Sunday, June 29, 2008


I've been reading about accounts being closed for various reasons, and, since I don't check Facebook very often, I will be checking it even less. So, if you're messaging me through Facebook, Please change to comments on the blog or email.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gee, I didn't know it was following me!

So, my partner took my car for a short trip this morning - better gas mileage, and I was going to drive the truck to go a few miles to the post office and thrift shop. I gathered my packages and stuck them in the truck, hopped in and off I went.

One of the intersections between home and there is a bit tricky with lots of turn lanes and frontage roads and such. But, I just whizzed through it without a problem, even the light was green.

The post office is small with only a few parking spaces, diagonal in a small parking lot. The first two spaces were full; so I pulled into the third space. I popped out of the truck and retrieved my packages from the seat, turned to go into the post office and STOPPED. The 25 foot boat trailer was behind the truck, tagging along like a good trailer should with its lights properly hooked up and its chains in place. The only problem was that I didn't realize it was there. I didn't see the trailer until I got out of the truck at the post office.

Blocking the two cars already parked, I dashed into the PO and noted to the drivers that I'd be right back to move; they were blocked.

Now, I'm no good at all in backing trailers - give me 40 acres and I'll turn this rig around. But, fortunately, the diagonal parking slots were easy, and the trailer did exactly what I wanted it to do. I looked at the driveway out and noted that I'd never get that long sucker turned. Fortunately, the employee parking lot had a much larger driveway and it was separated only by a very slight sidewalk, which I slid across and pulled into the roadway. Thanks be to God.

The thrift shop is in an old grocery store; so I could just slide truck and trailer into the lot and walk in. Bought a few things. Came out, was hungry. I negotiated that tricky traffic light again and parked in a large lot next to Taco Bell.

But, I was thankful to get it all home again safely. Now, the rig is parked in the front yard where my partner will have the delightful experience of backing the trailer into its slot when she gets back or sometime.

Some of you may know that in a former life I was a professional truck driver (many years ago), but I was never very good at backing. I think they wrote that song - give me 40 acres - just for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cleaning House

This is a double meaning headline. I've been literally cleaning house; we had company last week. I moved a lot of stuff into my office/studio/study, and I've been clearing away some of it this week. At least I can see the table top now even if I can't walk all the way around the table. LOL

I've also been cleaning house in my head, continuing to work with the book "Forgiveness". Now I'm at an exercise designed to help me figure out what I needed (in childhood and any time previous to now and now) that I didn't get, who didn't give it to me that "should" have, how I was hurt by this and continued to hurt myself because of it, alternative habits/behaviors to the ways I continue to hurt myself, and who can help.

I call it "Name It, Blame It, Claim It, Change It, Help It." I think I'm going to do it on a spread sheet so that I don't have to write all that stuff by hand.

Earlier I made a gratitude list: easy peasy but very lengthy and includes hot showers, clean air, computers and all modern technology, loving relationships, jet skis, and people who work to help preserve our planet.

This stuff seems to be working. Last night I just took over a task from my partner and realized before I was through with it that I had just made her feel incompetent and stupid. So, I apologized even though I finished the task. Well, hey, I was already half-way done, and I hate incomplete work.

Later, I began telling her something and she started finishing my sentences and talking over what I was saying; so I shut up. She had not even heard what she said except the first and last sentence. She also apologized.

We had a lot to talk about at therapy this morning. LOL Listening skills, oops skills (that's when you realize you're doing something you shouldn't be doing and stop), belief in self skills, signals for each other at critical junctures in discussions or to help break hurtful habits.

For instance, when we eating out and I reach for that second or third roll, I suggested that she gently put her hand on mine. That would convey her caring and the possibility that I was doing something that would harm me. As we would stop a child about to touch a hot stove burner, I need help in identifying those times when I am indulging in self-destructive behavior. This applies not only to over-eating but to other things as well.

Isolating, for instance. I test out as an E on the Myers Briggs every time. But the therapist would have pegged me for an I - that Extrovert versus Introvert. I think I'll find one of those tests online and take it again.

Stay cool if your temp is abover 90, stay dry if you're in the flood zone, stay healthy by not indulging in self-destructive behavior - and ask for help if you need it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday, I got to ride my jet ski for a bit. The weather was very cooperative and so was my breathing. 80 degrees, overcast, barometric pressure holding steady after a rain storm, water smooth, friends to help. So, I made the most of it. Lots of figure eights, varying speeds, checking out the neighbors up the creek, watching the geese.

Also got to see the local osprey bathing in the shallow water on the point across the creek. And, the great blue heron that feeds in the shallows amongst the cypress knees.

Someone asked me what I do on Sunday since I don't go to church. Well, I usually check in with the blogs I read regularly and see who needs prayers and such. I watch the osprey and the heron. I fill the bird feeders and watch the birds. I pet the cats. I take lots of deep breaths and fill my soul with quiet. I listen.

Lately, I am working on learning more about trust: how we build it, rebuild it, what keeps it going, and I want to relate that to faith - trust in God. So, I'll be writing about trust in the future.

I'll also be writing more about the work I'm doing with the book Forgiveness by Simon and Simon - lots of good exercises. And, I'm stuck right now on writing letters of apology from those who have hurt me. Well, really, I guess I'm stuck on the steps before - figuring out who hurt me and how. Strangely, that brought out the former blog about relationships and sex. But, my mother figures strongly in all this. My father less directly.

So, for right now, I'm back to the osprey, the creek and the birds - oh yes, and my knitting and prayers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Let's talk about fear and sex

My partner is in NYC visiting her son. She was terrified before she left - for several days - about getting from the airport to his office in Brooklyn then to the hotel. She hurt her back rebuilding our deck and doesn't have the energy she once had; so she was rightly afraid of being lost without enough energy to think straight. But, she did all the right things. She packed lightly enough to use a carry-on bag and a small backpack. And, God provided the angel - the native NYCer who said he was going exactly the same way she needed to go. She had the courage to say, "I'm your new best friend." In just over an hour from landing, she was sitting at her son's desk. Thanks be!!

But, her fear just about did her in.

Those are fears of current events. I have fears of past events repeating themselves, and my fears sometimes make that happen.

When I was 14, a young man was taking me (supposedly) to the skating rink to meet other friends. Instead, we parked on a very deserted road in rural Mississippi. And, yes, I've probably told this story before...but this is a different twist. We necked for a bit - exciting for a 14-year-old to be with a guy in the service. Then suddenly he was in me and hurting me and I was screaming no no no. Afterward, he was terrified and so was I. At that time in Mississippi, they killed young men who did that to white girls. All I had to do was go to the doctor.

And, my brother had told that sex was the most wonderful accompaniment to love. I should cherish it. So, I made a deal with my rapist. If he would teach me how to have sex lovingly, I would not tell anyone. For the next two weeks of his leave, we made love in many ways. He treated me with kindness, love and gentleness. He defended me to my former friends who had told him I was "fast". Then he left, and I never saw him again.

My first alliance was with a woman who courted me for over a year. She took me to Arizona; she had a lover there and they continued that relationship. She had promised me the sky, the moon, the stars. But, she betrayed me not only by continuing the relationship but in other ways. And, she ultimately stole my car - my beautiful 1963 Bonneville convertible - dawn metallic blue with a blue top. Resentment? Who me? Only 24 years later.

I married 10 years later. The man loved my body and loved having sex with me. But, he also had sex with anyone who would stand still long enough. I began gaining weight as I lessened my drinking (totally sober 10 years, not drunk in 25 years), and when I reached 130, he quit having sex with me. He also became a drug addict and dealer and a thief. After seven years, he just quit coming home and we divorced. A man who promised to love me and care for me until death do us part - abandoned me after mistreating me in many ways for eight years.

Several years later, I married my best friend. We knew the sex between us was terrible, but we thought we could manage, and we truly loved one another. His resentment manifested itself through barbs and quips that cut. Sometimes, he would team up with my Mother for these. They would laugh; they thought they were making jokes. Early in the second year of our marriage he began to talk about leaving, and I would ask the questions: where are you going? how will you get there? what are you going to do that's different? The sex continued to be horrible, he continued to hand out barbs and leaving became a joke. Then he fell in love with the teacher across the hall and broke all the vows he had made.

So, tell me any reason I shouldn't have fear about sex in a committed relationship. The only faithful sex I've ever had was with the man who raped me. He treated me well. The others, those who promised before God to love and cherish me forever, treated me horribly and abandoned me.

Recently, I created a fight between my partner and me just to avoid intimacy.

I'm working on this. Right now, I'm using a book "Forgiveness" by Simon and Simon, 1991. Now I'm making connections and drawing conclusions about what has happened in the past that is affecting the here and now. Ultimately, they claim I will have forgiveness and a different relationship in the now. I sincerely pray that they are right because fear is a terribly debilitating thing.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Music of the Spheres

Today I was reading Harper’s Magazine, June 2008, when I encountered a quote from a musical philosopher, Victor Zuckerlandl, “Hearing a melody is hearing, having heard, and about to hear, all at once. Every melody declares to us that the past can be there without be remembered, the future without being foreknown.” (p 91). I stopped; time is a human construct, and I’ve written about this earlier. God’s time is then, now, someday all at once. Zuckerlandl is saying that musical time is the same as God’s time.

Wow! What a wonderful concept!

The review was of “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” by Oliver Sacks, and the reviewer, Zalmen Rosenfeld, also discusses music’s ability to change human emotional states. Now, I’ve known this for years. I am able to dissipate my anger (as generalized as my anxiety) by listening to hard rock music – letting the music drown me in its mesmerizing repetition and loudness. I usually follow this period of hard rock with a softer, more spiritual vocal music whose poetry has meaning for me.

For instance, my iPod has a playlist that includes Free Bird, Cocaine, and some Janis Joplin. This is my hard rock list, and I play it often when I’m on the treadmill, sometimes forgetting how long I’ve been there. Following this expiation of sin and anger comes what I call a spiritual playlist – Enya’s “How Can I Keep from Singing”, Rufus Wainwright’s “Hallelujah”, Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Wade in the Water”, and other such songs. It also includes the very staccato rendition of “God is Alive, Magic is Afoot” (written by the same composer as Hallelujah) by Buffy St. Marie.

Songs connect with my emotions. I have trouble with lots of music; nothing peaceful in me resonates to the high notes of opera. I cover my ears and feel like cowering in a corner. Does this reflect the parental arguments when I was a child? Perhaps. For Zuckerlandl reminds us that music is then, now and someday – the arguments are very present for me when I listen to opera. Unfortunately, the cowering feeling also occurs when I am amongst much noise. My chest is getting tight just writing about this.

Changing my thoughts to Pachebel’s Canon in D, I can feel the tightness slipping away – or is it the clonazepam that I took earlier?

Still, I recognize in me the connection between music and my emotional climate, between the past and the present and how I perceive the future will be. Music can bring the past into immediacy and stretch it out for several hours or days. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” brings such past into now. I am transported to the back seat of a 1949 Plymouth sedan with Mom and David and me singing, and immediately to David’s funeral, and the loss of my beloved brother is once again unbearable…at least for a few moments. I’m learning to control this “flashback”.

I will never think that my choice of music is random, and now I know more about how to use music in healing my emotional wounds, transporting me into more people-friendly moods, and preparing me for whatever I face.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Jung Explorer Test
Actualized type: ENTJ
(who you are)
ENTJ - "Field Marshall". The basic driving force and need is to lead. Tend to seek a position of responsibility and enjoys being an executive. 1.8% of total population.
Preferred type: ENFJ
(who you prefer to be)
ENFJ - "Persuader". Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.
Attraction type: ENFJ
(who you are attracted to)
ENFJ - "Persuader". Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.

Take Jung Explorer Test
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I'm sitting in my favorite chair having just finished a good meal - prepared by those loving people at Lowe's Foods in Morehead City, NC. I have put away the cold and frozen food and am just enjoying being.

The new wireless system here works even if it is a bit slow. And, I can't send emails through Mozilla Thunderbird, but I can receive them. Weird. At least I've finally gotten this deal to accept the various accounts I have.

Hmmm. What to do? Stare at the ocean? Knit? Read The Sun magazine? Put water in the refrigerator? Sit and read blogs? Aha. that's it.

Peace, Prayers and Love

When I am writing to internet friends or leaving comments on other blogs, I often sign off with "Peace, Prayers and Love" - I wish you peace, I will keep you in my prayers, and I send you love.

As sharecropper, my responsibilities are to care for those and that leased to me by the owner, to increase the wealth of my trust, and to return a portion of that wealth to the owner. I never capitalize sharecropper, for I am not unique, only one of the host of the world, who are also sharecroppers even though they may not know it. Coming from the farming world of the deep South, sharecroppers were not respected even though they served well. They gave much more than they got; some, however, were able to buy land and become landowners instead of sharecroppers (and I'm not sure how that plays into my metaphor). We did own our little bit of land, and I sold it to go to seminary - such a little bit that about all it did was to get me there.

First and foremost to me are the people in my life - my partner, my friends (those present, past and cyber), my co-workers, acquaintances, and so on throughout the world. What I do best is to love people. My love is not boundless nor is my energy to love. I am human (and sometimes I have to remind myself that I am). I get angry, I harbor angers from the past that spit out at inappropriate times. (12 steppers will recognize this as resentments.) Ridding myself of these angers and the fears that go along with them is a lifelong process. The steps don't do it for me, and God's time in removing them (with my help and the help of other sharecroppers) is not my time.

But, what I farm is the growth of Peace, Prayers and Love. Some years the crops are bountiful; some years not. The more I can multiply this wealth I've been given in trust, the more I am blessed with the same things. Some days I have peace in the kind we all consider - the quiet contentment of being that includes safety, fulfillment of my basic (and not so basic) needs, and love. Some days, I give love in abundance, and some days I turn the cell phone off, stay away from the computer and knit.

As a sharecropper, my leased land is not the earth, is not the wealth of things (although I seem to hoard lots of things), but my leased land is people. My energy goes into loving people. I'm a pretty good sharecropper; I've known about my leased land for most of my life. I've picked up bad habits and good practices along the way. My return to the owner has been good; I consider myself a successful sharecropper. Nonetheless, I am sharecropper. I do not own. I am a servant who is truly blessed with the return from my leased land.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Creating stuff with fiber

Remember the trip to the alpaca farm? Well, I finally got around to washing some of the white alpaca and drying it outside on a towel - a cool 93 degrees in the sun that day. And, here's a picture of me (see my hair is growing out and it's still white), and I'm carding the white alpaca (that's straightening the fibers) with two dog brushes (instead of buying expensive carders):

And, here's an in process picture of the mermaid that I am needle felting for Mindi in Colorado. I think the hair is going to be some of the curly locks from one of the alpaca since she was with us on that visit.

They've got to be kidding!

Your Score: Well-Adjusted

You scored 39 anxiety, 42 awkwardness, and 36 neuroticism!

You scored low in all categories--so there's no need to worry! Not that you were worrying, anyway. You are so Well-Adjusted that I almost feel the need to worry for you.

Your low anxiety score implies that you are able to relax, can enjoy the here and now, and have a healthy amount of self-confidence.

Your low awkwardness score implies that you are socially capable, are personable and charming, and probably go to parties and have fun.

Your low neuroticism score implies that you don't exhibit subtle neurotic behaviors--your nails are probably an acceptable length, your pencils aren't covered with bite marks, and your bookcase isn't arranged alphabetically by genre. Congrats!


See the other results!


The Neat Freak

The Dork

The Geek



The Subtle Neurotic

The True Neurotic

Link: The Neurotic Test written by littlelostsnail on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(littlelostsnail)