Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oops

Well, today was weigh in day, and I've gained 1.2 pounds...not surprising with the amount of calories I put in me last week. So, I took off after weigh in to Little Washington to pick up my jet ski - which inhaled a hat last week.

Had a good (and reasonable) lunch at the Meeting Place; then I went next door and bought a giant paper rose to put next to my fireplace in the summer. Then, I tried to trade my jet ski and the fellow at the Sea Doo place talked me out of it; so the jet ski is being launched even as I write.

I had way too much caffeine today to be safe doing much of anything. Certainly not making any decisions. I'm like a kid who is ADHD - climbing the walls. I asked my friend who was with me why I was so hyper today and she pointed out that I don't usually drink caffeine and that I'd had a coke and two glasses of tea. Well, duh!!!!

Perhaps tomorrow morning, when I am more sane, I can test out my jet ski and see how it rides. That will be fun.

Meanwhile, here's another picture from my deck garden. This is a succulent, the name of which I do not know.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My spirit tells me that it's way past time to blog seriously again, but my mind is balking at organizing conversations, feelings and prayers. It's just possible that I've been thinking I'm God again. It's also possible that I'm a caring friend. It's entirely likely that I eat to help me ignore "the hole in me" and I also shop for the same reason. Recently, my partner and I had a conversation about how much stuff was appearing in the house - stuff like more towels than we have places to put, more dish towels than a household of 40 could use, more glasses than we could break in 10 years (and some of them polycarbonate, so they will never break, ha, ha). So, this week at a thrift shop I bought another set of glasses - to replace those that get cloudy from the dishwasher - only they don't do that so much any longer with the new dishwashers and the new detergents. But, I did clear out the blue kitchen towels - well, I moved them, actually, I hid them. I can't bear to throw them away...even though I may never use them again. And, I rearranged the linen closet so that I could get my favorite new towels in there.

And, I ate. We had two friends visiting - and we ate lots of good seafood. But, I couldn't stop there. One day, I ate hushpuppies at lunch - about 8 of them. That night I ate a couple more. And, I figured since I had blown it already, I might as well have dessert - in Weight Watchers that day cost me 54 points (24 daily allowance, 30 from my weekly bonus points). But the worst part is that I can't seem to quit eating now. I've gone over my points three more days this week, and I've used 9.5 more bonus points than I had to use. And, I just had a wonderful meal with fresh squash and onions and fresh green beans, and a little eye of round steak. Then I ate a peach. Then I found some old chocolate and threw it out, but I also found some that wouldn't last much longer - so I ate it. I'm fully up to my daily point allowance, and I hope bedtime is soon or I'll eat again.

My therapist and I talked about "the hole in me" today. She said everyone who was susceptible to addictions had this hole - well, maybe she didn't say it quite that way, but that's what I heard. I'm a food addict. It stops the pain, though I'm not sure what pain I'm having right now. Maybe it would stop the pain if I had pain, but I'm not taking any chances on pain; so I'll eat now and worry about the pain later? I don't know. What I do know is that after a couple of days off the system, I'm having a very difficult time getting back into good eating habits. We weigh in on Thursday. Maybe I'll try to do some treadmill tomorrow. Of course, I've been saying that since Sunday, and I'm still sitting at this desk.

And, you can probably tell that I'm not writing and editing this baby; I'm typing directly into the dashboard. What an image! Here I am barrelling down the highway of food and spending. But, I'm watching the dashboard and I can't seem to slow down in spite of knowing that I need to do so. Bleah!

Other than that (remember the joke: "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?") - Other than that, I am doing extremely well. Went for a wonderful jet ski ride this morning, sneaked up close to an osprey nest and was promptly reprimanded by its occupants. Then, it got hot and humid. So, I've been in the ac for a while. Therapist, grocery store where I bought lots of healthy produce and lean meat. I also bought chicken brats - so good, so bad for my stomach, but not too many points.

So, here I am, better go take my meds and put the clothes in the dryer. Y'all have a good night, you hear. Love, sharecropper

Mema's Angel Wing Begonia


Mema is my grandmother, and the root stock for this angel wing begonia came from her - no idea how many years ago. It has survived winters under the porch or in the garage. Now it has a sunny window where it can show the glory of its blossoms.

Blog rated PG

Online Dating

Okay, I picked this up from Mike. Here's how it rated me
* pain (3x)
* hurt (2x)
* gay (1x)
I can't believe that pain and hurt and gay can cause a blog to merit parental guidance. I think I'm living in another era.

Monday, June 25, 2007

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.
You'd make a talented professor or writer.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jesus Meme

1. Those tagged will share 5 Things They Dig About Jesus.
2. Those tagged will tag 5 people.
3. Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what’s being posted..

Well, I’ve been tagged by Eileen and by Janis ; so I guess I’ll have to play, but it’s difficult. I’ve not been very spiritual lately.

1. After more than 2000 years, Jesus is still a primary leader in the world. Dead men don’t often lead.
2. Even though the world changes, Jesus’ message is still current and available – although not always doable.
3. The Incarnation is uniquely important because Jesus becomes as we are instead of remaining The Word, The Other. Humanity and Divinity are linked. That means that we can be linked to divinity through our humanity.
4. Jesus was a storyteller, and I like stories, especially stories with multiple layers of meaning.
5. Jesus’ words can be used to prove almost anything, but, when they are taken as a whole, the message is clearly one of love.

I’m not tagging anyone ‘cause this has been going round my blogsphere for a while. If you haven’t been tagged and you want to participate, I think it’s definitely interesting and thoughtful.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday Cat Blogging



Cliff and Heath enjoy the morning on the porch. Bird feeders are outside to the right so they have entertainment.

Mindless stereotyping fun

Your Power Element is Earth

Your power color: yellow

Your energy: balancing

Your season: changing of seasons

Dedicated and responsible, you are a rock to your friends.
You are skilled at working out even the most difficult problems.
Low key and calm, you are happiest when you are around loved ones.
Ambitious and goal oriented, you have long term plans to be successful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

First Woman Bishop in Latin America

On June 10th, a woman was consecrated as suffragan bishop in Cuba. See the full story here.

The Rev. Canon Nerva Cot Aguilera was a secondary school teacher and one of the first three Episcopal women priests ordained in Cuba in 1987, and now she has become the first woman bishop in Latin America.

Attending the consecration were not only bishops from all over the Americas but also representatives from many other churches in Cuba. "It was a very important day for the church in Cuba," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who participated in the rites. "The presence of so many members of other parts of Communion was a gift."

Amen. Alleluia.

Monday, June 18, 2007

visitors- no chosen family

My friend, Gin, is here from Colorado with her friend Mindi. They arrived last night, and I may have already gotten Gin hooked on blogs; she was up late reading.

Even with hot weather here, I predict that our jet skis will get a good workout...and Weight Watchers will get harder. We've promised ourselves at least one feast at a good restaurant and lots of fun together.

So, I may not get back to this blog much for a week. Then, I want to talk about how God heals - ordinary and supernatural and eveyrthing in betweeen.

Oh, yeah, Eileen led me to a wonderful spiritual site, Songs of Unforgetting - made me realize that I tend to be pantheistic rather than monotheistic. If we are co-creators with God, why is not the rest of the world?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

my friend Gin

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.
You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Hole In Me

Be warned. This is a personal, self-psychologizing essay. Yesterday in a discussion about saving money and our budget, we segued into talking about the hole in me that I’m trying to fill with food and with buying things. I eat to ease my pain – literally and figuratively. When I hurt I eat and my pain is less. When I am upset, I eat, I calm down. When I have been through or in the process of going through something very stressful, I wind down with shopping. When I lived among good thrift shops, I spent hours there – until my feet and legs hurt, trying to distance myself from whatever was stressing me. And, it worked.

So, I know that there is a hole, and that it can be temporarily filled with food, clothes, bright colored junk, towels, etc. But, the hole consumes everything I put in and is still there.

Most spiritually astute people suggest that God could/should fill that hole. Well, I’ve been working with God for some 25 years, and the hole is still there. Fortunately, the hole has not consumed God for me; nonetheless, I keep trying to fill that hole with something.

Scientists have long known that black holes consume all matter that comes near them. But, until they began analyzing the holes, figuring out what they were, they had no idea why. So, yesterday, we began working on what the hole is in me that I keep trying to fill with food and shopping.

And, I think we’ve hit on something. (I will add here, tongue in cheek, that it’s easy to blame the dead because they can’t defend themselves, and everyone I mention here is dead.) When I was born, Mom said, I was a beautiful child and most wanted. I was loved and cherished beyond imagining, she said. But, some of my first memories are of having to sit and listen to my Dad preach/rant while he was drunk so that Mom could get things done. Inconsistency. If I am beloved child, why is Mom letting Dad abuse me verbally and emotionally? The words they spoke didn’t match their actions. I think that was the beginning of the holed.

Then, Dad went back into the Navy (had served in WW2), and our family consisted of Mom, David (my brother, 6 years older than me), and me. Suddenly all efforts were focused on David; he became the man of the house at age 13. He got to drive the tractor – never mind that it was devilishly hard work. And, he got to drive to school even though he didn’t even have a driver’s license when I had to ride the school bus. Mom and David had jokes that they didn’t share with me. If I was the beloved daughter, why was I left out? Where did I fit in the family relationship.

I was often sent to my grandmother’s, just down the road, to stay until Mom got off work. My grandmother had a hard life. My Mom had loved and discarded my Dad, the oldest son, several times before they finally married. So, my grandmother was not fond of her. And, she let me know every thing that Mom did of which she did not approve. But, I was her beloved granddaughter. Yet, I was subjected to vitriol about the Mom I loved.

We lived out in the country and did not have much contact with the social groups in town – unlike the times when Mom was growing up in an even smaller town where she was a star, a beauty and the “leader of the pack”. I had few friends and no one with whom to play. We were poor, and Mom did not want the rest of the world to know that we were poor; so we skimped on food to have me wear pretty dresses (that I hated) and be in beauty contests (which I hated even more) and be an attendant to my aunt’s Eastern Star installations (which were very uncomfortable since I knew only my aunt). Appearances were everything. Who we really were was hidden; we were ashamed of our poverty, ashamed of my Dad (the town drunk), we were ashamed of the fact that my Mom worked. But, we had to dress as well and act perfectly; so that no one would think we were poor white trash. If I was the beloved child, the smartest one in the class, then why did we have to do such uncomfortable things? Why wasn’t I good enough already?

When my brother died, Mom had no choice but to transfer the responsibility of making choices from him to me. She was incapable of making choices; she wanted someone else to choose so she wouldn’t have to blame herself. (We talked about this near the end of her life, and she pinpointed this trait.) Some choices I made were good, but something was always wrong. She was seriously ill; so I rented an apartment near the college I was attending and used the bit of inheritance from my brother to pay the rent. I got a job. Mom was getting well. Then she found a job which she held for 35 years. But, my choice of a place to live was wrong; so she moved us into the projects to save money. I gave up my job and began drinking.

The hole kept growing, and I had no way of filling it. As I grew into my 20s, I tried to fill the hole with sex. Thank God I could not have children or the tragedy would have grown. My behavior only made the hole grow bigger because people (Mom, aunt, grandmother, friends, etc.) would tell me what a wonderful person I was and then attack my lifestyle and career choices.

Until I was 50 years old, that hole kept growing. A friend named Bill and a good therapist stopped the growth of the hole. Because it was not consuming me any longer, I thought it had gone; I ignored it.

Now, I know that I still have this hole, this gap between what is said and what happens in the past, present and future. I project ways in which this hole is never filled. And, this scares me. I love my partner, and I want my words and my actions to be consistent with that love. But, I need to make the gaping hole inside me smaller in order to maintain that consistency. To do that, I need to more understanding, maybe have some ritual cleansing, maybe writing more essays, certainly awareness of times when the hole gobbles up not only food and shopping but also my love.

I need my therapist to help me do this. I need my partner as an ally. I need God to be with me. And, as I pray for my friends, I need their prayers, their love, and their guidance. Together we can make the hole in me, and the hole in others, smaller and smaller. I think that real love and real peace are connected here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Blue

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.
You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.


Okay, so I'm not very creative or thinking lately. I'm just copying. This one from Eileen. Company coming for a week, staring Sunday. I'm not thinking or writing much - just cleaning and straightening and putting things where they belong.

Later, group

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tagged Again

Nina has tagged me for the Favorite flowers meme

In the interests of alliteration, you are allowed up to five favorite flowers. You may say something about why you love each, or a memory attached to each.

Old smelly roses - preferably dark red or the little ones that grew all along the sides of the roads in Mississippi years ago.

Illiums - garlic, onions, that bloom with balls of flowers on tall stalks

Begonias - particularly angel wings, but I've kept the semper florens kind alive for years - some in pots from last year sprouted again and are blooming even though they're only two inches tall.

Pansies - Johnny-Jump-Ups - I love the way they just spring up anywhere. Of course some people consider them weeds, but I love them.

Jasmines - all kinds from the bushes to the vines - I don't want them in the house, but I love them outside my window - have a small one on my porch now.

And, I like peonies, daffodils, hyacinths and narcissi. I know that's cheating, but gosh, there are so many out there.

I'll tag some people tomorrow - bedtime now - dreaming of all the smell good flowers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I've been tagged

I have been tagged by Saint Pat for this, but she blames Padre Mickey.

1.I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1.I was once an over-the-road truck driver. I thought I could keep an eye on my husband that way, but it didn’t work; he fell in love with cocaine and became my ex-husband.
2.I collect miniature Christmas ornaments, began in 1988 when Hallmark first began their program. Now I have seven miniature trees. Some ornaments are mementos of the past like half of a pair of earrings that Dad brought back from French Morroco while he was in the Navy.
3.I watch Mei Lan, the panda cub at Zoo Atlanta every weekday – even just to see her sleeping, and I keep up with Knut, the polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo.
4.I have probably 60 pair of shoes and boots that I wear.
5.I talk big, but I’m a sucker...see the flashing light on my forehead. But, I can be tough when I have to. I carried a small handgun in my purse when I was a teenager, and my brother made me learn how to shoot it and take it apart and clean it and all that stuff.
6.The only living blood relatives I have are one first cousin and one 87 year old uncle.
7.I have seen or experienced ghosts on several occasions. Once in our family home after everyone was in bed, we heard footsteps – high-heeled shoes – walk from the kitchen across the living room and we heard the front door and screen open and close and the footsteps walk across the porch and down the steps onto the grass. I was sleeping in the living room and I could plainly see that no human person was there. But four of us hear her.
8.I will read almost anything that is in front of me – box labels, magazine ads, directions for a project, knitting instructions (I don’t knit), order forms of catalogs in detail, even directions for things that I am doing. And, because I spent a number of years in printing, I can read upside down and backwards; so I read everything on people’s desks when I am sitting in front of them. I’m not so much nosy as I’m just habited to reading any words near me.

Gosh, finding eight people to tag will be difficult. I tag:

1.Missy of Missy’s Big Fish Stories

2.Janis at Juanuchi’s Way

3.Nina at Dancing Through Doorways

4.Mary Sue at Order of Saint Ignora

5.Scott of Mad Hare

6.Cynthia at Reverend Mom

7.Klady at Lady of Silences

8.Judith at Mystical Midget

Health update

Stress test today - new technology - tentative results good - more on Wednesday. Tired. More here later.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Life is Good

Hmmm. I don’t have much to say. All the poor people in my life are getting poorer. I don’t know any rich people; so I don’t know if they are getting richer, but I think they may be. Services are terrible. Doctors are too busy to listen. Clothes cost more and fit worse. Restaurants are inconsistent with the quality of their food. Eating healthily is expensive. Heat triggers asthma attacks. The water is warm for swimming and dangling your feet. The osprey has babies. The Easter lilies are blooming. I made a chair cushion today without a pattern. I think the one I make tomorrow will take a little less time and anxiety and ripping out. Celebrex works for pain. Life is good.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Demythologizing

Demythologize -to reveal and understand the true character, nature, or meaning of something by ridding it of all mythical or mysterious aspects (Encarta Dictionary North America)


I remembered those two years in Bermuda as being idyllic and the rest of life as being horrible. And, that is not the true character of either. Indeed, Bermuda was the scene of much growth in my life, some of which would have occurred wherever I was when puberty hit and some of which could have happened nowhere else. Each person is shaped not only by the people and circumstances but also by place. I would have grown up anyway; being in Bermuda changed what that growing up was like.

The island is tiny; the roads are narrow; cars are much wider now than in 1957-59; driving is dangerous. Somerset, my end of the island, has deteriorated as the cruise ships have gotten larger and can only dock in Hamilton and, if the wind is right, at the Dockyard and at St. George’s. The wind was not right while we were there; so we did not get to see St. George’s.

House 1957
House - 50 years later

However, our tour driver recognized the location of each picture I had brought from my previous years. He took me to each of them and let me take new photos. He showed me my school and how it had changed (good upgrade). He showed me where I had danced with the gombey dancers in a low income area (now a very fancy resort). He showed me the house where we had lived (see picture). And, he took us to lots of bays and places where I had ridden my bicycle (I didn’t see a single non-motorized bike). I even took a picture of my best friend’s house (now with a wall and tall oleander bushes). In three short hours after landing in Bermuda I had seen every place I really wanted to see.

The rain began that night and continued until late the next afternoon. Lisa took off in the rain the following morning to swim with the dolphins – a dream experience that we had missed on our trip to Central America. She got to tickle the dolphin’s nose, and her delight was evident in the pictures.

Corvette of container freight

The following day we were set to transfer to St. George’s, but high winds prevented that. We were moved backward to an industrial dock and had to use tenders to transport all of the 1500 passengers who wanted to go ashore on this very beautiful day. We finally got ashore at 1:30 pm. We visited Marks and Spencer and a music store. We were on our way to a thrift shop that might have had the vinyl records that her son Jon requested when we discovered that it was not open on that day.

We also discovered that a large (and this was the smallest of the line) cruise ship was not a great vacation for us. The largest ship we had been on previously held 125 passengers and activities focused on the area in which we were traveling.

We had a nice suite with its own balcony/deck. I slept in a lounge chair on the deck for much of the first night at sea and fell in love with the ocean all over again. The casino, the bars, the nightclub, the bridge tables did not appeal to us. And, so many people were everywhere on board, but becoming acquainted with them was difficult. We did have a very good dinner table crowd, and the food was good – well presented.

So, the trip was good, but we won’t go back to Bermuda, and we probably won’t sail on a large ship again. I’m hoping for a polar bear trip next time or maybe a South American adventure, but I think I’ll avoid the tourist spots.