do not do shopping well because of my back. But I did make a good ten hour day of it - bridal shops, grocery shopping, an unplanned hour and one-half search to pick up "H" where he had left his truck for repair, umpteen stops to get her "double shots" of caffeine, a stop to find me a jacket that fit to take to Wyo (its been known to snow out there in July, yes, it has!). Found a great sale - again. Today I'm posting my good clothes from yore on EBAY. Anyway, at the end of the day, I wished the nerve block this time would have done more....oh well, its better than a month ago! My legs are just so wobbly.

She tried on many dresses - some looking like royal coronation gowns, some sleek and sexy, but finally she put one on that made me cry. We are all past the "My baby is getting married" stage of life, but I was surprised to find the tears that popped up when she put on one in particular (especially since I'm not much of a cryer anymore). That turned out to be her favorite too. So the dress, shoes, tiara are ordered and hopefully supposed to be here in time for the wedding. We both felt really good about the dress. My instincts screamed, "Just buy a dress, already, a dress is a dress." But a bit of the moment took me over - yes, this one is THE dress.

I remembered back when I got married the first time and wanted a white dress - my mother picked it out, gave it to me, and that's what I wore. That was indicative of who would be running my marriage, which lasted a whole year, at the end of which I was newly pregnant. I didn't realize until years later, I had married a boy who could not even be responsible for himself, let alone a wife and child. I found myself on the way to being a single mom, when women just WEREN'T single moms. And, mostly, divorced dads back then walked away from their children easily. My poor little boy. My mother had made a show of not approving, but all in all, she was glad to have a glum teenager out of the house.

I don't know how they are going to pull this wedding off in a month when they haven't even yet found a place to have it, ordered a cake, set a caterer, found a reception place, looked at flowers, registered for gifts, nor mailed invitations, sell his house, store all his stuff, etc. Why am I stressing? Well, its my nature. I probably could open a business and get paid for stressing out for people (I mean, I REALLY do a good job of it!) - hey, leave your stress here for a fee - I will stress for you, get sick and do all that dysfunctional crap and save you the time and pain. Boy, wouldn't I get rich? And dead?

Part of me stands aside and looks at the melding of two close knit families - oi - scary. We, this family, are used to the orphans who come to us for solace and strength and leave us drained, broke, and mopping up messes. What do we do with people who have traditions of their own, ways of their own, and stand on them like bulldogs? Oi.

Think of the miracle of families. Like people, no two are exactly the same. Imagine a core of people somehow functioning together as a unit for a lifetime. Then you expand that unit, usually with a relative stranger whose family is also relative strangers, each thinking their ways are right, and everyone is supposed to get along! Amazing.

One of "H"'s & my problems arose from celebrating Christmas - we always did it Christmas morning - I mean that's Christmas day, right? He always did it the day before Christmas. He didn't have a reason, that's just how he wanted it done, and compromise without a fight to the death is not in his vocabulary. So, of course that's how we did it, and any tradition I had or wanted to create was a constant battle. The next major adjustment was that neither of us went to church or were religious at the time of being married, but oh, when I began to go to church - of course, what I chose was not acceptable. Until God yanked "H's" tail. Chuckle. Christmas still remains a bone of contention deep in my heart, and only because of the lack of respect to me and my children. I always give in to keep the peace, something I have been trying to learn not to do when its a detriment. I pray this pending marriage becomes what the word signifies - a marriage, not a job with a "boss."

Now, after years, church is where ever we want to attend, separately or together. Mostly separately because I don't like being told how to drive to the church, which place I will park the car in, or stressing about - are we going to eat at home or out later, if we get to the restaurant will he be a mad member of the tribe because he doesn't like lines, noise, prices, etc. I mean, we can't even get peacefully in the front door together, really.

And two tribes are supposed to join peacefully? Oi, again.

Then some people can't do it anymore. And the choice is to separate physically and/or just emotionally. The choice is - start over and hope for better, or endure, make the best of it, and hope family continuity is enough to overcome the lack of joy. I can't imagine what is would be like, for the "Two" to have that joy that is intended for such a relationship - the joy that we are taught to expect when those vows are said, how strong would that core be then!

There is a love, a way, I think that transcends the unrealistic expectations that our culture has set for us to believe. It is the way of survival - the way of, when it comes down to it, fighting to preserve the family and when times get tough, coming together the best a family can to insure the survival of the family and the individual. Not always perfect, but its been around for centuries and centuries, not always "traditional" but here it is in all its glory and dysfunction as well, ever enduring in custom and repeating itself.

So - into the sunset go the preparations to join these two families with prayers of "God help us all" and even, help us enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aaaaaaaarghhhhhhhh Bad Nerves Day

I wants to sting something, sting it hard and makes it hurt. Probably too many steroids in my spine and associated trigger points. I've been also wanting to eat anything and all of it.

Started a project been wanting to do for years - clean up the credit report - wrong addresses, jobs we've never worked, debts paid off and never reported paid off, people on it we have never heard of that are supposed to be us, jobs we never had, delinquencies we never had, etc., etc., etc. I have been fighting for two weeks with Bank of America concerning a report of the credit agency that we have never paid off two cars. Then why do we have the titles?

Finally, after two weeks of phone calls to no avail, "H" made a trip to the bank for help and was successful - we have two zero balance letters in hand. We have someone helping us clean up the report - so I am going straightaway to fax them to our helper in this cleaner-upper trial of nerves. I've come to the conclusion that a large majority of people are too lazy to take care of a problem so they make up stuff so they won't have to write a **>>>!!! letter. It should not take 17 phones calls and two weeks and three people to get a proof letter from the bank stating that your account is zero when its really zero. Jeez. Now how long will it take to persuade the credit reporting agency!

Then I get in the shower - turn on the water water. "H" is unusually quiet, but has left the house to "check on the problem." Would this be one of the credit snafu's? Forgetting to pay the garbage bill? If you don't pay for the garbage pickup they shut off your water. Makes perfect sense. Footnote: He just came back and said that there was a water main break - now is that wicked of me to think such a thing?

The "huge delinquency" showing on our report is because, I'm told, if you have a mortgage, the mortgage company is supposed to report monthly. Ours hasn't reported for two years. More phone calls. More snotty replies.

We had a tax lien way back in college days about 20 years ago, I've protested with the credit reporting agencies several times and have been assured as soon as I fax the release, which I have been faxing to one or another of them about every two years on average for 15 years, they will take it off the report. Is it off the reports? Of course not.

I am banging my head against a brick wall.

Ok, now this wasp lady will turn into Tinker Bell and start thinking only positive thoughts. As soon as I get water for my shower. I promise.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Thanks for the "good thoughts" and prayers coming my way. I was in and out of the hospital in one and one-half hours. My daughter went with me and I was able to stand afterward, not sick (until I started drinking the Starbucks on the way home). I slept all afternoon and am going to fix "H's" resume before laying back down. We'll know in a few days how effective it was for the remaining pain. Now I know why I am ravenous after a procedure - I asked what "juice" was being injected - the answer was "steroids." OK, that's why. And Verced during the procedure - well, the feel good, definitely is not worth that feel bad afterward - drugs are NOT my thing.

Sparrows - I love birds, I love to watch them - not particularly to identify them, but to say, "Oh, look at what they are doing now." I also find God not only a bird maker, but they fit into the plan for us as well.

"H" got notice last week (at first I decided not to mention it) that he will be terminated after 17 years from his grocery store in September as they sold out. My first thoughts were, "How can I live without health insurance?" and a salary is nice too since I'm not working.

So, with all this project of changing my thoughts, I decided, "Ok, do I use what I know, or not?" Sensing his panic, I told him that better things are in store for him, and we will make it through the changes and he will be better off than before.

Now, I am looking at my handout from a class I went to: "Every thought we think is creating our future." "Every word we speak is affirmation - either to the good or the bad." I say it, I believe it. Now, it may not work according to MY expectations, but it WILL work out to the better..

The Bible which is becoming more and more my standard for life (and no, I'm not so goody-goody - I have a few things I have in my mind that shouldn't be there, and some rebellious, baby centered (I want what I want) part of me clings to them, although I know I shouldn't). So I run to my Father (I never could run to the one I had here on Earth) and I find Matthew 6:26 - "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

More: "Therefore DO NOT WORRY,.......For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.....but seek ye first the kingdom of God.....and all these things shall be added unto you....Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things." See? There is even something out there that will do our worrying for us!

What more could I ask?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blood Orange Moon Thoughts for Monday

Blood Orange Moon . . . sounds like a song. Driving up the beach highway, I spotted a huge red-orange globe in the sky and it finally registered – “That’s the moon!” I had not ever seen it so large. Then, as the trees thinned along the shoreline, I was able to see the bay, the orange colors were dancing across the deep night water of the bay – and it was one of those moments so beautiful you want to fly….or cry…..or both.

Tonight I was feeling too lazy – I just went out to tell everyone goodbye. It had been raining hard all afternoon but just quit about an hour ago. It was beautiful – the grass was so soft and green and the garden looked glutted with wine, though it was only water, all of nature tonight looked satisfied. I am invigorated.

Not far from here in another bay, the dolphins cavort just after the sun comes up, I want to take coffee and sit, waiting.

The air is hanging heavy with humidity, smoothing and softening the skin. I walk around to the back of the house looking for the gardenias to be blooming in their heavy, soft scent and am rewarded with a handful – but I will not pick them – they deserve the night.

I love white flowers because there is something so incredibly sensuous, yet pure about them. I like to sit by the garden at night and think and enjoy the scents and the flowers. I hope at my funeral/memorial there will be extravagant white flowers all over the place. Haven't decided if I want to be buried or cremated and scattered to the Gulf.

To change the tone:

Back to every day stuff. No highly intellectual, esoteric posts here.

I am going in for another nerve block – Monday a.m. I pray for a bit easier time and even more success, though the back is much improved.

OK, the rest is for the girls:
Have lost more pounds, yay, and inherited my daughter’s underwear. Now, pray tell, who and why – invented thongs? Not the kind that fit between your toes to hold the summer sandals, but the kind that fit so uh, oddly, in private places, ah, bits as they say in England? 24/7, giving me a consciousness of parts that usually are taken quite for granted. I think women rarely think of those parts as we go about the day, and suddenly, with the invention of the thong, they are there – insolent and almost demanding of attention (like, get this blankety-blank noose off of me, won’t you?). Never thought my bits would be talking to me.

My bras have now become cell phone holders as a bit more room becomes available.

“H” is getting that look in his eyes. Hey, I’ve forgotten how – and besides, don’t treat me mean and expect desire. God somehow made me with the memory of an elephant, can’t help it. Yeh, that’s right, blame God for a personality defect.

I find the Victoria’s Secret sale catalog again, and browse the pages, looking for something that is, uh, well yes, sexy, but comfortable – the two can co-exist, right? Please say yes. My mother told me always to wear clean underwear in case of a car wreck - anyone ever hear that? I mean what self-respecting woman would not wear clean underwear anyway?

Well, what if I were in a car wreck and had no underwear on - or, worse yet, I had the inherited thongs on, and ended up hung by my bits?

I browse on in the catalog, and think - no I don't want to be in a car wreck in these either. I go to Walmart - the one closest to here has underwear for granny butts (I will NOT succumb) or teenagers. HOW does one dress to feel like a goddess and still be prepared for a car wreck? Mother? Where are you? Never mind, to all mothers, the word "Goddess" smacks of the word "Sexy" and your daughters are definitely NOT to be sexy. Just know, that you are never too old to be owned by a mother.

Ok, enough is enough. For those of you going "Huh?" I am feeling very funny tonight. My sister and I always thought it would be fun to do a comedy routine together. Also I am quite sober.

Ah, my grandchildren will, again, hack my computer and give me a hard time!

Ok, ok, ‘tis a very weird post, but, hey, who ever said I approach anything normal.

I am now going to go do my 3 miles on the elliptical, bathe my back in antiseptic, scrounge for some semblance of underwear that won't give my very humor-full doctor the giggles, (or something worse) (er, better?) and prepare for a 24 hour fast to accommodate the needle man’s instructions. I’ll be back, depending on my come-back from the “juice.”

Easy Sunday Musings.........

All right already, yes, I'm having a fascination with angels. About two and one half years ago I knew I was supposed to begin painting angels. Don't know what is taking me so long. Procrastination I guess.

I found a new channel which kept me awake long into the night last night. First I received a mysterious call from hattigrace. No speaking, just a dead air call. I hung up and called her back - she started telling me about We laughed ourselves silly when she said she hadn't called me, but her phone was in her purse, and it just went off. (God calling?) Well, being as I had just heard about from another friend in Virgina, I figured it was GOD talking to me again. So I got on the computer and sat enthralled, clicking on the daily program streaming link. The June 19th worship leader is a slip of a girl, who had a gift of stirring the heavenlies. Yes, I have to paint angels. When?

Spent yesterday with an old missionary friend who is wanting me to drive to Nicaragua with her in an RV. Now, that sounds like an adventure - a two week trip through Mexico to Nicaragua. She said she would only worry about the bandits in Guatemala. Will I do something that crazy? Stay tuned. I might. Wouldn't that make a cool blog? ......something like, well, I'm in El Salvador now..... anyway I guess its time time get my passport renewed.

And my trip to Wyoming looms ahead and I'm afraid I will have trouble getting there. I will pray the second set of nerve blocks are effective. And home - the home leg will take 17 hours thanks to cheap tickets and troubled airlines. I could fly to Japan in that amount of time, I think.

More nerve blocks tomorrow - hopefully to quell the remaining burning right foot and spasms on the left side of the back. Hope I get some anesthetic that will not make me feel awful for a week again and that I don't get that scary my legs don't work time again.

Big grandkids coming to stay for ten days - which will overlap the Wyo trip, but I am hoping the rest of my family will pick up where I leave off - I pray for strength and dollars to have some adventures with them...........the young one will love having cousins here....grandma will pay the exhaustion price, but it will be so worth every minute. Perhaps I can get the granddaughter to painting again...she is so talented.

Psycho cat killed another huge rat - left in in the garden - hmmmm, rat fertilizer - "H" put it in the garbage can sans plastic wrap and going out the door to the front of the house is totally disgusting - come on garbage man, then I will have to pour a gallon of clorox into the container.

Raining. But not enough to keep me from the beach. I'm a nice coffee with some milk kind of tan...its fun....gotta be careful though not to over do and turn into a prune. Oh, I love Florida, love it! Also pulling weeds from garden constantly. "H's" idea of putting down pine straw for mulch was to throw the bales into the garden for me to spread - but I will conquer - he finally found the pitch fork for me so I won't have to bend over to spread it - except now its full of weeds again and I have to bend to pull them.....

The boy and I picked produce out of the garden and I sprayed them with olive oil and garlic salt added, and put them in the basket into the George Foreman rotisserie that we saved from a garage sale and it was wonderful as was our organic rotisserie chicken - summer is SPEEDING by - and he still needs lots of practice on times tables and needs to get his reading in - he's become a social butterfly and wants to be with friends all the interesting and fun watching an ll year old teeter between being a teenager and a six year old.....

Just got a new Oprah magazine - seems chock full of wonderful stuff - I will clean house today a bit, then sit down with coffee for a cozy trip through the magazine wishing I could share all the cool stuff in it....I would like to rock up 5 miles on the elliptical today to make up for none the next few days, so I'll prop "Oprah" up and read....wish there was a way I could connect the TV to

Hope everyone is having a super great weekend....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Forgot About Then

Today I attended a funeral of a missionary friend. She lived a long, satisfying life until she had a stroke. I saw her sitting alone at church one day, and took her hand, and said, "Millie, how are you?" She looked in my eyes and said, "I'm so tired, so very, very tired." I replied, "I bet you are." Then we continued there, holding hands, communicating in the spirit. Even then, I could feel her strong spiritual walk. I hoped some of my strength would seep into her soul and body.

Many times Millie had stopped in my office and she would tell me something that was for the moment and I always felt better...those were rough years, the years where I saw Millie often.

Today, her life was honored. It was an awesome funeral....and I saw so many, many, many old friends. Men and women of God who have given their lives to God in service of one kind or another.

We came here in '88 to go to Bible College. We did, "H" earned a degree in pastoral ministries and I began a degree in Family Systems Therapy. The school closed, "H" got his degree, mine was named something else because I didn't have enough credits to graduate a bona-fide therapist. My mentor urged me to go on to a university and finish and join him in practice. My son had just died and I couldn't think - I barely managed to get through a day, let alone work and continue school.

I digress, though - as I looked at all my beloved friends and acquaintances of the last twenty years, I remembered all the years that I too served God. Not always perfectly and sometimes I even had a stinking attitude or two. It was such a privilege. These folks hugged me and shook my hand and as we visited I realized I had forgot this part of me...the years I ministered in missions, in an inner healing ministry, in recovery groups, and many other ways. And I realized I could die feeling good about that. One time (yeah, I talk to God sometimes) God told me that if ALL I did was raise my kids to know God, that would have been a great plenty.

My flesh (ego) was also stoked today as many didn't readily recognize me - when they did I had lots of compliments, and an appreciative look or two - but the other part of me sadly realized no matter where, people are human, and looks have a lot to do with how one is able to live life....and I'm not sure I liked that part of me that felt so good over the compliments. And I also remember all the reasons I let myself get so overweight - fear of sexuality - my gosh, what would one do in the Christian world if one is "too" attractive (not saying I am...but what about worrying if your nipples show through your bra? Does that make me less holy? I think not - so why the hangup?) Depression - a person is easily overwhelmed when depressed - too hard to fight whatever to take care of oneself....???? Exhaustion from years of stress - exercise? Just making it through a day was an accomplishment.

Anyway, I digress - the moral of this post is that I am so happy to be a part of a large community - one that has felt like family - an imperfect one, because we are all imperfect, no doubt, but nevertheless, these people have seen me through thick and thin, good and for them overwhelmed me. The founder of this huge ministry got up and said he thought he would die before Millie - there was lots of talk of dying - we are not young chicks anymore - but that's ok - we all do sooner or later - its just that we are so darn missed here on earth when we've gone on.

It's been a reflective day.

Then another friend called that had been my friend in this part of me I had forgotten and invited me to lunch at her home - I was wildly delighted to think of refreshing that friendship, then another missionary called me last night - she's a nurse in Nicaragua - goes out in the jungle doing health clinics to people who don't have medical care - and said - "Hey, let's get together!" Yes!!! Let's do!!!!!!

THEN- I ran across a dear man who spotted me at a seminar and fell for me - in a wholesome way - he got us involved in a marriage ministry and we made it huge, until "H" lost whatever it was he lost to push on.....but anyway, what a delight to have that bear of a man's arms around me in the delight of meeting once again - he and his wife were really special friends in our lives - - -

Boy, have we "holed up" in the last 10 years - - - -

hattigrace hauled me off to another art party last night - it was wonderful fun as always - I literally had to mentally whip myself out of the house - it was worth every minute - what cool people are there!!!!

Wow, even if it is a funeral - I am becoming alive as a social butterfly again....actually I am a shy person, would you believe it?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Is my neck red?

I KNEW it! The news tonight said most of the offending tomatoes were from Mexico and Florida. The FDA is making Florida deal with it. So far, Mexico is off limits. Speculation is that the most recent death from Salmonella is a political death because as of yet, the U.S. is NOT dealing with Mexico in regard to the problem - so why is government approving killer drugs while banning others, turning its back on food import dangers from other countries, and putting a quiet lid on dangerous goods from China? Yes, yes, I know - "follow the money." Enough said. In the case of Mexico - what is going on - is government trying to break our backs - break us into accepting low, low wages for jobs by turning blind eyes toward the illegals problem? They've already busted the Unions partially through outsourcing and turning blind eyes to millions crossing the southern border at will, (other methods too - but not addressed here) and whatever is left is mostly ineffectual. All the while we are being forced into accepting unacceptable product and service and wages. The newest reduction in our wages is that employers are more often dropping sick leave from their benefits list. Come on - you really want us to come to work sick, contaminate the whole office or workplace, thus reducing the efficiency of all rather than pay one to stay home a couple of days? Uh, that is NOT good management.

The working people of this country fought long and hard for decent treatment of employees. We are going backward. Service is horrible - we call for assistance from many companies and can not even understand the customer service person on the other end of the line. I have had workers in grocery stores and drive throughs just give me even dollars for change - to my benefit or to theirs - because they can't make change. How can I get the change corrected when they don't speak English?

I'm stubborn - I'll be darned if I'm going to learn Spanish and Urdu to function in my own country.

The two new cleaning ladies from Bolivia sent over here by the now too pregnant original cleaning woman can't speak English, let alone read the instructions for the things we need done - I have to find someone who speaks Spanish to translate my own list ..........

I'm not even sure how the original one got here, my daughter hired her - what scares me is that I do not have an I-9 in my files to protect myself.

Does my anger at these situations mean I'm a redneck? Well, by golly, give me some torn denim shorts to my butt crack, a pickup truck with a confederate sticker, annuh case of brew - - - maybe I won't remember my frustration.

Yeh, yeh, yeh, I know - I am not practicing "Infinite Love and Gratitude." I think I should get the book - to find out how to practice "choice" when it appears choices have been taken from us against our will.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's Yer Poison?

Lemons n' tomatoes - poop & salmonella - pick yer poison.

Sure glad I'm growing my own this year. I can assure that poop is not used for fertilizer and Salmon Ella is not visiting my yard, unless wasps carry Ms. Ella about - don't think so. Poor bees - all gone - lethal looking redish drones and sleek black bomber wasps are busily visiting all of our plants. I have warned the boy never to show fear and not to move suddenly in their presence - maybe we can tolerate one another. If Psycho would stop eating the chameleons, perhaps we would have less stinging, biting bugs around, but he can't help it - he is a serial stalker and killer, alas.

I get up in the morning and pull the worms (its a good sign that I have earth worms!!!) out of the way of the voracious fire ants and throw them back in the dirt.

Back to our outbreaks: this is really sad because one of my favorite foods is fresh salsa...yum.....I usually use an orange oil based vegetable wash on my fruits and vegetables. Not to mention, this kind of stuff kills people. Anyway, less salsa for us this month unless its canned - and no lemons in the water at restaurants.......

Don't know if its because I'm old and don't have much to think about, but I think about germs a lot. I wash my doorknobs once a month. I wash my hands immediately upon coming home from being out and about and carry little bottles of antibacterial stuff in my purse. Used to drive my older grandkids nuts... totally nuts. But I hated seeing them crawl on sidewalks where people spit - they always got sick when they wouldn't let me wipe 'em down.

Then, meat - - - when "H" met me, he said, "You wash meat?" After seeing how often he washes his hands? You betcha I wash meat, chicken, fish.....but then......

What about all the toxins from the sprays on vegetables and fruits - the U.S. regulates that...but many foreign countries don't - some sprays can't be washed off - they penetrate the skin of apples, cherries, other thin skinned fruits....and vegetables.....and we wonder why we don't feel good!

Maybe people died in the "old" days - but I suppose mostly from fecal-spread diseases - and diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and other diseases that we are lucky enough to have mostly eradicated here in the U.S. My great grandfather died of yellow fever and left 13 kids. Death came in different, quicker forms back then.

What can we do to keep all this poison out of our bodies? Its hard enough outside the home - but what can we do in the home to make our "sanctuary" truly a sanctuary. I watch my grandsons and oldest daughter suffer with allergies. One thing we can do is get our body in as good of shape as possible to resist onslaughts. The next is to attempt to decontaminate our homes. Our tap water smells like algae - and sure enough, if left to itself, algae will grow. Our municipal system allows so many parts of heavy metal and coloforms in the tap water - not too mention the lead still existing in pipes. Its not supposed to be there - but why are we told to run all our eating/drinking water through cold water pipes?

The list is endless. The seeking is endless as well. Why do we want to live so long and feel so good why we are doing it? I have a secret to tell you - as the body ages, the mind still feels young. It does. And new ways are coming out to make the body stay younger - the new 60 is now 45. So what is the new 45 - 30? And the new 30? See, you are younger than you think.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


From today's local newspaper:

Who's struggling the most?

The survey found that upwardly mobile, middle class families were amont those who had the most debt stress. Others were women, couples with small children, low-income working families, Democrats, and those who graduated from high school but haven't taken college courses.
Those least likely to be stressed from debt include men, retirees, empty nesters, college graduates and Republicans.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Choosing to be Whole

Painting by Rod of God

I’ve been sharing my quest with you guys for some time… discovery that my body is something precious, uniquely mine, something to be grateful for, something to nourish and love and take care of. This body is connected to my mind and my spirit and all are working together for the good or the bad. I can choose increased energy, being a better person, a whole, healthy, and healed person who can embrace life and others to the utmost. That’s what I’m working for.

I want to practice Infinite Love and Gratitude.

Isn’t it interesting, that often when a person really needs something, that”something” will begin to come to them? As I said in my previous post – not always all at once, but a piece at a time and then we find that these pieces fit together and something beautiful happens.

Some people will think I’m nuts – I am seeing a controversial doctor, Doc Lovely, of whom I made mention, I’m going through conventional medical doctors for my back, I’m also using magnetic therapy, Pi Water – which I find is flushing my system amazingly and my mind is becoming clearer, much clearer, seminars, books, anything to get rid of the negative mind set I have lived in unwittingly and unasked for.

Side benefits? I’m 50 pounds lighter in body, pounds lighter in spirit, (and its only the beginning.) “H” is changing (unless I’m completely deluded) – this morning he sys I had inspired him to get up and “clean up” so to speak, he’s losing weight, has sought out a male friend from church to be friends with that will bring him higher – he’s doing things for me – he looks better, he feels better, he is actually starting to – drum roll in the background – communicate. We are even starting to look outside of ourselves socially – this is a major landmark – somewhere we had lost that - - we became ingrown, bitter, and grumpy and had started to hate one another. Where did we get lost? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. What matters is being found.

I am ashamed that the patriarch and matriarch of a family could not have been a better example and a source of more strength. BUT, one of my new "affirmations" is that "I need to release the past and forgive everyone, including myself." The point of power is always in the present moment.

I'm still understanding that sometimes when we change, the others prefer a known rut and will not grow, but I'm feeling good that no matter what other people choose, I'm no longer allowing inner rot into my soul. Hello life! Whatever you may bring!

We met a wonderful couple whose hearts are to bring people up – they serve, then another friends who saw me struggling just to walk to the baseball bleachers a couple of months ago introduced us. More pieces coming together. I want to hang around people who bring me up, and I want to be a “bringer upper” of others – another couple coming to visit tonight – so I have to go for now.

Its time to open doors, not sit in the dark gazing at the closed ones. Its time for the leaves of the tree to be for healing.....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Road of Self Discovery

Frida Kahlo, one of my favorite painters - so full of pain, yet determined to live. Mysterious, but shockingly revealing and honest.

Do we ever find ourselves? No, we just keep looking, but we find a bit here, a piece there, we find the glue, and we find hope and knowledge and God and the joy of discovery, the joy of becoming, the joy of life on the path(s) we walk. We just need to be looking, that's all.

I had the procedure today - about five injections along my spine. It was creepy - I was scared, but the doctor was so sweet - greeted me with "I want to be in Wyoming fishing the Shoshone." I wish he could go there soon. The shots went splendidly, but I woke up bat-wacky and when I tried to stand up, my legs were - gone. Scared? You betcha - since I had to sign a paper stating that I understood paralysis was a possible side effect. Well, the drug that made me so very sick in a few moments after wakeup only bought the immediate to mind, "Gee, I can't stand up." They hustled me back to the table and I then couldn't breathe, wanted to barf badly, and was mulling over the meaning of "I can't stand up, my ass and on down are paralyzed.

After some wonderful medical adjustments from the recovery room nurse who was fabulous, my tummy settled, air came back to my lungs, and gradually I could move my legs - an extra long recovery ensued, my butt was the last to thaw out so it was kind of humorous in way, and then I was better than when I went in.

So, now home with instructions to not lift for two weeks anything more than a gallon of water, rest, rest, rest for 48 hours. I will miss the boy's class birthday party, but will be ready for the magnetics party Friday night.

So what about discovery? I thought about painting, my passion along with my family. The information I received made me realize that living with chronic pain is just that -- living with it. It does not mean putting life on hold "until I get better." It means doing life NOW. It means coping with frustration, depressions, hopelessness, anger at oneself because it takes three hours to do a 20 minute task, anger and sadness and despair because those who are supposed to help you sometimes/often won't. So what is the option - yes, options! Home Health Care for assistance - why expect my family to take the brunt - yeh, call a social worker and explain - get a network going and LIVE, darn it, just LIVE - and learn to love better. Getting rid of negative thinking is not the total answer - its another piece of the puzzle - and a knowing I am part of not only my family, but my community as well, and maybe even a receiver (of tax dollars) and not just a giver. And my family will learn from all this in the process, (hopefully). That's where my job is to pray. And love.

And believe God will take care of me (and my family) - the people who are helping me with the magnetic treatment are Christians and not charging me anything - that HAS to be a piece of the puzzle. God does things in ways we don't expect - we want everything to work on OUR PLAN....and it seldom does. So the adventure unfolds.

Joni Mitchell paints - Frida painted - and had social lives - friends, lovers, family, love, pain, angst, achievement - so can I. No more waiting.

I need to go get prone now - will visit all tomorrow in spurts - and Pup, I miss you, I often wonder if you are disillusioned with us "adults" in all our messy lives - but you know, life just isn't perfect, we deal with it as best we can. Love is the most important component of life...its that love that keeps us going despite all its imperfections, disappointments, failures..........and I'm sending you love tonight through this.......

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Welcome to Kentucky

Hattigrace invited me to an art party a few weeks ago. Sunday night was my second. The mix of people is great - mostly untrained artists and I love to see how they approach work and the freshness of it. I wish I had some of that back.

We all commiserated and later laughed at an incident inspiring the Welcome to Kentucky painting. I loved it, also loved the lamp - anyway, it is a warm, fun time.

Last night I went to a friend's house who has began a business in nutrition and magnetics. I thought it would be worth a try. After about one and one-half hours of magnetic therapy, my body felt invigorated, balanced, and I was out of pain. This morning I feel different - there is a lump in my back and my toes are asleep, but no pain - I bent over to pick up something I dropped - usually the stellar test - and up again, and no pain. I know one treatment would not be a miracle, but in the meantime, I pray for funds to purchase the incredible set of magnetic tools to help myself. I have already studied this to some point, as magnetic therapy has been used on ADD/ADHD/Tourrets/ successfully. This is also a business, and I could get really involved in it - AND new friends turned up through it.

I have found that often, a friend will be there - but we don't see them as friends. Then, one day,years and years later, circumstances will bring the two of you together and a great relationship begins. Life is amazing.

Today I have to - well I don't HAVE to - go to Mobile to Doc Lovely's - I put on a couple of pounds, maybe four - as I had to drink oxygenated water and eat salt through the magnetics - but it'll back off. I would love to have one of those water machines - - - the energy the whole experience put back in my body was incredible. "H" looked at me like I'd lost my mind, especially when I told him how much it cost to get set up - but to be able to help people - to relieve sickness and pain through these tools....

Also took boy to the beach yesterday - I'm a nice latte color now - I was watching him play with some other boys, and to my joy, realized his ribs weren't showing through his front and back anymore - he looked like the other children!!!!!! Oh, much to be grateful for today. Because of all the birthdays, mothers day, etc. he has had way too much sugar and is addicted to ice cream everyday - we need to do some work on that. But a year later, and he's becoming a real boy, not a lost list waif.

Its six a.m. and the sun has reached a point where the grass is golden-green - its that early morning light that makes Plein Aire painters hooked on that type of painting. I'm looking at the palms - and thinking I want to paint - but I better go check in at the clinic.....

Have a wonderful day....

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Long, Tall Me!

Well, celebration time! I have now reached the 50 pound mark on weight loss. No pics yet - although this time I don't FEEL any different. Except I can really feel that my knee caps and ribs have shown up. Yeh, these things aren't a big deal to skinny people, but to me - what a treat. I'm invited to a party tonight - the temptation is to eat and drink and be very MERRY - but I had better be good and take something I can a cucumber. Oh well, its worth every restricted bit(e) of it. Three miles daily on the elliptical - yay, yay, yay - which reminds me, I have to fix the boy a salad & dinner and be on my MERRY way, hooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaah!