I send you love from the distant planet known as My Own Little World, which I've been completely engrossed in for quite some time now. I do hope you'll forgive me my bit of selfishness.
Truth be told there isn't much to report. Even so I am sure I could go on for a while...about nothing....surely....yep, I'll just bet.
I've even tried reading a blog or two, but get called away on some diplomatic mission here in My Own Little World. They do need me so.
Writing has been even harder. Seems I sit down to write and the brain escapes to its Very Own Little Planet.
Contagious stuff this selfishness.
I did return to work last week and strangely no fairies or elves or even little leprechauns had come along and finished my work whilst I was away. Not to mention they do not allow you to visit previously mentioned planet of your own making - they even frown upon it. Something about earning your pay and milking your sick leave. Sadness upon sadness. Can you say sadness children? I knew you could.
I seem to be doing better back here on planet Earth than I have in the previous weeks. Just last week I could only work/focus/stay here on Earth until 2 or 3 pm and then I was just plain dead.
Not mostly dead. All dead. There is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. I was not slightly alive. Perhaps I rushed Miracle Max and you know what happens when you rush a miracle.
This week - much better for all involved. That is not to say I had any more energy than last week, but I made it through to 4:30 before I felt the life drain from my body. Leaving me mostly dead. Or slightly alive.
The most excitement in the last 2 weeks has been my lovely Erienne coming home for a visit. She came back from Kuwait to be with her brother before he deployed to Iraq. Afterwards, she came and visited My Own Little World and rather liked it...she eventually had to leave though, the Army does frown on not returning when they ask. And I'll just bet they can find my world no matter how I try and hide her in it. Sadness once again.
See folks, other than that life here in My Own Little World is rather about nothing and without much ado.
Sigh. I wonder how long until others start to move here and begin its undoing.
I send you love from the distant planet known as My Own Little World, which I've been completely engrossed in for quite some time now. I do hope you'll forgive me my bit of selfishness.
Oh my word! Has it already been 14 days? I've had my family home all week and it has gone by so fast...
What a freakin' crazy white water ride too. Emotionally, physically, everythingally.
Monday we journeyed out to Barnes & Noble. For me, this is as close to Heaven on Earth as there is without being sacrilegious. (For my husband Heaven on Earth would be Northern Tools, Home Depot or Lowe's) Not to mention this particular B&N sells Starbuck's right there. Not that I am a Starbuck's devotee, no, no, no mon ami's, just a coffee devotee. Coffee and books. Yesssss. I wonder, will there be books in Heaven? Hmmm...
I wandered through Heaven slowly in a literature induced euphoria literally salivating over the innumerable selections before me. I started with six, narrowed it down to three and only walked out with one, The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell. What a delightful choice at that. And truly, the fact that it was set in Ireland, had nothing to do with my decision.
Okay, maybe just a bit.
Speaking of Ireland...I found it rather humorous that every aisle that I walked down had an Irish book of some sort on display. I don't believe this was because of St. Patrick's day otherwise there would have been a whole display. Just a smidgen of irony I think...
I took pictures...well, what pass as pictures. Again, I don't have a decent camera and all I had with me was my phone:
I am quite certain I would have found many, many more, had I actually tried to find these. Or, with irony such as it is, perhaps not. No matter the case, it gave me a smile or a laugh each time and made me think of new found friends. Mayhap a nudge from the Lord's to pray for them...after reading about Ali's dreaded flight disease, and Pluto's furry visitor, I now understand.
The weather has been dutifully accommodating for our week together. There was the empty promise of some nasty storms on Tuesday. Sadly we didn't get as much as a spit of rain from the skies. No thunder, no lightening, not even one danged ominous black cloud.
And with the good weather we've begun work on our summer project for this year. The west side of the house. Or as Miss Nancy Mon would say, "A big shout out to the west si-eeede!" Sigh, I so miss her. And many others! I actually look forward to going back to work tomorrow! Crazy huh?
Back to the projects, er project. The side of the house is terribly overgrown. The couple that owned it before us apparently became ill and unable to take care of all the flowerage and vegetation. So we've been out pulling up plants that have become more like weeds. Cutting down bushes that have become more like trees. So far we've filled 12 of the super huge lawn bags and have lots to go. Yee. Haw.
On Wednesday and Thursday my emotions got the best of me. My son left Thursday for Iraq and I have to tell you that right now is one of the most difficult times in my life. For one, he has decided to be angry with me for reasons I won't go into here. And in my mind this isn't the time for anger...this is the time for forgiveness and letting others know just how much you love them, no matter what.
Which I made sure he heard from me even if I didn't hear as much from him. For two, if he is mad at me okay, I am a big girl, but dang, he should have at least talked to his step-father and brother and sister. They are very hurt as well. For three, well I guess it is just a matter of this is the third one there which takes me to harder and harder places. And four, my emotions are on shaky ground to begin with considering all that has gone on before.
Shaky ground because even though I no longer feel physical hunger, I cannot sate my mental hunger. And the mental hunger is a far more difficult battle to wage war against. Like ghost pains for an amputee.
For the emotional eater, add these two together - the surgery and my oldest son leaving - and you have a cataclysmic situation on your hands. At one point I longed for the pots of meat in Egypt. I understood how the Israelites could even consider the choice. It seems far easier to go back to what required no struggle, no growth, no death of self, than to go forward in seemingly endless circumstances.
As I pause from typing this I look up at the tack board filled with pictures and notes and cards and such. But the one thing that sticks out is this, a note written to myself:
My Refuge is the eternal God. Deuteronomy 33:27
My Hope and my faith are in God. 1 Peter 1:21
My Security is in God. Philippians 4:19
My Acceptance is in God. Isaiah 62:5
Those words have been a reminder to me to stop looking to food, people and earthly things (yes, even books and coffee) for refuge and love. These are found only in God.
And no matter how much my heart hurts, how my stupid mind wanders back to those pots of meat and chains of slavery, He is the one who will meet my needs.
No matter what.
Reality is a deceptive word. It seems that you know exactly what you are headed for, but later you find that the reality of then, was only what you thought it was.
Not a mirage. Not fantasy. Not even a misguided belief. More like a belief that is at each moment evolving, once blurred by thought and now sharpened by experience.
Two weeks ago, in reality, I fully realized that in 14 days I would have surgery. I knew the reality was that this surgery would absolutely change every aspect of my life - permanently. And I, being of sound mind, had done my homework thoroughly and was, or so I thought, prepared for the road ahead. No regrets, no fears, no worries.
And one week ago, in reality, I had said surgery and all things I imagined it to be, were brought in to focus and no longer what I originally thought, but now what I knew.
And then there comes a moment, when you wake up several days later, have chicken broth for breakfast for the third day in a row, have absolutely nothing you recognize as hunger for the third day in a row, have six large incisions across your belly and no idea if what you are doing is even going to work, when you say to your educated self, "Oh me, you had no clue. What have you done?"
All those so called well-informed-ideas that kept away any presentiments you might have had, go tearing out the door leaving it wide open for those nasty neighbors known as doubt to walk right in and make themselves quite comfortable. And you? You have not an inkling of what to say to them, how could you? You've never been here before.
This is not to say that I now feel some form of regret. Not at all. Just reality, sinking its sharp little claws deep into the very pit of my brain better known as the heart and the soul. The innermost being as it were.
And too, reality is a word pregnant with possibilities. Possibilities that, when given breath, put to death the shadowy doubts that cower in the corners of your mind. Possibilities have their own reality, a reality that itself evolves.
The hope of victory becomes a tangible reality one day at a time. The desire of perseverance takes yet another step on solid ground. The thought of resolve pounds in your heart one beat to the next, drumming out the whispers of what if and not you. And these realities become more and more at home in your mind than the doubts, the words of naysayers and the fleeting fears that once tried to nest.
And what was, transmigrates in to what is. And this day, this is it, this is your reality. Make it what you will.
Sorry I've been gone so long! Whew, just had a little something going on lately :-).
Catch up with me, one post at a time...
Catching Up - Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Catching Up - Many Thanks
Catching Up - the "S" Word
Catching Up - American Idol
Catching Up - At the Movies
We all know, no matter what your heritage, we all have a little Irish in us. This year, I actually have the honor to 'know' several wonderful people from Ireland.
Ali, Pluto & Cosmo, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Hey folks, it's more than green beer, getting pinched and 'Kissing me cause I'm Irish'....not that any of that is bad...it is just how we celebrate it here in the states. But there is SO much more to St. Paddy's Day than all that.
In honor of the Lá ’le Pádraig, the lovely Ali had a give away and yours truly won. True to her word, I received the parcel in time to celebrate all things Irish. Please excuse the horribleness of this photo, I have a sorry excuse for a camera...
Yes, that is Bailey's Irish Cream. Yes, you are jealous. Yes, I loved everything in this Irish bounty! My favorite has to be the Escape to Ireland booklet. Words cannot describe the way I feel looking through the pages.
She thought of everything, a DVD of Ireland, CD of Celtic music, a book on the history of St. Patrick - the dude not the day. Lollipops with little shamrocks on them, balloons, happy St. Paddy's day banner, an Irish Blessing mousepad which I use right here at home. And even a true Shamrock...I would include a picture but again my camera stinks. Nope, not operator error thank you very much. Right down to the green glitter and the shamrock glitter. It was/is everywhere!
I've so enjoyed meeting my Irish friends. They make me wish I was Irish or at least lived in Ireland. Could you not listen to them all the time? Well, here is your chance. Take a listen to Mr. Pluto (I so hope this works!).
Pluto's N. Ireland accent
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
There are many blessings that have come my way this week. I just wanted to share them with you as much as I can on a blog...
Speaking of Miss Rae...she bought me this cup since all I can do is sip. She said I might as well sip in style. Heart, heart, heart. She picks the greatest little gifts.
My azaleas bloomed like crazy.
The house next door sold to a young couple. Glad they are moving in.
Nice house huh?
Another blessing...I stopped waking up at 3:33 in the morning.
Well, I guess I better go. Thank you everyone, I love you all!
So whether you watch it or not, you know you've heard of American Idol.
I happen to watch it. From beginning to end I am glued to the screen. Love the bad ones, love the good ones.
Here are my three favorites this year:
Brooke White, cannot get enough of her. Her voice is raw, it is real and it is unadulterated by the pop world. She could hold her own with Carly and Carole and she likes Bonnie Raitt! Brooke is my absolute favorite. I hope they totally Daughtry the girl, then she can go on and do her thing.
Jason Castro, oh my. Chiseled features. Blue eyes. Dreads. Okay, so normally - dreads? not so much. But child he works them. And, a voice that makes you dream. What's not to like? I would love to hear a duet with Jason and Brooke.
David Archuletta. Sweetest kid. Cutie pie. And he can SING. He is my third favorite and no matter what, this kid will go far. Hopefully he will stay grounded enough not to become big-headed about his talent or go off in to the deep end of the drug and alcohol pool.
So who is your next American Idol?
My daughter told me about an event where there were a series of questions posed to both mother and daughter seeing how well they knew each other. (She was 'working' the event in order to raise funds for her mission trip.)
She said in her head she played the game with me and wondered how we did so on the way home we played. When we got to the question "what is her favorite movie?" I asked her what she thought it was. You know what she told me?
"Mom, that is such an unfair question."
"Exactly." I said.
How can you pick one? You can't even pick one genre much less one movie. Action, disaster, romance, drama, chick-flick, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, scary. There's the classics, the comedies, the musicals.
Noticeably missing, westerns (any kind, but especially spaghetti westerns) and war movies. Not a fan.
This past week I've had a chance to watch a LOT of movies from most of the genres. In between American Idol, sipping, napping and sipping here are a few that I've watched:
A Hitchcock classic. I love me some Jimmy Stewart but I was very creeped out by his character's obsession with this woman. Eh. It has like 9 1/2 stars on IMDB...but I wouldn't give it so many.
For me the Sophie, Olivia, Arthur and Miles totally made this movie watchable. Jude Law and his lovely little accent didn't hurt it much...
Arthur: Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained things to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
I know, crude, sexist and tasteless. And I LOVE it. I had forgotten just how danged funny Mike Meyers is. I was laughing so hard it hurt. Well, I guess considering there are 6 incisions on my belly, it wouldn't take much effort to make me hurt....
Scott: How could you do this to me? On national television!
Dr. Evil: Well throw me a freakin' bone here, Scott.
Scott: Why did you run out on me?
Dr. Evil: Because you're not quite evil enough.
Dr. Evil: Well it's true! It's true! You're semi-evil. You're quasi-evil. You're the margarine of evil. You're the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough.
My Fair Lady
Just a very wonderful movie. I know every song, every line and love, love, lurve this loverly movie. Audrey Hepburn is one of the most beautiful women in the world and an even more beautiful actress.
Come on, Dover, move yer bloomin' arse!
The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.
Another Hepburn movie, actually her first major role and this time with the amazing Gregory Peck. Sweet and funny, simple and romantic. I love it.
His Girl Friday
Fast and funny you have to really pay attention. You won't be disappointed either... Rosalind Russell is one funny and beautiful woman and with Cary Grant as your leading man, you gotta be.
Your turn. Tell me, what movies, good or bad, have you watched lately? Favorite lines?
I just wanted to post a note saying thank you so much for all the well wishes, all the prayers all the words of love and smiles!
I am home and on the mend. I was so happy to be home that when I laid down on my own bed I cried. Which I had to stop immediately because that hurt. Tears of joy were about to be tears of pain!
For the next few days life will go a little something like this:
Chew pain pill.
Sip crystal light.
Seems I've become a cat....
I will try to check my emails and blog as much as possible in between since they bring me your prayers, your jokes your love and your thoughts and those bring me much joy.
Okay. Must go sip and nap. Will write soon.
'They' put the fear of the Surgery Nazi in you. Tell you to lose 10 pounds or else - "no surgery for you!"
They mean well. They want to see if you will follow their directions. It makes the surgery easier on the stomach. It makes the transition to a purely liquid diet that much easier. Lowers your health risks, yada yada yada.
So, I knew the Big W-day was drawing close. My old fears and long ago fought battles rose up out of their shallow graves and laughed their ghostly heads off right in front of me. Did I lose enough? What if I gain 3 pounds overnight. Better skip a protein shake until after weigh in. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG!
My stupid scale at home wasn't helping the mental matters either. My clothes were a bit baggy. I was feeling a bit lighter. But my scale showed me very little love. So, rather than give in and be defeated I went to another scale. And another. And glory be, I'd lost 20 pounds!
Forget a bit baggy, suddenly my pants were about to fall off.
So, I headed off to the hospital ready to jump through all the final pre-op hoops with confidence tucked neatly under my arm. They have their circus act down pat. In this ring you pee in a cup. In this ring you give a little blood. And in this ring you have an EKG.
Then the ring master walks in. Uh oh...
I hate this part. I am always afraid I am going to answer something wrong. It's too much like a test...
Head Nurse/Ring Master: What is your religion?
Head Nurse/Ring Master: *staring at me*
Head Nurse/Ring Master: *writing and talking* Christian.
I'm thinking dang, that was a few points off.
This one was my favorite by far:
Head Nurse/Ring Master: What do you expect from your hospital stay?
Me: Um, surgery?
Head Nurse/Ring Master: We are not amused. Of course you will have surgery. What do you expect?
Me: Good care?
Dang, I am so failing this...
Head Nurse/Ring Master: No one knows how to answer that question.
Well at least I am in the 100 percentile there.
Head Nurse/Ring Master: Are you allergic to anything?
Me: Yes, codeine, morphine, vicodin.
Head Nurse/Ring Master: *disbelieving tone, looks over top of glasses* What do they do to you?
Me: Chest pains, rash, heart racing, short of breath?
Head Nurse/Ring Master: *impressed* Okay.
The Ring Master lets me leave the interrogation. I'm off to see the trapeze artists next.
No kidding. Having an x-ray is really like that. Hold on to the bar over your head, deep breath in, lift your leg, swing! Now, turn this way, flip, deep breath in and swing!
Can I have some pop-corn now? Where are those stinking clowns cause this ain't funny anymore.
After two hours of that I headed off to the Surgery Nazi camp and waited for the call. And waited. And waited...
Finally my time had come. I weighed in and met with Dr. F.
Two thumbs up. I'd lost 22 pounds, all my tests went well and so on.
I asked what my results were from the hospital tests. He said I passed with a 94.
I think six points were taken off for being Baptist.
I have started a blog about my weight loss journey. You can read about it here if you like. I just repeated this post there. I am too lazy to be creative twice today.
Well, not exactly.
You have two little flies on the wall to thank for this...
We do have odd conversations at dinner, why bother with any other way. Odd for us, is the norm. I love to meet people who think outside the box, color outside the lines, walk to the beat of a different drum and all that jazz.
And I try to inspire that same odd creativity in my children. For instance, one time Elena and I laid side by side for over two hours with a wire hanger making different shapes and stories about those shapes. Each of us saw a million different shapes and stories in that one simple object. It is one of my favorite memories with her.
Or, sometimes at dinner I will start a story, or ask someone to start to a story and then it gets passed around each of us adding to the story as we go.
Dad: The cow jumped over the moon.
Mom: Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, scientists had been working on this project for many, many years. It was a very top-secret scientific experiment to see the effects of space on a cow. There was much rejoicing over the successful mission.
Elena: They found that once in space cows could produce 100 times more the milk than they could on earth. This made the scientists very happy. They took the milk and fed millions around the world.
Eddie: The company who originally funded the experiment sold the rights to a much bigger company and made billions off of the cows in space. War eventually broke out and millions died. Leaving the cows in charge.
I can see the nuances of each personality in the story. Each time we get to Elena, she is all about saving the world and helping others. Each time we get to Eddie he is all about the money and battles and humor.
So, since my two little flies mentioned wanting to be in the home on the wall around our dinner conversations, I thought I would give everyone a spin at the bottle so to speak. Besides, if they really were flies on the wall, I would swat them and that would be that.
Here is how it goes:
I am going to provide the first part of the story.
Then, when you go to the comment section, read the last comment (unless you are first or *gulp* only comment :)) and then you provide the next part of the story.
I will paste your comments in to the post as I get to them, but I may get behind a bit as the hundreds of comments come flooding in. So kidding.
RUN with it. Have fun with it. Show me your personality. No judgements here, just creativity.
And yes, Nancy, you can do a story in lyrics only, I would love it.
She had stopped believing in heroes a very long time ago. Santa, the Easter Bunny & even the stupid Tooth Fairy, had all turned out to be lies. Her white knight must have rescued some other damsel in distress, because she was still stuck here. No one even remotely close to a Romeo called at her window. And then her father died.
Now she fights the dragons of this world on her own.
Contributed by Dana Moya
...not that many ever came calling, that is. In fact, nothing exciting EVER happened, until the day her father choked on that griffin beak that somehow found its way into his morning breakfast of creature-hash.
She placed the last scoop of earth on his grave and leaned on the shovel handle to mop her brow. She wondered if perhaps she should shed a tear or two and tried to conjure some up by remembering the tender moments they had shared, but since they hadn't shared any, the tears were not forthcoming.
He had locked her in a damn tower, after all. Nevermind that she had learned how to shimmy down the ivy trellis years ago, it was the thought of it that chafed.
Now that he was gone, though, she puzzled over what to do. Obviously there would be no more meals slid through the iron grate at the bottom of her door, so she'd have to make her own way somehow. She turned to go back to the house and find some supplies with which to go adventuring, or at least what she supposed would be adventuring, having had limited experience with the verb.
Contributed by Jenni
...that was when she discovered she had buried the wrong person...
Contributed by Ali
As she stood there contemplating her next move after making such a terrible mistake, a group of dirty, wild-eyed, and savage looking people angrily made their way toward her. With machetes and cleavers in their hands, she braced herself for the worst.
Contributed by YaYa Orchid
How come nobody had told her it was the butchers turn to organise the annual St Patrick's Day parade?
Contributed by Ali
Shaking her head in disbelief and laughing at the wildly happy folks waving weapons in the air she started thinking... Who would steal her father's body?! Why? The answers were not going to be easy to find, and she knew she would search determinedly but it was freedom that prompted that first step.
Feeling the elation of the moment she jumped in the line of crazy celebration and waved her fist, whooped a couple happy cries and followed the crowd through town. At the other end of town as they filed one by one into the pub she quietly turned and walked toward the road that lead to the outside world.
A half a day of walking steadily got her to the top of a small hill just within sight of the next town. As she gazed for the first time at that unknown place a sudden movement next to the road caught her eye. Curious she got closer, listening intently, and moved around to the other side. It was a cat; a small, brown country feline that was sitting and staring at her very expectantly. They had only just made eye contact and the cat started to go into the woods but soon paused and sat again to look at her. She frowned, suspicious of this strange animal. Her mind was wondering, trying to remember if she'd ever heard of any cats being magical in these parts but she couldn't. Nevertheless she'd always liked cats and wished for one many times, especially since her father wouldn't let her keep one, and so she followed.
They walked through the woods to a clearing and found herself in front of a nice cottage. Right away she could tell it was an inn. The place was teaming with spring flowers buzzing happily with bees, the sun was shining on the cute little tables for tea in the middle of the garden and the sheets out for sunning were waving at her from the upper windows. She felt happy just looking at this scene and continued up the steps as she caught sight of the cat's tail disappearing into the front entrance of the cottage.
Contributed by Citlali
She followed the cat through the door, intending to shoo it out; not many folks take kindly to stray cats wandering about their houses & her father had regularly taken shots at any feline that dared.
She found herself in a tiny kitchen, clean & cozy, with pots bubbling on the stove & sweet-smelling herbs hanging from the ceiling. The scent of bread baking caused her stomach to grumble- it had been so long since she had eaten a real meal- & she had to mentally shake herself, lest she forget why she came inside.
Whispering in a low voice, she called to the country cat, urging it to come away, but she could not find it anywhere. As she creeped further into the room, searching for her furry guide, she was startled to see a small woman seated in an enormous rocking chair next to the fireplace, gazing directly at her, with a sly smile on her face. The woman's face was ageless, tanned from a lifetime working out of doors, with large green eyes that seemed to hold equal parts of mirth & secrets. She was dressed in peasant homespun & wrapped in a huge brown shawl, even though it was rather warm inside.
After staring at each other for a moment, the woman rose from her seat & said in a strange little sing-song voice, "Well, after that long walk, you must be famished. Tie on an apron & fetch that bread out of the oven; the others should be along anytime & we don't want to keep them from their vittles."
Contributed by Meg
“The others?” she questioned.
“Here, take this apron. Hurry now, the bread will burn.”
The question hung in the air unanswered and mingling with the many aromas filling the tiny room.
Looking around at the cottage the impression of familiarity nudged at her like a dog insisting you pet them. She couldn’t help but feel a certain remembrance of coming home. Surely it was only her weary body and the events of the day starting to wear away at her good senses.
Removing the loaf of bread, golden brown and steaming, she rested it on the trivet the woman had set out and left it to cool on the large wooden table in the center of the room. Not knowing what to do now, she watched as the woman fuss with the pots, adding a pinch of something in one; she tasted, shook her head and added a smidge more.
As she stood there watching the woman stir what must surely be a delectable stew, a shapeless memory stirred about in the back of her mind. Not quite able to put a finger on she tried to push it out of her mind. But as the edges cleared the memory became recognizable and made its way towards the front. Stunned, she stood there in silence.
The woman must have watched as the whole of it played out on her face for she turned to her with a knowing grin and asked “What’s the matter dear, cat got your tongue?”
Contributed by Dana